Called, Chosen and Faithful
By Donald R. Ramsey
Occasionally even those of us who are active in the work of the gospel become tired and weary. However, we are instructed not to grow weary in well doing. 2 Thessalonians 3:13
The work of the gospel often causes us to be very busy and we can sometimes lose focus of where we are and why.
One example is the prophet Elijah. Most of us are familiar with his encounter with the prophets of Baal and the miraculous result that was produced. This amazing incident caused the evil queen Jezebel to issue a death threat against him.
Elijah was afraid and he ran for his life. He first went to Beersheba, where he left his servant but he went another day’s journey into the wilderness. He sat down under a tree and asked the Lord to let him die.
Is the journey too great?
1 Kings 19:7
However, the Lord was not finished with him yet. An angel appeared, touched him and told him to arise and eat. It seems that the Lord had provided food and drink for Elijah. Elijah ate, drank and then laid down. The angel came a second time and touched him and told him again to arise and eat. Elijah did and then went in the strength of that food on to the mount of God.
He lodged in a cave and the word of the Lord came to him and asked a question.
What are you doing here?
The word of the Lord asked him an interesting question:
What are you doing here Elijah? 1 Kings 19:9.
It is not recorded if the angel told Elijah to go to the mountain of God or whether Elijah went on his own initiative. In this incident, the Lord showed that he was not in the wind, the earthquake or the fire. He showed instead that he was in the sound of a low whisper.
There is no doubt that Elijah was a great prophet called and chosen of the Lord. This experience taught Elijah a bit more about being faithful.
We can find ourselves in situations similar to that of Elijah. We have done good things for the Lord and adversaries arise to threaten us in various ways. It is easy to lose our focus and think that we are the only ones standing for the Lord. Realizing that the journey is too great for us and that we need the Lord’s help must always be stayed in our minds.
What is our goal?
When we find ourselves in such a situation, we should also be reminded to keep the goal in mind. Many of us have only a vague idea of what our goal actually is in the gospel work. Some of us would say that saving souls is the goal. Others would say that living a good life is what our goal should be.
We are not left without guidance about this from the scriptures.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
1 Thessalonians 4:7
For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.
They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.
Those with Christ at his coming are called, chosen and faithful
What is left for us?
1 Thessalonians 1:4; Romans 9:11; John 15:16; Ephesians 1:4; John 6:70; 13:18; 15:19
The word in Revelation 17:14 translated “called” occurs eleven times in the New Testament and it means to be invited.
The following verses have this word in the original.
Matt 22:14, Rom 1:1, Rom 1:6-7, Rom 8:28, 1 Cor 1:1-2, 1 Cor 1:24, Jude 1:1, Rev 17:14
The word translated “chosen” occurs twenty-three time in the New Testament and means to be selected, elected, appointed. The following verses have this word in the original.
Matt 24:24, Matt 24:31, Mark 13:22, Mark 13:27, Luke 18:7, Rom 8:33, Col 3:12, 1 Tim 5:21, Titus 1:1, 1 Pet 1:2, 1 Pet 2:6, 2 John 1:1, 2 John 1:13; Matt 22:14, Luke 23:35, Rom 16:13, 1 Pet 2:4, 1 Pet 2:9, Rev 17:14; Matt 24:22, Mark 13:20, 2 Tim 2:10;
The word translated “faithful” occurs sixty-six times in the New Testament and means to be trustworthy, firm in faith, faithful. The following verses have this word in the original.
Matt 24:45, Matt 25:21, Matt 25:23, Luke 12:42, Luke 16:10-12, Luke 19:17, Acts 16:15, 1 Cor 1:9, 1 Cor 4:2, 1 Cor 4:17, 1 Cor 7:25, 1 Cor 10:13, Gal 3:9, Eph 1:1, Eph 6:21, Col 1:2, Col 4:7, Col 4:9, 1 Thess 5:24, 2 Thess 3:3, 1 Tim 1:12, 1 Tim 1:15, 1 Tim 3:11, 1 Tim 4:9, 1 Tim 6:2, 2 Tim 2:2, 2 Tim 2:11, 2 Tim 2:13, Titus 1:6, Titus 1:9, Titus 3:8, Heb 2:17, Heb 3:2, Heb 3:5, Heb 10:23, Heb 11:11, 1 Pet 4:19, 1 Pet 5:12, 1 John 1:9, Rev 1:5, Rev 2:10, Rev 17:13-14, Rev 19:11, Rev 22:5-6;1 Tim 4:3, 1 Tim 4:10; Acts 10:45, Acts 16:1; 2 Cor 6:15, 1 Tim 5:16; John 20:27, 1 Tim 6:2; 2 Cor 1:18, 1 Tim 3:1; 1 Tim 4:12; 3 John 1:5; Acts 13:34
It can be seen in the gospels that first the disciples were called and then chosen.After being chosen, all but one proved faithful.
Jesus calls the disciples: Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:2-11; John 1:40-42
Jesus choses the apostles: Luke 6:13-16;
Being faithful is essential. The following verses show that Jesus is referred to as the faithful witness and there are promises given to those that are faithful.
Revelation 1:5; 2:10; Ephesians 1:1; Psalms 101:6; Proverbs 28:20
Those who make faithful use of God's gifts: Matthew 25:14-30Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4; 1Peter 4:10,11; 1 Corinthians 7:7; 12:7-11; Ephesians 4:11-16
1 Corinthians 14:26
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.