SEEING YOUR CALLING
What is a calling and is it even necessary?
Many view this differently in today’s world of physical desires and religious confusion because the majority don’t really know and many that should, have been convinced that you can become a Christian at any time you feel like it. You can “decide” to “accept Jesus” is the normal teaching and belief— some today have degenerated to the level of thinking Christ will accept you however you are or whatever depraved state of mind and way of life you may have— so where is the need for a calling? (See the older article “Natural, Normal or---?” for more on this subject.)
What does the Bible reveal about this? 1 Cor.1:26 “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” So there is a calling but please take the time right now to read the rest of the context of this in your own Bible. Christ’s own words says; “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws (or calls) him;” (John 6:44) Does this mean that all these claiming to be “born again” and “Christians”, have possibly NOT been called nor born again? Do you have a recognizable calling and has the Bible revealed to you what that is and for what purpose? IF anyone cannot just decide to be a Christian and you have to be called, then what is a Biblical calling? How do you know if you are called? These are questions that the mind can generate from seeing the title words “Seeing your calling”.
Not very many people caught up in today’s world of greed & get, glitter and materialism, with its mixed up social societies and all the “pleasures” of this life, know what any of this really means and may have never pondered any of the questions above. Though we do at times, hear someone say “I just knew my calling was”-- to be thus and such, or “he/she just knew their calling was to be” a police officer, a doctor or nurse or even a minister, etc. Of some other phrases I have heard, this is typical among the elderly, “I never really understood my calling until late in life”—this one is sometimes intended negatively; “he/she must have missed their calling”. But let us ask another question; is this physical life about a whole array of different “callings” of different sorts; is that our “reason for being”?
We are living in an age of ever increasing sins and chaos, with war and terror in almost every part of planet earth and this is because of those mounting sins! Most people are ever increasingly caught up in the day to day business of making a living, having fun and being entertained, fulfilling their own desires and lusts, not thinking about any kind of special calling or purpose to life. Some on this earth live their whole lives in survival mode, with little other choices, never coming to know the truth of God or anything about a calling.
A FALSE CONCEPT OF A CALLING
For most who claim to be Christians, have a concept of a calling but the general thought is that the main purpose of this life is to do some good, get saved at some point in time, so at death they can go up to heaven, avoiding “hell” and everlasting torment below! This line of thinking doesn’t require one to actually “obey” all God’s Ten Commandments and annual Holy Days of the Bible, as in the minds of most they have been done away. Beings obedience to God is no longer required, in the minds of most, just to be “saved” is all that is required to “get” into heaven. However, Christ Himself said that "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of man”— (John 3:13-NKJ throughout, unless otherwise noted) —so that would mean that no one, not even the faithful have gone to heaven except Christ! The concepts mentioned above, of just accepting the Lord and then your “SOUL” departing to heaven are nowhere taught in Scripture. This is also verified by what the apostle Peter said about David, a “man after God’s own heart”, in Acts 2:29 & 34 "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.” 34 "For David did not ascend into the heavens”—yet we can also clearly see in the Scriptures that David will again be king over all Israel, even though he was both dead and buried long before Peter’s time, and still in his tomb when Peter spoke, after the resurrection and ascension of Christ!
Those who think that they can enter into “heaven” or even the kingdom of God, without really obeying God, have a false hope and are still in the grip of deception. If they think to be called is just to accept Christ as savior without obedience or change of direction in life, then this is a false concept of a Godly calling and is dangerous to spiritual well-being. Christ came as a teacher. The Pharisees knew that He was the Teacher who had come from God, (John 3:2) and Christ Himself said that His followers should be like Him, (Matt. 10:25 & Luke 6:40) so how does this happen, if it is not a calling and how does a true calling come?
Many today, even in the COG organizations, have mixed understanding of what it means to be “seeing your calling”. The same Christ who obeyed His Father and kept the 7th day Sabbath (See “Sanctified time” Bible study) and other Commandments, taught His disciples to do likewise, if they also wanted eternal life! (John 14:15 & ch.15:10 & Matt.19:17—“if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments”.) The same Christ that preached the Gospel of the coming kingdom of God—(not the false Jesus conjured up by Satan, who most seem to believe did away with the commandments and annual Holy Days, who also is teaching heaven and hell and the immortality of the soul!)—the true Jesus Christ and Messiah never said anything about most of the stuff of modern day “Christianity” because it is all false and not the truth of the Bible! He even warned of false christs in our day. Matt 24:24 "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Rev 17:14 "These (Nations) will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful." These are the elect who have been given a true calling, were chosen and then remained faithful, as you see written.
A TRUE CALLING
So WHAT DO WE DO THEN, to receive a true calling? Jesus Christ said something to His disciples after He was resurrected that will help us answer this question. Mark 16:15-16 “And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” We must listen to the truth of God contained in the Gospel, and then we must believe that the Gospel or “good news” of Christ is true. Paul makes it a little clearer in II Thes. 2:14 --“He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We will then, upon hearing and believing the Gospel, begin to see that God’s way of living is very different than the world around us and even what modern day religions teach. This is God drawing or calling. What do we do then? Is an action on our part required? Paul says this in; 2 Cor. 6:17 “Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you,” (ASV) So a true calling is to come out of all the wrong ways of the world and begin to obey God and His Word.
Peter also answered this question for us. Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." Here again, we see that one has to be called in order to receive the promise of the Holy Spirit. Christ, in the parable of the sower, shows that many seeds are sown but not all take deep enough root to produce fruit. The calling, like seeds being sown, goes out through the GOSPEL, (Matt.13:19) "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom”,-- (Gospel and truths of the Bible) so the Gospel has to be proclaimed in their hearing and by that people are called! It is only the few however, that answer their calling and respond with real commitment. (Matt.7:13-14)
Those that are willing to believe God and who will accept their call to walk that narrow path, who really seek it with commitment and endurance; God had predestined ahead of time that these only would have salvation as first fruits to join with Christ at the first resurrection, being a part of His Bride! James 1:18 tells us; “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”
Christ will then begin teaching and using them in this life, preparing them to train and teach all the rest of mankind in God’s time and according to His planned out purpose! Rom.8:28-30 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, (To become like Christ, true Christians!) that He (Christ) might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
Once we have received and accepted our calling, it is to be taken seriously and Peter warns us in 2 Pet 1:10-11 “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do (Live by) these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” This calling to be a part of the very bride of Christ is a special calling that should be treasured and held onto for dear life, as it is the pearl of great price! But, sad to say many do not see it that way, preferring falsehoods, pagan traditions and myths or their own ideas instead. In this era of Laodicea, many in the COG are being deceived and some “leaders” have come to believe that getting the true Gospel message out is not as important as building up their organizations and websites the way they want them, therefore they no longer put forth the effort to preach the Gospel with any kind of zeal. These seem to be comfortable letting years go by and just making a pretense of preaching the Gospel and living by every word of God, getting very little real Spiritual results from their laid-back efforts. Is this making their calling and election sure? What does Christ think? (Rev.3:16) They may not be making their call and election sure, failing to do the job they agreed and covenanted with Christ to be a part of, at baptism! Without functioning with zeal and diligence, conquering and overcoming as a working part of the body, (after knowing that we are called, been converted and given the Holy Spirit to dwell within us) we in the COG will not be prepared as a first fruit for the kingdom of God. We will have grown “dull of hearing” (Acts 28:27 & Heb.5:11) and lost our crown, (Rev.3:11) not yet being made ready.
No one can drift into the kingdom; those adrift will be moving away from it. (Heb.2:1) Those who esteem their calling of so little value that they are willing to compromise and trade salvation for pleasures of this life may have never really come to see the importance of their calling in the first place. Are you clinging to the knowledge you have been made privy too, thirsting for even more while studying and believing your Bible? These are what to do so as not to lose your crown, even be willing to stand alone to do the work of God if need be, by whatever means God supplies! The number of those people are very few today!
ARE YOU SEEING YOUR CALLING AS BEING THE UNEARNED GIFT AND SPECIAL TREASURE THAT IT IS? (Written by the editor for TCOGMSO)