Ask Donnell - What Does It Mean To Be Chosen By God?

Ask Donnell - What Does It Mean To Be Chosen By God?

We received the following question from Kathrina;

Hi Donnell,

Can you explain this expression for me please? “many are called/invited but few are chosen” Matthew 22:14… how do i know if i’m called or chosen? what is the difference? many pastors talk or preach about answering the “call” but i can’t remember ever hearing anyone talk/preach about the difference between “called and chosen”.

Great question Kathrina, I see you've been paying attention in church.

I've heard it many times before but my former pastor did offer the following interesting explanation. The "called ones" are the people God invites but the "chosen ones" are those who show up in response to the invitation. That simple explanation sounds pretty good to me but let's see what we can discover on our own by reading through the scripture reference for ourselves.

Matthew 22:1-14(NKJV) - And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Let's begin with a brief study of the words "called" and "chosen" from Matthew 22:14.

The word "called" was translated from the Greek word "kletos" which means;
1) called, invited (to a banquet)
a) invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ
b) called to (the discharge of) some office
1) divinely selected and appointed

The word "chosen" was translated from the Greek word "eklektos" which means;
1) picked out, chosen
a) chosen by God,
1) to obtain salvation through Christ
a) Christians are called "chosen or elect" of God
2) the Messiah is called "elect", as appointed by God to the most exalted office conceivable
3) choice, select, i.e. the best of its kind or class, excellence preeminent: applied to certain individual Christians

Ask Donnell - What Does It Mean To Be Chosen By God?

The 14th verse of Matthew 22 should be interpreted in context of the 13 preceding verses. Many people were invited to a banquet. Only a few people responded to the invitation. In the same way, at the most basic level, many are invited by God into His Kingdom. Those people are "the called." Out of that group, those who actually respond and obtain the salvation that is offered are known as the "chosen" or "elect."

Another interpretation of this scripture is that each one of us was born with a "call" of God on our lives. We were each given a purpose to fulfill during our lifetimes and it's our responsibility to discover what it is. According to Romans 11:29 this call is irrevocable and is directly accompanied by our natural gifts. Unfortunately, many of us make excuses and find reasons to justify doing absolutely nothing with God's call on our lives. The chosen few are the people who know God's call on their lives, perfect the gifts they've received, then carry it out with excellence. They become the best of their class and are chosen for special honor by The Lord.

Last but not least, the call of God is an open invitation to everyone which means nobody has to be specially qualified to be called by God. In contrast, those who are chosen by God are individually picked out by God for special reasons. For example, check these scriptures out;

2 Corinthians 5:17-19(KJV) - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

If you don't know your purpose or where you fit into God's Kingdom at the very least you should know this. God gave all of us the ministry of reconciliation. Every single Christian is called to the ministry of reconciliation. The same way God reconciled you to Himself through Jesus Christ you should go out and reconcile the world to Jesus. That's what it means to be called by God. He gave you a ministry of reconciliation and invited you to participate. As long as you're a Christian you qualify for this ministry. You just have to answer the call.

Ephesians 4:11-13(NKJV) - And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Here's the difference between being "called" and "chosen". All of us were given the ministry of reconciliation which means all us are "called" to the ministry of reconciliation. On the other hand, God only gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers which means these people are "chosen" to do so by God. I hope this short study on being "called" or "chosen" was easy to understand.

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