Calling

 

"And those he predestined he also called" (Romans 8:30)

We need to understand that predestination took place in eternity past. God already wrote your name in the book of life,  not because God foresaw of your faith in Christ,  but because of Gods sovereign choice. "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalms 139:16)   Then Gods calling takes place in our time.
 

General calling

General calling or the external calling is where God invites people, and there are many scriptures in the Bible to show the general call of God. This is the duty of all the Christians to call souls to Christ, without any distinction.  We need to preach the gospel to everyone sincerely.

Isaiah 45:22,  "Turn to me and be saved all you ends of the earth;  for I am God and there is no other."
Isaiah 65:12,  "For I called but you did not answer,  I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me."
Mark 16:15-16,  "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."
Luke 14:23, (the invitation for the banquet)
John 7:37-38,  "If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the scripture has said,  streams of living water will flow from within him."

This call is sincere on Gods part, but man is opposed to God and man turns his back on God, the call is not effectual. Man rejects this universal call. The sinners hear the bell of the gospel ringing in their ears daily but they cover their ears and go on to their own business. The Church becomes a place of religion instead of having a relationship with God.

Effectual Calling

God chose certain individuals eternity past, but due to sin they were lost and they became dead in their sins. They cannot save themselves on their own as they are spiritually dead. Jesus came on a mission to seek which was lost. Then by Gods grace he calls the chosen ones to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." (Luke 19:10)

"He shall save His people from their sins." --Matthew 1:21

Matthew 22:14, " For many are invited (called) but few are chosen."  The many refers to the general call of the gospel message. The few refers to the chosen ones, as the gospel message will be effectual to them,  as they will be brought to repentance and faith.

Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,  who have been called according to his purpose."

1 Corinthians 1:9 "God who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful."

1 John 3:1 "How great is the love of the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!."

The word effectual call has the meaning of "summons"  It is a command by the authorities to appear in a court of justice. In the biblical sense God in his sovereign authority has commanded us into the fellowship of Christ. We will see from the following examples, that once the effectual call is given by God to the sinner there is a great result.

Examples and illustrations of the effectual call.

Lazarus (John 11)

Lazarus was dead for four days, and Jesus said, "Take away the stone."  Then Martha said, "But Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there for four days." (John 11:39)

Martha is correct, by this time his body is rotten, and the worms are having a buffet on his body. Jesus cried out in a loud voice saying, Lazarus come out! (verse 43)  Yes the body was dead for four days and the worms are having a great meal of the body,  but out of the tomb comes Lazarus, the dead body was raised to life!

The effectual call is the same.  The sinner is dead in sin. Totally corrupted. Worms have crept into our flesh and have become totally filthy in the sight of God. The dead in sin has no power to raise himself unless God in his grace will rise the dead sinner alive.
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Paul (Acts 9)

Saul of Tarsus was an enemy of God.  He did not have any power to obey God. He was hunting like a wild lion to devour the Christians. His heart was against Christ and he used his energy to destroy the Church.  On his way to Damascus he heard a voice say, "Saul, Saul,  why do you persecute me?"  Then Saul replied,  "Who are you, Lord?"  Then the voice said,  "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."

What was the result of this effectual calling?  The same energy that he used to persecute the Church he used now to win souls for Christ. Paul was the hardest hearted man,  but the effectual calling broke the hard heart, took away his spiritual blindness and became obedient to Gods call.  We were all in darkness and God said, let there be light, and the darkness in vanish now we can see as we are in the light. The hardest sinner melts before the effectual call of God.

Zaccheus (Luke 19)

Jesus entered Jericho.  There was this chief tax collector by the name of Zaccheus. He was wealthy, sinner by all means, stingy a thief and a crook. There was a great crows to see Jesus,  Zaccheus being very short climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus.  He was pretty safe and secure up there. He wanted to see this great man, Jesus who was turning the world upside down. But he did not know that he was to be turn too.  Jesus comes to the very spot,  under the tree, looks up straight at Zaccheus, and calls by his name saying, "Zaccheus come down immediately.  I must stay at your house today."   The effectual call was so powerful Zaccheus like a bird in the tree fell into the arms of the Savior.  There were many better people than Zaccheus, but why him? Zaccheus does not deserve anything. God is sovereign and he will choose whom he will.

Abraham (Genesis 12)

Abraham was content in his fathers household.  He had his family and his friends. But suddenly the Lord said to him, "Leave your country,  your people and your fathers household and go to the land I will show you."  When effectual calling comes, it will single out that man. That man is compelled to obey God, more than his family and friends. He will come out from his very close friends where he was partying  together. He was going to leave all that was so dear to him. The effectual call will make you a pilgrim in this world like Abraham.

Samuel (Chapter 3:2-10)

The effectual call came to Samuel when he was lying down, but he was not aware. He thought it was Eli, and ran to Eli and said, "Here I am;  you called me."  Eli said, "I did no call you, go back and lie down."  The second time the Lord called him, "Samuel!"  And Samuel got up went to Eli and said, "Here I am, you called me."  Then Eli said, "My son I did not call you, go back and lie down." Then the Lord called a third time and went again to Eli, and Eli realized that the Lord was calling the Samuel.

It was not Samuel who realized that the Lord was calling, he thought it was Eli, because Eli knows him, Eli knows all about me. But later he realizes that it was the Lord. As a Pastor I cannot call you to the ministry even though I know you personally, it has to be the effectual call of the Lord. If the call is effectual then you are brought out of sin and brought into Christ, brought out of death and brought into life,  brought out from slavery and brought into freedom.

Characteristics

Calling is an act of God by his sovereign grace

"I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijahs time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years,  and there was a severe famine through out the land.  Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath, in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet none of them was cleansed, only Naaman the Syrian." (Luke 4:24-27)
 

Holy Calling

"..who has saved us and called us to a holy life, not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace." (2 Timothy 1:9)
holy calling--the actual call to a life of holiness.
"heavenly calling"
The call comes wholly from God and claims us wholly for God.

Remember our Lord said many are called but few are chosen. This calling is a holy call.
Heb 3:1. "Holy" implies the separation unto God. This call  is living unto God. If you are still continuing to live in sin  like before and pretending to be like Christians in the Church, then you are not called. The man who is called in his drunkenness, will forsake his drunkenness. If you are continue in your sins and walking according to the pattern of this world as children of disobedience then you are still dead in your sins and you are not called. But if you cry to the Lord and say, "Lord, I am trying my best to walk blamelessly in your sight, I know my obedience cannot save me and I hate sin, my desire is to quit sin and be close with you, help me Lord to be holy." If you have that repentant attitude, then you are called.

Heavenly Calling

"But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus," (Philippians 3:13-14)

Your calling is a high calling. It is a heavenly calling. You dont savor in your past but you hopes are not below but in heaven. Spending time with God, in his word, prayer, praise and thanksgiving. This is your thirst and satisfaction and not the T.V, the soap operas, the worldly music, gossip and the pleasure of this world.  It is a heavenly calling that you fix your eyes on Jesus. (Hebrews 3;1)  you will realize that you are a stranger and heaven your home.

Do not look back in your calling.

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (1 Peter 2:9)  Remember Lots wife, God called Lot and his family out of Sodom and Gommorrah, out from the darkness and the angel said do not look back. But Lots wife looked back and she was turned into a pillar of salt. She is leaving Sodom but her heart is still in Sodom as she has to look back,  oh! I am leaving Las Vegas, no more gambling.  I am leaving my TV set, my favorite programs etc. You are called to a wonderful light and the world cannot understand for them it is boring and for you it is the greatest inner joy in the Lord!

Called to be free!

"You my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge in the sinful nature,  rather serve one another in love." (Galatians 5:13)

There are many who say that, I am now a Christian and I am free to do anything I want to, this is a Christian nation and we have our liberty and privacy. Remember God called the Israelites out from the slavery of the Egyptians. But when they went hardships and sufferings in the wilderness they wanted to go back to Egypt. If you are called you are not a slave to sin anymore, and are you willing to have fellowship in Christ?  Are you willing to suffer for him? Are you willing to deny yourself and carry the cross?

If you are called then you are predestined. Your name is written in the book of life.

Make sure of your calling and election.

"Therefore, my brothers,  be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things you will never fail, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:10)

Do not say, I shall be lost and cast away to the lake of fire, kneel down in at the cross of our Savior and cry to him of your sins and every one who came to him, he received, then you are called. There is no condemnation for you. As it is written, "And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." (Romans 8:30)

God is going to give a crown to your troubled head. He is going to wipe away every tear, no more sorrows or pain, he is preparing a heavenly mansion for you not built in human hands with wood and cement but prepared by him with heavenly materials, he loved you before the creation of the world.

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