Being chosen of God depends solely upon hearing Jesus but that hearing is clothed in the mystery of the human mind.
The great truths that are contained in the entire New Testament are understood in the simple hearing of what Jesus is saying. This simple hearing, however, is clothed in mystery. Understanding the things of God lies beyond the thinking process which flows through physical ears. Since there is mystery involved in hearing Jesus, man, although he has ears to hear, will often find himself not hearing Jesus. This mystery of simple without-complexity-hearing Jesus lies at the heart of what it means to be chosen of God. The hearing of Jesus is to understand God at work in the world and experiencing God at work in your life.
Being Chosen Is to Understand How that Blessing Comes.
The Psalmist wrote,
The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul (Ps 103:22).
With the word works meaning “an action,” the Psalmist reveals, God is in “all his works in all places of his dominion.” “The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.”
The mystery of God is never more revealed than in the phrase, “unto the apostles whom he had chosen.” If the mystery of “whom he had chosen” in not revealed, then “being chosen of God’ is greatly misunderstood. Perhaps the greatest error is to perceive that God has chosen some and in doing so has not selected others. Pushing this belief to its limits, it is believed that before an individual is born the destiny of his soul is predetermined. With this understanding of being predetermined to be numbered among the blessed, there is no possibility to become among the cursed. Conversely, if that is truth, being predetermined to be among the damned, there will be no possibility to become among the good. It is believed that “the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil” are already predetermined. Being chosen to be good or being chosen to be bad without any freedom, the destiny of their life has already been shaped.
The other end of the swing of the pendulum from being chosen without any freedom to change is total freedom. This freedom allows the mind not only to decide but also to shape its destiny. With the uniqueness of the human brain, it is believed that with the proper information right decisions will and can be made. It is understood the destiny of the soul lies solely within the capability of the mind to decide the outcome. With this total freedom of choice, it is believed that man then will be held accountable for his action. The decision-making process and the consequential action are solely within the mind of man. With this understanding of being chosen of God, man will deserve his heavens or his hells. His free participation in that which he perceived to be good or bad controls his perceived destiny.
Being Chosen Lies in the Mystery of Bein Called.
Jesus, in teaching his disciples, identified the mystery of being chosen when he said, “for many be called, but few chosen.” This mystery of being chosen of God is compounded because most to not understand two primarily truths. First, most fail to understand the circumstances of how they are called of God. Secondly, they are also confused in how they can be numbered among the chosen. Unless the human mind is overcome by the revelation of God, the unique human brain will always emphasize its own thinking. The emphasis of life is always its own thinking process rather than on the source of its “light and life.”
First, the mind of man, without revelation, will not recognize when they are being called to participate in the kingdom of heaven. Paul wrote, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” He added, “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” He stated that the believer could even glory in this moment of “access by faith into this grace where we stand.” The believer could glory knowing “that tribulation worketh patience [cheerful or hopeful endurance].” “That cheerful and hopeful endurance worketh] experience [meaning, they have learned to trust God].” Out of that trustiness worketh “hope [meaning to anticipate, usually with pleasure, expectation or confidence].” That anticipation, confidence, worketh “hope [that] maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in [the believer’s heart].” Paul could glory in tribulation for it was the path (the call) to have the love of God shed abroad in his heart. He would be one of the many that were called. He would also be one of the few that was chosen to experience the wonders of the kingdom of heaven.
Paul’s “glory in tribulation” is Peter’s “rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory” in the midst of a fiery trial. He wrote, “though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” They could rejoice “Receiving the end of [their] faith, even the salvation of [their] souls.” Peter reveals that the trial of the believer’s faith is the path (the call) to glory. Through their trial of faith, they could be “found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Peter, having experienced what he was now revealing in his letters, also would be one of the few that was chosen. He would experience being chosen out of the many that has been called.
Being Chosen of God Always Comes Out of the Righteousness of God.
The question could be raised and has been raised, “Is there unrighteousness with God” because many are called, but few chosen.” Paul would write, “certainly not.” He would add, quoting what God had said to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.” “I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” “So then it is not of him that willeth, not of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” All men who depend on their commitment and their effort to experience life will eventually be frustrated. Finally realizing their efforts do not have the capability to produce the life they desire in the depths of their soul. The afflictions of life, the circumstances that prevent the mind of man from enjoying the desired fruit of his effort are the call. They are the invitation for him, by responding appropriately, to experience the wonders of the kingdom of heaven. Peter wrote, “the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” However, God by these afflictions “hath called [believers] unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus.” Peter concluded by stating, “after that [the believers] have suffered a while, [God would] make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Pet 5:10).
Being Chosen of God All Believers Can Become What They Were Intended to Be.
All men can experience the wonders of the kingdom of heaven: to be complete, to have purpose, to be strong, and to be rock-solid. All men being called through every trial of life, whether it is trouble, perplexing situation, persecuting pressure, or being put down, they are being, first, invited to experience the power and the glory of the kingdom of heaven. Through being called, as all men are, they, secondly, can be numbered among the chosen. For the mercy of God will create in them “a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for [all believers], who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Every individual experiencing life in the world is not only called, as all men are called, but they can become chosen by the mercy of God. As Paul wrote, concerning what God had said to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Thus, Paul concluded, “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
Being Chosen of God Is Found Only in the Life of the Expression of God.
Being chosen of God does not mean that some, without any fear of change, have been predetermined to be blessed. Neither does being chosen of God mean there will be some that are not predetermined to be blessed; therefore, they are without any hope of change. Being chosen of God also does not actively lie within the decision-making process of the mind of man to decide and to shape the destiny of the soul. What has been predetermined is that life for man is found only in the life of the Expression of God, the Son of God through the Spirit of God. As John wrote,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1:1-3).
This same truth, “the word of God . . . [being] the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” is expressed as man experiences life only in the mercy of God. As Paul stated, “So then it is not him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” With mercy being defined as “to compassionate (by word or deed, specifically by divine grace,” man can experience being invited and being chosen because the nature of God presupposes God to have compassion (deep sympathy; pity) toward man. It is God’s mercy that enables man to experience the life that is found only in God.
Being Chosen of God Cannot Be Earned or Merited.
Experiencing that which lives is a privilege given to man from God. It is a product of the mercy of God and does not have to be earned or merited. It is a given. For a living creature to not experience the light and life of God, the creature would have to go back before it was born and not be born. Thus, all men are invited to experience the light and life of God by the simple fact of being created as a flesh and blood body animated by the breath of God. As the author of Genesis recorded, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” For man to experience the breath of God, becoming a living creature, is solely the prerogative of God. Man did nothing but be the recipient of the work and breath of God. The life that lives is the gift of God to man.
This great truth is hidden in the words that are translated “chosen of God.” In the original language, the word chosen is a compound word consisting of two individual words. One is “a preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds), from, out (of place, time or cause).” The other word is “a verb; properly, to lay forth, that is, (figuratively) relate (in words).” The original word that is here translated chosen in “chosen of God,” meaning to select, is translated twenty-three other times by the King James Version as ask, bid, boast, call, describe, give out, name, put forth, saying, say on, shew, speak, tell, and utter. Putting it all together, to be chosen, would mean that the selecting process is grounded in the words coming from or out of the mouth of God.
Being Chosen of God Depends Solely on Hearing the Words Spoken by God.
Again, to be chosen of God does not actively lie within the decision-making process of the mind of man to decide and to shape the destiny of the soul. It depends solely on hearing the words spoken by God. Both the call, the invitation, and being chosen, the selection, of God are gifts of God that do not have to be earned or merited. Just as the call, the invitation, to experience all the wonders of the kingdom of God freely comes to every man while living life, being chosen, or selected, of God also freely comes to man in the hearing of what Jesus is saying.
Being numbered among the chosen of God lies solely in the simple-without-complexity-hearing of what God, manifested in his Son through his Spirit, is saying. Man, through the unique brain given to him, can by hearing Jesus come to know, to appreciate, and to delight in the life of God. However, that same capability to think, to know, enables him to look to himself for the master of its own life. Therefore, the simple hearing of Jesus often becomes muddled with complexities. Without the revelation of God controlling the thinking process, the thinking of man will always turn to its own existence as the source of its destiny. Man turning to himself will always produce the circumstances in which, as Jesus said, “many are call, but few are chosen.”
The challenge of being chosen of God is simple, “Will we be able simply to hear what Jesus is saying? Mysteriously, simply to hear him is to follow him.