Summary: God’s call to us is fourfold. Are you listening for His calls?
The Bible tells us of many who responded to the call of God. Abraham was called while living in Ur of the Chaldees to leave his homeland and set-out for an unknown land that God would show him. Moses was called from the burning bush while he was tending sheep in the wilderness of Midian to go down to Egypt and lead the people of God to freedom. Samuel was a young lad whom God called to be a major prophet while he lay in bed. Jesus called Zaccheus from a Sycamore Tree and Paul upon the Damascas Road.
Though we are perhaps not as conscious of it as we should be, there is a sense in which God is calling every one of us today….
1. GOD CALLS US TO SALVATION.
God took the initiative in redeeming us from sin. He sent His own Son, Christ Jesus, into the world.
Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Mark 2:17, “Jesus said…‘It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to CALL the righteous, but sinners.’"
Matthew 22:14, "For many are CALLED, but few are chosen." Christ calls many to receive salvation from their sins through the preaching of the Gospel. But, few that are called to receive salvation are chosen to receive it because they do not obey the Gospel. Mark 16:15-16, “He said unto them, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.’”
If you have yet to obey the Gospel, the Lord is calling you TODAY to receive His salvation. This is one call you don’t want to put on ‘hold’.
The next three calls we will consider are directed towards those who have already responded to the call of salvation and obeyed the Gospel.
2. GOAD CALLS US TO SEPARATION.
The Christian life is a call to holy living. 1 Peter 1:14-16, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You Shall Be Holy, For I am Holy.’"
To be “holy” means to be ‘set apart.’ God’s people must live distinctive lives which set them apart from the dark and evil world in which they exist. Philippians 2:14-16, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life.” We can only be lights in this world as long as we are willing to be different from those in the world. The way we talk…the way we behave…the things we show that are important to us…the values that we have…the things we seek to entertain us and make us happy.
God has called us to come out from among the children of this world and be seprate from them.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘and do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a Father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
Does that mean we can’t be around non-Christians? Does that mean we can’t associate with them at all? Does that mean we can’t be around our neighbors, go to school, have a normal secular job and such?
No. It just means that Christians do not want to be around people who have such a negative influence upon them that it causes them to conduct themselves as a non-Christians. It means that Christians do not want to associate with those who tempt them to be disobedient and unrighteous.
We need to be around non-Christians so that we can be a good influence on them and share the Gospel with them. However, if their bad influence becomes more powerful than our good influence, God calls us to separation.