Summary: We are called out of the world and into Jesus and to follow His example in conduct, in obedience, and in service so that one day, on the day Jesus comes again, we will be called home.
We Have All Been Called
Text: 2 Timothy 1:9
I found the genesis of this lesson in a conversation I had with an individual with whom I was working. This past week I was serving in my capacity as a facilitator of Navy Leadership training with the Center for Personal and Professional Development. At the beginning of the course we go through an exercise to introduce ourselves, facilitators and students, to one another. In this exercise we draw symbols on a large piece of paper which represents some aspect of ourselves or of our lives. All the symbols together tell the story of how we see ourselves. We then introduce ourselves to everyone by telling the story of the symbols. Some of the symbols I draw are stick figures which represent me, my wife, and my children. Above the head of each figure I will place symbols which represent some major aspect of that person. I draw three symbols above the figure representing me, one for my civilian job, one representing the Navy Reserve, and in the center I draw a cross. I explain that cross represents my belief in Christianity and Jesus who I strive to keep center in my life. I also say that I work and preach for a local congregation in Mira Mesa.
It happened that one of the other facilitators, who I had not met before was also a Christian and he sought me out during one of the breaks to discuss our shared beliefs. During the conversation he made the comment, “I have never been called to preach.” In response I related that my preaching was more an outcome of putting one’s OAR in the water (Opportunity + Ability = Responsibility.) That conversation stayed with me and I considered the idea that Christians might not put their OAR in the water because they felt they had not been “called” to a particular vocation or course of action when the reality found in the Word of God is that we have all been called.
I.We Have All Been Called
A.We are all called to repentance.
1.There are numurous scriptures related to repentance, more that a dozen direct calls to repent.
a.Matthew 3:1 - 2 (NASB) Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
b.Matthew 4:17 (NASB) From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
c.Acts 2:37 - 39 (NASB) Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
d.Read Acts 3:17-21
e.All have sinned.
Romans 3:23 (NASB) or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
f.Our sin merits eternal punishment.
Romans 6:23 (NASB) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
g.John 3:16 (NASB) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
h.Ephesians 2: 8 (NASB) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
B.We are called out of the world.
1.2 Corinthians 6:16b – 17a (NASB) “…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.
a.God sanctifies those who answer the call of repentance, setting them aside from the world.
2.1 John 2:15 - 16 (NASB) Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
3.James 4:4 (NASB) You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
a.How strange it is that people professing Christianity can suppose that with a worldly spirit, worldly companions, and their lives governed by worldly maxims, they can be in the favor of God, or ever get to the kingdom of heaven!