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Many are called but few are chosen. by Dr. Dave Madenberg

Those familiar with scripture have come across the statement by Jesus in

Matt 22:14 that, "Many are called, but few are chosen."

The meaning of the first part, 'many are called,' is generally understood that God calls everyone to repentance so they can be saved.

The second part, ' but few are chosen', is harder to comprehend.

What does it mean 'to be chosen' and what are the requisites?

God's word tells us in 2Peter 3:9, "The Lord ... is longsuffering toward us, not willing that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance."

--God's desire is that all come to live with Him in heaven after departing from this life.

--He loves us all and doesn't wish to see anyone end up in eternal torment. God created hell for Satan and his minions, not for people.

--God calls all to repent of their sinfulness and live a life of righteousness.

But God also recognizes 'not all' will choose to repent nor will He force it on anyone. Repentance has to be the choice of every individual.

Def. of righteousness: To be morally correct, honorable, to do the right thing for both oneself and for others, to obey God's laws. And in the Christian realm, to be considered righteous, a person must have faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

But for those:

--who disobey God,

--who do not trust in Him for all things,

--who do not spend time communicating with Him in prayer,

--who do not have the faith to call upon Jesus to be their Savior,

--who choose not to put off self-will and put on God's will,

--and who do not put on God's cloak of righteousness,

-- These are the ones who will not be allowed to enter into the marriage supper. They are called, but will not be chosen by God to enter in. They are self-willed, living in disobedience rather than in righteousness. They choose not to repent or to stop sinning. The things of this world are more important to them than God.

In a traditional marriage between a man and a woman, the kind God ordained from the beginning, there are certain expectations from each partner:

The husband expects his wife to respect him, to communicate with him, to love and to trust him, and to place him first before all others.

The wife expects her husband to provide for her and meet her needs, to love and honor her as the weaker vessel, and to be patient with her.

And both expect the other to be faithful and not commit adultery.

Prov. 31 speaks about the 'Virtuous Wife.'

In verses 10-18, it says: "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life..." "She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms ... and her lamp does not go out by night."

Comment: 'Her lamp does not go out by night," has a dual meaning:

1) In the natural, she keeps the oil lamp full so she and her family will be able to see at night when it's dark.

But, 2) In the spiritual, she is like the five wise virgins who kept their lamps filled with the 'spiritual oil,' of the Holy Spirit.

And we can't keep our spiritual lamps 'filled' without daily prayer, or seeking God's face daily, or reading His word daily.

And in verses 25-30, we read: "Strength and honor are her clothing ... and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her ... But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."

This woman of Prov. 31 is not only a hearer, but also a doer of God's will.

Jas. 1:22 tells us: "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only ..."

So, this woman described in Prov. 31, isn't she 'choosing' to:

--Put on God's cloak of righteousness? (strength and honor are her clothing)

--Be obedient to God's will?

--Trust in God and have the faith God will meet her needs?

--Spend time with God so they can develop a more intimate relationship?

And if Jesus is the husband, who will God choose to be

His Son's bride?

--Will the bride be the entire church? Even those who ordain homosexuals as pastors, fly rainbow flags, and otherwise denigrate the name of Jesus?

--Or will the bride of Jesus be those who are called, and call on Him; those who live by God's rules? These are the ones who will be chosen.

Would Jesus (or any man of God) want His bride to be someone:

-- Who speaks to Him only when she needs something?

--Who doesn't show love for Him?

--Who is disobedient to Him?

--Who doesn't trust that He will take care of her?

--Who is self-willed and rebellious?

--Who doesn't forgive?

--Who spends more time in activities keeping her from being with Him?

--Or, who doesn't put on God's cloak of righteousness but instead lives in constant


Matt 7:13-14 says: "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in

by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

So, what is the Lord telling us?

If all those who are called to be Jesus' bride would rather take pleasure in the things this world has to offer and be disobedient to God, then they havechosen THE BROAD WAY leading to destruction. They will not make heaven! This isn't a situation where everyone gets a trophy and God says: "Well, thanks for trying even though your effort was weak. Come on in anyway and be My Son's bride!"

But, if those who are called live as the 'Virtuous Wife':

-spends time with her Husband,

-loves Him, has faith in Him,

-trusts Him,

-is obedient to Him,

-it's they who have chosen the narrow gate that leads to eternal life with Jesus in heaven.

And though there may be some who preach and teach; who feed the poor; and who appear to be part of the faithful ... they may be in for a shock on judgment day. They cannot enter heaven through their good works alone.

We read in Titus 3:5, "But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy ..."

Brothers and sisters: We must put on God's cloak of righteousness and have faith in Jesus Christ in order to enter in. But, that's not to say we shouldn't have works.

What is 'God's cloak of righteousness' that we must put on? It represents our wedding garment without which we cannot be part of the marriage supper.

Jesus tells us in Matt 7:21, "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but (only) he who does the will of My Father in heaven."

Many who say they are believers - live like Martha, busy doing this or doing that in the name of the Lord. But, are they spending enough time at the feet of their husband, Jesus, feasting on His word ... as did Martha's sister, Mary?

And in Matt 7:22-23, the Lord says:

"Many (believers) will say to Me in

that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.' " (sin, disobedience, rebellion).

But someone may say: "Well, I accepted Jesus as my Savior so I'm saved!"

The Bible tells us Jesus will judge us using God's word as the standard.

So, for instance, though we may have accepted Jesus as Savior and say we love Him, if we live in disobedience to Him, He calls us liars devoid of the Truth.


Question: Is there a sister reading this who, after going out with a man once or twice, then you don't hear from him between dates ... not a phone call, or a text, or an e-mail, or an act of kindness showing that he cares or even thinks about you. Then, several months later, he knocks on your door asking you to marry him! Would you accept, or would you say to him ... 'I don't know who you are, get away from me!'

Isn't this what Jesus will say to the person who never or rarely spoke to Him, or showed any love toward Him, or showed an interest in getting to know Him ...

even though that person may have done 'many wonders' in Jesus' name?

Then Jesus will declare: "I never knew you; depart from Me ... "

So, is it any wonder that although many are called by God to be His Son's bride ... only a few are chosen?"

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