“For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
For a long time, I struggled to come to terms with the true meaning of the above-mentioned verse from the Gospel of Matthew. Did it seem like a tough selection protocol amidst a plethora of criteria that weeded out the majority from a long line of aspirants? Substantial head scratching all through the years until only recently when everything started to make sense.
Let’s just begin with the altar calls way back some forty or even fifty years ago. There was then no shortage of teenagers and young adults vacating the pews as they walked up to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour. All this took place in an era where the Counsel of God was given serious consideration by the pulpits.
There was undoubtedly a noteworthy transformation in the lives of these youthful individuals. The question is – did it stand against the test of worldliness as time would tell? No questions asked, there was a sizeable number that stayed on course and remained steadfast where their faith in the Lord mattered. They took Holy Writ to their hearts with joy as their perseverance stood against the ravages of a fast-declining planet. A good many from this cohort are familiar faces in the remnant that covers every page of the Bible, prophecy included. These folks are genuinely shepherding scores of believers who make up the Bride of Christ!
But in the comparative scenario, which is in play as I write, this bunch of people pales immensely when pitted against the larger crowd. It might come as no surprise that someone who became a Christian as a young person is no longer one! Simply because they succumbed wholeheartedly to the seduction of society. Maybe an atheist, if not a believer in something else – all because of an unholy matrimony, societal peer pressure, and even a caving in to egotistical promptings from the father of lies!
Then there are those who are seldom absent from the pews on a typical Sunday, except when their vacation break excuses them from this weekend ritual. At first glance, these people seem to be more than decent and seemingly diligent in their practice. However, closer examination reveals substantial streaks of worldliness. One thing they dislike is Bible Prophecy; there you go – at least a quarter of the Living Word out of the window. Some would have a station in the church, and they do see it as an earthly vested interest — enough to permit the politics of the flesh to sideswipe the workings of the Holy Spirit!
It could only get a whole lot worse, beginning with the kind of material circulating in the sanctuaries. Watered-down sermons and tolerance for deviations from righteousness sound like the self-destruct button being pressed. As worldliness has more than a stranglehold over pews and pulpits, it only serves as an open invitation for the forces of wicked deception to have a free for all.
There is so much blindsiding when the enemy goes deep into the heart of a wayward church. It begins when the Sunday regulars decide to compartmentalize Christ. This flaw has severe repercussions on the status of their souls. Simply said, the working of the Holy Spirit is more than hampered once the opposition is welcomed with open arms. The congregation would show the door to a pastor who sticks to the truth in the Living Word – they would, in turn, give the crimson carpet to one that sounds like Kayne West, if not Beyonce! “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Interestingly enough, a good number of these teachers who answer to itching ears could be those who answered the call of Christ in their youth but, in their middle age, bowed down to peer pressure. They look like a spent force when it comes to genuinely contending for the faith, choosing to be manipulated by men instead of heeding the voice of the Lord.
So everything adds up to what we all witness in our present day and age – blatant lawlessness! So if the masses have to be pleased, it is as good as pampering the son of perdition – both pulpits and pews are equally culpable. This is the case when the world is set high above the loving Heavenly Father. His limitless grace and mercy have been unwittingly jettisoned; deceit, which precedes devastation, has indeed become a reality. Woke is currently in vogue!
We get the final indictment from the Lord in Matthew 22:11-13. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to his servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'”
There is no wedding garment when there is all that filth amidst heaps of abominations. They wholeheartedly celebrate it and curse those who speak against it with the ferocity of a bogus freedom fighter. At the end of the day, they shot themselves in the foot. If only they could alleviate the problem faced by many in the true Body of Christ – finding a church that teaches and preaches the whole Counsel of God. It was an open and cordial invitation by the Heavenly Father, but they shunned it defiantly; they disqualified themselves from the place where there is eternal joy. They made their choice; nothing was forced on them at gunpoint. The right to refuse and reject the lies was (still is) an unfettered option. So they have to stomach the consequences of their decision.
The Body of Christ has decided, staying on course until the trumpet sounds.
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