Who Are God's Chosen?
Mathew 22:14-"For many are called, but few are chosen". Here Jesus is speaking in a parable concerning the wedding feast. When the King comes to the wedding hall, He sees a man in attendance that is not dressed in the proper wedding clothes; and the King has him bound hand and foot and thrown into hell. In this parable, Jesus was referring to those who will be allowed at and those who will not be allowed at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb: the saved and the unsaved. In Rev 19:6-9 is where we see the redeemed souls partake of this feast dressed in the "fine linen, bright and clean" wedding garments -- which are the righteous deeds of the saints. [For clarification, the "righteous deeds" spoken of here is the outward manifestation of a new inner being. It is the Bride clothed in the upright, just, and godly life that comes out of being in Christ.]
The word "call" runs through this parable also. The Father is the one who draws (calls) people to Christ. John 6:37,44-"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out…No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day." All that the Father draws/calls/gives to Christ, Christ chooses to save. In many gospel presentations today, it is incorrectly taught that we choose Christ. No! It is God our Father and His Christ Who chooses. He is sovereign God, and few are chosen per Matt 22:14! What we do (in response to the Father drawing us to Christ) is ask Christ to then choose us and save us for His wonderful gift of salvation! What criteria does Christ use for His choosing? We see In 1 Samuel 16:7- But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart". The Lord chose David over his brothers because of his heart. The Lord Christ can see the heart. In John 2:23-25, the Scripture tells us that many were believing in Jesus' name by observing His signs which He was doing. "But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man."
The word "chosen" is used over one hundred times in the Old and New Testament. Another word for chosen is "election". When we go into a voting booth and choose a political candidate, we are electing them!
Let us look at a few of the many examples in the Bible of God sovereignly choosing people because of His mercy and compassion. Romans 9:15- For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." (quoting from Exodus 33:19). Let us start out with Adam's sons: Abel over Cain. God chose (elected) Abel over Cain and declared Abel righteous (Hebrews 11:4) and Cain kills him (Genesis 4:2-10). God chose (elected) Enoch out of everybody who lived on the earth in his day and took him up into Heaven because he walked daily with God. Gen 5:24-"Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him". God chose (elected) Noah out of all his generation to save him and his family from the total destruction of the world by a flood sent from God. Gen 6:8- "But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord." God chose (elected) Abram (Abraham) out of all the people on earth to be a friend and to be the father of faith in the promise of the Christ to come. Gen 12:1,7; 15:18; 17:1-8. God chose (elected) Isaac over Ishmael to carry on the promise given Abraham. Gen 7:18-19-"And Abraham said to God, "Oh that Ishmael might live before You!" But God said, "No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him". God chose (elected) Jacob over Esau to receive the same promise given to both his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac concerning the Christ to come. Romans 9:10-13-And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad -- in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of Him who calls -- she was told, "The older will serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
God's purpose of election continued, and the Scripture is clear that He does not choose because of our works -- but because of HIM who calls! God chose (elected) David over all his brothers to be king and to be in the lineage of the Christ. 1 Sam16:10-12-"Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, "The Lord has not chosen these." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are these all the children?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep." Then Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here." So, he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is he."
God chose (elected) all the Old Testament prophets from Isaiah to John the Baptist to do His work in preparing the way for the promised Christ! God chose (elected) Mary out of all the virgins who were alive in Israel in her day to be the mother of Jesus the promised Christ and she said yes! Luke 1:30-32,38-"The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David" And Mary said, "Behold the bond slave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word." Jesus (God) chose (elected) the 12 apostles to do the work of the Lord in establishing His church. Mark 3:13-15-"And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons." He chose (elected) three thousand to enter the church on Pentecost after the Apostle Peter's Gospel presentation (read all of Acts 2) Acts 2:40-41,47-"And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, Be saved from this perverse generation!" So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved." Did you see WHO was adding to their number? It was God doing the choosing and adding, not the apostles. God chose (elected) wicked Saul to become the Apostle Paul to the gentiles and who wrote a large portion of the New Testament (read all of Acts 9)- Acts 9:13-16-"But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."
This same Apostle Paul wrote in the book of Romans in Chapter 9 about God's Sovereign election of souls. Man's natural reasoning does not like this Biblical truth concerning God's election of souls, and Paul addresses this concern. Many in the American Church do not understand the sovereignty of God and His right to do and to choose whatever and whoever He wants (see my blog The Sovereign Lord). Roman's 9:14-24-"What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So, then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth." So, then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles."
Who are the chosen? The elect are these vessels of mercy God has chosen beforehand to pull out of His judgment of wrath and to save for the purpose of glorifying His Name? They are called His church, His bride who He selected before the creation of the world!
I have given you a small look at election through a bird's eye view of the Bible to help you become familiar with this doctrine. I used those God chose in connection to the promise of Christ coming to save the elect. I am limited in the length of a written blog to do any great justice to the doctrine of election BUT the power is always in the Word and I have given you Scriptures to see it from God's perspective. I do recommend one well done book on this subject which is easy to read and easy to understand written by RC Sproul called "Chosen by God". May the Holy Spirit open our hearts to God's Truth.