I’ve got some QUESTIONS for you today:
In your lifetime, have you ever had the “feeling” that God was try ing to “contact” or “call” you for some reason or service that He might have in mind for you to perform? You might ask: CALLED FOR WHAT? CALLED TO PREACH? CALLED TO BEAR WITNESS FOR CHRIST? What do you mean, “CALLED?”
For those of you who may not know, I am an “older man”; but several years ago when, about the age of thirty, I began to get these “unusual” feelings! Let me explain to you that I was not a religious type person at all! I was an employee of a railroad company, father of two beautiful children, but had gotten my personal married life into a shambled wreck! I had launched into a not too successful musical career, but I had hopes of becoming more “recognized”. (I was performing on a local radio station, doing six shows a week. But again, my personal life was miserable!)
BUT THEN, MY LIFE BEGAN TO CHANGE!
Enroute from my railroad employment, at 11:00 PM, I began to listen to a religious program on my car radio, where a man, (Herbert W. Armstrong) was presenting, “The World Tomorrow”, with doctrines different from any other Christian belief I had ever heard before! BUT WHAT HE SAID MADE SENSE! I couldn’t get enough of these marvelous, sensible and BIBLICALLY PROVEN programs! So I contacted this church group, based in Pasadena California; (I even took a train to the Headquarters and College) and was given information and encouragement that God COULD BE, (PERHAPS) CALLING me into His service or Work! I was also encouraged to enroll into their very fine and educational program, “The Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course”.
That was nearly 50 years ago! (Deacon and Ministerial ordinations came years later.)
From these marvelous lessons and hearing many Sabbath sermons, I was able to absolutely prove tht God must CALL every human being into His True Church and UNTO HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST, before they can become a TRUE Christian!
THAT’S WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES!
John 6:44 “No man can come to Me, except the Father DRAW him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets (See Isa 54:13) And all thy children shall be (future) taught of the LORD;”
(I want to digress a bit here to briefly explain a principle taught in the Bible called the second resurrection)
Ezek. 37:1--3 “And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O LORD God, thou knowest 4 Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5 Thus saith the LORD God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, WHEN I HAVE OPENED YOUR GRAVES, O MY PEOPLE, AND BROUGHT YOU UP OUT OF YOUR GRAVES, 14 AND SHALL PUT MY (Holy) SPIRIT in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.”
This PASSAGE EXPLAINS THAT THIS RESURRECTION IS THESE PEOPLE’S FIRST AND ONLY OPPORTUNITY for SALVATION!
Isa, 65:18 “But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days (those who die at birth or shortly after), nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed (to die in Gehenna fire.).”
These “sinners”, having been resurrected back to mortal life in the second resurrection; have now had their one and only CALL TO SALVATION; THEIR OPPORTUNITY FOR ETERNAL LIFE AND HAVE REJECTED IT! Their fate is to be cremated - BURNED INTO ASHES IN THE LAKE OF FIRE! (Not tortured in an ever burning hell of man’s imagination, such as Dante Alighieri (Italian), who wrote, “The Divine Commedia”, where he describes the tortures of “hell”, administered by Lucifer.)
READ HERE THE REAL HELL OF THE BIBLE! Mal. 4:1 “For, behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh SHALL BURN THEM UP, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves in the stall. 3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; FOR THEY SHALL BE ASHES UNDER THE SOLES OF YOUR FEET in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.”
I have just described to you the third resurrection. This is the fate for all those who have been called and who accepted that calling, received the Holy Spirit, and later rejected their calling.
Notice the following scriptures: Heb. 10:24 “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works. 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching. 26 For if we (Christians) sin WILFULLY AFTER THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH, THERE REMAINS NO MORE SACRIFICE FOR SINS, 27 BUTACERTAIN FEARFUL LOOKING FOR OF JUDGMENT and FIERY INDIGNATION, WHICH SHALL DEVOUR THE ADVERSARIES.”
Because they were called for the FIRST RESURRECTION and failed to qualify; they won’t be in the SECOND RESURECTION! Therefore, they will be raised up in a THIRD RESURRECTION, TO MEET THEIR FATE IN Hell Fire!!
EXAMPLE: Luk. 16:19 “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell (Gehenna) he lifted up his eyes, being in torment (mental anguish, for he could see the flames rapidly approaching to devour him), and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receiveth thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you art tormented 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: (the gulf is the difference between being mortal and immortal!) so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.”(Read verses 27 thru 31.)
Yes! Every human being receives A ONE AND ONLY CALL TO SALVATION!
There are several corroborating Scriptures that pertain to this CALLING or DRAWING of those, chosen for the better or first resurrection. Jesus Christ described it to His disciples this way:
Matt. 13:9 “Who hath ears to hear let him hear. 10 And the disciples came, and said unto Him, why speakest unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, but to them (who aren’t called at this time) it is NOT GIVEN, 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away that he hath 13 Therefore speak I unto them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive. 15 For this peoples heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; LEST AT ANY TIME THEY SHALL SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND SHOULD UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART, AND SHOULD BE CONVERTED, AND I SHOULD HEAL THEM. 16 But BLESSED ARE YOUR EYES, FOR THEY SEE: AND YOUR EARS, FOR THEY HEAR.” (Then Christ gave the “parable” of the sower as an example of what He meant, in verses 18 - 23.)
NO, WE’RE NOT TRYING TO GET YOU “SAVED”, IN THE SENSE OF SOME TYPE OF AN “ALTAR CALL”!
That is this “world’s approach” in trying to get as many as possible to accept a FALSE JESUS AND A FALSE Gospel, as BILLIONS and BILLIONS have done!
DECEIVED PEOPLE DO NOT REALIZE THEY ARE DECEIVED!
Rev. 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, WHICH DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD: he was cast out into the earth.”
HOW, DOES SATAN ACCOMPLISH HIS DESCEPTIONS?
He’s still here, using the same method of deception - WITH HIS MINISTRY!
I Cor. 11:3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
I Pet. 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Whom resist steadfast in THE FAITH, knowing that he same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren 10 But the God of all grace, who hath CALLED US unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after ye have suffered awhile, make you (become) perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
I Cor 1:24 “But unto them which are CALLED, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 26 For you see (perceive, understand) your CALLING, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are CALLED: But God hath CHOSEN the FOOLISH THINGS(ONES) of the world to confound the wise; and God hath CHOSEN the weak things (ones)of the world to confound the things which are mighty (at this time) 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God CHOSEN, yea, and things that are not to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory (boast) in His presence.”
God only gave the TWO CHOICES of LIFE or DEATH to mankind:
Deut 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you LIFE and DEATH,---: Therefore choose LIFE, that both thou and thy seed may live.”
Rom. 3:23 “For the wages of sin is DEATH; but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
THIS CALLING TO THOSE SCHEDULED for the FIRST RESURRECTION is very PRECIOUS! Notice the GREAT REWARD!
Rev. 20:4 “And I saw THRONES, and THEY sat upon them, and JUDGMENT was given unto THEM: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and REIGNED WITH CHRIST a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again (are raised in the SECOND, PHYSICAL RESURRECTION that we read about in Isa. 65, Ezek. 37.) until the thousand years were finished.(This is the first resurrection.) 6 Blessed and Holy IS HE HATH PART IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years,”
What a MARVELOUS CALLING AND REWARD! IS GOD CALLING YOU?