RETURN TO INDEX
(CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP – Part 6)
[The Proofs of Discipleship, Cont.]
[ reprise: The Proof of Agape ]
In the last part of our study, I was dealing with the "proofs" of Discipleship. I will quote one scripture I was dealing with again, because there are some further thoughts I want to share in its application. In John 13:34-35, we read: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another."
I pointed out that the word for "love" here is the Greek word agape, which always indicates the Divine kind of love which is unconditional. It is based primarily on an act of the will, not on "feelings". It is a word of action — the willingness to do good (even to sacrifice) for the well-being of another, regardless of how one may "feel "towards that person. It is a self less, sacrificial act of giving simply because of the value of the object loved, with no motive of receiving in return .
Jesus based this love on His own example, for He commanded them to love (proving their discipleship) "as I have loved you." I pointed out last time that this expression of love was based on what Jesus did before His supreme act of love in dying for them on the cross, so just how did He show this agape love towards His disciples while He was living with them?
I answered this in part in the last issue by saying that I believed it was expressed by His unconditional commitment to His disciples. Refer back to what I wrote in " Part 5 " of this series of studies. Essentially, my point was that in spite of all that Jesus had to "put up" with in the problems, inconsistencies, unbelief, hardness of heart, etc., of these men (which would "try" the patience and commitment of even the Son of God), He never wavered in His loyalty to them or ever used any occasion to "cut off or "break fellowship" with them. Even Peter's betrayal was used by Jesus as a "living lesson" in agape love as He restored Peter to fellowship; and even cemented a stronger relationship between them than ever before (read John, chap. 21).
The thing that disturbs me is that Jesus said that the proof of our discipleship is that we would love one another AS (with the same kind of unconditional commitment) He loved them. Yet I find that most Christians do not have that kind of love commitment, that refuses to let any misunderstanding, offense, difference of opinion or doctrine, personal irritation or rivalry, etc., break the bond of agape love and fellowship between them. On the contrary, it seems that most Christians tend to "break fellowship" as a regular practice over offenses or differences which are far less drastic than anything experienced between Jesus and His "erratic," hard-headed disciples. Yet Jesus' unconditional love surmounted all personal difficulties and "cemented together" a relationship between Himself and His disciples that made it possible for these men— even after Jesus had finished His work and ascended to the Father— to confront the world with a unity of love that demonstrated a gospel witness with power and world-shaking results.
When Christians, for various reasons already mentioned, are tempted to "break fellowship"— or even worse, as often happens, end up in quarrels, debates, strife, anger and enmities, a choice has to be made: go "the way of the flesh" and divide, with no further fellowship possible; or take seriously discipleship to Jesus Christ and obey His Word in Mt. 5:23-24; 18:15-17, with a view to understanding, forgiveness and reconciliation. When offences arise, as they surely will (Mt. 18:7), one can choose to ignore Jesus' agape love of unconditional commitment and "break fellowship!' or we can choose to follow the path that Jesus gave us by His example and "build a bridge" to a stronger relationship than ever existed before.
[ Agape as Service ]
Pondering the matter of proving our discipleship by loving one another as He loved His disciples, besides the demonstration of His unconditional commitment to them, I believe a further demonstration of this love was his willingness to serve His disciples. On one occasion He said to them, "I am among you as he that serves .” (Lk. 22:27). Then in Mt. 20:25-28, He exhorted His disciples regarding serving one another as the only path to greatness, and then declared, "just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Since the gospel accounts are very brief and give only "sketchy" details of Jesus' day to day relationship with His disciples, we don't know all of the ways Jesus may have served His disciples. But if we are to take His words seriously, then He must have ever been seeking ways in which to be a servant to them. We certainly can't limit such "service" to just the one classic example of His washing the disciples feet as recorded in John, chap. 13. I'm sure His service to them was a daily matter throughout their sojourn together.
If we are truly Jesus' disciples, then the proof will be a "servant's spirit" to all of our brethren in Christ. Any spirit of self-promotion, self-ambition (wanting to draw others to ourselves to get whatever recognition, praise, support, etc.) that we desire; or "using" others for our benefit in any way, is certainly contrary to the spirit of "service," and seriously lacking in understanding of what it means to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ. Beloved, I have only "scratched the surface" in this presentation, but I hope you can begin to perceive that Discipleship to Jesus Christ is not an option for those who would be changed from self-centered, immature, offense-prone, irresponsible spiritual babes and children, to a complete re-orientation of one's inner and outer life around a Christ-centered "passionate" pursuit of following Him all the way (regardless of the cost) as Teacher and Lord, seeking to please the Father in all things and growing into maturing SONS: who seek first the Kingdom, live for others, and become responsible, trustworthy, loyal and faithful "candidates" for the "elect" company who shall be "called higher" to RULE WITH Christ in His Kingdom GLORY.
[ Sonship Tied to Agape ]
One more thought on the perspective of our love to others as Jesus loved. Only two places in the Sermon on the Mount is the word "son" used. One of the fundamental attitudes given inn Mt. 5:1-11 which must BEcome an integrated part of the character of those being "disciplined by Jesus Christ is declared as follows: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God." Here the Lord indicates that those who are maturing into "sonship" have grown out of the spiritually infantile state of fighting, quarreling, taking offense, getting mad, separating, etc., and have become active peace-makers: forgiving, apologizing, making amends, fostering harmony, seeking solutions, obeying Mt. 5:23-24; 18:15, 21-22; Gal. 6:1-2, "building bridges", and acting as a reconciling force wherever necessary, that harmony, peace and unity may prevail among brethren at all times wherever possible. And the place where such peacemaking must begin and be practiced at all times is the home. Then extending out to others. How about you? Are you actively putting into practice this "mark" of growing sonship?
The other place in the Sermon on the Mount where the Greek huios ("son") is used is found in Mt. 5:44-45. I commented on this passage in Part 5 of this study so will not repeat here. It is quite obvious, however, as we ponder the emphasis that Jesus' makes in these passages, is that the goal of Discipleship— "sonship" (spiritual maturity)— is irrevocable connected to how we relate to others with agape love; learning to fulfill Jesus' commandment that "you love another as I have loved you, that you also love one another." Both in Mt. 5:9 and 45, the King James version has wrongly translated the Greek huios as "children.". The Greek word for "children" is teknon and is correctly translated as such in the King James version in Mt. 7:11. Remember, as you meditate on these passages, that the focus of Jesus' teachings, as well as that of the whole New Testament, is that it is SONS who shall be "brought to glory" (Heb. 2:10), not spiritual babes and children.
[ Ed. Comment: In discussing agape ("unconditional commitment") toward one another as the proof of discipleship, Bro. Earls single handedly rebukes two errors that dog the modern passionist and wilderness prophetic movements. He overturns the mainstream passionist prophetic error that defines Christ's love for us and our love for Christ and one another foundationally in terms of divine emotion ("passion"). And he dispatches the wilderness prophetic error that defines proof of discipleship primarily in terms of obedience to the scriptural letter of ascetic discipleship principles, practices, patterns and commands.]
THE PRIZE OF DISCIPLESHIP
This brings us to the next point of our study: the ultimate "prize" which awaits those who have "given their all" to Jesus Christ, to be disciplined by Him as their absolute Teacher and Lord. I had previously indicated that Peter had raised the question: "Lo, we have left all, and followed you ; what shall we have therefore?" (Mt. 19:28). Jesus' answer to them, as recorded in Lk. 22:28-30 assured them that they would be WITH Him in HIS KINGDOM, sharing His intimate fellowship and rulership: "You are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint to you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed to me; that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of
." I had commented previously on Jesus' similar words as recorded in Mt. 19:27-29, and His veiled reference to the 100-fold category of "overcoming" Christians . Certainly the "twelve apostles of the Lamb" (Rev. 21:14) will have a special place of authority and relationship to Jesus, "judging the twelve tribes of Israel " (Mt. 19:28), but ALL of the 100-fold category of Christians will also be "called up higher" to "rule with Christ" in His Kingdom Glory . Israel
Jesus made it clear in Mt. 4:1-20 that His Word-seed produces three categories of Christians (4:20); the 30-fold, 60-fold and 100-fold. The same three groupings are given in a different parable form in Mark 4:26-29 as "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." Now stop to think. You do not go out to your garden and pull up new "blades," freshly sprung up, or even green or half-filled "ears," but only that which is ripe (the "full grain in the ear") . Do you think that God acts any less intelligently than man!
Only the 100-fold (full— mature— grain in the ear) Christians will ever go UP to be lifted-up out of that which is earth-bound, and to function in the "freedom" of glorified bodies . The 30-fold ("blade") and 60-fold ("ear") Christians will be "left in the earth" (or brought back through resurrection) in order to continue to "ripen" (mature) during or after the millennium. These will have immortal physical bodies: living in perpetual youth and health, but still earth-bound. Sometime after the millennium or beyond, they will have the opportunity to have their physical bodies changed to glorified bodies.
Jesus called disciples because He had a "calling" (vocation) for them to be prepared for to be WITH Him as co-rulers over this earth and its inhabitants in the coming Kingdom age. Likewise, Jesus apprehended the apostle Paul, not only to preach salvation to the gentiles, but also to explain to these saved gentiles this "calling" (which he termed a "mystery," "which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men" (Eph. 3:1-11), that the Gentiles along with the Jews are to be formulated by God's grace into a "new organism" (body), to be "raised up" to "sit" (and "rule") with Christ "in the heavenlies" (in the atmospheric envelope surrounding our earth — with headquarters in the New Jerusalem which will be lowered into our upper atmosphere). Thus in the "ages to come" (Ephes. 2:7; 3:10) the Lord will be demonstrating His wisdom, and the riches of his grace through these "elect" ones who will be helping Him to "shepherd" the nations.
It is God's desire and challenge for all saved to heed this "calling." Unfortunately, however, even as Jesus declared, "many (saved) are called, but few are chosen ("elect"). Why? Because it requires "diligence," as emphasized by Peter's epistle: "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election (choice) sure; for if you do these things (read all of II Pet., chap. 1), ye shall never fall ("stumble" or "fall short" of the "calling")— II Pet. 1:10.
A careful study of Paul's writings makes it clear that he clearly understood the difference between salvation and "the calling." In II Tim. he tells us that God "has saved us, AND called us with an holy calling" (II Tim. 1:9). He tells us clearly to what we are called in I Thess. 2:12: "That you would walk worthy of God, who has called you to his kingdom and glory." Inheritance in that
(functioning: in "glorified bodies" like [that of] Jesus— Phil. 3:21), cannot be ours just because we are saved, but because we are willing to submit to the "call" and requirements of Discipleship to Jesus Christ. Paul uses the term "the PRIZE of the high calling" (Phil. 3:14), for which he said that he had "suffered the loss of all things" that he might WIN Christ and His kingdom GLORY (Phil. 3:8) founded on Jesus' words. Jesus did not use the word "prize," but he implied the same thing by the use of such expressions as "reward in heaven" and "treasures in heaven." For example, in one of the beatitudes, Jesus said: "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you , when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven." It seems reasonable to assume that only those living a life of dedicated discipleship would run the risk of being so persecuted. A "reward" is not a gift (as salvation is), but definitely points to the "heavenly prize" for those who put forth a conscientious and zealous effort to fulfill the commands of Jesus and to conform their inner life to the principles of kingdom truth and righteousness . Kingdomof GLORY
Another expression Jesus used is "treasure in heaven." In Mt. 6:19-21, Jesus admonishes: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust [ ] corrupt[s them], and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt[s], and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Did you ever consider the question: "how does a person who has been saved lay up treasure in heaven? I want to show this by a passage referred to before in a previous study, but I think it best answers this question. In Mt. 19:16-22. Jesus dealt with a young man concerning the question of how to obtain eternal life. Having settled that issue according to the requirements of the Law covenant, which was still in force at that time, the young man then indicated his desire to do more in His relation to God, and asked, "what lack I yet?" Jesus answered him in terms of the goal of discipleship (SONSHIP) and said: "If you wish to be perfect (complete, spiritually mature), go sell your possessions, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven, and come follow me."
First, we need to note that "treasures in heaven" is something beyond "eternal life"— that "life," whether received through the old Law covenant (provisionally), or through the new covenant of grace (in positive possession). "Eternal life" ("age-less," or "age-resistant life") is a life that can be lived right here on earth (when the full kingdom is ready to be manifested) in a resurrected or changed immortal body — and will be by all saved under the old covenant, and by most saved under the new covenant — simply because most Christians have not been taught what is required to gain that "higher calling" of "treasure in heaven" (the heavenly, glorified, kingdom realm where Jesus and His "elect" will rule over this earth.)
Jesus' answer to the young man was essentially the same as we shared under the section on the "Priorities of Discipleship"— that the "heavenly treasure" ("prize", "reward") can only be attained by "forsaking all (undue attachment to anything) for Jesus," by investing the priorities of our lives in totally giving ("title to") ALL that we have and are to Jesus, and centering all the focus of our lives on loving and pleasing Him above everyone and everything else.
After pondering this matter, in this section on the "Prize of Discipleship," I think I can do no better than to reprint an article I called "The Gift and the Prize" which was first printed in the "Manifested Sons" booklet #1, although it was first written over twenty five years ago. Those of you who have read this article will benefit by re-reading it, and I know there are many on the mailing list who have never read it. May God bless and add to your understanding.
THE GIFT AND THE PRIZE
[Ed. Note - This article was originally published in Vol.1 of The Manifested Sons.]
One time I asked a Bible study group in the church where I ministered if they knew the difference between a "gift" and a "prize." The majority were immediately certain that they knew. I had them turn in their Bibles to Romans 6:23 where it speaks of the "gift" of God which is eternal life, and then Philippians 3:14 where we read of the "prize" of the high calling. Then I asked if they thought the two passages were referring to the same thing. They looked a little puzzled. Evidently such a thought had never occurred to most of them. Why should it? Most Christians have read the Bible so long through rose-colored glasses of traditional theology, that it is difficult for them to take the simple meaning of words and apply them correctly.
In II Timothy 2:15, Paul admonishes us to "study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." But how does one "rightly divide" the Word of Truth? The Greek word orthotomeo means to cut straight (divide), and as Paul is speaking of a good workman, he must be thinking of some work in which the workman's skill consists in cutting straight; perhaps his own trade, in which it was all important to cut the pieces straight that were afterwards to be joined together to make a tent. To "rightly divide the word of Truth" means, at least in part, to properly "cut straight," divide, or distinguish between the various portions of Divine Truth that they might be fit together in one harmonious whole.
Does it make sense to call salvation, or eternal life, both a gift and aprize? Does it not make better sense to "rightly divide" the two, and by diligent study, show by many Scriptures that there is a "prize" to be won as well as a "gift" to bereceived? And thus instead of making God's Word con tradict itself, fiteach portion of truth into itsproper place in the Divine scheme of things and produceoneharmonious whole.
If we are to "rightly divide" the Word of Truth, we must distinguish between salvation, as such, which is the gift of God, and the "high calling" which is something to be attained to. This is brought out by Paul in I Cor. 9:24, where he uses the same Greek word translated "prize" as we find in Philip. 3:14. He shows it to be like the prize won in the games or athletic contests of the time. "[ Don’t you] know [ ] that they which run a race run all, but onereceives theprize? So run, that you mayobtain." In the same chapter Paul indicates his own apprehension of failure to obtain this prize: "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one beating the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (I Cor. 9:26-27). How different are these words than those of the apostle which we read in II Tim. 1:12: "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committedto Him against that day." In one Instance we have apprehension and in the other certitude. Should we not "rightly divide" these scriptures and realize that in the latter words Paul was speaking of his certainty of salvation (eternal life), whereas in the former he realizes there is something else which he [had] notyet attained, and which would require all the energies and devotion of his life. Hear his words: "...if by any means I mayattain to the resurrection from (out from among) the dead.Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: butIpress on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goalto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philip. 3:11-14).
Theprize which Paul is so eager to attain is referred to in the above passage as the"high calling." The Greek word translated "high" may also be translated "above" or "upwards." Thus the "high calling" is a summons or invitation to come up higher. This is in harmony with the statement in Hebrews 3:1: "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of theheavenly calling." It is a call or summons to attain to the glories of heaven itself. All of us who have been saved are partakers of (associates in) this heavenly calling. But. . . we must "give diligence to make our calling and election sure. (II Peter 1:10). Certainly this is not the same as the GIFT of eternal life which isnow the present possession of every born again Christian. The distinction is made clear in II Tim. 1:9 where Paul speaks of God who "saved us,and called us with a holycalling." The two ideas would not be separated by the conjunction "and" if they were one and the same. Paul in Romans 11:29 speaks of the gifts and the callings of God, indicating that they are not the same.
NOW the picture comes into focus. Obviously, if "heaven" is a PRIZE to be won, then the GIFT of eternal life must provide only for restored life on the same plane on which it was lost—the EARTHLY! Adam was on earth, not in heaven, when he forfeited deathless life. The PRIZE involves being "joint heirs" with Christ and His own (heavenly) realm, to rule and reign with Him over the earth. (Rom. 8:17, Rev. 5:10, 20:6). Those who fail to make this "calling" must come back to earth in the coming Kingdom age to live in deathless physical bodies. The fact that many saved ones are [ ] in that realm called "paradise" in no way indicates that they will be a part of that coming "heavenly kingdom" as "co-heirs and co-rulers" with Christ. Paradise is an intermediate state of bliss for departed souls who have been saved, but it is in no way synonymous with the glories of the coming Kingdom of Christ where those who have overcome will rule and reign with Him. Resurrected life back to this earth is to be the lot of many saved ones until they have fully entered into all that has been ordained for them. Then at some future date they shall be translated into the heavenly realms, and they will operate no longer in a physical but in a glorified body.
We have seen from three different scriptures that the PRIZE is a high calling, a holy calling, and a heavenly calling. Let us examine these thoughts a little further. We know that the word "high" indicates that which is lofty or elevated. Thus, in type, the high calling would be symbolized by the top or summit of a mountain which rises above the ground level. Moses, on the top of Mount Sinai, would typify the high calling. The word "high" also means "difficult to comprehend, of a great price, or greater price than usual." Thus the "high calling" is not for easy going, indulgent Christians. Apricemustbepaid! Paul knew well the price: a total renunciation of the things of the world. Hear his words: "Howbeit, what things were gain to me, these have I counted lossforChrist.Yes truly, and I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ. . . that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering, becoming conformedto His death; if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from (out from among) the dead." (Philip. 3:7-11). Paul is referring to the "first resurrection" of those who will "reign with Him." (Rev. 20:6).
The word "high" also means "elevated in rank, condition or office." Those who attain unto the high calling are to receive positions of authority and rank far above those who enter the earthly kingdom. As a matter of fact they are to rule over the earthly kingdom. "Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shallreign with Him a thousand years." (Rev. 20:6). Of the apostles, Jesus said, " You shall sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matt. 19:28). According to Rev. 5:10, those to be made priests and kings shall reign on (over) the earth. Paul says in I Cor. 6:2-3, " Don’t you know that the saints shall judge the world . [ Don’t you] know [ ] that we shall judge angels?" Thus those of the "high calling" are elevated even above angels I
The calling is not only high, it is alsoholy (II Tim. 1:9). "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." (Heb. 12:14). Holiness means separation in spirit from the things of the world. The Israelites delivered from Egypt and on their way to Canaan, typify the Christians of this age who have been delivered from the pollutions of this world and are on their way to the heavenly kingdom. Numerous and detailed laws did God give the Israelites to teach them holiness (separation) from that which defiles and makes "unclean". Most of these laws are found in Leviticus, where repeatedly did God say, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." (Lev. 11:44, and etc.). "I am the Lord your God, which haveseparated you from other people." (Lev. 20:24). All these things happenedto them for examples (types); and they are written for our admonition. (I Cor. 10:11). "Wherefore, come out from among them, and be [ ] separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I WILL RECEIVE YOU." (II Cor. 6:17). "But as He which has called you is holy, so be [ ] holy in all manner of behavior; because it is written, Be [ ] holy, for I am holy." (I Peter 1:15). The church, which is to become the bride of Christ is to be presented to Him a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; "but that it should be holyand withoutblemish." (Ephes. 5:27). Certainly most Christians have not yet attained to this kind of holiness!
The calling is also [a] "heavenly" calling. "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of theheavenly calling." (Heb.3:1). The PRIZE of the high calling is heaven itself; or we might say the "heavenly kingdom" or realm which is being prepared for those who love Him with all of their hearts and souls, and who are beingperfected into His likeness. Since "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (I Cor. 15:20), it becomes evident that those who enter therein are to be clothed with bodies commensurate with the heavenly realm. Paul says, "For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body ofHis Glory." (Philip. 3:20-21.) We read in I Cor. 15-40 that there are celestial (heavenly) bodies, and bodies terrestrial (earthly), and thatthetwodifferin glory. Paul also uses the terms "natural" bodies and "spiritual" bodies (I Cor. 15:44-48). "Natural" bodies are for the earth, and "spiritual" bodies are for the heavens. The New Testament repeatedly speaks of this entrance into the heavenly realm as being "glorified," or entering into "glory." "If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be glorified with Him." (Rom. 8:17). This, of course, indicates an adornment and beautification far surpassing that of the earthly glory. It is that "glory" with which Christ Himself was adorned after the resurrection and transformation of His earthly body: "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory ?" (Luke 24:26). Those who are to be glorified with Him are to become like Him. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it is not yet manifest what we shall be. We know that, when He shall be manifested, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." (I John 3:2). Surely, it staggers our imagination to realize just how high, holy, and heavenly this calling is!
Though this prize is something to be attained to, we must not harbor the idea that it is something achieved through our own effort or merit alone. It is " Christ in you , the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27). It is the power of His Spirit dwelling within that enables one to overcome the world, even as He overcame the world and entered into glory. HE now lives to make intercession for us (Rom. 8:26-27). Only those who have allowed the Lord, by His Spirit, to do a perfect (complete) work in them (Philip. 1:6) can hope to be "joint heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17) in His own (heavenly) realm. How many have been lulled into the lethargy and slumber of the "foolish virgins" because the Word was not "rightly divided" to them; and they thought all there was to do was to believe, be baptized, and live a fairly respectable life, and a mansion in heaven was awaiting them.
"Many are called but few are chosen." (Matt. 22:14). I used to think that this meant only a few would be saved and the rest eternally lost. I now realize that many saved ones are called to "His kingdom and glory," (I Thess. 2:12) but fewgive diligence to "make their calling and election sure." (I I Peter 1:10). Shall we not "rightly divide” the Word of truth? We need to live in the joy and assurance of our salvation, but we also need to press on toward the "prize of the high calling." "Wherefore He says, Awake you who sleeps, andrise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light." (Ephes. 5:14).
[Next: The Posture of Discipleship ]
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