Monday, July 5, 2010

THE CROWD, THE CALLED AND THE CHOSEN - Part 2

THE CALLED - MOUNTAIN LEVEL
 
And He went up on the mountain 
and called to Him those He Himself wanted. 
And they came to Him. 
Mark 3:13

Out of the crowd who were gathered at the seaside, Jesus called (invited) many to come up higher to Him. Those who responded to the call had a mountain level experience.

I believe these were the same disciples whom Jesus spoke to when He gave the Sermon on the Mount. These were the same ones who learned the principles of the Kingdom of God.

And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven….” – Matthew 5:1-3

The “called” were the ones whom Jesus sent out, giving them power and authority they never thought they could wield.

After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. …heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ – Luke 10:1-3, 9

They returned, excitedly reporting to Jesus the results of their mission, and He in turn confirmed their authority.

Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” – Luke 10:17-20

Just like the people in that day you may have started off at ground level, so to speak, on your journey with the Lord. Maybe there was some crisis in your life – an illness, a broken relationship, a financial crisis or some other dilemma. You reached out to Jesus and He was there. Then you heard His invitation and you responded, entering into the mountain level experience. But is that all there is? Does this level guarantee you a place in heaven?

In John 3:3 Jesus told Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Soon afterward the Lord tells him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Is it possible to see the Kingdom of God and yet not enter it? I believe it is very possible, just as the children of Israel saw the Promised Land, but were denied access to it because of their disbelief and disobedience.

When you accept Jesus as your Saviour you are given the same power and authority that the seventy of that day were given, and it will work. However, note Jesus’ stern warning at the end of His Sermon on the Mount….

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many 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!’ – Matthew 7:21-23

Remaining at the level of being “called” puts you in grave danger of
  • Double mindedness. You are still too close to the ground level and could “fall off the mountain” if you allow your senses to control you.
  • Being lukewarm. There are so many who sit in churches Sunday after Sunday and in weekly Bible studies. They hear the Word of God and are aware of the principles of the Kingdom, yet they fall into the sin of familiarity. The Word becomes so common to them that it loses its relevance, and therefore its potency. They become hearers and not doers of the Word. Jesus said that if you are like the lukewarm Laodicean church of Revelation 3 He will spit you out of His mouth!
  • False assurance of your position in Christ. You can be called to be an apostle, called to be a prophet, called to evangelize, pastor or teach. You may have the gift of healing, faith, tongues or interpretation of tongues. You may give liberally or serve faithfully in your local assembly. You may have the title of Bishop, Minister or Reverend. However, as the passage in Matthew 7 indicates, none of this guarantees your entrance into heaven.
  • Judgmentalism and a Pharisaical spirit. This happens if you apply the letter of the Law of the Kingdom without understanding or applying the spirit of the Law.
Scripture records that Jesus gave the same authority to the seventy that He had given to the twelve apostles (see Luke 9:1-2). Yet the end results were so different.

“….many are called, but few are chosen.” 
Matthew 20:16

To be continued….

3 comments:

  1. I have really enjoyed these two postings. The call is to be true to who we are in Christ and to not just be what we feel comfortable with. I'm checking myself to make sure that I am not only saying "Lord, Lord" but that I am obeying also.

    LM

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  2. I also have enjoyed these two postings and yes we do have to keep checking ourselves. Obedience is the key to victory and as the Lord says obedience is better than sacrifice. Therefore we need to walk the walk and not just sit under the word and talk the talk. This I try to do, be in the word and do the word.

    IM
    July 07 2010

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  3. I thank you for enlightening me of how we attend church and feel that we are being obedient to the Word of God. We have to be hearers and doers of the Word in order to be considered obedient. This is what Jesus did and wants us to follow His lead.

    EW

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