God calls or summons or invites mankind to come to Him for eternal life. He doesn’t force mankind against their will. Jesus remarked about Himself, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” (John 6:44-45).
There are five characteristics of God’s calling that you need to know, or else you risk being deceived about the nature of the relationship God wants with you.
- First, God’s call is a gospel call. In 2 Thessalonians 2:14, Paul wrote, “… to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”. The call is “put on the heart”, not by direct operation of the Holy Spirit, but by the incisive nature of what the Word says (cp. Hebrews 4:12).
- Second, God’s call is a heavenly call. Hebrews 3:1 says, “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1). God is in heaven and on His throne (Revelation 4:1-5). More importantly, He wants us to inhabit eternity with Him!
- Third, God’s call is a holy call. First Thessalonians 4:7 declares, “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness”. Peter followed up with, “As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16). God did not call His people to be wicked and act unrighteously. Christians who can’t overcome temptations to use bad language, commit sexual immortality, gossip and backbite against each other, lie, or use drugs or alcohol aren’t consecrated to Christ and are showing that they aren’t truly called people.
- Fourth, God’s call is a peaceful call. God wants us to be at peace with Him: “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:19-20). God wants us be at peace in our hearts: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). God wants us to be at peace with all men and with other disciples: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). Psalm 133:1 adds, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”.
- Fifth, God’s call is an urgent call. Three times in Hebrews the urgency is expressed: “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts …’” (Hebrews 3:7-8; cp. vv. 13-15; 4:7). The New Testament closes with an pressing petition: “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17)
Are you listening to God’s call? Do you want to have an effective way to handle your problems? Do you want the satisfaction of righteous living? Are you interested in the help other like-minded disciples can give? Would you like to know what it’s like to live in hope? If all this is agreeable, then you may be ready to answer God’s call. Jesus said again, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). God is willing but He won’t force you. Contact us if you want to discuss it further.