Jesus said: "Many are called but few are chosen." What did
He mean? Some teach that if you can just get to pronounce the
name of Jesus to anyone they are called and chosen to salvation,
if they do not accept Christ then as savior they are doomed to
hell fire. Others believe everyone is doomed to burn in hell if
they do not hear the name of Jesus in this life. What about those
who do have the scriptures, have been taught them, have read
them, who hear about God in one way or another, are they all
being called and chosen NOW in this life time?
This article will only come from one side of this somewhat
large question about the salvation issue for EVERYONE. The
overall plan of God's salvation for all people that have ever
lived is given in full detail in my article called THE WHITE
I will cover here the question of WHEN is God calling and
choosing a person in this lifetime to accept or reject His mercy,
grace, and salvation. Is it AFTER they have the Spirit IN them,
after Baptism and the Laying on of hands, or is it BEFORE that
time, when God's Spirit is working WITH them, but not yet IN
There are a number of ways from the word of the Eternal to
answer that question, but I have chosen just ONE way in this
article. And that is with the LIFE and WORDS of the example of
the apostle Paul.
Did Paul have the scriptures of the Lord growing up? Was he
HEARING about God from his parents? Was he taught in school about
the word of the Eternal? Let him answer: "Though I might also
have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks he has
whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the
eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an
Hebrew of the Hebrews, as touching the law, a Pharisee........I
am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus......yet brought
up in this city(Jerusalem) at the feet of Gamaliel(a famous
teacher of one of the Pharisee schools), and taught according to
the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous
towards God......." (Phil.3:4-5; Acts 22:3).
So Paul heard about God, read the scriptures inspired of
that God, was taught about Him, and was in his own Pharisaical
way - zealous towards the Eternal.
The next question is was Paul understanding with full
unblinded knowledge the TRUTH about what he was reading and was
he being taught CORRECTLY about this God of his fathers?
He answers: " And profited in the Jew's religion above many
my equal in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of
the traditions of my fathers. BUT WHEN IT PLEASED GOD......AND
CALLED ME BY HIS GRACE, TO REVEAL HIS SON IN ME......
touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. BUT
what things were gain to me, those I COUNTED LOSS FOR CHRIST. Yea
doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the EXCELLENCY OF
THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS my Lord......and do count them but
DUNG, THAT I MAY WIN CHRIST. And be found in Him, not having
mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is
through the FAITH OF CHRIST, the RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS OF GOD BY
FAITH: that I MAY KNOW HIM, and the power of His resurrection,
and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made comfortable unto
His death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection
of the dead.........And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has
enabled me, for He counted me faithful, putting me into the
ministry; Who was BEFORE a BLASPHEMER, and a PERSECUTOR, and
INJURIOUS: but I OBTAINED MERCY, BECAUSE I DID IT IGNORANTLY IN
UNBELIEF. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all
acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save
sinners; of whom I AM CHIEF. Howbeit for this cause I OBTAINED
MERCY, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all
longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter
believe on Him to LIFE EVERLASTING......" (Gal. 1:14-16;
Phil.3:6-11; 1 Tim.1:12-16).
In Ephesians chapter three Paul shows that the MYSTERY of
God had been HID from the world in the main, and only revealed to
the "church" of God through His Spirit as planned by the Eternal
through Christ Jesus and faith in Him.
In Romans chapters 9 through 11 Paul clearly shows that GOD
HOLDS PEOPLE IN BLINDNESS even when they may HEAR THE WORDS of
the Lord being PREACHED AND TAUGHT! It is only the ELECTION OF
GRACE that have the BLINDNESS REMOVED.
Yes indeed as Jesus said: "many are called but few chosen."
Many MAY hear the word of God, hear Jesus being taught, even have
the Eternal's word in their homes and even read it, BUT THEY CAN
STILL BE IN COMPETE BLINDNESS as to the very TRUTH of God, just
as Paul himself was! He served God with a zeal but as he said to
many Jews in Rome, "For I bear them record that they have a zeal
of God, BUT NOT ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE. FOR THEY BEING IGNORANT
OF GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND GOING ABOUT TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN
RIGHTEOUSNESS, HAVE NOT SUBMITTED THEMSELVES UNTO THE
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD......." (Romans 10:2-3).
Paul knew exactly what this was all about, as he himself had
BEEN THERE, having a zeal towards God, but really not knowing
WHAT HE WAS DOING! A zeal that was BLINDED and FALSE and going
in the WRONG DIRECTION, and actually FIGHTING AGAINST THE TRUTH
Oh, yes, Paul had been called to HEAR the word, but he had
NOT been CHOSEN to UNDERSTAND IT UNTIL GOD HAD MERCY UPON HIM AND
REVEALED CHRIST IN ALL TRUTH TO HIM!
Now let's see HOW Paul was CHOSEN to UNDERSTAND and WHEN.
THE CHOOSING OF PAUL TO SALVATION
Saul or Paul as we know him today was out zealously doing
his things against the church of God - breathing out threatenings
and slaughter, obtained letters of permission from the High
priest to go to Damascus and if he found any of "this way"
(Christians serving the Lord Jesus) in the synagogues, he might
bring them bound unto Jerusalem( Acts 9:1-2).
Off he set towards the city of Damascus with fire in his
eyes towards the Christians who may be there. We are all familiar
with the story of how Jesus appears to him and blinds him as he
tells him what to do. Nobody else with Paul could see or hear
Christ, ONLY Paul was being spoken to, ONLY Paul was being called
and chosen by Christ to be a disciple of all the men at the
The POWER of the Spirit of God was working its MIRACLES!
Yes, this was a special miracle of REVELATION about THE truth of
Jesus, to Paul. Most of those called and chosen by the Lord are
not given this exact type of miracle, yet to be called and
chosen, to be DRAWN by the Father to KNOW Christ(John 6:44,65)
through the Spirit, IS A MIRACLE!
Let's get this CLEAR. This was a real and genuine calling
and CHOOSING! No MAYBE here, no possible here, no probable
but.......Paul was being CHOSEN by the Father through Christ via
the Holy Spirit of power, to SALVATION, to have the BLINDNESS
REMOVED. He was chosen to SEE (while being physically blinded)
the PLAIN TRUTH of Christ, sin, repentance, baptism, receiving
the Holy Spirit and on into a life of sanctification, and being
saved by grace through faith in Jesus.
This we shall see without DOUBT from other chapters in Acts
WAS THE START of Paul's choosing.
If it is true, as it is, that all are in blindness as to WHO
Jesus really is, what is real SIN, and real REPENTANCE, together
with the CORRECT way to salvation and LIVING as a begotten
son/daughter of the true God the Father in heaven. Then GOD MUST
START AT SOME POINT TO REVEAL HIMSELF AND HIS TRUTH TO YOU VIA
HIS SPIRIT OF POWER, IN WHATEVER MIRACULOUS WAY HE DECIDES TO
CHOOSE YOU. It is a MIRACLE whichever way the Eternal decides to
SHOW you His Son in "spirit and in truth" so you can worship Him
in "spirit and in truth."
With Paul it was the way we read about in the book of Acts.
But it was an absolute, no question about it, CHOSEN to be given
his time of salvation in this physical life. It was not going to
be a "half" choosing, or "well let's kind of see if Paul will
possibly take the bite." This was God saying Paul was going to
receive his day of salvation in THIS life time.
Jesus in full truth that this was the truth being given to
Paul, COMES! Jesus had knocked on the DOOR of Paul's house.
Christ STOOD WITHOUT and was KNOCKING, just as He states He will
do to those He is choosing(Rev.3:20).
Jesus has NOT YET ENTERED THROUGH THE DOOR. The door has NOT
YET BEEN OPENED. But when Jesus knocks to choose, He has chosen,
it is THE DAY of salvation for that person. If God has chosen as
He did with Paul, the Spirit of power is used WITH that person to
TAKE AWAY the BLINDNESS and reveal the BASIC REQUIREMENTS of
KNOWING JESUS is alive, is SAVIOR, what is SIN, that Christ died
to take away sins, what is true REPENTANCE, and what needs to be
DONE (baptism for one) to go ON to receive the Spirit IN them,
and enter the PROCESS of BEING SAVED through GRACE,
sanctification and final INHERITANCE.
Jesus knocked on Paul's door. Paul had NO QUESTION in his
mind but that it was the REAL Jesus NOW talking to him. That
BLINDNESS was removed ALREADY. He knew that he knew. He knew he
had been GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION! He knew he had not known
the truth. He knew he had been WRONG! He knew he had been
IGNORANT - DECEIVED! He now knew he had a zeal for God NOT
ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE! That was NOW VERY CLEAR TO HIM! His
BLINDNESS in this first step to salvation HAD BEEN REMOVED!!
But was Paul NOW A ROBOT? Had he now lost his FREE AGENCY?
Was it IMPOSSIBLE for him to have said: " I don't care Christ, I
do not want you or your salvation, I'm quite happy the way I was.
I'm not going to change my ways, so get out of here and leave me
alone. I refuse to open the door and let you in."
Paul, and anyone chosen by God when He chooses them, and
reveals His Son and Sin and Repentance, to them, when that
blindness is removed, CAN STILL KEEP THE DOOR SHUT! They can
still at this time REFUSE to walk to FIRST BASE after being
thrown no balls. They are still FREE AGENTS that God will NOT
FORCE, or turn them into robots. How can it possibly be any other
way? The Father wants children who will FREELY because they
CHOOSE LIFE and not death(Deut.30:19), to love Him with
all their heart, and soul, and mind. He cannot force anyone to
MOVE ON to salvation once He chooses them for salvation. He could
not force Paul to accept once that part of spiritual blindness
had been removed. But if God has set His hand to CHOOSE someone
then there is no turning back, their day of salvation is here in
this life time, refusing at ANY TIME from when the blindness is
being removed AND never repenting WILL LEAD TO THE SECOND DEATH
and no resurrection in the White Throne Judgment!
Paul COULD HAVE NOT OPENED THE DOOR, BUT TOLD JESUS TO GET
LOST! He was FREE to accept the choosing or reject it, RIGHT
THERE ON THAT ROAD TO DAMASCUS, BEFORE BAPTISM AND HAVING THE
SPIRIT IN HIM!
Paul was not baptised on the spot. No one else there was
being chosen. He was not baptised when they took him into the
city, immediately. He was LEFT FOR THREE DAYS to see, to
meditate, to fast with no food or water, to pray, to CRY, to see
SIN, that he was a sinner, to understand THROUGH THE POWER of the
Spirit working WITH him, what TRUE REPENTANCE was all about. What
giving himself to the real God, that had now taken away this
blindness and revealed this first step to being saved and
salvation, WAS GOING TO ENTAIL. The Father was MOVING, was
WORKING WITH him, was LEADING him with His Spirit to these
truths. God was SHOWING him certain parts of His WILL, what He
wanted him to do, but He was not going to FORCE him to do
anything if he did not want to choose life but wanted to choose
Paul did WANT TO DO THE RIGHT THING! His attitude of seeing
himself as a sinner, needing the grace of God, wanting to accept
Jesus as savior, wanting to, willing to REPENT, was THERE IN HIS
MIND. I'm sure he literally CRIED to the Lord to have
mercy upon him, to save his deceived and once blinded heart and
The Eternal came through the door Paul opened. He walk in to
sit and eat with him. Paul was given a vision of one Ananias
coming to help him in the name of the Lord(Acts 9:10-12).
Turn to Acts 22. Paul is re-iterating the things we have
been reading about in chapter nine. Notice what he tells us here
about some of the words spoken by Ananias. Let us pick it up in
" And he said: The God of our fathers has CHOSEN(ah, there's
that word) you, that you should KNOW HIS WILL, and SEE the JUST
ONE, and should HEAR the voice of HIS MOUTH......."
When did Paul SEE and HEAR the JUST ONE? Why on the road to
Damascus! When did Paul START TO KNOW HIS WILL, have the
blindness removed, see the TRUTH of SIN and REPENTANCE? Why,
when Jesus REVEALED Himself to Paul with those truths, on the
road to Damascus and for THREE DAYS in the city of Damascus as
Paul fasted and prayed.
Could Paul have REFUSED the knocking of Jesus on the CHOSEN
DOOR? Oh, indeed he could have! He could have told Jesus he was
not going to open the door. He could have REMAINED in his sins,
could have remained UN-repented, could have turned his back on
GRACE and mercy at THIS TIME and he could have REFUSED to ever
repent and walk on to receiving the Spirit IN him through
baptism. God was working WITH him through the Spirit, but Paul
was free to choose DEATH if he wanted. Remaining un-repented and
not willing to move on into sanctification by the Spirit, would
have meant the SECOND DEATH for Paul, no White throne Judgment
resurrection for him in that event ONLY the second death.
Paul was CHOSEN even BEFORE his baptism to KNOW THE WILL OF
GOD, at least in this part of the will of God, not that he knew
everything about the truths and doctrines of the Lord in all its
completeness(that was to come later in Arabia - Gal.1:15-17
with 11-12). Yet Ananias was inspired to tell him God had BEFORE
BAPTISM taken away blindness and revealed His WILL to him.
It is clear that the truth or parts of the truth of God CAN
AND IS revealed to people BEFORE they are baptised, before the
laying on of hands, and the receiving of the Holy Spirit IN them
as a begettal.
God does work WITH His Spirit on people's minds. He does
REMOVE some blindness, so they clearly see the first BASICS to
salvation. The Eternal does CALL and He does CHOOSE a person to
be given their day of salvation BEFORE baptism, before the Spirit
is IN them. They are BEGINNING TO BE JUDGED for salvation AT
THIS POINT in their lives, just as Paul was in his life. Any
refusing at this point, and staying in that refusing state of
mind, when God has determined to choose them to salvation in
this life, means only the second death awaits them.
Just as anyone who does accept and moves on to base one,
baptism and receiving the Spirit IN them, being sanctified and
living the process of salvation, can at any time, because free
agency is never taken away, TURN AWAY from that calling and
choosing, and end up in the second death. So it is for those who
are called and CHOSEN and refuse to move on to the first base.
Paul did NOT REFUSE! He did ACCEPT Jesus! Ananias was sent
to BAPTIZE him and that he might "be filled with the Holy Spirit"
(Acts 9:17). His SINS were washed AWAY and through baptism he
had the Holy Spirit IN him. He continued on the pathway and in
the process of salvation from the time Jesus spoke and chose him
on that road to Damascus.
He continued to fight the good fight, to watch himself, lest
that after preaching to others he should be a cast away (1
Cor.9:27). He knew Jesus had taught that "he that shall endure
to the end the same shall be saved."
One more time Paul was to witness about his calling and
choosing by Jesus on that road to the city of Damascus.
It was to be before King Agrippa. We find it in Acts 26. We
are hear given a little more that Jesus said to him, that was not
given in the earlier accounts. It is often as the Lord has said,
a little here and a little there. We must find all the scriptures
on any subject to get the whole picture, and the whole truth.
He tells Agrippa what Jesus had said to him. Notice verse
"To open their eyes, and to TURN THEM FROM DARKNESS TO
LIGHT, and from the POWER of Satan UNTO GOD, that they may
RECEIVE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, and INHERITANCE AMONG them which ARE
SANCTIFIED by FAITH that is IN ME."
Do you see the natural PROGRESS in what Jesus states here?
Paul was to be used to LEAD people, JUST AS he was led.
1. Blindness removed in basic ways, the first step ways.
Eyes OPENED, spiritual eyes opened, from being in DARKNESS to see
the LIGHT. To see TRUTH. To bring people out of the power of
Satan, not seeing the true God, not seeing what SIN is, not
understanding what real REPENTANCE is, to where they DO SEE THESE
THINGS IN ALL BASIC TRUTH AND BEGIN TO KNOW THE TRUE GOD!
2. All that is done FIRST. The Spirit working WITH people,
but not IN them. It is done so they can MOVE ON from the dug out,
to the batter's base. That they may go ON as Paul himself did, to
RECEIVE FORGIVENESS OF SINS! As Ananias said to Paul:
" And now why tarriest you? Arise, and be BAPTISED, and WASH AWAY
YOUR SINS, calling on the name of the Lord "(chapt.22:16). Then
by so doing God has promised to put His Spirit WITHIN the
repentant, newly baptised individual (Acts 2:38). Both the
Father and Jesus now come to LIVE within that person via the Holy
Spirit (John 14:23). Sins are forgiven through Jesus at
baptism(Rom.6) and we come up to walk in newness of life, to live
as Jesus now lives. That is our aim and our goal.
3. Then we move ON from the batter's base to the first base
of joining those that went before us. We move on into the
inheritance among the saints who are NOW BEING SANCTIFIED by
FAITH in Christ Jesus. We now are WITHIN the very BEGOTTEN
children of the family of God. Those who have the Spirit IN them,
united with their mind and heart. Those who through CONTINUED
FAITH look to Jesus not only as Savior from past sins, but High
Priest on the Father's right hand in heaven, to secure CONTINUAL
GRACE AND FORGIVENESS of sins that the sanctified Christian may
commit as they walk the salvation road to the Kingdom of God.
Those are the THREE basic steps to salvation. I elaborate in
great detail those steps in my article called SAVED BY GRACE. I
will be happy to send it to anyone who requests it, either
regular mail or e-mail.
When God has decided that a person is CHOSEN, it is DONE, it
has been decided. The Eternal is not DOUBLE MINDED as men are.
When someone is CHOSEN to salvation in this life time, he/she is
chosen. Jesus will not knock on the door and then run away. He
does not play games. Those having been called and CHOSEN to be
in the FIRST resurrection at the coming of the Lord, are being
given their DAY of salvation in this life time. How shall we
escape if we NEGLECT so great salvation (Heb.2:3). From the
moment God chooses as when He did with Paul on the road to
Damascus, from that moment on it is our day of salvation, and it
is the time to make a choice to choose either LIFE or DEATH. We
become unblinded, we walk from darkness to light. We become in
the eyes of the Eternal different from all others who are still
in blindness. We have been CHOSEN to be a part of the very church
and body of Christ Jesus at that very time. We are then beginning
to be JUDGED to see what we shall do with what God has given us
to do with.
There is only then in this life time for such individuals,
TWO CHOICES. They have come to the cross roads. They are like
Paul on the road of life having to acknowledge they see truth and
must make a choice either for the first resurrection or for the
God is then, at that choosing time crying out to them: " I
call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have
SET BEFORE YOU LIFE and DEATH, blessing and cursing: THEREFORE
CHOOSE LIFE....." (Deut.30:19).
" Therefor I will JUDGE YOU......everyone according to his
ways, says the Lord God. REPENT, and TURN yourselves from all
your TRANSGRESSIONS; so INIQUITY shall not be your ruin. Cast
away from you ALL your TRANSGRESSIONS, whereby you have
transgressed; and MAKE YOU A NEW HEART AND A NEW SPIRIT; for WHY
will you DIE.......For I have NO PLEASURE in the DEATH of the him
that dieth, saith the Eternal God: wherefore TURN yourselves and
LIVE " (Ezek.18:30-32).
Written April 1997