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The invitation of the gospel of Christ is to come to God and receive the forgiveness of our sins. That is a truly wonderful invitation. Jesus said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Mt. 11:28). No matter how sinful our past life has been, God calls us to be saved in His Son and to have the best possible future there could ever be.
But how is it that God calls us? Does He come to us in a vision and personally invite us? Do we hear an audible voice? Do we have subjective feelings that we interpret as God speaking to us? The New Testament does not leave us in doubt about this matter. We are clearly told that God speaks to us and calls us through the objective medium of the apostles' preaching (which preaching we today have recorded in the New Testament itself). On this point, carefully consider Hb. 2:1-4. To the Thessalonian Christians, Paul wrote, "But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 2:13,14). The message of the gospel is God's means of calling all people to Jesus Christ.
Those who obediently and faithfully respond to the call of the gospel are the "elect" or "chosen" of God. In Rev. 17:14, this statement appears: "They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful." Those who are "with" Christ, the saved, are the "called," the "chosen, and the "faithful." They have not only obeyed the initial call of the gospel, but they have remained faithful to it. The called are urged to live so as not to forfeit their salvation: "Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pt. 1:10,11). To heed the call of the gospel of Christ, then, is to enjoy the salvation that God has made possible. To live the rest of our lives in thankful, joyous faithfulness is to make our calling and election sure.
Monday: Acts 2:37-41
Key Idea: All people are called to accept God's offer of salvation.
Questions for Family Growth: What question was asked in v.37? What answer was given in v.38? According to v.39, to whom is the "promise" of God available? In vv.40,41, what was the response to the gospel on that day?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 23:26-28.
Tuesday: 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14
Key Idea: It is through the gospel of Christ that God calls us.
Questions for Family Growth: In v.13, what had the Thessalonian Christians been chosen for? How had they been called by God, according to v.14? Is there anyone who is not called to obey Christ? What is said about God's patience in 2 Pt. 3:9?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 23:29-35.
Wednesday: Revelation 17:14
Key Idea: Those who faithfully obey the gospel are God's "called," His "chosen" ones.
Questions for Family Growth: What three words are used to describe those who are with Christ? Must we be "faithful" to be among the elect of God? According to Hb. 5:9, who are those for whom Christ is the source of eternal salvation?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:1,2.
Thursday: 1 Peter 2:9,10
Key Idea: We are called out of darkness into God's marvelous light.
Questions for Family Growth: What are the "darkness" and "light" spoken of here? In Ac. 26:18, what is said about darkness and light? Who are "God's people" spoken of in 1 Pt. 2:9,10? What if we do not "walk in the light" (1 Jn. 1:6,7).
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:3,4.
Friday: 2 Peter 1:10,11
Key Idea: We must be diligent to make our calling and election sure.
Questions for Family Growth: According to this passage, how can we make sure that we will receive the reward God has for us? What is the "eternal kingdom" Peter spoke of? In Rev. 3:5, who are those whose names will not be blotted out of the book of life?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:5,6.