Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Appointed Ones

Do you think you are special? Unique? Our fingerprints prove that there is no one exactly like YOU, but are we actually unique in a spiritual sense?

I was listening to the Book of Acts in my car the other day. The Book of Acts leads me to write more of these stories, I think, with every time I read it or listen to it. I will hear something from Peter, Paul, Stephen or Phillip, and "boom!" I get convicted in some way or it makes me notice something in a different way. Like when I heard this:

"44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us: 

‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’ 

48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed." - Acts 13:44-48

Only those who had been "appointed to eternal life believed." If they were "appointed," who did the appointing? Well, that would be God. But this sentence implies that there are those who hear the Word but were NOT appointed. They did not believe. My take away from this is that not everyone is appointed to believe. Not everyone will be saved.

Jesus confirms this in the Book of Matthew when He speaks about the "sheep and goats."

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ - Matthew 25:31-36

So some of the non-believers we know might not make it? What if that means that our mother, or brother or sister-in-law is doomed? What hope is there for them?

God knows when, where and how every person will come to believe in Him. HE has appointed the day, the hour, the very second that we will be His. Hmm. So, what is the point of evangelism then? If God already knows we are going to be saved next Thursday for example, why should WE care?What does that have to do with us?

What if God wants to use you to do it? What if God wants to use YOU to deliver His message of salvation to one of the goats?

No pressure.

The point of this story is to serve as a reminder to us that . . .
  1. God is in control.
  2. God knows all things.
  3. God knew the person who spoke the words of life into each of us.
With those facts in mind, here are some questions to be answered by each of us:

Question 1: Is God going to use YOU to speak into someone's life today?

Question 2: Are you ready?

Jesus told us that we are to be a light unto the world . . .

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16

Are we shining brightly? Are people looking at us and seeing Jesus? We who believe, were chosen. We were chosen by God! And WHY were we chosen? Not because we're pretty or because we smell good. I believe we were chosen for a purpose. The question has already been asked. Are we ready?

"14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” - Matthew 22:14

"You don't need no ticket, you just praise The Lord."

 People Get Ready - Curtis Mayfield

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