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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Confirm His Calling

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Recently a report of apostasy has been circulating. It involves former Evangelicals with high internet profiles. See Joshua Harris, Rhett and Link, and Millennial Evangelicals are Leaving Christianity. 

These young men are a stark reminder that, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matthew 7:21)

Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” (John 6:44) What a great mystery! One must ask, "Am I called to follow Jesus Christ?"

We note how often in the Gospels Jesus issues a direct call to people to follow Him. He called the 12 disciples. He told Matthew the tax collector to follow Him. Jesus says “follow me” at least 20 times in the four canonical Gospels: 6 occasions in Matthew, 4 in Mark, 5 in Luke, and 5 in John.

He makes it clear that following him means leaving seemingly important things behind: "Leave the dead to bury the dead." (Matthew 8:22)

“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 9:9)

Jesus said to the Jews who believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine." (John 8:30)

Perhaps this is why some Evangelical Millennials have fallen away from the Faith. They have not confirmed their calling by staying in His Word. His Word is life. It gives endurance so that we may do all for the sake of the Gospel and run the race to the end, thereby winning an imperishable crown (1 Corinthians 9:23-25).

Consider the cautionary exhortation of 2 Peter 1:2-10
"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble." 

Related reading: Against Easy Believism