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What Does It Mean That “Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen”?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 5, 2023 3:34 pm

What Does It Mean That “Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen”?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 5, 2023 3:34 pm

Episode 1134 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


Questions in this Episode


1. My pastor recently committed suicide. How can the church rally around and support his family? Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 988

2. What does it mean that, “Many are called, but few are chosen”?

3. What does the Bible say about homosexuality and gay marriage?

4. Does Matthew 7:21 and Luke 13:24 teach that we can’t be sure of salvation?

5. If God is love, why does it say in Malachi 1 that he “hated Esau”?

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Core Question – What are the Parables?

Core Guide – 10 Things You Need to Know About the Bible and Homosexuality

Core Question – How Can God Be Loving and Wrathful?


What does it mean that many are called but few are chosen? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. And of course, you can always email us at questions at And first up today, Adriel, we have a kind of a serious email, actually very serious email from one of our listeners named Rhonda. And she says, My previous pastor, who was in his late 40s, committed suicide last Thursday.

We had stayed in touch, although not close, but my daughter is a very good friend of his wife. He had ongoing struggles, but this came as a shock. He had a small church, and they are rallying around the family.

But we are concerned about when there is no one there. Does the Bible condemn a person who takes their life? And also, do you have any ideas for helping his wife? People who are in ministry, many of them who have a battle with depression and suicidal ideations, and some who have taken their own lives with young children, even families. And so it just is such a tragic thing. And Rhonda, I'll say to you that suicide is not the unpardonable sin.

It is the unlawful taking of one's own life. But it's not the unpardonable sin. We believe that when a person is united to Jesus Christ by faith, that our sins, and even when the last act that you do in your life is a sinful act, that that doesn't separate you from Christ, but that Christ himself is the one who keeps and holds his sheep. And that's the hope that we have for all those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ. And of course, there is the complicated issue of serious mental health issues like depression, and there are many who have lost that battle with depression.

So that's another issue that I think we need to talk about here. You know, the early church, you read places like First Timothy, it's very clear that the church cared for widows. They enrolled widows in the care of the church. And so I'm glad to hear that this particular church is rallying around the family. I think that that is so important to care for the wife, to provide for their needs. There's those practical things that just need to happen in terms of coming alongside of and mourning with someone and then providing for whatever needs there are, monetary needs, household needs, those kinds of things. But then there's also just the spiritual and emotional care that needs to be in place there. And I think that's something that the church can provide and help to provide, maybe even purchasing, paying for counseling, those kinds of things as this family works through the process of grief.

And Bill, I don't know what you would add. I know that this is something that you've done work in as well. And so I'd love to hear your input. You know, we often say in the psychological world that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. And it's so true because when you're going through depression, you feel like you have no hope, like nothing's going to change.

But typically things do change down the line. And so taking that terrible step, that tragic step, when you're in the midst of grappling with depression, it's the wrong decision. And unfortunately, a lot of people don't pay attention to the warning signs.

And I'm not saying that in this case that happened, but you would hope that in other churches, if you have a ministry leader who is displaying some signs of depression or just feeling hopeless about his congregation or his work or his ministry, that we would come alongside that individual and offer support. And as you said, counseling. By the way, I want to mention, there's a number now. It's called the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. And that number is 988.

It's a new national number that people can call if they are struggling with this. And the chances are with all of our listeners that maybe someone listening right now is going through a time of serious depression or know someone who is. So I'm so glad you addressed that. And I think one of the most important things is, is that as a church, we need to understand that mental illness is not a sin in and of itself.

It is part of the fall. It is part of our bodies and our brain chemistry being fallen. And we never, ever should tell a person, you know, just pull yourself up by your bootstraps. And, you know, if you if you studied the Bible more and prayed harder, your depression would go away because that is not true.

That is a lie. And God does not want us to be telling falsehoods. So anyway, end of sermon. Well, Bill, I think it's just so important to drill that down because there's so much confusion in the church today about mental health issues. And so I'm grateful that you said that and may the Lord bring comfort to this this family and to that church.

So, so sad. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We are open to your calls right now.

If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, maybe doctrine or theology, maybe there's a Bible passage that has really been stumping you and you're trying to figure out what exactly does that mean? Hey, we're open to your questions. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THECORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, at the beginning of this new year, we have a free resource for you that explores some really important topics that we believe are overlooked in the church today.

Yeah. As Bill said, one of the things I love about the broadcast is being able to give away free resources that we believe are going to help you and encourage you in your walk with the Lord. This resource is called Six Categories You Should Know. These are six categories that as a follower of Jesus Christ, someone who's committed to the word of God, you really want to have down. The six categories relate to things like natural and special revelation, the law and the gospel, faith and works, things that you see in scripture. Things that there's a lot of confusion about in the church today. Get a hold of this free resource over at Again, it's called Six Categories You Should Know. Such a great resource. It's so important for us to be biblically and doctrinally literate in today's world and not get cast aside or get misled by bad teaching, bad doctrine, or a misinterpretation of scripture.

So make sure you get the Six Categories You Should Know. You can find that at forward slash offers. Well, you can leave a voicemail for us here at the core with your question anytime, 24 hours a day. We do our best to review our voicemails each day and use many of them on the program. The number is 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Marilyn. I've heard of the, I don't know if it's in the Bible, but many are called but few are chosen. Now, what happens to the ones that are called? Will they go to heaven?

Marilyn, great question. It is actually a text from scripture. In Matthew chapter 22, in the context of the parable of the wedding feast, Jesus concludes in verse 14 of Matthew 22 saying, Therefore many are called but few are chosen.

So in the context, Jesus tells this story, this parable. And he says the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. And this king sends out the servants that he has to call people to the wedding feast, to invite them to the wedding feast. This is going to be a celebration.

This is going to be a party. And he says to the servant, Tell those who are invited, see I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.

But here's how the people respond. They paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully and killed them. Now the king was angry and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, The wedding feast is ready but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.

And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. Now the text continues, but when the king came in to look at the guests he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?

And he was speechless. And the king said to the attendants, Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called but few are chosen. Now just straight to your question Marilyn, those who are called in this context know they don't go to heaven. They were invited to the wedding feast and here in particular I think Jesus is speaking about in this parable. The Jews, the religious leaders who heard the message of the kingdom, Jesus is there proclaiming the kingdom and yet they don't want to come in. They're turning away. Jesus says tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.

Why? Because you're rejecting the invitation to the wedding feast. And so they're called, they've been invited, and yet they turn down the invitation. And so the servants go into the highways and byways and invite everyone, the good and the bad. And there are many people that show up, quote unquote, to the wedding feast who are a part of the kingdom, if you will.

Maybe we could refer to it as the visible church here specifically. And one of those individuals doesn't have a wedding garment. And he's told, what are you doing here?

You're not dressed for the occasion. He's cast out. He too is not a part of or wasn't included among the, quote unquote, people of God.

And so there's a couple of lessons here. One of them is, and I think that this is, it's not just a profession of faith, if you will. We sometimes distinguish between the visible church and the invisible church. The visible church is the local gathering of believers, all those who call upon the name of the Lord. But even within the visible church, there are tares that have been sown among the wheat that are going to be cast out when Jesus, the judge of all, separates the sheep from the goats.

And I think that's one of the things that you're seeing here. And so there's a call here to examine ourselves, our faith in the Lord, trusting in him alone for our salvation. Not just a nominal belief in Christ, but truly trusting in him for our salvation. There's also the emphasis on God's sovereign grace and power. Many are called, but few are chosen, Jesus said here.

And so those are some of the things that we see here. But I would encourage you, Marilyn, to open up the scriptures, to look at Matthew 22, and to read through it and to meditate on it prayerfully. And that's where that verse is found. And so I appreciate your question, and may God bless you. You know, we get a lot of questions about the parables of Jesus on this program. We actually put together a great core question. It's called, What are the parables? It'll help you understand that. You can find it by going to forward slash questions.

Look for, What are the parables? Well, let's go back to the phones. Ann is on the line calling in from Minnesota. Ann, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes, I was wondering, what does the Bible teach about homosexuality, and what does the Bible teach about homosexual marriage?

Ann, thank you for that question. Well, the Bible is pretty clear about homosexuality, both in the Old and the New Testaments, referring to it as a sin, as a distortion of sexuality, and what God gave the gift of sex for to be enjoyed within the context of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman. And so, I mean, this is something, you know, there are some people who have tried to make a case and say, well, that's not really what the Bible is getting at, but this is not a strong case to be made throughout scripture. Again, you see it in Leviticus, you see it in Paul's letter to the Romans, you see it in 1 Corinthians chapter 6. Paul says to the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 9, Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?

Do you not be deceived? Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. But then he gives this encouragement.

And by the way, think about that list that he gives there. We oftentimes will put, you know, homosexuality just in a category by itself, as though it was like the unpardonable sin or something like that. But Paul mentioned things like greed and drunkenness, swindling right there, you know, alongside of it. He says, look, if you practice these things, if this is who you are, what characterizes you, the lifestyle that you live, don't be deceived.

The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. But, he says, such were some of you, and you were washed, and you were sanctified, and you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. So, look, it doesn't matter what sin you struggle with, whether it's some kind of sexual immorality, homosexuality, stealing, drunkenness, whatever it is, there's hope in and through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and God, through Christ, washes away our sins. That doesn't mean that we may not continue to struggle. I know that there are many people who wrestle with things like same-sex attraction, who are fighting to mortify those desires that run contrary to God's Word and His design for us as people. There is a real struggle, but there's hope in and through Christ and His grace, and we are united to Jesus by faith, forgiven, and made a part of the people of God. And that's precisely what Paul said to the Corinthians, and so I think as Christians, we need to say, look, we stick with what the scripture says regarding homosexuality, the sin, but we also have the hope of the gospel. We don't want to treat it as though it's something that, you know, boy, if somebody struggles with that, they're hopeless or something like that.

No, we have the hope of the gospel, and we should welcome all those who turn to Jesus Christ by faith coming alongside of them and encouraging them in their walk with the Lord and helping them, as we all need help, to fight against those sins that we struggle with. And so, Anne, appreciate your question and for giving us a call. By the way, we have a great core guide on this topic. It's called Ten Things You Should Know About Homosexuality. You can find that on our website,, forward slash guides. We actually have a whole bunch of great guides on various faith topics. They're absolutely free.

You can download them again. It's at, forward slash guides. Let's go back to the phones. Here's the number. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, it's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. We've got about seven more minutes in the program, so now's the time to call. Let's go to Jared in Texas.

Jared, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, my question, it kind of encompasses a few things, but assurance and actually reconciling Jesus' words in Luke 13-24. Strive to enter through the narrow door.

For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and not be able. We know also in Matthew 7, 21-23, that not everyone who says, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom. In 1 John 3-9, we know that no one born of God goes on sinning. But for someone who has a very tender conscience or is unsure that they have come to Christ the right way, what hope is there for them, especially if they battle that daily?

Yeah. Jared, I so appreciate your question, and I know that there are so many sincere followers of Jesus Christ who read those texts, and they are gripped by a sense of hopelessness because they think, well, 1 John says that the one who's born again doesn't continue in sin, and Jesus says, there are many on the Day of Judgment who are going to say, Lord, Lord, and I'm going to say to them, I never knew you, so how do we make sense of these things? How do I know that I'm not deceived like the people in Matthew 7? First, with regard to 1 John, we have to understand that in the context of that epistle, John is writing to a group of people who had just experienced a great schism in the church. There were a number from within that church that had left the church. He says in chapter 2 of 1 John, they went out from us, but they were not of us. Had they truly been of us, they would have continued with us, and so it became evident that they really weren't true, genuine believers. They turned away from the faith, and one of the things that seems clear about this group is that they had a low view of sin. This is why at the beginning of 1 John, he says, look, if we say that we're without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, and so they were saying, there's no such thing as sin. We don't have any sin. They were abandoning the church.

They were turning away from Christ and the gospel, embracing the spirit of the antichrist, which is why John gives his warnings there in 1 John about the antichrist and the spirit of the antichrist, and so these weren't Christians who had trusted in Christ for their salvation and are seeking him, following him. These are people who are actually abandoning Jesus, turning away from him, and embracing carnality and saying, actually, we don't sin. There is no sin, and so I think it's important for us to have that background, that context. It's not that the true believer in Jesus Christ won't struggle with sin, and that's exactly what John says. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. When we sin, though, he says in chapter 2, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he himself is the propitiation for our sins, and so that's the first thing I would say to you, Jared, is even when you struggle, you have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, who is praying for you, and he is the propitiation for your sins before the Father, and so we have hope. Now, the other passages that you bring up, those warnings in places like Luke chapter 13, Matthew chapter 7, the one thing that I'll highlight there is Jesus says, not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. In other words, it's not just an empty profession of faith. Lord, Lord, sort of nominal Christianity. On that day, many will say to me, Lord, Lord, didn't we do all of these things? The Bible declared to them, I never knew you.

Depart from me, you workers of lawlessness. In other words, know in the Bible. It communicates intimacy. It's more than just a sort of cognitive knowing. I mean, throughout scripture, the word to know speaks of God's personal love for his people, and so Jesus is saying to these individuals, and here I think he's really speaking to the false teachers, rebuking the scribes and the Pharisees in particular in the context of the Sermon on the Mount. He's saying to them, we were never in relationship. There was never any vital faith that you had in me, trusting in me. Sure, you could say, Lord, Lord, and go through the motions, but I never knew you.

I never knew you. Now, if you trust in Jesus Christ, if you believe in him by faith and are leaning on him, recognizing that you have no hope in yourself to save yourself by your own good works, by your righteousness, if you will, because we fall short every single day. You're aware of your sins. When you come to the Lord broken and in need of his grace, he speaks his mercy to you, Jared. He showers you with his forgiveness. When we come in faith believing in that grace and knowing that we're sinners, we don't have to be afraid that he's going to cast us out. No, he's going to receive us, and he does receive us, and he does receive you, Jared, by faith. But when we're self-righteous, when we're trusting in our works, didn't we do all these things, God? I mean, that's what these false teachers say in Matthew chapter 7. The response there to them is, I don't know who you are. We're not in relationship. We never were.

I never knew you. So I think that's how we have to understand those passages. Appreciate your question, brethren, and may the Lord bless you and grant you peace in Christ and knowing him.

And just one last thing that I'll say. It's what John says in 1 John chapter 5. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, you who believe in Jesus, that you might know that you have eternal life. If you believe in Christ, if you're trusting in him, know that you have the gift of eternal life. Even if you struggle with sin, you bring those things to the Lord. But God is the one who saves you. And we give thanks to the Lord for that. Some great words of assurance. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We have time for one more call.

Let's go to Reed in Minnesota. Reed, what's your question for Adriel? As a Christian, I've always been brought up as to know that God is a God of love, a God-be-loved. But in Malachi, in the first chapter of Malachi, God says he hated Esau. Hmm.

Yeah. So, I mean, is this a contradiction? You know, the Bible says that God is love, like in 1 John, and then you have the passages in Scripture, Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated. The best interpreter of Scripture is the Scripture itself. And the Apostle Paul brings this very passage up in Romans chapter 9, verse 13. As it is written, Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.

What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? And he says, by no means. He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. What's being emphasized there is the sovereign grace of Almighty God. It doesn't contradict the fact that God is love, and oftentimes God's particular love, if you will, is shown through His grace towards His people.

Israel in the Old Testament, us in Jesus Christ under the New Covenant, it's that love that we rest in. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833, the CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program, and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-06 22:49:27 / 2023-01-06 22:59:51 / 10

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