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Many people say they are an apostle or prophet because they are called to this ministry. This does not mean that they have yet been chosen to these ministries. We know when we are chosen by the fruitfulness of our ministry. It takes time to mature both the gift and the character and the wisdom to move effectively in the ministry.

1. The Difference Between Being Called and Being Chosen

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Matthew 22:14


These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”

Revelation 17:14


2. Called to the Family of God

The context of the ‘many are called but few are chosen’ (Matthew 22:1-14) is in reference to the marriage feast at the end of the age.
Those who are refused, are those who try to enter in through the law.
Those who do enter, are those who believe in Jesus Christ.

3. Called to be a Disciple

We are called to be a disciple

Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

Matthew 4:21-22

4. Called to Disciple Others

A. They were called to disciple others

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.

Luke 9:1
B. Once they had gone out with miraculous powers they were then called to be apostles.

And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.

Luke 9:10

5. Chosen to Leadership

And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,

Acts 6:5

A. Depth of character to lead takes time.
You may be called to leadership, this does not automatically mean you are chosen.

Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.

1 Timothy 5:22

B. Paul appointed elders around two years after the churches were planted. So we also need to be careful.

So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Acts 14:23

6. Called to the Ministry Gifts

Paul was called at his conversion to be an apostle.

Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’ ”

Acts 22:21


Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God

Romans 1:1

The apostle Paul was not chosen yet.

7. Chosen to the Ministry Gifts

Paul became an apostle between 13 and 17 years later.

As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Acts 13:2


8. Jesus- 30 years from Calling to Choosing

A. Jesus’ Call.

Jesus’ call was at His dedication

he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;

Luke 2:28

B. Jesus’ Preparation.

though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

Hebrews 5:8-9

C. Jesus’ Choosing.

And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3:17

9. King David – Calling and Choosing

A. Calling at between 13 and 17 years.

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

1 Samuel 16:13

B. David received partial kingship when he was 30 years.

Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, “The men of Jabesh Gilead were the ones who buried Saul.”

2 Samuel 2:4

C. Full kingship when he was 37 years.

Therefore all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD. And they anointed David king over Israel.

2 Samuel 5:3


10. Apostle Peter – Called and Chosen within three and a half years

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

John 21:15


But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.

Acts 2:14

11. Summary

  1. We are called and chosen into the family of God immediately.
  2. We may be called to the ministry, but that does not mean that we have been chosen for the ministry straight away. 

© Use by Permission Awakening Impact Ministries/ Dr Neville van Eerten 2021