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1. Introduction

Many people say they are an apostle or prophets because God has called them to this ministry. However, being called, does not mean that God has chosen us to these ministries. We know by the fruitfulness of our ministry, whether He chooses us. It takes time to mature both the gift, character, and wisdom to move effectively in the church.

2. 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

We see in these two scriptures that God makes a difference between called and chosen. However we are all

3. Called to the Family of God

The context of the “many are called but few are chosen” above is about the marriage feast at the end of the age.
Those who God refuses, are those who try to enter through the law.
Those who do enter are those who believe in Jesus Christ.

4. 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

5. 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

This teaches that fruitfulness is important in the transition from called to chosen. One of the evidence of being an apostle is miraculous powers.

6. 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. Appointment of Elders

Paul appointed elders approximately two years after the churches were planted. So we also need to be careful in rushing to put people into leadership.

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

7. 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.

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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


11. 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

12. 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 2022

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