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Our All for the Lord
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See Your Calling, Brethren
Why Are You A Christian?
The Christian Calling
The New Testament continually calls
Christians-the "church." Remember the Greek word
translated "church" means "called out ones."
In other words, a minority is called out from the majority of the
human race. Consequently, many scriptures use the words
"elect," "elected," "election," and
"elect's" (sometimes translated "chosen") to
denote God's dealing with Christians. Matthew 24:31; Romans 8:33;
Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:10 and 2 Timothy 2:10 are
a few examples of this usage. This word describes the special
selection of a smaller class ("little flock") from the
human race before all of humanity has its opportunity for
salvation in the Kingdom.
What is this special calling or selection of
the church? Christians are called to the multiple profession of
judges, priests and kings of mankind in Christ's Kingdom. What an
honor! At first our faith staggers. But the Scriptures are
explicit on this point. 1 Corinthians 6:2 states that "the
saints shall judge the world." 1 Peter 2:9 shows Christians
are called to be a "royal [kingly] priesthood."
Similarly, Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 states we are called of God to
be "kings and priests" and "we shall reign on the
earth." Revelation 20:6 states that Christians "shall be
priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand
Judges, priests, kings! What a profession
Christians have been called to! But what a rigorous training
course the Christian must pursue to attain this profession. Do you
as a Christian see God working in your life-preparing you for this
Christians will share with Christ in judging
the world (1 Corinthians 6:2; John 5:22). John 5:28, 29 states
that "ALL that are in the graves. . .shall come forth, they
[Christians] that have done good, unto the resurrection of life
[live and reign with Christ, Revelation 20:4]; and they that have
done evil [the remainder of men] to a resurrection by krisis
[Greek]." Many translations say, "resurrection of
judgment," but the Greek is literally "resurrection of
krisis." A doctor will speak of a patient reaching his
crisis. He doesn't mean the patient will die. Rather, the crisis
time is when the patient will take a turn for the better or the
worse. The "krisis" or probation time for the remainder
of men will be in Christ's Kingdom. Therefore, their trial will
not be based on the works of this life but their works during the
Kingdom. Thus, the risen Lord says in Revelation 22:12,
"Behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to
every man according as his work SHALL BE." Christians will
share with Christ in judging people according to their works in
the Kingdom, their probation time.
The word "krisis" has been
incorporated into many different languages. The Chinese write in
symbols. And they use two symbols to denote "krisis."
One symbol denotes danger, the other conveys opportunity.
Humanity's trial or "krisis" in the Kingdom will offer
the opportunity to attain eternal life. But it will also be a time
of danger. Those who fail to meet God's conditions for attaining
eternal life will be condemned to Second Death (Revelation
Priests and Kings
Christians will not only be judges, but also
merciful and sympathetic priests who will bless each member of the
world with every possible help and opportunity to attain eternal
life. Thus, the Scriptures show that Jesus and his church (1 Peter
2:9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6) will not only be rulers over the
remainder of men but also priests, blessers.
Hebrews 9:23 reveals that Israel's tabernacle
was a picture of better things to come. After Israel's high priest
provided sacrifices for reconciliation on the Day of Atonement,
the priests during the remainder of the year instructed, judged
and blessed the people. Hebrews 5:1,2, states that Israel's
priests could have "compassion on the ignorant, and on them
that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed
with infirmity." Jesus was perfect, but he is able to
sympathize with our infirmities as our High Priest because he was
tempted in all points like us yet without sin (Hebrews 2:17,18;
Being Made Christ-like
Unlike Jesus we have physical infirmities and
moral weakness. Additionally, every hardship and tragedy that
happens to the human race also happens to Christians (1
Corinthians 10:13). The word "temptation" would better
be rendered trial, actually a test permitted of God to instruct
us. But "God is faithful, Who will not suffer [permit] you to
be tried above that ye are able." If we are "babes in
Christ," God might remove the trial or hardship. But there is
"a way of escape" that our "faithful God"
would prefer to provide during our hardships and tragedies-that
His Holy Spirit would develop in us the spiritual maturity
"that ye may be able to bear [endure] it." But why
should we endure tragedies instead of having God remove them?
Remember God is training us to be sympathetic priests. Thus Peter
says in 1 Peter 1:7, "That the trial of your faith, being
much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried
with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the
appearing of Jesus Christ." Christians who are rightly
exercised by their difficulties are changed from glory to glory
into the character likeness of Christ (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians
3:18). Their exercising the spirit of Christ while struggling with
their infirmities and hardships develops in them love, sympathy
and understanding for their fellowman.
Just as the firstborn of the nation of Israel
was representative of each family in Israel so the "church of
the firstborn" (Hebrews 12:23) will have experienced all the
problems, hardships, tragedies mankind has endured. This
preparation will qualify them to be merciful and sympathetic
priests, judges and rulers of mankind in the Kingdom. Are your
difficult experiences making you sympathetic and merciful to
There is much more to the Christian life than
accepting Jesus. Peter observed in 2 Peter 1:5-11, "And
besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and
to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to
temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness
brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love. . .for if you
do these things, ye shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be
ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." Only if we develop these
character qualities will we qualify to reign with Christ as kings
and priests in his Kingdom (Revelation 20:6).
With a hope like this we can only conclude as
Jesus did, that no suffering or tragedy is too great. Hebrews
12:2-4, ". . .who for the joy that was set before him,
endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the
right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured
such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied
and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood,
striving against sin."
With a hope like this let us follow in his
footsteps and "consider it all joy, my brethren, when you
encounter various trials" (James 1:2, NAS).