How Does God Call Us?

The Bible affirms that God calls us. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”(1 Peter 2:9). “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:9). “. . . Walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:12).

Our question is, How does God call us?

Some people equate God’s calling with some sort of religious experience, such as a vision. The Bible does not say God calls us that way. To be sure, some people in the Bible had such experiences, but they were not God’s means of calling to salvation. Saul saw a vision, but that pertained to his becoming an apostle (Acts 26:16-18). Cornelius saw an angel, but the angel did not pronounce him saved or even tell him what to do to be saved; he told him where to find a man who would preach to him (Acts 11:13-14).

Some think God calls us by sending the Holy Spirit directly into our hearts to make us believe. The Bible does not teach that, either. It says that the Holy Spirit comes after believing (Ephesians 1:13) and obeying (Acts 2:38).

Others think that God has called them through a narrow escape from disaster. I once knew a woman who said God talked to her in an ambulance as she was being rushed to the hospital after almost being killed in an automobile accident. We sometimes refer to an accident or a storm or a serious illness as a “wake-up call.” Such incidents are vivid reminders of the frailty of life, and it is good if they make us stop and think about what is really important. However, the Bible does not teach that God directly causes such things. They are not His means of calling us.

How does God call us? God calls or invites us through the gospel. “It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:14). The gospel is the good news of salvation in Jesus, an invitation open to all. Whenever the gospel is read or preached, God is calling us to come accept it. What is your response?

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