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Called, Chosen and Faithful

When Yeshua (Jesus) returns at the end of this age to defeat Satan and establish His Kingdom, He will not return alone. With Him, He will bring His called, chosen and faithful followers. But who are this select group of Believers described as "called, chosen and faithful"? In this article, I use two parables of Yeshua (Jesus) to shed light on this select group of people who come back with the Lord of lords and King of kings.

by William L. Nowell

“They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.” (Revelation 17:14)

Parable of the Four Soils

The Parable of the Four Soils paints for us a metaphorical picture of all people who hear the word of God. Among them are the called, the chosen, and the faithful. In this parable, the seed represents the word of God. The four soils represent four types of people: those who hear the word, but (1) do not understand and/or believe it; (2) believe, but only on a superficial level; (3) those who grow in faith, yet do not persevere to the end; and (4) those who believe, grow in faith, and endure to the end.

The Wayside

dirt path

Matthew 13:3-4, 18-19, ESV:
“A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.”... “Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.” (Also see, Mark 4:4, 14-15 and Luke 8:5, 11-12.)

When people hear the gospel message, but do not understand, Satan seizes the opportunity to prevent them from believing, and thus receiving salvation. Satan will use any means necessary to keep them on the wide path that leads to destruction. For instance, Satan will:

  • Question the truthfulness of the Word of God. (See Genesis 3:1-5.)
  • Pervert the Word of God by appealing to the:
    • Lust of the flesh (see Matthew 4:3-4),
    • Lust of the eyes (see Matthew 4:5-7), and
    • Pride of life (see Matthew 5:8-11.)

Satan has used these tactics from the beginning (Genesis 3:6) through to today (1 John 2:15-17).

In addition, Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers. (See 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.) However, these are not innocent victims of Satan's treachery. Instead, they are those who love darkness, and choose darkness because their deeds are evil. (See John 3:19.) Satan then blinds their minds to the light of the gospel. “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:28)

Rocky Ground

rocky ground

Matthew 13:5-6, 20-21:
“Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.”... “The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” (Also see Mark 4:5-6, 16-17 and Luke 8:6, 13.)

The Called

The rocky ground represents those people who have heard the call of the gospel message and gladly accept it. They view the invitation to come to Yeshua simply as the way to escape punishment for sin. With joy, they accept their “hellfire insurance!” However, getting hellfire insurance is merely the starting point on the road to eternal life; not the final destination. As spiritual infants they ought to long for the pure “spiritual milk” of God's Word so that by it they may mature in their salvation. (See 2 Peter 2:2.)

Unfortunately, Believers who see Yeshua as their hellfire insurance agent, and no more, have no incentive to grow in faith. Instead of a deep-rooted personal devotion, they have only a shallow, surface-level belief. Thus, when trouble or persecution comes, as immature Believers they easily stumble and abandon their faith. Though called, their faith is but temporary.

Thorns

thorny ground

Matthew 13:7, 22:
“Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.”... “The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Also see Mark 4:7, 18-19 and Luke 8:7, 14.)

The Chosen

The thorn infested ground represents those who blend well with the Christian community, yet they gradually lose their zeal for God. By allowing the everyday cares of life to take precedence over the Word of God, they stifle their spiritual growth. They have accepted Yeshua and are growing in faith. They are morally upright, attend church, and perhaps even sing in the Sunday choir. But slowly, the everyday cares of life demand more and more time and attention, leaving no quality time for God. As the cares of this world—family, friends, career, pursuit of the perfect body, etc—take precedence over the Word of God, thus they become complacent and ineffective in their Christian walk, or as Luke 8:14 (ESV) puts it “their fruit does not mature.”

It is important that we “move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity.” (Hebrews 6:1) But when we do not mature in Christ, there are consequences. Remember that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10) Also, from 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 we know that some will receive a reward, but others “will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.” (Compare with Matthew 7:24-27 and Luke 6:46-49.)

A word of warning! Those in this category walk on shaky ground. “For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and then turn back from the holy commandment that was delivered to them” (2 peter 2:20-21, MEV emphasis mine). But the good news is that Yeshua (Jesus) said, “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the Book of Life.” (Revelation 3:5, NASB) Those who overcome will be saved.

Good Ground

corn crop

Matthew 13:8, 23, MEV:
“But other seeds fell into good ground and produced grain: a hundred, sixty, or thirty times as much.”... “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit. Some produce a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.” (cf. Mark 4:20 and Luke 8:15.)

The Faithful

The good ground represents the faithful; those who have a firm and constant devotion to their Lord Yeshua (Jesus). They are loyal, firmly refusing to desert or betray the Lord. And they are steadfast and true disciples, unwavering in love and personally committed to the Savior and King. Mark 4:20 and Luke 8:15 shed more light on the characteristics of the good ground.

Mark 4:20 WEB:
“Those which were sown on the good ground are those who hear the word, and accept it, and bear fruit, some thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times.”

Luke 8:15, NIV:
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

From Mark 4:20 and Luke 8:15 along with the previously quoted Matthew 13:23, we learn first that they understand the message. This is in contrast to those by the wayside who do not understand the message. Also, they both accept and retain the message. They neither reject nor simply neglect the message. Instead, by holding tightly to the Word, they do not let the evil one come and snatch it away as those on the wayside do. In addition, they not only retain the message, but persevere and so do not quickly fall away as do those on the rocky ground. Lastly, by persevering, they produce a fruit crop in contrast to the thorn infested ground; not producing mature fruit.

In addition, they have noble and good hearts. This characteristic distinguishes the good ground from the others. The phrase “noble and good” was a Greek idiom common in Hellenistic cultures, but not easily translated into English. The term “noble” refers to someone whose actions are virtuous. Whereas, the term “good”, as in good intentions, refers to someone whose inward motivations are sincere and pure. So the person with a noble and good heart is one whose outwardly virtuous actions stem from pure and unselfish motives. Their fruit reflect their noble and good hearts.

fruit tree

But this begs the question, "what are fruit"? Fruit collectively are the outward expressions (actions, words, etc.) and consequences of inward thoughts, intentions and motives. Think of it this way. In the natural sense, a fruit is that part of a plant that contains seeds. In biblical parables, fruit bearing plants such as trees and vines typically represent people. And the seed is the Word of God that He places in our minds and writes on our hearts (see Hebrews 8:10). Thus, the more we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (see Romans 12:2) the more our thoughts, intentions and motives become rooted in and guided by the Word of God. Those thoughts, intentions and motives reflected in our actions, words, etc are our fruit. Or more simply, the proper application of the Word of God in our lives produces good fruit.

Good ground is a symbolic representation of the called, chosen, and faithful. They will come with Christ when He returns to rule as Lord of lords and King of kings. (See Revelation 17:14.)

Parable of the King's Ten Servants

In this parable (Luke 19:12-27), the nobleman who leaves for a foreign country to have himself appointed king is a clear reference to the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ); the one who will return as King of kings and Lord of lords. His ten servants represent Believers; the apostles and disciples of Christ often referred to themselves as servants of the Lord. The subjects who hated him represent all people who refuse to acknowledge his kingship.

The meaning of the minas is not as clear as the nobleman, his servants and subjects; we nevertheless have a clue to its meaning. Consider that the last command Yeshua (Jesus) gave before ascending to heaven was the Great Commission. He entrusted His Disciples with the task of going and making more disciples. In the parable, the nobleman gave minas to his servants and told them to do business until he returns. At that time he would learn what each had gained. One by one, his servants came and returned the mina with varying amounts of profit. If the minas represent the Great Commission (see Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:19-20), then the gain likely represents new disciples who've likewise taken up the charge to make disciples.

Keep in mind that the nobleman at some point put out a call for servants. The servants in the parable heard and answered the call and thus chosen by the nobleman. However, they were not all the faithful in carrying out their master's assignment. Those who did as their master instructed were not only called and chosen, but they were faithful.

However, the unfruitful “wicked” servant, though called and chosen, was not faithful. This servant's character is reminiscent of the thorn infested ground in the parable of the four soils. Unlike those on the wayside, the servant did not allow anyone to snatch away the master's mina. And unlike those on rocky ground who fell away, he continued on as a servant. But unfortunately, he was unfruitful, neglecting to carry out his master's charge. As a result, he suffered loss.

It is my prayer that each of you whom our Lord has called and chosen will remain faithful — loyal, steadfast, and true — followers of the coming King of kings and Lord of lords.

city
'Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.' Luke 19:17 ESV

Conclusion

The return of our Lord and Savior is drawing ever so near! And on that great and glorious day the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) returns, He will at last defeat Satan and bring an end to the current evil world system. What's more, He will bring His called, chosen, and faithful followers to witness Him establish His Millennial Kingdom. May God grant each of you the honor of being numbered among the Lord's called, chosen and faithful.

In that Day, the earth will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the sea is filled with water. (See Isaiah 11:9) Will you be there?

Three Crosses