Isn’t it amazing that God calls us into his glorious kingdom? It’s both incredible and amazing that God wants us in his kingdom and calls us into it himself! While this is a glorious thought, what does it mean to be called?
We may lose sight of the beauty of being “called” if we’ve never seen middle eastern shepherds with their flocks. In the United States, the advent of barbed wire forever changed the way we raise herd animals. Gone are the days when herds mix together on the open range or at the watering hole. However, in the middle east, this practice still exists in some places. Sheep from different flocks congregate together and get mixed into a giant mess of wool. When a shepherd is ready to leave and head back to pasture, he calls to his herd and the sheep, familiar with the voice of their leader, answer the call and head out with him.
Three Facts of “Called”
There are at least three things that we must notice when talking about being called. First, there is a leader with a direction. When Christ, our good shepherd, appeared, he came to bring the message of salvation and show people the way back to God. Jesus is our leader, and the Father is his direction.
Second, there is a calling out to those who are desired. When the shepherd leaves, he wants the sheep to come with him. He wouldn’t call out to them otherwise. When we begin to expand the picture and look at God and his flock, we come to the sobering realization that everyone is a lost lamb that belongs to the chief shepherd; thankfully, though we are persistent and stubborn in our rebellion, God desires that everyone should be saved (1 Tim 2.4) because he takes no joy in the destruction of the wicked (Ezekiel 18.23,32). So, God’s call goes out to everyone with the divine desires for everyone’s salvation.
Third, there must be those who receive the call. There’s no point in a shepherd calling to a non-existent flock. The voice of the shepherd is answered by those sheep who want to follow him. They aren’t forced or coerced; they make the choice to follow the voice of their leader. We, too, must choose to hear and answer the call that God makes to all mankind. His voice goes out to all the earth, but few will answer the call.
God’s love for us is amazing, and the opportunity to experience his fullness in eternity is an offer we shouldn’t refuse. But you can. You don’t have to answer, and God won’t force you to. He will not make you join his glorious kingdom; he will not make you share in the life and light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But the offer is on the table while there is yet life in our bodies. The shepherd calls to us all while we still can follow.
For those who hear his voice, he is calling us into an unimaginable glory. It is our duty not only to follow this shepherd in glorious obedience, but also to open the eyes and ears of as many other sheep as possible. Beg people to listen; beg them to open their ears and hear his voice. Today is the day of salvation, so let us follow the voice of our master into everlastingly glorious kingdom of God.