MAKING YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE 2
Last week, we saw that you can make your calling to heaven sure; this week, we will see how to make your election to destiny: the perfection and fullness of Christ sure.
All Christians are called to be conformed to the image of Christ: to grow into the perfection and fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:13-15 MKJV: And this until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (14) so that we no longer may be infants, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, in the dishonesty of men, in cunning craftiness, to the wiles of deceit. (15) But that you, speaking the truth in love, may in all things grow up to Him who is the Head, even Christ;
Romans 8:29-30 KJV: For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Now, though all are called, it is only the few who fulfill the conditions that are chosen or elected to enter into this wonderful destiny.
What are the conditions?
To be faithful and gradually perfect obedience to God through (not by) sufferings in the face of afflictions.
Isaiah 48:10 MKJV: Behold, I have refined you, but not with silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.
We are chosen or elected to our destiny in the ‘furnace of affliction’.
In other words, in the midst of affliction do we respond to God in faith, prayer and not loving our lives unto the death like Joseph, Joshua, Caleb, David, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Esther, Ruth, Job and others who entered their destinies:
Job 13:15 KJV: Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
Esther 4:16 KJV: Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
Daniel 3:16-18 KJV: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. (17) If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. (18) But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
James 5:13 MKJV: Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
Romans 12:12 MKJV: rejoicing in hope, patient in affliction, steadfastly continuing in prayer,
Philippians 4:6-7 MKJV: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God And (7) And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Or do we get offended, murmur, complain and fear for our lives like the rebellious children of Israel at the Red Sea and in the wilderness (Num. 14:1-39)?
1 Corinthians 10:1-11 MKJV: (1) and, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. (2) And all were baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea, (3) and all ate the same spiritual food, (4) and all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank of the spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. (5) But with many of them God was not well pleased, for they were scattered in the wilderness. (6) And these things were our examples, that we should not be lusters after evil, as they also lusted. (7) Nor should we be idolaters, even as some of them, as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” (8) Nor let us commit fornication, as some of them fornicated, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. (9) Nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted Him and were destroyed by serpents. (10) Nor murmur as some of them also murmured and were destroyed by the destroyer. (11) And all these things happened to them as examples; and it is written for our warning on whom the ends of the world have come.
If in the face of afflictions over time as we grow spiritually, we overcome the enemy by the blood, Word and the Spirit, gradually perfecting obedience through sufferings (Heb. 5:7-9) our destiny into the perfection and fullness of Christ will become sure:
Revelation 12:11 NIV: They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
Revelation 3:12 NIV: Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.
The destiny of this overcomer is sure because he will never leave the temple; he has the name or character of God which is love permanently written in his soul and Christ’s new name: ever living to make intercession (Heb. 7:25) or watching and praying always (Lk.21:36) written permanently in his mind, will and emotions so he always overcomes every temptation and trial.