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We often hear religious people speak about God’s calling. They love to talk about how God called them, meaning, how God saved them. We often hear “testimonies” about their “saving experiences.” The Bible certainly speaks about God calling and saving sinful man, but the stories of these people differ greatly with what the Bible says. People often claim that they were saved by some tragic or life changing or near death experience(s). Is this what the Bible teaches? Lets see. Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:14, “to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This passage teaches that Christians are called by the gospel of Christ, not by some strange, mystical experience. The Gospel is what saves. One’s faith comes by hearing the gospel, not by strange, inexplicable occurrences. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17) One passage that has been misused by folks today is John 6:44, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him...” “There it is,” someone will exclaim. “That verse says that God must draw men and He drew me by a car accident.” This passage does say that God draws men, but it nowhere says that He does so with tragic experiences. In fact, the verse actually tells us how God draws men. Look further, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God,’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” (John 6:45). God draws men by His teaching. Men are drawn to God when they hear and learn from Him. Since God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,” (Heb. 1:2), then it only follows that God draws men with the Gospel of His Son - Jesus Christ. This is why Paul said that the Gospel of Christ is God’s Power to save all men (Rom. 1:16,17). This is why Jesus wanted the Gospel preached to every creature (Mk. 16:15). This is why Paul wrote that Christians were called by the Gospel (2 Thess. 2:14). Hearing the Gospel produces faith and faith produces obedience. God calls men by the Gospel and man calls on God by obeying the Gospel. Notice how Paul called on God, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16). Have you called on the name of the Lord by arising and being baptized and washing away your sins? No one denies that tragic, life changing or near death experiences will sometimes give a man incentive to answer God’s call. But this is not the call! This is not God’s method of salvation. God’s calling comes through the Gospel of Jesus Christ His Son.
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