When I used the word chosen for the title of my sermon this week, it may have brought back some memories of being chosen to play a game. Two captains were picked who were usually the better or most popular people and depending on the game, the teams would be picked. Captains make their pick by alternating back and forth until all the people who wanted to play were chosen but inevitably there was always the stigma of being picked last. Even in professional sports there is still the stigma of being picked last. One person said “This process will remind many hockey fans of picking teams on the frozen pond or the playground back in school. Just like in the good old days, someone will be first pick, and someone will be last. The last pick will enjoy a short moment of embarrassment, although they likely won't take it too hard, they are still the best of the best.” I am not sure if they still do this in hockey with all stars, but the last person would win a car which is crazy because if you are there, you are the best of the best but even at this level someone gets picked last. This was even done in the NBA.
Websters defines chosen as “one who is the object of choice or of divine favor: an elect person.” Notice how the divine is brought into this definition. If you follow the word elect Websters goes on to say “1: carefully selected, 2: chosen for salvation through divine mercy, one chosen or set apart (as by divine favor)” There is no divine favor when choosing someone to play a game, so obviously we are not talking about playing a game but salvation. Mind you some professionals look at themselves as gods but that is another story. Today I am talking about being chosen by God for something far greater than a game. Last week we saw that there are two sides you can be on. You either serve God or satan and there is no in-between. When it comes to being chosen for those sides there is much false teaching and confusion around this choosing of teams. I remember listening to part of a sermon of a guy preaching who said to his congregation, some of you here today that attend will not be chosen but that’s okay, just do the best you can. They would miss the rapture but if they worked hard they would make it through the tribulation which is nonsense. I thought wow the people listening would wonder is it me or think it can’t be me, it must be them. I would say for sure it was the guy preaching though they would never tell you that. I am always curious how those who teach election / predestination always believe they are the chosen ones especially when they do not believe all that scripture says and teach other gospels.
In last week’s sermon the word predestination showed up in the verses I used from Ephesians. Many in the church today believe like this minister that God chooses people and there is nothing you can do about it, just as there is also nothing you can do to lose that election. What is usually vague is who exactly is elected and who is not. Like the minister, they assume because they are preaching, they are elected and it is their job to preach to others so they too can be elected or if they go to church they assume they are part of the chosen. But wait if you are elected by God, then there is no need for preaching as it is all God since you have no choice in the matter nor can you do anything to lose you salvation. The problem is that many equate election / predestination with going to church. If you go to the right church, you are elected but what most do not realize is the church they go to teaches another gospel / doctrines for demons so they are on the way to hell not heaven and don’t even know it, all the while thinking they have been elected and part of the chosen. They will find out when it is too late they are on the wrong team.
So I will be up front as there are a few verses like other subjects in the bible that may lead you to believe that you don’t have any choice in the matter of salvation but like other subjects you always have to see what the bible as a whole is saying. Some will disregard the Old Testament as they think it does not apply to the church, while others will pick and choose the parts of the bible they like as they think much of the bible is irrelevant for today. By saying that it means God is irrelevant and choosing the parts you like make you out to be the Messiah. Matthew 24:4 “Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” Many distort scriptures to their own benefit, so they take verses that fit with their beliefs but refuse to look at what scripture is actually saying. Yes, sometimes it can be difficult, so we have to be very careful but other times scriptures is straight forward. So today before we actually get to the specific part of the chosen, I want to look at how important it is to not make the bible say what our denominational distinctives want them to say but to understand what God is actually saying through His word.
Peter said when talking about Paul’s writings 2 Peter 3:15 “Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.” Just in this one verse you see that eternal security does not happen unless you obey God’s word. Yes, you can be secure but just not the way most teach that security. So many distort Paul’s writing. Here are a couple of examples of how some just ignore what is being stated. Many say Elijah is coming back. Jesus said Matthew 11:14 “And if you are willing to accept it, he (John the Baptist) is the Elijah who was to come.” So no, Elijah is not coming back. Some like John Hagee said the blood moons would be a sign but Peter said, Acts 2:16 “No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.” So no blood moons. Priests in the Catholic church cannot marry. When talking about husbands and wives Paul said 1 Corinthians 7:6 “I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.” Paul said 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” Paul doesn’t tell you that you cannot marry but the Catholics do and that has led to all kinds of sexual temptations that satan has severely exploited. Jesus said when asked about divorce Matthew 19:10 “The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” So yes, there will be those like Paul but not all.
Here a few examples of the bible being distorted for personal gain. The distortions are usually about profit, control and deception even though Paul said a couple of things about that. 2 Corinthians 2:17 “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.” That is pretty straight forward as is this Acts 20:29 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” One of the big areas of distortion is the subversion of women by male chauvinists. Many distort Paul’s teaching so that they can dominate women and keep them under control. As we go along bear in mind that this has also happened with predestination which is about controlling people so that they live in fear worrying that they will not be chosen so they do as their leader tells them to do. If you read Paul, you may think that he has an unhealthy view of woman and thus single and celibate but that is not the case.
Paul makes this statement. 1 Timothy 2:8 “Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 9 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. 11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” This is all true but what is he saying? Since men have been trying to dominate woman for centuries most think this is just another way to do so. But again, you have to step back and see who Paul is talking to and look at what the bible states. In Acts we see some prominent women who followed and those who rebelled. Acts 17:4 “Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.” Acts 13:49 “The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.” We also see women who helped Paul in ministry. Acts 18:26 “He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.” Romans 16:3 “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus.” Romans 16:1 “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon / servant of the church in Cenchreae. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people / saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.”
During the time of Jesus many women had a lowly stature and not were not respected, yet Jesus gave to them the greatest proclamation of anyone. First Mary was chosen. Luke 1:28 “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. Then came the proclamation that Jesus had risen from the dead just as He said He would. He did not give this proclamation to someone of stature or even a man but women. Mark 16:9 “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. 14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.” By doing this Jesus elevated the worth of a woman but not just any woman, a prostitute. When Israel was about to take the Promised land, spies went in a second time and Rahab, a prostitute hid them hid them. Hebrews 11:31 “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.” We also see women who were given the task of prophesying. Exodus 15:20 “Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.” When they found the book of the law, Josiah sent them to the 2 Kings 22:14 “prophet Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter.” One of the later disciples Philip had great power. Acts 8:6 “When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” Acts 21:8 “Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. 9 He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.” Peter quoted Joel when He said Acts 2:17 “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Also note that there were false prophetesses. 1 Samuel 28:6 “He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. 7 Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.” “There is one in Endor,” they said.” How do you prophecy if you have to remain quiet?
Yes, Paul was speaking to woman who needed to be quiet, who did not have understanding and knowledge just like the men who had neither. 1 Timothy 1:6 “Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” Meaningless talk are the key words here. Titus 1:10 “For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.” Titus 2:1 “You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Paul also talked about women covering their head and of course men decided this is another area where women need to submit but did Paul really say woman had to cover their head. He finishes his discourse by saying 1 Corinthians 11:15 “For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.” It is important to understand that there was a lot going on in the Corinthian church that needed to be dealt with. There was division and power struggles and even sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 5:1 “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” 1 Corinthians 6:16 “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 10:6 “Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” These are just a few examples so when reading Paul, be careful as you can’t just take one thing he says and make it the rule.
The bible makes it clear that there are woman and men that need to not be allowed to lead or teach and should remain quiet. This is talked about in Revelation 2:20 “Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.” The Jezebel spirit is deadly dangerous. This is the same spirit that was present with Ahab and his wife Jezebel. 1 Kings 19:1 “Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Ahab whined about getting some property, so Jezebel got it for him. 1 Kings 21:7 “Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” They ended up stoning the owner for Jezebel. 2 Kings 9:22 “When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?” “How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?” 1 Kings 21:25 “There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife.” Paul did not allow that spirit to abound.
This spirit was also present with Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. Genesis 39:6 “Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” 8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. 11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. 13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. 15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” 16 She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. 18 But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” 19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.”
This spirit was present when John the Baptist was beheaded. Mark 6:17 “He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled[c]; yet he liked to listen to him. 21 Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” 23 And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” 24 She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” “The head of John the Baptist,” she answered. 25 At once the girl hurried into the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” Today this spirit is everywhere. Revelation 17:3 “There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery: babylon the great the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth. 6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.” Jesus is the only one who can defeat this principality of power. Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
Just as there are women who abuse and manipulate, there are men who abuse and manipulate. Even David fell to this spirit. 2 Samuel 11:2 “One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. (He should have walked away) The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” He then set her husband killed up to be killed in battle. Men have been abusing and treating women horribly for centuries. At the same time women have been manipulating men to get what they want and doing as Potiphar’s wife did to Joseph. Today we have the Me Too Movement which “is a social movement against sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and rape culture, in which people publicize their experiences of sexual abuse or sexual harassment.” Yes, many men are pigs and this is very much needed due to how men treat women but not all men treat women this way and this takes great discernment as sometimes like Joseph the man is innocent and the women is manipulating facts to get want she wants. Both men and women abuse their positions.
Now having said this there is a biblical hierarchy, but it starts with this premise. Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Jesus called twelve disciples who were male.” Paul then goes on to say 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Colossians 3:18 “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. 22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” When talking about submission Peter said 1 Peter 3:1 “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. 7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” If a husband loved his wife or a wife loved her husband as much as Jesus loved the church, there would be no problem. Likewise if a man treated a women with respect and women respected a man there would be no need for any movements.
As we move through this you can see how men and women have distorted scripture for their own gain and have not adhered to God’s word. When interpreting the bible, we have to be very careful and not use our natural instincts but be led by the Spirit of God since 2 Peter 1:20 “you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.” The intent of scripture is to have both men and women submit to Jesus Christ and obey His word. Peter said 1 Peter 2:11 “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” Why? Peter gave us the answer in the previous verse. “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
So what about this chosen people. In these last days God has called the church as His chosen people. 1 Peter 2:6 “For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” 8 and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” Acts 2:17“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Joel already told us this. I know this was definitely a roundabout way of getting here but it is important to understand scripture and to understand that 2 Peter 3:3 “in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” Many who are literalists and legalists read a verse and say this is what it means even if it is not in context or if other verses are not in agreement. For example, they read what Jesus said to Peter Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Yet they miss the abomination that causes desolation that has decimated the church because of rebellion. I watched a video today of white “c”hristian nationalists in the United States and it about made me sick to my stomach of what people are saying in the name of God except it is not God but satan that is guiding them. It is important to study scripture and make sure of what God is saying, so we seek His Spirit and study and pray about what it does mean. We desperately need the Holy Spirit to guide us once again. John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” 2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” While there are times when the bible is hard to understand, most of the time the bible itself is the best source for interpretation if we are willing to wait on God’s direction, knowledge and understanding. When uncertain, trust God. Paul said Philippians 3:15 “All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.” I believe that God will show us when we need it, so don’t worry about it. I would rather hear from someone who says give me some time to figure this out than to hear from someone rattle off what their denomination believes, leaving out verses and who spend more time quoting man than they do Jesus.
In this video I watched, these christian nationalists believe that God had chosen them for this special purpose, but it is obvious that God has not because what they are saying does not line up with scripture. So who does God choose? As we saw earlier, we have to be very careful here, as there are verses that lead you to believe predestination as taught in some churches. “Basically, predestination is the belief that God has predetermined who will receive salvation and who will not.” This excludes any responsibility of man believing or obeying. So, a verse like these may lead you to believe that. Acts 13:48 “When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.” Or 1 Peter 1:1 “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood.” If you believe predestination as taught, then there really is nothing you can do about it, so what difference does it make if you go to church or not? This also means there really is no need for the bible, preaching, believing, obedience and to take it a step further there really is no need for Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. Even though there are some verses that may lead you to think you are not responsible, there are more that tell you that you must be responsible and believe. That means we need to understand what is being said.
First of all we must understand that God is Sovereign and He does as He pleases. Daniel 4:34 “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” We also see that Daniel 2:21 “He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.” Paul said Romans 9:15 “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. 19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” Job said Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Psalm 33:11 “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Now I know what you are thinking, this sounds like you are predestined but wait. God has had a plan from the beginning. As we saw above, God will raise up His servants to complete that plan, but this is where many distort what scripture is actually saying. Yes, God in fact does raise up people to fulfil His purposes and He even uses those who are evil like Pharoah and Nebuchadnezzar.
So, it is important to understand that God chooses and raises up people specific for His purposes. The bible is filled with these examples. God chose Israel out of all the people to be His servant. Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. 7 The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.” Ezekiel 20:5 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose Israel, I swore with uplifted hand to the descendants of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, “I am the Lord your God.” 6 On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands.” Then God chose people within the people of God to lead. 1 Chronicles 28:4 “Yet the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever. He chose Judah as leader, and from the tribe of Judah he chose my family, and from my father’s sons he was pleased to make me king over all Israel. 5 Of all my sons—and the Lord has given me many—he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel.” Then in the New Testament we see that Jesus was chosen. Luke 9:35 “A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” But before Jesus John was chosen to prepare the way for Jesus. Matthew 3:1 “In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” John 1:32 “Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”
Then Jesus chose the disciples as firstfruits who were just the beginning of those who would follow. Can you imagine have a fruit tree that only bore fruit one time and that was it? Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” James 1:18 “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13 “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Then Jesus chose Paul. Acts 9:15 “But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.” We were already told Isaiah 42:5 “This is what God the Lord says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: 6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” Paul was told Acts 26:7 “I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” We also see that the church would be led by those who were chosen and empowered by the Holy Spirit to go. Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”
So yes, some are predestined very specifically for God’s purposes, but we also know that God will use those like Pharoah and Nebuchadnezzar. Romans 9:17 “For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.” Jeremiah said Jeremiah 25:3 “For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. 4 And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention. 5 They said, “Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the Lord gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever. 6 Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.” 7 “But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have aroused my anger with what your hands have made, and you have brought harm to yourselves.” 8 Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, 9 I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. 10 I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate forever. 13 I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. 14 They themselves will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”
But the question of whether some are predestined to salvation and others are not, is something different because it comes down to belief. John 1:12 “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” God did not give His Son just to a specific few just as Pentecost was not just for a few to be clothed with power. John 3:15 “that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” Paul sums up the predestination of the church to serve God’s purposes. Ephesians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” Paul also said Colossians 1:25 “I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Galatians 3:23 “Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Romans 9:6 “It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.”1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” Acts 20:21 “I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
So not only were Jews given an opportunity, but Gentiles also would receive the same opportunity for eternal life but like the Jews many have rejected that gift and do not consider themselves worthy of eternal life. Acts 13:46 “Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.” If the Jews were chosen, then there was no need for Jesus to come but Jesus did come and they had to choose. The same is with the Gentiles who must also choose to believe. 1 Thessalonians 1:28 “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.” The church is to be made up of Jews, Gentile’s male and female and is supposed to be one bride. Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
So much emphasis in the bible is place on believing and receiving eternal life. John 11:25 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Yet John 12:37 “Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.” Jeremiah 44:2 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins 3 because of the evil they have done. They aroused my anger by burning incense to and worshiping other gods that neither they nor you nor your ancestors ever knew. 4 Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!’ 5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods. 6 Therefore, my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruins they are today.” If you do not believe, you will not receive eternal life, so be careful what message you are listening to. How dreadful it will be for those who were told, you prayed a prayer or were baptized or you came to this church and you are chosen when in fact they will hear from Jesus depart from me, Luke 13:25 “‘I don’t know you or where you come from.” Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” If you were predestined, you would not worry about this which is the lie. So many have been deceived by this and are living with a false sense of security. Instead of working out their salvation and making sure of their calling, they are deceived. 2 Peter 1:10 “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”Ephesians 4:1 “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.2 Thessalonians 1:11 “We constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today’s church is filled with people who have been deceived because they have set aside the word of God and have committed their lives to the teaching of man. They do not realize that there is a war raging for their very souls. Revelation 17:14 “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.” The only way to make it through this tribulation is to stand firm on God’s word, not the false teaching of man. Matthew 24:24 “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.” You may have been told you are eternally secure and cannot fall but scripture states otherwise. You may have been looked down upon all your life as a woman or someone with a lowly social status but fear not you are loved by God. You have been chosen to serve God, so listen to His word, test the spirits and submit to Jesus. When we submit to Jesus our king, everything changes. There will be a oneness like we have never seen before. Zechariah 14:9 “The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.” There will be no Jew or Gentile male or female, we all will serve our king. This nonsense of many denominations or even worse a small town with two or three churches on either side of the road, or differing groups sharing the same building but cannot worship together will end.
God chose you because He loves you, so submit your life to Him Deuteronomy 14:2 “for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.” Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Today we started out talking about being chosen for a team and the uncomfortable feeling of being chosen last but with Jesus everything is different. Jesus taught this parable about workers who were paid the same even though some were hired at the end of the day. Matthew 20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ 9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Matthew 19:27 “Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”
As we come to the end of the end times, make sure of your calling. Yes, you are chosen to serve God but you must obey if you are going to spend eternity in heaven. Don’t rest on the fact that you have gone to church all your life or that you have just recently attended and feel your life has change. There are churches filled with people who will not see heaven because they did not listen to God’s word but man’s word. Jeremiah 35:17 “Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on Judah and on everyone living in Jerusalem every disaster I pronounced against them. I spoke to them, but they did not listen; I called to them, but they did not answer.’” Remember that was a people chosen by God. As Ezekiel said Ezekiel 18:30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”