Your calling is greater than you may have previously imagined. It just didn't happen; it was no accident. You were called by none other than God the Father — the greatest power in all the universe.
THE chances are, if you are reading this magazine, you have been called and are now a part of the greatest Work on earth. But do you realize what this calling entails? It involves a far greater responsibility than any other you may have on the job, at home, or in your personal life. A future position in the Kingdom of God far surpasses any earthly job. It is an assigned responsibility in the greatest organization or government in the universe — not just the world. A position in the Kingdom of God is intrinsically greater than any office held by a ruler, president or governor on earth. After all, the specific job we speak of is that of being God! Jesus said: "... Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he" (Matt. 11:11). You are called to be among the firstfruits with Christ (James 1:18) — called to aid in setting up the government of God here on earth (see Rev. 2:26, 27; 3:21; 5:10; 20:4, 6).
Many Called, But Few Chosen
Amazingly, determining your qualifications and making a final decision relative to placing you in the Work of God is based on some of the same time-tested principles as used by giant industrial corporations. In industry many applicants are evaluated before a choice or decision is made to fill a job or position. In the business world, many are called, but few are chosen. Let's take a look at the factors that caused you to be selected for a position in the Work of God now and in the future. As Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong has stated, only 50,000 baptized members have been called so far in this age out of a total world population of 3,600,050,000 — only one out of every 72,000. In addition, several tens of thousands have come to believe and support this Work — and thus become a part of it — although they have not asked to be baptized into the Worldwide Church of God. Who made the decision to call you and not someone else? And what standards were used? Surprisingly, the greatest of all job opportunities — a position in the Kingdom of God — cannot be applied for unless a prior invitation is received. In John 6:44 Christ stated: "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." And in Matthew 22:1-14 Christ describes the call to the Kingdom of God by using the allegory of an invitation to a wedding. The wedding guest must first be invited before he may attend. When we were called, we ourselves did not choose God — we were blind to this high calling (see II Cor. 4:3-4). God instead chose us. "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you...." said Jesus to His disciples — His disciples then and now (John 15:16). Of course, the Father had originally given these men to Christ (see John 17:2-3, 6-7, 9, 11-12).
Spectacular Job Opportunity and Calling
When you consider that God has advertised this spectacular job opportunity and calling for nearly 6000 years, it is remarkable that most people are not even cognizant of its existence. One advertisement on the positions available runs 1462 pages long and contains nearly one-half million words. Think of that! The advertisement is called the Holy Bible. It is displayed in almost every home in the Western world. And yet few are the takers, as the parable in Matthew 22 clearly shows. During this present century, God is spending many millions of dollars a year advertising this mammoth office of responsibility over radio, television, through printed material, and even word of mouth. Yet, so far, only 50,000 baptized members, plus co-workers and supporters, have answered the ad for the job. Just like in this world's corporations, it seems, many are called and interviewed, but few are chosen.
Who Determines Your Qualifications?
Finding the right man for the job is so important to industrial corporations that the final decision on whom to hire is often reserved for the president — even in large companies. This is especially true for the higher-paying, upper-level positions. It is a responsibility that the president will often not even delegate to the personnel department, which assists in gathering the information concerning the qualifications of a prospective employee. The president himself makes the final decision. God says in Psalms 82:1, 5, 6 that He, as President and Ruler over the entire universe, looks over the crop of potential gods as they walk the earth — they themselves not even knowing they are being observed. It is a mammoth task requiring enormous effort to go through the qualifications of over 3 1/2 billion potential candidates. It's such an important responsibility that the President, the highest Being in all the universe, reserves the right to make all decisions! In John 6:44, God the Father makes it clear that He and He alone does the calling. He will not delegate that responsibility — it's that important! The Father will and has delegated other duties, such as judgment (John 5:22). But He has not delegated the responsibility of calling the members of His Church. John 5:17 reveals that both the Father and the Son work hard at their respective jobs. God the Father has labored tirelessly for nearly 6,000 years — carefully going over billions upon billions of unknown candidates.
The Father Called Abraham
Early in the history of the world (after the Flood), God the Father reviewed all available personnel and finally called Abraham for a most important job. The reason? The Father determined, after exhaustive examination, that Abraham had the right qualities and potential for this vital position. (For an in-depth description of the unique calling of Abraham, please review the booklets The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy and The Wonderful World Tomorrow - What It Will Be Like and What Is The Reward Of The Saved?) Now note a few of Abraham's qualifications. Genesis 13:8-10 — the ability to resist temptation and the pulls of the flesh extant in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 15:4-6 — faithfulness; Genesis 14:20 — a man who paid his tithes faithfully; Genesis 18:5 — the quality of hospitality; Genesis 14:14 — courage; Genesis 18:23-32 — compassion and humility; Genesis 18:19 — an ability to lead his children to God; Genesis 22:1-3 — obedience.
In the 15th century B.C. God again carefully considered all men alive and selected one person from the sea of human applicants — the man Moses. Moses, when he was called, didn't think he was adequately qualified. In Exodus 3:11 and 4:10-13, he said, in effect: "Not me, God — I can't do the job." But God the Father has the ability to look inside of a man — right into what makes him tick (I Sam. 16:7). The Father is able to determine if a person He calls fits the job description. God noted Moses' qualifications and recorded them for us today. They are succinctly summarized in Hebrews 11:23-29.
Other Special Callings
Jeremiah was called; the Father knew him while he was yet in the womb (Jer. 1:4-8). John the Baptist — he too was called while still in his mother's womb. God the Father has personally called all people who will be in the first resurrection — including Daniel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Sarah, Ruth, Esther, Rahab, Mark, Luke, Peter, John — and you! And He also called Herbert W. Armstrong and his son Garner Ted Armstrong. You can read about that special calling in Malachi 4:5, 6. Their calling — just like Abraham's, Moses' and John the Baptist's — is a major one requiring an even greater examination of qualifications than for you or me. God doesn't make mistakes, and He didn't make one in these two end-time cases.
A Careful Selection Process
Jesus is now preparing a place for you, a future job or office of responsibility in the Kingdom of God (John 14:1-2). And since the time the Father caused you to come to Christ, Jesus has been looking over your qualifications, noting how loyal, dedicated and obedient you are to His family (Christ and the Father), His Work and His Church (see I Peter 4:17). You were very carefully selected! But do you know why? Like Abraham, Noah, Moses, Isaiah, Jacob and David, you have the qualifications to succeed — or God simply would not have opened your mind. Oh, you can fail all right; but if you do, it's your responsibility, not God's. If you become irrevocably bitter, egotistical, self-exalted, or self-righteous, you can destroy yourself, your God-being potential, and deny your great calling into the Kingdom of God.
Not the Best Nor the Brightest
One crucial reason you were called is recorded in I Corinthians 1:26-29: "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." Why has God called the weak rather than the strong and mighty? Because their chances of becoming self-righteous and haughty of mind are significantly diminished. Human vanity and pride are obstacles to God's Spirit. God can only work with someone who is humble and aware of his limitations (see II Corinthians 12:9, 10). If you remember how little you are, instead of how great you may think you are, then you can help get the Work done by God's great Spirit power. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 4:6).
A Difficult Race to Run
Back in the beginning, even before the Flood, it was difficult to succeed spiritually. In Genesis 6:5-6, God tells us how sin-filled the world was. Times were really bad! Yet today it is probably even more difficult to succeed in some ways. Since great power and energy is expended spreading sin, an enormous amount of evil is present in today's chaotic world. Movies, TV, the press, mass communication, the telephone — all amplify and accelerate the sin process. It is the end time when Satan's wrath is white hot! He is mounting an all-out, frenzied, last effort of hatred and revenge. If God doesn't shorten the time soon (and He will) all humanity would die as Christ warned in Matthew 24:22. Great trouble is now beginning to come upon us; a time of great captivity is prophesied (Jer. 30:2-3). It will not be long until Jacob's trouble reaches its climax (verses 6-9). We must endure hardships until the end — until we possess permanent safety in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 24:13). You didn't make yourself what you are today if you are one of the called-out ones. You are called of and by God the Father — the greatest Power in the universe — for a glorious purpose through His mercy. You were chosen after very careful consideration and much deep thought. So important is your calling that the Father did not delegate this vital responsibility even to His Son, Jesus Christ. Don't ever forget that — you have it made, you can't fail — unless you of your own volition turn your back on God. So heed His exhortation to "... Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:12-13). With God's help, you can endure to the very end.