Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
The word Jesus used for God’s people was from the Greek word for “called out”. This is exactly what God does when He calls us to Himself; He calls us out. He calls us out of sin, out of confusion, out of man’s religious ways, and out of everything else that is not eternal. When God calls you, He is calling you out of every human condition and circumstance. If you are an American, God is calling you out of being an American. If you are an African, God is calling you out of being an African. If you are a slave, God has called you out of being a slave. If you are a white man, God has called you out of being a white man. If you are a black woman, God has called you out of being a black woman.
God has prepared a world for His children that is not another planet earth. In that happy world, there is no death, no racial or religious wars, no sadness or sickness, no differences of any kind that cause strife and debate. The call of God is so complete that it is, in fact, a call out of being a mere human. It is a call out of this life, and at some point, when Jesus returns for his bride, it will show itself to be a call out of death.
There are some things that we are called out of which we can carry out immediately, such as being called out of sin and into holiness. Other things we are called out of may take a little time, such as the call out of ignorance and into the knowledge of God. And other things we are called out of cannot be realized until we shed this human body, such as being a male or female, white or black. But the call of God is the call to come out of all those ordinary, human conditions. Are you willing to leave this life, and this death, behind?
If you are called by God, you are called out of taking sides with anyone in this world in matters that are of this world, whether political parties, national identities, sports teams, religious sects, or even personal quarrels. Being called out of entanglements in this world means that you are called out of human allegiances and into the kingdom of God; that is, to become a citizen of another, and a heavenly, country. We must obey the ordinances of whatever country these mortal bodies of ours lives in, but patriots in God’s kingdom do not fight wars for earthly nations; instead, they fight the fight that really is worth fighting; they “fight the good fight of faith” using the holy, invisible, and very effectual weapons of the Spirit.
Once called out by God, come out to Him. Do not come out of one wrong thing only to go into another! God calls many more than will come to Him because most people who are called by God still “love this present world” more than the eternal one that is promised. Jesus himself said that “Many are called, but few are chosen.” That is because only a few will come out of what God calls us out of. Those who obey God’s voice and come out are the “chosen”. But then, the book of Revelation mentions one more step in this progression toward salvation. In Revelation 17:14, the angel mentions those who are “called, chosen, and faithful.”
Have you responded when God called you out of an earthly condition? If so, you are not only called, you are chosen. Now, however, will you be faithful? Will you “endure to the end” and be saved? Or will the pressures against the truth cause you to compromise what you know is of God? Listen to the words of God, as quoted by Paul in Hebrews 10:38: “Now the just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Now my friend, a soul cannot possibly “draw back” unless he has first responded to God’s call and come forward, can he? Then, the man of God is clearly warning those who have “come out” in obedience to God’s call not to go back into those things that God called them out of, but to be faithful to what they know is right.
Then, Paul concludes the chapter by saying, “But we are not of them who draw back into perdition, but of them who believe unto the saving of the soul.”
Called out, chosen, and faithful. They are the ones who will see God. And may God give us the strength, once He has called us out by His mercy, to stand firm. Against the opposition of the many evil spirits of our age to stand, ready at any time for the final call of God out of this body and everything attached to it, and into that eternal, “glorious liberty of the sons of God.”