Learn about what it means to be called by God and if maybe you are being called. You may be surprised to learn that God isn’t calling the whole world yet. Watch to find out more.
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
Sometimes, it seems the world is coming apart at the seams. It’s easy to wonder where God is in all of this. Does He care? Is He DOING anything?
In fact, yes, He does care, and yes, He is doing something AMAZING—not just in the world, but in the hearts and minds of individual people all over the world.
But what many do not realize is that God is not working with everyone in the same way today. The Bible says He is calling a select few for a special relationship with Him today, and a special role in the years ahead.
You might be one of those people.
Join us today here on Tomorrow’s World as we open up our Bibles and help you answer one of the most important questions you could ever ask yourself: “Is God Calling Me?”
Greetings, and welcome to Tomorrow’s World, where we help you make sense of your world through the pages of your Bible. Today’s program might seem a little more personal than most of those you’ve seen on our channel. We want to encourage you to ask yourself one of the most important questions you will ever consider: Whether or not God is personally calling you.
You might think, “God is calling EVERYONE, isn’t He?” As we’ll see, the Bible makes it plain that He is not. But then, if He’s not, what is He DOING? Is He only trying to save some and sending the rest off to their doom with no chance for salvation? What does being “called” even mean? On today’s program, we’ll answer these questions and more, and the answers may be the most encouraging news you’ve ever heard.
We’ll also be offering you a free copy of our surprising booklet, What Is a True Christian? So many people sincerely call themselves “Christian,” yet the Bible shows that they don’t fully understand what being a Christian even means. Be sure to watch for the information you need to get your free copy.
Now, before we explain what it means to be “called” by God, I have to warn you. Some of what we’re going to explain—from the pages of your own Bible—will be new to you. In fact, it may contradict things you’ve grown up hearing in church your entire life. But it is the clear witness of the word of God. And to understand what it means to be called by God, and to perceive whether God is calling YOU, we have to begin by clearing away some important MIS-understandings.
For instance, many people seem to view the world around us as an ongoing battle between God and Jesus Christ on one hand and Satan the Devil on the other—where God is trying to save as many as He can before they die and are lost forever, and the Devil is trying to condemn as many as he can.
But, my friends, that idea is utterly FALSE. If it were true—if the world really were a contest between God and the Devil—then be honest with yourself: Wouldn’t you have to conclude that the Devil is winning? Two-thirds of humanity today does not claim to be any part of any of the many flavors of the religion that calls itself “Christianity”—not to mention the vast number who have lived and died throughout history. In fact, most people who have lived and died have never even heard of Jesus Christ. Yet Jesus Christ is the ONLY source of salvation. Speaking of Jesus, the Apostle Peter explains in Acts 4:12, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is NO OTHER NAME under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
So, if there is a “great contest” between God and the Devil, then God is losing HORRIBLY. However, I GUARANTEE you, God DOES NOT LOSE! Between God and Jesus Christ and Satan the Devil, there is no contest! God NEVER LOSES!
So, what’s going on, then?
If most of the world seems lost and ignorant of the God of the Bible—and it certainly does—should we just assume that God DOESN’T CARE about the world? Does He just NOT CARE about the fact that the vast majority of the BILLIONS of men, women, and children who have lived and died would be lost to damnation in their sins—most of whom never even had the opportunity to hear the name of their Savior spoken aloud in their hearing?
Not on your life! In fact, your Bible says exactly the opposite.
After all, 1 Timothy 2:6 says that Christ gave Himself as a ransom for ALL people. Chapter 4 and verse 10 of the same book proclaims God as the Savior of ALL people. John 3:16—one of the most widely quotes verses of the Bible—states very plainly that “God so loved the WORLD”—the WHOLE world. No matter our race, ethnicity, or nationality, God longs to bring everyone who has ever lived into a beautiful and loving relationship with Him—a relationship in which He will work to fulfill His purpose for us. As Peter says in his second letter, chapter 3 and verse 9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance.”
If so few are finding salvation today, in our time—and so few have even had the OPPORTUNITY to be saved throughout human history—and yet God expresses His passionate desire that, not the few, but the MANY would find Him and be saved—then the conclusion we can draw is clear: God is simply NOT trying to save the WHOLE WORLD right NOW, at this time!
Rather, God says that in this life NOW He is only BEGINNING His harvest of mankind—saving those He calls His “FIRSTfruits.” As James writes in chapter 1 and verse 18 of his book, “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”
Those firstfruits will be resurrected and glorified when Jesus Christ returns to set up His Kingdom on earth—ruling with Him and restoring the world over the course of 1,000 years. [On screen: Revelation 20:4–6.]
Then, AFTER that thousand-year period, all who have ever lived but who have never had an opportunity to understand the true gospel of God will be [On screen: Revelation 20:11–13] resurrected to physical life once again and will THEN HAVE THEIR OPPORTUNITY to choose God’s way of life and have their names written in the Book of Life. Those who utterly refuse to repent and live God’s way will be [On screen: Revelation 20:14–15] destroyed forever in the Lake of Fire, but the rest will enjoy eternity in the Family of God, forever, to inherit the entire universe!
It is a large topic, and I encourage you to visit the Tomorrow’s World website, where you will find MANY, MANY free materials proving and explaining the beautiful plan of God in detail. We don’t want you to merely take our word for these things—we want you to take GOD’S word for it.
But for now, let’s focus on the specific topic we’re examining TODAY. If God is planning a FUTURE time when salvation will be extended in a way it is not today, then what IS He doing today?
God is calling specific individuals in the world to a special relationship with Him, preparing them for their future place in the Family of God and for their future role, directly ruling the world for 1,000 years under Jesus Christ, reigning over the nations of the world as a king and priest by His side.
Now that truth may shock you, but if you open your Bible, you will see that it has been under your nose the entire time.
For instance, notice the plain words of Jesus Christ in John 6:44: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Now my Bible isn’t any different from yours! And Jesus’ words are plain: NO ONE *CAN* come to Jesus Christ UNLESS GOD THE FATHER *CHOOSES* to call him or her at this time! In fact, Jesus reiterates the same point just a few verses later: “And He said, ‘Therefore I have said to you that NO ONE CAN COME to Me UNLESS it has been GRANTED TO HIM by My Father’” (v. 65).
“NO ONE CAN COME to Me UNLESS it has been GRANTED TO HIM by My Father.”
Can Jesus be any PLAINER than that?
Christ is clearly placing the burden of action on God the Father—telling us that it is GOD who must first CHOOSE to actively draw us to Him. In fact, Jesus reflects this same sentiment to His apostles in John 15:16: “You did not choose Me, but I CHOSE YOU….”
Are you willing to listen to the PLAIN TEACHING of the Bible, even when it disagrees with what others say about it, or disagrees with your own preconceived ideas? If so, then, without getting too far ahead of myself, let me say here that THAT is a major indicator that God may be calling you.
These aren’t the only passages that plainly speak of God calling only SOME now and NOT EVERYONE. For instance, consider the famous statement of Acts 2:38, where the Apostle Peter says boldly to the assembled crowd, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD WILL CALL.”
Notice Peter’s plain acknowledgement that the response to his message and the message of the Gospel is dependent on HOW MANY GOD WOULD CHOOSE TO CALL!
Consider Paul’s words to the Church of God in Corinth. He writes to them in 1 Corinthians 1:26, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” He points out to them—and us—that God simply ISN’T calling everyone right now! In particular, He is NOT calling many of the wise and mighty of this world. Their time will come later.
Don’t just believe me on this—believe your own eyes and what you see in your Bible!
So, if God is only calling SOME now—calling a special few before Christ’s return—what is His purpose for their lives now? And how can you know if God is calling YOU?
So, what does it actually mean to be called by the living God?
There really are a number of things involved, but among them is God’s OPENING A PERSON’S MIND to allow him or her to understand the truth—and not just any truth, but the truth of the Bible and Jesus Christ’s Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
Revelation 12:9 tells us something important about the world. Speaking there of a soon-coming time of divine action against the Devil, it says, “… the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world….” God does not lie in His word. When He says the “whole world” is deceived, He means the WHOLE WORLD.
And those who are deceived DO NOT KNOW THEY ARE DECEIVED! Individuals can hold on to their beliefs very sincerely and still be DEAD WRONG, DECEIVED BY THE DEVIL, and that includes preachers and teachers! Paul speaks in 2 Timothy 3:13 of those who not only deceive others, but who are also deceived THEMSELVES as they do so.
Yet, the Bible describes the 1,000-year reign of the saints under Jesus Christ as a time when the deception will be removed, and His truth will cover the entire world. As God inspired Habakkuk to write of that future time, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (2:14). We speak of that glorious time frequently here on Tomorrow’s World.
But before that Millennium of peace, God is calling a few individuals NOW, by opening their minds and allowing them to see the truth about the REAL Jesus Christ, the REAL Gospel of the Kingdom, and the REAL way of life God desires for all people.
In the Bible, we see examples of this OPENING OF THE MIND to UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH. For instance, look at Luke 24, where the resurrected Jesus Christ is explaining to His disciples about how His death and resurrection fulfilled God’s word—something they were not able to grasp before: “Then He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.’ And He OPENED THEIR UNDERSTANDING, that they might COMPREHEND THE SCRIPTURES” (vv. 44–45).
Note, He said that He had EXPLAINED THESE THINGS BEFORE, but NOW their UNDERSTANDING WAS OPENED, and it made SENSE like it had not before! Jesus explains in John 14 that God’s Spirit was not yet in them, but it WAS working with them, as it does with all who are being CALLED BY GOD.
And that Spirit is a necessary ingredient for understanding. The Apostle Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 2: “These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man DOES NOT receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor CAN he know them, because they are SPIRITUALLY discerned” (vv. 13–14).
Spiritual things MUST BE spiritually discerned and understood. The purely natural, human mind simply cannot receive them! GOD MUST INTERVENE to help us overcome deception and understand. And this is what He does when He calls us!
So, ask yourself: Do the things you’ve heard us discuss on the Tomorrow’s World program make sense to you? When you read our materials or the Tomorrow’s World magazine and study these things in your Bible, do you find that the Scriptures bear those teachings out and back them up? If so, it may be that God is opening your mind and calling YOU to understand His truth.
But a calling from God is about more than “understanding” things. Our Creator expects us to ACT on what He shows us, and this is part of one’s calling, as well.
Notice, again, the example of God’s calling in Acts 2, when God moved the crowd to respond to Peter’s message: “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we DO?’” (v. 37).
Their response is the response God is looking for when He draws someone: A desire to CHANGE AND ACT! Romans 2:4 tells us that God’s goodness does not just enlighten our minds or make us feel good about ourselves—it leads us to REPENTANCE—to CHANGE OUR WAYS and BEGIN OBEYING GOD’S COMMANDS!
Are YOU being called? Have you ever felt CONVICTED by the things you have learned on this program? That may be God working with you through His spirit to draw you into a new and deeper relationship with Him.
In fact, let me add that there are THOUSANDS all over the world whom God has reached through this Work, whose minds have been opened to the true teachings of Scripture—enjoying each other’s fellowship and meeting together every week to learn from God’s word and from the ministry of Jesus Christ as they prepare to be Kings and Priests in the Kingdom of God.
If you are interested in finding out more about acting on what you’re learning, you’re not alone. And we have representatives in many regions all around the world who would be happy to talk with you.
Those individuals assembling together every week have learned the joy that comes from living life as a TRUE CHRISTIAN.
God’s plan is big. REALLY big. It encompasses all of mankind—all who have ever lived and breathed, from the beginning of creation to this very moment. It involves a Kingdom He will install at Jesus Christ’s return, that will transform the world over 1,000 years. Even the dead will be raised to life again to have the opportunity they never had in this life.
But that plan involves calling some people NOW, in this life, and opening their minds so that they can escape the deception of the Devil that has been cast over the eyes of the entire world. It involves calling those people to be a part of Jesus’ mission NOW to warn the world of the end times to come and to announce the good news of that coming Kingdom.
That plan involves calling individuals to struggle against sin in THIS life, to allow Jesus Christ to live His life within them and to build His own character in them—so that they can serve beside Him as glorified members of His Family and teach others during those 1,000 years and beyond, helping them to embrace the way of life they have learned to make a part of their OWN hearts and minds.
We’ve explained what that question means, and we’ve shown you how you might know. But in the end, we can’t answer the question for you. That part is up to YOU.
And as you address that question, understand that you are not alone. I’ve been there, myself. I remember wondering about so many things while I was growing up. If Christ is alive and running His Church, then why does Christianity seem to be in such confusion? If Jesus was the only way to salvation, and yet most people have lived and died without even hearing His NAME, let alone His teachings, then how could God be fair or just?
I wanted answers to those questions, and I heard many answers. But, none of them perfectly fit what God had to say in the Bible or how God describes Himself in that same Bible.
That is, none of them made sense until I saw a video, much like this one, presented by Herbert W. Armstrong, a predecessor of ours in this ministry.
And the Bible began to make sense to me in a way it never had before. There WERE answers to my questions—SOLID, BIBLE answers, even though none of the loving and sincere-but-mistaken preachers I knew were teaching those answers.
I came to see that God was calling me to a real relationship with Him and with His Son—not the Devil’s caricature of Jesus Christ, but the REAL Jesus Christ. And I came to see that His calling was not because I was smarter or wiser than everyone else. Quite the opposite. I saw the words of the Apostle Paul we spoke of earlier—that He is not calling many wise or powerful now. Rather, He is calling the base and lowly now so that the wise and powerful may know in the FUTURE that salvation is not a matter of trusting in themselves but trusting in God.
And while I THOUGHT I was a Christian before that calling, I came to learn that being a TRUE Christian was SO VERY DIFFERENT from what I had believed.
My life, ever since, has never been the same. And I would not trade it for the world.
Is God calling you?
I don’t know…What do YOU think?
More than 400 sects and denominations
call themselves “Christian”—but
they all have some basic, and often
Would Jesus Christ recognize the
organizations using His name today?
How can you be sure of what
a true Christian should be?