How Are We “Called” Today?
A guest post by Drew Suttles.
When I first made the decision to go to preaching school back in 2016, several thoughtful people said to me, “I am so glad you found your “calling.” Others said, “God called you to go so you have to do it.”
That language confused me and while I appreciated what they were saying, Scripture didn’t back it up.
The question we want to ask and answer in this article is this: “Does God call us today, and if so, how does He do it?”
Does God Speak to People?
We want to begin in the New Testament Book of Hebrews. Notice how the writer begins the epistle:
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Heb. 1:1–4).
You just read that in times past, God did speak to the fathers by or through the means of the prophets. Prophets were servants of God who were spokesmen for God.
As Jeremiah stated, “Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth” (Jer. 1:9). David was also a prophet inspired by God: “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue” (2 Sam. 23:2).
Jeremiah, David, and several other holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:19–21) delivering God’s message without addition or subtraction. The New Testament parallel is found in Peter’s first epistle:
“If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet. 4:11).
How Does God Call Us Today?
We know from these passages that God communicated with individuals in different ways (visions, dreams, audibly, “burning bush,” etc.) but does He communicate with us today?
From the passage in Hebrews, we learn that God “in these last days (the Christian dispensation) has spoken to us by His Son.” The words of Jesus will judge in the last day (John 12:48); therefore, His words have authority (Matt. 28:18).
The apostles, who were guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit, spoke and wrote with authority (John 16:13; 1 Cor. 14:37).
This answers our question for how God communicates (calls us) today: Through His Word.
We are all called by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul makes this abundantly clear in his second letter to the brethren in Thessalonica:
“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:13–14).
Again, notice all people are called by the Gospel. Jesus died for the whole world (John 1:29; 3:16; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:1–2); therefore, the Gospel is for all (Mark 16:15; Rom. 1:16)!
Today, we are not “called” by a “small still voice” or in a dream. The call is clear through the Gospel message as it has been revealed by God.
We can read it (Eph. 3:4), understand it (Eph. 5:17), and then make the decision as to what we will do with the information (Jas. 1:21–22). We are free-moral agents and can choose to not “answer the call” by refusing to obey the Gospel and live for Jesus (2 Thess. 1:7–9).
May we all read our Bibles, study them, and then obey God from the heart (Matt. 7:21).
Drew Suttles is a minister for the Quitman church of Christ in Quitman, Georgia. They live stream all their Bible classes and sermons on their YouTube channel.
Drew also hosts the “Weathering the Storm” podcast on the Scattered Abroad Network. Drew talks about facing life’s challenges as a child of God. His podcast will be a blessing to your life.
Drew is one of my best friends in the world, and I’m glad he decided to share his studies with us!