Does God still call people today?
By Emmanuel Oluwatoba | Niger, Nigeria
Throughout the Bible, God called people to carry out his will. He called Samuel (1 Sam. 3:4-10), Jeremiah (Jer. 1:4-8) and many other persons through different means and for different purposes. Today, many “religious leaders” have one thing in common and that is the claim to have been called by God. This raises a very important question: “Does God still call people today?” To answer this question truthfully, we would have to examine the scriptures, not our own experiences, that of others, or our feelings. Without further ado, let us examine the scriptures.
We have all been called by God
The simple truth is that God still calls people. In fact, God is calling every person. The scriptures provide irrefutable proof that the gospel is God’s call to every creature, let’s examine the following scriptures.
“To which he called you through our Good News, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes. 2:14).
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).
“Therefore, brothers be more diligent to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never stumble” (2 Pet. 1:12). See also (Eph 4:1, Rom. 8:28-30, 1 Cor. 1:26, 1 Tim. 6:12, 2 Tim. 1:9, 1 Pet. 1: 15).
These passages do not in any way indicate a private call which is only available to certain persons. As a matter of fact, Christians are tasked with taking God’s call to all nations (Matt. 28:19). Not all those who hear God’s call obey it. Romans 10:15-16 says “And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written “How beautiful are those who bring the good news!” But not everyone has obeyed the gospel, for Isaiah asks, “Lord who has believed our message?” The process of God’s call is not through subjective encounters but by the Good News (the Gospel) which God has tasked every believer with sharing.
Does God call people to church offices?
Some persons concede that we have all being called but argue that God “specially” calls people to certain offices. It is not strange for people to assume certain titles after being “called.” These roles include apostle, reverend, general overseer, pastor, and many more. This premise is also false because it has no root in the scriptures.
Elders and deacons are the two recognized leadership offices in the New Testament as we see in 1 Timothy chapter 3. 1 Tim. 3:1 says “This is a faithful saying: If someone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a good work.” Paul does not say, “If anyone wants to be an overseer, he must have a special, subjective call from God.” He says rather that one has to desire it and must also be qualified for it (1 Tim. 3:2-13). The duty of church leadership is a sober and informed commitment, and the qualifications ensures that one who would undertake this duty is well equipped for the duty. These instructions are not simply disposable; they are given by the inspiration of God, they are God’s word. it is preposterous to claim that God violates His own instructions.
God is not the author of confusion
Those who claim to have been called also claimed to have received divine instructions from God, this is one of the major sources of irregularities in Christian practices. It leaves one wondering how the same God could give different and conflicting instructions to people. We know for a fact that God is not the author of confusion and that the New Testament is in fact the only true instructions for Christians. 2 Peter 1 verse 3 says “seeing that his divine power has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue.” All things, not some things, this simply proves the sufficiency of the scriptures as God’s instructions.
Furthermore, the Bible warns that anyone who brings a different message other than that preached by the apostles is to be cursed “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).
The pertinent question remains “Is God an author of confusion?” Will God say He has revealed all that pertains to life and godliness and still turn around to reveal some more? Will God hand out different gospels to individuals despite His words stating clearly that there will be no Gospel other than that which was preached by the apostle? The answer is NO, God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33) and neither is He confused. God’s will remain steadfast. The scriptures tell us that “God is not a man, that He should lie, or son of man, that He should change His mind. Shall he speak and not act? And shall he speak and not fulfill? (Num. 23:19).
At this point, it should be clear to any objective mind that God is indeed not handing out special calls to individuals for any purpose and neither is He handing out different variations of gospels along with it. God has called every Christian and is still calling every person in the world because it is not His desire for anyone to perish (2 Pet 3:9). This is the holy calling that we find in the New Testament (II Tim. 1:9).