And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”
John 6:65-70 ESV
Many are called, but few are chosen.
There are those who hear the call and fall away when it puts their comfort at risk.
These twelve, these true students of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God come in the flesh, eleven of them got it. They realized they had nowhere to turn but to God, because they understood that this life is nothing in comparison to eternity. And it changed their lives completely, and their lives rocked the world around them.
Jesus wasn’t a numbers guy. He wasn’t looking for visible outcomes, because He knew the difference between false “religious converts” and true chosen children of God. If He was just about altar calls and gathering reliable tithes into the storehouse, He surely wouldn’t have so often delivered messages like –
Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
Matthew 19:21 ESV
And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”
Matthew 8:19-22 ESV
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
John 6:51-58 ESV
Christ had thousands sitting around for the spectacle of His works and the teachings of His ministry, and He had around 120 in the upper room before He was crucified, but there were only 12 chosen “of which one was a devil”. So out of all of this, 11 were faithful.
I see Christ warning people of the cost of Discipleship and telling them to give up the things of this world, a very different gospel than what I hear in most messages today. In fact, those staples that are taught to keep the people coming and the money flowing into building the country club seem very different from the ministry of Christ whose very life is to be the bread that we eat of.
I don’t see Christ with a collection plate, an altar call, and a promise of a sinners prayer. I see Him sharing a message of repentance, a warning against materialism, and a requirement of absolute surrender and dedication – a message so far away from the idolatry that grips those financial institutions today that would call themselves churches, some blaspheming the true church of God, the people that are His called and chosen children.
These hired hands of mammon perverting the gospel for profit, filling their pockets and enjoying the country club, doing little to equip saints other than lightening their purses to sell philosophy and self improvement strategies, while doing little or nothing for the lost and the orphans and widows and needy that the church is tasked with serving.
I don’t know whether to pray that the Lord shuts their doors and removes their lampstand so their example will not be repeated or to pray that they be forgiven and find repentance, so I will weep and let the groaning of the Holy Spirit pray for the Lord to rebuke these enemies of truth.