If you’re reading this, it may already be clear to you from Scripture that Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and taught obedience to the Ten Commandments. You may already be aware of or beginning to see the importance of observing the Sabbath and Holy Days in true worship of Him. But why are these things not clear to the vast majority of those who consider themselves Christians? In this article, we’ll examine why so many people reject the truth, we’ll see from Scripture that God is not calling everyone in this life, and we’ll examine God’s plan for the salvation of mankind regarding salvation. Finally, we’ll explore how to know if God is calling you now.
Why the Majority of the World Rejects the Truth
By some estimates, there are over 40,000 Christian denominations and organizations worldwide, with approximately 2.4 billion people who claim Christianity as their faith. Of those who claim Jesus as their Savior, how many obey and worship Him according to Scripture, rather than according to the traditions of men? The reality is that only a relatively small number of people, both today and throughout history, comprise the group Jesus described as His “little flock” of true followers (Luke 12:32). But why is this the case when the truth of Scripture seems so plain?
One of the reasons is given in Revelation 12:9, which states that Satan the Devil “deceives the whole world.” This fact is reiterated throughout Scripture. The Apostle Paul explained that the “gospel is veiled” by “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:3–4). In his letter to the Ephesians, he called Satan “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). Yet Satan not only deceives people into worshiping other gods or no god at all—we see from Scripture that he also deceives people into believing and worshiping a false gospel and even a false Jesus.
Paul warned the Church of God at Corinth that “if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:4). He was admonishing them to be careful not to follow or listen to a “gospel” message that was different from what Jesus Christ truly preached. He then went on to warn about false religious teachers, saying that “such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (vv. 13–15). In other words, he was telling them to beware of preachers who may sound good and righteous, even coming across as ministers of Jesus Christ and the Gospel, but who preach a message different from what Scripture teaches.
Jesus warned of the same thing when He said, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4–5). Note: The quote marks around “I am the Christ” are not in the original Greek. History notes that few literally claimed to be the Christ, themselves, but many did come in His name and claim to acknowledge Christ and bear His backing and authority. Jesus explained that, while someone may be calling on His name and claiming to worship Him and represent Him, that does not mean He is working with them. He explained this in other passages, as well: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practices lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21–23). This is very revealing—He said that He does not claim as His own those who preach in His name, and even perform miracles in His name, if they do not obey Him.
Jesus also said, “‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandments of God, you hold the traditions of men” (Mark 7:6–8). Jesus tells us both how to worship Him and how not to worship Him. He says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15), and “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17). Additionally, the Apostle John said about 50 years after Jesus died, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in Him” (1 John 2:3–4). It’s hard to imagine how this could be any more plain, yet the vast majority of humanity still doesn’t understand it or take action on it—in large part, as mentioned already, because Satan has deceived the whole world, including those who profess Christianity. However, God has allowed this deception for a reason.
God Is Not Calling Everyone Now
God is not calling everyone to understand His truth in this life. This is not what most churches teach, but it is what the Bible shows. Think about it—if God were trying to call everyone in this life, He would appear to be failing. Why? Because most people throughout history have never even heard the name of Jesus Christ. The majority of the world's population since Jesus was on earth have not even claimed any variety of what’s called “Christianity.” Indeed, the incredibly vast majority of human beings who have ever lived—whom God crafted in His own image—have not accepted the only name under heaven by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Yet, God is all-powerful. If He were truly trying to save the world now, He would simply have done it by now.
On the contrary, Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” and that “no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father” (John 6:44, 65). He made it clear that the Father has to call a person to Jesus Christ, and He is not calling everyone now (1 Corinthians 1:26).
This point was also highlighted when His disciples asked, “Why do You speak to them [the multitudes] in parables?” (Matthew 13:10). He told them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given” (v. 11). He simply told them that the truth about the Kingdom of God was not for the multitudes to understand. He continued, “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (v. 13). He went on to explain that this was a fulfillment of prophecy and that it was not the time for the multitudes to understand (vv. 14–15). He then closed the conversation by telling them, “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it” (vv. 16–17).
Paul, referring specifically to the nation of Israel and the truth of the Bible, said, “Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written: ‘God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day’” (Romans 11:7–8). Ultimately, we see throughout Scripture that God is not calling everyone to understand the truth in this life.
God’s Plan of Salvation for Mankind
Yet, we also see in Scripture that God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9) and that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). So, how do we reconcile the fact that God wants all men to “come to the knowledge of the truth” with the fact that He is only calling a relatively small number of people now, allowing the rest to remain blinded?
The answer is made clear in the meaning of one of the seven annual biblical Festivals, the Last Great Day. Through the meaning of this incredible Holy Day, we see that God will eventually give every single human being who ever lived a genuine opportunity to know Jesus Christ and God’s way of life—in the judgment at the second resurrection (Revelation 20:11–13; John 7:37–39). The second resurrection is a resurrection to physical life (Ezekiel 37), unlike the first resurrection, which will be a resurrection to immortality as spirit-born children of God (1 Corinthians 15:35–54), over which “the second death has no power” (Revelation 20:6).
Jesus taught about the second resurrection in chapters 11 and 12 of Matthew when He said, “I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon [two evil cities] in the day of judgment than for you” (Matthew 11:22), and again, “it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you” (v. 24). In Matthew 12 he explained that the “men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it” (v. 41). This reveals a truth far different from the mainstream Christian view that anyone who does not accept Jesus now will burn in hell forever. To be sure, those who refuse God’s gift will be thrown into the Lake of Fire at the end of all things, to be consumed in the second death (Revelation 20:14–15). But God is fair and does not play favorites (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Job 34:19), and He will ensure everyone has a true opportunity to be saved.
Let’s summarize. From Scripture, we see that God loves all people and wants everyone to come to the knowledge of the truth, repent of the wrong way of living, accept Jesus Christ, and have eternal life. In fact, God the Father loves mankind so much that “He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16), and Jesus Christ willingly allowed Himself to be crucified for this purpose, giving “His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). We also see from Scripture that God is not calling everyone in this life and is, in fact, allowing the majority of mankind to be blinded for now by Satan the Devil. Finally, we see from Scripture that everyone who ever lived—besides those who will be in the first resurrection—will rise up in the second resurrection and be given their first genuine opportunity to know Jesus Christ.
So, how can you know if God is calling you now?
What It Means to Be Called
As we’ve seen from Scripture—and as you may have already experienced in your own life when trying to explain the plain truths of the Bible to someone—God is only opening the minds of a relatively small few today. If you can understand the simple truths of Scripture, including the understanding of the wonderful coming Kingdom of God that Jesus Christ preached and the incredible part we’ll play in fixing this broken world during the Millennium, God may be calling you. If you recognize from Scripture that, in addition to accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to cover your sins, you must repent and surrender your life to God and begin obeying the Ten Commandments, God may be calling you. If you see the need to observe the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week as God commands, instead of following the traditions of men, God may be calling you. And if you see that Scripture still requires God’s people to keep the biblical Holy Days and not the pagan holidays of this world, God may be calling you. There are certainly essential biblical truths beyond these, but these make for a great starting point.
What does it mean for you if God is calling you now? First, it is important to know that it is an incredible and wonderful blessing to be called now and have the opportunity to be a part of the first resurrection, what the Bible calls the “better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35). John wrote that “blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:6). To be called now means that God wants you to rule with Jesus Christ during the Millennium (Revelation 20:4–6). It means that He wants you to be a part of the Work He is now doing through His Church (Matthew 28:18–20; Mark 16:15–20; Matthew 24:14). Ultimately, God wants those whom He calls to accept the truth their minds have been opened to understand, repent, be baptized, play an active role as a converted member of the Body of Jesus Christ—the very same Church of God that Jesus established 2,000 years ago)—and live a life of growing and overcoming in God’s way to prepare for His coming Kingdom.
The Church of God, which is called by that name twelve times in the New Testament, is made up of those who are acting on the truth they’ve learned. In His Church, He has appointed a ministry to help, teach, and serve the membership. The ministry is there “for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12–13).
What Should You Do If God Is Calling You?
If you believe and have proved from Scripture the things discussed in these articles, then it is time for you to take action, with God’s help. We encourage you to continue to prove everything we say from your own Bible, because God’s word is the foundation of truth (John 17:17). We also encourage you to contact one of our ministers about attending Sabbath services in your area—or even just to talk, if you would like. If you are interested in just visiting to check things out or you feel you are ready to commit to baptism, the ministers of the Living Church of God will not pressure you at all, but will simply listen and be there to serve you as God is working with you.
Your first step is to find the congregation that is closest to you, which you can do by clicking here. We look forward to meeting you.