Are There People Chosen By God To Do Specific Things
The Bible is very clear that there are. We see that in many cases, there were certain people chosen by God to do specific things as follows:
God chose the children of Israel to be a special people
For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.
God chose the tribe of Levi to be priests
For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever.
God chose Saul to be the first King of Israel
God chose David to replace Saul as the King of Israel
God chose Jerusalem as the place to show Himself to His people
But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.
And What About The Rest Of Us
When you hear the phrase, Gods chosen nation, what comes to mind? If youve read the story of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament, you know that it tells the story of Gods interaction with one particular nation, Israel.
The Hebrew Scriptures are full of language about Israels special status as Gods chosen nation. For example, as the Israelites are about to enter the land, Moses declares to them,
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession .
Later, when Yahweh establishes David as king, David reflects Yahwehs special relationship with the nation of Israel by recounting their rescue from slavery.
And who is like your people Israelthe one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, Yahweh, have become their God .
Clearly, Israel is Gods chosen nation in the Old Testament, but this raises a number of questions. Does God favor Israel over other people groups? Jesus extends his love to all nations in the New Testamentdoes that mean theres a contradiction between Jesus and God in the Old Testament? Or is Gods love for all nations just plan B?
Who Are The 144000 Chosen Ones Mentioned In Revelation
The 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 14:1-5
Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Fathers name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.
are the faithful saints or believers from all ages. We know that Revelation is a book of symbol, so we need to interpret the symbolic language. It is not a literal number, nor is it literally 12,000 from every tribe of Israel, although people from these tribes will be included in the redeemed. If we compare scripture with scripture, it is easy to identify these 144,000.
Rev 14:1 tells us that the 144,000 had Jesus and Gods name on their foreheads. Rev 3:12 tells us that those who conquer or overcome, will have the name of God written on them. 1 John 5:4-5 tells us those born of God overcome the world. So there is one identification of the 144,000 those born of God.
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The Chosen: Is It Biblical
A few years ago a series about the Bible came on the scene called The Chosen and quickly became extremely popular. They even had a Christmas special this past year that many Christians enjoyed. My oldest daughter, Jess, watched it but became more than a little concerned when she noticed the ecumenism during the special.
She decided to do some research on the show. I believe you will be thankful that she did. What she found is important information for anyone who is truly dedicated to God and His Word. How important that we value truth and biblical accuracy over being entertained.
So today we will have a guest post by Jess, explaining what she found and why she has decided this show is definitely not biblical and should be eliminated from our list of entertainment options. I might add that I whole-heartedly agree with her conclusion. So here is why both she and I will not be watching The Chosen
The Chosen TV series has recently taken the Christian world by storm. Do a quick google search and youll be hard pressed to find any criticism of the show. Instead, raving reviews come from those both inside and outside of the church. So I am aware that my own critique of this show will not be a very popular one. I believe, however, that it is a necessary one and Im going to propose to you three reasons why I think its best that we avoid watching and endorsing The Chosen.
Being A Chosen Race Is The End Of Racism Among Christians
It is a wonder that in Gods choosing a people for himself, he nullified the self-exalting effects of all races and ethnicities. You are a chosen race . . . a holy nation . The chosen race is not white or black or Asian or any other natural grouping.
The chosen race are people who are born again to a living hope . Their new identifying DNA is from the Holy Spirit. Race and ethnicity are not unimportant in our common cultural life. But they are not what unites us to God or to each other in Christ. We are a new creation, a new humanity. Peter even says, a new race! A chosen race. A race taken from all races.
God chose us freely without respect to race to be in this new race. Then he sent his Son to purchase us from all the ethnic groups of the world: You were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation . In this way, he nullified all racism. For he bound together every race and every ethnicity into one new family, with one glorious Father. And he did this in eternity when he chose to make a people from every race into one new race.
Revel in your freedom from racism. And if you cant, then come learn who you are. Learn what it means to be a chosen race.
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Being Chosen By God Is Designed To Secure For Us The Sweetness Of Humility
The more we consider being chosen, the more the wonder of it grows. And Paul tells us to consider it. The reason he wants us to think about being chosen is that it will make us humble. Heres the passage that makes this point. He starts by telling us to consider our calling, because this calling from death to life is the way we actually experience in time the choice he made in eternity. Then he mentions three times our being chosen.
Consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
Do you see the point? God is free to choose who will become Christians. And in his freedom he explodes all worldly expectations of who is special. Just when we think we may have him figured out in his choosing, we see he has gone another way. Paul doesnt leave us to guess what the point is. It is this: so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. Gods choosing is designed to remove our boasting.
Your faith in Jesus is a wonder more wonderful than any of the seven wonders of the world.
God Is Inclusive In His Choosing
God chooses Israel and ultimately Jesus, and this results in the exact opposite of God favoring one group to the exclusion of all others. Instead, God works out his plan to extend his love to all the world through one group or individual.
We can see this at play in the ministry of Jesus and his followers. For example, one of Jesus early followers was a non-Jewish, Samaritan woman who is not from the chosen nation of Israel . Jesus invites her into a conversation and reveals to her that he is the Messiah she and her people have been waiting for. This woman then goes on to invite many others into the story of Jesus .
The New Testament contains many other stories of Jesus and his followers extending this invitation to all people .
This is why Peter, when he writes his letter to a mixed group of Jesus followers, applies the language of the chosen nation to them, calling them a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Gods special possession . He says that any of those who have received mercy from God now have the special role of declaring the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
When we join these early followers of Jesus in inviting others into the story of Gods love for all people, we are also living out of our identity as Gods chosen peoplethose whose special purpose has always been to extend Gods inclusive love to many.
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Intro To The Chosen Episode : Two Schools
To begin your discussion, ask your youth:
When you hear the word “Pharisee,” what comes to your mind?
I imagine you’ll hear phrases like legalism, self-righteousness, works-righteousness, hypocrisy, rules, or religion. Affirm these answers, but also point out:
None of us have ever met a literal Pharisee before. Most of us only know what the Gospels tell us about them.
When we hear the harsh words Jesus speaks against the Pharisees in the Gospels, we get the impression that they’re all mean, horrible religious bullies. But it’s important to realize that this isn’t how most people in Jesus’ day viewed them. The average person respected the Pharisees as wise and devoted servants of Gods.
It’s also helpful to know that the beliefs of Jesus and the Pharisees were actually very close. In fact, Jesus’ beliefs were much closer to the Pharisees than they were to the priests and Sadducees.
When Jesus speaks strong words against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, he’s not criticizing another religious group he’s criticizing his own people. It’s kind of like a Christian leader today speaking out against the hypocrisy of other Christian leaders.
Now I would ask:
What do you think it was like to be an actual Pharisee?
Push your youth to think deeply on this question. You might want to delineate it a bit more with follow up questions like:
After you’ve helped your youth flesh out a picture of what it would be like to be a Pharisee, explain:
Jesus Wept And Laughed
The actor who plays Jesus also captures the love, tenderness, and accessibility of Jesus in a way that I have never seen. He is serious and intensely focused on doing the work of the Father. He is also warm and gently teasing. His eyes are filled with amusement and love for His creations.
The Woman at the Well from John 4 is also depicted. She asks Jesus why He is trying to convince her that He is the Messiah. He responds to her question with a loving, amused chuckle:
You are the first one I told, I hope you believe me.
This is not in the Bible, I know. Yet, it captures the accessibility and heart of Jesus so well. He is Lord of Heaven and earth with all power and truth in Him. He called the woman out for her sins with all truth. He is also lowly, gentle and full of love. We dont need to see Jesus as solemn and detached from emotion in order to obey Him as Lord. Jesus also laughed, and it was a pleasure to see this side along with the holiness and obedience.
Peter, Mary Magdalene, Andrew, and the other disciples are depicted equally as well. Wait until you see the storylines of Matthew and Thomas. They are brilliant in their characterizations of these great Christians though again it is coloring in the backstories.
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A Pastors Review Of The Chosen Tv
IMPORTANT UPDATE 2021 The director of The Chosen, Dallas Jenkins, has made very concerning comments about the Mormon Church since this review was published. He stated his belief that the LDS Church that associated with the financers of The Chosen worships the same Jesus, that Mormons are brothers in Christ, and he is so strong in his belief that he is willing to fight over it.
This is flat out wrong. It hopefully stems from ignorance of the doctrine of the Mormon Church. It is still insulting to Jesus.
According to Mormon theology, for example, Jesus was created by union between Father God and the Holy Mother God and was not originally God. He is not the Eternal I AM, in other words, and is also one among many gods. It is a faith that is polytheistic in nature as a result as they deny the Trinity. These beliefs obviously contradict core doctrines of Christianity.
These are just a few of the many inventions of Joseph Smith that preclude Christianity and Mormonism ever being the same. The practices of that group also keep its followers in a works focused prison of one mans creation. It is not a minor issue. Please read here for more understanding:
I still appreciate the show itself. But I would advise applying a strong dose of discernment applied to it going forward.
I certainly would not look to Dallas Jenkins for sound spiritual advice or leadership.
God bless you,
I want it to be your first choice too!
Its A Combination Of Scripture And Artistic License
The Chosen includes scenes and dialogue directly from Scripture, but it also includes scenes and dialogue not in the Bible. Viewers learn on the opening scroll it is based on the true stories of the gospels of Jesus Christ. Some locations and timelines have been combined or condensed and backstories and some characters or dialogue have been added.
However, the scroll says, all biblical and historical context and any artistic imagination are designed to support the truth and intention of the Scriptures.
Jenkins, who created the concept for the series, emphasized he is someone who believes absolutely in the Word of God.
Similar to Bible-themed movies like The Nativity Story and Risen, The Chosenexamines what might have happened in between the Bible verses. If you enjoyed those earlier movies, then youll likely enjoy The Chosen. But if you only watch films that stick strictly to the biblical text, then you better give it a pass.
I have no interest in changing anything from Scripture, Jenkins told Crosswalk. We are adding cultural and historical context, we are adding some artistic imagination to these stories. This is not Scripture, and we are not adding to Scripture.
The series, he said, was created to help viewers love the Bible more.
This show was designed to enhance our love for Scripture, to draw us more to Scripture, and to bring to life some of the stories that we’ve heard many times, he said.
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It Has Relatable Characters
Perhaps you identify with the struggles of Peter. Or maybe its Matthew. Or Mary Magdalene.
With The Chosen, you see your own flaws and struggles in the characters. You watch them search for purpose, pre-Christ. You see their lives transformed, post-Christ. Its a testimony every Christian can share.
That’s absolutely the goal, Jenkins said. We believe that if you can see Jesus through the eyes of those who actually encountered Him, and can actually identify with these people, then you can perhaps be changed and impacted in the same way that they were. You’re saying, OK, I can identify with the struggle. And therefore I can identify with the victory. And it makes it that much more powerful.
Ravi Zacharias and Joni Eareckson Tada are among the Christian leaders, speakers and authors who have endorsed it.