“These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells the parable about the Wedding Feast, where a king called many to come to his son’s wedding, and yet they refused. So the king sent his servants out to gather random folks off the street, and then selected from among those people according to whether or not they were arrayed in wedding garments. At the end of the story, Jesus points out:
“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Some might ask, “But isn’t it the same to be ‘called’ and to be ‘chosen’? After all, Jesus chose His apostles BEFORE He called them, didn’t He?” Yes, Jesus chose His disciples before He spoke to them, but the “call” to the wedding of the King’s Son is simply an invitation. The gospel is an invitation – a “call” – sent out to all humanity, and those who choose to repent and believe then become the “chosen.” We know from many places in Scripture that not everyone who hears the gospel will choose Christ, and so some will NOT have their names written in the Book of Life. So you see, not all who are called will be chosen.
As we see in today’s verse from Revelation, the armies of God will be made up of those who are not only “called” and “chosen” but also those who have shown themselves “faithful.” It is a three-fold qualification. Not only are they people who have heard the gospel, they are people who have chosen Christ, and He has chosen them through tests and trials.
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
Yes, we who are called according to His purpose have the opportunity to be among those who serve God, but He will still narrow down His election through trials designed to test our faith. God will look at how we deal with adversity, and He will watch to see how we keep the fires of our faith burning bright. And those who show themselves to be “called, chosen, AND faithful” will get the full reward of glory: to serve in the army of the Lamb.
Those who choose Christ will find their names written in the Book of Life, but we must remember to remain faithful no matter what happens. As Paul reminds us in Romans 8:31-39, we will face trials, and yet nothing can “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39) In all things we must hold fast to our faith in Christ in order to be chosen to serve alongside Him, the blessed Lamb of God.
Lord God, Father of Creation, I praise You for having invited us all to be wedded to Your Son. I thank You for Your mercy in clothing me in white through the redeeming blood of Christ Jesus. May I always be faithful and worthy of Your calling and election, O Lord, so that I may serve You all the days of my life. Amen.