There is something special about being a Christian. Peters tells us that Christians “are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that [we] may proclaim the praises of the One who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). I think we look at verses like these and believe that because they can apply to so all Christians it somehow voids the individualness of our call to follow Jesus. I think we forget how special it is to be called by God.
Consider Mark 3:13-15, “[Jesus] went up the mountain and summoned those He wanted, and they came to Him. He also appointed 12—He also named them apostles—to be with Him, to send them out to preach, and to have authority to drive out demons.” Depending on your translation, the Greek word proskaléo (προσκαλέω), will be translated as “called” or “summoned”. Specifically, the call was to come personally to Jesus. Jesus didn’t take applications, He chose twelve specifically for Himself. Further, the calling was for a purpose. These men were 1) to be with Him; 2) to be sent to preach; and 3) to have authority to drive out demons. Disciples are “learners”. Learners require a teacher. The first priority and purpose of all Christians is to learn how to be like Jesus by being with Him. Apostles are “sent ones”. First the 12 are disciples, then the 12 are apostles. Once we learn about Jesus, once we come to know Jesus, once we accept His calling, then we go. We go an tell other people about Him (Matthew 28:19). Finally, let us not forget that they were also given the authority to drive out demons. They called out evil, they called out the enemy and they sent them away. Today, I am not suggesting we do something like the exorcisms Hollywood depicts, rather I think our calling is to identify evil and the enemy send them away. When we know Jesus and tell others about Him with our words and our lives, we also need to be honest and bold enough to call out evil, to identify sin. I will come in contact with people who have had abortions, who are living a homosexual lifestyle, who participate in gossip, who are deceitful. And as these evil things from the enemy arise, in a loving and firm way, I call them what they are. It is the obligation of the church, the body of believers to call out and drive away evil. We stand against abortion. We stand against homosexuality. We stand against gossip. We stand against untruth. We love people who are trapped in or struggle with these things—but we make no bones about right and wrong, good and evil.
This is what it means to be called by Jesus. This is what it means to be called by God. We have this purpose not only collectively—but individually as well. And we praise God because He has called us out of our darkness and “into His marvelous light”!