There are two parts to a ministry call—“God calls and man calls out.” There is first an inward call. God speaks through His Spirit to men and women He has called to ministry service, filling them with a sense of urgent commission. Charles Spurgeon identified the first sign of God’s call to the ministry as “an intense, all-absorbing desire for the work.”
Second, there is an external call, what Scarborough referred to as the “human side to a divine call.” Baptists adhere to the belief that God uses the pastor and congregation to call out the called to ministry.
Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe explains, “The major theme of Hebrews is ‘God has spoken—how are you responding to His Word?’ When the nation of Israel refused to believe and obey His Word, God chastened them. Paul used this fact to warn the Corinthians against presumptuous sins (1 Corinthians 10:1-12).
Dr. John R. W. Stott (1921-2011) writes, “Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to faith and worship), we have to see it as something done by us (leading us to repentance).”
I don’t know you. We may never have met, but I bet you are a lot like me. You are looking for answers to questions like: What is the meaning of life? What’s my purpose for being on this earth? Is there life after death? Does God really care? The book called John has answers to all of these questions.
We sometimes get too picky with our terminology. Sometimes we insist others abide by our personal preferences, or we are ready to consign them to perdition, or at least proclaim them ignorant believers.
When we were missionaries in Turkey, I went because I believed that in a nation of over 70 million people, everyone could be saved. I see this belief as fundamental to our understanding of missions according to the Bible.