November 2023 Student Newsletter

A Special Calling
Russell Haffner

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 states, "But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

How are men "called"? They are "called" by the gospel. "Called" is another way of saying "invited" or "encouraged to come." The word "gospel" comes from the Greek word (EUAGGELION) that literally means, "good tidings" or "good news." It is the good news that salvation is now possible because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). The gospel is the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16). The gospel is God's plan for man's salvation from his sins. The "good news" is an invitation to have fellowship with God. Sin separates man from God

Isaiah 59:1-2 teaches, "Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."

The preaching of the gospel has gone out into the world telling the good news that there is a solution to man's problem of sin. Fellowship with God is possible again because of the sacrificial blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. God has provided to all mankind a way of salvation.

God calls people to Himself through the message of the gospel. 1 Corinthians 1:21 says, "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." The calling goes out to all people equally. Whether they heed that call or reject it depends on their attitude toward the "message preached."

1 Thessalonians 2:10-12 states, "You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory."

This passage tells us that it is "God who calls," and we are called, "into His own kingdom and glory." But it doesn't directly state how that calling takes place. Unfortunately, people have a habit of filling in missing information with imaginative answers. But we don't need to guess. We merely look to our text for the answer (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). It is through the gospel that we are called to God.

Philosophy Of The School

The WVBS Online Bible School is designed to provide students with an online, comprehensive, in-depth study of the Bible. The lessons are pure non-denominational teaching based on an accurate "drawing out" of what the Bible teaches, not reading into the text what someone might think it teaches. The courses cover every book in the Bible, plus four additional subjects which help you in your understanding of the scriptures (Christian Evidences, Hermeneutics, Greek and How We Got the Bible). The school is designed for anyone who wants a focused, organized and thorough study of the Bible.