Chosen To Die

“For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.” (I Corinthians 4:9)

To be chosen by God is not to be chosen to “greatness” as many people in this world conceive it.  Conversely, it often means that one suffers greatly in being used by Him in some way.  Here Paul, reflecting on his, and the apostles’ special “position”, says that they were assigned to death in their choice as apostles. That would indeed be almost universally true, as virtually all of the apostles were martyred.  God’s choice was less about privilege than cost.

We see this foreshadowed in Matthew 20:20-22, where the mother of James & John asked Jesus for a place of privilege in His kingdom for her sons. Jesus told her that she didn’t know what she was asking for. He then turned and asked the young men if they were able to drink the cup that He was about to drink — the “cup”, of course, of suffering and death. That is what it often involves, when one is a particular favorite of God’s. It does not mean comfort and ease — at least in this life.  It is to be chosen to suffer, and die.

The apostles were “men condemned to death” as witnesses for Christ. And our position with God will undoubtedly involve suffering as well — at least if we are obedient.   To be specially chosen by God doesn’t mean great privilege, but more likely, great suffering.

This is not very appealing to a worldly minded populace, but it is true nonetheless. Take, for example, God’s very favorite, His own Son: He endured more suffering than anyone ever, and was very much “chosen to die.” Those of us who follow in His steps should be ready for the same. You want to be one of God’s “favorites”; His “chosen”? You may not know what you ask!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
This entry was posted in Devotions/Bible Studies, Discipleship and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Chosen To Die

  1. Alan Brown says:

    Very convicting, Pastor Shawn. My prayer for myself and all my brothers and sisters in Christ is that we might realize we may be called to make the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of Christ. I have found that’s awful easy to agree with in the midst of our comfort zones, but what if those comfort zones were suddenly removed. I so much want to be found faithful in the face of whatever persecution comes our way!. I truly believe we may face that in the not too distant future if Jesus tarries. Thanks for leading our church in becoming more mature and spiritually-filled believers that we may be prepared to stand strong in a depraved world and culture.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s