The "Called Out" Ones
Suppose your school is going to send four students to compete in a math competition with other schools. All the kids in your grade take a math test. When the tests are graded, four names are called to be on the team, and yours is one of them. Being “called out” to be on such a team would be a special honor, because you would get to represent your school at the competition.
Did you know that the Bible talks about a special “team” that has been “called out?” In the New Testament, you often read the word “church.” That word comes from the Greek word ekklesia (ek-lay-SEE-uh), and it means “the ones who are called out.” During Bible times, the word ekklesia could be used for lots of different things. It could be used to describe a group of people in a town who were “called out” to be a part of a town meeting. It could be used to describe a council of people who were called together to vote on something. But the Bible writers used it in a special way to describe all the members of Christ’s church who were called out of the world of sin.
You might wonder why Christians are called out of the world. Is it because Christians are smarter, stronger, or richer than other people? No. When Paul wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica, he told them that God had called them by the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14). The truth is, God wants every person in the world to be one of His specially called-out people, but many people choose not to respond when God calls them through the Gospel.
What special job does God give to those He calls? The apostle Peter said that Christians are supposed to “proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). God has called Christians by the Gospel so that we can show others how wonderful it is to be a part of God’s “called-out” group.