The Last Will Be First, And The First Last

The Last Will Be First, And The First Last

So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen. Matthew 20:16 NKJV

There were many that followed Christ now in the regeneration, when the gospel kingdom was first set up, and these Jewish converts seemed to have got the start of others but Christ, to obviate and silence their boasting, here tells them,

That they might possibly be outstripped by their successors in profession, and, though they were before others in profession, might be found inferior to them in knowledge, grace, and holiness. The Gentile church, which was as yet unborn, the Gentile world, which as yet stood idle in the market-place, would produce greater numbers of eminent, useful Christians, than were found among the Jews. More and more excellent shall be the children of the desolate than those of the married wife, Isaiah 54:1. Who knows but that the church, in its old age, may be more fat and flourishing than ever, to show that the Lord is upright? Though primitive Christianity had more of the purity and power of that holy religion than is to be found in the degenerate age wherein we live, yet what labourers may be sent into the vineyard in the eleventh hour of the church's day, in the Philadelphian period, and what plentiful effusions of the Spirit may then be, above what has been yet, who can tell?

That they had reason to fear, lest they themselves should be found hypocrites at last for many are called but few chosen. This is applied to the Jews (Matthew 22:14) it was so then, it is too true still many are called with a common call, that are not chosen with a saving choice. All that are chosen from eternity, are effectually called, in the fullness of time (Romans 8:30), so that in making our effectual calling sure we make sure our election (2 Peter 1:10) but it is not so as to the outward call many are called, and yet refuse (Proverbs 1:24), nay, as they are called to God, so they go from him (Hosea 11:2,7), by which it appears that they were not chosen, for the election will obtain, Romans 11:7. Note, There are but few chosen Christians, in comparison with the many that are only called Christians it therefore highly concerns us to build our hope for heaven upon the rock of an eternal choice, and not upon the sand of an external call and we should fear lest we be found but seeming Christians, and so should really come short nay, lest we be found blemished Christians, and so should seem to come short, Hebrews 4:1. - Matthew Henry

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