What’s Difference Between Being Called and Sent To Preach the Gospel?
A Gospel Reflection for January 22, 2022 -- Mark 3:13-19
In today's Gospel reading twelve men who had been called, are now being sent.
Yes, there is indeed a difference between being called and sent to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those being commissioned as Apostles in today’s gospel had previously been called to follow Jesus, now after a period of formation, they are being “sent” with authority to proclaim the Good News of Jesus. Many were called by Jesus to be followers or disciples, but only these twelve were chosen to be SENT.
Catholic Bishops have the unique apostolic authority, to commission, or send others into service of our Lord. This authority must be prayerfully assumed, not out of our own desires, but, received prayerfully, and at the hands of others who are serving faithfully in like authority. As we'll see below, that authority is not without cost. Therefore, we must be faithful to our own calling -- counting the costs.
Being called does not mean you are sent to preach the gospel – for many are called but few are chosen.
Although every person is called by Jesus in one way or another. Beyond individual salvation, there are those called to be at the forefront of spiritual warfare. They include prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors, teachers, etc. What is your calling?
When Jesus was calling Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, He revealed Himself to them and then said unto them, ‘Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men’ (Mk 1:17) – Jesus revealed their assignment on earth. But they did not go immediately to fish men – they entered into a formation process; leaving all and walking with Jesus.
In the formation process after calling, we must be metaphorically purified by fire like gold. Passing through fire may take many years in accordance with God’s Will but it also depends on your obedience.
Many people after calling take many years in the molding process, others because of their disobedience and rebellion man never make it to being sent to preach the gospel with power. Other people may imagine that they themselves are called to ministry, and then send themselves to preach the gospel, without either power or authority. God has not necessarily sent them. Satan often destroys these charlatans, because they lack power, the weaponry of Jesus Christ.
Every person who comes out to preach the gospel just because they feel called but not sent is in danger of being destroyed by the evil one. That's why it is said, ‘many are called but few chosen’ (Mt 20:16).
A large percentage of those preaching the gospel today may be called by theological ideology, or they have called themselves.
The disciples were called during the start of Jesus' ministry but the twelve were not sent until after they sat under the teachings of the Messiah -- it nearly 3 years.
Though Jesus sent them as seen in today’s gospel reading, they didn’t go out immediately but went to wait for power as instructed. Though you have been sent, you may have to wait for power. It is the Holy Spirit that empowers us for ministry and leads us to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A loving master cannot send his servants to war without weaponry but a master who wants all his servants to be killed sends them to war without weaponry. Would you go to war without a gun, and if you have a gun does it have bullets, and can it fire?
The warfare between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness is spiritual warfare of power; power fights the power. You cannot get into this warfare without power for you will not survive.
Jesus never sends His soldiers to this warfare without power. It is Satan who will tell you to go out preaching the gospel without the power for him to destroy you. When a person rises to preach the gospel of Jesus without power, that person is in danger of being destroyed by Satan and his kingdom or they take the person to use him/her. Gifts of the Holy Spirit which we receive in Holy Orders empower us for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pray That After You're Sent, You Remain Faithful to Your Calling
Additionally, not everyone who is called and sent remains faithful to that calling. Judas Iscariot was called at the start of Jesus' ministry but never made it to being sent to preach the gospel with power. Many people are called but many never make it to preaching the gospel with power.
Folks who are preaching a false gospel are not sent by Jesus. You cannot preach a false gospel and be authentically sent. Doing so makes you a thief and a robber.
Many people preaching in the name of Jesus Christ in liberal churches gospel are thieves. They want their wages yet Jesus Christ never called and send them to do what they are doing. Christ will bind them all and cast them in prison where the fire is not quenched and the worm never dies.
Remember what Jesus said in Mt 7:22-23: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will say unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity"
Does this mean that every person preaching the gospel who is not ordained, or sent to preach it goes to hell? No. The message here is that not everyone who preaches in the Name of Jesus is actually teaching the Gospel truth, and therefore in danger of judgment.
Do you not know that those who preach the gospel have a stricter judgment?
"My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” James 3:1:
Each of us in Ordained ministry should prayerfully discern both if our calling is authentic, and if what we are teaching resonates with the consistent TRUTH which has been handed down to us from the ancient Church.
Before you come out preaching the gospel, make sure you are authentically sent otherwise, you may end up as kindling for the fires of hell, and hell never gets full.
Remember being called does not mean you are sent. If you come out to preach just because you feel called, but are doing so out of pride, or seeking power, you will be destroyed in the final judgment.
If you are in the molding process, finish it and may indeed, in time be ordained to preach a gospel of power, with signs miracles, and wonders when sent.
If you were called but have rebelled and come out preaching a gospel you are not given and sent to preach, repent and go back to the formation process. When you are through, you just might be sent.
Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.