Question Text: What does the Bible mean when it says, “Many are called but few are chosen”?
Answer Text: This verse is found in Mat.22:14, at the end of the parable of the marriage feast told by our Lord. The good news of salvation is for the whole humanity. But tragically all do not have a chance to hear about this. Many are given a chance to hear this invitation. From among the many who hear the invitation, only few would ever respond to the call of God. Those who respond come under the category of the chosen ones.
The question of divine election is a mysterious doctrine. In the Old Testament God wanted ‘one’ nation through whom He would give His revelation to humanity. He wanted to bless the world through them (Gen.12:3). He chose them at random. Moses talking about the election of Israel in Dt. 7 tells them that God loved them because He loved them (v.8). No other reason is given for the election of Israel to their special privilege.
Coming to the New Testament, the Bible does NOT say that God chooses any one at random today. All are given the opportunity to respond to the gospel but only few will in fact respond to the call of God. So in the New Testament era, God chooses all who choose Him. In His foreknowledge God knows who all would choose Him (1Pet.1:2) and makes it possible for them to hear His invitation. All who hear the invitation may never accept His call. But few among them wiill respond and such are the ones who become chosen of the Lord for His glory.