The Call by Jerry Vines

The Call
I Samuel 3:1-9
Jerry Vines
1/3/01

Tonight we are ordaining some young men into
the gospel ministry and some men in our fellowship to
the ministry of deacon. We have a large number—25
deacons. It's one of the largest groups of men coming
on to serve as deacons this year that we've had in a
long, long time. We thank God for it.

Turn in your Bible to I Samuel 3:1. This is one
of my favorite Bible stories. I guess I have heard
that Bible story as long as I can remember. It's one
of the favorite stories that boys and girls learn in
their Sunday School and also at home if their moms and
dads have Bible story books they read to them.

It is the story of how God called this young boy,
Samuel, into the ministry of the prophet. God used
Samuel in a very unusual way. Samuel had a definite
call from God. We don't know exactly how that took
place. Evidently this was an audible call. Evidently
Samuel heard an audible voice. This is not the normal
way that God calls people today. we would not say that
God does not or could not call people in an audible
voice today because we would never limit what God is
able to do or what God decides to do. But I think it
is true according to Hebrews 1:1 that God spoke in
specific ways in the Old Testament and now He has
spoken, finally, in His son and revealed to us in the
written Word of God. so, we do not preclude the fact
that God may audibly speak to an individual, very
often this is not the case.

It was not the case in my own personal life. I
had a definite call from God when I was a 16 year old
boy. In recent weeks I have shared with you some of my
experiences coming to the Lord and being brought up in
a little county seat town. When I was 16, between my
junior and senior year, the Lord called me to preach.
I did not hear and audible voice. God did not call me
like he did Samuel by name. Yet, it was a very clear,
a very definite call upon my life into the ministry,
that God had God e to preach the gospel. Specifically,
God had called me to be a pastor. So, this is very
clear in my life. if I didn't believe that I had been
called of God into the ministry and called to preach,
I would be afraid to stand up in this pulpit tonight.
I would be afraid to attempt in any way to share with
you from the Word of God unless I knew that God had
called me and laid His hands upon me to do this
particular task.

So, the word, called, is one of these words that
has made an impact in my life. It's a word that God
has used in my life to change my life. I was brought
up in an atmosphere where people believed in a God-
called ministry. I have always believed in a God-
called ministry. I believe in a God-called ministry
tonight. I do not believe in these mama-called
preachers. I do not believe somebody preaches just
because mama decides they ought to preach. I believe
that they preach because God has definitely cal ...


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