In Romans 8:29-30 Paul says that all who are chosen (i.e., predestined) will also be called (and later justified). But in Matthew 22:14, Jesus says not all who are called are chosen. Is this a contradiction? Are all the called also chosen or not?
In Matthew 22 we read:
Notice the statement in v.14 comes at the end of a parable. In fact, v.14 is Jesus’ conclusion from the parable concerning who will join the Lord at the banquet table in the Kingdom. The parable teaches that the Jewish nation (i.e., the slaves) were the primary guests for the Kingdom banquet. The Jewish Messiah (Jesus) came to Israel and declared that the Kingdom had arrived for them, but they rejected Jesus, and in the process, they rejected the Kingdom.
Instead, the Lord turned to inviting other guests outside the city of Jerusalem (i.e., the Gentiles). These came into the Kingdom in place of the generation of Israel who rejected the Messiah. Notice the call to join the dinner feast went everywhere. The invitation was open to all and was declared opening, yet not all accepted the invitation properly. Some attempted to join the banquet without first participating in the wedding itself. They desired to share in the banquet but they were not willing to accept the invitation to the wedding.
Jesus applied the meaning of the parable when He said that many are called, but few are chosen. That is many hear the call of the Gospel in its proclamation. In the parable, the Master’s slaves shouted the invitation high and low around the countryside. No doubt many heard the call as it passed by. Nevertheless, few were chosen to participate in the wedding and thereby qualify to attend the banquet, since the Master determines who is included in the wedding.
This teaching is entirely consistent with Paul’s teaching in Romans. Paul says in Romans 8:
Paul’s teaching is centered on the one who is brought into salvation. That person is both called and chosen. Paul’s teaching doesn’t attempt to address the situation of the one who hears the call yet is unresponsive. Paul addresses that situation in another letter:
So in Romans Paul is speaking exclusively to the believer concerning the security we possess in Christ. All believers are (by definition) foreknown, predestined, called, justified and glorified. This is an unbroken chain that cannot be broken. Thus our salvation is secure in Christ. To the general world, however, a call goes out to believe but only the chosen respond to it.