Visitor Question: Doesn’t Matthew 22:14 contradict Romans 8:29-30? In other words, how can Matthew claim that not all who called are chosen, while Romans claims that all who are predestined are called?
• “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14, English Standard Version Bible)
• “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”(Romans 8:29-30)
Response: That is a very good question. I would like to call your attention to a text in 1 Corinthians which, I think, clears up any misunderstandings of this issue.
"Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." 1 Cor 1:22-24
As this passage demonstrates, there are two types of calls: 1) the OUTWARD call of the gospel and 2) in INWARD call of the Spirit. We preach the gospel indiscriminately to all persons but, if you notice the above verse, the outward call is UNIVERSALLY rejected by both Jews and Gentiles because it is a stumbling block or folly to them ... But "to those who are called" (through the gospel) by God's Spirit, "the power and wisdom of God" i.e. there is salvation. The gospel must not only come in word, but in Spirit (1 Thess 1:4, 5). We can call people to faith in Christ till we are blue in the face, as we should, but outward persuasion is not sufficient to change a heart of stone to a heart of flesh by itself. Only God can do that (Ezek 36:26, John 6:63, 65) and He has chosen to do so through the proclamation of the gospel by the church.
Hope this helps
Related Resources for Deeper Study
Effectual Calling and Regeneration by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
The Gospel Call and Effective Calling by Wayne Grudem
God's "Calling": Effectual or Not? PDF by Robert H Thune
Conversion of the Will is the Effect of Divine Grace Inwardly Bestowed by John Calvin
More Resources on Effectual Calling...