Wednesday, March 12, 2008

God Wants All Men to Be Saved

I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority...This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. -1 Timothy 2:1-4
It seems to me that, a lot times, we Christians start drawing the circle of God’s mercy a lot narrower than God does. In the 1800s, the Southern Methodists and Southern Baptists split from their parent denominations because the people forming those denominations refused to accept the biblical idea that God viewed black Africans as possessing equal dignity and an equal standing before God. They forgot that God wants all men to be saved, not just the ones that look like me.

In a similar way, sometimes Christians today lack compassion for those on the other side of the political spectrum. Rather than pray for them or seek to befriend them, we write articles condemning them and their ideas. Moreover, we often lack compassion for those with morally "messy" lives. Their homosexuality, or promiscuity, or drunkenness, or vocabulary turn us off so much that rather than pray for them, try to befriend them, or share Jesus with them, we get scared and build ourselves separate cultural institutions so we don’t have to spend time with people from “the world.” Yet it’s for all men that Christ came, not just the ones we find appealing or lovable. Thus, we have no right to discriminate between people we are willing to relate to and people we are not. Christ died for all men.

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