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Thursday, March 8, 2012

God Wants Everyone to be Saved

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV) 
1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

The point of salvation is not merely that we go to heaven. We also must live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness. I wonder how many of the people spreading political lies in the name of God have really looked at this verse. They claim to be living for Jesus and spreading hatred. The two just don't go well together.

This salvation makes an impact on our lives. It is a responsibility. It means more than sitting at home waiting for God's blessings. It means that we live lives so that others will come to know Christ because God desires for everyone to be saved.

Funny, but I used a similar term in a meeting with non-Christians not so long ago and realized I said something that they did not understand. One of them essentially asked, "Saved from what?" Those who have not yet given their lives to Christ do not know what salvation really is. They want to believe that everyone goes to heaven whether or not they accept Jesus by faith. They want to believe that God will always grade on a curve that He only sends the serial killers to hell. They fail to realize that God does not have to send people to hell; they go there on their own. God wants them to be with Him.

People are not only saved from the wrath of God in eternity. They are saved from acting like they would if they didn't know Christ. They are saved from being spiritually alone in their decisions. They are saved from being being alone in fellowship for believers fellowship at a spiritual level or it really isn't Christian fellowship. They are saved from living a life which tries to fill the hole of purpose with the things of the world. They are saved from hopelessness.

God wants people to come to Him and He will do whatever it takes to get them to but there are some people who simply won't have anything to do with Him. They resist His grace.

I don't put any fault on God for the failure of people coming to know Him. God is love and His love is enduring to their last breath. He would have taken Judas into His heaven if Judas would have turned to Him but Judas took things into his own hands before he saw the resurrection. He would have taken Pilate or Herod or any of the others who had Jesus crucified. After all, Jesus Himself prayed that His Father would forgive them for they really didn't know what they were doing.

I know that I can't make anyone trust in Christ but I do urge people to do so. I do so because the God who saved me always wants others to be saved.

And not simply saved to go to heaven. He wants them saved from the emptiness of a ungodly life, too.


Anonymous said...

I think the Bible is a great book of astrology, spells and some "history," and a good reference to have in any library. I do not agree that anyone needs to be "saved" according to the description given in the Bible. It is not the infallible word of God; it may be "divinely inspired," but it's been tampered with so many times that it's more for human politics than spiritual enlightenment. Gandhi himself said he would have been a Christian if it weren't for Christians. The history of the Bible, Jesus and how it all came together can be found by researching The Council of Nicea.

Anonymous said...

The substance of this blog entry is straight-forward enough, I won't comment on it, but I would like to say a few things concerning what was said by the Anonymous comment.

Firstly, the Bible is NOT a book of astrology. I was a Chief Librarian in my high school days, I would vehemently object to such a classification.

Fortune telling and foretelling based on astrological deities is incongruent to the demand of Scripture to worship and follow a sole God.

There are of course, many signs and wonders and miracles in the Bible, which generally, non-believers just lumped everything under "spells"; I don't want to major on the minor.

The Bible is a history book, but it no ordinary history book, and it chronicled not just history but the truths, ways and wisdom of God, and NOT forgetting some revelation of God, of who He is.

Yes, it is divinely inspired, AND it is infallible as far as most Christians are concerned. How infallible does one expect it to be; it being a project of an infallible, inspiring fallibles, to produce records over periods of many years; it is as infallible as it can be, as far as I am concerned. God works with it by His Spirit, and we, Christians, also use it in that way; in other words, the Word is NOT devoid of the Spirit, although it may be, for you. You may read it like a story book, but NOT for me, and other Christians with proper understanding; we read the Book with the Spirit assisting, and so, tampered, it might have been, it, in no way, materially fail to reveal the intent of God to us, when we are sensitive and diligent in our study of the Scripture.

If you remove the Holy Spirit dimension from the Word, it is like what you said, just a book. But reading with Holy Spirit, it is the infallible Word of God.

There are many "Gandhi"s around. And there are many "Gandhi-Christians" around. If men are NOT fallible, they need no saving; it is precisely because men, including Christians are fallible that we need saving. So, don't look to men like they are God; they are NOT. Christians are fallible men/women, made servants of God, on the path of being saved; they are NOT made infallible upon entry into salvation. Proper Christian faith does NOT claim infallibility, or says that one becomes volitionally righteous (as a state) upon entry into salvation. I know, some Christians and their leaders even, are to be blamed for this, for erroneously holding out such – that Christians became perfect people the moment they entered into salvation. It is that we are to learn the ways of God as we go along, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

I am NOT sure if you know the correct Gospel message. To come to the point of entering into salvation, is NOT something an “unsaved” person (actually, I rather use the word, unregenerate person or a non-believer), can do, entirely on his own; he needs the Holy Spirit to give him understanding of the Gospel message. I can tell you that He, the Holy Spirit, is willing and will gladly give the understanding, but just as the Word, which you claim “had been distorted”, but which I said is NOT lacking integrity, the Gospel message, must also be presented correctly, firstly, so that the Holy Spirit can give the understanding and conviction. Then, it is still the person must decide to believe the Gospel. Understanding and believing are different things. You understand, but you may NOT believe enough, to tell your friend, for example, that you will receive Jesus into your life.

Cont. on next page...

Anonymous said...

Cont. from preceding page

A few parts, I have mentioned: The some person’s part; this is the sharing of the Gospel; then there is the Holy Spirit’s part, of giving understanding and conviction; then, there is the critical part, your part, of whether or NOT, you will believe enough, with understanding, to give over your life to the Lord, and finally, there is the part of God, the Father, coming, at your confessing of Jesus to be your personal Lord and Saviour, to indwell the Holy Spirit in you. It is this Holy Spirit who is going to be the one to guide you through your entire Christian life, including the studying of the Scripture, if you will NOT grieve Him, and quench His moves.

You will still have your volition, and you have to volitionally yield to the Holy Spirit, and no longer to any other voice, be it the voice of the carnal flesh or what I called, Iniquity. This is as logically as is possible that I am explaining the process to you, and from it, you will understand without coming into salvation, you will lack something, the Christians have, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and He makes all the difference; at the same time, you will note that entry into salvation is just the beginning of a new life (that is why we call entry into salvation, born-again), and this life is still with you holding the volition, and that is the difficult part, and this is the part that make us, still fallible, but this is the magnanimity of the Almighty God, NOT turning us into robots, and this is what makes the Christian life, NOT a boring life, and is full of challenges. It will be a different life with different pursuits, goals and hopes, which for the time being, still to be lived in the world, but with ways NOT of this world.

If you were to follow Jesus, you will NEVER be alone, and that is one of the biggest differences you can be assured of. You NEVER need to be alone in this world.

Now how the Christian faith, “all came together”, was NOT the product of men, per se. God was and is the Creator of the Christian faith. Christianity does NOT start with the Council of Nicea at AD325. God was at the Council of Nicea, by His Spirit, I can confidently declare that. It was NOT men “cooked” up the Christian faith at this Council of Nicea; it was affirmations were made of Christian doctrines, existing then, and true theologies and doctrines were divinely inspired. Of course, there were squabbles, then, and even now; there will always be. Christianity is Word-based, and it is experiential; you need to come in, to get pass such things as the Council of Nicea, or any other “distortions” of the Word, for the touch of God is real, and when you encounter God, your life is NEVER the same again. Do we NOT know and experience, hypocrisy and jealously in the Christianity world; why are we still in it? It is because the experience of God, it can take you beyond the fallibility of men.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions