Thursday, May 14, 2009

Missing the point to make a point

So you have noticed I had a theological throwdown. My facebook page was ripe with conversation, no one commented on my blog, and that's ok. As I was looking at the 'free will' pillar text, I noticed something. Let's put the text up before we examine it.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle ( I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
1 Tim 2:1-7 (ESV)

I have heard one piece of this quoted a lot. "God desires all people to be saved". Let's step back and look at this in context, I think it is a mind blowing statement. First of all, I'll state I believe that Salvation is God's work (and if you have read anything on my blog, you know that). If that is the case, then that verse alone makes little sense. If God wants everyone to be saved, why doesn't He just save everyone?

I believe the key lies in the beginning of the verse. These verses command us to pray for all people. So what does prayer and salvation have to do with one another. Simple, we pray for salvation and God brings them to Salvation. Out prayer affects God in a profound way that it cuts through time and space. We know from scripture that God's will has been predestined since the foundaiton of the world, yet our prayers affect it, so our prayers can actually affect those things being set at the foundation of the world. God exists apart from time, so our prayers reaching Him can have ramificaitons for today, yesterday and tomrrow.

I also don't want you to hear what I'm not saying. I am not saying not to evangelise. In fact, that is the last part of this passage, Paul preaches. He (Paul) wants people to pray, he is going to preach the Gospel. Your job is to 1. pray and 2. preach the gospel.

I am also not saying that everyone you pray for will be saved. There is some responsibiliy, confessing, repenting are both put on us. Believe is a key to salvation. Praying for someone can soften their hearts, open their eyes and release the power of God, but we have no guarentees how it will work out. What I do know is that we have a responsibility to pray, to preach and to trust God.

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