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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
1 Tim 2:1-4 Part I

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." - 1 Timothy 2:1-4 [ESV]

I want you to notice that Paul uses the phrase "all people" twice in this passage, and in particular I want you to consider that in using the same phrase twice in the same breath, he means to convey the same group of people in each use.

I read that passage like this: Don't exclude kings and persons in high places from your prayers because God desires to save kings and persons in high places just as much as he desires to save people who are not kings and persons in high places.

If you get something else out of that text, you're reading it wrong.

Yet some may object to this understanding because when they read verse four out of context, they can come away thinking that God desires to save every last person on earth. Yet if that is what the text means, then Paul is also saying that we should pray for every last person on earth.

Some see nothing wrong with that - and say, "Yes, it is the duty of every believer to so soften their heart that they dutifully pray for every last person on earth!"

I wonder what these make of our Lord's prayer in John 17:9, where He pointedly makes a distinction - while praying Himself - between those whom he is praying for, and those whom he is not (c.f. verse 9, "I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.").

Make no mistake, if you believe that Paul is commanding you to do something the Lord Jesus makes a point of -NOT- doing, then I don't think you are reading/understanding the scriptures properly, certainly not on this point, and likely not on a bunch of other points also.

The meaning should be clear: it isn't that God desires for every last person to be saved - it is that our Creator does not make distinctions along the lines of social standing or (perceived) authority, and neither should we as believers. God desires the salvation of His people, no matter their class or rank, and can I add, no matter their ethnicity, their age, their health, their gender, etc.
posted by Daniel @ 2:58 PM  
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