Living in the reality that is Starke and writing from that perspective. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
God’s Salvation: Broad and Narrow
God's salvation is as broad as all men and as narrow as one mediator.
I Timothy 2:4-5 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
This past spring I was privileged to hold a revival meeting in Arizona. For three or four nights in a row there was a man who attended the service and every night indicated that he wanted to be saved. I talked to him one night about the gospel. He seemed hesitant as though there was something that kept him from trusting the Lord Jesus. Finally, on Friday night he again indicated that he wanted to be saved. I talked to him again, and it turns out that he just wasn't sure that it was God's will to save him. I am so thankful that I could tell this man with confidence that God did want to save him, and that is exactly what God did as this man turned to the Lord Jesus Christ to save him.
I Timothy 2 helps us to frame God's boundless salvation. We tend to put it into fences that can't contain it, or we tend to narrow or broaden it more than we should. Verses 4-5 tell us God's opinion about who can or cannot be saved. It says of God, "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
The "all" there means exactly that. For instance, in verse 1 he says, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men." We are to pray for all men. Verse 2 says we are to pray "for kings, and for all that are in authority." If the Bible commands us to pray for all men including the President of the United States, for example, who would it not include? I don't know every individual on this globe, but I can pray for those I do know including the President.
If "all" means all in verses 1 and 2, then whom do you think "all" would include in verse 4 where God would have "all" men to be saved? It means just that. God wants you to be saved, and God wants your neighbor to be saved. It is God's will. God is no less spiritual or concerned than you about the souls of men. God is the One Who gave His only begotten Son to die for such sinners.
Verse 5 says, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." So who would God our Savior have to be saved? All men. Who can save them? Only One.
Here's where we get in trouble. We live in a society that wants to say, "There are many ways to heaven and many different names for God and many different Gods." We try to broaden salvation beyond the scope of God's mandate. On the other hand, we try to narrow the scope of God's salvation when God has said "all men to be saved." God's salvation is as broad as all men and as narrow as one mediator. There is only one go-between who can make peace between sinful people and a holy God, and that is Jesus Christ. The work that Jesus did has been done for all men
Go about your day with the confidence that God has made provision for every person to be saved, but remember that this provision is only through one person, Jesus Christ.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?