Summary: PENTECOST 18(C) - God, our Savior, wants all men to be saved therefore beleivers constantly pray for all people and believers also proclaim God’s Word of truth.
GOD...WANTS ALL MEN TO BE SAVED
1 Timothy 2:1-8 - October 12, 2003
1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle--I am telling the truth, I am not lying--and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.
8I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.
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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
When we look around at the world, sometimes we wonder to ourselves how long will the world continue in its present state. Sometimes we wonder to ourselves if we have already surpassed the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah and if society could ever change and turn around and repent. So we might be tempted to throw up our hands in despair and say, "Oh Lord, how long will it be before you return?" Part of that is because the world certainly has grown much more sinful in recent years than one could even remember. Part of that attitude is also because we live in a society that is impatient and wants to see things done now or sooner. This morning, we are again reminded that the Lord has His own time according to His own plans. Paul says in our text that God wants all men to be saved. In Peter we are also told: "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance"(2 PETER 3:9). So the world goes on and the Lord patiently waits for more to come to repentance. Because as Paul tells us it is our great joy to know that God our Savior wants all men to be saved. He gives us direction and encouragement of how that can come about and how we can be part of God’s great saving plan.
Today we consider that fact that:
God…wants all men to be saved.
I. We constantly pray for all people
II. We proclaim God’s Word of truth.
I. We constantly pray for all people
A brief review for ourselves: these are the words of Apostle Paul who was a veteran mission missionary and now was turning back to do more mission work. He left behind Timothy at the congregation of Ephesus. Paul was going to give Timothy advice and encouragement. (If you look in your Bibles in chapter 2, the heading says, "Instructions on Worship.") Paul gives instructions on worship for the congregation but also for Timothy in his own private worship. In the second chapter, verse 1, Paul talks about praying and praying and praying and praying again. He says: 1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- He uses four different words that mean the same thing--to pray, pray and to pray some more. In other words Paul says pray constantly. The last word meaning prays means to pray with thanksgiving.
The prayers of the believers as the congregation and the private prayers of the believers are to be made for everyone. He says they are to be made for everyone-- 2for kings and all those in authority. This would show their true Christian character that they would pray for those in authority. At this time Nero was the ruler in Rome. If you remember Nero in history, he was the one who used Christians at night as torches to light up the city. Yes, Paul says to pray for him--pray for kings and those in authority. Pray that they may change their hearts. This would benefit them. Pray for kings and those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
If the unbeliever’s heart is changed, certainly the life of the believer would better be able to be led in quietness, holiness and godliness. God would be able to do that. He would be able to change the hearts of those who are opposed to him. God did this for the Apostle Paul and Paul now knew that all things were possible with God. This is why he encourages Timothy. He encourages these believers to pray constantly for all people. At the end of our text, he says: 8I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. He says in the unity of Christian faith they are to pray for those in authority, to pray for all people, yes, even for the rulers and those opposed to the Gospel.