Summary: Message seven in this exposition shows that God's priority for the church is evangelism and that predestination is a mystery that should not deter us from choosing salvation and encouraging others to choose. It shows the cruelty and anti love in Calvinism
PASSING CHRISTIANITY DOWN
AN EXPOSITION OF FIRST TIMOTHY
by Bob Marcaurelle
D. The Faith Proclaimed 2:1-8
LOVE AND GRACE FOR ALL
v1) “I urge, then, first of all that requests, prayers, intercessions (conversations) and thanksgivings 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.
5) For there is one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus ,
6) who gave himself as a ransom for all men- the testimony given in its proper time.
7) And 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.
8) I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.
The little word “all” shows us that evangelism, telling the world about Jesus is God’s passion. Someone has said that Christianity is the greatest story never told. Conservative believers who would die before denying the faith, often live and die without ever sharing it.
This passage is often used to teach that the first priority of the church is prayer. But a closer reading shows that prayer is the means of accomplishing the main thing, evangelism and missions.
The text says we are to pray for the governing authorities, so the church can have peace and quiet. And this peace and quiet is not the selfish “peace of mind” most Americans come to church for. It is peace that affords the opportunity to share our faith with others. The key word here is ALL:
1) We are to pray for “all men” (v1), because
2) God wants “all men to be saved” (v5);
3) Jesus paid the “ransom for all men” (v7); and
4) Paul was sent to all men-Jews and Gentile (v7)
GOD’S PREDESTINATION (1:2-4)
1. A Heresy Confronted (Calvinism)
. The verses just quoted, especially verse five, that says God wants all people to be saved is under attack in our Convention, by five point Calvinism. It is an example of meaningless talk and controversy. Some followers of the teachings of John Calvin, and Augustine teach:
1. God does not want all people saved.
2. Before creation God chose those He saves.
3. Jesus died only for them and not for all people.
4. Those chosen cannot reject Jesus Christ.
5. Once they are saved they cannot loose salvation. This is described
T- Total depravity
We are spiritually dead and cannot choose salvation
U- Unconditional Election
God’s choice is not based on any goodness He sees in us. It is the “Sovereign” choice of the King of Heaven.
L- Limited Atonement
Jesus dies only for those who were Chosen.
P- Perseverance- Once saved, always saved.
In one foul system they deny the truths of Scripture which teach God loves all people (Jn. 3:16): wants all people saved (1 Tim. 2:4;2 Pet. 3:9); and sent Jesus to offer a sacrifice for all people (1 Tim. 2:6; I Jn. 2:1-2).
1) Calvinism makes us puppets with no will and no choice.
In heaven there is not one person who chose to love and serve God
2) Calvinism makes God a monster.
David said God created him in his mother’s womb and he came out in iniquity (51:5: 139:13). He creates sinful human being and then sends them to hell for being sinful. That’s like sending a dog to hell for barking, when it was created to bark. Wesley once said to a Calvinist, “The Person you call God I call the devil.”
Illustration: If a fireman places two children in a building he know is going to be set on fire and goes back into the blaze and saves only one, when he could save both, no one would call that love.
If a fireman goes into a building and brings out one of my children but leaves the other to die because that’s what he “chose” to do, how could I love Him and be grateful to him?
3) Calvinism is the Opposite of Love and God is Love
First John 4:8 says, “God is love”. This is not an attribute of God, it is his essence. It is who He is as a person. And what that fireman did, and what Calvinists say God did does not come within a billion miles of what the term “love” means. His love makes Him want all people to be saved and made Him send His Son to be crucified for us.
2. A Mystery Admitted.