Summary: OUR MISSIONARY VISION MUST BE A GLOBAL ONE
OUR MISSIONARY VISION MUST BE A GLOBAL ONE
I. A GLOBAL MISSIONARY VISION IS ROOTED IN PRAYER
A. Prayer for Men from All Nations Without Prejudice
1. This Exercise of Prayer must be a matter of Priority
"First of all, then, I urge …"
Paul is beginning his instructions regarding how the church should conduct itself; he starst off with an emphasis on prayer as our fundamental means of
participating in the Great Commission on a global level;
First, in order of importance; Paul has a number of other important exhortations to make later in this epistle.
2. This Exercise of Prayer takes a Variety of Forms
Kent: "These terms are not mutually exclusive. Several are synonyms. Rather than attempting the precarious task of drawing hard and fast distinctions among
them, it is better to regard them as aspects or elements of genuine prayer. It is highly probably that each of these aspects will appear in every public prayer."
a. Entreaties -- petitions for answers to specific needs
b. Prayers -- more general word
c. Petitions -- intercessions; a pleading in the interest of others
d. Thanksgivings -- make sure we never omit this important aspect
3. This Exercise of Prayer Must Be Global and without Prejudice or Distinction
"be made on behalf of all men"
B. Prayer Especially for Political Rulers
1. For Whom?
a. "for kings"
b. "and all who are in authority"
Kent: "the lesser officials apponted by the supreme ruler to govern.various areas"
2. Why? -- "in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life"
Towner: "What is sought is the best of conditions for expanding God’s kingdom, not simply a peaceful life."
Hiebert: "Paul believed that prayer made a definite difference in national affairs and brought about conditions favorable to the furtherance of the Gospel."
How? -- "in all godliness and dignity"
Towner: "the description of the manner of Christian living … contains hints of witness. Godliness is Paul’s term in the Pastorals for ’genuine Christianity’; it brings together knowledge of and faith in God and the observable response of
lifestyle. Holiness (NIV), better translated as ’seriousness,’ suggests a deportment of respectability that is evident to observers. The manner of life here described has the evaluating eye of the observer in mind (1 Tim 3:7; 6:1; Tit 2) and is meant to recommend the gospel to those who look on."
Hendriksen: "The first seems to refer to a life which is free from outward disturbance; the second, to a life which is free from inner perturbation. Paul
exhorts the Thessalonians to be ambitious about ’living calmly’."
II. A GLOBAL MISSIONARY VISION IS CONSISTENT WITH GOD’S HEART
A. Peaceful Political Climate Promotes a Global Missionary Vision
"This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior"
B. God’s Desire is for the Salvation of Men from All Nations Without Prejudice
1. "who desires all men to be saved"
2. "and to come to the knowledge of the truth"
Stedman: "Here is a particular place where the word all has to be clearly understood. It does not mean ’all without exception.’ It means ’all without distinction,’ without bias toward anybody. All kinds of people might be saved. There are no human barriers to men and women coming to God. It does not matter what the color of your skin is, what your social class, your background, may be, your national origin or the state of your heart, how bad you have been, etc. Paul stresses that there are no distinctions. God desires all kinds of people to be saved."
III. A GLOBAL MISSIONARY VISION IS CONSISTENT WITH THE MINISTRY.OF CHRIST
A. The Only Mediator Betweeen God and Man
1. "For there is one God"
Hendriksen: "There is not one God for this nation, one for another; one God for slaves and one for free men; one God for rulers, one for subjects."
2. "and one mediator also between God and men"
3. "the man Christ Jesus"
Towner: "His main point is simply that the existence of only one God implies that the gift of salvation is extended to all. Therefore, the church’s participation in the mission enterprise must involve earnest prayer for all people. Yet at the same time there is an
exclusiveness implied by Paul’s logic. Salvation is linked solely to the one mediator, Christ, and therefore to the gospel about him. The church as the sole guardian of this message (3:15) is the sole means by which God’s salvation can be extended to all.
Consequently, the church’s prayer for the salvation of all people is not optional or subsidiary in the least. It is intrinsic to the church’s reason for existing and to the accomplishment of the larger evangelistic goal."
B. The Only Ransom to Buy Men Back From Slavery to Sin