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Old 03-16-2010, 12:58 PM
little elmer
Location: Frisco, TX
7,556 posts, read 11,865,071 times
Reputation: 4516


Betsy (and others have) sincerely asked what the point is, if God will do it anyway. Even though we're commanded to, it's a good question.

The knowledge of God's gracious purpose does not make true men of God careless. It makes them long to become a part of His will and an instrument in His plan of the ages. We can embrace every travail in understanding, grace, and love, when we clearly see it is working for eternal good according to His purpose which He purposed in Christ before the ages began.

Some raise the question, "If sinners hear that all will be saved eventually, won't that cause them to relax and live more carelessly?" Answer: Has the doctrine of eternal torture kept men from backsliding? Has it turned the world to God? Has it made the streets in your city safe to walk at night? Has it kept the Christians from growing spiritually cold, or from committing disgraceful sins? Has it prevented churches from becoming worldly, or sinking into apostasy?

It has not.

If anyone thinks to use their service to God as a fire escape, He will not accept it. Our service must be because we love Him. Everything He did for us was because He loved us, and He will accept nothing less from us. "The love of Christ constrains us" (11 Cor. 5:14). He does not want what we have; He wants us; our heart and affection. And sinners need to discover the love of God in Christ, and be brought to truly love Him.

God saves your loved ones, your neighbors, and any other person who has ever lived or who ever shall live through a means, an instrument through which to reach them. And we are that instrument! God declares to His elect in Isa. 49:6, "I will also give you for a light to the nations, that you may be my salvation unto the end of the earth." The method by which God causes men to believe is revealed in Rom. 10:14-15. "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they are sent?" Does the salvation of all men negate this procedure? NO WAY! It only intensifies it! The simple truth is that God purposes to save all men. The means by which He shall accomplish this is a people, a royal priesthood, the sons of God, who are made one with the priestly ministry of Jesus the great high priest, to intercede, witness, speak, exhort, warn, entreat, preach, and proclaim the redemptive power of the Christ until this ministry conquers all men for God.

"It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" (I Cor. 1:21) What could be more unprofitable, and disappointing than witnessing and preaching to men when we actually believe that only a small fraction of them will ever be saved? Why bother? The devil gets most of them in the end anyway...

We who know that God will have all men to be saved are really the only people on earth who have real purpose in ministering to the lost. He has committed unto us the ministry of reconciliation. Now comes the word: "And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and has given unto us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling THE WORLD unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be reconciled unto God" (11 Cor. 5:18-20). The apostle shows how it is that God was in Christ reconciling not the church, not just the saints, but the world unto Himself, and now has given the ministration by which this reconciliation is to be effected...unto us!

Will believing that God is the Savior of all men do away with evangelism? Only in men who hold a carnal knowledge of the doctrine in their intellect, but have no deep revelation of the truth of it in their hearts. It did not affect the apostle Paul in this manner. On the contrary - it increased his fervor and zeal. Paul states it clearly and emphatically, "For to this end we labor and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men" (I Tim. 4:10).

- Thoughts from J. Preston Eby
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