Thursday, March 17, 2011

Especially…

Non universalists...those who do not believe that God is going to save/reconcile/restore everyone.... often dispute the clear logic set out in 1 Timothy 4:9-10

9 This saying is reliable and worthy of complete acceptance by everybody. 10 With a view to this we toil and strive, [yes and] suffer reproach, because we have [fixed our] hope on the living God, Who is the Savior (Preserver, Maintainer, Deliverer) of all men, especially of those who believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to Him). Amplified

9 You can count on this. Take it to heart. 10 This is why we've thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We're banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers. 11 Get the word out. Teach all these things The Message

The naysayers, think…and often vehemently argue… the verse somehow excludes all of those who don't believe NOW.  Only “real time, right now” believers qualify. But that’s not what is says at all. It says especially those who believe....as in...I love cookies...ESPECIALLY white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  Or I like to drink coffee....ESPECIALLY Columbian.  The other varieties of cookies…sugar, oatmeal raisin, Oreos....chocolate chip (can’t forget chocolate chip!!!) and the other types of coffee...espresso, mocha java, hazelnut…are not excluded.  They just don't qualify for the "especially" category.

I have a song on my MP3 player that explains this “especially believers” concept pretty well...

One day every tongue will confess You are God
One day every knee will bow
Still the greatest treasure remains for those,
Who gladly choose You now

Did you catch that? The greatest treasure remains for those who gladly choose you now. The “especially” folks.  They get the greatest treasure.

And what might that "greatest" treasure be?? Why, a relationship with the living God, the Savior of all people, of course. A relationship....Now.  Not off in the future...but now, right now.  Today, as we go about our daily lives as believers, he will be our refuge and strength.  Our ever present help in times of trouble.  Our wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And there is no greater treasure....

 

 

4 comments:

Mae said...

Well said! I believe that we miss much of what Scripture has to teach us by projecting everything into the future. I think the Kingdom is NOW and heaven is a present reality we can enter into NOW. We choose which state to live in - worry, fear, anxiety (which is hell on earth), or to live in the Kingdom of Peace. Just look at what the laborers in the vineyard who only enter in at the eleventh hour are missing - a lifetime of abundant life!

Kansas Bob said...

I see the word "Savior" in that verse and flip back a bit in the epistle to the 2nd chapter where I read:

"This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our "Savior", who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

My thinking is that the "Savior" would not have to desire something that has already been accomplished. I could be wrong though if people are given a chance to be saved after death. That view seems a bit problematic (for me anyway) because it relies on the idea that time exists in the afterlife.

Not wanting to be argumentative just offering a different POV.

Cindi said...

Bob...
Perhaps I'm having a "duh" moment...but I'm not sure I understand your point.

Specifically...

I'm not sure what time has to do with it. If there is no time in the afterlife would everything not be a constant "now?"

And the point about God's desire? Could you elaborate?

And your views are always welcome here.

Oh..and a side note...mainly because I like the passage so much (and not as a rebuttal to your point...which I am not quite clear on) I wrote the following a while back and it expresses my views on the opportunity to be "saved" after death
~~~~~~~~
In Revelation chapter 22 .... which is the very last “that’s all she wrote” chapter....verse 17 says

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

Huh? To whom is this invitation extended? Aren’t all God’s people already included in the “bride”? Could it be the ones still “outside”...the dogs, the sorcerers, the immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying? The ones from verse 15? Who else would they bid, “Come”? Come and drink...without cost."

And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

And the invitation remains open until the last “each in their own order” hold out straggles through the Gates...weary knees finally bow....joyful proclamations that Jesus is Lord. Tears of joy and repentance gently wiped away. Behold, he makes all things new.

The offer never expires, the invitation is never withdrawn, the welcome mat is never rolled up and put away, the Gate is never closed. The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.”

Entire post at the following link..
http://mercynotsacrifice.blogspot.com/search?q=bride+spirit+say+come

Cindi....

Kansas Bob said...

Yeah, maybe the comment was a bit obtuse.

The issue for me is at what point is a person is "saved" by the "Savior" and what does being "saved" look like.

If "all" people are saved before they die then it is obvious that salvation does not involve transformation in any meaningful sense for a large segment of people.

If people are saved after they die then it seems that the idea of loving and worshiping God will be something different than it is before we die. If it is a given that God will not coerce a person to love Him then one holding a salvation after death position must accept that salvation will be a different kind of salvation than it is before we die.

A salvation experience after death no longer requires faith as a person is confronted face to face with God. This kind of salvation is very different than the salvation we experience today. I am not saying that many might respond to God with genuine worship and love but I do not think that it is a given that they will.

Many rejected God in the flesh. I see no evidence that some will not reject him after death simply because they have more knowledge. For me salvation has never been about people who are smarter or know more.

Not sure that I am communicating. So I will stop so that you can respond.