Tuesday, April 4, 2023

So That They May Be Saved

"We proclaim the gospel to the world so that they may be saved."

If your neighbor ends up going to heaven, what will be the cause?

There are two ways to answer this: the easy way and the hard way. The easy answer is, "God must save him/her." This is certainly true and good. We know from the Bible that for anyone to be saved, God must cause him to be born again to a living hope. He must choose to do this out of His grace, bestowing love on a sinner so that he will be adopted into God's family, coming to know his Creator as his Father. Every saved person can explain his conversion experience by simply pointing to the good and sovereign God who has intervened to bring light and life out of darkness and death.

However, this isn't a full answer.

The Lord uses means when reaching those whom He has chosen. "How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?" the apostle Paul asked. "And how will they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14).

Paul didn't ask these questions because he doubted the ability of God to save people all on His own. After all, the same God who alone could command light to shine out of darkness is the only One who can command the same in the spiritual realm, in man's heart (2 Corinthians 4:6). If anyone was qualified to speak from experience about the Lord's power to unilaterally save, it would be Paul. However, the apostle recognized that God's normal way of reaching a sinner's heart is through the effort of a saint. In this sense, your lost neighbor is dependent on people like you reaching him or her with the gospel.

This is a sobering reality for all of us. We must consider how God might work through us to reach those far from Him, but near to us. We must proclaim the good news to the world so that they may be saved.

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