Sunday, October 31, 2010

Short Catechism 3: "God wants everyone to be saved"

This was originally my second, now revised to be third in a series of short chats I am having with my children to convey my sense of Christianity to them beyond what they might absorb from some other Christian activity.  The first one was based on James 2:13: "Mercy trumps justice."

The second one is based on 1 Timothy 2:4--"God wants everyone to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth."  Several truths lurk in this verse:

1. First, that people need rescued.  We Christians can quibble over things like how depraved the world and we are.  But it is painfully obvious that an aweful lot of people are in trouble.  They are enslaved to drugs, enslaved to poverty, enslaved to selfishness and greed, enslaved to pleasure and power.  The human animal seems self-destructive by nature.  The world is thoroughly in need of rescue, both spiritually and materially.

2. Secondly, God does not force anyone to be rescued.  He does not predetermine who will be saved and who will not.  If he did, everyone would be saved because he wants everyone to be saved.  However it works in the mystery of his power and will, he does not force it.  He gives everyone a chance.

3. Finally, we want everyone to be saved.  We do not give up easily on the hard cases but, like God, work diligently to see them saved in every sense, spiritually and materially.  We know the leopard can't change his spots, but God can.  With mortals this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.  We interact with the world in hope of salvation, not with the presumption of failure.


Steven Jones said...

I see so much promise in this series, I would love to see it compiled into a short handbook, like Augustine's Enchiridion was (supposed) to be.

Most of my work in pastoring, and even just being honest about myself in daily conversation, involves reducing big ideas into small packages so that it is acceptable to the people around me.

This series has already been powerful enough for me in terms of expressing the biggest and most important ideas so very simply, that I see a lot of potential in it.

You're a significantly published man, and you don't need encouragement from me, but I would be very happy to see this in print.

Ken Schenck said...

Thanks Steve, it means a lot to me that you're finding this helpful.

::athada:: said...

Hear, hear! Christianity 101, or Xianity for Dummies. And since we're all dummies (or at least, cleaver & evil), it would be good to review these annually and ponder God's simple Gospel.