I was sitting the other day and waiting to visit with someone who has been saved, and the slideshow on the monitor flashed a couple of Bible Verses and then interspersed this quote, “You can’t save people, you can only love them.” The next thing that popped into my head was John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Sounds to me as though, when God is involved, being loved and being saved go hand-in-hand.
As Paul writes to his protégé Timothy, he encourages us, as well…
3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:3-4
Now I will concede that you cannot argue someone into faith. Paul learned that as he was “debating with the Hellenistic Jews” in Acts 9. But what you can do is love them where they are at, then share the Gospel as the Holy Spirit presents opportunity. And pray. Pray without ceasing…
Pray for All People, as Paul explains in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
So, in order that all should be saved, we pray… then speak, as the words are given to us, and the heart is prepared to receive the good word. May we pray without ceasing and be bold in our witness that all may come to know the truth – and be saved – in Christ Jesus.
Pastor Jim Kirschenmann