1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 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.”
How to Pray
What kinds of intercessions and prayers should we be making for all people and for people who are in high up positions in the government or in the gatherings of the church? Should our prayers for them be all the same? Or should our prayers reflect where these people are in relation to God?
If we read 1 Timothy 2 in the context of 1 Timothy 1, I think we will see that our prayers and intercessions must not be in discord with sound doctrine, and they should come from pure hearts, good consciences, and sincere faith. We don’t just pray whatever comes to our minds.
And our prayers must be founded in the truth of the gospel and not in vain conversation. As well, they must have as their goal the salvation of human lives for eternity. For, this is why Jesus came, to save sinners, not to coddle them in their sins, and not to ignore their sins and their ungodly ways.
So, when we pray for those in authority over us, if what they are doing or if what they are teaching is contrary to the will of God, then we don’t pray for God to bless them in their work, but we pray that they will repent of their sins and that they will turn their hearts over to Jesus Christ.
And if what they are doing is deceiving the people, and if what they are teaching or promoting is trapping the people in their sins, not freeing them from slavery to sin, then we need to pray that the people’s minds and hearts will be open to the truth and that they will reject the lies.
And if those who have genuine faith in Jesus Christ, who are out there sharing the truth of the gospel, are being persecuted for their walks of faith in Christ Jesus, then we need to pray for their courage and their determination to keep speaking the truth and to keep exposing the lies so that many will hear the truth and so be saved.
1 Timothy 2:5-7 ESV
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”
Jesus Christ, God the Son, gave himself as a ransom for us to deliver us out of our bondage to sin, not just to forgive us our sins. He shed his blood for us to buy us back for God so that we would now be God’s possession, and so that we would now honor God with our lives (Rom 6:1-23; 1 Co 6:19-20).
But many people in high up positions within the government and within the institutional church are not promoting what is truth, but they are promoting lies. For, they are against the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and thus they are doing what is against the gospel of our salvation.
The church, at large, from the top to the bottom, has adulterated the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to make it more palatable and acceptable to the world and to human flesh. So, what they are largely promoting is in reverse of what Jesus Christ taught and lived.
For one, beginning in the late 1950’s the church united with the government in an unholy union. They incorporated under the state as a 501c3 non-profit organization, which was not required of them, nor was it necessary, for the church was already tax exempt.
The church at large (not including all gatherings of the church) then began promoting government worship with the pledging (vowing) of allegiance (fidelity) to the government, with hand over heart, and with the singing of patriotic hymns, and with the honoring of the military as our heroes.
They turned the church into a marketplace, and they began marketing it just like any other business, and so they began to conform the church to the ways of the world in order to attract the world to their gatherings. So, the church was no longer the light of the world, for they were becoming like the world.
But then, in order not to offend the world with the gospel, they diluted the gospel and then pretty much obliterated it, largely teaching it now in direct opposition to what the message of the cross is all about. For they now teach against repentance, obedience and submission to Christ as Lord.
And now they are coming against and they are attacking those of us who are still holding to the truth of the gospel, and they are accusing us of being intolerant, hateful, hyper-religious, self-righteous, and legalistic, and of teaching works-based salvation.
And now the government has been building a case for some time against things which divide us as a people, and things which cause others to be offended, but actually the church is ahead of them on that one, for they largely stopped teaching the truth a while ago so as not to offend anyone.
But we are seeing a large push now on a government level to do away with everything that offends others. Well, the gospel of Jesus Christ offends because the message of the cross is an offense to those who are perishing. Thus, we are being targeted for extinction. It is just a matter of when they make their move. So, keep shining the light of the truth!
Shine Jesus Shine
By Graham Kendrick
Lord the light of Your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us
Set us free by the truth You now bring us
Shine on me
Shine on me
Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father’s glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth Your Word, Lord and let there be light..
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