The Gospel Message is Inclusive
“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” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
For centuries theologians have debated how God saves us. Do we choose to believe in God, or does God choose us before the foundation of the world? Scripture speaks of both. I like to throw a wrench in people’s thinking by saying this: I've been predestined to be an Armenian, but by my free will, I'm a Calvinist. That joke would kill at a theologian’s dinner party…
But I don’t want to get hung up on that, and indeed, far too often Christians pit themselves against one another on that very topic. I don’t want to sit around and endlessly debate something we’ll never figure out. Deuteronomy 29:29 says it best, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever.” As humans we may never know how God saves us, but we do know that God wants to save us all!
This is another compelling reason to share the gospel message. Last week we highlighted how the gospel message is relevant for everybody. Another beautiful aspect of the gospel is that the gospel message is inclusive.
The gospel is no respecter of the color of a person's skin. Isn't that true? It doesn't matter what side of the tracks that you come from. It is not a respecter of what your W2 says. It doesn't matter what you do for a living, or where you come from. It doesn't matter what’s in your past, the skeletons that are in your closet--the gospel cuts through all these things and is for everyone.
Paul says it well to Timothy when he writes, “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” (1 Timothy 2:3-4). Notice that it doesn’t say “[...] who desires some people to be saved,” or the important people, or rich people, or American people. No. God desires all people to be saved. Because all people are made in the image of God, and if we’re found in Him, we’re adopted into His family.
The gospel message includes all people, and it’s relevant for all people. Ecclesiastes 3:11 makes it clear that God put eternity into the heart of man. What does that mean? That there’s a deep longing for God in each person. That’s why the gospel message needs to be shared with everyone.