Loyalty to Christ requires a commitment to do His will. It necessitates obedience to His commands. It results in a heart that beats with His heart in saving the lost. It places priority on the things that He prioritizes.
Read 1 Timothy 2:3-4 and 2 Peter 3:9. What do these passages tell us about the heart of God? What is His priority?
God is passionate about saving people. There is nothing more important to Him. It is His earnest desire that “all” be saved and “come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4, NKJV). He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9, NKJV). Commenting on this passage, The SDA Bible Commentary indicates that the Greek word used for “willing” is boulomai, which expresses “the inclination of mind, as ‘to want’ or ‘to desire’”. The commentary then makes this insightful observation on the little word but. The Greek word for “but” is alla. It is used here “to emphasize the contrast between the misinterpretation of God’s nature, namely, that He might be willing for some to perish, and the truth that He wishes all to be saved”. — The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 615. Christ’s command for each one of us to participate in His mission as witnesses of His love, grace, and truth is an outgrowth of His desire for all humanity to be saved.
Read Acts 13:47 and compare it to Isaiah 49:6. To whom did this passage initially apply? How does the apostle Paul use it?
There are times when an Old Testament prophecy has more than one application. Here the apostle Paul takes a prophecy that referred first to Israel and prophetically to the Messiah (see Isa. 41:8, Isa. 49:6, and Luke 2:32) and applies it to the New Testament church. For the church to neglect or minimize the command of Christ is to fail in the purpose of her existence and miss her prophetic calling to the world.
|What are the dangers to the church, even a local church, if it becomes so inwardly focused that it forgets what its purpose is to begin with?|