In an attempt to escape winter, many have moved from northern states to Florida. Once there and faced with an ever-expanding population and snarled traffic, they wish others would stop moving to Florida. Some Christians have a similar attitude regarding salvation. They are more gleeful and excited about the idea that many people will face eternal damnation than experience the glory and worship of heaven. It’s as if they don’t want Heaven to get overcrowded. Please read more.
There are many places in life that place importance on exclusivity. There are exclusive universities, exclusive neighborhoods, and elite exclusive country clubs just to name a few. Many times, people who have achieved membership in one of these places take great delight in their exclusivity and elite membership status.
My purpose today is to reflect on the unhealthy attitude of Christian elitism. Anyone of us could inadvertently find ourselves developing such an attitude. After placing our faith in Jesus, we run the risk of slipping into the pharisaical mentality expressed in Luke 18:11. There it states, “The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector.”
Our faith is a gift from God and we should not take it lightly. We certainly should not become elitist in our thinking. We should never stake out the position of being full of ourselves because of our Christian beliefs and condescending towards others who are not yet Christians. God’s desire is for Heaven to be open for all who have faith in Jesus.
Sometimes it’s as if we take delight in the possibility that hell will be full. I get the impression that there are those who wish they could make the road to heaven even more narrow than what Jesus described. Maybe they desire a gate for one: me, and only me. Like the Pharisees, we might become prideful with the belief that we are not like those other sinners and non-believers who are destined for hell. We might lose sight of the reality that it is only by the grace of God and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we ourselves have the opportunity for eternal life.
We should all pray for the salvation of every human being. To be clear, I am not advocating for the concept of universal salvation. The idea of limited verses universal salvation has been debated for thousands of years by brilliant theologians. I don’t want to wade into those waters. There should be no doubt that hell is real. The Bible assures us of that. In Matthew 25:46, Jesus speaks of some going off to eternal punishment while others go off to eternal life. What I am suggesting is that we pray that hell will be sparsely populated and that more people would come to recognize Jesus as their Savior.
Rather than debating the size of hells population, I am trying to bring attention to our attitude towards the salvation of others. The Bible tells us that God is both just and merciful. He alone stands as judge. In 1 Timothy 2:4, we are told that God wills for all to be saved, therefore we should never take delight in the damnation of any person.
So, what should we do? We should take to heart our calling to share the good news of Jesus Christ. We should bring the message of salvation to all of the environments in which we live. Together as Christians, we should spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. In addition to our evangelical efforts, we should also pray for the salvation of all. We should desire the good of all people, even those who seem consumed by evil.
Ezekiel 33:11 tells us that God takes no delight in the death of the wicked. Rather, He desires for them to turn from their ways and live. We need to have this same attitude.
When we encounter others who are lost with a lack of faith, or simply living in a way contrary to God’s law, lets pray for them and do what we can to bring them to Christ. When we encounter those in the ditch along life’s road, let’s do what we can to pull them from the ditch. Who knows, one day we might just find ourselves in that ditch. Let’s do our part to help grow the Kingdom of God. Let’s hope that Heaven will be filled with as many as possible.
I hope my message today spurs us all to look inside ourselves to do an attitude check. We should take comfort in knowing that Heaven will be a gathering of sinners just like us who have been saved by the mercy and almighty power of God.
Heavenly Father, I offer up my prayers for the souls of all of your people. Father I pray that they will discover a faith in your Son Jesus. I long for the salvation of all. I pray that your people will not turn away from you and that they will not choose the path of eternal damnation. I offer this prayer in the name of Jesus our Savior. Amen!
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