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firecracker070445
Jul 2nd 2009, 02:48 PM
In Matthew 5:44 Jesus says we are to pray for the lost. I am just not sure what we are to pray for them. I believe very strongly that God has pre-chosen those who are to be saved. I believe there are hundreds of scriptures that support this. I have marked in my Bible every scripture with an S that tells of God's sovereignty(His intervention in and control over the affairs of man). I have over 6,000 verses marked with an S. God uses large fish, talking donkeys, evil and lying spirits and anything He chooses to accomplish His purpose. God always accomplishes His will(Ephesians 1:11). In Job 1:6-12 we see that Satan must report to God. God tells Him what he can and cannot do. It was all God's idea for Satan to attack Job so that God could display His glory through Job. God set the limits on what Satan could or could not do. The same was true when Jesus told Peter that Satan had asked permission to sift Peter as wheat. Satan does nothing without the permission of God. I am just wondering what type of prayer we are supposed to pray for the lost as ordered in Matthew 5:44? Jesus was not praying for the lost to be saved in John 17:9. He was praying for the love of the Father to be in the elect, but He excluded the world. I believe that we are to show love to the world, but we don't love evil. God made the lost for destruction(Romans 9:22). He is merely enduring them as they accumulate sin until the time of destruction arrives. God gives us instructions as to how to respond to the destruction of evil in Rev 18:20. I pity the lost and I wish I could do something for them. However, if they are not elect there is nothing I can do for them. God's will is supreme. He wishes to glorify Himself through a group chosen by HIm for salvation. He also wishes to glorify Himself through another group chosen for wrath. It is His right to do so and He is totally righteous. I choose not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I want to eat from the tree of life. I believe strongly in evangelism. It is not because I think I can get people saved by my efforts. It is because God tells me to do it and I am here to serve Him. Jesus Himself, preached to thousands of people that rejected HIm and wanted to kill HIm. He knew they would not respond, but He preached to them and showed them HIs love anyway. Jesus is glorified by His chosen elect and He is glorified by His wrath on those that reject Him. He is not unfair to the lost because they deserve judgement. We also deserve judgement, but God has the right to also display His grace and mercy to a group that He chooses for salvation. I can do nothing but worship HIm, praise Him and thank Him for choosing me to be a part of His elect. I did absolutely nothing to deserve that. It truly is amazing grace. Praise His glorius name.

RogerW
Jul 2nd 2009, 03:19 PM
In Matthew 5:44 Jesus says we are to pray for the lost. I am just not sure what we are to pray for them. I believe very strongly that God has pre-chosen those who are to be saved. I believe there are hundreds of scriptures that support this. I have marked in my Bible every scripture with an S that tells of God's sovereignty(His intervention in and control over the affairs of man). I have over 6,000 verses marked with an S. God uses large fish, talking donkeys, evil and lying spirits and anything He chooses to accomplish His purpose. God always accomplishes His will(Ephesians 1:11). In Job 1:6-12 we see that Satan must report to God. God tells Him what he can and cannot do. It was all God's idea for Satan to attack Job so that God could display His glory through Job. God set the limits on what Satan could or could not do. The same was true when Jesus told Peter that Satan had asked permission to sift Peter as wheat. Satan does nothing without the permission of God. I am just wondering what type of prayer we are supposed to pray for the lost as ordered in Matthew 5:44? Jesus was not praying for the lost to be saved in John 17:9. He was praying for the love of the Father to be in the elect, but He excluded the world. I believe that we are to show love to the world, but we don't love evil. God made the lost for destruction(Romans 9:22). He is merely enduring them as they accumulate sin until the time of destruction arrives. God gives us instructions as to how to respond to the destruction of evil in Rev 18:20. I pity the lost and I wish I could do something for them. However, if they are not elect there is nothing I can do for them. God's will is supreme. He wishes to glorify Himself through a group chosen by HIm for salvation. He also wishes to glorify Himself through another group chosen for wrath. It is His right to do so and He is totally righteous. I choose not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I want to eat from the tree of life. I believe strongly in evangelism. It is not because I think I can get people saved by my efforts. It is because God tells me to do it and I am here to serve Him. Jesus Himself, preached to thousands of people that rejected HIm and wanted to kill HIm. He knew they would not respond, but He preached to them and showed them HIs love anyway. Jesus is glorified by His chosen elect and He is glorified by His wrath on those that reject Him. He is not unfair to the lost because they deserve judgement. We also deserve judgement, but God has the right to also display His grace and mercy to a group that He chooses for salvation. I can do nothing but worship HIm, praise Him and thank Him for choosing me to be a part of His elect. I did absolutely nothing to deserve that. It truly is amazing grace. Praise His glorius name.

Greetings Firecracker & Welcome to the community!

We pray for all mankind because unlike Christ we don't know who those are who will believe on Him. So of course we pray even for our enemies, and those who would despitefully use and persecute us. In this praying and giving them the message of the gospel, we show no greater love for mankind.

Joh 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

Mt 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Many Blessings,
RW

notuptome
Jul 2nd 2009, 03:31 PM
Calvin would be proud. Your compassion is underwhelming.

Is God going to save the elect even if they don't want to be saved?

For the cause of Christ
Roger

firecracker070445
Jul 2nd 2009, 03:34 PM
I am currently reading a book called Chosen For Life by Sam Storms that does a far better job of explaining God's election than I can do. I will make a weak attempt to explain my beliefs, but that book would do a far better job. If you believe that man uses his free will to choose God then you believe that salvation is of works. It is our good work(making the right choice) that earns us our salvation. We are the good people that made the right choice and the lost are the bad people that made the wrong choice. It takes the decision out of God's hand and puts it in man's hand. God chooses whom He will as Romans 9 explains. There are hundreds of verses in the Bible that support this. I will list a few of those for you: Romans 9:13-23, Ephesians 1:11, Acts 13:48,Acts 16:14,Acts 15:9, Acts 17:26, Romans 1:21, Romans 8:28, Romans 11:5, 1Cor 1:26,27,1Cor 12:3,Gal 1:15,Gal 4:6,Ephesians 1:4,Philippians 2:13,2Thess 2:13,2Tim 1:9,Matthew 11:27,Matthew 22:14,Luke 10:21,22,Luke 14:23,John 6:65, John 10:29, John 12:40, John 15:16,John 17:2,Psalm 33:15, Psalm 37:23, Psalm 65:4, Ezekiel 11:19, Proverbs 16:9,Jeremiah 1:5,Daniel 4:35,I Kings 19:18. There are many more verses I could quote that show the total sovereignty of God over man. Man does not want to eat from the tree of life. Man wants to think he is in control. People want to believe that we choose God because it makes us feel like we have control. In fact, God chooses us. Is this such a bad thing? Get to know the real God. The God that opens up the ground and swallows people up, the God that told Saul to kill women and children(1 Samuel 15:1-3), the God that zapped Ananias and Sapphira(Acts 5:1-11). the God that zapped Herod(Acts 12:20-24). Get to know the real Jesus. The one that blasted the religious leaders and called them names(MKatthew 23), the Jesus that told people they were of their father the devil, the Jesus that overturned the moneychangers table. Is Jesus love? Of course He is, but He is also wrath and judgement. I want to know and love every aspect of God's personality. Nothing about Him is imperfect. Jesus said He did not come to bring peace to the world. I embrace everything about God.

firecracker070445
Jul 2nd 2009, 03:55 PM
Yes! I believe that God compels people to be saved. Look at Psalm 65:4 and Luke 14:23. When I got saved no one preached the Gospel to me. God apprehended me and gave me a desire for Him. I was minding my own business and like everyone had no desire for God. Suddenly I was overwhelmed by God and could think of nothing but Him. I wanted to give up my successful business and go to a new place away from my family to minister to runaways. This was totally contrary to me. It was not what I would have chosen myself. God compelled me to come to him and I am so grateful. I never would have made that decision myself. Nothing good dwells in me. I am not interested in feeling good about myself because I think I made the right decision by accepting Jesus. I am interested in what the Scriptures teach. If you will put away your desire to control things and really search what the Scriptures say you will see that God controls everything. I am so grateful for that.

RogerW
Jul 2nd 2009, 08:24 PM
Greetings Firecracker,

I fully agree with the Reformed Doctrines of Sovereign Grace you have outlined. But believing in the sovereignty of God in salvation does not mean we should not pray for all mankind.

How long have you been a Christian? And how did you come to understand and embrace the Reformed doctrines of Sovereign Grace?

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Jul 2nd 2009, 08:28 PM
Greetings Firecracker,

I fully agree with the Reformed Doctrines of Sovereign Grace you have outlined. But believing in the sovereignty of God in salvation does not mean we should not pray for all mankind.

How long have you been a Christian? And how did you come to understand and embrace the Reformed doctrines of Sovereign Grace?

Many Blessings,
RW

Firecracker, please disregard my replies to your thread here. I misread the title and thought you were asking if believers should pray for the lost!:hug: I think its called open mouth and insert foot!:kiss:

I also read your bio and see you have been a Christian for a number of years....ughhh!

firecracker070445
Jul 3rd 2009, 12:57 PM
Roger W My question is not whether we should pray for the lost, but what we should pray for them. Should we pray for their salvation? If they are not elect and we pray for their salvation then we are praying against the will of God. God has not chosen them and we are asking God to save them when He has no intention of doing so. I believe that we only pray for salvation for someone that is elect. How would we know who is elect? We would only know this if the Holy Spirit told us and quickened us to pray for someone. I guess this means the real goal is to stop praying our own prayers and learn to be more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. That is my goal in my life. I don't want to waste time praying prayers that God has no intention of answering. My prayer for the lost is that God's will be done in their life and that God would be glorified in them. That's the only thing I know to pray for them. I began believing in God's absolute sovereignty in salvation because God had me go through the Bible twice and mark every verse that shows His intervention in the affairs of man with an S(sovereignty). I found over 6,000 verses that deal with God's intervention and complete control over man. I have never studied Calvin. I never read any books on Calvinism until now. I am currently reading Chosen For Life by Sam Storms which has only confirmed and expanded my belief in election. God, Himself, showed me the truth of His absolute control over salvation. Roger D.

notuptome
Jul 3rd 2009, 01:38 PM
I am currently reading Chosen For Life by Sam Storms which has only confirmed and expanded my belief in election. God, Himself, showed me the truth of His absolute control over salvation. Roger D.
God's soverignity is not threatened by man's free will. If one does not fully support the reformed doctrine of irrestible grace it does not mean that they must believe in salvation by works. I will simplify election for you. God has cast a vote for you. The devil has cast a vote for you and you must cast the third vote. God knows how the devil is voting and God knows how you will vote that does not mean that God is going to influence the out come unfairly. God does not need to cheat to win.

If it is not the will of God that any should perish then why are not all men saved? 2 Pet 3:9 Why was not Christ able to gather Jerusalem as He desired? Luke 13:34 ... ye would not. John 3:19...light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deed were evil. Romans 1:28 Who knowing the judgment of God that they who commit such things are worthy of death not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them.

If we go back to the garden we see that Eve was deceived not Adam. Adam chose to sin. As a result of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil man has the God given ability to choose. Is it not likely that as part of the penalty for Adam's sin that man must choose?

Why would a loving God who created man to glorify Himself, why would He be pleased with forced or coersed obedience?? God does not want sacrifice and burnt offerings but He delights in a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Ps 51:17

An understanding of God's grace precludes works and robotic obedience.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

RogerW
Jul 3rd 2009, 03:54 PM
Roger W My question is not whether we should pray for the lost, but what we should pray for them. Should we pray for their salvation? If they are not elect and we pray for their salvation then we are praying against the will of God. God has not chosen them and we are asking God to save them when He has no intention of doing so. I believe that we only pray for salvation for someone that is elect. How would we know who is elect? We would only know this if the Holy Spirit told us and quickened us to pray for someone. I guess this means the real goal is to stop praying our own prayers and learn to be more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. That is my goal in my life. I don't want to waste time praying prayers that God has no intention of answering. My prayer for the lost is that God's will be done in their life and that God would be glorified in them. That's the only thing I know to pray for them. I began believing in God's absolute sovereignty in salvation because God had me go through the Bible twice and mark every verse that shows His intervention in the affairs of man with an S(sovereignty). I found over 6,000 verses that deal with God's intervention and complete control over man. I have never studied Calvin. I never read any books on Calvinism until now. I am currently reading Chosen For Life by Sam Storms which has only confirmed and expanded my belief in election. God, Himself, showed me the truth of His absolute control over salvation. Roger D.

Wow! I think I should say Roger, Roger, Roger :rofl:

I will defer to my first reply. Since we cannot know any man's heart we are called to pray for all men without distinction. The same is true in proclaming the gospel of salvation. We don't know who His elect are, so we proclaim the gospel unto all man, and Christ, through the power of His Word and Spirit will save those given the gift of faith to believe.

1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Jul 3rd 2009, 04:06 PM
God's soverignity is not threatened by man's free will. If one does not fully support the reformed doctrine of irrestible grace it does not mean that they must believe in salvation by works. I will simplify election for you. God has cast a vote for you. The devil has cast a vote for you and you must cast the third vote. God knows how the devil is voting and God knows how you will vote that does not mean that God is going to influence the out come unfairly. God does not need to cheat to win.

Greetings Roger,

Are you saying that since God knows how we will vote He elects those whom He knows will vote for Him?



If it is not the will of God that any should perish then why are not all men saved? 2 Pet 3:9 Why was not Christ able to gather Jerusalem as He desired? Luke 13:34 ... ye would not. John 3:19...light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deed were evil. Romans 1:28 Who knowing the judgment of God that they who commit such things are worthy of death not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them.

Are you certain you have made a clear distinction between a call to obedience to those already in covenant relationship with God, and the call to salvation?



If we go back to the garden we see that Eve was deceived not Adam. Adam chose to sin. As a result of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil man has the God given ability to choose. Is it not likely that as part of the penalty for Adam's sin that man must choose?

What happened to Adam and Eve's ability to choose after they disobeyed God? Were they still free to choose to obey God, or did they fall and become servants of sin and in bondage to death and Satan? It seems the ability to freely choose came before they ate of the forbidden tree, otherwise they would have obeyed God and not eaten.



Why would a loving God who created man to glorify Himself, why would He be pleased with forced or coersed obedience?? God does not want sacrifice and burnt offerings but He delights in a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Ps 51:17

Coersed obedience? How is our obedience coersed since our heart, mind and will has been changed? Wouldn't it only be coersed if we were obeying against our wills? When we become saved we obey because we will to glorify God with all our hearts, minds and lives.



An understanding of God's grace precludes works and robotic obedience.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Are you sure you understand the Sovereign Grace of God ALONE?

Many Blessings,
RW

notuptome
Jul 4th 2009, 02:03 AM
Are you saying that since God knows how we will vote He elects those whom He knows will vote for Him?
Why do you think God needs to influence the vote? Do you not think He can be successful unless He rigs the election?


Are you certain you have made a clear distinction between a call to obedience to those already in covenant relationship with God, and the call to salvation?
Yes


What happened to Adam and Eve's ability to choose after they disobeyed God? Were they still free to choose to obey God, or did they fall and become servants of sin and in bondage to death and Satan? It seems the ability to freely choose came before they ate of the forbidden tree, otherwise they would have obeyed God and not eaten.
Of course they could. Can an unsaved person act righteously? Can an unsaved person choose not to steal for instance? Obedience does not produce atonement only the blood sacrifice accomplishes atonement. Hence the need for Christ to shed His blood on the cross.


Coersed obedience? How is our obedience coersed since our heart, mind and will has been changed? Wouldn't it only be coersed if we were obeying against our wills? When we become saved we obey because we will to glorify God with all our hearts, minds and lives.
You've got the cart before the horse. If God saves a man against his will that mans heart has not been changed untill after he has been saved. The question is can a man refuse to ask God to save him? Or is God's will, God's call to salvation, irrestible?



Are you sure you understand the Sovereign Grace of God ALONE?

When did God's sovereign will become sovereign grace?

For the cause of Christ
Roger

crossnote
Jul 4th 2009, 03:25 AM
I wanted to give up my successful business and go to a new place away from my family to minister to runaways.
Was that from God's Word or God's Spirit? The Reformed position is that they are in agreement and it would not include leaving one's family even if they are unbelievers. Or am I mistaken in what you are saying.
God uses prayers of believers in bringing His elect to salvation. Yes He could bring someone to saving faith directly apart from prayer but normally He chooses to use things like His Gospel, His Spirit and the prayers of His saints.

watchinginawe
Jul 4th 2009, 03:40 AM
If you will put away your desire to control things and really search what the Scriptures say you will see that God controls everything. I am so grateful for that.:hmm: I am always conflicted with being grateful if "God controls everything". I certainly am less conflicted with God controlling everything regarding grace, but still conflicted. But looking at "God controls everthing", let me do a couple of examples and get your thoughts.

I am sure that we all agree that God has created a rational universe. It would seem that certain laws are fixed and would not need constant tending or "control". God made it that way. For example, we know that the coefficient of friction is reduced when oil is present on surfaces. We also know that the acceleration of a body falling to the earth will be 32 feet/sec./sec. Now if oil leaks from a hydraulic system on a crane and someone walking along slips and falls and accelerates towards earth from such a height that they die, we would refer to this as an accident. To say that God controlled the event would mean exactly what? That God knew that the accident was going to happen and didn't intervene supernaturally to prevent the accident and thus has caused the final result? Or would it mean a direct action of God, as in causing the oil leak and placing the man at the slippery place on the crane at the right time? Or is it an accident that occurs within the bounds of God's will, and within the laws that He created for our universe, and as a consequence of a sequence of actions by man interacting within those bounds and within that universe?

Moving on to one more difficult, we have God's commands to consider as well. Can we discern the will of God in the following?

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.
...
Numbers 35:30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.

Are murderers under the attendant control of God? Examining the above two scriptures, it would seem that they are contradictory. God commands "thou shalt not kill". But then God goes on to say (paraphrasing) "but if one does contrary to my command and is guilty before you, the murderer shall be put to death". So God is communicating with the offering of the legal judgment of the murderer that His counsel in the matter is such that a man might or might not stay within the limits of His command "thou shalt not kill". God's command sets a system of His will in place by which man is given responsibility to operate. The system is "do not murder", and to "judge those among you who do murder". Man is commanded on both ends, to obey the command and to punish the transgressor when found guilty in this world.

Now, if one is witnessed to murder an innocent person, what exactly does "God controls everything" mean? That God enables all murderers the ability to kill against His command (will) for other direct purposes of His will? Or does God set up boundaries in which man generally is allowed to operate in while knowing the will (commands) of God?

God Bless!

firecracker070445
Jul 4th 2009, 02:17 PM
My belief is that God allows everything to continue on earth as it would until something is contrary to His will.Ephesians 1:11 says that God works all things according to the counsel of His will. There are hundreds of incidences in the Bible where God intervenes in the affairs of man to bring about His will. If someone won't do what He wants He might send a big fish to swallow them up and spit them out where He wants them to go. He might send a talking donkey or a lying spirit to accomplish His purpose. I believe that we have a "free will" to do whatever we please until it conflicts with God's will. When it conflicts with His will He intervenes and causes circumstances that He knows will bring about His will.

watchinginawe
Jul 4th 2009, 02:53 PM
My belief is that God allows everything to continue on earth as it would until something is contrary to His will.We know that murder is contrary to God's stated will, and yet He allows it to happen, and in His knowing that man will act contrary to His stated will, He even commands the legal remedy.
Ephesians 1:11 says that God works all things according to the counsel of His will.Agreed.
There are hundreds of incidences in the Bible where God intervenes in the affairs of man to bring about His will.If God controls everything, there would never need to be an intervention. Intervention is scriptural though. God intervenes, but not always, and it probably is right to say rarely. That is how we know when God invervenes.
If someone won't do what He wants He might send a big fish to swallow them up and spit them out where He wants them to go. He might send a talking donkey or a lying spirit to accomplish His purpose. I believe that we have a "free will" to do whatever we please until it conflicts with God's will. When it conflicts with His will He intervenes and causes circumstances that He knows will bring about His will.There are purposes that God ordains to bring to pass and nothing will thwart that will. God might even intervene in a way such as to "bring someone along" to His purpose. But we have to be careful to not extend that to "God controls everything" or we wind up attributing to God the evil deeds of man as just an extension of His will, the same as interventions. We also might be confused as to what God's will is and whether there is any need for Him to communicate it to us or if there is any benefit in us seeking His will.

When God says that all things work together for good, we must understand that God's statement is not bounded by events in this temporal world. When all things are known and accomplished, we might then understand how God worked all things together for good and according to the true counsel of His will. God might use the evil deeds of man for the working of good, but that isn't the same as God doing good by working the evil deeds of man.

God Bless!

notuptome
Jul 4th 2009, 03:02 PM
My belief is that God allows everything to continue on earth as it would until something is contrary to His will.
God created everything on earth perfect. Sin acted contrary to God's will. God acted by creating a means of atonement which He determined before the world was created.

Ephesians 1:11 says that God works all things according to the counsel of His will.
Determined beforehand in Christ. 2 Tim 1:9

There are hundreds of incidences in the Bible where God intervenes in the affairs of man to bring about His will. If someone won't do what He wants He might send a big fish to swallow them up and spit them out where He wants them to go. He might send a talking donkey or a lying spirit to accomplish His purpose.
Hebrews 1:1-2 God, Who at sundry times and in diverse manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things by Whom also He made the worlds.

I believe that we have a "free will" to do whatever we please until it conflicts with God's will. When it conflicts with His will He intervenes and causes circumstances that He knows will bring about His will.
Good for you. The demons believe and tremble as well. "Conflicts with God's will" is sin. Does God predestine sin in your life?

I wonder if in our efforts to understand God's person and His specific qualities by the very limits of our being do not artifically place limits on God. Only God can know all things, only God can be all powerful, and only God can be omnipresent without prejudicing everything He touches.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

firecracker070445
Jul 4th 2009, 03:06 PM
Clearly evil is contrary to God's will. God allows evil to continue for a time because He is working out a greater good, the salvation of His elect. God does not cause the evil, but He allows it to continue for a time. It is His will to ALLOW it to continue for a time or He would snuff it out immediately. Even though He hates evil He tolerates it and uses it for now to accomplish HIs greater will. It is His will to tolerate evil for now. In Job 1:6-12 God uses Satan to accomplish His own purpose which is the glorification of Himself. In 1 Kings 22:22 God sends out a lying spirit to accomplish His purpose. That doesn't mean that God approves of Satan or lying spirits. It just means that He chooses to use these things for now to glorify Himself and accomplish His ultimate plan of salvation.

watchinginawe
Jul 4th 2009, 05:39 PM
Clearly evil is contrary to God's will. God allows evil to continue for a time because He is working out a greater good, the salvation of His elect.That is a more complex view than "God controls everything". We might all agree that God is sovereign. But then we might disagree about what exactly that means, using terms like "God allows" or "free will of man". We might narrow our viewpoint to what we believe God is absolutely sovereign over, as in salvation. But, if God is sovereign, which is what I state is the foundation of all agreement, what is the difference between God being sovereign and God being sovereign in salvation? Why wouldn't God be sovereign in murder?

Some have no problem with viewing God as being sovereign in murder, and even in all evil. Personally, I think I can see why. If I believed (or came to believe) that God operated in salvation by controlling all things, even including the condemnation of unbelievers by controlling them to not believe, then I might begin to have less conflict with the contradiction of murder when I compared the implications of that to eternal damnation. That would seem a logical extension of truth.

Thanks for your thoughts.

God Bless!