1999-04-24 - Salvation Offered to All
Through Christian missionaries God is giving the nations the opportunity to be eternally saved.
Matt. 8:11 And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
The church in the first generation preached the gospel in every land and nation. Until the downfall of the nation of Israel in 70 AD, the church was largely Jewish; after that the Church changed to be that of a mostly Gentile nature. We should remember that it was during the time when the church was predominately Jewish that the Gospel was first proclaimed throughout the entire world.
The Church then suffered from a number of great persecutions. Large numbers of Christians were put to death for their convictions. Due to the persecutions and the large number of Jews turning from the gospel, the churches missionary vision and outreach greatly diminished.
It was while the Church was struggling for its very existence that Constantine (in the 4th century) took an active part in its affairs, bringing it under state control. In this new order there appeared to be a return of power; but there was also intense persecution. Elements of legalism, worldliness, corruption and sensuality were paralyzing the entire body of the Church. The Church began to whither and die. The Church's influence decreased, and then came the Dark Ages. Less is known about this period of Church history than any other. Yet the scriptures were preserved and adhered to by small groups of believers. These small groups had little influence within the great body of the church, but true Christianity was passed on from generation to generation through them.
During the Renaissance came the Reformation, and hearts were ready for the truth that was being preached. The Church again caught the missionary vision. A new chapter in church was being opened. This endeavor has been used by God to claim to the multitudes in darkness, the hope of salvation, through Jesus Christ.
Multitudes in our own country are in darkness despite all that is available to them. Many, when attending church services, are mislead by what they hear. There is as much, and probably more, preaching and teaching of false doctrine today than there is of a true, sound doctrine. We should pray for discernment that we would be able to distinguish between what is mans philosophy and Gods eternal truth. A person who honestly seeks Gods truth, through His Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit and is willing to obey it, will understand it.
John 7:17 If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself.