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Monday, September 30, 2013

Who Will Be Saved?

Our Tuesday morning group is studying Galatians.  We shared our overview of the book last week.  This week we are working through the first section roughly Galatians 1:1 – 2:10 give or take.  I really like Galatians I love the emphasis on freedom that Paul presents.  But this time through I was stunned by Galatians 1:15.
Are there people you encounter that you are pretty sure are not going to heaven? Thoughts at DTTB.
The context is one of Paul’s long, convoluted sentences (if you know how to diagram sentences I dare you to diagram this one, if you don’t learning will really help your observations in Bible study).  Paul is explaining his call as an apostle and the revelation of the gospel he experienced.  To illustrate the supernatural depth of his conversion he shares with the Galatians what they already knew about him, he was a rabid persecutor of the Church.

The amazing thing here is how he describes God’s involvement in his conversion.  Look closely at verse 15.  Paul states that he was set apart and called while he was persecuting the Church seeking the death of its members. Whoa.

Think of the implications of that.

There are people today that are so rabid in their hate for Christianity that I tend to write them off.  There are those in the Middle East who are killing believers.  It may be that God has, like Paul, set them apart and called them.  I certainly do not see that.  But the reality of Paul’s life challenged me this afternoon to check myself in relating to those types of people.

As is His practice, He nearly immediately tested me on this.  I had to deal with a cult member this afternoon who was arrogant and unresponsive to the help for which he asked me.  I struggled to help him I am not sure that I represented Christ well in that dialog.

Application does not come easily or quickly.  Bottom line?  Today I was reminded that it is God who determines who He chooses to draw to himself.  I have to treat everyone I meet as one whom the Lord may be drawing as we speak.

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