Have you ever found yourself troubled, frustrated, and perhaps downright angry at the godlessness of the world we live in? We see rank evil in every area of life: government, entertainment, education, and our society in general. And maybe you’re not just bothered by godlessness in a general way, but perhaps there are some specific ungodly people that really get your dander up. These are folks you either know, or know of, who just seem to really make your blood boil. What kind of attitude and response should Christians have to such people – unbelievers who seem to multiply wickedness?
The Holy Spirit answers this question quite directly in 1 Tim. 2:1-6.
1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
In short, we should long for, and pray for the salvation of ungodly people. And we should do so because God desires ungodly people to be saved. Imagine: ungodly people just like you and me before God saved us. J. Ligon Duncan keenly observes:
“Paul is just sketching out for us once again the basis of the world missionary enterprise. We as Christians must long to see the world come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ; and if we don’t, then it is perhaps an indication that we have not understood in our own hearts the wideness of God’s mercy and the depth of His grace. But when you realize the wideness and the depth of His grace towards you, you want every person to know God savingly, as He by His grace has caused you to know Him.” (J. Ligon Duncan, A Call to Prayer, sermon on 1 Tim. 2:1-7, 07/25/2004)
Beloved, there are lots of ungodly ways to respond to ungodliness. But the godly way, the right way, the God-glorifying way is to PRAY for the salvation of ungodly people. And as we pray, to also be faithful in sharing the Gospel with those God brings in our paths.
Because Christ lives, and is returning,