Majoring On The Majors

I’m praying for them. I’m not praying for the world but for those you gave me, because they are yours.
-John 17:9

Jesus tells His Father, "I am not praying for the world".  Does that mean we are not supposed to pray for the unsaved or what does it mean?  Martin Luther said, "what must be asked for the world is that it may be converted, not that it may be sanctified or kept."  We might get so caught up with the world, that we end up putting energy into getting the world to be better, to behave, to be sanctified; when the truth is that the world is rejecting salvation through Christ.

Today, it is the same.  Jesus is still praying for people who are coming to God through him (Romans 8:34 & Hebrews 7:25).  Jesus prays for the salvation, the sanctification of believers.  Jesus intercedes for those who are his.  We might want to discover what Jesus is praying for us and pray with him.

We know that the Bible says, "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life", in John 3:16.  But it also says, "Don’t love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them.  Everything that is in the world—the craving for whatever the body feels, the craving for whatever the eyes see and the arrogant pride in one’s possessions—is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world and its cravings are passing away, but the person who does the will of God remains forever", in 1 John 2:15-17.

God loves the world so much that he sent Jesus to save the world.  The world is against God, but God sent Jesus to reconcile the people in it to Him.  Folks have to take a step towards God, through Christ, and repent of their sin and rebellion, and start over.  That same world, that believers have come out of, God says not to love it.  Of the world, or the world system, or the worldwide culture that is against Christ; God says, "come out of it, don't partner with it, don't be aligned with it."

The Christian walks with God, who is on a mission to save the people in the world.  In the eyes of the Christian, people in the world who are not yet Christians, not followers, nor seekers of God through Christ; are our mission field.  They are people who need God and might not know it.  They are people who are opposed to God and don't understand the eternal consequence of that.  This is real life in the world for the Christian.

The issue for the unconverted people is that they are unconverted.  They don't know that they are in darkness, that they are blind, and that they are captured by the enemy.  The issue for the Christian is to lead the unconverted to Christ.  Everyone needs the free gift of salvation through Christ.  The enemy has blinded them to this and people have all sorts of distorted views of God.  God is love, but that love was most expressed through the death of Christ, and now that love is expressed through the Church of Christ and only comes because of God's love expressed through his only son.  That's the whole love issue.

The major message is that Christ came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).  We don't pray that someday, somehow, or maybe the world would get it and get better.  We pray, "God please give me the message of Christ with power, to take to the world today."  That is the same as saying, "thy kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."