(page 10 of Standard Edition)
Faithfulness to Christ’s Command
Loyalty to Christ requires a commitment to do His will. It neces-
sitates obedience to His commands. It results in a heart that beats with
His heart in saving the lost. It places priority on the things that He
Read 1 Timothy 2:3, 4 and 2 Peter 3:9. What do these passages tell us
about the heart of God? What is His priority?
God is passionate about saving people. There is nothing more impor-
tant to Him. It is His earnest desire that “all” be saved and “come to the
knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4, NKJV). He is “not willing that any
should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9, NKJV).
The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary indicates that the Greek
word used for “willing” in this passage is bouloma i, which expresses “the
inclination of mind, as ‘to want’ or ‘to desire.’ ” The commentary then
makes this insightful observation on the little word “but.” The Greek word
for “but” is alla. It is used here “to emphasize the contrast between the
misinterpretation of God’s nature, namely, that He might be willing for
some to perish, and the truth that He wishes all to be saved.”—The SDA
Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 615. Christ’s command for each one of us to
participate in His mission as witnesses of His love, grace, and truth is an
outgrowth of His desire for all humanity to be saved.
Read Acts 13:47 and compare it to Isaiah 49:6. To whom did this pas-
sage initially apply? How does the apostle Paul use it?
There are times when an Old Testament prophecy has more than one
application. Here the apostle Paul takes a prophecy that referred first
to Israel and prophetically to the Messiah (see Isa. 41:8, Isa. 49:6, and
Luke 2:32) and applies it to the New Testament church. For the church
to neglect or minimize the command of Christ is to fail in the purpose
of her existence and miss her prophetic calling to the world.
What are the dangers to the church, even a local church, if it
becomes so inwardly focused that it forgets what its purpose is
to begin with?