Weekly Devotional 6-14-21
The Purpose of God Leaving us in The World After Salvation
From John 17:1-23 we read: “1Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
6I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
9I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
20I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.’”
Some have asked when a person becomes a believer, why doesn’t God just take him (or her) out of the miseries of this world and into heaven? The answer begins to be answered in the above passage, especially in Jesus’ words of verse 20. He said, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.” Salvation was not only to be for those whom the Father had given to Jesus in His first advent, but to others that would come to believe in Him through their testimony. And it was not to be just those of that generation, but to all succeeding generations. God is in the process of populating heaven with the spirits of persons from each generation who have come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. This will continue until each person who is to be saved is saved (Romans 11:25).
The purpose for the eleven that Jesus addressed in His prayer was for them to be witnesses (forth-tellers) of His mercy and grace. This too, is the purpose of every person whom God saves. The Apostle Paul put it this way, “11For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ 14How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!’
God is glorified when a person is saved because salvation is His work. The message of His saving grace is to be testified of by those who have been previously saved. It is His continuous work, but the Christians purpose, we are conduits of His grace.
May each of us whom God has already brought to Himself appreciate more and more our reason for being left in the world, we are His witnesses.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man