There’s a funny thing that happens in us that we may or may not realize. If we’re living with any sort of missional intentionality – if we’re desiring God to use us by proclaiming his Gospel with word and deed so that others would come to know Jesus – we’ve all asked ourselves this inane question I’m about to pose. And if you haven’t, you’re a better saint then I (either that, or you’re lying and now the scales are back to even!).
“Can God save them?”
Yup, it’s really a thought that crosses my fallen mind when I meet people or I’m in relationship with them for any amount of time. In fact, there is some internal measure I perform on someone the minute I meet them, which determines what I’ll call their “savability”. That’s right, I size them up using a bunch of different factors and conclude the measure of their “savability”. This could be anything from their amiable personality to their clean-cut appearance. After all, if we measure God’s work by the Christians we tend to roll with in our circles, wouldn’t experience tell you that God saves certain types of people? Wouldn’t the empirical rule of observation allow you to conclude that some people are just ripe for conversion and some are too far from the reach of God?
Isn’t it true that pessimism is a sure sign you’ll never see the hope provided in the Gospel?
Isn’t it true that old age means you’re less likely to break out of your sinful habits?
Isn’t it true that since you grew up in a broken family that you are too broken beyond repair?
Isn’t it true that since you never went to grad school you’ll never grasp the realities of God’s glory in the scriptures?
I could go on, but I fear you might be getting the point.
The resounding answer to all of the above is: NO! So I’m hoping by now you’re either shaking your head at me in disgust or laughing from the insanity that is this exercise. Sure, satire is often a good tool to help us see foolishness, but let me shed a much brighter light on the situation, one that should once and for all squash any notion that there is some predisposed character trait or personality profiling that makes you susceptible to believing in Jesus and His Gospel. Because, if you read the Scriptures, there is no way you can believe that God’s arm is too short to save or that God has some template that measures someone’s “savability”. It’s the exact opposite. God saves big and small, black and white, degreed and GED’d, pessimist and optimist, young and old, and everything in between…
Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear (Isaiah 59:1 ESV)
And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,”
(Revelation 5:9 ESV)
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude
that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
(Revelation 7:9 ESV)
If we believe God in His word, then your alcoholic father is not too far from the arm of God’s salvation. If we believe God in His word, then the lost village and nation of people you are sent to will be represented in the multitude of those whom God has ransomed by his blood. If we believe God in His word, then our prayers for the most unresponsive of friends in the most unthinkable of situations is not falling on deaf ears.
Take God at His word and you just might see Him do what He’s done in every age: rescue all types of people from every impossible circumstance.