Article - Saving the Lost
It has been estimated that there were over four million Jews/Israelites living in the 1st century (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jewish_population_comparisons) when Paul wrote the following inspired words of God in Romans 10:1-3, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” These verses help explain why Paul was such an aggressive soul winner not only of the Jews but also the Gentiles (Proverbs 11:30; James 5:20). First, Paul genuinely desired to save others (do you? Or are you too busy?). Second, Paul prayed to God for those whom he wanted to save (do you?). Third, Paul realized that according to God’s will there are only two categories of people: those who are saved AND those who are lost (are you saved or lost? Mark 16:16; John 3:16; 1 Peter 4:18). Fourth, Paul applied the righteous judgment of God to the Jewish religion and made the righteous and loving judgment that the Jews (that is, those who adhered to the doctrines and traditions of the Jewish religion) were among the category of the lost (John 7:24; Acts 13:44-46; Galatians 1:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 1:4-9). Fifth, Paul realized that although the Jews had some positive and, to a certain degree, sincere traits (a zeal for God), their lost state was due mainly to two shortcomings: the Jews did not have the proper, scriptural knowledge of the truth AND they had not submitted to/obeyed the righteousness of God/the gospel (Matthew 7:21-23; John 8:32; 17:17; Acts 5:32; Romans 2:8; 6:16-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Hebrews 5:8-9; 1 Peter 1:22; 4:17).
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