All Sorts of Men Will Be Saved
1. On what does our standing with God depend?
1 God’s undeserved kindness has opened the way to salvation. It is Jehovah’s will that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:3, 4) Our standing with God depends, not on our race, social standing, abilities, or outward appearance, but on our exercising faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. (John 3:16, 36) As God’s fellow workers, we must rid ourselves of any bias, which may incline our hearts to reject people whom Jehovah is willing to accept.
2, 3. What can help us not to judge people by their outward appearance?
2 Avoid Judging: Jehovah looks at what people are on the inside, without malice or partiality. (1 Sam. 16:7) He also sees them for what they can be. Thus, he views those wanting to please him as desirable. (Hag. 2:7) Do we view others as God does?
3 Some people we meet in the ministry may shock us by their appearance. They may dress shabbily or immodestly, have unkempt beards, or display nose or lip rings. Some may be homeless. Others may treat us harshly. Rather than judging such ones as never likely to become worshipers of Jehovah, we should have a positive attitude, “for even we were once senseless, disobedient, [and] being misled.” (Titus 3:3) Realizing this, we will be eager to preach to everyone, even to those who, from outward appearances, might seem unworthy.
4, 5. What do we learn from the examples of Jesus and Paul?
4 First-Century Examples: Jesus Christ took time to help those whom others may have dismissed as beyond hope. (Luke 8:26-39) While never condoning wrong practices, he knew that people could get caught up in a wrong way of life. (Luke 7:37, 38, 44-48) Thus, he showed understanding, being “moved with pity for them, because they were as sheep without a shepherd.” (Mark 6:34) Can we imitate his example more fully?
5 The apostle Paul was stoned, beaten, and imprisoned. (Acts 14:19; 16:22, 23) Did such harsh experiences cause him to become bitter and to conclude that he was wasting his time among certain nations and ethnic groups? Not at all. He knew that honesthearted individuals could be found among all ethnic groups, and he was determined to find them. Is that how we view those in our territory who are from different backgrounds and cultures?
6. What effect can our attitude have on new ones at congregation meetings?
6 Welcoming Others Today: Many of God’s people are happy that they were welcomed into the congregation by brothers and sisters who looked beyond outward appearance. A man with an unkempt beard and shoulder-length hair, dressed in dirty clothes, arrived at a Kingdom Hall in Germany. He had a bad reputation. Nevertheless, he was warmly welcomed at the meeting. He was so impressed that he returned a week later. In a short time, he cleaned up his appearance, stopped smoking, and legalized his relationship with his girlfriend. Before long, they and their children were serving Jehovah as a united family.
7. How can we imitate our impartial God?
7 In imitation of our impartial God, may we extend the invitation to benefit from God’s undeserved kindness to everyone.
[Blurb on page 3]
“God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”—Acts 10:34, 35.