Lessons Of A Lifetime

Praying For Future Believers
Being Made Perfect In Christ
Sunday April 16, 2023

Scripture To Consider:
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that 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. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I 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.”

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

“O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I declared to them Your name, and I will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”       John 17.20-26

Something To Consider:
Jesus prayed, “I do not pray for these alone, but for those who will believe in Me through their word.” In our previous text, Jesus’ prayer for His early disciples was in essence a prayer for future generations of believers. Everything He prayed for His eleven disciples is relative to future believers. Therefore, Jesus prayed for His future followers when He prayed, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth.”

Paul reiterated the same truth in Ephesians 5.25-26, when he proclaimed; “That He [Jesus] might sanctify and cleanse her [the church] with the washing of water by the Word.” The lesson to be learned here is that Jesus is the Word and His Word is the cleansing and sanctifying spiritual agent at work in future believers.

Therefore, we are either being made perfect in Christ, who is the Word, and who is the truth, or we are remaining worldly in our thinking and daily lives. And according to Jesus, “No servant can serve two masters.” We will either hate the one and cling to the other.

Therefore, according to Romans 12.2, “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind [by way of the washing of the water of the Word of God].” What will we do? Will we willingly be made perfect in Christ, or will we surrender our wills to the ways of this world? Eternity hangs in the balance. Therefore, choose wisely!

Something Else To Consider:
Jesus, in praying for future believers must have foreseen into the future, for He prayed earnestly for those also who would believe in the words and in the testimony of His early disciples. Three times Jesus petitioned His Father for future believers, by praying, “That they all may be one. That they also may be one in Us. That they may be one just as We are one.”

There is no doubt that Jesus believed that future believers would be an issue of concern for the church of the future. And history has proven His concerns to be both valid and true. Therefore, Jesus proclaimed, “When I come [return] will I find faith on the earth.” Did Jesus see the mass departing from the faith that has occurred in this 21st century? Did Jesus see the falling away from the truth that has so enveloped this final earthly generation? The answer to both is yes!

Every generation of believers have had the opportunity to pass the torch of the mandate to pray for future believers. Every generation  of believers have had the opportunity to be made perfect in Christ through the washing of the water of the Word of God. But have they, have we, taken full advantage of the cleansing power of the Word of God in our lives?

Or, are we guilty of remaining more worldly and of no spiritual value to the process of enlarging the kingdom of God? Will we be among those of whom Jesus will find when He returns as being without faith? Remember, it matters not what we think, but rather what Jesus thinks and what the Word of God declares to be true!

Something More To Consider:
Some might see today’s Scripture to consider as Jesus praying for future unity among believers. David also saw the need for unity among God’s people. He wrote in Psalm 133.1, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” In Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus, he emphasized our need for unity as true believers in Christ when he admonished us by stating our need to endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

While praying in our text, Jesus prayed that future believers would become perfect in one. What is it that we are doing to encourage believers as well as future believers to become perfect? What is it that we should be doing to encourage unity among present and future believers? The One who holds the answer to that question is only one prayer away! May we have ears to hear and hearts willing to obey what we hear.

And yet, unity at whatever cost is extremely dangerous and leads to much compromise! We see this being played out in this 21st century in both politics and religion. The so-called leaders of the catholic church have reached out to the ecumenical churches worldwide and has caused a most compromising and unbiblical allegiance to be created.

A Few Final Words:
These religious but not Christian alliances that are based on unity at all costs, will be exploited by the Antichrist in the very near future. Let us not be among the blind leading the blind or the blind being led by the blind. Let us be among those willing to be made perfect in Jesus Christ, the Word of God come in the flesh, full of grace and full of truth.

Jesus, the Prince of Peace for all times, prayed for future believers and that they would be made perfect as they abide in Him and in His Word. Therefore, how can we do any less? Are we faithfully praying for others of our families, our friends, our everyday acquaintances, and those we have by God’s grace simply met once in God’s gracious providence?

Jesus prayed, “I do not pray for these alone [His early disciples only], but also for those [future believers] who will believe in Me through their word.” Are we as future believers, present tense believing in Jesus and in His written and preserved Word of God? If so, we have a God-given responsibility to be praying for others in Jesus’ name.

Our Father in heaven, remind us often to pray for future believers and for them to be made perfect in Christ and in His Word. Hold us accountable to the task of intervening in the lives of others that will make a difference in their eternity. Make us more like Jesus today, and less like mortal men, women, and young people. In Him Always, Amen!

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