Absolutely not. See Acts 10:28, 34-35. Also see 2nd Nephi 26:33 in the Book of Mormon: ” . . . and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.”
However, given our limited, earthly/mortal perspective, it is easy to understand why some individuals and groups might feel they are not among God’s favored children. The consequences of sin are not immediate, nor are the rewards for obedience to God’s commandments. The differences between the poor and the wealthy, those who live free and those who live in bondage (of any kind), the healthy and the sick, are enormous. The Lord knows why we are sent, or allowed to have, particular trials in our lives, but we do not always know in the short term. Having faith in the face of these disparities is one of life’s greatest challenges.
Diane, how do you explain Jesus’ prayer in John 17:5-9?
I just read the verses – could you please be more specific about what you are questioning? I am guessing you are focusing on verse 9? But I don’t want to assume.
Jesus says that he is specifically praying for a subset of the world, not everyone. He gives the impression that God has only given some of these people to him.
OK. First – I am definitely not a scriptorian. So you could say I am guessing here. Is it possible Jesus is talking about a particular instance, not implying that He never prays for the world in general? I believe there are other scriptures in the New Testament wherein Jesus prays for people in general.
My own thought – and this may seem presumptuous, but being a parent has given me a tiny bit of insight, I think, into how Jesus may feel about all of us. A couple of my children have caused me less grief than one of my other children (and I’m talking genuine grief here, not just normal trouble.) The “more grief” child has been the source of genuine heartbreak at times while the “less grief” children have been the source of some pride and joy (I know, pride is bad.) So I am more pleased with the behavior of two of my children, but I do not love them more. I love all my children equally. (Really. I don’t have favorites.) Could there be an element of that in this scripture? Jesus may be more pleased with the behavior of certain people and they may be qualified for particular blessings. But I am quite certain He does not love some of us more than He loves others. And I believe He continues to give us all opportunities to repent and come unto Him, he doesn’t turn His back on us.
This may not be a good answer. I’d be interested to hear what you think, Ryan. And maybe someone else can better explain that scripture.
The impression that I get is that Jesus is not referring to behavior. He seems to indicate that God literally has given some people to Jesus, but not others.
Is this interpretation consistent with what you read elsewhere in the scriptures?
It doesn’t seem to be. But that could be an indication that the Bible contains at least one contradiction.
It could be that. If there is a contradiction, I would think it would be due to the translation process, not to any true contradiction.
Why would you think that? And what if it has nothing to do with translation?
Because I don’t believe there are inconsistencies with God, with Jesus. So if there appears to be one, it seems to me, logically, it would have to be in the translation, or in the context. There may be other explanations of course – as I said, I’m no scriptorian. But it does not fit with anything I believe, that God would give some people to Jesus but not others. I believe He accepts anyone who chooses to follow Him, and I believe He loves literally every individual ever born on this earth.
I agree that God would not have any inconsistencies. Now, this issue here could be translational or something, but if it is a contradiction, wouldn’t that mean that Bible is not from God?
Theoretically, yes, I believe it would mean that, that portion anyway. God cannot have contradictions or inconsistencies. But I don’t believe that is the case, I believe the Bible is from God, as far as it is translated correctly. And there is always context, the bigger picture, something we possibly don’t understand. A small child may think his parents are inconsistent even if they are not, as he has limited understanding.
So, why do you believe the Bible is from God?
I’ve read it, pondered it, done a little studying, and most importantly, I’ve prayed about it and have received a witness that it is the Word of God. What do you believe? Do you believe the Bible is from God?