What is it that consumes your thought life, your monies, your energy? Jesus said that He came to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19.10), and as He left the world He gave us the Great Commission: one last command that should be the goal of our lives – to make disciples of all the nations (Matt 28.18-20). So if Jesus’ intention is to save, and His greatest desire for us is to be involved in His salvation process of the lost, then we can rightly judge our position with the Lord by assessing our hearts on the topic.
“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!”
– Charles Spurgeon
When Jesus first returned to Heaven there was an urgency amongst believers. They believed that Jesus would return while they were still alive. Thus they were selling all of their possessions, they were giving to the poor, they were working as a community to provide food, housing, and care for everyone so as to win as many as possible. They were thinking of the world to come. They were focused on eternity. They were waiting for Jesus to return and planning for the next life, not this one.
Jesus saves out of love. And He commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Therefore, what is the most loving thing that we can do for one another? For our neighbors? Pointing them to Jesus. If we do not share the Gospel, if we do not warn our neighbors and friends of the coming judgment, we do not love them. And if we do not love them, then our very salvation is in question.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
– 1 John 4.7-8
Do you think this is an over-application of this passage? Then continue reading what John had to say:
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
– 1 John 4.8-11
If we can look at our neighbor and not care about His eternity, then we do not love Him, and Scripture teaches us that such a heart is not born again. If we can look at our neighbor and affirm his destiny for Hell with the thought, “He deserves it”, then we do not grasp our own sinfulness and from what we have been saved, and we are not born again. If we are apathetic about eternity, we have not been saved. We cannot know God and love God and not long for eternity, grieve over sin, and long for others to be saved.
It was so important to Jesus that He died for it. How important is it to you?
We live in a placating society in which we take drugs, seek counseling, and enforce the government to affirm our every decision and desire in order to fix a heart problem. We are guilty, we are dissatisfied, and we are worthy of Hell. We think that if we tell one another that “you deserve to be happy”, that it is our right to pursue happiness, that we are not that bad that we will feel better about ourselves. But if you feel a twinge of conviction about sin, about apathy, about your lifestyle, do not seek out a counselor who will point out your strengths. Seek out the Scripture and let God do surgery. God can change us, He can sanctify us, and He can prepare us to meet him. He can use us to accomplish His plan of salvation in other’s lives. So today, let us take seriously that prodding of the Holy Spirit, set our minds on things above, and let us get busy about making disciples of all the nations: loving our neighbors.