Tuesday, 3 July 2012

How much should Christians love the lost?

In thinking about this question we must also consider the two great commandments- to love the Lord our God with all our hearts,with all our souls, with all our strength and with all our mind; and to love our neighbour as ourselves.If we truly love God the second will come as a natural consequent of the first. It should also be understood that we as human beings do not have a natural love for God and the love we do have for our fellow human is usually based on selfishness -that is, what we can get out of it.However when the light of the gospel and God's love dawns on us we begin to change.John tells us that we love because He first loved us and Paul declares that 'the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us'.Paul also tells us that it is a fruit of the Spirit and that without this love,that though we give up all we have for God,it counts for nothing!

So what about the Christian and his relationship with lost humanity-what should his attitude be? Scripture is very clear throughout its pages. From Moses who prayed that God would take his life in order to spare the people of Israel to Paul who stated that he would wish that he himself were cursed in order that his fellowcountrymen would be saved, it shows us that we must be prepared to put our lives on the line for the lost.Jesus was of course the perfect example when he laid down his life for us on the cross and took the punishment for our sin in order that we might go free.

I am tempted to say it is only the spiritually mature who will have this attitude-perhaps this is true, but it does not necessarily have to do with the length of years a person has been a Christian. A young Christian fully grasping the love of God in his own life might easily be prepared to lay down his life for God and the lost, whereas sadly it is often the older Christian, whose love has become lukewarm, who would rarely dare countenance such a thought.

The preacher Charles Spurgeon expresses the essence of my thoughts more eloquently that I in the follow paragraph, and my prayer is that it would stir our hearts in prayer and action for our unsaved friends and family as well as the myriads of people that we meet throughout our lives.AK

"Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.The saving of souls, if a man has once gained love to perishing sinners and his blessed Master, will be an all-absorbing passion to him. It will so carry him away, that he will almost forget himself in the saving of others. He will be like the brave fireman, who cares not for the scorch or the heat, so that he may rescue the poor creature on whom true humanity has set its heart. If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for."


Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Brother, perhaps I am losing it, but as I have gotten older and walked further that road to Calvary, I see that everyone, absolutely everyone, has a call on my love. The question is, will I give it? I no longer see the world in black and white, bad guys versus good guys, and I no longer espouse any causes, political, religious, even moral. This is not because I don't believe there is a real right and wrong, or real good and evil, or because I am just tired of the struggle. No, I have laid down my arms, so that I can lift up my arms to embrace, following Christ who stretched out His arms on the cross to embrace, and save, everyone, everyone who does not resist Him.

The love of God is not only inexhaustible, not only free, but imposes no conditions except that we accept it from Him, and that is what salvation really is, as I know you know, just the willingness to turn around and face the Lord, knowing or at least trusting that as far as He is concerned (not what we or anyone else thinks) we have been made worthy in spite of our shame, righteous in spite of our sin. God is so good. He is pure mercy. He even prays from the cross that the Father forgive those who killed Him, on that cross and on every cross till the end of time. He didn't qualify in that prayer which of his killers to forgive. He just asked that all be forgiven. And like every prayer of Christ, how can we even think that His heavenly Father would not have granted His request? How could we hope for the granting of our own requests if even the very Son of God was denied His prayer request. God forbid we should be so faithless.

The whole world is white for harvest. That means, every soul has been saved by Christ. Pray that the Lord sends laborers to that harvest, to tell every man that God loves them, that God is in fact love, that there is no darkness or hatred in Him at all. Yes, God is holy and cannot abide sin, but does He banish it? No, He descends into the midst of it, to break its bonds and release its prisoners.

Yes, Christ is risen from the dead, trampling death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life. Yes, He empties the tombs.

Andrew Kenny said...

Thanks Romanos. How true your words are.