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!
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."