God desires that all will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and be restored into a right relationship with Him. As believers, the ministry of reconciliation has been entrusted to us. We are to have the same concern for the lost that God has. However, throughout much of the body there is no longer a burning burden for the lost. The word burden is described as something carried (load), duty or responsibility.
Many believers and churches have lost the sense of urgency to reach the lost. How did this lack of concern creep into the body of Christ? A few reasons, but not all, are:
1. Believers are too busy with their own life. The cares of life have overtaken them.
2. Spiritual lethargy (lazy and apathetic)
3. Lack compassion for the lost. Compassion can be described as seeing someone’s situation and desiring to do something about it to alleviate it. We must have the same compassion as Christ.
4. The belief of universalism. Universalism is a theological doctrine that all human beings will eventually be saved.
People that believe in universalism …
* believe that all people will be saved.
* believe that a good and loving God would not condemn people to eternal torment in hell.
* believe that after a certain cleansing period, God will free the inhabitants of hell and reconcile them to himself.
* believe that after death, people will have another opportunity to choose God.
* believe that there are many ways to get into heaven.
* believe that in the end everyone will be brought into a right relationship with God
* ignore the consequences of unrepented sin.
5. The myth that it is the pastor’s job to reach the lost.
6. Forgetting the past. Some believers have long forgotten what it was like to live in sin, without hope, lost and separated from God.
7. Refusing to get out of the four walls of their church. They wait for the lost people to come to them instead of going to where the lost people are.
8. Self-centeredness (concerned solely with their own desires, needs, or interests)
9. Political correctness has crept into too many believer’s lives and churches. They have lost their fear of God – they would rather please man than God.
10. Church busyness. Too many social activities and church programs within the church, to the point that believers are too busy to even care about those outside the church.
11. Lack of prayer within the church. It is in our times of prayer and intimacy with God that He gives us His burdens.
12. Forgetting that hell and the lake of fire are real, and those that go there will suffer for eternity. Too many today, even within the church, believe that hell and the lake of fire are not literal places.
Thank-you for the gift of salvation that You have given to me. Since I have been reconciled unto You, help me to fulfill the ministry of reconciliation that You have called me to. By the power of the Holy Spirit, give me a burning desire to reach the unsaved. Fill me with a sense of urgency. Don’t allow the cares of life to overtake me, or spiritual lethargy to creep in. May I have the same compassion that Christ had.
In Jesus’ name, Amen