To move our own hearts towards evangelism, it may help to think first of God’s heart for the world…
Here are a few verses for our consideration:
Genesis 12:3 – “I will bless those who bless you [Abraham], and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (cf. Genesis 22:18). Already, in the very beginning, as God begins a new redemptive work in the creation of the nation of Israel, He is thinking of “all the families of the earth.” The plan has always been that the whole world should be invited to reconciliation with God their Father.
Ezekiel 33:11 – “Say to them, as I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” One day the Lord will judge humanity and punish those who do not worship Him, but as we see here, his heart, his desire, is that people would turn to him.
Luke 19:10 – “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” We see the Father’s heart most clearly in the ministry of his Son. Jesus is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3), and so we see visibly in Jesus’s ministry the Father’s heart in action. And what do we see? A kind shepherd who has come to seek and save the lost.
1 Timothy 2:3b-4 – “…God our Savior…desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Salvation for the lost is what the Lord desires, and as the church moves forward in the New Testament, Paul continues to see this truth as motivation for ministry and missions.
Finding the lost, saving the sinner – this is the Lord’s heart, from day one, confirmed again in the arrival of Jesus and continued in the ministry of the apostles.
If this is the Lord’s heart for the lost, what should our heart be?
And knowing the Father’s heart, we can also take great encouragement in our efforts to evangelize because we know God is on our side, that He goes with us, delighting in the spread of the Gospel and desiring that many be saved.
May the Lord impart to us his very heart. May we overflow with compassion for the lost. Amen.