The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.The world and all its people belong to him. (Psalm 24:1, NLT)
All its people! All the earth’s people belong to the Lord. Not just some of them; not just the nice ones – all of them belong to him. Even the terrorists, the dictators, the murderers, paedophiles, addicts,Â thieves, men, women, everyone I don’t like. All of them.
Apart from the fact that I should not judge others, this should also increase my desire to reach out to the people around me – all of them!
Part of the problem is the language that we, as Christians, sometimes use. We seem to talk in the passive sense. We talk about more people getting saved, instead of getting more people saved! The order of the words are wrong, and that more or less determines my actions. Because people get saved, I can sit back and let it happen. If I get the order of the words correct, then it puts a responsibility on me, a fearful responsibility!
Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. (2 Cor 5:11)
I then have to act on this responsibility, do something, get involved. I have to go out of the city walls and into the enemy’s camp. I have to get back and give back to God what is rightfully his – all the people that belong to him. And it is all the people. I don’t have the right to decide who will and who will not be saved. I know that not everyone will come to salvation. Some will reject it. That is a fact, but I cannot allow that fact to become a cop-out. I cannot say that there is no chance of X being saved, no point in speaking to Y, or that I have tried before with Z and I would be wasting my time speaking again.
All of the people are God’s. I must try all I can. I have to press in, to push into the enemy’s camp and take back what he has stolen. It is a fearful responsibility, but my fear shouldn’t be of what the enemy can do to me. My fear should be the fear of the consequences of failure. Yes, sometimes I will fail, but the only acceptable failure is the failure that follows action. The failure which follows inaction is reprehensible.
All of the people!