“When I came to Christ, I wanted to tell everybody about Him. He was the one person I felt all my friends needed to know, and I even saw one or two of them come to Christ. Yet now that I’ve been a Christian for ten years, I just don’t have the same excitement for sharing Christ. I hate to admit it, but I really don’t care whether I talk to unbelievers or not.”
This kind of confession is very common among believers. The condition behind confessions like these often ranges from not taking time to spend with unbelievers to not feeling concern about their eternal destiny. These Christians should be complimented for confessing something that is far easier to deny. Realizing their lack of compassion, they often ask: “How can I regain my concern for lost people?”
A few simple, practical ideas can cause a world of change in regaining this concern for unbelievers.
Draw Closer to Jesus
We must recognize that unconcern for unbelievers is—at least in part—a spiritual growth issue. If we take the Scriptures at face value, there is simply no way of getting close to Christ without seeing how much He cares for those for whom He died. Luke 19:10 is quite explicit: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
In light of that clear statement, is it possible to get close to the Master’s heart without getting close to the Master’s mission? Consider Matthew 4:19 where Christ extended the invitation, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
How, then, can we follow closely in His footsteps without being captivated by His concern for the lost? If we would like to think of ourselves as growing Christians, a good biblical barometer of our growth would be, “How concerned am I for lost people?”
Does that mean if we do not witness to one person a day, we are not close to Christ and have no concern for the lost? Not for a moment. He wants our lives to be motivated by relationships, not regulations. It is to say, however, that if we draw close to Jesus Christ, we will find His concern for the lost rubbing off on us.
Known as the friend of sinners, His whole life revolved around lost people. Since they are so close to His heart, the closer we draw to Him, the closer we draw to the people for whom He died.
Therefore, we ought to ask ourselves the question, “Are we spending the time daily getting to know Christ better, talking to Him through prayer, and letting Him talk to us through the Scriptures?” Or are we like Martha in Luke 10 who was so “worried and troubled about many things” that she neglected just sitting down and talking to Him and letting Him talk to her?
A genuine, growing relationship with Him should lead to a growing closeness to non-Christians.