Heart-broken Evangelism

by | Jun 17, 2021 | Missions Articles

Two years ago — as my ministry focus was shifting away from facilitating Christian discipleship and onto evangelism — I was overcome by an unexpected sensation. As I thought about the large population of people who did not have a relationship with Jesus (in my own neighborhood, let alone worldwide) I felt a deep sense of longing for their salvation. Shortly after these thoughts and emotions entered my consciousness, I began to weep.

I wish I could say that this episode was typical. I wish I could say that I have a deep sense of love for those who have not had a revelation of who God is and an obsession with pursuing their redemption. Unfortunately, my compassion for them doesn’t run that deep. I generally share the Gospel because of the cold-hard fact that there could never be a more valuable way to spend my time.

So what was the cause of my outpouring of concern for people’s souls? I think I was experiencing supernatural sympathy. When God places a burden on someone to tell people that unity with Himself is possible, He often grants His messengers insight into His own sorrow over those who reject the message.

Jesus gives us a window into God’s grief for sinners. As He traveled to Jerusalem to conclude His three-year ministry as a human, “He drew near and saw the city” and “wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes’” (Luke 19:41-42).

Paul, the apostle, also displayed God’s love for non-Christians — especially those who are rebels. He wrote that “many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18).

When God told Ezekiel, His prophet, to pronounce judgement on non-repentant sinners He commanded him to “groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes” and to “cry out and wail” (Ezekiel 21:6,12).

I believe what happened to me that day in 2015 was an answer to a prayer I had so often thoughtlessly uttered through the lyrics of that world-renowned worship song, “Hosanna,” that plead, Break my heart for what breaks Yours.

It’s a bittersweet reality, but anyone who desires true intimacy with God (that is, to understand and sympathize with God’s plight) will have to partner with Him in rescuing people from spiritual destruction. A consequence is experiencing God’s anguish over those who reject saving grace.

By: Raymond Billy

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