God so loved the world that He gave His Only-Begotten Son, that whoever would believe in Him shall not perish but have Eternal Life.” – John 3:16. From this famous Scripture quote, we know God’s heart and the heart of the Gospel. God demonstrated His love and withheld nothing, not even His most precious Son. But then He entrusted the Gospel to His Church. God did His saving part, so to speak, but then invited us, all who have received and believed the Gospel, to participate in the work of bringing others to Christ, in our time and until He comes again. He is patient and hopeful because He wants none to perish.
Many in the world, as usual and expected, have no fear of “perishing” in the sense that they will be separated from God for all eternity, either because they do not believe in God or they believe that their current belief system is sufficient to avoid that state of eternal separation. The other problem is that many in the Church do not believe that other people will perish without a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ or we just don’t take that biblical truth serious enough. Therefore, we are usually not compelled to preach the Good News because there is a lack of fear, or love for, those upon whom the Bad News of condemnation remains, as John 3:18 states. The Church often avoids this and similar Scripture verses because of the weight of consequential responsibility of having read them.
If we the Church truly believe that other people will perish, the love of God in our hearts should move us to action. But the Word also truly evaluates and states, “It is rare indeed for anyone to die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God proved His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He spoke from the Cross, after doing His unique saving part which only He could do, “It is finished.” He proved His love for God and man.
Now the proof of the Church’s love is either seen or not seen by our willingness to do our part, or at least something, for those who are still perishing because they have yet to believe in God’s Son. There has been enough said about this, but there has not been enough done, that is, by the Church, whose part remains unfinished. We already know that God so loved the world, but I am not so sure about us, the Church. There remains a call of upon the Church to pursue those who are perishing even as God pursued us.