There are lots of different motivations you can have for talking to people about Christ, and all of them are good.
We are concerned with the eternal destiny of the unbeliever. When I really think about the prospect of anyone, let alone someone I know and care about, spending eternity in hell, it makes my heart frantic and my prayers more desperate.
We are also concerned about the bondage in which people live every day. The gospel announces that the kingdom of God is in our grasp right now, that we can move from the slavery of fear and decay and live today in God’s freedom and life and hope. When we see people struggle and mourn, we should be motivated by our own belief in the efficacy of the gospel to share the answer with our hurting neighbor.
Both of these motivations are rooted in our love for people and our faith in God. Unfortunately, both of these things can run low at times. We can get self-centered and grow blind to the needs and hurts of our neighbor. We can get earthly-minded and forget lose sight of the eternal judgment. We need a God-centered motivation.
The greatest motivation for evangelism is that God does not get his due glory, that people do not recognize and affirm the greatness of Jesus Christ.
Jeff Bagwell was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame today on his seventh time on the ballot. As a Houston baseball fan, I watched his entire career and came to appreciate how good he really was. I thought it was terribly unfair that he had not been elected the first six times he was on the ballot, and I was ready to argue with anyone who thought otherwise. It was something that could easily rouse up my passion: Bagwell is a Hall-of-Fame player, and he deserves to be recognized as such.
I think that being passionate for the glory of God is similar–not to be argumentative but to be so filled with wonder at the greatness of God that it hurts you for people not to worship Him. You want to make Him known because He deserves for everyone to ascribe to the Lord all the glory due His name.
A transcendent sense of glory is not an easy thing to maintain, least of all in the mundane routines of small town life. But if we want to be filled with passion for reaching the lost, it begins with coming to grips with who God is and what a wonder it is to know Him, the great mystery that we are called to reveal, Christ in you, the hope of glory.
So how do we renew our passion each day? I’d love to hear what has worked for you in the comments.