Have you ever wondered what it feels like to have a love for the lost? This a term we use as part of our Christian jargon. Many believers search their hearts in condemnation, looking for the arrival of “the lost.” You can’t feel deeply for an abstraction or a concept. You would find it impossible to love deeply an unfamiliar individual portrayed in a photograph, let alone a nation or a race or something as vague as “all lost people.”
Don’t wait for a feeling of love in order to share Christ with a stranger. You already love your heavenly Father, and you know that this stranger is created by Him, but separated from Him, so take those first steps in evangelism because you love God. It is not primarily out of compassion for humanity that we share our faith or pray for the lost; it is first of all, love for God. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:7-8: “With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.”
Humanity does not deserve the love of God any more than you or I do. We should never be Christian humanists, taking Jesus to poor sinful people, reducing Jesus to some kind of product that will better their lot. People deserved to be damned, but Jesus, the suffering Lamb of God, deserves the reward of his suffering.
–John Dawson, Taking Our Cities for God (Lake Mary, Florida: Creation House, 1989), pp. 208-209.
Now I wouldn’t discount God giving people a burden for a particular people. John Piper notes this in Let the Nations be Glad!
However, I think many of us are reluctant to go out and share Jesus because we are waiting for a “love for the lost”. If we love God, let’s go out and love others with the love of Christ. We need not wait.