In our Bible-study class, we were reading Ephesians 4:17-24 out loud when Alyssa began to cry. Most of us were wondering why, when she quietly said, “I’m crying because hearing this passage read out loud makes me see the condition that lost people are in. They’re separated from God and are blind to it! That breaks my heart.” One person in the class admitted later that he was embarrassed he had never felt that sad about nonbelievers and had in the past even talked excitedly about the judgment they would receive one day from God. The apostle Paul laid out the condition of the lost with these words: “[They have] their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God . . . because of the blindness of their heart” (Eph. 4:18). He testified that he had “great sorrow and continual grief in [his] heart” because his fellow countrymen had not yet come to know the love of Christ (Rom. 9:1-3).As we think about the condition of nonbelievers, we can remember God’s heart toward them: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). When we share the Word of God and pray earnestly for others, eyes will be opened to His love.
For lost and wandering sheep,
That I may see the multitudes
And weep as Thou didst weep. —Harrison