Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men
Our God is loving, just, and faithful, and God does not play favorites. As much as He longs for every soul to be saved, there are consequences for the unsaved. God will not change the rules for people who have not believed in the name of His dear Son Jesus. The Romans 6:23 pronouncement applies equally to all who do not believe—“The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23 NIV84), no matter who commits the sin. The end of the rich unbeliever is the same as the poor unbeliever. Likewise, the end of the unbelieving man is the same as the end of the unbelieving woman. Of course, God could make everyone believe in His Son, but He has given man the ability and freedom to choose. He wants man to love and obey Him by choice, and not by force.
Since God longs so much to save the sinner, He has made us, His children, ambassadors to a sinful, dying world. Through us, He is appealing to the world to repent and come to salvation in Jesus Christ (See 2 Corinthians 5:20). Synonyms for appeal include plead, petition, request, call, and demand. It is almost as if God were begging people to come to salvation. Why would He go to the extent of begging? Well, because He knows what the end will be for unbelievers—judgment—and He yearns to see them escape that judgment. The apostle Paul says, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11 KJV2013).
So, what is our charge as Christian ambassadors? Our charge is to let the world know that Jesus saves, and that He is making all things new in Christ Jesus who has already paid the penalty for our sins. We need to take His word to every corner of the globe.
Man sinned, but God did not wait for man’s apology. (In fact, I don’t think man ever apologized.) Rather, God took the initiative to bridge the gap (the result of man’s sin) between Him and man. What else can man possibly expect God to do? There is nothing left for God to do. The only acceptable restitution for sin has been made by Christ’s sacrifice. So let us passionately win souls for God. Our responsibility is to sow the seed, water it conscientiously with prayer, godly living, and follow up contacts when possible, and allow God to make it grow. Our responsibility is not to force, shame, or scare men to believe, but to reason with them and persuade them.
Time is running out. The Lord is coming back soon. It could be too late for many. Let us take our charge seriously, starting today!