In Ezekiel 18:23, we read, “Do I have pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” Then again in Ezekiel 18:32, He says, “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “ Therefore turn and live.” In these verses we see a clear picture of God’s heart toward mankind. His plan from the beginning has been for man to be reconciled to himself. This is shown in His words to Israel in the book of Ezekiel. Even in the midst of Israel’s rebellion and great wickedness, God’s desire was for them to repent and turn back to him.
There are countless scriptures that tell of God’s compassion and love for mankind. He wants man to be in fellowship with him. He is not up in heaven waiting for man to mess up so He can judge him. In 2 Peter 3:9, it says He is, “long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” This is God’s heart. It is why he sent Jesus to die for the sins of the world that all men would have the opportunity to be reconciled to him.
As a believer, what is our part in this? We need to have the same heart as God. Our desire should be for people to be reconciled to God. In 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, we are told about the believers’ ministry of reconciliation. It is a ministry every believer is called to. In verse 20 of second Corinthians 5, it says, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” There is an urgency to this ministry. Romans 13:11 tells us that “our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” Jesus is coming soon, and people need to hear the gospel and be reconciled to God.
Considering the holiday season we are entering, there is no better time to be part of this ministry of reconciliation. Pray for God’s heart for the lost and boldness to share Jesus with them.