“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” -Luke 19:10 (ESV)
Humans love to think that they are all-powerful. That somehow they alone can wrestle with the evil and circumstances that impede their path to glory and happiness, and can do the same for others. Such heroism is not necessarily a bad thing. It often serves as an impetus to address the injustices of the world instead of sinking into a defeatism that renders a person immobile. However, the problem with such an attitude lies in the fact that humans are not all-powerful. If it were so, the world would not be in the state it is in.
Yet it is so easy to think that the fate of everything in this world rests on us and our actions. Even Christians are not exempt from this. How often do Christians catch themselves attempting to take responsibility for the salvation of another person? As if to say that it was by their efforts that the person in question came to a living faith in Christ. Such self-congratulatory attitudes take the glory away from God and place it on human beings. If Christians were solely responsible for the salvation of man, then what is the need for the Holy Spirit who is supposed to work in the world for the redemption of man and strengthen the faithful until the Day of Judgment? Furthermore, even though Christians have Christ working in them, their stubbornness often hinders the work of God in their lives. Therefore, how can an imperfect human redeem another imperfect human? It is important to remember that redemption is the realm of God and not of men. Our responsibility on Earth is to tell the message of Christ. Whether or not they choose to accept the message is between them and God. We should neither force a person to come to Christ nor should we be discouraged when they don’t. Jesus Himself said that believers should move on when they encounter apathy from others towards His message. God will continue to work in the hearts and lives of those who have heard His message as a result of our obedience to His call for us. But He will also work in the lives of people where believers are not present. God wants us to be active participants in His mission. However, we must be ever so mindful of our place in His redemptive plan. We are His agents, but we are not redeemers.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.