A Call to Persevere
17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
In verse 22 and 23, we find good advice on how to witness to unbelievers.
One way is to be compassionate and kind to unbelievers.
Another way is to ‘snatch’ ( to take suddenly, often by force) unbelievers from the fire that is awaiting them. We can liken this to going after, and snatching a child from the busy street, so that the child will not get injured, or possibly killed, by a vehicle. It is an act of urgency.
The last way mentioned involves both compassion and fear. Fear is the unpleasant emotion caused by being aware of a danger, according to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary. We know there are many unbelievers who need salvation through Jesus Christ.
We have an important job to do as Christians. We are to be Christ’s ambassadors.
2 Corinthians 5:19-21 New International Version (NIV)
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Dear God, I pray for Your wisdom, knowledge, discernment, and understanding when witnessing to people who are unbelievers. Many need to hear the gospel message. I pray for workers for the harvest. Help me to be a good ambassador for You. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
PS, I love how God’s Word does not tell us to save a person by beheading them, or torturing them. Instead, it is through compassion and concerned urgency that the gospel is accepted by unbelievers.