I have heard people in the church discuss people whom they know to be lost as though they are beyond salvation’s reach. Can this be possible? David exclaims that there is nowhere that he can go to hide from God, yet Adam and Eve seemed to manage it. All of mankind became so wicked that God flooded the Earth, and extinguished all life, yet later He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be salvation to the lost and dead inhabitants of this planet we call Earth. God clearly cares, yet it would seem that His people often think that He is still not quite mighty enough to save.
I think that it is fair to start out with thinking about where the line might be drawn. So who can’t be saved? Do you forfeit any chance at salvation if you cheat on a test? What if you cheat on your spouse? Perhaps the line is being a thief? Or maybe it is murder? Maybe the line is in the area of sexual sin. Or could it be if one is a terrorist of some kind, say a gangster or maybe Al Qaeda? Where do we place the line and say “Nope, Jesus can’t save anyone on that side of the line”? Is there such a line possible? Can anyone truly be out of God’s reach?
I do not believe so, strictly speaking. I believe that it has to be a decision made by the person, and the person has the ability to say “no” to God, but I do not believe that means anyone is out of God’s reach. We can choose to “hide” ourselves from God. And I believe He allows us to do so, but this does not make us “out of God’s reach”. There is also the fact that God’s has changed hearts and lives of a great number of people that may well have seemed to be “Out of God’s reach”.
With all of this in mind, it seems that we ought to serve and evangelize regardless of our belief of the possibility of the persons salvation. God wants us to serve in love, not judge in pride. We ought not ever think “that person could never be good enough to be a Christian”. The truth is we don’t deserve the title of Christian either. We ought to be thankful that it is not about being good enough or special enough to serve God. There is not a “Sanctification Quotient” test that we have to get an acceptable score on to be allowed to become a follower of Christ. We are simply bidden to follow.
So who is “too far gone”? The short answer is that no one is too far gone until this life is over. This should give us both hope and urgency. We have a chance to serve Christ and make real changes in the world, and people’s lives. We can be “salt” and “light” to the whole world, one person at a time. So next time you are tempted to write someone off, try showing them the love of Christ, try sharing your hope with them.
Until next time, may God inspire you to serve Him, never giving up on anyone.