Should Christians compel the lost to come to Christ?
I have noticed that most of us who are putting the effort to reach out to the lost are not doing all within our capacity to bring them to Christ. Many of us give up far too easily on evangelism these days.
We should realize that the enemy is determined to do everything he can to compel the lost out of the Kingdom of God. The devil never gives up on those under his control. When Jesus told the parable of the Great Supper in Luke 14:23, the master said to the servant, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” He was commanding us to convincingly and persuasively bring the lost to Him.
This word “compel” has been misinterpreted by some people to mean the use of forceful means to bring people to Christ. This is not true. Even though the word seems overly strong, I think that Jesus was suggesting to His servants to plead strongly with the lost to come to His Kingdom by loving them and fervently praying for them.
People are to be compelled not by force but by love. If preachers of the Gospel would compel people to come to Christ with the same passion they compel people to give money, we would see real change.
We all know that conversion lies ultimately in the hands of the Holy Spirit — but we should also understand that the mandate to “compel them to come in” has been handed down to us believers. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:14). The Holy Spirit is the only one who can convict and convert people, but He has chosen us as His instruments to facilitate the salvation of the lost.
Jesus enjoined us to go to the highways — the roads that lead to destruction, and compel people to repent and embrace the Gospel. I believe that Jesus knew that those on the highways would resist the invitation because of the care and pleasures of the world.
Our streets, communities, towns, and nations are no longer safe because of the moral decadence that is rife within all of our societies. Christians, as a matter of urgency, need to speak forcefully to our culture and invite the lost to come and test the goodness of the Kingdom of God.
It is the desire of the Father that His house should be filled with repentant sinners. It is important to note that this is not about denominations but about God’s Kingdom. The lost must be compelled by the force of love, by the veracity of our Gospel message, by the deeds of our kindness, and by the power of our prevailing prayers. We must do all within our capacity to bring the lost back to God. This is not the time to stop halfway in our Gospel witnessing; we must compel them to come into God’s Kingdom.
Oscar Amaechina is the president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, Abuja, Nigeria. His calling is to take the gospel to where no one has neither preached nor heard about Jesus. He is the author of the book Mystery Of The Cross Revealed.