“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”(2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
Paul was blessed to suffer adversity for the benefit of God’s kingdom. So are we. He knew that even if he were to die, that would not mean that his work and been in vain for death was the entry into the Lord’s presence. He desired to do good works not to earn the Lord’s favor but because he wanted to be clothed properly when he appeared before the judgment seat of the Lord. Everyone must appear before that judgment seat to receive recompense for both good deeds and bad. He did not have to fear that he would be found unclothed at that point. No believer should fear that because everyone who has faith in Christ is clothed in Him. All things are new is the assurance we live in now.
But herein lies the motivation for ministry. Paul knew as do we that those who have not trusted Jesus for salvation should be afraid. They are not clothed in Christ. When they appear before the judgment seat, they will be naked and bound for condemnation. Paul preached the truth out of concern and compassion and love for others in order to prevent them from suffering judgment and hell. That should be our motive as well.
Many in the world, for whatever reason, are under the mistaken impression that salvation depends on them. They work to reconcile themselves to God (or whatever god they profess) through their religious, spiritual, altruistic or charitable deeds and actions. Many others think that everyone will get to heaven, whatever form that may take, regardless of how they lived their lives. And still others do not believe in heaven or God: this life is all there is. If we love people it is our duty and calling to tell them about almighty God’s act of reconciliation that changed everything. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself on the cross. He did all the work so we do not have to. We must tell this message of God”s love with passion and love despite the opposition we may face.