When I think about heaven, I imagine a place with lots of joy and celebration. It generates curiosity in all of us to understand the greatest reason for this joy. Jesus says that “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7, 10). I like to think that Heaven is more festive when lost people here in this world are found and saved by God’s grace.

The main reason that Jesus came to this world was to save those who were lost (Matthew 9:13). God’s mission is to save the lost. He wants everyone to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:1-4; 2 Peter 3:9). The Bible affirms that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

In the plan of redemption, God did, is doing, and will do His part. Jesus died on the cross in our place. He is now in Heaven interceding in our favor, and He promised to come back and take us to heaven. While we wait for His coming, our job is to testify of His love and lead people to respond positively to this love. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19, 20). This is our priority and challenge as a church.

Ellen G. White comments in the book Christian Service that “it was the joy of Christ to save souls. Let this be your work and your joy.”1 She also says that “to save souls should be the life work of every one who professes Christ.”2 Then she amplifies the concept by saying, “Not upon the ordained minister only rests the responsibility of going forth to fulfill this commission. Everyone who has received Christ is called to work for the salvation of his fellow men.”3

Church activities such as prayer, adoration, music, fellowship, and other ministries are important, but taking salvation to the sinner—who is far from God and from His church—is our greatest responsibility. In heaven we will no longer evangelize, but while we are here on earth, evangelism should be part of our life experience. As leaders of God’s church, let us always remember that the main priority of heaven is our greatest task here on earth. 

1. Ellen G. White, Christian Service, p. 110.
2. Ibid., p. 10.
3. Ibid., p. 11.

Jonas Arrais
General Conference Associate Ministerial Secretary