The great passion of God's heart is a love-passion. Love never fails. It waits and, if need be, waits long; but it never fails to get what it is waiting for. Love sacrifices; though it never uses that word. It doesn't know it is sacrificing, it is so absorbed in its gripping purpose. There may be keen-cutting pain, but it is clean forgotten in the passion that burns within. God means to win His world of men back home to Himself.
But some earnest friend is thinking of an objection to all this talk about a world being won. You are taken all anew with the great picture of God's passion of love in the opening page of this old Book. But all the time we have been talking together you have been having a cross-cutting train of thought underneath. It has been saying, "Isn't this going a bit too far? will the whole world be won?"
Let us talk over that a bit. We have been used all our lives to hearing about soul-winning. We have been urged, more or less, to do it. A favorite motto in some Christian workers' convention has been, "Win one." But this idea of winning the world has not been preached. At first it doesn't seem exactly orthodox.
The old-time preaching, of which not so much is heard now, except in restricted quarters, is that the whole world is lost; and that we are to save people out of it. We used to be told that the world is bad, and only bad; bad beyond redemption, and doomed. In his earlier years Mr. Moody used to say often with his great earnestness that this was a doomed world, and that the great business of life was to save men out of it.
But of late years there has been a distinct swing away from this sort of preaching and talking. Everything we humans do seems to go by the clock movement, the pendulum swing: first one side, then the other. Now we hear a very different sort of preaching. This is really a good world. There is some wickedness in it, to be sure. Indeed, there is quite a great deal of it. But in the main it is not a bad world, we're told.
The old-time preaching was chiefly concerned with getting ready for heaven. Now it is concerned, for most part, with living pure, true lives right here on the earth. And that change is surely a good one. But it is also the common thing to be told that the world is not nearly so bad as we have been led to believe.