Monday, July 13, 2009

Within a Yard of Hell

In light of my Law Posts, I thought I would use this post to explain a little something we Christians are known to do. You've probably experienced this once or twice (or more) in your lifetime, and if you haven't, you are definitely due. "What is the 'this'," you ask. Pointing out how vague that last sentence was. The "this" is evangelism: the full frontal assault on your worldview that we Christians seem to enjoy doing so much. Why can't we just hang out in church like we're suppose to and leave the rest of the world alone? Why must we challenge what you believe in such an arrogant fashion? I mean, come on, "the one, absolute, universal truth about reality"? Who do we think that we are? At least there are some respectable Christians who know where their opinions matter and keep their dogmas to themselves, like "so-and-so", he never confronts anyone about his Jesus.

Guess what? I'm going to make the bold statement that it is a very unlikely that "so-and-so" is really a Christian at all, either that or he hates you. Let me explain. How can "so-and-so" have fully grasped the helpless and hopeless situation he was pulled from by the all-consuming love of God and not be changed by it? If he truly believed that he was saved from the depths of hell by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ his risen Lord and Savior, how could you as his friend have heard nothing about it from him? You who are on the very same path that he "believes" he was rescued from. Why would he stay silent instead of telling you what should be the absolute most important thing in his life? If he truly believes it, that is.

Imagine an associate of yours is walking across the road and was about to be run over by a truck, how much would you have to hate that person to not push him out of the oncoming trajectory of that many tons of steel? Or at least say something to him like, "Hey, look out for that rolling metallic object"? In the same way, a true Christian looks out at the world through God's eyes. Souls. Billions of souls that need to hear the message that could save them from something far worse than any death this world has to offer, and yet so many Christians keep silent. Why? Fear of man? If you truly believe that God is everything He said that He is, (the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the source of all knowledge, power, goodness, strength, beauty, and wisdom, the creator of this universe) how can you still fear man? Man can do NOTHING to you. My guess is that if you claim to be a Christian but have never shared your faith, you have a very limited view of who my God really is and what He can accomplish in and through you, or, you are really just another face in a world headed for destruction. I'd say a lost soul Satan has cleverly disguised to look like a Christian.

It doesn't matter how much you know about the life of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, or all the various rituals based off that. What you need to know is that God came to His creation in the form of a man, and He died as a propitiation for your sins (He took the punishment you deserved) in order to glorify Himself by showing you infinite grace in light of your infinite trespass. How can you fully believe this and do/say/signal nothing to the people beside you? How can you give no effort to save even those closest to you?

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." - Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20)

In light of what I (and more importantly Jesus) have said, as Christians, we are called to be full time missionaries. I'm not talking exclusively about the overseas kind although that very well could be where you end up if you truly believed that God was your all-in-all and gave your life to him. I'm talking about your day to day lives. You should be telling your friends/neighbors/co-workers/everyone about the hope that you have in Christ. Not in a judgmental or condescending way, mind you, but in a loving and compassionate way, realizing that if you did not have Christ in your life you would be in the exact same spot they are, on a path to eternal separation from God. Stating as the martyr John Bradford once famously did, "There but for the grace of God, go I."

That's why we go to the ends of the earth. That's why we assault people with our worldview. That's why an average of 171,000 Christians are martyred worldwide every year (I didn't make this up, check it out yourself). Because we have been given a direct order from our Lord, one that should have been a logical outflow in the first place. That is why we plant our feet firmly at the gates of hell, spread our arms wide in the face of the oncoming masses, and hope that God gives us the strength to save those that He allows to stray into our fragile arms. Being a Christian is not safe, but in the same sense it's more fulfilling and secure than anything I had ever dreamed it would be when I gave Him every aspect of my life so many years ago. If you haven't, try it. Just try it, I'm begging you.

"Some wish to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell." - C.T. Studd

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