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There Are Simply No Words To Describe The Seriousnes Of This Issue

April 19, 2009

All of us are called to be a city set on a hill and to continuously be an ambassador for Jesus who is “the way, the truth, and the life.” And yet while we understand this, we tend to easily become sidetracked by an endeless array of distractions. Yesterday I was burning some debris from a collapsed building on our property.  I had a serious fireball going (I like to make fireballs) and was continuously bringing around more wood which maintained a steady flame. The heat was intense and unloading was almost unbearable. (You probably know where this is going) While placing a particular load on the fire I began to think of what it would be like to be unable to escape this unbearable heat. Sadly, my little fireball in the yard  was nothing compared to hell; a place of unimaginable torment and no hope of a brighter tomorrow. A place where billions of souls already reside while billions more, who are currently passing through this life, are headed; should they reject Jesus Christ, who paid for their sins on an old rugged cross.

We hear such words, nod our heads, offer up a heart-felt “amen” and then, too often, go about business as usual. It just seems that many saints have  no sense of urgency and in some cases no fear of God. Last week during an uneventful evening at work, I was casually looking down the line while waiting for the next part. The truth was dropped in my spirit that “If this all ended tonight, there are people on this line who would be in hell.” And therein lies the battle. Every day is somebodys last day. Yet we often fail to address this issue with the seriousness that it demands. Too often we greet the morning, quote Psalm 118:24, and go about our routine; unwittingly expecting everyone to be in their place. But then, suddenly, somebody isn’t where they’re supposed to be. Over the course of the evening and early morning hours, time ran out for the guy who lives next door, the lady at the gas station where we stop for coffee each morning, or somebody from work who was in such a hurry that they didn’t see the train coming.

In that moment, we are faced with the realization that the best of  intentions and words unspoken will forever remain in the arena of the unretrievable. While this person resided here, we may have been quick to talk about the weather, (which they were probably already aware of) offer up a political statement, or comment on the previous evenings sporting event. We always showed them the latest pictures of our kids and congradulated them whenever they reached a milestone in their lives. Somehow, we always thought that the right tomorrow would arrive when we could share Christ with them.  Please understand that in writing this, I’m reminded of all the times that I’ve blown it and I feel completely unqualified to write on this topic. Yet such a reminder is needful because time is running out for everyone. If we can grasp the seriousness of souls in the balance, we’ll find ourselves less concerned about the temporal campaigns of this fallen world and more focused on that which is eternal.

Philippians 1:27 “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;”

To let our conversation be on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Folks will want to discuss a plethura of issues and while we can often engage in such, we should always be prayerfully striving to bring the conversation to Jesus  and “if you died tonight, where would you be?” If we’re not careful, runaway conversations on temporal issues can play directly into the hands of the enemy. (Oh; the stories that I could share concerning this) They not only tend to wear us out spiritually, they work to postpone, until some ambiguous time in the future, any mention of Jesus and the truths that the other person so desperately needs. Of course this is much easier to write about than employ on a daily basis. We like to get along with everyone and the gospel of Jesus Christ often brings division. And so, a theme that’s become familiar here is once again brought to the forefront. It’s imperative that we love not our lives in this world.  Doing so leads to  compromise and, in the case of evangelism, causes us to keep the words of life to ourselves while we wait for the illusive “perfect oportunity.”

Well, it’s past 3:30am and so I should be going shortly. It’s imperative to discern between eternal issues and temporal issues as a proper perspective will keep us focused on that which has everlasting significance. Friday morning, I awakened with the knowledge that a lot of things needed tending to at home and began thinking that I should postpone a planned trip to Kalamazoo. It seemed logical, but something was pressing. (For one thing the temperature was in the mid-seventies and this always results in tract fever) My wife was kind of angry at this, but I went up. (After all, if one should argue that the gospel can wait, how much more can cleaning out the garage wait) Oftentimes, such ventures result in much seed being planted, but no outward indication of results. In fact, one guy (Brian) went almost a block out of his way to inform me that “gospel tracts are not effective.”

But when you encounter the one person that you know that you were supposed to meet, it’s awesome and this time it was a guy named Chris. Upon meeting him he instantly began to ask if I thought we were “living in the book of Revelation.” He’s one of the few who can tell that the world is spiraling toward catastrophe and is seriously searching. We talked for several minutes and I believe is close to accepting Jesus as Savior. Please keep him in prayer; I would not want him to become an “almost persueded.” It’s so serious. I pray that we would all seek greater understanding in this area. To always be mindful of the souls around us and ready at the drop of a hat to share Jesus. (This is another reason to steer clear of carnal conversation) Well, it’s almost 4:00am and this is Sunday. (ouch) I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.

Mark 16:15-16 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
Acts 8:4 “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”
II Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
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5 comments

  1. Hi Timbob…up very late indeed!

    “But when you encounter the one person that you know that you were supposed to meet, it’s awesome”

    Gospel tracts can be ineffective to some but never to the one who was meant to receive it. A friend of mine recently began asking questions, truly seeking answers…all of which were explained in our humble tract. For those who are seeking, they are a valuable tool, one that can articulate answers concisely and be reflected upon after the exchange of conversation.

    “we should always be prayerfully striving to bring the conversation to Jesus” It is amazing how often opportunities occur, if we are calling on the Holy Spirit to supply them.

    We must also ensure that “our speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” colossians 4:6. When conversations are, fixed on temporal issues, for me, it is easy for speech to run away and little ‘grace’ is found! We must always be mindfull of the peril of the souls of the lost, and as you said, be ready to steer conversations to the good news of Jesus.

    Thank you for the essential reminder…I am aware of opportunities missed, even today 😦


  2. Hi timbob,

    very true…..so many are waiting for the big event – rapture, tribulation – when they could die tomorrow..

    There is an appointed time for every man….we should focus first on our own lives, and when that is correct, then prepare for the future….because our future could end before any big event ever happened.


  3. Hi Five Peas. Indeed the truth will never return void and sometimes a tract may plant seeds that will grow years later.

    Thanks for reminding me of Colossians 4:6. May we all indeed know how we ought to answer those who are searching. When we begin to fathom what’s at stake, we realize all the more how dependant we are upon the Lord to guide the conversation.

    Thanks for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  4. Hi Marianne. I have to continuously guard against the tendancy to let the big picture overtake the millions of little pictures. We see the end times senario developing quickly before us, but each day that remains will also be somebodys last.

    Thanks for dropping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  5. Hi Timbob,

    I do believe that we are living in the last days before the return of the Lord. My husband preached a message yesterday entitled, “Don’t Hit The Snooze Button.” He brought our digital alarm clock/CD player/radio to church as a visual. He talked about the need to stay awake spiritually. When you’re sleeping, even if it’s just a 10 minute snooze, you don’t have any idea what is going on around you. We can’t afford to let ourselves be lulled to sleep by the pleasures of sin, such as Samson allowing Delilah to lull him to sleep on her lap. Boy, was he in for a surprise when he woke up! He also mentioned the 5 wise and foolish virgins in the book of Matthew. We individually have a responsibility once we have been filled with the Holy Ghost to stay full of it. If we are where we should be in God, then He can use us to help others. May God help us to be about His business.



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