Monday, December 8, 2008

People in Hell understand evangelism


Been thinking about how people who have died and are in hell right now absolutely believe in the priority of personally sharing the gospel with lost people. In Luke 16:19-31 there is a man in hell who is pleading for someone to tell his family about the danger and warn them so they do not come to the place of torment and agony in which he now resides.

His desire was not for someone to go and “earn the right” to warn them before actually warning them. His desire was not for someone to show them how God can give them purpose, focus and better living. He did not plead for someone to go tell them that God has a wonderful plan for their lives. After all he had already had a wonderful life full of the riches of the world but that had ended in agony and would continue forever as eternity began in his new residence.

His desire was that his loved ones would be warned about the judgment and unending torment he was rightly receiving. He loved his family enough that he begged that someone would go tell them the truth about what happens when they die because he wanted them to repent. He wanted their souls to be saved. His hope was that they would listen and be spared. He knew enough to know that they were not saved in order to even have such concern for their condition before God.

Now think about the next person you have a chance to talk with. Consider they may have a family member who has passed away and if that person is in hell they are screaming for someone to talk to their loved one. Is that someone is you? Without the desire to share the gospel (warning and salvation) there is no love for there is no basis for love. The cross (God’s justice and mercy) is the central expression of God’s love in all human history. Remove it and you remove love. Leave it out and you leave out love. Water it down and you water down love.
The cross is a both a warning and call to peace through pardon. The same action that demonstrated God’s love was the same action that demonstrated his judgment. The same action the demonstrated his mercy also demonstrated his wrath. The same action that paid for our salvation reveals the depth of our condemnation apart from that very payment. Is this serious? Just look at the cross and the risen Savior to get the answer.

People in hell get that. How come we don’t? They know what evangelism is about and plead for someone to step up and share the truth in words. To not only do the “actions” of love but to “say” the words of warning, justice, judgment and hell to their family and to let them know that in the depth of God’s love he offers undeserved grace, mercy and forgiveness from justice through the substitution of Christ alone who conquered the cross.

And if people who are in hell right now have that kind of passion for the gospel and are consumed wanting people to “Go”… then should our passion be any less than theirs if we are saved followers of Jesus? We don’t “Go” because people in hell want us to but because the One who saved us has commanded us to “Go” because he desires to save the lost and we desire to please him.

Will it take being on the other side of eternity to understand what is at stake? Don’t wait until then. God has given us his word so that we can understand the seriousness of eternity from this side of it before living forever on the other side of it. It is time to live like lives are at stake. Because they are. Praise God salvation is of the Lord and we can trust in him and his word.

Love, Rob-roy