Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What Will We Say?

by Kim Josephson

Ps. 142:4 "...no one would know me, refuge failed me, no man cared for my soul."

This is undoubtedly the most wicked generation in the history of the world. In spite of all the boasting to the contrary, there is less regard for God and His Word, human life and its sanctity, authority and any kind of decency than ever before. We are a sin-sick generation in a sin-sick world. But that's nothing new. It's always been like that and we must not allow that to cause us to despair.

When the first Christians took on the task of evangelizing the world, they were not desperate but determined. They were determined to be gamblers for God. They took chances. They dared to be different. They risked their lives for the souls of men. They understood and believed that there was no other way, but Jesus' way. So in response to their generation's lust and greed and indifference, they spoke for the souls of men. With tears and prayers they wished themselves accursed so others could know Jesus (Rom. 9). They sacrificed and gave and gave and sacrificed without thinking of personal loss but instead accounting it all as kingdom gain or laying up treasures in heaven. They traveled miles on foot, spoke in the streets, slept outdoors. They went without food, without comfort, without rest. They were persecuted for their faith, imprisoned, tortured, even fed to lions but though the world hated them, it had to take note that they had been with Jesus.

Through the centuries men with like faith and character have stepped out of the shadows and into the battle. They have always been hated and maligned, but somehow that vision of the holiness of God and the desperateness of men has kept them going through the fire. Men like Luther and Knox, Whitefield and Wesley, C.T. Studd and David Livingstone, Finney and Moody and a host of others have met their generation’s need with the soul saving simplicity of Jesus Christ.

Undaunted by adversity they took their message to the uttermost. Gen. William Booth instructed his soldiers to “Go for the sinners and go for the worst”, and go they did - to every continent, to every land, men of God with a burden for lost souls dedicated their lives to Christ's cause - seeking to save those who are lost. Unfortunately, though the need is the same and though the answer is the same, our generation has not responded in like manner. Honestly, we have lost the vision of the holiness of God and consequently we have lost the reality of the desperateness of lost men. Our generation's meditation is primarily on the goodness of God. This is constantly preached upon in terms of temporal blessing (prosperity, self-esteem, health, positive mental attitudes, etc.). Consequently the real need of man is trivialized. What man really needs is a savior. He needs to be saved from sin. He needs to be saved from its power - its hold. He needs to be delivered from its punishment - the fruit of all kinds of wickedness in this life and eternal hell in the next. And he needs to be saved from its presence - to walk in divine life and blessing.

This generation of Christians is turned inward. Do we really believe that men without Jesus are going to go to hell for eternity? Do we believe that they will fall into that bottomless pit and burn forever and ever and ever? If we do, our actions don't show it. We have ceaseless energy when it comes to making money, playing with our friends, going to church and everything else but no energy for soul winning. We can pray in tongues, holler at the devil and everything else but there aren't too many tears over lost souls, and even less real witnessing. I know that if you pray over your food, have a Bible at work and a bumper sticker on your car, you're a spiritual giant at your office but let's get real.

Even in prayer we spend more time crying over our own woes and worries than we do over the lostness of even those most dear to us - much less the heathen. Can you imagine, we work, we go to church, we watch TV, read our Bible and pray a little - all for ourselves - What will we say at the judgement seat of Christ? Others hazarded their lives to take men salvation - we give in the missionary offering. What will we say? Will we tell God that we didn't know our friends were dying without Christ? Will we tell Him we didn't know that there were millions of untold lost people in our own generation? Will we say that we weren't called? That we were too busy? That we really wanted to but...?

But what? The truth might be appropriate. We could admit that we cared more about money or pleasure or family or friends. We could admit that we were embarrassed or ashamed and didn't want to bear the reproach of being a Christian, or even worse - a fanatic. We might say that we just didn't know how to lead someone to Christ and never found it important enough to learn how. We might blame our leaders and say that because they were never involved in any personal soul work we couldn't be bothered with it either. We might continue to blame the Holy Spirit and say that He just never gave us an opportunity - we never felt led. But standing there next to Paul or Moody or Finney or Wesley that might get a good laugh or even worse a tearful, tearful lament - more like a groan that the blood of Christ meant so little - that a generation danced and played while hell enlarged her mouth to consume its prey (Is. 5:14). Maybe every angel will hang its head and weep and all heaven will ache like a mother who has lost her child over the thousands of souls that were sacrificed to the Beast because we just didn't care - we just couldn't be bothered.

We have our programs, our ritual and our religion - it's as slick as it comes. What is supposed to be a relationship on fire with love reaching out to touch every life around it has been reduced to a self serving cozy glow that basks in its own self righteousness. I'm not trying to hurt your feelings, but this herd-like do-nothingism is not what Christ died for. It is not as He planned. In fact it is a wicked deceiving replacement agenda against all that He planned and demonstrated. It is not His will for us to dote upon ourselves. It is not His will for us to seek more and more and more for ourselves and to hand out a few leftovers to the others.

It is not His will for us to leave the job to preachers who are often as guilty as anybody in their neglect of personal soul work. God forbid that we should stay the same any longer. In Jesus name shake off this sloth and COME ALIVE! Hell is no joke. The judgement seat of Christ is no joke. The hurting cries of this generation are no joke. The loneliness, the emptiness, the desperation, the lostness - What will we say? What will we say?

HT: Hellwrecker.com

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