Sunday, September 17, 2006

Really Believed

This was written very late one night, when I wasn't able to sleep, likely because this dissertation was on my mind.

The songs are countless about the subject: the ends of our lives, the end of the world, and how we would act if we knew when those times had come (see "Last Day on This Earth" by Steven Curtis Chapman; "Last Day of My Life" by Phil Vassar; "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw; and many others). We hear pastors and Christians in all different leves of ministry, including ourselves, say things like "Jesus is coming back soon," "It's just another sign of the times," "We're definitely in the End Times," "It's all coming true," etc., etc., etc.. But how many people who say these things really believe the words coming out of their mouths?
I'm gonna say two or three percentile. Hopefully, I'm way wrong, but I doubt it, since statistics show that only about two percent of Christians regularly share their faith with others. Where's the connection? Here:
If these people who say these things (and all Christians) really believed these statements--statements that are likely accurate--could we go to work and say nothing of it to our co-workers? Could we go to school and not mention the topic to our fellow students? Could we go to practice and remain silent around our teammates? Would our friends and colleagues not have the benefit of us speaking to them about such grave matters? What about our family members? What about the cashier at the store? The bagger? The beggar? The strangers shopping beside us? An acquaintance? The kids in the neighborhood? And the list goes on...

How could se see the flames of hell licking at their shirt tails and not yell "FIRE!"? How could we see the Antichrist preparing for his conquest and not say, "Watch out for THAT guy!"? How could we see prophecy after prophecy from the Bible being fulfilled and not state emphatically, "God told you so!"? How could we see the gavel about to pound on their verdict of eternal damnation, torment, and punishment, and not cry, "You will soon be judged!"? How could we see them walking towards the cliff of death and damnation and not scream, "STOP! Turn around!"? How could we see them in their homes in the City of Destruction and not plead, "Move to the City of God!"? How can we see them wallowing naked in the mire, and not command, "Clean yourselves, and clothe yourselves, before the King arrives!"? How can we see them suffering unto death with the disease of sin and not offer, "I have the Cure!"? How could we see the ignorant perishing and not inform them? How could we not continuously shout, "You are sinners! You have sinned! You are rightfully and justly condemned! But God has made a way! Jesus Christ came, lived a sinless life, and died on the cross for all of our sins, and He rose again! Accept Him as your Savior! Believe on Him and trust in Him! Put your faith in Him, for it is not of what we've done--what you've done--but it is a gift of God, by grace through faith! Repent and turn from your sins! Lean not on your own understanding! Study the Bible and live for God!"?

I say we could not do such a thing. If we preach what we believe and believe what we preach, then I say we would practice what we preach and take the necessary ensuing steps of our time, and of all time, since the death of one unregenerate is a little bit of the end of the world, and every bit the end of that one life.

~Kingdom Advancer
written September 2nd, 2006
© Copyright 2006, Kingdom Advancing

The green portion towards the end of this article is virtually word-for-word from different Scripture verses, but for the sake of the article's "flow," the eagerness to get this on the internet, and the would-be required research time, the references are left up to the reader to find. At some point in the future, however, this post may be edited and the verses added. If you recognize some of the verses and have their references on hand, please feel free to comment and give the references you know.
As for the rest of the article, it is entirely Biblically sound, but some of it is more artistic and analogical than the green section.

Addressing what a common objection would probably be to such a fiery discourse:
Some advocate "Friendship Evangelism." This may work sometimes, and God can generally work through many forms of evangelism (if He wants to), but I can pretty much disprove the theory of "Friendship Evangelism" in three quick points.
1.) First of all, it actually becomes harder in most cases, not easier, to speak to someone you love and respect (and don't want to hate and disrespect you) than to a stranger.
2.) Secondly, if you were driving a car with a relatively new acquaintance in the passenger seat--distracted by something (cell-phone; sleep)--and you knew that the car was out of control--the brakes and steering had gone haywire and the car was speeding toward a cliff--would you wait till you had built up trust with your passenger before telling him to "abandon ship"? Well, you don't know if you're "project" will die tonight, tomorrow, or the day after. But certainly "Friendship Evangelism" risks the possibility of a lot of souls entering eternity without the knowledge of the Savior when their "new friend" knew everything they needed to know to avoid the Gates of Hell.
3.) Lastly, as Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort say, you can pretty much "build a friendly relationship with somebody in a few minutes." See for more.

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