“And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Here is an incredibly scary fact about life – every human on earth is born into sin and separated from God.
Here is a second even scarier fact about life – because of this sin we are ultimately headed for the lake of fire. Sin is an eternal death sentence that hangs around our neck.
God’s punishment for sin is to confine sinners into an abyss void of all love or light and full of agony and torture. It’s a place where God pours His entire wrath into a burning pool of unrepentant people. It is literally a lake of fire burning with the righteous judgment of a holy God – a place we all deserve.
According to the World Fact Book 150,000 people die every day. Approximately 2 people die every second. This adds up to around 55 MILLION people dying every year. That’s an unthinkable amount of people sealing their fate. In the time it takes you to breathe in and out 4 – 6 people will have passed away. By the time you finish reading this blog several hundred will have perished.
People are stepping into the afterlife in droves, many of which are falling into the fiery pits!
There is good news however! In fact the whole point of the Gospel (Which is translated from the Greek word ‘Evangelion’ and literally means ‘Good News’) is to proclaim to the people that there is freedom found in Jesus Christ! He came to die so that we could have eternal life in Him. He sacrificed Himself to remove the eternal death sentence that we are all born with. Whoever repents of their sinful lifestyle and surrenders their life to Jesus Christ is forgiven and redeemed – He will write your name in His book of life!
So, why aren’t we telling people? Why aren’t we running through the streets and shouting from the rooftops!?
Where is our compassion for those who die without Christ? Where is our passion for sharing Christ with the lost? Where is our concern for the people who are plunging into torment?
We have good news – but we’re hoarding it to ourselves. What a tragedy.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “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.”
Moments before Jesus ascended into heaven he gathered the apostles and commissioned them with this command.
Jesus had a vision for the church and this was the mission statement he gave them as he kicked it off!
He essentially said ‘Get up – Go Out – Tell everyone about me! And then teach them to do the same.’ So they did!
But over time the church lost its passion – and here we are 2,000 years later, sitting in our recliners watching TV – while millions of people go to hell. We’ve effectively put the great commission in reverse – we’ve come in, sat down and kept the news to ourselves.
But is the work done? Has every single person on this planet heard the good news? Not even close! Still, the church has fallen soundly asleep – I can hear it snoring. Though I am just as guilty – the church is one body. We are all connected, so we are all to blame. Could you imagine if Jesus were to return today and find us sleeping? What would He have to say about the way we’ve lost focus from our commission? We ask what our purpose in life is, but Jesus already gave us our purpose! We are his ambassadors commissioned to reach out to the ends of the earth with the news of his salvation!
We must refocus on our mission! This message may seem blunt and even harsh but I believe it’s necessary. We must realize what’s at stake. We must understand the ramifications of losing our passion and when we understand this, we can recapture the vision Jesus had for us in taking the good news to all people. There are so many people who don’t even know their ship is sinking and we have a God who will rescue them if they just ask!
But how can they ask if they don’t know? And how can they know if we don’t tell them?
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”
Paul makes this same case. We have a message that they need to hear but they’ll never hear it if we’re not taking it to them.
I pray this message will be a wakeup call for all who read it. I truly feel a heavy burden for the lost because people matter to me. When I think of souls stepping into eternity, I see faces. They are not just some vague mannequins – I see real people with names and personalities. I see my friends, my family, and my neighbors. I can’t bear to imagine anyone being condemned in such an awful place – but I know that it happens.
I also know that it’s what we all deserve. It’s certainly what I deserve – my sins could give a name to every star. Despite that, God loves me and he loves the whole world. That’s why he took mercy on us and provided the only way possible to get us out of it.
So I know that it happens but worse yet I know that it doesn’t have to happen!
What’s stopping you from telling others? What’s holding you back from bringing the good news to people who need it?
Do you not love people? Would you not do all you could to rescue a neighbor from being struck by a bus? Of course you would! So why not do all you can to prevent your neighbor from going to hell?
Take a moment to consider the gravity of the situation and pray for the Holy Spirit to well up with compassion in your heart.
Starting today make an effort to share the good news with someone – with everyone!
Having compassion on the lost could be the difference between their spending eternity with Christ or eternity in the lake of fire.