This week was dominated by news about the Chilean and miners. What drama! What a rescue! From the bowels of the earth to new life. What a metaphor which could be used to dramatically explain the gospel of Christ, who reached down from the heavens to rescue mankind from darkness, death and sin unto light and new and eternal life. And like the miners and their family and fellow citizens and people from all over the world, who were cheering for them the whole time, what a difference it would make if all mankind came to understand how much they need to rescued by God in and through Christ Jesus!
This week I read a meditation which impacted me greatly, in respect of how we, the Baptized children of God, who have the good news to share but are either reluctant, or do not quite grasp how important it is that we share this incredible story. To the point where I was led to send out an e-mail to some folks who are either journalists or have access to the minds of many people through the media.
THE GREAT DIVIDE CHRIS TIEGEN OCTOBER 13
We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Hebrews 10: 39
Hebrews has some terrifying verses in it. This is one of them. Those who shrink back are destroyed. Those who believe are saved. There is no in-between.
After thanking God that we are in the believing category, it soon becomes painfully alarming to us that we know plenty of people who are not. We who count on the promises of God cannot be content to keep them to ourselves. That would be like dinning at a never-ending, everyone's invited buffet, but keeping it a secret from starving people lingering around us. There is a word for those who are content to be well fed while those around starve: selfish.
The Christian life is anything but selfish. The Father who went to great lengths to save us isn't selfish. the Son who commanded His disciples to go into the world with the gospel isn't selfish. The Holy Spirit who lives within us isn't selfish. God did not hand us the ball for us to drop it. He wants us to run with it. he has a plan - a very unselfish plan.
Take time regularly to measure your participation in God's plan. Take an inventory of your attitudes and actions. Does the great divide between those headed for destruction and those headed for redemption get under your skin? Or have you grown numb to the reality? Do you pray for, give to, and pursue lost people persistently? Or are they an afterthought? Or in other words do you share your food.
The gospel is about sharing. Always has been, and always will. There is nothing in Scripture about embracing all the gospel except the missions part. No, the gospel is a package deal, and evangelism is in the package. We may not be gifted in the same ways, but we are all called to participate in missions zealously. It's important to God because of the terrifying divide we read about, and if it's important to God, it has to be important to those who love Him. Love compels us to do something about the divide - to share our food.
"Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where to get bread". D.T. Niles
Having read this reflection, I went searching for the Corinthian passage which speaks to the fact that we Christians are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are perishing among those who are being saved, but came upon another Word from Ezekiel which is even more arresting. And which was sent out in the e-mail also.
" Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them a warning from me. When I say to the wicked, " O wicked man, you will surely die, and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but will have saved yourself." Ezekiel 43:7-9. NIV
So, if you have been cheering for the Chilean miners, and you are a child of God, you have an equal responsibility to be concerned about every living soul who does not know Christ, and is therefore living in " darkness". Worse, if you were unconcerned about the Chilean miners, there is no punishment except for your conscience, but if you are unconcerned about those who sit in "darkness", God will hold you accountable for their destruction. This weekend we in Jamaica celebrate Heroes week, and if the truth be told most people regard it as nothing more than a holiday, and really don't spend much time recalling the work and life of our heroes. However, we who have been " rescued by the blood of Christ", our Hero, our Redeemer, our Lord and Saviour, do not have that option to forget " whose we are". As we who have been " crucified with Christ and no longer live, but Christ lives in us", ( Galatians 2:2) are always on a rescue mission for God. In Chile, in China, in Myanmar, in Nigeria, in Japan, in Bolivia, in the USA, in the UK, in Jamaica, and across the whole wide world.
So this week, send a text, an e-mail, write on facebook, tweet someone, or just plain old fashioned call a friend and tell them about the love of Christ. And even better so live your life that God will have His own way with you and " all shall see Christ only always living in me".