Imagine for a moment that you are working in or visiting a large building complex with many people. Everyone is going about doing every day tasks, completely unaware that a fire rages within the building complex. Some see the smoke and recognize the coming peril. They try to warn others, but many do not want to hear it. They are busy. They do not believe the building is on fire. They mock and discourage those who are trying to warn everyone. They ignore even the fire alarm, assuming it is a drill, malfunction, or prank.
You are a fool. We don’t believe you.
You are just trying to ruin our day and make our life difficult.
The God I believe in would not allow fires in buildings with people.
If it is on fire, leave yourself then. Quit bothering us.
A few listen, heed the warning and consider the danger… eyes opened to the smoke they begin to try to save others or just run out of the building themselves.
The first reaction many of us have is that this is silly. It would never happen. Of course people would heed the warning. But there is a much greater danger for all of those who do not yet accept the truth of Jesus Christ as God… an eternity of suffering in Hell for rejecting Jesus Christ. Many who serve Jesus Christ are and have been for centuries trying to warn others about the impending danger. We are mocked, persecuted, and sometimes killed for our effort. We are seldom welcomed with open arms and thanked for bringing the good news of the gospel… of salvation through Jesus Christ. Sometimes it is even the church itself that is persecuting those who bring the true message of the gospel to the people. There are countless examples including the religious leaders of Israel and the Catholic church over many centuries.
The message of Christ is at once very simple such that a child can understand it, and yet very difficult in that we must change to move away from our sinful ways of doing things our way and turn toward Jesus and doing things God’s way. (Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.)
No matter the suffering or risk to ourselves as followers of Jesus, He wants us to tell everyone about the truth of the gospel! We know this because of how Jesus lived out His earthly ministry and how His disciples lived and died to share the gospel after Jesus had returned to Heaven. Jesus made a point of highlighting this, not as a request, but as a command, to His disciples and the command is still in effect for all true followers of Jesus Christ today.
Many have become complacent about the urgency of sharing the gospel.
Christ has not returned yet in judgment, perhaps He never will.
Maybe all will go to Heaven because God loves us.
Yet Peter highlights to us even thousands of years ago the flaw in that thinking. God is patient. His timing is not our timing. But, the end will come and will come suddenly. Those who are not prepared will end up in Hell for eternity due to their rejection of Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:9-11 9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
Consider from a slightly different perspective as well. Although the end of the age has not come and Jesus has not returned in judgment as yet, countless generations of people have died and most of them did not know when they would die ahead of time. We must be prepared in accepting and submitting to Christ wholeheartedly before our time on this earth ends either by our death or by Jesus’ return.
Our Lord commands us to tell as many as we can about the salvation He offers through faith, by grace. He does not ask us to do so “if convenient”. He commands us to go to all the world… decidedly loving and sacrificial, but certainly not convenient.
If we picture ourselves back in the opening story… in a building complex that was on fire. Would we just leave quietly? Would we not tell others? How much more so should we be urgently proclaiming the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ when the eternal salvation or damnation of people’s souls are at stake!
Study God’s word daily. Pray humbly before God daily. Ask Him to prepare you and prepare people to hear the message when you share it. Pray as Peter and John did that God would give you the boldness to proclaim the gospel in all situations to all audiences everywhere around the world.
23When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM,
25who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said,
‘WHY DID THE GENTILES RAGE,
AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS?
26‘THE KINGS OF THE EARTH TOOK THEIR STAND,
AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER
AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS CHRIST.’
27“For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. 29“And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, 30while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” 31And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.