This particular post is a little out of character from my typical posts, but I believe it is worthwhile. In some sense, it tracks the overall thrust of an article (February 5, 2019) by Michael Kelley entitled “3 Things that Keep Christians from Living with a Sense of Urgency” (http://michaelkelley.co/2019/02/3-things-that-keep-christians-from-living-with-a-sense-of-urgency/ ).
Recently, someone I know, I’ll call him Bob (not his real name), experienced a potentially close brush with death. Had one thing or another gone one way or another, Bob could have unexpectedly died. Bob’s experience emphasizes the truth of what Michael Kelley writes:
Whether we know it or not, all of us are in the most real and the most grave of danger apart from the gospel. Not one of us knows which breath will be our last; which sunrise will be the final one we see; which phone call will signal the end of our days; and once that happens, it’s done.
It is crucial to appreciate that once a person breathes their last, “it’s done.”
Bob firmly adheres to a theological belief system that is non-saving, which means Bob is in “the most real and the most grave of danger” ever because he is on the road to hell. I have tried to point this out to Bob, but no avail.
I mentioned to someone who knows Bob that had Bob died; he would have suffered the extreme disappointment that comes from placing his faith in a false non-saving theology. This extreme disappointment is along the lines of those religious churchgoing folks Jesus referred to in Matthew 7:21–23 (ESV):
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
My observation about Bob’s extreme disappointment didn’t seem to register. Initially, I was puzzled by such a non-reaction. However, after reflecting on this matter, it became clear that what Michael Kelley writes is accurate:
We are, therefore, in danger. The world is in danger. And the fact that the majority of the world does not recognize the danger isn’t evidence that danger does not exist; it is, in fact, the opposite. The inability to recognize the real and present danger at hand actually serves to show how great the danger is.
People may know and agree with what the Bible teaches about salvation concerning mankind in general. The certainty of hell as the eternal destiny for a lost person who dies is recognized by many in a hypothetical situation. When it comes to someone they love and care about, especially someone who is religious like Bob, it all goes out the window. There is the assumption that religious Bob is saved even though what Bob believes does not correspond with God’s plan of salvation per the Bible.
The point is: What the Bible teaches about salvation is real!!
A person’s mom, dad, brother, sister, or best friend doesn’t get a pass. All mankind is under an eternal death penalty unless they have exercised biblical saving faith. There is an urgency to understand, and be able to articulate, the correct saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, and then, not be shy about talking to those you love about their spiritual condition.
Most of us have a “Bob” in our life. Isn’t it time to talk to “Bob” about the most crucial thing in the world. Michael Kelley ends his article:
Christians, the gospel is an urgent matter. Let us look to our lives and see what’s keeping us from allowing it to be so.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please feel free to use the “Comments” feature or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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