Do You Love Your Friends?
Do you have any denominational, generally religious, or even atheistic friends, neighbors, and/or family members? How much do you love them? No, I mean, how much do you really love them? Do you really love them – so much so that you would be willing to risk or to do almost anything in order to see them spend eternity in heaven with you? (You know, like the old love songs’ lyrics would claim about “climbing the highest mountain” and/or “swimming the deepest sea” for those you love and etc? Or better yet, as Romans 5, Philippians 2, and a plethora of other Scriptures state, just as the love of Jesus made Him more than willing to brave and to endure infinitely far more for the lost than either of even those two earthly things would entail?)
The question is: Do we love our lost denominational and non-religious family, friends, and neighbors, enough to want to see them in heaven – despite what it might cost us personally, to help ensure that they get there? Or, are we so selfish, as to put our desire for their momentary friendship and social support during this brief and vaporous earthly life, ahead of their eternity, that we are willing to remain silent about the truth of God regarding their lost estate, because we don’t want to potentially lose their momentary earthly friendship by bringing up Biblical truth?
I am reminded of the parable of the talents which Jesus told in Matthew 25; and how that the servant of His who hid what he had been given instead of investing it for a return, was cast out, right alongside, into, and amongst those who were lost. In other words – and to the point of this article – he joined those very people whom he had refused to invest God’s truth in, in their misery, having become one of them through (in this case) his own disobedience and unwillingness to share with them, what God had given to him.
We, as New Testament Christians, have been given – and have taken full advantage of – the life-giving gospel truth in all of its glory, splendor, and soul-saving simplicity by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself, to share with our lost family, friends, and neighbors:
“For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.” “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.” (Luke 12:48; 1 Thessalonians 2:4)
And so, I am begging each and every member of the Lord’s church who has never or not even recently shared the gospel truth with lost loved ones, to please stop and reconsider why. Is their momentary earthly friendship so important that we are willing to watch them be sentenced to eternal hell on Judgment Day, simply because we chose to keep silent and not share the soul-saving, life-giving, gospel truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with them today?
Brethren, we can continue to pray with every breath we take, that God will help our congregations to grow… but it will only and ultimately be an effort in futility, until and unless we prove that we have the faith to move forward, get going, get our hands dirty each and every one (Eph. 4:14-16), continually seeking to invest and plant the soul-saving gospel truth of God’s holy word into the hearts and souls of our lost loved ones. God is more than ready (Exod. 14:15; 2 Ptr. 3:9). Are we?
(P.S.: If you need help in learning how to better and more effectively reach out to everyday folks with the gospel, check out “Effective Everyday Evangelism” at: www.amazon.com/author/douglasdingley.)