Friday, May 15, 2009

Dereliction of Duty?

“…when the Holy Spirit dwells within us, it’s not hard to worship our glorious and worthy Creator. It’s as natural for Christians to worship the Lord as it is for flowers to open their petals in the warm sunlight.

On the other hand, demonstrating our love for God thought our obedience to His will (John 14:15) doesn’t happen quite as naturally. It takes a concerted effort to obey the Great Commission and follow in Christ’s footsteps, seeking to save the lost. Nevertheless, our professed love and worship of God should show itself in a determined devotion to do His will.”

For those who are born-again Christians, “When was the last time you shared your faith with an unsaved person? When did you last meditate on the fact that all who die in their sins will be cast into a lake of fire? In his book The Coming Revival, Dr. Bill Bright notes that only 2 percent of American churchgoers share their faith with others. That is tragic. If the love of God dwells in us, how can we not be horrified by the fate of the lost? Yet, many professing Christians today are so locked into worship (with the volume turned high) that they seem to give little or no thought to the fate of the ungodly.

To make a very important point, I would like for you to consider the following scenario:

An experienced big-city firefighter was charged yesterday with grave neglect of duty. Prosecutors maintain that he abandoned his responsibility and betrayed the people of the city when he failed to release rescue equipment during a recent fire, resulting in the needless and tragic deaths of a family of five.

The lead prosecuting attorney said that for more than three minutes after arriving at the scene, the firefighter sat in his vehicle, wearing earphones and listening to a CD, while a family of five screamed to be rescued from the sixth floor of the burning building. Horrified bystanders reported that, as flames licked at the mother’s clothing, she cried out in terror and fell to her death, still clutching an infant in her arms.

The distraught onlookers also said that the father held two terrified children as he was engulfed by the massive flames. This terrifying drama took place in full view of the firefighter as he remained seated in the fire truck listening to the CD.

Eyewitnesses were sickened when they discovered that the reason the firefighter had remained in the locked emergency vehicle was simply to test a new high-tech CD player that he had purchased as a gift from the fire chief.

The chief immediately distanced himself from the defendant and dishonorably discharged him from the fire department. In a prepared statement, the chief said that there were no words to describe such a betrayal of those the firefighter was sworn to protect.

At the trial, the defense pleaded “no contest,” but added that the defendant had gone to great personal sacrifice to purchase the expensive gift for the chief, and he hoped that the judge would take that into account when passing sentence.

What do you think would be a fitting punishment for this firefighter’s serious crime---probation? Two years in jail? Twenty years? Life? Death? What sentence would you give the negligent firefighter?

Perhaps you’re saying, “That’s ridiculous. A firefighter would never do that.” Allow me to apply the parable: If you and I are not seeking to save the lost “with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude 1:23), are we not, in effect, negligent firefighters? That’s a sobering question, isn’t it?

Am I saying that if we don’t evangelize we’re not saved? Of course not. But if we would expect a firefighter to make saving lives a priority, are we honest enough to judge ourselves by the same standard? Are we doing all we can to rescue the lost, or are we sitting passively in the pews while people perish?”

“After all, what the Bible tells us about the fate of the lost (Revelation 20:15) is pretty shocking.”

“Oswald J. Smith said, “Oh, my friends, we are loaded down with countless church activities, while the real work of the Church, that of evangelizing and winning the lost, is almost entirely neglected.” We have been gazing to the heavens while sinners are sinking into hell.

Worship is the highest calling of the Christian, and we can see in the book of Revelation that the Church will one day be consumed in worship before the throne of the Almighty. But when we look back at the book of Acts, we don’t find the Church consumed with worship. Instead, we find that those Christians were devoted to reaching the lost, to the point that they willingly gave their lives to preach the gospel.

Time is short. Let us not sit passively by during these crucial days of opportunity, drowning out the cries of a dying humanity with the sweet sounds of worship. Let us reevaluate our priorities, take off the earphones, unlock the doors, become equipped, and demonstrate the depth of our love for God by rescuing those who are about to perish.”
(pp. 1-3, “The Way of the Master,” by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort)


People Who Die Without Christ Jesus Go to Hell
by Tim Conway



There's only One Way for people to be saved from Hell

7 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

'Dr. Bill Bright notes that only 2 percent of American churchgoers share their faith with others. That is tragic.'

Having a Christian blog, in a sense, causes one to promote the faith, but this should be done intelligently in person as well.

I do as well.

'“After all, what the Bible tells us about the fate of the lost (Revelation 20:15) is pretty shocking.”'

It is difficult to digest even after realizing it is just and that people do hate God and remain in opposition outside of Christ.

The finality of it is devastating but within God's holy will.

There is simply no counterargument to everlasting hell that I have found superior.

For your other readers...In my thekingpin68 comments is an article where the APA admits there is no gay gene.

Nitewrit said...

Jeff,

Very, very sobering and compelling.

Larry E.

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Having a Christian blog, in a sense, causes one to promote the faith, but this should be done intelligently in person as well.

Agreed.

The finality of it is devastating but within God's holy will.

Yes.

Thanks, Russ.

Jeff said...

Nitewrit,

Very, very sobering and compelling.

Thanks, Larry, and yes, it is a responsibility that each of us, as Christians, should take seriously.

thekingpin68 said...

Larry responds to Jeff and Russ

Greg said...

Great analogy, Jeff! Not to sound like I'm just repeating GGM, but our will to witness hinges on our level of belief in what God says about hell and salvation. We say that Hell is real and that there is no way to avoid it, except by Jesus, but how confident we are in those facts drives how gung-ho we are to tell others about Him.

In your analogy, it would make a world of difference if the firefighter thought that the family had a way of escape, even without his intervention. And it also makes a difference whether the family believes that the fire is actually dangerous.

Perhaps if more people examined their faith and decided to live by it, there would be more witnessing.

Jeff said...

Greg,

Great analogy, Jeff!

Thank you, Greg. It's from Ray Comfort's and Kirk Cameron's book, "The Way of the Master." I took a course for a few months where we watched the videos and read material provided by "The Way of the Master" ministry, and then we went out on the streets and began witnessing to people and handing out tracts. That lasted for about a year or a little more, and it was one of the most amazing years of my life.

our will to witness hinges on our level of belief in what God says about hell and salvation.

Good point.

We say that Hell is real and that there is no way to avoid it, except by Jesus, but how confident we are in those facts drives how gung-ho we are to tell others about Him.

Yes! In fact, if I remember correctly, I think on one of the "Way of the Master" videos, they mention that most Christians don't truly and deeply believe that Hell is real, and that their relatives, friends and neighbors are going there. Because, if they truly, deeply, really believed that, they would be out doing everything they could to warn people and tell them how to escape such damnation through Jesus Christ.

And it also makes a difference whether the family believes that the fire is actually dangerous.

Yes, in real life, the "family" almost never believes that the "fire" is dangerous, and will even get mad at you if you warn them or try to tell them how to escape.

Perhaps if more people examined their faith and decided to live by it, there would be more witnessing.

Agreed.