My heart has ached this week at the news of the death of one of our neighbors. He and his wife were the first to come and introduce themselves to our family after we moved here. I spent many hours during the past two years having coffee with them. I heard stories about what it was like growing up here while they were young and I learned a little about ranch life from a wife's point of view. I can't help but replay all the times we visited and silently pray that Christ was seen in me.
My husband preached on Sunday morning for missions Sunday. His message was on Your Responsibilities in Missions. While we have responsibilities in supporting our missionaries, we also have a mission field of our own. As Christians, we have been commissioned to share the Gospel with other people. While sharing the Gospel doesn't mean having to go to a foreign mission field, it means we are to share the Gospel with EVERYONE; even those as close to home as OUR NEIGHBORS.
I have learned something about people; many don't look past their front door for others in need. They look at the young person checking out their groceries as the kid from the neighborhood. They see the smiling face of those who bring the food to their table as someone they grew up with. While both of those are good, why not look at them a little differently? Look past the smiling faces, different styles of clothing, family name, and reputation. Once those are removed, what is left? The one thing that really and truly matters - a SOUL who is either going to SPEND ETERNITY in HEAVEN, or in HELL. Everyone has a soul, whether one wants to admit to it or not. Everyone is going to spend eternity somewhere.
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. “
Mark 16:15 ESV
While our family has not been called to the foreign field, we have been called to the state of Montana. At this moment, we are called to share the Gospel with those around us - our neighbors, the lady at the gas station, the kid in the grocery store; they are the ones we are called to share the Gospel with.
If we don't share the beautiful gift of salvation with others, who will? Are we that positive someone is going to come behind us and do the job we won’t do? Do we know for sure that person is a born again Christian just by looking at them? What are we afraid of, that we will be known as the different one or we are offending someone? I’d rather offend someone now and allow the Lord to work, than for them to spend eternity in hell without me even trying.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28:19 ESV
We need to remember what it was like to be lost and on our way to hell and given the gift of salvation. We need to remember what those moments were like after accepting Jesus as our Saviour. Take for instance, the Samaritan woman at the well - when she met Jesus, she dropped her water pots and ran to town looking for people to bring to Him; many believed on Jesus because of her. Some of us need to stoke the fire that was set in us that day.
We are not promised tomorrow. There will be many who go to sleep tonight and not wake up in the morning, there will be loved ones who leave for work to never return. They are either going to SPEND AN ETERNITY with God and enjoy the beautiful Heaven he created, or they are going to SPEND AN ETERNITY separated from God in the anguish of the hell that He created for Satan. Why would we not want to tell someone about this? Why would we want to keep it from others? Why would we expect someone else to pick up the reins we have been given?
So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
Matthew 18:14 ESV
I have a hard time with people who profess being a Christian, but they don't see the need to talk to someone about their eternity. I don't mean take fruit baskets and groceries to the needy, I mean REALLY TALK with them about their salvation. It makes me realize they would not care about my eternity if I was lost and that is sad! If you were traveling down a road and a bridge was out, would you want someone to smile and give a friendly wave, or would you want them to flag you down and warn you? I would want to be warned, and I believe you would too.
Put yourself in the position of others who are looking for the ONE THING that will make a difference in their life. Wouldn't you want someone to share it with you? When we share the Gospel with others, we are giving them what they need.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 ESV
Honestly, I know there have been people who have crossed my path and I did not take the TIME to talk with them about where they will SPEND ETERNITY. Thinking about this makes me very sad and all I can do is pray the Lord will bring someone in their lives that will do the job I did not do.
We need to PRAY for COURAGE, WISDOM and THE OPPORTUNITY to share the Gospel with those we meet.