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Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matthew 9:35-38)
Two recent articles in the LA TIMES have struck a nerve in my heart. First is the news of this week's ruling (for the western US) that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional because of the phrase "one nation under God." I'll leave the details to your own media, but can't help but wonder about the gentleman who brought the lawsuit. He does not believe in God, nor by extension heaven and hell.
But one day he will. He's 49 years old, so sometime in the next 50 years or so he will close his eyes for the last time in this lifetime and will open them in eternity. At that moment he will lose all doubt in the existence of a holy God. He will also realize that his own sins have separated him from God, and that it's too late to receive the gift of forgiveness that was offered to him up to the moment he died. Perhaps part of the torment he will experience for all eternity is that he, by his own choice, rejected that gift.
The other article, which appeared on page 1 of the LA TIMES, deals with the church's abandonment of the concept of hell. It seems people don't want to hear about it any longer, so preachers have stopped warning their flocks about it. Catch this: here's a secular publication castigating the church for ignoring Jesus Christ's central purpose for the church; helping lost sinners escape the horrors of hell and finding the way to heaven. He came to seek and save the lost, and has purposed to use His church to reach them.
But now I need to search my own heart. Do I really believe in hell? If so, why am I so blasé about my unsaved family going there? I've already shared the gospel with them to the extent they'll listen, but why am I not on my knees agonizing over
them in prayer? And why am I so casual with the gospel with my neighbors? And my co-workers?
God does exist. So does heaven. So does hell. If we both truly believe in hell and truly care for those the Lord has placed within our circles of relationships, then may our hearts break for the lost such that we do something about it.
Eric Van Deusen
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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