My heart went out to a woman in her late sixties, who said that the worst day in her life was when a doctor told her that she had a terminal disease and had about three years to live. That was sixteen years earlier.
The doctor was right about her having a terminal disease. He was just wrong about the time of her departure. It seems that millions live their lives forgetting that life is terminal.
Our job as Christians is to remind people that they have an appointment with death, and to warn them that after death they will have to face God in judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
How do we best do that?
“Our job as Christians is to remind people that they have an appointment with death, and to warn them that after death they will have to face God in judgment.”
The way to convince people that they have a terminal disease is to point out the symptoms. One or two may be enough to alarm some, while others may need more before they take the news seriously and seek a cure.
The deadly disease that is killing people, at the rate of 150,000 per day, is sin. The symptoms are multiple violations of God’s moral Law. It pronounces the death sentence, and then damnation. The only cure is Jesus Christ.
How then do you talk to strangers about such an awkward and fearful subject?
We do so the same way a doctor talks to his patients—with love and kindness, because he really cares about them. If he considers himself to be a doctor, he has to tell them the truth.
If the love of God dwells in us, we must speak the truth in love. We must warn every man of the coming judgment, so that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28).
“If the love of God dwells in us, we must speak the truth in love.”
Therefore, we study what Jesus did to reach the lost. In John chapter 4, He sat by a well and spoke to a stranger about water. He began by speaking of something in the natural realm that the woman could understand, then He swung to the spiritual realm and spoke to her about the things of God. He then used the seventh of the Ten Commandments to bring the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20).
Recently, to pass the time while my car battery was being replaced, I went for a stroll through a mall. My feet needed a rest, so I sat on a very comfortable-looking seat that would give you a back massage if you paid for it. I didn’t want a massage; I just wanted to sit down.
Within seconds, the chair began to massage my back, though I hadn’t put any money in the slot. But this “massage” wasn’t pleasant—it felt like a rock going up and down my spine. It was meant to make me uncomfortable and prod me to get moving. The manufacturer didn’t want me sitting on it if I wasn’t going to pay.
May our conscience be like that chair, if we neglect our responsibility to reach out to the lost.