I recently read two news articles. The first was about a fourteen-year-old girl whose parents had found her dead one morning. She had been charging her iPhone as she slept, and had rolled over onto an exposed wire and was tragically electrocuted.
The second item was about a lawsuit being brought against a rotating restaurant atop a hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. A family had gone to the restaurant because it was said to be fun and family-friendly. However, it turned out to be anything but.
As they were leaving, their five-year-old got his head caught in a gap between the booth and the rotating wall. The father frantically threw himself against the wall in an effort to stop it from turning, while the mother pulled at her child as she screamed for help. It didn’t stop turning and moments later they heard their beloved child’s skull crack.
Those of us who are parents can perhaps feel their terrible anguish. God has placed in each of us an instinct to protect our children from anything that would even slightly harm them, and to see your sweet five-year-old die in such a way is a horror beyond words.
One can only imagine the unending pain of that memory, and the continual thought, “If only we could go back in time and not have gone to that particular restaurant!”
And think of the thoughts of the poor parents of the fourteen-year-old. They lost their beloved child because of a tiny exposed wire! If only they had known what was going to happen, they would have ripped that wire from the wall and trashed it. But they didn’t, because they didn’t know the future.
We can never go back in time. Not for a second. The past is gone forever. Nor can we know what’s going to happen in the future. We only have now. Even weather forecasters don’t know what tomorrow will bring. They can only guess based on present data, and many a parade has been rained on because they guessed wrong.
Neither do psychics know the future. Not even slightly. If they did, they need only camp for a short time by the tables and roulette wheels of Las Vegas, and then retire with their billions. But they don’t know the roll of the dice or where the wheel will stop.
Neither did the famed Nostradamus know what tomorrow would bring. His “predictions” are so nebulous they can fit anywhere naïve believers want to fit them. The only reason he gained any credibility was that he stole biblical prophecies and made them his own. Anyone who is ignorant of what the Bible says will be impressed with the ramblings of Nostradamus.
Could you imagine being at that rotating restaurant, knowing what was about to happen, and saying nothing? You see the child walk toward the gap, and you keep silent? You know the harm that will follow, and yet you refuse to speak up. How evil that would be! Or imagine seeing the fourteen-year-old about to roll over on that exposed wire, and you look the other way. How wicked that would be!
Here’s my point. If we knew the future and knew that there was danger, we would have a sobering responsibility.
“Shame on me if I walk past even one unsaved person without an overwhelming concern in my heart.”
Are you a Christian? Then you believe God’s Word, don’t you? You do know the future. You know the terrible fate of the ungodly, don’t you? You know that Hell awaits the unsaved. You know that they will be crushed by the wrath of the Law, that their sin is like an exposed wire waiting to kill them. Are you therefore “warning every man” (Colossians 1:28)? Or are you looking the other way because your love is so shallow that it doesn’t constrain you?
I don’t know how many times I have begun interviews where the host has asked what it was that gave me so much zeal for the lost. Every time, I give the same answer: “I’m a Christian.” That’s it. I’m a normal biblical Christian, and I’m horrified by Hell. I say with Paul that “necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Shame on me if I don’t grab that endangered child, or rip out that exposed cord, and shame on me if I walk past even one unsaved person without an overwhelming concern in my heart.
What are you doing to reach the lost?
Perhaps you want to share the gospel, but you are afraid. Imagine not grabbing the child or that faulty cord because you let fear control you. I’m afraid too, but the issue of eternity is far too important and the stakes are way too high to let fear have its way. If our fear is great, it means our love is shallow. If our fear has precedence, our faith is secondary. If we are more concerned with ourselves than we are with the unsaved, we have no right to claim that God’s love dwells in us or that we trust Him.
Jesus is our example. May God help us to follow Him and let love and trust have their way.