Thursday, September 8, 2011

Passion for Souls

Do you have a passion for something? Maybe you would say that
you have a passion for a specific sport, after all, if you’re doing
especially bad in a game, doesn’t your coach always pressure you “Is this
your passion? Then get out there and show it!”

What do you think your passion *should *be? Well, there’s a lot of different
answers to that question. If you answered, “My passion should be in Jesus
Christ,” you do answer correctly, but I’m not going off on that bunny trail
quite yet. :) There’s a different passion I want to discuss, and that
passion would be one that’s missing from a lot of churches and a lot of
Christians these days: the passion for the unsaved. Do YOU have a
passion for lost souls? Think about it.
Do you have passion for that unsaved next-door neighbor that screeches
across the grass daily, “Your cat mangled my bird feeder again!” (Excuse my
impertinence, I really don’t think cats mangle bird feeders…. Or at least I
hope not). Well, I admit it that was probably a very lame analogy. Let’s try
a harder one. Do you have passion for the souls of those Muslims across the
world who want to kill you because you’re a Christian? (Ohh.. shudder).
Would you have passion for Hitler? What about Darwin, or Marcus Aurelius, or Nero,
Julius Caesar, Mohamed, Osama Bin Laden? (Have you figured out my master
plan yet? I’m testing the history scholars). What about Romans who crucified
Jesus? I’m sure it would be hard to love anyone like that or have a passion
to want them to be saved. No matter how hard it is for you, let's remind
ourselves that Jesus loved them wholeheartedly. In fact, he loved them
enough to die for them. All they had to do was believe in His name. Pretty
powerful, isn’t it?

Well, this means what? It’s simple. It means that we love one another,
Christians and non-Christians our friends and our enemies with the same
unconditional love that Jesus has shown to us.

So how do we start loving the non-believer? Well, first of all, when that
nasty neighbor of yours yells at you about how your cat mangled your bird
feeder you can answer in a sweet voice, “Oh, I’m sorry Mrs. Jones, let me
take care of that right away. I’ll make sure he doesn’t do it again.” The
Bible says that “a soft answer turns away wrath,” but should we stop with
that soft word? Is a soft word the only thing we are going to do to show
compassion to our neighbor? Certainly not. You need to find opportunity!
Think about your neighbor being choked by a lake of fire and hopefully that
will motivate you. Share the GOSPEL! While you’re picking up the bird seed
you can start on the parable when Jesus taught about throwing the seed on
the path, the weeds, rocks and good soil and you can start talking about
what Jesus did for you – and for her. There’s opportunity in everything. We
just don’t take it. Because we are just like this world we are lovers or
ourselves, and not other people. We’d rather risk someone else’s life in
eternal punishment than risk ten minutes of embarrassment or feeling
uncomfortable for ourselves! I’m sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true! Its
true in my own life too. People need to realize this. They need to take it
to heart and they need to do something. They need to do something now. What
would happen if your neighbor died the next day from a heart attack and you
had not shared the gospel. How would you feel? Time is running out and we
need to take our opportunity. Now. When we have the change, because we won’t
have it forever. The time ran out for the people I mentioned above Hitler,
Darwin, Marcus Aurelius, Julius Caesar, Mohamed, Osama Bin Laden. Did you
know that once Mohamed went to a church? The usher turned him away at the
door because of who he was. What is wrong with this? What are we turning
into?

Imagine yourself at the day of judgment. What if God showed you every
single person you’ve ever walked by, ever had a conversation with, or ever
known as a friend who is now suffering his wrath and judgment forever. And
you never shared the gospel with them, even though you had gotten a sense
from God. Because you felt embarrassed, because you were uncomfortable.

I know, this is some pretty rough stuff I’m bringing up. I’m not writing
this to those who have shared the gospel to someone over and over, but they
refuse to receive it. You can’t blame yourself for that. God will show them
the truth in His time. I’m writing this for those of you that are afraid.
For those of you that have gone to church every single Sunday of your life
but get swept up with the crowd, with your friends, put on your little act,
and try to impress everyone, while first-time visitors who are hearing the
gospel for the first time are *hurting* and walking right past you! I know
what it's like to go from church to church and I could tell you straight off
that if I was not a Christian, if I was someone broken, if I was someone who
had been through so much in my life that the only thing I could think of to
help me now was go to that unknown place called “church” because I was SO
desperate, I would go one Sunday, and I would probably never go again. Why?
Because people would walk by me, One’s who call themselves “Christians” and
think of themselves as “good people” and look at me as if I came from
Krypton and walk out the doors. If you had heard about how Christians are
supposed to act all your life (although never attended a church) would you,
seeing that, want to be like them?

I’m not making this up. This is how churches are these days. In the six
different churches I have been to recently, there has been only one that has
actually greeted our family with friendship and welcomed us into their arms.
Only one where people have actually talked to us. These are churches! Aren’t
they supposed to be sharing the gospel? Especially to visitors because we
don’t know their state of life, we don’t know their circumstances, we don’t
know whether they’re Christians or not and we don’t know what utter tragedy
finally brought them to actually visit a church. Still, visitors are
ignored.

So if visitors are ignored in *churches *where there are hundreds of
Christians gathered together, how are non-Christians accepted by us in the
public? They’re just regarded as regular people. We just walk right by
them. Without caring where their eternal destination is. It’s like walking
past that neighbor’s house every day in a week thinking whether or not to share
the gospel, and by the end of the week, she has died of a heart attack. You
missed your chance. Because you were selfish.

How can we change this?

Let’s start with prayer. Prayer for ourselves, for the next generation, for
people to step out and share the gospel! For YOU to step out and share the
gospel. Lets pray that we do not just walk by people on the street, we don’t
talk to non- Christian friends without telling them about what Jesus has
done for them. That our fire for God is SO hot that we want to tell EVERYONE
about Jesus, even that nasty neighbor.

Do not read this and forget it. Do not be a hearer and not a doer the time
to step out and do something is NOW. Because time is ticking and ticking
away. Don’t waste it!


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"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of a man does not produce the righteousness that God requires." ~ James 1:19-21

"So whether you eat, or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." ~1 Corinthians 10:31