logged on to facebook earlier today and noticed the post below from Heather, one of our adult leaders. profound stuff, and really challenged me. it's worth the read!
Last year Ray and I went with a bunch of fellow youth leaders to a conference in Pittsburgh and we saw a preacher named Francis Chen, he really had an impact on me. Recently I have been watching some of his sermons instead of just watching Ray sleep here in the hospital. He just blows me away. The sermon I just watched was called Holy Anguish. And it really got me to thinking about my heart and whether I anguish over the lost.
Francis spoke on Romans 9:1-3 and Paul
1 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race.
He anguished so for his fellow man to know Christ to the point that he would rather go to hell himself than live with the thought that his brothers might end up in hell. Personally I know I don't want to go to hell for anyone. So I am left with do I anguish enough for those who don't know Christ? Do I weep for my family and friends who don't know Christ? Do I pray for them? And mostly do I tell them about Christ, because I can't live with the idea that might end up in hell. Or am I to embarrassed or afraid that they won't like me or reject me. Do I worry more about what people will think of me now? Or do I worry about what they will think of me if they end up in hell knowing that I knew the truth and never told them? Can I live with the idea that people I love and care about could end up in hell? Or do I anguish over them and pray for them, do I weep for them? Do I beg God for the opportunity and privilege of telling them about Christ?
And then he read Luke 16:19-24
19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'
The rich mans agony in hell can I ignore that so blindly. Such agony that he is begging for just a drop of water to cool his tongue. Can I walk through life knowing that is what is in store for so many and not be compelled to preach God's word to everyone I know? I know the pain and sorrows of this world. And I know that hell is worse than all of that. Will I allow my pride to stand in my way because I want to be liked so badly that I would keep silent so as to not offend anyone? Or will I anguish in my heart and soul for the lost? Can I walk by a stranger on the street and not want to tell him of a God who loves them so much that He died on the cross to save them. Can I walk through life and not see the souls of the people around me? Am I merely an ostrich with its head in the sand ignoring who is around me and what is going on around me, out of fear? Will I die with the knowledge that I have done what Christ called me to do? Or will the faces of the lost haunt me because they beg for me to dip the tip of my finger in water to cool their tongue?