those searching for faith half damned or half saved?
faces in the pews every week, those eyes longing for an
answer---what fate do they face if their choice is disbelief?
Regardless of perspective, the fact of the matter is
undeniable---the bible tells us Death. Anyone communicating
that point to a congregation is surely right, no one could
deny the fact of their statements.
faces and longing eyes are there for a reason, however, they
are looking for an answer that they may not have received in
absence. The challenge of the minister becomes---what message
can be delivered that is completely legitimate under God, yet
touches the heart of the one who needs to hear it most? I
propose a message of life is much more compelling to those
"living in death" than a threat of death, let me
Christians often see Hell as a place where the unbeliever is
finally punished, where at death a life of reckless sin is
ended by eternal damnation. In a literal sense this very well
is the truth. Is it reasonable to believe that the unbeliever
is only punished after death, however? Romans 6:23 says---for the wages of sin is death. Can the unbeliever live
a life of sin, without communing with the giver of life, and
feel truly alive? I don't think so, and though I grew up in
the church, I too have felt "dead" when I sought a
life of flesh.
longing souls, on a Sunday morning, are looking for life!
Granted, while a message of eternal damnation may be
technically true, a threat of death to someone who feels dead
inside may not be compelling like a message of life can be.
What could one say to a suicidal man on a ledge? He could be
told that because of how flawed he is, if his life does not
end today it will the next time he ends up on a ledge---a
message of hopelessness. On the other hand, a picture of hope
can be painted, he can be told that his problems are only
temporary, and if he can just focus himself he can live a life
of joy again.
who are called to communicate God's love, we are often
challenged in similar scenarios, not necessarily of suicide,
but with those who have lost hope, which have nothing to lose,
who have given up any action that could possibly pull them out
of their hopeless mire. John 5:24 says--- Truly, truly, I say to you, he who
hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life;
he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to
life. This is the message of life that the hopeless seek to
hear, and this is the life that the dead seek to live. Jesus
said in John 10:10 - I came that they may have life, and have
as humans know we are dead without Christ, some of us search
for life in the world and through carnal solutions, and some
end up in churches and relationships with Christians all over
the world. Which side of the lost will you see when you look
into their eyes?