December 21, 2014
In this issue: Without God; Without Hope by Matt Adams
by Matt Adams
Every life you meet today is going through some trial. Everyone you see has issues that they must confront on a daily basis, some great and some small; yet even the smallest of issues in our lives can seem insurmountable and make us feel like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. Everyone has the opportunity to be freed from that weight, but not everyone takes advantage of that opportunity (Matt.11:28-30).
Think about your own struggles; it can be seriously difficult some days to just make it through, can't it? However, if you're a Christian, think of the joy and peace you have because you can take it all to the Lord in prayer with the confidence He will hear you (Jms.5:16; Phil.4:4-7). Recognize how you're even able to make it through each day, and who gives you the strength to face and overcome the issues of life. Think of the hope you have, that hope of eternal life, if you will but persevere faithfully to the end (Rev.2:10; Phil.3:12-14). Hold on to that and recognize how blessed you are if you're truly being faithful to God. Let that lift your spirits and help you to press on serving Him the rest of your days, let come what may. Through our Lord, we can not only face the issues of life; no, more than that, we can conquer them (Rom.8:37-39)! What a tremendous blessing!
Now, think for a moment what it would be like to have none of this. Think of what it would be like to go through life without hope, without the assurance of heaven, without the peace that comes from praying to our Lord and knowing He will hear and answer. Think deeply of the impact of being separated eternally from God, instead spending eternity in a devil's hell "where the worm dies not and the fire is not quenched" (Mk.9:42-50; Rev.21:6-8).
Do we have that overwhelming flood of despair and trembling within when we consider this reality, this promise from God to the disobedient? Do we tremble at the thought of how that used to be, and still could be, us (1 Cor.6:9-11; 1Cor.10:12; Rom.6:1-11)? Good. We need to tremble at this thought.
Now, apply that to every soul you meet today who is walking around without the Lord. Think of every person who has either not heard or not obeyed the word of God; tremble for their souls. That's a lot of lost souls, my friends. So, so many dying and dead in their sins. What effect does this knowledge have on you and me? Do you tremble, does your heart break for them?
Yet, what do we do?
Do we walk around selfishly keeping that hope and peace within, refusing to extend that blessing to others, giving ourselves the false hope that we're saved when in reality we're condemned for not speaking the truth in love to them? Do we claim love for God, but then refuse to give others what they need the most - the saving message of Jesus Christ? Do we call ourselves Christians, but yet refuse to hold ourselves and others accountable to the standard which He set?
"When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul." Ezekiel 33:8-9 NKJV
"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
It is evident from these verses that we have a lot of work to do, friends. Knowing God's word as we do, do we honestly think God will let us slide if we refuse to take the saving message of the gospel to the lost?
We have a responsibility to teach the truth, the hearers have a responsibility to obey it. It is incumbent upon all of us that we carry the gospel to the lost and that we follow it diligently ourselves; for if we do not, we shall surely be lost eternally. Give others hope, give them the opportunity to have salvation, give them the words of life, show no partiality, demonstrate your love to God and all of His creation by spreading the gospel. Save your own soul, and strive to save the souls of others. Knowing what we know, knowing what our Savior did for us all, how can we not speak about Him (Acts 4:19-20)? The world will hate us, the world will speak ill of us, but our Lord will be pleased if we will but humbly obey Him. Serve God faithfully and spread the message of Jesus Christ to all until this life is over, then go home to your reward. May the following hymn convict us and move us to action:
You Never Mentioned Him To Me
When in the better land before the bar we stand,
How deeply grieved our souls will be;
If any lost one there should cry in deep despair,
"You never mentioned Him to me."
O let us spread the word where e'er it may be heard,
Help groping souls the light to see,
That yonder none may say, "You showed me not the way.
You never mentioned Him to me."
A few sweet words may guide a lost one to His side,
Or turn sad eyes on Calvary;
So work as days go by, that yonder none may cry,
"You never mentioned Him to me."
"You never mentioned Him to me,
You helped me not the light to see;
You met me day by day and knew I was astray,
Yet never mentioned Him to me." ~