January 11, 2010


Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
- John 15:13

I have seen God's answer to prayer in the past week. Lately, I've been praying that God would give me a burden for the lost, and I can see Him stirring that up in me.

But what does it mean to be burdened? What do I ask for when I ask for the Gospel to lay this on me?

I re-listened to Jason Gaston's sermon from October, and he laid it out pretty well. He talked about Paul's urgency in Romans.

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers . . .
-Romans 9:1-3

Paul has a pretty serious claim here . . . essentially, that he's willing to go to hell for his brothers, if that means he could save them.

It is a claim that I could honestly not make myself.

When we think of the lost, are our hearts stirred within us? Do we have sorrow and anguish as Paul did? Do we feel a burden for these people, who do not know the Lord?

I think the way I most see it manifested is when someone dies, and I am unsure of their standing with the Lord. What saddens me is not so much that their life on this earth was taken from them, but the thought of hell absolutely terrifies me and brings me grief.

The thought of being in a place that is hidden from God's face, tormented for eternity . . . horrifies me. It is something that I would never wish upon my worst enemy.

The thought of hell makes me want to run out into the street and become one of those crazy preachers you see on college campuses. OK, maybe I wouldn't be that harsh, but you know what I mean. It makes me want to throw all caution to the wind and go nuts, yelling and preaching all day long.

If I was in a room with someone who didn't know God, and there was some ultimatum where one of us had to die, I daresay I would take the bullet. I would rather die at an early age, knowing what awaited me on the other side . . . than know that the other person had to face the reality of hell. I would rather die in their place and have them be saved on my accord.

I know that is a very bold statement and it's all hypothetical, but I hope and pray that if it did come down to it, God would give me the courage and ability to make that sacrifice. After all, this life is way too fleeting and temporary.

What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
-James 4:4

1 comment:

  1. i find myself asking God for the same thing. it's like you said, an eternity of God turning His face from you, torment, and pain, should make us want to do anything to reach the lost. so why is it i am so content to go about my life without doing something? i was thinking earlier today about how much of an effort it seems to be to keep myself in the Word and to keep myself truly walking with God. but without the effort i won't grow the desire, and without the desire, i'll stay in my nice little comfort zone--no suffering and sacrifice, but also no sweetness in really knowing Christ.


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