Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Hard Truth

When I heard, “Who am I to stand in judgment?” I found those words to bring a false comfort. The person who uttered that statement spoke of a family member who lived a good decent life and cared for others by their words and actions, yet failed to accept God’s only way of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In saying that’s a false comfort…I know whereof I speak. My dad, Frank, died when I was ten years old. He rejected God all his life. I don’t even think there was a Bible in our home. We didn’t go to church, even on the big holidays like Christmas and Easter. We didn’t pray at meal time or when needs arose. “Jesus Christ” was not his Savior…but instead a familiar curse word.

My dad died within a matter of weeks of being diagnosed with lung cancer. He was sick and whisked away to a hospital in the distant city of Phoenix.. I was shipped off to stay with friends. My mom never told me that my dad was dying and I never saw him again. I never got a chance to tell him goodbye or I love you. I never got to hear those words from him.

I don’t know in those last weeks if my dad grew bitter, angry and rejected God? Or if someone was faithful to share the Gospel message and tell him about Jesus Christ and that his sins could be forgiven. Is it possible that he accepted Christ in his last days? Yes…I might see him in heaven one day. But I never want to delude myself that he is in heaven. My dad lived a life rejecting God and His plan of salvation.

If I think “who am I to judge”…I’m afraid that I will get complacent about sharing the Gospel.

Will I be tempted to be silent about Jesus when I’m in the presence of someone who is kind and decent and does many good works? Will I seek to keep peace and not make waves with those who seek to earn their way to heaven by their good works? Or what about that person who is seemingly seeking God…and thinks that one day perhaps they too can become a god if they are good enough? Will I rest on my laurels and console myself with the thought that at least they are seeking God….after all don’t all paths lead to God?

In fact all paths do lead to God…but not all paths lead to heaven. The Lamb’s Book of Life will one day be opened. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ Lord. But only those who bow that knee this side of heaven will be saved.

When I encounter someone who hasn’t accepted Christ…will I be content with the thought, “Who am I to judge?” Or will I risk rejection and ire when I share that salvation is found in no other name under heaven than Jesus Christ, our Lord?

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