The Message Nobody Wants to Hear
The most important thing to spur us on to share the Gospel message of hope and healing that comes through Jesus Christ is the reality of what eternity looks like—both for those who accept the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ and those who reject it. It’s very popular to talk about the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, but it’s not very popular to talk about what happens to those who reject the Gospel message, or to those who haven’t heard the message at all.
There are two sides to the Gospel message: that we can have everlasting life through faith in Christ, and that Jesus has the answers to every question that we experience while we're here on this earth. It's true that the Gospel has good news for every aspect of life: from finances, to relationships, to purpose, hope, and healing in life. But we do a great disservice when we talk about the hope and blessings of the Gospel without talking about eternity too.
Eternity is a reality for everyone! There is eternal life free from pain, free from sin, free from the limitations we have here in this life, forever in the presence of the Trinity for those who depend on the Lord Jesus Christ. Likewise, those who have not depended on the Lord Jesus Christ have an eternity awaiting them, forever separated from the presence of the Trinity. This life is the exact OPPOSITE of what heaven has in store.
Hell is a reality whether we admit it or not. Jesus spoke more about hell than He did of heaven. He gave us enough of a warning to ensure that we would not end up there. He told us of it’s pain, of its separation, of its finality. He warned us to prepare for eternity today, while we have the chance to choose who we will serve. The New Testament writers continued this call to get our lives right with God now so that we’ll be prepared for the day we’ll all stand before Him for an accounting of life.
Gary Benedict, the president of the CMA, made a great connection to knowing the Gospel message to the Colorado wild fires that ravaged the state in 2012. As a resident of Colorado and a personal witness to the effects of the wild fires that devastated his home state, he wrote the following:
“Our public safety officials (police and fire) put themselves into harm’s way to warn and evacuate residents from the endangered neighborhoods. They displayed a sense of urgency and compassion to save the lives of those who were threatened. Without their warnings, the casualty count surely would have been greater.”
He goes on to talk about how we should be living our lives in this way as Christians. We have an urgent message that the world needs to hear: “Without Christ your eternal life is in danger!”
We would all agree that someone who knew the wild fires were going to harm people yet did not act to warn them of the impending danger would have acted incredibly irresponsibly. In fact, many would argue that they would have acted criminally negligent.
How can we who know of the danger coming to people’s souls stand silent? How can we let others go a judgment they are not prepared for? Living our lives missionally is saving lives for eternity!
James E. Bogoniewski, Jr.