Let’s pretend for a moment. You are in a room with every person in your life that you care about most. There’s just one problem – this room happens to be in a building that is about to burn to the ground. The fire is closing in, and you know it’s only a matter of time before the whole building goes down in flames. You look around at the people you love. Your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, your closest family and friends – in a short amount of time, it will all be gone.
And then you discover something extraordinary – a way out. You are overjoyed with hope! You begin to tell everyone in the room what you have found, but some of them seem hesitant to believe you. Some know the building is going down, and don’t seem to care, while others refuse to believe that anything is wrong at all. As your loved ones move about the room as if nothing was wrong, you can’t help but wonder one thing: Why don’t they seem to understand that this is a matter of life or death?
This scenario may seem a bit dramatic, but I assure you there is a point. To those of us who have found Jesus, we know all too well what it’s like to be the one who sounds a bit crazy. But what those around us don’t realize is that we preach like it’s a matter of life or death because it is a matter of life or death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23 (NLT)
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. – Romans 3:23 (NLT)
If we all have sinned and the wages of that sin is death, then we are all are facing a certain death. But there is hope!
But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. – Galatians 3:22 (NLT)
There is a way out of certain death, and that is Jesus Christ. He paid the wages of our sin when He died on the cross. He then defeated death when He rose from the grave. When we give our hearts to Christ, we are given a pardon for sins along with eternal life. Jesus made a way of escape from the burning building.
I was watching a television program the other day, and the main characters were preaching the idea that we as parents should let our children grow up and decide for themselves what religion to follow. They even went as far to say that taking your kids to church is a form of “child abuse” and “brainwashing.” My heart ached.
You see, this type of parenting would be fine and dandy if all religions were the same – if it didn’t matter in the end what you decided to believe. But I know deep within my heart that God is who He says He is and that without Him, my loved ones are doomed to death. Jesus is the only way to life.
Christianity is not just another religion – it’s a matter of life or death.
Now let’s get back to the story… You have discovered your way out, and you look around the room to see your loved ones. You know that they too are doomed to a certain death if they don’t realize the same truth you have. What would you do in this scenario?
Would I tell my family that it was no big deal if they followed me out of the building? Would I tell them casually that they could decide for themselves? Or worse yet, would I ignore the fact that they were going to die even though I knew the way out?
Of course not!
I would be begging and pleading. I would be sharing with them everything I knew to be true. Yes, ultimately the choice is theirs to make. But you better believe that I would be doing everything in my power to lead them towards life.
So as I teach my children about God and share with them the hope of salvation, I will do so with no hesitation. No amount of convincing could keep me from sharing the truth with those I love. After all, it’s a matter of life or death.
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:4-6 (NLT)