The other day a couple of students popped by my office to visit, chat and grab lunch at the same time. While we were sitting around the table catching up on the latest happenings, they told me about a sermon they had listened to at the Austin Stone Community Church on Sunday, and the impact it had on them.
That Sunday’s message was on Hell.
Now I know what you’re thinking, that’s such an unfriendly, controversial topic that’s sure to turn away lots of people and incite anger. And maybe it is. Especially if what you’re picturing in your head are those zealous street preachers yelling about fire and brimstone to passersby. Not exactly the nicest “love” message that’ll draw in people.
But what if we pause for a moment and forget the negative imagery. The fact is that if you are Christian and believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, then by definition you also believe that Satan and Hell are real.
“Okay…” you nod, “And?”
Well, let’s say for the purposes of this article, we’ll define Hell as a place where people are without God forever. Are you okay with people you know and love ending up in this place? And if you’re not, what are you doing about it?
It’s the difference between Heaven and Hell
Even if this is an uncomfortable subject for you, it’s something that I think everyone should think about every now and then. Why? Because I think it’s one of the most compelling reasons we as Christians have for living a missional lifestyle and trying to reach as many people around us as possible.
Psalm 39:5 says “each man’s life is but a breath,” a mere speck in the whole span of eternity. When you put it in that perspective, there isn’t much time at all, not for any of us. And if time is short, why wouldn’t we spend every moment we could telling our friends, family and loved ones about Jesus and His gift of eternal life? One decision. That’s all it takes, to determine the course of a person’s life.
The time is now
My point today is this: No matter where you are in life, whether you’re in college, working, not sure exactly where you’re going (don’t worry, we’ve all been there), God has people around you He wants to reach. The exciting thing is that He wants to use you to do it!
So if there’s someone in your life, a classmate, a professor, a friend or family member that you’ve been meaning to start a conversation with, pray for or invite to church or small group, don’t delay! It could be that God’s already been stirring their hearts up and they’re looking for someone to talk to and ask questions.
Don’t waste the opportunity. And above all, understand that every moment counts.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” – Matthew 6:33-34