Chances are, if you’ve listened to Christian music, that you’ll continue the title with something like “He’s my special friend…” But, that’s not where we’ll be going with this current article. So, put that on the side and switch to challenge-ready mode instead.
Now, here’s the complete title of the article: Jesus is my Friend, but the unsaved people around me will still go to hell. Got the chills?! Well, if you can’t handle the sentence in bold above, then I’ll rephrase a quote from the movie The Matrix – Take the blue pill (quit reading), and when you wake up tomorrow morning life will go on as normal, and you’ll think of this sentence as just a dream. If you keep reading, hopefully there won’t be a turning back.
Going to hell. John 3:16 – probably each believer’s first favorite verse from the Bible… You know how it goes. Yet, most believers today seem to stop at the period at the end of v.16. Yet, v.18 is not so happy no more: whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. The New Testament is also pretty clear on the future of the ones who are not together with God. My main point here is – there is going to hell… whether it’s boiling hot there, pitch dark, etc. etc… It’s a place you don’t want to be in. Unfortunately, in the past years Christianity seems to has bent under the pressure of culture and as a result of this the emphasis on heaven and hell is all but present. Instead, all we hear is love. Not that love in itself is bad, but I’ve come to believe that more and more people today also need to recognize that they are in need of salvation. Because many are the unsaved who won’t even care about your Jesus love talk.
The Chills. That’s the other problem with the whole heaven and hell deal. You go tell someone “Unless you’re saved you’ll go to hell.” and then watch what happens. You immediately become the disrespectful one, the close-minded one, the old-fashioned one, the overly-religious one, the stupid one… Frankly, I think that’s because anyone who is seriously told that sentence gets the chills. On one hand it’s funny, because it’ll be burning hot in hell, but anyways… that’s another topic for when I get goofy. Now I’m serious. To me it appears that under the influence of the current culture telling anyone anything negative about them is a no-no. Yet, the Bible is also clear that God and our faith in Him should stand above culture when there is a disagreement between these two (God and culture). But why in the world are Christians today so freakin’ afraid?!
The Irony. It is really ironic – we’re afraid to tell the truth in the eyes of non-believers – some because they don’t want to become the disrespectful and stupid ones, etc. etc., and others – because it seems unloving to contradict people. The first reason is actually so dumm that in my opinion it doesn’t even deserve discussion. As for the second – almost on weekly basis we are taught in our churches how the loving thing to do isn’t always the most or at all pleasant thing to do or experience. So either many are just dozed off on Sunday or are easily chickened out when it comes to applying what they’ve heard. The sad irony is that because of that people around us, whom we say we “love” end up dying without knowing God, or even without being challenged to know God. We’re just given a simple message to convey, and so often we fail.
The other option. So what’s then the other option? I firmly believe that there is nothing stronger than the truth. Both – as the fuel for the one who speaks it, but also as the thing that convinces the one who hears it. That’s at least one reason to not live on as quiet “loving” Christians who don’t dare to tell the whole story because someone might get hurt (physically too, by the way!).
Ultimately, when I am saved only I will go with God. Jesus is a personal ticket for one seat alone. Yes, for everyone who believes… But children, elderly, and so on people are still not permitted a free seat just because I’m on the train or you’re on the train.
I hope at least this got you started on thinking about all aspects of the Gospel and to what extend you’re including them in your sharing thereof with others.
* Clarification: Chances are that by now you’re thinking something very weird about how I believe Christianity should be shared. In few words – I’m not excluding love from the big picture, nor am I encouraging a hard-core heaven-or-hell preaching. If that’s what you’re thinking – reconsider what you know about me (that’s if you know me at all), or simply read carefully all I’ve posted so far and things will become clearer.