According to Wikipedia, 33.39% of the world’s population claims to be Christians. Out of that percentage, only 8.15% are Protestant. The other 25.24% are Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or Anglican… etc. And who knows how much of that 8.15% are just living their fathers’ faith, or just keeping up with the trend?
Matthew 7:22-23 says: Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
So basically, I believe that many people; our friends, family, pastors, teachers, heroes, maybe even our own selves, will be very surprised on the day of judgment when we meet God face to face and are told, “I never knew you. Depart from me.”
So, let’s take a look at those percentages once more. If 8.15% of the world claims to be Protestant, let’s just assume that 6.5% or so are truly right with God. From there, let’s see how many that actually is. 6.5% of 6.974 billion people is 453,310,000 people. Congratulations. Assuming they are all born-again Christians, that’s quite a sum! 453,310,000 people are on their way to the pearly gates!
Well, we could be pretty proud of ourselves and pat each other on the backs for a job well done, we could sit back and relax knowing that so many people are saved, or we could look at the other side of that estimated statistic. 453,310,000 people of the world saved leaves about 6,520,690,000 who have a spot waiting for them in hell. That’s not meant to be a casual statement, that is serious.
So what about those people? The atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and all the other world religions? I think it can be easy to look at it from two wrong perspectives.
We look at all those who are saved and decide that we don’t have to worry about the rest. Maybe they weren’t ‘meant’ to be Christians, maybe their hopeless. We indirectly imagine God turning a blind eye to the lost souls of the world, and simply revelling in the knowledge that 400 million people are secure behind heaven’s gates. This, I firmly believe, is totally unrealistic. We are so self-centred as human beings. We may pretend we aren’t, but in truth, we are the most important people in our lives. It’s super hard to put others before ourselves, we think everything revolves around us! Sometimes we really need to step back, and look at the bigger picture! All the billions of people roaming the earth that you know nothing about, they don’t know about you, either. To them, they are the most important person. But the reality is that God sees all, and He knows all. Who really is the most important? We all know the answer for memory: God. He loves each person intimately and infinitely- not just those who have received salvation. His heart grieves for the lost! Sometimes I get into the thinking that God knows me the most; that maybe, since I know myself so well, I just imagine Him being my own personal friend- and no one else’s. But far from it! Though many people don’t have a personal relationship with Christ, He knows them and loves them just as much as He loves you. As much as He celebrates your second birth, He grieves every unbeliever’s second death.
The other way we can look at it (incorrectly, of course) is that God is less happy with less numbers. Personally, I don’t think so. Luke 15:10 says: “…In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." God doesn’t look at how many people have accepted Christ vs. how many haven’t, and been disappointed. If you were the only sinner on earth, God would still die for you! He rejoices for every one person who is saved, and doesn’t compare it to the rest of the unsaved world. I truly don’t believe God looks at heaven’s population and thinks “Well, it leaves much to be desired, but it’s better than nothing.” Honestly, it’s not like there’s power in numbers- the number of salvations doesn’t matter as much as the salvations themselves. If that didn’t make sense, don’t worry. I’m moving on.
I suggested to Ben that we discuss the topic of evangelism, and I’m really thankful that we went through with it. God’s put in my heart a passion for evangelism that I hope never dies down, and I kind of have a thought that it is one of the MOST IMPORTANT issues.
Let me explain before you judge my thoughts. The reason I believe it is soooo very important, is because it is one of the only things that is absolutely permanent, and is really one of the very few topics that determines life or death. Paradise or torture. Heaven or hell. People are going to hell! That’s the truth! About 100-150 people die every minute on earth. About 200-300 are born every minute on earth. Every minute, souls are being tossed into the Lake of Fire- and they will be there for eternity. And every minute, a couple hundred new souls are brought into the world, who will grow up to be independent thinkers, and will need salvation for themselves.
The very thought of even one person going to hell is enough to break my heart. I’ve lain awake in a cold sweat imagining the horror. Living your life thinking you had it all together, heaping up your wealth and thinking that was all there was. You wanted to go peacefully, you wanted to die without guilt- when bam! That expensive tombstone and serene cemetery do absolutely nothing to help your predicament now. In one heartbeat, or, the absence of one, you went from an average, happy-go-lucky, empty life on earth, to everlasting torture. Your skin burns off your arms but you don’t get the luxury of dying. You see one drop of water above, but it never falls to wet your wretched, parched throat. You scream so loud that your eyes go bloodshot- but no one hears you, for they’re all screaming just the same. Nightmarish, ghoulish faces all around- demonic spirits whispering to you the whole while, you know where you are. There’s no mistaking it. On earth, you told those Christians that you needed proof. Well, here it is. And now, you’re stuck there. It will never end. EVER. I still can’t wrap my mind around that concept- it’s too terrifying. It will just not end. Ever. I wonder if they will be able to see heaven in the distance… or even catch a glimpse of the paradise. If they did, their torment would be ever so much more intense. Knowing what they could’ve had if they had only believed. Well, they believe now! But it’s too late.
This is my passion. As I speak, people are entering their perpetual doom by the hundreds. Satan’s cavern is swallowing up souls rapidly, and it will always be hungry. People are there right now! Maybe even people who thought they were saved. Only God knows the heart.
Realising the terrible reality, I began to wonder what hope those people had. But I remembered. Me. They have Jesus- and Jesus lives in us, His followers. Jesus came to save the lost, and we are to be His ambassadors! Should we not be doing the same thing?
When I get to thinking about this, I get so restless and agitated- I get annoyed that I am so young! I think, “Well, what can I do?” I can’t easily go board a plane and fly to Asia or Australia. I can’t go preach to the remote tribes of South America. I am kind of stuck here, in Alberta. So, I make do. The lost people in Three Hills are just as lost and needy as those in Africa. They are loved just the same, and they need Christ just the same. So why am I worrying about going overseas when the mission at hand is just as present?
John 4:35 ~ My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
The fields are the world. We’re talking about a soul harvest here! Where the workers, (the Evangelists) will go and begin to harvest. For they are ready to come, and need to come! The fields are white- that means they’re ready. If we wait too long, they will begin to die a permanent death. No second chances.
Luke 10:2 ~ He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
Other versions say to pray earnestly for the Lord to send out workers into the fields. Why would we be told to pray earnestly if it wasn’t important?
My Dad told me about a dream He once had. It was judgment day, and they were standing in line before God. Everyone who had ever lived was lined up, and the Lord was separating the sheep from the goats. My Dad was standing in line, and his best friend was standing in front of Him. When it got to my dad’s friend’s turn, he stepped up. God looked through the book of life for the man’s name, but He couldn’t find it. He said “Depart from me, for I never knew you. You will have to go to my left.” The left side was filled with those awaiting their never-ending punishment. Before the man walked sadly away, he turned around to face my Dad and said, “Pete, you called me your best friend. But you never once told me about Jesus.”
Even as I write those words, I feel choked up. There are so many people unsaved, walking around oblivious to the fact that they are on death row. Imagine the tears and the pain when we see them leave us forever for eternal suffering. Watching them live their lives without Christ and knowing it… I don’t see how that is very loving. The best thing you could ever do for a friend is save their life. That’s what we’re trying to do! IT doesn’t matter if they have cancer, if they are murdered, if they live long and healthy, or if they die in an accident… if they don’t have Christ, then they’re goners. You say you love them, so why aren’t you proving your love by leading them to their salvation? I just get so angry because I feel like we are walking around, completely with the knowledge that many of our friends and maybe family members are going to hell. We know they need Christ. And yet, we do nothing about it. Why?