My friend, Ken, is a colorful character. He’s a Marine (retired, but once a Marine always a Marine), a Vietnam veteran with medals to document his heroism in battle, along with scars – both physical and emotional – he will carry with him until his dying day. Following his wartime service he became highly successful in real estate. As he puts it, “I could turn manure into gold.”
His life, goals and values changed dramatically, however, when he committed his life to Jesus Christ more than 40 years ago. Money and success were no longer driving factors in his life. Ken found the fallacy of the so-called “prosperity gospel,” often observing, “After Jesus, I could turn gold into manure.” But if you were to ask, he’d tell you – as earnestly as possible – none of that matters anymore.
Instead, Ken’s life today is guided by three dominating questions.
1. Do you really believe that people without Christ go to hell forever?
2. If you believe that – do you care?
3. If you care, what are you doing about it?
He isn’t just talk. For nearly four decades Ken has been actively investing in the lives of others, walking with them through problems and helping them to realize that even when circumstances seem hopeless, they can turn to the Lord for solutions they couldn’t have imagined possible.
One particular segment of society he’s working with consists of military veterans who have also struggled with the scars from combat. Through his work, these wounded individuals are finding new hope and peace through Jesus Christ, both for the present and for the life yet to come.
I’ve met hundreds of men and women having similar zeal, an overriding devotion to telling others about the life-saving, life-transforming power of Jesus. Living in an age when an increasing number of people show no respect for the name of Jesus Christ at all, it’s good to know folks like these. The more the better.
Years ago another friend, the late Ted DeMoss, traveled all across the U.S. and around the world for one purpose: To tell people about Jesus Christ. Countless men and women were introduced to their Savior and Lord through Ted’s ministry, and many are carrying on his legacy today.
Often during his talks, Ted would recite a portion of a poem that reflected his passion for helping people discover how to have a true, eternal relationship with God:
“When in the mansions above,
The saved all around us appear,
I must hear someone say,
‘It was you who invited me here.’”
This isn’t about persuading someone to accept our point of view, or alter their belief system. It’s about the recognition that when Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” He wasn’t being exclusionary. Jesus was announcing there’s only one way to an eternal, personal relationship with God – yet it’s available to everyone willing to accept it. As John 1:12 declares, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
The question is, how will people find out about this? Who will tell them? “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can their believe in the one whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?... ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” (Romans 10:14-15). We don’t have to be preachers or missionaries to engage in the joyous work of telling others about Christ; we’re all called to participate in this – in the “mission fields” where God has placed us.
But what’s our motivation? Why bother? Aren’t there enough churches, religious TV and radio shows, films, books and Internet sites to disseminate this information? It’s not about information, or knowledge. It’s about truth, and seeing that truth lived out through the lives of people genuinely and consistently following Jesus. As another poem says so poignantly, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.” When people see our love for Christ, and His love for others being expressed through us, many will become drawn to Him.
It must start, however, with our love for the Lord. As the apostle Paul wrote, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all…that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). Because of what He has done for us, we in turn understand the urgency of telling others.
Do you believe that people without Christ are destined to suffer an eternity separated from God and His glorious eternal kingdom? Do you care? And if so, are you doing anything about it?
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Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.