Daily Devotional for Tuesday July 7, 2009
A Missed Opportunity to Potentially Save a Soul
A missed opportunity to potentially save a soul. How many times have you been with someone who you knew was lost, told them about Jesus, but simply didn't have the guts to look them in the eye and share with them how they could accept Jesus by faith and give them a chance to make that decision for Christ? I will be the first to raise my hand! Yes, I have been in several situations over the years when I was with someone who I knew was lost, knew that if he or she died would spend eternity in hell, and simply didn't have the guts to look them in the eye and tell them that Jesus was their only hope for eternity and give them an invitation to accept Christ into their heart and life by faith.
In the wake of my Devotional last week on Michael Jackson's death and the virtual certainty based on his own words, documented search for faith throughout his life, and quick death that he is in hell for eternity, I received tons of emails that he got saved in a meeting with famed singer Andre Crouch and his sister. Like so much on the Internet, that is simply not true. In an official statement sent to Assist News Service, Andre and Sandra said, "It has been brought to our attention that several media outlets have been erroneously reporting that we met our dear friend Michael Jackson several weeks prior to his death so he could accept Christ. This is incorrect and absolutely not true."
In reading the account of the meeting with Jackson just a few weeks prior to his death, Andre and his sister Sandra reported, "He usually doesn't touch anybody, but he touched us, and we held hands in a circle and sang and prayed. There was NO actual 'sinner's prayer,' however, but we did talk and pray about Jesus and the anointing of the Holy Spirit."
How many times have we been with family members, friends, people we know, who are lost and without Jesus will die and spend eternity in hell, and simply didn't have the courage to tell them the truth and give them an opportunity to accept Jesus? Listen, I know it is not comfortable or pleasant, but we either believe that those who are lost will end up in the flames of hell or we don't. If we believe it, how can we not tell those who God brings into our path?
The primary reason is that we don't want to offend them. We have been intimidated into silence because we are told to "respect the beliefs of others." Often, we simply don't want to appear weird to those we know and love. In many cases, we are afraid how they will react. Sometimes it simply boils down to the fact we don't want the confrontation that will most likely occur when you tell someone the truth of the Gospel.
I came to a place many years ago, after missing opportunities to share the hard truth of the Gospel with people I loved and cared about, that if I really loved them, really cared about them, I would tell them the truth about eternity. No matter what the consequences, the greatest way I could show that person how much I really loved them and cared about them was to tell them the truth about what will happen when they die and give them a chance to accept Christ. They might be offended, but how much more offended will they be when they die, end up in the flames of hell because I was too afraid to tell them the truth and give them that opportunity to know Jesus as their personal Savior.
I won't condemn Andre Crouch and his sister for not taking Michael by the hand, sitting him down, and explaining to him that there really is a heaven and hell, and that the only way to be saved is by faith in the Jesus of the Bible. Taking the time and effort to walk him through why the Jesus of the Bible is the only way to be saved. Telling him why the Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult for denying the deity of Jesus, why Islam is a lie from hell, why Kaballah, the New Age teachings, and all the rest he had been exposed to are lies that will lead the souls of men to hell and the only Truth is in the Bible. Taking those few minutes to give him the opportunity to accept Jesus into his heart and life by faith.
Of course, at that point, it would be up to Michael Jackson to either accept the Truth or reject it. We can't save anyone, all we can do is deliver the truth. At that point it is up to the person you are speaking to to decide what they will believe, who they will put their faith in. We can't force anyone what to believe, and we can't force anyone to get saved. That is the work of the Holy Spirit and the free will choice each person has to make for themselves. We CAN tell them the Truth and God will hold us accountable for that according to Ezekiel 33!
I love you and care about you so much. My heart breaks for those few occasions when I passed, for whatever reason, on telling someone about the hope for which we have in Jesus and giving them a chance to be saved. I came to a place many years ago when I committed never to do that again, regardless of the fallout or consequences. I will be praying for you today, that you too will make that commitment. This life is so brief, it is over so fast. Eternity awaits each of us. Satan has no problem telling people lies to lead them to hell, why do we have such a problem telling people the Truth that can save their souls?
This is why I hammer gutless preachers like Joel Osteen who have a large stage yet use it to sell their books and make people feel good, instead of telling them the truth about eternity. How many people have heard him speak and will end up in hell because he didn't have the courage to tell them the truth about Heaven and hell and give them a chance to accept Jesus by faith. By the way, simply throwing that "if you want to accept Jesus pray now," is not an invitation. How does a person even know what they are doing unless you tell them what they are doing, why they are doing it, and they fully understand their sinfulness and need for salvation?
Sadly, Michael Jackson had many high-profile Christians in and out of his life all these years. Most like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others were simply there for what they could gain from their relationship. Michael was a very generous person so no doubt many targeted him for his money instead of his soul. How sad.
Would Michael Jackson have renounced the lies of the JW cult, Islam, and all of the other false teachings he had been exposed to and embraced Jesus on that night with Andre and Sandra? Sadly, we will never know. Will your family member, friend, or person you care about give their heart and life to Christ by faith when you tell them the Truth and give them a chance to accept Jesus? That will be up to them. However, unless you tell them and give them that opportunity they may never hear the Truth of the Gospel or have that chance again and die and end up in hell. Don't miss your chance to see the one you love and care about escape the horrors of hell for a mansion in Glory!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller