#24 - The world does not know. Go and make disciples of all nations....[Matthew 28:19]
I went to church tonight. As usual, Jesus was present in His Word. We sang songs. We heard the Word. We had fellowship. We also had a visiting young lady. She is a teenager. And tonight I had the opportunity to speak with her. The experience was good - and also enlightening.
You see, I still think that many Christians assume that the story of Jesus is being told to our younger generation. In many cases it is not. In many, many cases it is not.
You see, this young lady enjoyed our service very much. She commented how nice everyone was and how wonderful it was to be there. She came to church for a different reason other than to worship the Lord. The reason is not important. What is important to this story is that she came - and she did not know about the Lord.
I told her about how much God loves her. I told her about our mutual sin problem. I told her about how our sin separates us from God. I told her that this separation has dire consequences - that if not set right we would be punished for our sin. I told her about how God rectified this disastrous situation through the death of His beloved Son Jesus Christ. And then I told her that Jesus rose again from the dead to defeat death. It is at this point that she audibly laughed. She did not laugh to be rude. She did not laugh to demean this truth. She did not laugh because she wanted to mock. She laughed because she honestly thought that at this point I was joking. Basically, "ok....I got the whole someone died for me...but someone rising from the dead??? he he....." When I told her I was serious she stopped laughing and in an authentic way kind of apologized for the laugh.
You see, she had never - ever - heard about the story of Jesus. She did not know that Easter was the story of Jesus rising from the dead. The eyes are the window to the soul - and she was as authentic as anyone I have seen. She really had never heard this news. With a church on every corner, in the midst of all the airwaves, she had never heard.
I told her the good news. She said she believed what I had told her. She said she would be back. I want to follow up with her. But she is not the only one. What I have noticed is that too many of us in America assume that our neighbor knows this wonderful truth. We must stop this. The world does not know. America, in many ways, does not know. Many of the churches we assume are full of believers on Sunday are not. Many, sadly, sit half-empty. Many churches are shutting their doors. Many of the, "successful" churches no longer share the story of God's wrath towards the sinner and His grace given in Christ. The world, simply put, does not know the story of God's love in Christ.
But if you do, let me tell you, go. Go to your neighbor. Go to the person next to you at work. Go to your family member. Tell them. Tell them the story of God's wrath - and grace. Tell them how good He is. When you do, you will be surprised how many simply do not know.
It is a privilege to tell people of the love of God in Christ Jesus. Please, take that privilege seriously. Amen.