Below is an article which we have published a few years ago, yet it’s intent is to remind us of the significance of sharing the Good News.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”. Matthew 28:18-20a (NIV)
Imagine you have a friend who has been in trouble at work because of lateness. You know they are often late because, when you leave for work, you see their car is still in the driveway even though their shift begins 30 minutes before you. One day your friend confides in you that their boss has threatened to fire them. They have been given warnings, fines and even a suspension because of their tardiness. Your friend adds that their life would become horrible if fired. In addition to losing their home, their spouse warned they would leave with the children. You listened empathetically and even offered some tips to early rising. Although the friend heard your comments, they ended the conversation with, “it wasn’t their fault.” They declared, “the world was against them; they were a good person, and why should they lose everything because of some poor choices?”
For the next week, as you leave for work, you look towards your friend’s driveway and are relieved to see it empty. You are pleased they heeded the boss’ warning. One morning, following a severe storm the night before, you head off to work early. You anticipate debris in your workplace, so you want to get an early start on the cleanup. You notice your friend’s car is still in the driveway, but you are not alarmed. There is still time for them to get to work before their shift starts. As you turn the final corner before crossing the bridge that leads to your workplace, you see flashing lights. The bridge washed out during the storm. There are emergency lights and crew on the other side of the missing bridge but not on yours. Before emergency services arrive, you decide you will stop and warn others of the danger.
As you prepare to set up your roadblock, you hear tires screeching. When you look in the direction of the sound, you notice your neighbour’s cars speeding down the hill towards the bridge. Your friend is trying to make sure they are not late. As you watch the car, you recall their distress regarding the consequences of their next lateness. You imagine their panic and worry as they race down the hill. You also remember that they stated, with bitterness, how others were to blame for their troubles. You now feel you have a problem. If you stop your friend and warn them about the bridge, they will undoubtedly be late and will likely blame you for losing their job. If you don’t stop them, they will fly off the bridge into the river below and die. You ask yourself, “Why should you be held responsible for them losing their job, their family, and their home?”
What do you do? As they get closer, you must decide whether you are going to step in front of them or whether you are going to step aside.
God often puts us in the path of people whose lifestyles and choices will lead them to eternal ruin. We know the consequences of their actions. We can step aside and let them continue, believing or hoping someone else will tell them. Or we can step in front and then stand beside them to share the simple truth about Jesus’ love for them. We must not perceive their choices as our dilemma. God saves people, but He invites us to tell them about His promises. So, we must pray the Holy Spirit helps when we feel we are facing these kinds of decisions. We must pray, we do not let anyone fly off the bridge.