Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 2 Corinthians 5:11 NIV
I live in a part of the country where we have winter. Those of you in Florida or Arizona, I’m sure you’ve at least seen winter on TV. If you happen to live in, say, Wisconsin or Minnesota, let me clarify. I live where people still get excited about winter weather. Sometimes excited in a good way. Other times, just crazy.
A couple of weeks ago the forecast called for an ice storm. Ice storms are like the angry hornets of winter. So all of us amateur meteorologists stayed glued to the weather radars, storm-trackers and highway conditions for a solid week trying to determine when exactly it was going to hit. And by extension, what was going to be canceled. Friday afternoon was the zero hour. Schools dismissed at noon. The college closed. (I got to go home early. Yay!) Games were postponed. Meetings were called off.
Everyone took the necessary, reasonable precautions because they knew what an ice storm could do. (We have lost a windshield and two Chevrolets to ice.)We heeded the warnings and we were all home, warm, and safe when the storm finally hit.
My friends, we know that Scripture is full of warnings about what happens after this life is over. We know. We’ve heard it. We’ve studied it. We’ve listened to late night preachers with charts and bad haircuts explain it all. We have experienced the grace and mercy of Jesus. We know we’re going to be safe when that promised storm of judgment hits.
Not everyone will, though.
And we wouldn’t even think of leaving a dog or even a cat outside during an ice storm, not even the hateful one that hisses every single day. But yet, we leave people outside the safety of the cross.
I’m as guilty as anyone, so I started considering why. Is it because there’s no brightly colored app showing approaching judgment in stop motion animation? Or is it because I just don’t care? Don’t I care what Jesus said? Don’t I care about the people He loved enough to die for? Or do I believe that since I’m safe, that’s all that really matters?
To be honest, I don’t think I can fix it. That’s not a copout, exactly. I prefer to be selfish and inactive and a whole host of things that a follower of Christ shouldn’t be. That’s why Jesus says, “I will make you fishers of men.” I will give you the burden for those around you. I will give you words, and opportunities. I will change your heart. I will give you eyes to see. I will help you understand your fearful responsibility.
You’ve seen the forecast just like I have. We know what judgment means. Will we work hard? God will know if we are sincere.