Focus on the Family aired a chapel service given by Jay Carty last Friday, and again this morning. It was the same program, so I don't know if it was a mistake or a God-reminder, 'cause I wanted to blog about it at the time.
Carty's talk was about how nice people will go to Hell, and how we who call ourselves Christians are more concerned with people's lives than their souls. I can't find a link for it, but if you want to listen, I'm sure it's on the Focus website somewhere.
He illustrated his "life vs. soul" thesis with the idea that we will inflict multiple cuts and a broken leg to get a trapped person out of a burning car because those injuries are nothing compared to being burned alive, but we won't go out of our way to save a soul on its way to Hell.
I hear you, Jay, but I have to point out that it's far easier to pull a body out of a car than to stop a sinner intent on continuing in sin. In fact, it's not possible for me to stop another human from going to Hell, no matter how many legs I break.
I should pause and say that "sin" has been defined in a lot of ways. When I use it, I mean any action or thought that falls short of the absolute holiness of God and results in me being separated from Him for eternity. That pretty much covers being alive and conscious. I'm not holy, and I can't attain holiness on my own, and that's why the Jesus part of God came as a human, managed not to sin (still don't know how He pulled that off), and died in my place. The whole New Testament is about how and why that worked, so I won't go into it right now.
Even though Jesus did all this, I have to accept it for it to work. I have to accept that 1) I'm not acceptable to God on my own, 2) Jesus wants to be in relationship with me, 3) Jesus' sacrifice was enough to heal our relationship, and 4) I will spend the rest of my life becoming better friends with Him and God.
I can't make those choices for another person, which is why we have the phrase "God has no grandchildren." He's either your dad or your judge.
I have the responsibility to tell people about Jesus, to live the best life I can in His name, and to pray for people's hearts to change, but ultimately, it's up to them. The hardest part of being a Christian for me is knowing that people are trapped in Hell-bound cars and won't let me help them get out, because they can't see the danger.
Push button. Receive bacon.