What is my ultimate motivation? What caused me to leverage everything in life? Why did I plant City on a Hill Church? Why do I preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ everyday and twice on Sundays? What is at stake? The answer to all these questions is simple and yet profound. Lost people matter to God, if they matter to God than they matter to me. I once was lost but now I’m found and it is my spiritual act of worship and my divine calling to see lost people found and wanderers to brought back home. I pray that this simple yet profound answer never becomes common. I pray that I never get so self-absorbed as a Christ follower and so full of religion that I forget lost people matter to God. I pray I never get so focused on building a church that I forget lost people matter to God. I pray I never forget what God saved me from, the second death and eternal separation from God. I pray I never forget that the only way to heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ alone. I pray I never forget that today in my city people will die and enter into a Christ-less eternity. I pray I never forget everyone does not go to heaven only those who have believed in God’s one and only Son. I pray I never forget that broad is the road and wide is the path that leads to destruction. I pray I never forget my mission is to be sure that no matter what city, country, town, or province God has called me to my job is to make sure everyone in that area has a chance to accept or reject Jesus Christ. I pray I never forget what ultimately is at stake is the souls of men and women.
Revelation 20:11-15 [ESV] 11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
This section of scripture is very sobering. Verse 15 motivates me like never before.This could be talking about my friends and family if I am not honest with them and I do not preach the Gospel to them. If we really believe this, I mean really believe this we would be motivate to share the Gospel every day in some way shape or form. If we really honestly believe that people who die without Jesus or rejecting Jesus enter into the second death in the lake of fire we will live differently. We will serve in the local church like heaven and hell life and death depend on our service because they do! We will love like there is no tomorrow because for some there is not. We will invite people to church and the 25 no’s just to get 1 yes wouldn’t phase us one bit because one yes changes eternity. I am trying to guilt people? No way I am trying to help us all see that we carry around the Gospel is jars of clay that are not permanent. I am trying to motivate every person who calls themselves a believer in Jesus to action to love God, love people, and preach Jesus. Why? Because people’s eternal destiny hangs in the balance.
Verses 12 and 13 speak of choices that we make to accept or reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
All of those who reject Jesus make a covenant with death, an agreement with hell, and will be condemned with death and hell and also cast into the lake of fire not receiving eternal life but eternal death according to the rules revealed in the scriptures. There is no other name but the name of Jesus by which men can be saved. The simple truth is that if you have made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life there will be evidence of your salvation as you fulfill Matthew 5:14-16 and let your light shine before men doing good deeds to glorify God in Heaven.
Conversely, those whose names are written in the Book of Life are justified and acquitted by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are justified and acquitted by faith in Jesus Christ through His work on the cross and resurrection from the dead, and we are promised eternal life, no longer do we fear death, hell, or wicked men; for they will all be destroyed together. The choice is ours. Let it be of greatest concern to see on what terms we stand with our Bibles, whether they justify us or condemn us now; for the Judge of all will move forward according by that rule. Christ will judge the secrets of all men according to the Gospel.
So what is at stake? The souls of men and women. How do we escape judgment? We don’t escape judgment rather through faith in Jesus Christ we are justified and acquitted. The cross of Christ is where the justice of God meets the grace of God and objects of wrath become objects of affection. The wrath of God is satisfied and the love of God is poured out on us. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is where Satan, sin, and death are defeated once and for all and we are offered eternal life. If we really believe this we will live differently. Preach differently, teach differently, evangelize differently, serve inside and outside the church differently, we will be relentless in our desire to see that no one enters into a Christ-less eternity. I pray that City on a Hill Church never lose its motivation to see lost people found, wanderers come home, disciples be made, and missionaries be sent. I pray we stay so busy reaching out to our city and world that we don’t have time for infighting, spiritual jockeying, ministry leveraging, and self-righteousness because we are so busy winning the lost and restoring wanderers. I pray we never, ever forget what is at stake. Be encouraged!