“And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 13:50)
It would be easier if we could see hell, or maybe just a glimpse of it. Perhaps those hearts that are growing colder would pause in their lack of compassion, perhaps some of those hearts of flesh would lose at least another small vestige of the stone that still resides within them.
There is the knowledge of many who have gone on before us to glory that some of those they held dear here, some they loved are now in hell, suffering terribly, waiting to be cast into the eternal torment of the Lake of Fire. There are many tears in heaven my friends.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)
I cannot give you a proper explanation of these verses, wiping our memories clean does not seem to be the answer, for if we cannot remember sin we cannot understand grace, the grace that saved us from that place of the second death. But I can verify this truth, “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” (2nd Cor. 6:2)
We have been sent into this world to reach out to those who do not yet know the Lord Jesus Christ, not to sit in church and hope they show up one day, not to leave the burden of men’s souls to those who have been placed in authority over us in the church, not to others in the congregation who have received a “special calling” to do so. If those you cherish in this life are unrepentant, if they are on the wide path to hell, inviting them to church is not the means the Lord has chosen to reach them, you are.
Regaling them with their sins and a need for the Savior will in all likelihood only push them further away. This old man is going to offer you a small piece of wisdom and I pray you will contemplate it. If you want to lead a conversation you must make the one you are speaking to believes they are actually the one doing so.
Subtly my friends does not always infer evil intent.
The lost, which is those we are sent to look for, are not interested in deep theological discourse, they do not want to hear about the precepts and oracles of the Almighty any more than they desire to hear about the sinful state they reside in. And not all of them are despondent and hurting in their spirit, they are, for all intents and purposes, quite content with their current lot in life. But they like stories, they like short anecdotes.
David and Bathsheba, ending with “Thou are the man,” Gideon and his twice used fleece, Noah hearing thunder for the first time, the Lord Jesus Christ gave many such parables. Use them, all of them, in simple words and in a sense in passing conversation, not asking them what they think of the accounts you offer, not what their opinion is of them, if the Lord is calling them, they will begin to ponder them on their own. And then they will lead the conversations with questions.
Very subtle, always in love, never pushing them. Let the Holy Spirit pull them to the cross.
Your matter-of-fact life of unquestionable faith in the Lord will, if it is the will of the Almighty, entice them. When people believe they are plotting their own course in life they behave differently.
In love, subtly.