The Tragedy of Doing Nothing
Listen to Audio (right click to save)
We love it when we hear those stories in the news about ordinary people who come upon someone in danger and risk their own lives to save them. And then there's the kind of story that came from Mount Everest. A British mountaineer became desperate for oxygen on his descent from that peak that is really a legendary mountain. Ultimately, he collapsed along a well-traveled route to the summit. He was dying. And more than forty climbers are thought to have seen him as he lay dying, and they passed him by. He died there of oxygen deficiency. He did not have to die.
The official cause of death was probably something like "oxygen deficiency." But apparently there was another cause of that climber's death - human indifference; people too busy climbing their mountain to stop and help someone who was dying.
Sadly, that happens more than we know. And the ones who are dying may be people we see every day. Without the Bible, we'd never know the real spiritual condition of the folks that we know who don't belong to Jesus. But we have the Bible, and it describes every person without Christ in words like these: they are "lost," according to Luke 19:10; they are "without hope and without God in this world," according to Ephesians 2:12. Some folks you see often, are in God's words, "condemned," according to John 3:18. And they're called in Proverbs 24, "those who are being led away to death."
My Bible tells me that neighbors and friends of mine who don't know Christ will be "shut out from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). There's no way anyone can get into heaven with their sin unforgiven. And the only One who can forgive them is the only One who died for those sins. So we have dying people all around us. People whose eternal destination may hinge on whether or not we stop for them to tell them what Jesus did for them on the cross. Just living a good life in front of them won't explain that. We'll have to tell them.
Where are we in this disturbing story Jesus told in Luke 10:30-34, our word for today from the Word of God? "A man...fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him...beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side." And then another religious leader came along and he "passed by on the other side." "But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds...he took him to an inn and took care of him." What troubles me is that it's the really religious folks who just keep walking by a man who needs them - people like me, and probably like you.
So many times I've met people who have come to Christ late in life, and with great regret that they did not know Him sooner. Often they'll say something like, "I was 52 years old...I was 45 years old before I ever heard what Jesus did for me." And it turns out, in retrospect, that they had known several folks along the way who were believers and who never told them about their Jesus.
Look around your personal world: coworkers, family members, fellow students or teammates, fellow club members, your friends, your neighbors. If you'll let Jesus show you what He sees, you'll see people who are slowly dying spiritually; who are headed for an unthinkable eternity without Christ while you're enjoying the glories of heaven. Silence is unacceptable. Silence is wrong.
Don't talk to them about religion. Don't talk to them about church. Don't talk to them about their lifestyle. Tell them about the Man who loved them enough to die in their place. God put you in their life to give them a chance at Jesus. Please, don't keep walking by their need. You know Jesus. They need your Jesus. Don't let them down. Don't let Him down.