I’m a big fan of the show Alone. The premise is ten outdoor survivalists are dropped in the wilderness with limited supplies, and the one who lasts the longest wins $1 Million. Originally, it was $500,000, but that got a bump in the last few years. Contestants have to hunt, fish, and forage for food, build a livable shelter, and be able to fight off potential predators. Probably more important than anything, they have to be able to make a fire. Without fire, they can’t cook or purify water, and they’ll freeze, as most seasons are in the Arctic. Weekly, contestants are visited by a medical team to make sure they are healthy enough to continue, and if they are deemed a risk, they are pulled out of the show.

One of my favorite contestants on the show was Barry Karcher. Barry was a martial arts instructor from Colorado and a real man’s man. He was a tall, heavily muscled man at 240 lbs. He had all the survival skills needed to win it all. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to find the food he needed to survive, and within 2 months, he had lost 82 lbs. He began having mental breakdowns and emotional outbursts, and it was obvious that he needed to come off the show. When the medical team came to see him weighing in the 150s, they went into emergency mode. At this point, they had to work with urgency. He was warned that if they didn’t pull him, he could have permanent heart damage. He was upset at the crew and didn’t want to go, but the crew could’ve cared less how he felt about them. His life was in danger. Karcher was later quoted as saying, “I realize now I’m closer to a body bag than to victory.” 

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Jude 20–23

When I was a kid, I loved playing with fire. Who am I kidding? I love playing with fire as an adult. Fire is equal parts calming and beautiful, as well as violent and destructive. There’s an allure to fire. Many people have fireplaces in their homes and firepits in their backyards. They don’t have them to keep themselves warm. They just want to be around a fire. It’s something that most of us would agree is a very relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere. But what happens when we get too close to the fire? We’re burned. 

We see passion compared to fire all through the Bible. Most times, it’s a good thing, but passion can go wrong quickly. When that passion is love for God or our spouse, we are drawn to its light and find ourselves safe and protected in its warmth. A passion that is led by sin though; perverted sexuality, greed, power, and jealousy can also attract us to what we think is warmth, but those fires burn out of control. We suddenly find ourselves burning up with our sin and it’s killing us spiritually. This is what we are reading about in Jude 23.

…save others by snatching them out of the fire;
Jude 23

Let’s get very real for a moment. If we saw someone burning up in a fire, would we save them? Not for one second would we worry about whether or not they didn’t want us to help. There would be an immense amount of urgency that would come from deep inside of you to save that person’s life. No amount of being “disliked” or having someone “angry at you” would keep you from pulling that person from the fire. It would be considered completely inhumane and evil to just sit and watch someone burn to death and not do anything.

So now I have to ask the question, “Why do we sit idly by while people are creeping closer and closer to the fires of hell, where they will spend eternity completely separated from God and in eternal torment?” How do we reason in our heads and hearts that this is ok? If it’s considered inhumane and evil to watch someone burn to death, how much hatred would you have to have for someone to just sit and watch them waste their lives away while creeping closer and closer to eternal flames? This is the crossroads for us. I don’t even have to love or like someone to not want them to burn to death in a fire. But I can’t imagine anything being more hateful than sitting by and allowing it to happen. 

Penn Gillette was once given a New Testament by someone who genuinely showed him grace and love. This deeply affected him. So much so that he was quoted as saying, “I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize.” He also said, “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” Gillette is a known atheist, but he couldn’t be more right. 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:9–12

In this passage, we see who we are. We aren’t beggars telling other beggars where to find bread. We’re royalty inviting beggars to join us as royalty, and it comes with all the benefits of being princes and princesses of the King of the Universe. There’s no more sorrow, or pain, or sadness. Our bellies will be full and our joy will be complete. This is the only option outside of hell. There couldn’t be a more expansive contrast.

If we know these are our options, can we please start realizing the urgency at which we need to be telling the lost of Jesus? Evangelism isn’t a side gig. It’s not something we just “kinda do.” We need to have a desperate need to reach as many people as we can with the Gospel of Christ because eternity is most definitely at stake. We have the cure for the cancer of sin. Let’s stop keeping it to ourselves and let’s make every attempt to cut it out of the world. I found this story from Bruce Thielmann, and I want to share it with you.

It is said that Satan once called to him the emissaries of hell and said he wanted to send one of them to earth to aid women and men in the ruination of their souls. He asked which one would want to go. One creature came forward and said, “I will go.” Satan said, “If I send you, what will you tell the children of men?” He said, “I will tell the children of men that there is no heaven.” Satan said, “They will not believe you, for there is a bit of heaven in every human heart. In the end everyone knows that right and good must have the victory. You may not go.” Then another came forward, darker and fouler than the first. Satan said, “If I send you, what will you tell the children of men?” He said, “I will tell them there is no hell.” Satan looked at him and said, “Oh, no; they will not believe you, for in every human heart there’s a thing called conscience, an inner voice which testifies to the truth that not only will good be triumphant, but that evil will be defeated. You may not go.” Then one last creature came forward, this one from the darkest place of all. Satan said to him, “And if I send you, what will you say to women and men to aid them in the destruction of their souls?” He said, “I will tell them there is no hurry.” Satan said, “Go!”

“The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.” - Carl F.H. Henry

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
Matthew 24:36–37

Time is not on our side. We don’t have the opportunity to put off telling others of Jesus. If love is our motive, and the Word of God is our weapon, then urgency should be our battle cry. People’s eternal lives are in danger. We can’t worry about what people will think of us. 

Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:12

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