Two men were gazing out the window from the second story of a building, watching people pass by in the street below. One of them asked, “What do you see?” They looked at the people in the street for a moment. Some were walking hurriedly, others did merchandise, and a few were sitting down at a corner, watching the rest of the people. Everyone in the street below were clearly caught up with their own lives. When the other man did not answer, he continued, “I see souls that do not know Christ.”
Have you seen them? I surely have, and it grieves me to think that I could be the one to tell those poor wandering souls about the Way, the Truth, and the Light, and yet I fail to set aside my own life, my own circumstances, to step out into the world to reach out to them. I know I am not the only one who has these thoughts.
We do our best to keep our children in our homes to safeguard them from the evil in this world. We desire to build Christian communities in order to have constant fellowship with brethren, and to live, as much as possible, away from the world. We try to avoid contact with the unbelieving, in case we might get accustomed to their doings and tempted to sin. There is nothing wrong with our yearning to get away from the world and its wickedness; this desire only affirms our being strangers and glory-bound pilgrims sojourning only in this world. It is only right and Biblical that we bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and the best place for that is in the home. It is only right and Biblical that we have constant fellowship with the brethren, to not forsake the assembling of believers, that we might exhort one another in God and in His word. We are told in the Bible to “come out from among them, and be ye separate…” and so we make every effort to set ourselves apart from the world.
BUT, in all our efforts to be separated from the unbelievers, we need to remember that we are ambassadors for Christ. We have become intent on keeping away from sin, which is only right, but sadly forgetting to reach out to the sinner. Have we failed to have that compassion of which Christ was known during His earthly life? We all know there are people hurting and drowning in sin and their own bitterness, but have we dared to step into their lives to tell them about how Christ already suffered for them? How could we be so sheltered in a circle of Christian family and friends, and not be able to care enough for those wandering, yet hell-bound, souls? Have we become comfortably settled in that second story of a building, content to just watch people passing by, unperturbed about those souls who have absolutely no idea that they are on their way to hell?
As one well-known song so pointedly asks,
“Could we be so busy being saved,
trying to impress the world that has long since lost its way?”
We study God’s word, and dig deep into doctrinal matters. We homeschool our children, and train them in the way they should go. We dress in modest apparel, sing hymns, and attend church every Sunday. These things and other besides, are all very well and good, for they are Biblical. But what does it do for the world that has long since lost its way? Who knows if they only regard these ‘Christian’ things as morally upright? We might as well be like the Amish, whose ways only impress their neighbors, the Englishers. Fellow saints, don’t win the unbelieving into agreement; win them to Christ.
“We pride ourselves in being set apart,
yet we don’t take time to touch a broken heart.”
The Pharisees in the Bible learnt the law, were extremely religious, exceedingly pious, and seemingly holy. In their position, they were set apart, never willing to associate themselves with the publicans and sinners. But Christ, having compassion, sat and dined with these publicans and sinners, healed their sick, and raised their dead. Are we becoming like the Pharisees, learning all of God’s word, intent on holy living, but never reaching out to the sinners? Did not Christ come to call the sinners to repentance? And are we not commanded to pray them in Christ’s stead to be reconciled to God? Why then have we not the compassion, the time, the desire to reach out and point them to the cross?
“Even if we found the time to care,
would we take the risk involved in always being there?”
We hand out tracts because we care for souls, is it not? But it’s actually the least we can do. You can probably call it the quick work of sharing the Gospel because you don’t have to say anything; you could just pass those little papers and leave it to them to read, understand and believe. But there’s more to being an ambassador than that, because an ambassador tells about his country, the king of his country, and the message of the king. Can we not do the same, as an ambassador for Christ? Could we not open our mouth with boldness, not once, nor twice, but continuing to do so until God call us to glory? Even if it is to the same people again and again? I pray that it might be so.
“We hide behind these walls, and the security of friends,
yet beyond the stained glass windows, the world is lost in sin.”
Have we looked beyond what is around us? Beyond our close knit families, there are those longing for the security of home and family. Point them to Christ, “…he relieveth the fatherless and the widow.” (Psalm 146:9) Beyond the fellowship we have with Christian friends, there are those yearning for companionship. Tell them of “The Son of man…, a friend of publicans and sinners.” (Luke 7:34) Beyond the direction we get from God and His word, there are those wandering about, lost in sin, not knowing that they are on their way to hell. Show them Christ, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6) Look beyond what God has blessed you with, and see the souls that we all need to “pull out of the fire.” But how can we pull them out without reaching out? How can we reach a world we never touch?
As saints of God, we are to separate ourselves from the world; as ambassadors for Christ, we are to reach out to the sinner and pray them, “Be ye reconciled to God.”
“How can we reach a world we never touch?
How can we show them Christ if we never show them love?
Just to say we care will never be enough;
How can we reach a world we never touch?”
“Who will tell the story to the lost?
Who will tell the story at any cost?”