Tonight I saw a dead person. A 23-year-old girl who hung herself with an extension cord. It rocked me to my core. Over and over that vision has come back into my mind. From that vision so many words scream in my head; hopeless, lost, suffering for eternity, un-reached, too late, separated from God, lost opportunity…
I watched as those around walked over to look at the still hanging body. Some had sad faces, but many looked unfazed. Children peered into the house and then ran away talking excitedly about what they had seen. Death is a way of life. It is just another cold body. And without Christ, that is exactly what you have. Another cold body. There is nothing to look forward to, nothing to console or comfort, simply another person who departed from the earth.
That image keeps replaying in my head. In a way, I hope the immense feelings I got after seeing that total stranger dead stays with me for the rest of my life. What I saw today was not just one person hanging there, but a whole nation hopelessly going to hell unless we tell them about Christ. I hope that image stays with me for a long time. Not in a morbid way, but to push reality into my thinking.
Far too often we think about the lost, but simply stop there. We think, “there are lost people in the world, I hope they find Christ”. But that is not enough. The thought has to move from our heads, to our hearts.
Look at the words of Paul in Romans 9,
1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
Paul had moved from thinking about the lost, to hurting for the lost. “Great sorrow and unceasing anguish” - have you ever felt that for a lost person? Have you ever spent hours on your knees pouring out your broken heart before God, requesting He bring one of His children safely home? Ever spent hours investing in a person, showing them the love of Christ and sharing with them how they can have that same love? Ever walked across the room and shared with a complete stranger the one cure for their fatal disease of sin? Ever witnessed to that relative who everyone else saw as a lost cause, but who’s soul was still searching for the one thing that can truly bring him peace?
Heartache. Tonight I felt genuine heartache. The intense, visible image that I will never forget stirred in me a desire to live my life helping as many as I can end their lives with the hope that 23-year-old girl didn’t have. I pray that God will give me an incurable heartache for the lost. That like Paul, I would have such great sorrow in my heart that I would be willing to change places with those who don’t know Christ.
People of God, pray that God would break your heart for the lost…and then do something about it.