At that time, I was deeply troubled by the state of my own city, London. I was heavily burdened for the lost who have no hope, no joy, no peace. When I travelled on the tube, I could see their burdens etched on their faces – their loneliness and fears, their disappointments and hurts.
And they didn’t know the half of their problems, for their condition was worse than they imagined. Not only were they lost in this life, they were lost forever unless they were saved by faith in Christ.
Where is hope?
I was alone with the Lord, under this burden, when I heard the cry of the lost in my spirit! I felt their despair and sensed their hopelessness. They were crying, “Where is the hope? Who can help us?” I shall never forget the sound of that cry.
But even that’s not all. Can you imagine the sound of the cry of the eternally lost? Maybe the cry of the utterly hopeless at the final judgment seems too awful to contemplate – but it’s desperately real. The people around you are really heading for hell – unless they repent and believe.
Yet how can they turn to God if they don’t hear his message? Faith comes from hearing the good news and you possess that news. How can you keep it to yourself? When Arsenal won football’s ‘double’, the streets of North London were full of celebrating supporters. They wanted to tell everyone about the new champions. Isn’t your news about Jesus’ love and power worth sharing even more joyfully?
At the end of this age, the lost will see that the great moves of God on earth have been completed. They will realise that the door of spiritual opportunity has been closed forever. Can you imagine their horror when they stand before the throne of God’s final judgment? The events of Noah’s day are a picture of our last days. Noah’s generation was so wicked and corrupt that God determined it would be given 120 years of grace before a flood of judgment finally came. God instructed Noah to build a boat to save him – together with his family and some representatives of the animal kingdom.
Then the heavens opened and the flood began. People who had given themselves to sin, came beating on the door of the boat. God himself had shut Noah in. The door of grace had been open for 120 years, and then it was firmly closed.
The last days
Understand these truths. The time draws near when Jesus will return and the day of grace will be over. The hour is coming when the door of opportunity for the lost will be shut forever! Only those who are in God’s boat, in Christ Jesus, will be saved. Only those who are fully in him will be safe on the Day of Judgment. The rest will be abandoned to the fate of their own choosing!
“It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…” Hebrews 9:27
Perhaps now you can understand what I mean by the cry of the lost. They must have stood outside, banging on the door of Noah’s boat, and bellowing, “Let us in! Let us in! We believe you now!” But it was too late. There was nothing that Noah could do. The harvest had finished; the summer had ended; and they were not saved.
We’re living in the last days. Although we do not know the precise day of Jesus’ return, we know that he’s coming soon! He us the door to salvation, and he’s wide open to all people everywhere.
Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven because he wanted to warn people not to go there. Hell is real.When the door of opportunity closes, the only alternative is Godless eternity. Now is the time to live for Jesus and to spread the Word. Now, while the harvest, and the summer’s still here.
Tears in Egypt
I am sure you know the story of Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. God sent many plagues to demonstrate and judge Egypt. The tenth and final plague was the death of the first born. God told each Jewish household to slay a lamb and apply the blood to the door-posts of their home. He promised that the angel of death would see the blood and ‘passover’ them. This is the picture of your salvation. Jesus is the lamb who has been sacrificed.When his blood is applied to your life, the judgment of God passes over you. This is wonderful news – but you must remember that God’s judgment strikes all those who are not under the blood.
Every person who does not trust in Christ’s atoning blood will experience God’s judgment. This includes your relatives, your friends, your neighbours – everybody you meet every day. Don’t you think that you should tell them that there is a way of escape?
It’s time to get among the lost
Surely it is time for you to get out among the lost and speak for Jesus. There are endless groups representing political, racial and religious minorities. They don’t seem to have many problems standing up for what they believe. Their testimony is everywhere!
And where is yours?
It is time for you to stand and be counted! People are lost and heading for hell. They’re hurting and shaking with pain. They’re hungry for lasting love and forgiveness. And you have the answer. It really is God’s right time for you to tell them. The harvest is ripe, please don’t let it rot.
This doesn’t mean that everyone will receive your message. But at least they will have heard. They will have had the opportunity to decide whether they want to spend eternity with God or apart from him. And their blood will not be on your hands.
It’ll bee too late after death
I long for every Christian to grasp this truth: after death it is too late! It is too late to accept Christ. It’s too late to start living for him. Your life on earth is what counts for eternity. I determined this for myself a long time ago. I am bound for heaven through faith in Christ! And, besides this, I am going to take as many people with me as I can!
One day, General Booth, the great founder of the Salvation Army, was addressing some new officers who had just completed their training.
He congratulated them on their fine efforts during their time in college, but said that – if he could – he would rather have trained them in a different manner. He said that he’d have preferred to send them to hell for ten minutes – and then let them loose on the world to preach Christ for the rest of their lives. Every genuine revival has emphasised the glories of heaven and the horrors of hell.We must never forget that people who die without Christ are lost forever. But those who believe the gospel will not be abandoned. They will live with Christ in heaven. We must not be afraid of warning people about the dangers of eternity, because we have the true answer. Praise God! One drop of the blood of Jesus extinguishes the fires of hell forever, for those who believe!
Let us listen to one scream, for one cry of hopelessness, from the lost; let us spend thirty seconds in hell. This would do more for us than a thousand seminars and sermons. After such a taste of a Godless eternity, we would harvest for God, with a dedication and passion which would lead many to him.
There’s still just enough time
The people around you are not yet dead. There is hope for them while there is breath in their bodies. So there is still time for you to reach them. Act now, before it really is too late! Don’t be fooled by the calm exterior of the lost. Most are crying inside! Many carry deep pain. Others know that there is no real meaning to their lives.
Of course, some people are unaware of their spiritual danger. Like passengers on the Titanic, they party without any idea that they are soon going to sink – forever. They are in special need of the gospel. They need to be warned and won.
Like the slaves of Egypt, people without Christ are under the burden of a cruel master. They feel the oppression of sin and selfishness. The loveless lash of Satan’s whip cuts into their lives. Though sin may give pleasure for a time, it ultimately brings misery, hopelessness and eternal isolation.
The lost are desperate for an answer. They are crying, “Who will care for my soul? Who’ll show me the way home?” Will you! Will you be a true witness? Will you become one of God’s spiritual harvesters? It’s still not too late, and the need is very, very great.