On Memorial Day (Monday), we had the privilege of going on a picnic with the Campbells, a family from our new church. The park where we went to was on top of a big hill, which I guess could be called a mountain. The view from the park offered outstanding panorama’s of what locals call “the Valley.” The Valley consists of three cities/towns in Pennsylvania and also the town that we live in, Waverly, New York. These cities/towns are surrounded by Mountains and like suburbs in a major city, they all run together. The view was beautiful and gave us some perspective on our new home. I could already identify some of the key landmarks, but what struck me most was a comment by Dale Campbell. As he looked across the Valley, he said, “Think of all those souls.”
We Christians don’t think this way nearly enough. We usually think in terms of the physical and not the spiritual simply because it is natural for us. But what captured Dale’s attention was not the scenic view, but the fact that eternity waits and many (if not most) of the Valley’s 30,000 people don’t know Jesus. If you are from a big city, 30,000 might not seem like a lot of people to you, but it is when you think in terms of eternity. When you think of people dying without the hope of Jesus Christ, any number is too high.
It is my prayer that God would give me a burden for the lost, my church family a burden for the lost, and that God would give you a burden for the lost. God in His grace and mercy has chosen to reveal Himself to you (Matthew 16:17, John 6:65). How did God do that? Chances are, through the testimony of other people as they planted the seed of God’s Word in your heart. Now we too have the responsibility (and great privilege) of testifying on behalf of Jesus Christ. We have the opportunity to tell those around us of a Savior who is more beautiful, more glorious, and more desirable than anything the world can offer them.
There are throngs of people that need to know Jesus all over the world. “The Valley” area of New York and Pennsylvania is just a speck on a planet now populated by over 7 billion souls. How amazing to think that God has invited us to participate in His great work of Redemption. We have an opportunity to tell those around us that there truly is hope and that hope is Jesus! But there must be a sense of urgency to our mission. Remember, we are talking about souls. We are talking about life and death and not the trivial.
As the apostle Paul reminds us, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” (Romans 10:13-15)