There are several warnings in the Bible to take seriously the urgency of the gospel and the shortness of time. None of us know how long we have or how long those we meet may have. Just yesterday reading in our little county newspaper, I happened to notice that there were two 22 year olds and a 21 year old all listed as having died in the last couple of days. That was very unusual for so many so young. Why those young people died I do not know? But I do know that everyone that knew them are getting a fresh sense of how short the time is.
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. ESV
Colossians 4:5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. ESV
Psalms 90:12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. ESV
The story of Lazarus and The Rich Man illustrates the urgency of the gospel and the punishment of judgment. Luke 16:19 – 31. Notice now that The Rich Man sees the importance of the gospel and wants to warn others.
27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house—
28 for I have five brothers —so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ ESV
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.
5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! ESV
The Holy Spirit will convict another of their sins and separation from God. Yet, we are to be obedient.
7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;
11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. ESV
Our obedience requires us to be urgent in sharing the gospel message.
“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” C.H. Spurgeon.
If we take the punishment of sin seriously then we will warn others seriously. If you see a neighbor’s house on fire, you do not wait until a convenient time to go warn them! You warn them with urgency.
There is a price we must pay for not warning others of the judgment to come.
18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. ESV
If the truth were told, often our failure to share the gospel is not for love for our neighbor and the fear of offending them, but it is for a greater love for ourselves and the fear of our being rejected.
When we let our love for the Lord be our guide then we will share the gospel with any and everyone just as He commands.
How seriously do you take the gospel? Is it a matter of life and death?