why firefighters risk their lives to enter a burning building.
It might seem safer and equally effective to shoot water down onto the building from the outside, but doing so is not an option. What follows is not an exact transcript, but close.
Jason is talking.
People are inside screaming. We kick open the door and only have a small space of about three feet to work in that is 300-500 degrees on all sides and 1200 degrees from above. We have to crawl through that space and get right under the flames to get as much water as we can to the seat of the fire.
People ask why we don’t spray from above.
If we spray from above, we create steam and send 1200 degrees down upon anyone who may still be alive in a pocket.
Well, there we have it, folks. Firefighters have to go into the fire in order to give any person trapped inside a chance to live.
Right now I am participating in the Bible Study, Jude, by Jackie Hill Perry. I can’t recommend it enough, but it’s an intense ride. Jude is warning the church about the existence of false teachers infiltrating the church, the body of Christ. In doing so, Jude forces readers to face the realities of heaven and hell squarely in the eyes.
Tough to consider.
Eternal destinations are tough to talk about, so we can shy away from such conversations and messages. And the longer we do that, the more we get lulled into forgetting what is at stake. We can even start to believe God isn’t coming back to judge after all because things have been clipping along since creation and He hasn’t returned yet:
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:6-7)
But God is not slow; He is giving everyone more time to believe.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
God’s method to share the gospel message is us.
Many people do not agree with the concept of heaven and hell, but I hope it’s clear that if someone does believe in heaven and hell, they will naturally have an intense interest in the souls of their friends and family…or anyone! Please don’t get mad at people in your life that care about your soul.
Such concern is both logical and loving.
Since I believe there is a heaven and hell, and I love people, then I will share the good news of Jesus, with gentleness and respect, of course.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… (2 Peter 3:7)
Therefore, we can’t keep a safe distance from people.
Just like a firefighter can’t effectively fight a fire by standing on the sidewalk and arcing water from the top down, we can’t effectively love people by keeping our distance. We need to press in, learn names, say hello, attend functions, have conversations, do fun things, and assist in times of trouble. We need to take calls, attend bible studies, pray, listen and be available to the level He calls each of us to participate in each relationship.
Don’t believe me? If a house in my neighborhood is on fire, I rush to the door and knock loudly (if it isn’t engulfed in flames) and call 911.
People would think me a bad person to not act like that.
But when it comes to the realities of heaven and hell, we are criticized for speaking the truth. The reality is, if we care about the people in our lives, we are going to take risks to run straight into the fire – into relationships with people different than us, and into relationships with people who do not yet know Christ, and into relationships that are antagonistic – just in case there is a chance for Jesus to rescue those we love.*
There is no other way.
There are people in our lives hiding in a pocket from the fire. The threat of eternal heat surrounds them and we can’t be part of the rescue from the sidewalk.
Let’s not be afraid to enter the heat to reach them.
Picture Explanation: I am off all social media again, but in a brief participation on Facebook during the COVID shelter-in-place, I enjoyed following View from my window. It cheered me to see views from windows all over the world, mostly from homes, but also cars and boats.
This week I share a selection of sky photos as a reminder that in order to remain focused on the souls of people, we need to set our minds on things above, not on things here on earth. (Colossians 3:2)
And I share a picture our Statue of Liberty as a reminder to pray for the upcoming presidential election and our country.
© 2020 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.
*I am not talking about dangerous relationships that God clearly shows us we are not to be in.