Misunderstood Warnings

My friend Terry was out for his morning jog two days ago. It was early morning, and as he enjoyed the solitude he realized he had company. Across the street was a coyote keeping up the pace on the sidewalk adjacent to him. Normally these creatures can live harmoniously alongside the pedestrians and runners in our neighborhoods, but this particular one had less fear, and as Terry contemplated this the coyote started across the street toward my friend as he ran. Immediately Terry clapped his hand sharply and yelled. The coyote stopped, but was undaunted and started toward him again. Terry clapped and shouted louder, but said now he felt a bit concerned for what might happen next. The creature stopped again, stared, but still continued forward. It wasn’t until the coyote stopped at a repulsive pile of road kill that Terry could breathe a sigh of relief, and pick up his pace to hightail it out of there.
About three quarters of a mile down the road Terry spotted a man coming toward him walking a small dog. You know the kind. You almost mistake the cute little thing for a throw pillow. This man and his pet were heading in the direction of the wily-coyote-and-his-pile-of-stinky-filth, and Terry decided to warn him. He stopped his run, told the man about the unusually aggressive, dog-eating, and upcoming enemy just down his path. The man actually thanked Terry. He said, “Hey man, thanks for warning me.”
As Terry continued his run he saw out of his peripheral that the man changed his path and turned around. Wouldn’t it have been weird if the man started out his response to Terry agitated? Wouldn’t it have been strange to hear a response like, “Whatever  man! Why are you telling me this?! I’m gonna choose my own path, and the path that’s right for you doesn’t mean it’s right for me! Mind your own business!”
That would be a strange response to Terry’s warning to be sure. It also would have been foolish.
But many many people are this man.
There are many who warn. I have warned my fair share of those walking on a path headed in the direction of an unseen enemy. You see everyone of us will taste death. 1 out of every 1 of us dies eventually. The Bible talks not just once, but numerous times about being born again or not inheriting the kingdom of heaven. It talks about Jesus Christ being “the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus himself said, ” I am the way..and no one comes to the Father except through me.”
Now these are some strong statements. Either Jesus was a fraud and a fake in which case there’s no need to warn anyone. Or, and more likely, since he actually raised himself from the dead after performing a few years worth of healing miracles, that the guys actually telling you the truth. It also means he’s giving you a heads up in case you want to care about where you’re going on eternal vacation. There’s two options. I’ll talk more in depth about these two options in a later blog because some of you aren’t sure heaven looks like much fun anyway, but those of you who could care less about the Bibles warnings are headed for an unseen enemy who is very dangerous. This enemy hates you. Once dead and there, you will feel, you will hear, you will see. You will know that there is now no hope. You will wish you heeded the warnings. You will remember the moments that could have led to a change in direction.
Friends there’s still hope because you’re still alive and can read this. Even some of my own family members are rolling their eyes at this note I’ve made public. My own family members think hell is unreal. They believe it’s a scare tactic so that those of us who go to church can real-in the gullible and naive and fill pews. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like Terry, I only care about warning an unsuspecting person that there’s a safer route. That they don’t have to be destroyed. To be clear, I don’t get ANYTHING from leading you towards the Lord except knowing you’re going to be there in heaven with me. There’s no points at church. There’s no higher status. In 30 years of friendship with Jesus I’ve never had a conversation with anyone talking how many people we’ve converted. It’s not a pride thing. There’s nothing. We don’t get paid for this. Those who warn do it because somewhere along the line Jesus gave us a fraction of His heart for people. Wherever we go, we see crowds of people in two lines; those who could care less about Jesus, have issues and need rescuing, and those who know the Lord and who have issues, but at least I don’t have to run down the beach, barreling into the water, and throw a big red obnoxious buoy into their face and yell at them to grab on.
Warnings. Heed them. Accept Jesus. Ask him to come into your life, ask him to clean it up, ask Him to forgive you. He’s the Way, the Truth and the Life. Just warning you.

 
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