Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “crisis” as “a turning point in the course of anything; decisive or crucial time, stage or event…a crucial situation; situation whose outcome decides whether possible bad consequences will follow.”
We live in a world plagued by multitudes of crises. Which one would you say is number one?
How about Iran’s developing nuclear weapons and threatening to destroy Israel and creating additional destruction worldwide? Or is it fierce brutality of ISIS, the rapid diabolical progress of sodomite/homosexual agenda, or the continued criminal policies of Barack Hussein Obama? Maybe it’s the accelerating spread of Islam and their accompanying agenda of establishing Sharia law wherever possible? Perhaps it’s the concern over the spread of diseases like Ebola that potentially could destroy the lives of millions? Number one could even be the continued apostasy of the professing church.
Or the world’s number one crisis could be much more personal like the tragic loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, betrayal by a close friend, finding out you have a fatal illness, or going through a nasty divorce. The list of top crisis candidates appears endless.
In the midst of a world racked in crises, there is one which is the most significant of all. It is alluded to in Proverbs 24:11-12:
“If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth he not know it? and shall he not render to every man according to his works?”
Worldwide, right next door, at your workplace, where you shop, and most likely even within your own family, there is a monumental crisis. There are those who are being drawn away to death, stumbling to the slaughter. They have been deceived by the lies of Satan and have been infected and overcome by their sin against Almighty God. They are lost and hopeless, even though they may appear to be doing fine and think they have it all together. The fact is they are stumbling headlong toward the lake of fire.
They are in need of rescue. Jesus perfectly addressed the world’s number one crisis when He came to earth “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10) and gave His life blood on the cross. All who profess to know Jesus Christ as Savior are now called to be the rescuers of the lost. Jesus said it’s our main job here on earth—an all-out, full-time rescue operation, blocking their way to hell and showing them the only way out of their impending doom—repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said people are like sheep without a shepherd Matthew 9:36, vulnerable and easy victims of devouring predators. This is the great harvest that needs to be brought in before it perishes forever.
But what if the rescuers fail to respond to the crisis? Imagine a burning apartment building full of people and firefighters just continuing to sit around the around the fire station eating pizza after the alarm goes off? Imagine a multicar collision on the freeway and the nearest ambulance crew continuing to play cards after the emergency call comes in. What would you think of on-duty police officers refusing to respond to a 911 call because they had other things to do?
If you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, you are a rescuer. You are called and commanded to intervene with the gospel in behalf of people who are lost and dying, whether they welcome you or not. If you and I do not address the world’s number one crisis, no one else can or will. Our Lord views our inaction in this regard described by F. B. Meyer as “a great and damning crime.”
Meyer goes on to say in his book, Great Verses Through the Bible, “The priest and Levite that did not go to the help of the wounded traveler; the servant who simply did not use the Lord’s money; the nations that did not feed, clothe, or visit Him in the persons of the distressed; the virgins who had not oil in their vessels; the trees that did not bear—these Christ held up to shame and everlasting contempt. We cannot ignore the evil around us, and say we are not responsible for it. We cannot shut our eyes and avert our faces from wrongdoing, and tyranny, and oppression. We cannot profess it is not our business, whosoever else’s it may be, without it becoming known to the Searcher of all hearts, who will certainly reckon it against us on the day of account. Not to do is to incur Christ’s displeasure.”
In the midst of all the great crises in our world, and in your personal world, what are you doing to effectively address the world’s number one crisis—people who are lost in sin who do not personally know Jesus Christ? Are you regularly sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone you can while you still can?
The apostle Paul said, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some…not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (I Corinthians 9:22b; 10:33b-11:1).”
What you and I do, or do not do, are in large part contributing to the eternal course and consequences of many people, for salvation or destruction.