What I’m about to share with you keeps me up at night, wakes me up in the morning, and burns in my heart like nothing I can describe. Thousands around us are crying out for someone to care and for someone to share a hope that can’t be taken away by this world. I can’t speak for you, but I refuse to stand by and do nothing while people continue to feel harassed, helpless, hopeless.
Over 150 churches exist throughout Colleton County alone yet only 8,000 of a population of 38,000 attend any of them. Every day church attendance continues to decline. Believe it or not, throughout the entire Southeast (otherwise known as the Bible Belt) 75% of the culture is totally disconnected from any church. It is believed that 7 out of 10 people in this world don’t know Jesus. But, what breaks my heart and God’s heart even more is that very few Believers seem to care. Maybe its ignorance, maybe its religion, or maybe many are just that self- centered.
I’ve said many times to many people that whether you’re 7 or 77 you need Jesus. According to the Bible Jesus is the key to our present hope and future hope. It won’t matter how good a person thought they were, how many Sundays they attended church, or if their dad was the preacher. The only ticket to Heaven is to personally admit your sin, believe in Jesus as your Savior, and confess Jesus as Lord of your life. By grace, through faith the Bible says you will be saved. Now if a person doesn’t meet Jesus and accept him into their hearts they are destined for an eternal Hell. That’s not my opinion, but that is God’s word written in black and white. To know Jesus = Eternal Life. To not know Jesus = Eternal Hell.
Here is the main problem that we can do something about my friends. People can’t know what they’ve not heard. And, people won’t know if believers don’t get off the bench, out the church, and get to where these people live, work, and play. The truth is most lost people have no interest in most of the churches around them. And, quite honestly I don’t blame them. I blame the churches, the leaders, and the members. We have spent most of our time planning church for church people, but rarely being the church. We’ve worried more about the potluck dinners then lives being changed. Most of the churches money has gone to fixing things inside the church instead of touching someone outside the church. We’ve put up signs that say “Everyone Welcome”, but have done little to make those on the outside looking in feel welcomed. We celebrate Jesus on Sundays, but he is nowhere to be found in our lives Monday through Saturday. I hope this makes you mad and sad all at the same time. I hope it challenges you to look in the mirror and ask, “Am I just doing church or am I being the church?
Written in the front of my bible is a statement I plan to never erase and always remember. “Dear God, help me never get used to men, women, boys, and girls, dying and going to Hell.” Listen to me, the church is not about a building. The church was never intended to be a members-only club. The church’s primary mission is not to keep church people happy. The church has been called by God to reach out to a lost and dying world who is desperate for Jesus.
If I really believe that 70% around me don’t know Jesus. If I really believe that someone who doesn’t know Jesus is headed to Hell when they die. And, if I really care about people I will be moved to do whatever I can, while I can to point as many people as possible to a Savior who loves them more than anyone in this world. My friends, we can’t continue to sleep walk as believers. We can’t continue to do church as usual. And, we can’t continue to live with zero compassion and commitment in a world that grows more chaotic by the moment.
If you don’t care, this will just be another article to read. But, if you do care you will beg God to break your heart for lost people, use you in every way possible, and you will be intentional on sharing Jesus to a world that so desperately needs Him. My friends I promise every word I share comes out of a sincere compassion for the lost, not an effort to point a finger at anyone.
One day, every one of us will give an account for what we’ve done and not done while we had the opportunity. God has called me to start a church that will be committed to doing whatever it takes to love, lift, and lead people to Jesus. I ask you to pray for this movement www.RefugeChurch.org and to pray for every church around. Pray that God would put within us all a sincere brokenness and compassion for the countless lost, harassed and presently hopeless who live all around us.
(Matthew 9:36-37) When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.