Recently, at the North American Christian Convention (NACC), I was listening to a speaker who told the story of Penn Jillette, an illusionist, comedian, and vocal atheist. Recounting an instance when he was moved by a Christian who kindly engaged him and gave him a Bible, he said, “You must really hate someone to not proselytize them.”
Take a moment to think about what this atheist said. There is a lot of truth to that, isn’t there?
If we really believe in the wonderful hope of God and Heaven, and if we really believe in the horrible reality of Satan and Hell, would we not want to do all we can to “proselytize” others?
“Others” refers to those who we commonly call “lost,” and rightly so, because that is indeed what they are without Christ. However, as another teacher at the NACC put it, they are not just lost, but “missing.” They are missing the influence of God, absent from the lineage of grace, and ultimately missing from Heaven’s roll call.
The reality that every day we encounter missing people is startling, isn’t it? Will the love we have within us rise up to shout a warning to others destined for eternity without God? Or, will we silently feast at the table of God while others are in a wasteland of darkness and spiritual famine?
Let us recommit to demonstrate genuine love for God’s creation as we walk with him daily – even if that path takes us through hardship or difficulty. Let’s recommit to seek out those with whom we can share the Good News of Jesus.
If an atheist comedian can see true love demonstrated through the life of someone who took a chance to reach him, let’s be encouraged that God’s Spirit is calling all kinds of people to his kingdom. It’s no joke or illusion. It’s God at work, using people like you and me to go, share, teach, and love, using all means possible to win people for his glory!