You read about the urgency everyday. A famous football player commits suicide and everyone wonders “why?” What signs did family, friends, and former teammates miss? An airplane crash in Nigeria and everyone on board is dead. Was it pilot error, equipment malfunction, or weather related? What could have prevented it?
A wife is in tears outside her home. Her husband died tragically in a jailhouse fire that started by accident. The tragedy is harder to accept because it should have been avoided, but she failed to raise the bail money on time. If she had, her husband would be alive.
Rick had been in jail on breaking and entering charges. Denise spent three months trying to raise his bond, but it was taking longer than she expected. The irony of the story was that she had been in court earlier that week asking for help. But unexpectedly, a fire in the county jail killed her husband and three other inmates before anyone could get the fire contained.
Do we feel the same urgency for the welfare of our friends as Denise did for Rick’s freedom? How concerned are we for our family, friends, colleagues, and associates in light of eternity? They too, are facing a charge for wrongdoing before the real King and Judge. They may not be aware of it, but we know they are running out of time to deal with the situation. For them though, the solution is a different kind of freedom. Far from a parole, Christianity offers a new birth, a new life, a new power, and a new future.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21.
This section of the New Testament is where the name Chi Alpha comes from. We take our name, mission, and calling from the apostle Paul’s words to be “ministers of reconciliation, as though God were making His appeal, through us.” When Paul wrote this second letter to the Corinthians, he shifted into overdrive in chapter 5, and you can sense the urgency he felt for the people of Corinth. With passion he urged his readers to “be reconciled to God” (verse 20), or get right in a legal and relational sense.
Just as Denise recognized that her husband had been arrested for a crime, all of us are justly accused of the sins we have committed. But how senseless for us to suffer the penalty when it is so avoidable. God has made redemption possible through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection on the cross. Everyone has a chance for an eternal pardon now and when you die. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, in order that we could be cleared of our wrongdoing against our Creator. Like the prodigal son in Luke 15, each of us can now return, forgiven and welcomed, by our heavenly Father.
Denise had to work very hard to raise the bail money for Rick. Each of us has to put our faith, hope, and trust in the person and work of Christ to be set free. And the offer of pardon is free.
Who knows how much time anyone has? It is true that everyone is responsible for their own decision to follow or ignore Jesus – but we who are followers of Him still have work to do. We do not know when our time will be up. So let’s keep telling others about Jesus before it is too late. What can you do this week to reach out to someone who does not yet know Christ? Serve globally. Do not waste today – show people the way to God by your words and actions.
Love is a verb,