The Battle For the Heart

His world consisted of plastered walls, glass windows with security bars, broken asphalt, and the continual buzz of a large metropolitan city. He was unaware of the unseen forces around him.
As far as he knew, life as a kid consisted of playing his video games, going to school, an occasional sibling squabble and enjoying mom’s cooking. Sure, there were problems, like when his dad would get drunk or his mother exploded all over him like a land mine, but this was, well … just life. Sometimes his family would go to a park or do something special. This usually made him feel really good inside. He was unaware of the unseen forces around him.
Although he was unaware of how thoroughly his lifestyle, attitudes, and opinions were being shaped, as a teenager, he knew well the unofficial lessons from those around him. Watch your back and be aware of your environment at all times. Life is not fair. Work hard. The more you have, the more fun is possible. He was unaware of the unseen forces around him.
As he grew up and then got married, he figured his life was rather typical. For the most part he was trustworthy and a reliable worker. There had been times when his marriage seemed like it would explode apart and other periods of heaven on earth. He was unaware of the unseen forces around him.
For good reason, most people who knew him would say he was a great guy. Of course, he knew he had not been a saint all of his life. In several situations he had acted maliciously, at other times he had lied to protect himself or to get something he wanted. He felt guilty about several different forms of experimentation and fantasies he had pursued for a short time. But, for the most part he considered himself a regular good guy just trying to make ends meet. He was no thug.
Although he was unaware of the unseen forces around him, both God and the forces of evil knew all about him. To him, Jesus was little more than an occasional curse word. His heart relied upon himself, his job, and the modest accommodations he was purchasing. In the battle for his heart, darkness was winning. Basically he was content with his life, although he recognized some aspects could be improved. As far as he was concerned, there was no need to delve into thinking seriously about Jesus. In the battle for his heart darkness was winning.
Unbeknownst to him, his life was like a raft caught in the powerful tug of a fast-flowing river headed over a devastating waterfall. To those who did not know God, Paul announced, “God has fixed a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man whom he has appointed.”/1 Justice demands anyone less than perfect would be charged with guilt and condemned. The cross of Christ would be of no benefit to him, since he had not received Jesus.
Is evangelism and missions important? On the day of judgment, ask those who benefited from a missionary coming to their city. Ask someone who has just heard, “Welcome to heaven” and obeyed the gospel because a friend cared enough to tell the story of Jesus.
“Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?”/2
1/ Acts 17:31
2/ Ezekiel 18:23

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Barry Newton

Married to his wonderful wife Sofia and a former missionary in Brazil, Barry enjoys trying to express old truths in fresh ways. They are the parents of two young men.

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