OXYGEN Volume 09

Who are: “They that are sick”?

They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32).

Are we afraid?

Are we so afraid of rejection that we will not take the gospel to someone?

Are we so afraid of the response that we don’t bother to offer?

Are we afraid that we will sound silly, archaic, out-of-touch?

Are we afraid people will not like us anymore?

Are we afraid people will think we are deranged Bible-thumpers if we attempt to share Christ with them?

Even worse, are we afraid they will reject us out of distrust, and then really start watching our lives for our hypocrisy, to soothe their own conscience? Are we afraid we’ll give them what they’re looking for?

Are we afraid we’ll have to pay an even greater price for our faith?

Are we afraid of the kind of fish we’ll pull in with our dragnet?

Are we afraid we won’t have the resources some converts will need once they determine to give up their particular addiction or lifestyle? Some people bring more baggage into their walk. Are we right? Are we ill-equipped?

Which Christians do not struggle with these thoughts regarding evangelism? New ones. Some never get over the fire. But others do get over it. We lose our passion for the lost. Perhaps more of us, and more often, then we’d like to admit.

We lose our zeal. We lose our fight. We lose our sense of the eternal. We lose our compassion. Comfort sets in. We enjoy more and more glimpses of heaven on earth – times of fellowship, worship, praise, meetings, home studies. In our little groups. Secluded. Comfortable.

Take or leave Francis Chan, but he got this right: Christians are like manure: Spread them out and good things will grow. Leave them in one place and they start to stink.

Jesus came to call sinners.

To us, some sinners look too good to be lost. They have decent jobs, drive nice cars, live in nice neighborhoods. On the inside, though, they are still ugly with the stain of sin. They will die, and many of them will die lost. But will they die lost having never heard the gospel because I was afraid?

To us, some sinners look even worse than sinners. They appear too far gone to be redeemed. They are addicted to drugs, to porn, to alcohol, to sinful lifestyles, to cults, to self-destructive lifestyles that are, in some cases, downright scary to behold. But some of them – surely some of them – are tired, weary, worn, more than ready for help. But they are too sick with sin to even ask for it anymore. They have given up. We, who have hope above all hope, will we at least try?

Jesus came to call sinners.

He rubbed shoulders with the wealthy ones. He put his hands on the sick ones. He talked to the rejected ones. He invited the addicted ones. He plead with the self-destructive ones.

He rebuked the hypocrites and the self-satisfied.

He was not afraid of sinners. He was confident in his own power to redeem them, to help them, and promised to comfort them, and to walk with them every step of the way.

Christians are in the business of calling sinners. We cross their path every day. All our excuses to the contrary are rooted in selfishness and fear.

God, forgive us of our fear, and help us to call them – all of them, every single one. They are all so very precious to You.

*Although I wrote this in an editorial point of view – lest there appears to be any air of judgmental-ism in these words, I assure you – I wrote this article for me first, a little one whom God is still working to restore from many self-inflicted wounds.

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A graduate of West Virginia School of Preaching (2004), Rick has been in full-time ministry since then serving the church in Prestonsburg, KY (2004-2014), and Massillon, OH (2014-present). He enjoys spending time with his wife, Samantha, their six children, and enjoys writing, playing and writing music, a good cup of coffee and a hot wood stove. He hates shoveling snow and plans to buy a snow blower soon.

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