If you know me or have followed my blog, you’ll know that I like to read stories of those who have travelled to heaven and back. I find these to be fascinating stories; filled with hope of a blessed eternity with the Lord for those who believe. I’ve first started reading these because, although I believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and also believe that I’m saved, I sometimes struggle with the thought of what will happen to me when I die.
So I’ve been reading these stories for my own comfort. But not until today, while reading the story of Captain Dale Black’s experience in heaven after he died in a plane crash, did I realize that these stories are not just for me, but for those who don’t believe. I guess I should have known this, but because of my egocentric view on death, I didn’t even give a thought that the message of these books might be for the lost. If these stories are true, and I believe they are, God must have sent these people back to give their message to the lost, not those who are already saved. After all, Jesus didn’t come to save believers, He came for the lost (see Matthew 9:12).
We’ve just finished a sermon series at church called “Go Fish”. Jesus told us to “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) Jesus wanted us to “fish” for the lost, and that’s exactly what these books help us do. At least for me, they help to give me a kick in the pants to realize that I need to tell others about Jesus; planting the seed and letting God water and cultivate it.
In Captain Dale Black’s book, “Flight to Heaven”, he gives a great quote that will help those who believe to challenge the lost:
“I challenge each of you to read what Jesus said and taught in the Bible. You can do it quickly and easily. Get the red-letter edition of the New Testament, and just read the red letters, the words Jesus spoke. You owe it to yourself to find out if Jesus is the Son of God. He either is or He isn’t. You decide. But if you find that He truly is the Son of God, wouldn’t you want to learn more about Him?”
I do not have the gift of evangelism. As a matter of fact, public speaking and even large groups of people have always terrified me. Because of this, talking to someone about Jesus is very difficult for me. But I have to challenge myself, and you, to take a leap of faith that the Holy Spirit will be there to help with the words needed to tell others about the love and hope we have in Jesus Christ.
Lord, give us courage to spread Your Word. Give us the words we need when speaking to others of your son, Jesus Christ. And when we cannot speak, let us be the light that shines your love and shows just how great you are.
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Matthew 9:12-13 NIV