This entry is based on a beautiful message that I heard during today’s Hillsong service…
Thomas is a devout young Christian. He goes to church every Sunday, reads his bible, prays habitually, and trusts in God for everything, including his own salvation. In him you would find genuine joy that can only come from believing in Jesus.
George is Thomas’ all-time best friend. They have been the closest friends since they were seven. They literally grew up together and know even the smallest details of each other’s lives. Being time-tested, their friendship seemed to be unbreakable. There is just one thing that they don’t share in common – George has not accepted Jesus as his saviour. Thomas has attempted time and again to evangelize him, only to be pulled back by fear of rejection and broken friendship. His famous line was, “Tomorrow I’ll do better.” His only consolation was that he’s always tried to steer his friend to the right things – do this, don’t do that – so that he would at least act like a Christian.
One tragic day, Thomas received a phone call from George’s weeping mom. He learned that his very best friend is in the hospital, critical after being hit by a car. Thomas was devastated; not only because he knew there was a chance that he would lose his best friend, but because he knew he wasn’t saved yet. Unlike the usual comforting scenario, he couldn’t get himself to accept that his best friend would be in a better place if he passes away – because he knew he wouldn’t be. And, being the Christian that he is, it meant an eternal separation from the person whom he shared most of his life with.
Thomas wept all night. He prayed to The Lord for a miracle – not only for his best friend to be given another chance to live, but that Jesus’ mighty arms will take him to His Father’s kingdom. Then all of a sudden he realized one thing – he has wept for his best friend over several reasons in the past, but never for his soul. It was the longest night of Thomas’ life.
I wonder how many of us has had this experience. That we became too fearful, or too busy to spread the Gospel that we failed to realize the frailness of life. Tomorrow you and I may be gone, and so might one of our friends or family members who hasn’t accepted Christ yet. Our minds however are overclouded by misleading emotions of fear and worries that we never bothered doing anything about it while we had the chance.
The answer is to weep. Think about the eternal separation that Thomas foresaw between him and his best friend. Think about how he felt knowing that he might never get the chance to enjoy heaven with his most beloved friend. Think about the sadness and grief in his heart knowing that he could have done something earlier. All these made Thomas weep. And this weeping has finally led him to pray and act with the determination to ensure that George was going to be fine, for eternity.
While weeping helps us find the door, Jesus is the Key that opens it. Thomas knew that there was absolutely NO other choice but to save his friend. And that choice has led him to ask for Jesus to do what he couldn’t successfully do for such a long time, out of desperation and grief.
One glorious day, George opened his eyes and saw his best friend asleep by his side. Shortly after making a few small nudges, George was able to wake Thomas up. With tears welling on both of their eyes, a beautiful statement filled the room.
“Do you remember the guy Jesus whom you’ve mentioned before as being so nice and powerful? I saw Him in my dream. He told me you wept for me so hard that He couldn’t stand seeing you in so much pain. And so He gave me back to you, minus all my sins because He has already cleansed them. He is now my Lord and Saviour.”
“Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”
Weep first, then save souls. Because saving souls is not merely to convert people to become Christians, it is to evangelize because our hearts feel grieved for people unsaved – because we love them as Jesus does.