Taken. Left behind. The popular idea is that the righteous will be taken and the unredeemed will be left behind. But what if the unrighteous are taken to a quick, eternal judgment and God’s elect are left in the field, at their work station, or in the bed that was once shared with a loved one (Luke 17:17:34-36).
I have often wondered about this. How will I be able to stand myself knowing that the people I loved or associated with, or those who counted on me, or looked up to me…are gone…dead in their sins, literally, eternally? I’m not saying that I am judging others around me as if I know their eternal future; yet by their own admission, I am aware of many who do not call Jesus Christ their Lord.
When David, Israel’s king, was yet to be given that title, he commanded a military. They obeyed all that he said and were willing to sacrifice their own lives for him. When he said to follow him into battle, they left children and wives and families behind. On one occasion, they returned to the city to find that all their families, goods, and livestock had been taken. The first thought that popped into their heads was to stone David. He could have tried to save himself, but he chose to pursue the enemy and take back all that was stolen.
During this same time in history, David’s enemy, King Saul, sought to kill David. Yet Saul’s army was attacked, and because he feared being taken, he fell upon his own sword. His body was still taken by the Philistines, and he was beheaded and his body fastened to the wall. We learn later that David mourned for Saul.
Like David, I mourn for those who may be taken. There will be a resurrection, and I fear what their souls will experience in the darkness that awaits them. I just finished watching The Passion, and one theme in the movie is that the multitudes who screamed for His crucifixion knew little about Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” These words bring hope, comfort, and most importantly forgiveness to all.
The obvious question to ask myself is , “What excuse will I tell myself when I am asked why did I not tell a sister, a neighbor, or a coworker about Jesus?” Besides not wanting to stand out, jeopardize my position at work, or state my position for the umpteenth time, I fear that I have not listened to the Holy Spirit leading. And He is leading me to stand up and to say:
We are all sinners in need of a Savior. Our Savior came as a baby born to a virgin; he began his ministry at age 30, teaching that the kingdom of God was at hand; he suffered beatings at the hands of Pontius Pilot and was crucified and buried. On the third day, He rose again and appeared to many for many days before ascending into heaven. He lives forever, making intercession for us with God, the Father, and fulfilling His promises to us. To live forever with Him we must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, ask Him to be Lord of our life, and believe in Him. If we do this, we will not be left behind as orphans. We will have the Holy Spirit living inside, teaching us all we need to know to love God and love one another.
No excuses. No fear. No sorrow. Only dancing and singing “Alleluia!” with the angels for everyone who comes to the Father by the Son. Happy Resurrection Day!