Tears for my brothers: How hell steals those we love
I want to tell you about three guys close enough to my heart to call them brothers. They are all from different walks of life, come from different cultures and they all have different values and belief systems. We are thousands of miles apart but our souls are still knit together.
My first brother is a Muslim. I’ve known him for many years and he always had my back. Our history is built on concrete. It’s a strong foundation that can’t easily break. Trust broke through our hardened hearts as secrets were revealed. I could always count on him, no matter if the sky was dark or the sun was shining.
My second brother loved the good life. He liked the drugs and he liked the ladies. He was high when he didn’t party and even his job was mixing drinks. Maturity made him give up that life and I’m glad it’s working out for him. I look back at our stories and through the memories, I see a bond that can’t be broken. A bond that’ll last forever.
My third brother is as red as the blood flowing through his veins. He loves Marx and Lenin and believes that communism is the key to ending the suffering in this world. We loved to bend our minds and talk philosophy and ideas. He is a humble man, an officer in the army and an excellent engineer who believes in the goodness of mankind.
I disagreed with all three of them on many different levels. Discussions and arguments didn’t get us anywhere but it was still fun. You can go back and forth and pick apart arguments if you have respect for the other person. And that, I had for each of those guys.
But respect will not get them into heaven. Neither will my arguments or my faith. What they have to see is the reality of the gospel lived out in my life. It’s rare that logics get a guy to heaven. Usually, it’s no the brain that needs convincing but the heart that needs some answers.
Life on this earth quenches who we are. The prince of the air convinced us to believe that we are worthless, wondering creatures made up of nothing but molecules and particles. We believe our value is determined by the way we are treated, received and perceived by those around us.
As Children of God, we understand that human beings are made in the image of God and are worth more than any of us can state. We know the worth of human beings and as followers of Christ, we believe the words he told us: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6).
I don’t know the end of the story. But the thought of those guys heading straight to hell is killing me. Without Christ, our friends and brothers will go to hell. There is no way around this truth. No second chance, no pleading or bargaining. Saved by grace means we trusted God that his sacrifice on the cross was enough for God to see us through the light of the son: blameless and therefore worthy to be counted among his family.
The more we now God the more our agony grows inside of us for those who don’t know him. Our development and growth in our Lord make us more sensitive to others. The more we understand the love of God, the more we love others. And the more we love the ones close to us, the more we care about their final destination.
What brings me comfort is that I don’t have to and indeed can’t save my brothers. My testimony is proof of the power of God because those guys have seen both sides of the coin. They have seen me before I followed Christ, they have seen me as a new believer and most important, they have seen my growth in the last ten years.
Our responsibility to God is to be faithful to his commands. We are not ashamed of the Gospel. Even if they don’t believe, we have to open our mouth to tell them.How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14)