As an armed citizen I have spent quite a bit of time considering some very serious questions. For example, an armed citizen may have to make some tough choices regarding who he is willing to use deadly force to defend (it is best to think about such things BEFORE the need arises, by the way). Most folks start off assuming they would defend any stranger on the street. That’s what good guys do right?
Defending a stranger out on the street may (or may not) be the right thing to do but there are a lot of consequences that need to be considered.
For example, you may not have a clear picture of what’s really happening. That thug holding a gun on the guy behind the counter at the convenience store may be an undercover cop in the process of arresting the actual robber.
That woman being manhandled by a man may be his wife and they are “role playing” some sexual fantasy that I, to be honest don’t understand.
Even if you do the “right thing” for the “right folks” you could end up defending yourself in the courts or the media anyway. It could cost you your job, your home, everything you have. At that point, how effective can you be taking care of your family?
So, there is a lot to think about and, as I said before, it is better to think about who you will be willing to risk your life for before the situation presents itself. I have spend a fair amount of time thinking about this and so I have a pretty good idea of who I would be willing to risk my life for and who I would dial 911 for.
Sitting in church today, the sermon revolved around the book of John and more specifically John 3:16-18:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life…Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned.
This is a powerful and unequivocal passage that clearly states that non-Christians will be condemned to suffer for their sins. Some will recoil from such a statement and belief. After all, how could a caring and loving God condemn people like that. I get that and, to be honest, I felt that way for a long time. But here’s the deal (as I see it). He created man and gave us paradise with only one rule; don’t eat from the tree of knowledge. We did.
Eating the fruit gave us the ability to discern good from evil and and made us responsible for those choices. We chose evil repeatedly. To help he gave a set of laws to follow and rules for paying for our sins here on Earth. We couldn’t handle that either. So, finally, he sent his own Son to live as one of us and pay the price for our failures and all we had to do was accept Him as our savior. How much simpler and easier can He make it to save us from the consequences of our own choices?
However, that isn’t really the point of this post.
Some of the folks that I would be willing to risk my life for, risk everything for are not Christians. They have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They are condemned for their sins. What is worse, even though I am willing to die for them I have not done much of anything, with most of them, to share the Good news of Jesus with them. Let’s think about that; I have decided that I am willing to die for them but not try and save their souls from Hell…
Is there any worse way that I could fail them or my Savior?
This shocked the breath out of me. Literally.
Today, I resolve that I will fail them no longer. I will share the Gospel with them and will do my best to help them come to know Jesus Christ.
If they don’t “see the light” what then? Will I stop loving them? Of course not, Jesus tells us to love our neighbor’s as ourselves.
Will I still be willing to lay down my life for them? Of course. Also from the Book of John (15:13):
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”