By Hal Lindsey
In a troubled time, it’s easy to focus on worries rather than on God. And yet we find the solutions to our worries in God. We worry about elections and about violence in the streets. We worry about the world economy and the terrible plague. Those issues are important, but our focus needs to be on God and the things of God. Every minute of life here needs to be lived in the awareness of a future that spans eternity.
People are dying and we need to work with urgency to spread the message of Jesus. The signs of His return are all around us, and I believe we have a short time before the Lord snatches away His people. But no matter when the rapture takes places, people will keep dying between now and then. For planet earth, time is short. But for many individuals, time is even shorter. We must evangelize with urgency.
Here’s another reason to evangelize with urgency. The number of places on this planet where the Gospel can be openly proclaimed shrinks by the day. There are more communications pipelines than ever before. Because of that, we can still reach many who are locked behind various walls. But more and more of the overseers of such communications pipelines are finding ways to filter out the message of Jesus. We must use the technology while it remains available to us!
You may have heard the story of Jim Elliot. In 1956, at age 28, he and four other missionaries were killed trying to spread the Gospel to an Ecuadorian tribe known then as the Aucas. They’re now known as the Waodani. Elliot’s wife, Elisabeth, along with Rachel Saint whose brother had died with Jim Elliot, continued to work with and successfully evangelize the Aucas.
Eight years before his death, Jim wrote in his journal, “I seek not a long life, but a fun one, like You, Lord Jesus.” Two years later, he wrote: “I must not think it strange if God takes in youth those whom I would have kept on earth till they were older. God is peopling Eternity, and I must not restrict Him to old men and women.”
Jim Elliot used the phrase “peopling eternity” in reference to people dying at any age. He trusted God’s management His kingdom as to when He kept someone on earth and when He took them into eternity. Jim would be one of those taken young. But the phrase “peopling eternity” also applies to Jim in another way. He spent his years on earth spreading the Good News of eternal life in Jesus Christ, “peopling eternity” with those who would spend that eternity with God.
In 1956, God allowed these five young men to lose their earthly lives in a cause most saw as futile. They laid down their lives in order to people eternity with the Aucas. Five men living shorter than usual lives on earth cannot compare with even one person spending their eternity in the glorious presence of God.
We are in a time of difficulty, but it will not last. One way or another, we will soon stand before the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Whether in distress or comfort, I pray we will keep the focus of our days here, on peopling the Kingdom there.