“Some men have a mind to go to h*** for company’s sake.” – Thomas Brooks 

Late one night a long time ago in an elegant home before a crackling fireplace on a hillside above San Francisco Bay, I was having an intense witnessing episode with an unsaved soul. He was a most amiable pagan and a longtime friend but a hard case. He replied, “If my father is in h*** then that’s where I want to go.” I had to fight off an urgent impulse to bolt from the room so as not to be caught in the frag pattern when God struck him dead with a lightning bolt. I have not heard anyone talk like that before or since, and I have not led a sheltered life.

I have memories of many intense moments in my life, but none that come to mind more often. I think it is because in the world today I see so many souls as tragically lost as he was … still is. My natural inclination is to take it personally, to think if only I were a better communicator, a more winsome witness….

Scripture makes it clear why otherwise intelligent folks cannot see the truth of God. Jesus told Nicodemus, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3). Even the most self-sufficient pagan knows he had no control over his physical birth. Likewise he has no control over the spiritual rebirth that Jesus revealed to Nicodemus. Until a Sovereign God opens one’s eyes he cannot see the kingdom of God, even imagine it. So talk to God about the man before you talk to the man about God. And after. He’s the Prime Mover. You may not be able to get through to your unsaved loved one’s hard heart, but you can always get through to the Sovereign God who controls the next beat of it. Pray that God would give him a new heart and eyes to see his truth (Ezekiel 36:26). Persevere. Childless Hannah prayed to God for a son for the better part of her adult life. Monica prayed for her wayward son Augustine’s new heart for over 30 years. God answered both in his own perfect timing. Prayer is the best weapon a witness has and I will employ it on behalf of my friend as long as either of us has breath.

I have a mind, “for company’s sake,” to take as many souls to heaven with me as God allows.  Jesus’ last marching orders, as he ascended into heaven, were to “go therefore and make disciples….” If, God forbid, I show up at heaven’s gate and my after-action report claims none, nevertheless it will still show the battle scars and the covering blood of Christ that prompted my efforts, and that is the real entry fee. It’s paid by grace, not works—the latter, however imperfect, are the fruit of the former.   

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

See you in church.


One Response to “MAKE DISCIPLES”

  1. Brock Youngren Says:

    JD, One of these days you are going to make a meandering trip through the UP of Michigan to see what all the fuss is about. When you do we are going to have a wonderful lunch (or more) together where I get to learn from you more of what following Christ is like. Until then, God bless you from afar, JD!

    Serving Christ and Christ Alone, Brock Youngren Pastor, Bethel Baptist Church 829 Grove St. Marquette, MI 49855 515.890.7894

    Liked by 1 person

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