I was serving as pastor of a small rural church. At 18 years old, I was brimming with inexperience. ‘Zeal without knowledge’ (Romans 10:2) might be an appropriate description. The congregation wanted to invite a very successful church planter/evangelist to preach a revival at our church. He had been the pastor of the church years earlier. He accepted the invitation. I was both excited and intimidated by the prospects of working with such an outstanding man.
Rev. Cain came and more than exceeded his reputation. Looking back with embarrassment, I remember my vain attempt to impress him. I said to him, “Rev. Cain in my experience (a few months in a small rural church), I am finding it is harder and harder to get men saved. What do you think?”
I was not prepared for his response. “No, I haven’t found that to be true in my ministry. It has not been problem seeing people come to be ‘saved’. But, I’ve spent a life-time of ministry trying to get people ‘lost’. If I can convince a person that without a personal relationship with Jesus they are lost, if I can help them realize that they will be eternally separated from God and all that is good, they will run to Jesus for salvation. If I can help a person see the horrors of hell, the torment of the flames, and inescapable suffering forever, they will flee to the Savior and plead for mercy.”
Now, after six decades of ministry, I am more convinced than ever that Rev. Cain was right. Satan’s deception of people today is as it was with Adam and Eve in the beginning. The serpent told the Great Lie, “You will not surely die.” The mantra goes on…“God will not send anyone to hell. That ‘hellfire and brimstone’ stuff is just preachers’ attempting to scare you into giving them your money. If there is a God whom you have rejected, He loves you and will not cast you into outer darkness.” The Apostle Paul sounds this alert: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4, NIV).
The enemy of people’s souls tells them, “You will be fine,” even though God’s Word says:
- “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20, NKJV).
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, NKJV).
- “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8, NKJV).
Without Jesus there is no hope. You are lost! “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Conclusion: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7-8, NKJV).
~ Brother Roy