Most of us have witnessed dramatic rescue scenes (like those below) play out on the evening news countless times.
Four helpless workers hang precariously from the edge of a skyscraper. Their scaffolding has collapsed from beneath them. Police, fire and rescue personnel have been summoned. Thousands of anxious spectators watch nervously from below. News helicopters and ground crews record every second of the unfolding drama. Multitudes are involved in trying to save these four lives! Thousands pray for their safe rescue.
Immediately following an apartment fire, dozens of critical burn and/or smoke inhalation victims are transported to the Trauma Unit of a nearby hospital. Skilled teams of burn specialists are quickly assembled. Meanwhile, dozens of family members and supportive friends assemble in the waiting room, anxiously awaiting word concerning loved ones. A prayer vigil takes place outside the hospital.
A four-year-old child is missing in the dense woods near an isolated campground. Swamps, bears, coyotes, snakes and other dangers abound. Police, National Guard personnel and hundreds of volunteers spend the entire night fervently searching for the child. The family eagerly awaits news, and requests the prayers of local churches. No one rests until the child is found.
Another coalmine explodes far below ground. More than a dozen miners are dead, and at least as many are yet unaccounted for. Hundreds of emergency, fire and rescue personnel have been summoned, along with millions of dollars worth of rescue equipment. News crews from around the nation set up camp at the site. Weeping family members assemble at a local church to pray, along with tens-of-thousands nationwide.
Scenes such as the aforementioned have repeatedly touched our hearts, and many of us have prayed for the welfare and safety of such victims. This is as it should be. However, another tragic drama unfolds nearly every day, but rarely gets our attention, let alone our prayers. The irony is that the potential consequences are much worse.
A neighbor is lost in sin. He knows little about God's word and has never obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is on a collision course for the fiery lake that burns forever. One of his neighbors is a Christian, perhaps YOU or ME. A church building may even be located just a few blocks away. Despite the fact that HIS VERY SOUL is at stake, no crowds are anxiously watching. No one is praying. No spiritual rescue personnel are knocking on his door. No search party is organized.
I commend Christians that pray for the victims of the real-life dramas that repeatedly unfold on TV. But what about the lost souls next door, across the street or down the road? Do we notice? Do we pray for them? Meanwhile, Jesus is shouting the great commission from heaven. Are we listening?
Jesus, Always Jesus!