How often do you consider the people around you as walking dead? No, I’m not talking about the recently-popular zombie movies and TV shows. I’m talking about our state before we came to know Jesus.
“[B]ut of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it, you will surely die.” Genesis 2:17
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1.
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10b
We don’t often think of ourselves as dead before we know Jesus, yet the Bible teaches exactly that. We were dead. Our new life is the most compelling reason to speak up. The benefits of salvation begin immediately when someone trusts Jesus.
Why do you think we’re not more urgent? The life God offers begins at the moment we trust Jesus as the Way to our salvation. Following Jesus gives us life. Not following Jesus means all our energy and effort results in death.
But our world, our flesh and our enemy tempt us to think salvation is something we realize after we die. And there will be rewards we receive once we leave this life, but we begin to live real, true, eternal life the moment we trust Jesus.
The benefit of salvation comes with effort
Often, I think we forget the benefit of being saved because we so easily slip back into our old way of thinking and working. I became a Christian on a Saturday. By Sunday evening I was dreading going back to work. And God has trained me for 30 years to act and react differently. Our training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16) will continue forever but our life begins immediately. Because we have an enemy and we still live with our fallen flesh in a fallen world, we tend to forget the instant benefits and focus on the temporary struggle.
We risk looking foolish to others
Our own flesh and the pull of the world also convinces us to wait until the right time. We so want to be liked and we want to avoid looking foolish. So we don’t do the things we know to be right. We know friends who are currently dead and who will spend eternity dead if they don’t trust Jesus (John 3:7). But we fail to speak up, pray, or stand up for what we know is right. We fear looking foolish to our friends.
Every day, our friends spend another day dead. And if their time ends on earth, they risk eternity dead forever. Now is the acceptable time. Let’s be more urgent about reaching our friends. If we meet other Christ followers, we help them move closer to God, too. And if we meet people who are walking dead, we get an opportunity to be part of Jesus’ plan to bring them to eternal life. Isn’t that a great ministry?
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Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash