Did I Love him? Really?

I have a friend; his name is Chris. We rarely see each other; mostly just call once every 6 months to a year. We used to hang out a lot when we were younger, but you know how peoples’ lives can drift apart. Busy schedules, changing interests… It doesn’t mean we’re not friends… it doesn’t mean we don’t care. I realized that it had been FAR to long since one of us had contacted the other. So I planned to do that one Friday; not too long ago. I couldn’t find his phone number here so I Googled him. I was happy to see his name pop up almost instantly; you see, I knew his first name but he preferred to use his middle name, Chris. That narrowed my search and made it easy to find him.

So I clicked the link and I was magically transported to his obituary…. 43, dead. Was this real? Yeah… it was. I looked at the date. Had it really been that long since we last talked? It was over 2 years. I felt the emptiness everyone feels when they lose someone, no matter how close they are. I felt a little guilty for not reaching out sooner. But steadily a deeper sadness and a much more pain filled guilt overtook me.

You see, I knew Chris wasn’t a Christian. At least he wasn’t the last time we had talked. I know I had prayed for him a couple times, but I couldn’t remember the last time. I realized that if I had prayed in the last two years it wouldn’t have made a lick of a difference. It was too late. Then it hit me, I never shared my faith with him. I told him I was a Christian a few years ago and he said he was okay with that and then laughed and said “Just keep your preachin’ outta my face!” We both laughed and I said “Don’t worry.”

“Don’t worry”? That was my gospel message to him. “Don’t worry”. What the hell was I thinking!?! More importantly why wasn’t I thinking about hell? The truth is, I didn’t want to offend him and I THOUGHT I HAD MORE TIME!!!!! This was a monumental FAIL on my part. I keep asking myself, ‘If I loved him, why didn’t I tell him about Jesus?’

The pain I feel is that of a personal failure. There are people I pray about, who I actually see face to face. Some Muslim, some Hindu, some atheists, etc. I have shared the Gospel with a few. If I care about these people, why haven’t I shared with the others? My hope is that Chris did hear the gospel from someone; because he didn’t hear it from me. I could have shared Jesus with him and I could have done it in a personal and loving way. I know my delivery wouldn’t have saved him, but it could have personified Christ in a way he’d never experienced before. It could have planted a seed that the Spirit would make grow. But that is out of my hands.

The real pain was my personal failure toward Chris. God used his obituary to move me out of a semi-complacency. He grieved me to my soul that Friday. If I have the love of Christ in me there is no more loving thing to do than to share that by sharing the good news. Since that day the words of Penn Jillette keep ringing in my ears;

How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate someone to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?

I know I didn’t hate Chris, but I sure missed a tremendous opportunity to show him I loved him.

Loved ones, please don’t wait. This isn’t merely a life and death situation. This is an eternal life and eternal damnation situation. If you care about anyone even just a little and you know they don’t know Christ; do not wait. Tell them. Tell them before it’s too late. So what if they take offence? So what if they think you’re weird. Think about what it will cost you and then think about what it will cost them. PLEASE!

‘Oh Chris, I’m so sorry. I DO love you, I do… I am so sorry.” – he can’t hear me now. It’s too late.

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