What does the enemy do with people who aren’t afraid to die? How do you fight something like that? If the enemy says, “I’m going to kill you,” and you respond with a shrug, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” How does he stop you? The ultimate threat of Satan is death, but Jesus holds the keys to death. Death has lost its sting in the Resurrection of the Son of God.
Christians who live like they are going to benefit in death are NOT like the suicide bombers of Radical Islam. Christians do not actively court death. We embrace life, but we do not FEAR death. We don’t seek to destroy others through our deaths. We don’t die for the sake of hatred. We seek to SAVE as many as possible. We die for the sake of LOVE, when we must be killed. It is completely different when a Christian lives like he’s already dead. It simply means he’s willing to take risks without fear for the sake of saving as many as possible.
All die, but not all really live. Jesus Christ told his disciples not to fear the one who can kill the body but can do nothing to the soul, but to fear the one that can both kill the body and then throw the soul into hell to experience eternal death. So who are you going to fear? Satan can kill the body, but if you belong to Christ, he can never touch your soul. What is to fear about that?
Once upon a time, before we were missionaries, we were in youth ministry. We have some lingering side effects of having spent so many years with teenagers, and one of them is that we are always on the look-out for great sermon illustrations and object lessons. Kids remember stories and illustrations more than anything.
So one day I was surfing around on youtube for good illustrations and I found a simple, but profound illustration by author and preacher Francis Chan. In this illustration, Francis uses a really long rope. One end of the rope has about 6 inches of red tape wrapped around the end. Holding up the red tape, Francis begins to talk about our time on Earth. He lists all the things that tend to occupy our thoughts and concerns as we pass through our brief time on Earth.
This red part of the rope represents our time here on Earth. And all the rest of the rope represents eternity. We have a very brief moment called “Time” and we spend the majority of our energies concentrating on the things that are only relative to this little section called Time. Comparatively speaking, we spend a very small amount of time and energy thinking about things that relate to eternity. This is a profound and shocking illustration… and it actually saved my husband’s life.
When Josh and the team from California went to the tribe and got caught on the wrong side of the flash-flooded river, my husband happened to have the rope from this illustration in the back of his car! When the water level rose from knee height to arm pit height in a matter of minutes and loose bolders and trees pounded their way downstream, the missionaries strung the rope across the river and tied each end to one car on each bank. Using the rope, the last members of the team and Josh were able to cross the river in the nick of time. So I like to say that Francis Chan saved my husband’s life with his rope illustration. A good illustration can be worth more than we realize!
This is a 6 minute illustration… a POWERFUL 6 minute illustration… that just might change your life today and your eternity forever. Watch it!