[Jesus said,] “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” – Matthew 7:14 ESV
A friend gave CT Studd, missionary to China, a tract reportedly written by an atheist (No Retreat, by CT Studd, page 39-40). It read as follows:
Did I firmly believe, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, religion would mean to me everything. I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly cares as follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought, and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I should labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of eternity alone.
I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering. Earthly consequences should never stay my hand, nor seal my lips. Earth, its joys and its griefs, would occupy no moment of my thoughts. I would strive to look upon eternity alone, and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and out of season, and my text would be, WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT A MAN IF HE GAINS THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL?
Studd said, “I at once saw that this was the truly consistent Christian life.”
The thought of living the “truly consistent Christian life” may strike us as overwhelming. However, if we truly believe in an eternity impacted by people’s acceptance or rejection of Christ, it seems that we should at least try something—anything—to hold out a hand to a lost and dying world.
Steven L. Nelson
The Rio Church
El Paso, Texas
One-Year Bible Reading
1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:8
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