*Today we have a guest post from Natalie Marie.
I remember the book.
I was in my late teens when I first came across and read “Paradise”, an evangelistic fictional story written by the guy who was the main speaker at the conference I was at. The story was about some college buddies who, after a decade of being alumni, decided to go to a Hawaii with their families as a mini reunion. It left me confused, encouraged, and distraught. The confusion wasn’t because of why it was written, but how it was written. The entire book was written from the main character’s point of view, but the chapter titles were the countdown until that character walked into eternity. The encouragement was just the hope that Jesus Christ brings to the Christians as we go through life on this earth before we go to Heaven ourselves.
The distraught? A few months after I read the book, I was talking to a co-worker at the time and we started talking about books. After commenting that she was looking for something to read, I mentioned “Paradise” and gave her my copy to read. A few weeks later, she gave it back explaining that she never read it and that the book didn’t interest her, therefore, was just a waste of time.
Sadly, this is how most people respond to the Gospel. It’s a waste of time. Why pledge your life to someone who doesn’t exist because we can’t see Him? I know I played a little bit of a devil’s advocate there, but it proves a point. Why are we holding on to something that is so special to us and not wanting it to change our lives? Here in America, we have everything at our disposal. Everything at either a click or a tap away, including church in some places. Now these things aren’t bad per say, but if we are not letting what we hear on Sunday, change our lives then we are no better than everybody else.
In the world today, we are the minority. As Christians, we don’t hold to the same values, beliefs, and standards as everyone else. We have a higher calling, one that is worth dying for. In Matthew 7, Jesus is teaching about how Christians should be a living witness to the unsaved world by how we speak, act, live, etc. One of my favorite verses on the subject is, And by their fruits you shall know them. (Matthew 7:16 KJV). Jesus is the greatest news ever given, the Hope for the world. Let our lives, be the beacon for His coming.