“Save the whales!” … “Hug a tree!” … “Save the Earth!” … “Save the Redwoods!” … “Go Buckeyes!” … “Protect the Environment!” … “Keep Abortion Legal!” … “Home Run!” … “Make Love, Not War!” … “Touchdown!” … “Coexist!” … “Stop Global Warming!” … “Roll Tide!” … “National Champs!” … “Three! From Downtown!” … “Stop Overpopulation!” … and so many other passions. Passions that people dedicate so much time and so many resources toward. Fanatical adherence to goals that each organization creates. Bumper stickers galore! T-Shirts! Booklets, pamphlets, radio broadcasts, commercials, government commissions, studies, etc. ad nauseam.
Distractions! Diversions! Devious traps!
Now, don’t get me wrong; I’ve got distractions that I enjoy, too, but we need to understand that people are dying out there … around us. If you and I become inordinately dedicated by these things—if we make THESE sorts of things our primary focuses in life, these sorts of things may actually result in the spiritual deaths of others.
Maybe you are passionate about a cause, such as protecting the planet or keeping abortion legal or saving the spotted owl from extinction. Maybe you think that, in doing these types of things, you are fulfilling your destiny to make a better planet, a better humanity. But you would be wrong. Dead wrong.
Maybe you are passionate about sports. I certainly enjoy a good game, especially baseball. But if your day consists maily of following your teams, watching ESPN Sports Center, reading up on players’ stats, collecting team paraphenalia, then you are actually focusing on a desire to make youself happy, maybe believing that this is how your life should be enriched. You, too, would be equally wrong.
Now, don’t get mad at me just yet. Here’s why I’m making this an issue:
One day, you are going to die, and with your death is going to come concise realization. First, you are either going to be in Heaven or you are going to be in Hell (your choice, not God’s – He’s provided a no-effort way for you to avoid Hell). If you awake in Heaven, you may be faced with the startling realization that not one smidgen of any of those causes or sports passions performed anything of real importance. If you discover yourself in Hell, you’re going to find out the very same thing, only you’ll also be in substantial, unending pain, on to boot.
“Save the Humans!” or better yet, “Save the Souls!”
These should be the causes—our passions! Every day, people are dying and going to a very real Hell and those still living are spending their time protecting trees or following and rooting for their favorite sports teams, completely disregarding the spiritual needs of others (maybe including yourself) that can be U-turned by participating in the highest of all callings from God: The Great Commission.
If you really love humanity. If you really want a cause that has everlasting importance, become a Christian and start working to keep those that you love out of eternal punishment. (Don’t want to take my word for it? That’s fine! Research Christianity. Research the claims of the Bible. Deeply. God promises to be found by those who diligently seek Him.)
There is not a single person on the planet that has to go to Hell! But the overwhelming majority will play the whole “Jesus thing” off as just some unimportant religion or secondary thought. Or they will make un-researched claims that their “religion” is good enough or the “right one.”
The whole point of our existence is that God wanted us to be here so that He could have a relationship with us … forever. I’m not talking some “eternal sing-along in the clouds” but on what the Bible calls the New Earth!
One of life’s biggest ironies is that the very “cause” that so many of you are out there battling for is something that God is already planning to take care of—a healthy, unblemished planet—without needing your help.
As for sports, if the Buckeyes, or Wolverines, or Cornhuskers, or Sonics, or Kings, or Yankees, or Red Sox, or Indians, or Reds, or Team USA are your passion, you, too, are missing the bigger picture. Everlasting life will mean endless amounts of sports and recreation on a pristine Earth! But that’s not what life on this side of Heaven is supposed to be about. This life is about a relationship with the One who brought you into existence and about making sure that all of the other people get to know about God’s desire for those same relationships!
Please, understand that I’m not trying to be a killjoy, here. There is nothing wrong with us taking a break to enjoy some of life’s pleasures. But, we are certainly wasting time if our priorities are askew, focusing on making ourselves happy or making sure that the Spotted Owl has a couple extra tree limbs. People are dying by the thousands every single day, here and around the world, and too few people are telling them about Jesus.
Priorities. We need proper priorities. You and I are going to be held to account for those that we tell and those that we do not tell about Jesus Christ and about what He did to pay the price for our sins—our wrong-doings—to make eternal life in Heaven with Him a reality.
Passion. We most certainly can and should be passionate. But why be passionate about those things that will not help your co-worker or relative or friend be in Heaven with you? Do you want someone, who is going to know eternal judgment, to look at you and say, “Wait… You knew about this?“
Before God wipes all tears from our eyes, all of us will know a knawing, deep-seated regret for those people that we could have shared the Gospel with, but didn’t. I know I will. I’ve let a lot of people slip past the influence that I could have had by making the truth about Jesus known.
It’s OK to like your sports, to like being involved with a cause, but once they’ve become the primary focus of our lives, we’ve possibly walked into a place of irrelevance in other people’s lives.
What is your passionate focus? Who is your passion? What decisions are you willing to live with?