Jude 22,23 – And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
I can still hear the sobs and see the tears on the faces of those firemen. They had saved others but that day they were too late. I had heard a house was on fire next to my friend’s house and rushed over to see if anything needed to be done. Firemen had been making trips into the burning house but couldn’t save two people who died in that fire. Those firemen lived for the chance to save others. It may seem unusual for someone to have such compassion for those they don’t know, I guess it comes with the territory.
In a similar way Christians who ‘get it’ recognize the seriousness of life and death and know that saving a soul is literally ‘snatching them out of the fire’. There is a real heaven and a real hell. Winning souls is serious business, apathy is terrifying. Here is how Billy Graham describes the importance of snatching souls from the fire.
“I know there are people who say, “A loving God would not send people to Hell.” But my friend, it is because of His love that He gives us advance warning. He extends His mercy beyond human comprehension. The world is on fire, and we are God’s firemen. We have been given the tool for the rescue mission—the water of life that flows from the Savior. It is able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked and drench the sin that otherwise would destroy. God would rather transform the sinner than send him into everlasting punishment. Everyone has this personal choice to make, because Jesus Christ is a personal Savior.
Believers, take to heart what Jude has written. Take hold of someone who is a step away from the fire of the everlasting flame. People may resent you for caring about their eternal state, but warn them anyway. Often they don’t want to be warned because it necessitates making a decision. People enjoy doing the unnecessary and hate doing the necessary. Avoiding the eternal fire is imperative.”
I get convicted when I remember the tears of those firemen that day. Weeping over those you don’t know is a gift from God. Lord, would you soften our hearts and give us an awareness of the importance of eternity and a sense of the stakes that are in play? Lord, help me, help us to weep over the lost that are around us everyday.