It was one of the most compelling television documentaries I think I’ve seen. It aired on an anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The stories of rescuers and survivors, told first-person, literally took the viewer into what that day felt like for the people who really lived it. One story I just can’t shake was told by this British young woman who worked in a brokerage firm high up in Tower Two. She recalled with remarkable composure the confusion in her office on whether or not to evacuate the building. She’s alive today because she made the right decision. But many of her coworkers never made it out. She actually broke down for the first time as she talked about her good friend in the office. All she could say was, “I keep thinking, ‘I should have asked him to go with me.’ I can’t get that out of my mind.”
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Life’s Biggest Regret.”
Okay, change the scene. You’re in heaven, and you’re looking for a coworker you cared about…a fellow student or a teammate, a family member, a neighbor, maybe a friend. You ask Jesus, “Lord, is (and you put the name in there)… are they here? Is he here? Is she here?” What if He says, “Oh, did you bring her? Did you bring him? You never asked him. You never asked her to go with you.” Another scene: I’ve been to funerals where I looked at someone I’d been close to and I realized I had talked with them about everything except one thing – my Jesus. And now I couldn’t.
We can’t have back any of those missed opportunities, but the future is yet to be written. I want to turn my regrets for the past mistakes of not telling someone about Jesus into a passion to be sure I don’t make that mistake again. You and I have been placed in the lives of some people who are not ready for eternity, who have never been to Jesus to have their sins erased. God put us here to be their spiritual rescuer – to be their link to Jesus. To help them be in heaven with us.
Our assignment comes crystal clear in our word for today from the Word of God in 2 Corinthians 5, beginning with verse 11. “Since we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men…for Christ’s love compels us…God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” Okay, there’s no doubt about it. You’re the one God is counting on to deliver His life-saving message to the people who are within your reach.
You can’t just depend on your life to rescue them. They won’t guess Jesus died on the cross for them just because you’re a good guy or girl. You have to tell them about Him dying for them. Start by loving them in their language of love. Pray with them when they share a burden with you. You’ll be showing them your personal relationship with God even as you pray for them.
Share the difference Jesus is making in your life at a point where the conversation allows you a natural opportunity. I call that your Hope Story. In fact, each day pray for…look for opportunities. They’re all around you. Let your hope story open the door for you to ask, “Has anyone ever shown you what the Bible says about how to have a personal love relationship with God and how to go to heaven?” And, in some cases, you might want to put your love for them and God’s love for them in a letter where they can receive it without distraction and without debating.
You only have to be God’s glove, with Him inside you helping you to do and say what you could never do without Him. Just like a hand empowers a glove to do what it could never do alone. But silence? That’s not an option. Not if you want them to be in heaven with you. You know what they need to know to get there. You’re safe. You got out. They’re still in the collapsing building. Life’s biggest regret would be having to say, “I should have asked him to go with me. I should have asked her to go with me.” You still can. There’s still time.