We met him 3 ½ years ago in Taiwan. He was our driver but quickly grew to be our friend. And this morning, my heart is breaking for his soul.
Our tendency as people is to not want to step on toes…not want to offend. What if a Buddhist or animist stumbles upon this small blog and feels slighted by these words? But, it's really not my beliefs pitted against their beliefs like a game to see who is stronger or wiser. And it wouldn't be worth mentioning, except that I know something that simply won't allow me to be silent.
There is a hell. People who have had near death experiences have seen it. Mark Cahill travels the world and speaks to as many people as he can about the reality of eternity. When we heard him speak last fall, he said that in his travels, he had run across 29 people at different places in the world who had had near-death experiences and had seen hell. Every single one of them described hell the same way…the smell of sulfur, the piercing sound of incessant screaming, the darkness, the agony. Surely, even if someone chooses not to believe the Bible, they might just stop to consider these 29 eye witnesses.
Hell is real, and when that truly sinks in, it makes it impossible for us to be quiet. Souls are at stake. And our dear friend will one day see this reality and will beg and plead to have one more chance to trust in Jesus as the ONLY way to Heaven. And that absolutely pushes me to share with him and with others this reality that they cannot see now but will one day have to face.
|Here he is buying us lunch on the coast in Keelung.|
He loved the gifts but rejected the booklet. As always, he was very kind about it. But, he told our friends to tell us not to waste our time on him, because he is a Buddhist. And, as I thought of his soul, I fell asleep praying and crying last night. I agonized over the reality of his soul. It is not a waste of my time…it is the reason for my existence…to share hope for his soul.
We don't mind that he's a Buddhist. It doesn't change our friendship with him. He is simply our friend, no matter what his beliefs are. I could let this go as simply a difference of beliefs…the modern viewpoint of "let everyone have their own beliefs…COEXIST."
But I cannot get out of my mind the true account Mark Cahill gave about 2 atheist EMS workers who were trying to save a man who had been in a car accident. He flatlined several times, and each time they would bring him back to life, he would scream about the burning and the flames (though the accident scene had no fire, no smoke). The final time that he flatlined, they could not bring him back. And the smell of sulfur and smoke rose from his body. The 2 EMS workers were speechless, and it absolutely rocked their atheist beliefs. They got a glimpse of the reality of hell.
Because it is real. Heaven is real. Hell is real. And our eternal destiny is real, no matter who believes it or not.
Last night when my husband arrived home late after having dinner with out-of-state businessmen, he recounted a conversation he had had at the restaurant. The subject of beliefs came up, and he found himself the only professing Christian at the table. One man asked in disbelief, "Do you really believe the fairy tale in the Bible?" It was a pointed discussion about souls and beliefs. My husband didn't want to be right. He didn't want to win a religious debate. He looked at that man in the eyes and felt deep, deep concern for his lost soul. Because when you know the reality of hell and heaven, you simply cannot help but feel urgency for this soul…this one soul who will one day realize that the hell you warned about is indeed real.
The reality of an eternity of suffering is surely enough to snap us out of our complacency…out of our you-believe-what-you-want-and-I'll-believe-what-I-want mediocrity. As one atheist put it, "If you really truly believe in a hell of eternal burning, then why aren't you banging down people's doors trying to warn them?" Even the atheist can see clearly the complacency that grips us as Christians.
Visit this site for more information. Your soul and the souls of your family and friends are so precious and worth the time it takes to at least consider this.