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FIRST-PERSON: The urgency of the gospel


Editor’s note: Nathan Lorick is executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

I must admit, I am writing this article with deep sadness in my heart. A gentleman I know and have dealt with in various capacities passed away suddenly this week. He was quite unassuming and really did not have much of a family. He was a man of few words, a very private individual who lived alone all his life. Yet, he was a good man who poured his heart into the things he loved the most.

A while back, I was going on a road trip, and he decided to jump in and ride with me. As we drove, I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with him. He was somewhat receptive and asked good questions, but he did not embrace Christ that day. I believe he felt like he had plenty of time in the future to make a decision for Christ. Honestly, I do not know if he ever put his faith in Jesus, but the reality that he is now gone burdens my heart deeply. 

Upon receiving the news of his death, I immediately began to recall our conversation and my heart began to feel deep sorrow. Yes, I am sad he is no longer here. However, the deeper sorrow lies in my uncertainty of his eternity. I know he heard the Gospel. I know he heard how to be saved and spend eternity with Jesus. I am just not sure he ever embraced Jesus.

This sorrow drives me to feel the urgency of the Gospel once again. We constantly interact with people who are on their way to a Christless eternity in hell. We must feel the deep obligation and duty to share the Gospel of Christ. These days, many leaders want to categorize ministry into boxes to justify the spiritual duties in which we may not be the strongest. We say things like, “Evangelism is not my spiritual gift” or “I am more into discipleship than evangelism.” The truth is, evangelism and discipleship are not mutually exclusive. They go hand in hand. If we are truly making disciples, we are training them to share the Gospel. This must be driven by a burden to see the lost come to Christ. 

Since hearing about the death of my friend, I have once again committed to be intentional with evangelism. I want to seek out those who are lost and without hope and tell them about the saving power of Jesus. I want my life to always be used as a mouthpiece for the Gospel. My friend wasn’t concerned about the latest denominational controversy. He wasn’t in tune with the latest church trends. He didn’t spend time looking through people’s theological debates on Twitter. Nope, none of these. He was just living and trying to fill the void in his life. 

I want to encourage you today to take time and pray for someone you know who is lost. Take time today and think through how you can engage others with the Gospel. I encourage you to pray for a renewed sense of urgency to share the Gospel every chance you get. I am grateful for my friend’s life. Oh, how I hope he placed his faith in Jesus at some point. Although I will not know where he spends his eternity until I stand before the Lord, I know his death has stirred passion in me to be a witness for Jesus every day of my life. 

I love you and am honored to serve you! Let’s share Jesus!