I am Awake at Night…- Pastor Bill Lewis

In the wee hours of the morning, when sleep escapes, and the thoughts come up like a computer booting up, the weight of the day takes hold and the concerns for souls, the existence of a vision, and the proper way to accomplish things holds deep care in the heart.
As thoughts roll and scenarios play out, the individuals who are living like there is no end to life and the pursuit of pleasure is all there is, seem to deepen the concern. Lost is the acute awareness of life and death. Even though tragedies are reported every day and some of them come close to us; it is usually covered over with platitudes of empty words and meaningless gestures. It is as though “our thoughts are with you,” or “we are thinking good thoughts toward you,” some how means something. Wake up, your thoughts are useless to the eternal destiny of the victim of the tragedy or the death by some disease. Praying for the dead is an exercise in futility. All it does is salve the conscience of the one who has promised to pray.
Life is taken so lightly and funerals are conducted like everyone is okay with God. They are not. This is not an attempt to be judgmental, but to be factual. The door to eternity is opened and closed quickly. There is a last breath and the door opens and then closes just as rapidly. The person is ushered into eternity and no great eulogy will change that destiny. It can be the lonely graveside of a derelict or the lavish state funeral, but the outcome was determined long before and it was sealed with the last breath.
The piles of flowers, the candles, the pictures are all nice to pay homage and respect, but it is done. The soul has departed and has entered their eternal state.
Lost is the burden in the saints for those who are on the road to perdition. We are not sending them to perdition; they are choosing it. How we present the gospel may seem like that when we are rude and judgmental. But, the truth is the truth and it can be presented in a way that is a plea, a hope, a light, an answer.
However, as long as we sit in church, or live separate from the world, we will never do our duty to the Lord. There is that fine balance of being in the world, but not of it. Too often we have taken it to mean, “do not be in the world.” Sadly, we have succumbed to separatism and lost the ability to impact a dying world. A good example of separatism is played out in our area daily. The Amish community grows by childbirth, not conversion. Good people, but an oddity that has become an industry of tourism. Christians are doing the same thing. We have lost the zeal for conversion of the lost and now are worrying primarily about protection.
While we want to protect our children and families, the sad result is that the children revolt against the protection and seek their own way. Now, rather than having faced the world and been a light in the world, they now, as did the prodigal son, run to explore an unknown world and taste everything that was forbidden. Of course, we know the outcome, but that does not stop the years lost to hedonism.
The faith was meant to be infectious. It was not to be rigid and sterile. It requires not an agreement on facts, but an encounter with the person Jesus. We all talk about relationship, but all too often it is works.
I think about these things. I worry about the young and their lack of commitment, and I worry about the older generation and their “I am done,” approach. No one is done until the door opens into eternity and then closes. Does this really concern us enough?

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