Empty Streets

Deserted streets on Yom Kippur
Image by Meir Jacob | מאיר יעקב via Flickr

I am one of the first people to arrive at church on Sunday. I like to make sure things are ready to go.

As such, I am usually on the road before 7am, drinking coffee and listening to my iPod or Christian radio. Occasionally, I’ll just keep the car quiet. When I can, I like to ride with the window down.

But I dislike how leisurely my drive is on Sunday.

I noticed this a couple of times yesterday. After I arrived at church, I had to go back out a couple of times (once to pick up Sunday’s projection tech and a second time to make a battery run).

All my trips were similar: hardly any cars on the road.

That grieves my heart.

The Gospel is the truth of life! If we were doing a better job of telling people, with all the heartache and sorrow in this world, the masses would be pounding down the doors of EVERY house of worship! And I do mean EVERY, because even those that do not deal with the truth of Scripture would experience traffic, because folks would be showing up just in case THEY were right.

I am well aware that we all need to do a better job at witnessing and reaching out to those around us. I KNOW for a FACT that I could do a better job.

But to see such a succinct example of how LITTLE the world cares about God. Empty streets when churches are about to proclaim the name of Jesus and offer a Solution to the problem of eternal damnation.

We live in the country with the most personal religious liberty in the world. We have the opportunity to worship in virtually any way we choose. Yet people find any number of excuses why they don’t need to show up on Sunday when there are people in countries around the world that are DYING for their faith.

Larry Bragg is taking the youth group through David Platt‘s book, Radical. This past Sunday night, we dealt with the fact that there is no such thing as reaching innocent people in foreign countries for Christ because there ARE NO INNOCENT PEOPLE. What can we do? And when do we get started?

And what about the lost, guilty, hurting, sin-sick souls in need of a Savior within the shadow of our steeple? Shouldn’t our church be a place where we welcome those who do not know Christ, regardless of how that unbelief manifests in their appearance or conduct?

Coming off a bender? Welcome!

Just finished a shift at the strip club? Welcome!

Homeless because of a drug addiction? Welcome!

I admitted to the teens the other night that I used to be pretty legalistic on this subject. I have come to learn that I was wrong to expect those who do not know Christ to act like they do know Him.

Hell is real. And avoidable. What can we do?