Who’s In Your Video?
While meeting with one of our SBC missionaries recently, he showed me a video of his hometown and asked me if anything stood out. I said, “It seems you live in a booming town, with lots of cranes on buildings, and there appears to be a vibrant city life with people moving about like in any thriving metropolis. He said, “You’re right, our city is bursting with development, activity and life. What you did not notice though is this: if the “trumpet” sounded and the Lord returned today, 98% of those people you saw would be destined to an eternity separated from God, or as we’ve shied away from calling it, Hell.”
Sadly, that had not crossed my mind while watching the video. I knew what he meant though about the “trumpet” sound. That noise will mark the return or second coming of Jesus and a time when believers and unbelievers will have their moment of truth with God. I have to be honest—I don’t think very often about the “trumpet” sound.
Scripture, however, is filled with references to this moment of great uproar when Jesus will return to earth and gather those who claim Him as Lord. Google “Trumpet Sound” verses and see for yourself. The Apostle Paul vividly described this event and the unmistakable sound in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
As I replay in my mind the throngs of anonymous people in my friend’s video, the 98%, and recall his pointed assertion about the trumpet, I’ve been troubled ever since. In the last few weeks, that moment has altered the way I see people, the conversations I’m having, and the prayers I’m praying. That realization shifted my thinking, causing me to think about my own backyard. What would be the percentage in my video? It wasn’t simply a number that came to mind but names and faces—some with the same last name as me.
As someone who believes the words of God, I am reminded of Paul’s encouragement to believers in Romans 10 about their role as “preachers.” 14“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”
The “theys” in verse 14 are the 98% in your life, and the “they” in verse 15 is you. We are the ones with beautiful feet who Paul describes as having the privilege of bringing good news to a world filled with bad news.
Too often we think of being reunited with Jesus when we die, but that reunion with Christ may happen first. When Jesus returns, who will He gather to Himself and who will be separated from Him? The author C.S. Lewis reminds us, “there are no mere mortals,” meaning every human is an eternal being, destined to an eternity with or without God.
I could share my friend’s video with you, but it may be more meaningful to allow your own real-life video to play before you. Picture a video of a day in your office, school, neighborhood or home and ask yourself, “what stands out?” In addition to seeing our lives in light of eternity, what if we began to notice the eternal nature of the people all around us? Perhaps seeing people this way will transform your conversations, cause you to evaluate your own testimony and witness, and allow God to use you to point people to Jesus.
I hesitate to give you a list of things to do to reach people who need Christ, but instead choose to leave you with this thought. Jesus desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth, and He desires us to pray towards that end. Maybe today, that could be our first step. The face you see in your video has a name, and you can present that name to the Lord and ask that his or her heart would be open to receiving Jesus. The “theys” in your life, like you, will all hear a trumpet sound. Let’s pray as if that alarm will sound today at sunset!