This is an article written by Bob Nilsen who is currently serving our Lord in the Dominican Republic with SCORE, International. I had the privilege of meeting him while on my first mission trip to the DR in the summer of 2006. These words greatly encouraged me, so I pray they will do the same for you. Happy reading! ~Elizabeth
WHAT IS AN EMERGENCY?
I joined the Detroit Fire Dept. in 1974. I was a part of the Emergency Medical Service. A young medic driving around the streets, expressways, and alleys of the murder capital of the world (a dubious distinction the city has held and lost numerous times). My job was emergencies, everything from “my child has a fever” to delivering babies. An emergency occurs when a hydroplane explodes, the driver is not breathing, and has broken bones in the middle of the Detroit River. An emergency is when one motorcycle club puts a pipe bomb outside the door of a bar frequented by a rival club and then waiting for the next biker to exit. An emergency is when a factory maintenance employee, while changing a three foot long fuse, becomes encircled by a 20,000 volt electric arc and is burned over 100% of his body (he walked to the ambulance!). An emergency occurs when gunmen enter a house and empty their guns on an unsuspecting family. It was the wrong house. It changes you.
After I became a trauma nurse I gained a different view of what an emergency was. An emergency is a mother with a broken leg and facial injuries from a car accident, strapped to a back board, screaming her child’s name, because at the time of her arrival at the hospital, the child hadn’t been found yet. An emergency is a farmer arriving on a back board with no feeling in his legs and back pain, due to a combine he had been repairing falling on him, bending him in half. He was calling for his daughter because he was going to surgery. He did not get to see his daughter; he did not come out of surgery. It changes you. An emergency is doing CPR on a person and having them reach up with both hands and grab your arms because you are breaking their ribs in the process. Then stopping the CPR and having their hands fall off because you are no longer compressing their heart for them, only to have them grab your arms again when you restart CPR. An emergency is having your gloved hand inside someone’s chest while squeezing his heart, trying to circulate the little blood he has left. It changes you.
These are just a few examples from the unique world known as the Emergency Room. The greater world is full of tidal waves; earthquakes; heart attacks; shipwrecks; SIDS; wars; house fires; and many, many, more such tragedies. I have literally held hundreds in my hands as their lives slipped away despite the best efforts to save them. I have also held hundreds in my arms at the point of death or physically already dead, and have them come back months later and thank me for being involved in helping save their lives.
But there is an emergency that dwarfs the ones above. The emergency is this: Thousands now living in this physical world are being ushered into eternal condemnation and there are not enough people trying to rescue them! These poor souls will suffer separation from God forever in the Lake of Fire. It is estimated that 2 people die every second somewhere in the world. That means by the time we finish going out for a movie and return 3 hours later, 21,600 would have entered eternity! (147,945 daily!) If only we Christians treated evangelism and missions as a privilege we would reach many more millions of people for Jesus. If only we treated evangelism as a duty we would reach millions of people for Christ. If we at least treated evangelism as a job we would at least do it regularly. My dear brothers and sisters it is our obligation to cast the only lifesaver available to rescue them from drowning spiritually and going to hell. Their ship is sinking while we are sunbathing!? What would we think of a person who watched a person trapped in a burning building and kept watering their own flowers while their neighbor cooked!
Eze 3:17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
(If we do not reach OUR generation, then whose responsibility is it?)
Beloved, listen to the words of A. B. Simpson, “This is not merely a duty, but it is the supreme duty of every Christian. This is not merely one of the questions of Christian privilege and responsibility, but it is the one question of Christian obligation. It is not merely an opportunity, but an emergency, and the voice of God concerning it is, “Redeeming the time”—”buying up the opportunity because the days are evil.”
It is an emergency situation because there are more than 6 billion people and growing by 378,000 every day. The extent of the emergency is staggering. 1.3 billion in China; 1.2 billion in India; 1 billion in Russia. While all Christian missions cannot but put forth but about 200,000 and that includes all denominations of professing Christian missions. It is probably closer to 60,000 lost souls for each full-time evangelical missionary to reach! The population is increasing at a rate of more than 160,000,000 each year, yet 50% of all missionaries going to the field either return at the end of their 4 year term, or before, never to return to the field! We are becoming a a church of spiritual whimps. We can no longer take the rigors of missionary life. We are raising a generation that no longer has a passion for the souls of men and the courage to commit their lives to reaching them.
Joh 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
It is an emergency because of the terrible lost condition of these vast multitudes. They are not sick, misguided, confused, wandering, or lacking opportunity, they are ‘dead in trespasses and sins.’ The awful condition of their souls is a matter of life and death (eternal death!). We’re not talking about trying to elevate their living conditions, we’re talking about eternal life verses eternal damnation.
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
It is an emergency because these vast multitudes are rapidly slipping beyond our opportunity to reach them. D.L. Moody is not responsible for this generation: We are! This is our generation! Do we have no compassion for those who have been placed in our world? They are passing into eternity at the rate of 160,000 per day. What are we doing to reaching them?
Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
It is AN EMERGENCY because of the cults and false religions that are spreading their deceptive doctrines far and wide. Who has not been accosted in airports by a Hare Krishna, or had a Jehovah Witness knock on their door? Here in the DR there are 500 Mormon missionaries witnessing for Satan. We Christian evangelicals are a mere handful. More and more people are being enslaved in Voodoo practices; worship of Mother Earth; and materialism. We must act today!
1Jo 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
Beloved, this is the only time we have to rescue this generation. There will not be another age of grace in which we may preach the glorious Good News of Christ.
Will THIS EMERGENCY change you?
(reprinted with permission)