I have reached that certain age in which a lot of things are starting to change for the worst. The numbers I put up in the gym tell me that I am physically stronger than at any point in my lifetime, but now I am having to squint to see those numbers. Recovery time is worse as well; things I used to be able to immediately bounce back from now take some days and sometimes some pain reliever.
But the worst part might just be my memory.
True, I can still quote Bible verses ad infinitum as well as sports statistics, financial data and random bits of trivia, but when it comes to day-by-day things I am really beginning to struggle. I always used to joke about people who would walk from one room to the next and immediately forget why they were there; now I am quite literally doing it myself, and on a fairly regular basis.
This is usually followed by a perplexed look, several seconds of silence and then a retreat to wherever it was I came from. Sometimes backtracking like that makes the light bulb come on, and I remember why I went where I went. Other times I just have to mumble, "Well, I guess it must not have been that important."
Of all the things to forget, who would have ever imagined that it would be possible to actually forget why we are where we are?
But while that is not really much of an issue on a day-by-day basis, it is actually a huge issue for Christianity as a whole. Both anecdotal evidence and statistics from people who study the issue tell me that those who call themselves Christians have largely forgotten why they are here or, more properly, why they are "still here."
It is evident that when a person comes to know Christ, the Lord is not yet finished with them on this Earth; otherwise they would be taken to heaven immediately. Therefore there is some task, some calling, that he has for us to do. And it is at this point that our minds begin to "fill in the blank" with all manner of possibilities, all manner of things that would seem to qualify as our high calling.
Feed the hungry? Entirely noble. Tend to the poor? A lofty aspiration indeed. Clothe people who have little more than rags to wear? Absolutely; count us in. Find some way to get the homeless off the street? Nothing wrong with that.
But none of those things are, in fact, our high calling as Christians.
Mark 16:15 says, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." This, and this alone, is our high calling, the Great Commission. While feeding the hungry and tending to the poor and clothing people who have little more than rags to wear and finding some way to get the homeless off the street are all things that Christians are allowed and encouraged to do, winning souls is what we are called and commanded to do.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
When tending to the less fortunate is consistently followed up with a clear presentation of the gospel truth, it has eternal value. When it is not followed up by a clear presentation of the gospel, it simply makes people more comfortable as they slide off into eternity, many of them lost and undone without God.
John 14:6 says, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." This truth of the exclusivity of Christ as the means of salvation tells us that we must be consistent and passionate about telling everyone about him. An extremely small percentage of Christians actually engage in soul-winning anymore in their day-to-day lives. But every person we meet every single day is a soul that will spend eternity either in heaven or hell. How then can we go day after day without even trying to win anyone to the Lord?
Walking from one room to another and forgetting why we are there is not that big of a deal. Going a day without telling someone about Jesus is a tragedy of epic proportions.
Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com. Email him at 2know email@example.com.