This morning I was trying to get caught up on some blog reading and came across this quote on Gunner’s blog:
“If you can preach about hell without tears in your eyes, you don’t understand.” -Francis Schaeffer
Talk about the kind of quote that knocks you off your feet. It made me think about hell and how I view it. It also made me think of heaven and the way I view it. Mostly it made me think about the lost and how my heart cares for the lost- but it doesn’t break for the lost. There’s a difference there.
Since graduating from Master’s I’ve primarily been in a secular work environment and in each position I’ve held I’ve been able to share the gospel with my coworkers. Graduating from a Christian school and getting a Master’s degree in Biblical Counseling naturally opens up those doors of conversation. I’ve gone out of my way to cultivate relationships where I am able to share the gospel with these people. But my heart isn’t broken for them.
I can see the where their thinking breaks down, where their logic is incorrect. I am thankful that the Lord has opened my eyes to see the truth in His Word. I really believe that they are blinded, that they are supressing the truth about God in their sin. But my heart isn’t broken.
I think of Paul in Romans 9 when he writes, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Before explaining that God is just in choosing some for salvation and choosing others to display His wrath he says that he would rather be cut off from Christ than have his brothers experience the wrath of God.
I want to understand hell in a way that my heart breaks- really breaks. If you’ve ever had a truly broken heart you know the horrible pain of it. I want that kind of pain for the lost. I want to understand the heinous reality of hell so that I can never talk of it without tears in my eyes. And so I feel the urgency of the gospel message. And so I live in the kind of thankfulness and gratitude for salvation that can only be produced by understanding what I’ve been saved from. And I want to really grasp and believe that the most awful thing about hell is not weeping and gnashing of teeth but is eternal separation from the most glorious being to ever exist- the God of the Universe.
That is my new prayer. Bring on the tears.