Pastor John Anderson
Drowning Out Their Cries.
"And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and HELP US." - Acts 16:9
Dr. Erwin Lutzer, in his classic book, Hitler's Cross, tells of a church that was situated near the railroad tracks on the way to Auschwitz. The unspeakable travesties that would take place in the concentration camps of Auschwitz became common knowledge throughout Germany, even in the churches. Because of the location of the building, the church during their Sunday worship service could hear the train come and go rumbling up and down the tracks. The building was located near a train stop where the Nazis would change shifts on the train. When the train would come to a complete stop and the engine would shut down, the cries, moans, and screams of the Jewish prisoners would pierce the ears of the German church on the tracks.
After several weeks of this taking place in their morning worship services, several parishioners approached the residing minister with a complaint about the noise. They suggested callously, "Let's change the order of our services so that when the train stops, we will be singing and we will not be bothered by the cries of the poor souls on the train to Auschwitz." The suggestion pleased the minister who did not want his parishioners to be bothered by the nuisance and noise. So the next week and for the following three years, they would sing every time they heard the train approach so they could no longer hear the cries for mercy and help.
Unfortunately, not much has changed in the modern church today. The cry of the world on a road to condemnation in a real place called Hell can be heard every day. It comes in the form of anger, addiction, lust, rage, apathy, religiosity, and abuse; but at its core each of these are a desperate soul crying for HELP! Many times, we can polish up, clean up, and even change up the order of our services so that we can feel better about ourselves as we sing our songs and have our services. But deep in our hearts we know that the world is crying desperately for HELP!
May God help us to never get used to the cry of the world. May we never be so busy in our "churchianity" that we forget there are real people who need Jesus Christ! May we never develop a calloused spirit and heart towards the lost and dying world on the road to eternal damnation! Maybe God has allowed our church services to be put on hold and we have had to be more silent than usual. Can you hear it? Can you hear the cry of your next door neighbor? The child down the street who you always see when you pull into the driveway? That cashier at the grocery store? The friend at the gym who you interact with about health but have never spoken to them about eternity? That classmate? That church member who shows no fruits of the gospel? That single mother? That divorced dad? The widow and widower? The businessman who is carrying on making money but desperately empty within? The police officer who has been hardened by dealing with the worst in humanity? These precious people are crying out for HELP!
Don't drown them out! Let it always break your heart that people are dying without Christ. They do not need our pity, they need our prayers and our involvement! God give us a heart for souls. Please God give us a passion for people who need Christ. May the Holy Spirit of God give us our tears back today and may we once again weep for souls; witness to the lost; and share the gospel with people around us! They are crying for help and we have the answer! May God stir us to a revived passion to listen carefully to the cry of the world! Let's stop changing the order of our services so we can drown out their cries. Let's weep with them and then share the life-changing message of the gospel so that they may be HELPED, SAVED, and FORGIVEN by our loving Savior!