“Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” -James 5:20
When I was younger, I had an uncle who had wandered away from Christ. My family consistently prayed for him, but like a child, I didn’t give it much thought. Until one day it somehow hit me that there are only two options: heaven or hell, and the people who weren’t born-again believers would end up in hell (and that does not sound like a pleasant place). But what shook me the most was that if tomorrow never came and my uncle didn’t come back to God before then, he would go to hell.
To a child, that was terrifying. Everything within me wanted to go up to him and tell him that his life choices might cost him eternity in heaven with God and his family. I spent days worrying and praying about it. I wondered how everyone around me was living their lives so ordinarily – as if a person we loved wasn’t facing a life or death decision. As the nightmare in my mind grew, I finally went to my dad, and what he told me then has stuck with me all my life:
We must see each person through the eyes of Jesus – a soul in need of love, grace, and salvation. That means we must live our lives in such ways that will be the light to the world and we must never be afraid to speak of Christ to everyone we meet. Because you never know if you’re the last person that girl will speak to before God calls her home. But no matter how much we pray and testify, only God is capable of changing hearts. So, you do your part and let God do the rest. And He will see the work to completion.
My uncle eventually did return to God, but my duty to live a set apart life and to pray for everyone else who hasn’t found their way Home continues. There are millions of souls out there who need our prayers and who need to see the hope of light and love in this world filled with vanity, darkness, evil, pain and empty striving. Be that light, because those lives hang in the balance between heaven and hell.