The Will to Live
Millions of people spend
dozens of hours each week watching dead people on TV.
From Elvis to Lucy to Jimmy Stewart, the faces of folks
who no longer exist entertain us. Time not only snatched
their looks, it snatched their lives. Today, good-looking
Hollywood stars are making movies so that tomorrow’s
generation can also pass the time by watching dead people
Time makes today tomorrow’s memory. Each weekend
seems to pass us by like blurred telephone poles flashing
past the window of the speeding train of life.
If I purchased a new car and saw in the owner’s
manual that it had a certain type of engine, I shouldn’t
be surprised to lift the hood and find the engine to
be exactly as the manual stated. The maker’s handbook
gives me insight into the unseen workings of the vehicle.
This is also true with human beings. The Maker’s
manual tells us how each of us thinks and why we react
the way we do. It lifts the hood and reveals the inner
workings of homo sapiens.
In doing so, the Bible discloses an often-overlooked
tool that we can use to reach the lost. That tool is
the “fear of death.” For the Christian who
may find such an approach to be negative, it may be
looked at in a positive light. The tool may also be
called “the will to live.” Every human being
in his right mind has a fear of death (Hebrews 2:15).
He doesn’t want to die. He sits wide-eyed, staring
out the window of the speeding train watching life pass
Here is how to use that tool when speaking to an unsaved
person: “Let’s assume that the average person
dies at 70 years old. Then if you are 20 years old,
you have just 2,500 weekends left to live. If you have
turned 30, you have 2,000 weekends left until the day
you die. If you are 40 years old, you have only 1,500
weekends left. If you are 50, then you have just 1,000
weekends, and if you are 60, you have a mere 500 weekends
left until the day death comes to you.” Even as
a Christian that thought concerns me. I somehow can
relate to “weekends,” while “years”
puts death into the distance. It shakes me enough to
ask myself, What I am doing with my life? It sickens
me that I am doing so little to reach the lost. It also
deeply concerns me that I have dry eyes when I pray.
My train will take me into the presence of God. For
those trusting in Jesus Christ, death has been defeated.
But the train of the unregenerate will take them to
horrific disaster. Their end will be eternal hell. In
light of such terrible thoughts, all my activities outside
of warning the world of their destination seem trivial.
It has been wisely stated that every one of us is unique...just
like everyone else. In truth, each unique individual
is uniquely predictable. Every sinner has a fear of
death. No one can deny that he naturally has a will
to live. Therefore, it makes sense to confront him with
reality by re-minding him that he has an “appointment”
to keep. Bluntly tell him how many weekends he has left.
Then appeal to his reason by saying, “If there
was one chance in a million that Jesus Christ ‘has
abolished death, and has brought life and immortality
to light through the gospel,’ you owe it to your
good sense just to look into it.”