I recently read the interesting story of a lighthouse keeper. He had gained a reputation as being a very kind man. He would give free fuel to ships that miscalculated the amount of fuel needed to reach their destination port. One night during a storm, lightning struck his lighthouse and put out his light. He immediately turned on his generator, but it soon ran out of fuel, and he had given his reserves to passing ships. During the dark night, a ship struck the rocks and many lives were lost.
At his trial, the judge knew of the lighthouse keeper's reputation as a kind man and wept as he gave sentence. He accused the lighthouse keeper of neglecting his primary responsibility-- to keep the light shining.
The church can so often get caught up in legitimate acts of kindness--standing for political righteousness, feeding the hungry, etc.--but our primary task is to warn sinners of danger. We are to keep the light of the gospel shining so that sinners can avoid the jagged-edged rocks of wrath and escape being eternally damned.
Perhaps this anonymously written poem will serve to remind us of our true primary task:
My friend, I stand in judgment now,and feel that you're to blame somehow.On earth I walked with you by day,and never did you show the way.You knew the Savior in truth and glory,But never did you tell the story.My knowledge then was very dim.You could have led me safe to Him.Though we lived together, here on earth,you never told me of the second birth.And now I stand before eternal hell,because of heaven's glory you did not tell!
Evangelist Franklin Graham once said: "Each person we meet on a daily basis who does not know Christ is hell-bound. That may make some folks bristle, but it's a fact. When we refuse to warn people that their actions and lifestyles have eternal consequences, we're not doing them any favors. If everybody feels good about his or her sin, why would anyone repent?"
May we always stay focused on our primary task: Winning others to Christ!