Last week, we were informed of the tragic suicidal death of Anthony Bourdain, world renown chef, author, storyteller, and star of CNN’s popular show, Parts Unknown. Apparently, Mr. Bourdain was struggling in his emotional life behind closed doors, although he looked as though he had everything to live for. He had fame and fortune, and traveled all over the world, taking one excursion after another. He appeared to be at the top of his game, but in private, he battled the demonic and was not able to overcome the sadness and hopelessness that had overtaken his soul. This is such a tremendous loss, and I am so sorry this happened. When I heard the news, I was completely stunned.
I have no idea what Tony Bourdain’s spiritual state was when he chose to leave this world on his own terms. I am not judging him in any way because I Corinthians 4:5 says, “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” I pray that he knew the Lord as his personal Savior. However, after pondering this sad situation, I came to the following conclusions:
- It’s important to share the Gospel with people, even if they look like they don’t need it or want it. Jesus said the Pharisees were like whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones (Matthew 23:27). Just because someone looks good on the outside, doesn’t mean that is a reflection of what is going on inside them. There is a popular song called People Need the Lord, and that is so true in today’s world. Regardless of what a person looks like externally, he or she is in desperate need of the Lord.
- We need to have an attitude of urgency. People are dying without Christ every day and being doomed to spend an eternity apart from our heavenly Father. We have to put aside our own agendas and pursue God’s agenda: winning souls. If we urgently share the Good News with others, perhaps we might be able to help those who are in the same desperate situation that Mr. Bourdain was and head off disaster. Our sense of urgency could end up changing the course of someone’s life.
- We must be as bold and relentless in sharing the Gospel as Satan is in spreading his deception and lies. The enemy is on the attack. His goal is to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus said He came so that we might have abundant life (John 10:10). The enemy is bold in his attempt to destroy lives, and he boldly injects his lies into our minds as often as possible. He also is very persistent and does not give up easily. Therefore, if we are to win people to Christ and snatch them out of the kingdom of darkness, as believers, we must wage a fierce counterattack that is equally as bold and relentless.
In closing, I urge you to reflect on how you can step up your game in sharing the Good News. Who in your sphere of influence needs to hear about Jesus? Who looks like they have it all together, but in reality, they are suffering in silence? Who is the Holy Spirit telling you to talk to, but you have turned a deaf ear to the still small voice? Is fear is keeping you from sharing the Gospel? If so, I encourage you to pray the following prayer I found on the Internet (http://voice-wilderness.org/questions-about-god/how-to-overcome-the-fear-of-man):
“God, if you will take the fear of man away from me, I will never miss an opportunity to speak for you. Wherever I am, if I feel your elbow in my ribs, I’ll say whatever you want me to say, to whomever you want me to say it.” Amen.
Therefore, let’s follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, die to self, overcome our fears, share the Gospel with abandon, and take as many people to heaven with us as possible.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
What is your strategy for getting better at sharing the Gospel with those who desperately need to hear it? Please leave a comment below.
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