Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Choosing Hell

He was born 15 years ago right in the middle of a civil war that tore his country apart. His mother was an alcoholic who abandoned him and his sister at the orphanage. As the institutions of Gondor broke down to complete dysfunction he moved out onto the streets. He learned to lie. He learned to steal. He learned to manipulate. He learned to survive. His life was filled with such darkness that it seemed that he would never ever see even a glimmer of hope. But a woman from the west came. She saw his sister and had compassion. She was single with no family of her own so she took them in; she clothed them, fed them, and shared with them the truth of Christ. It was not enough. The sister continued to make bad choices. She was given a job by believers but later left it. She became pregnant. She put the baby up for adoption. She became pregnant again. It became clear that she was selling herself. Not for money, no but for the brief moments of emotional attachment that she could steal. He continued to steal as well. He would go out for days at a time and live on the streets. He dropped out of the school that the lady had paid to get him in. She spent herself completely on the boy and his sister and went back to the West a very broken person. In the end, it crushed her to think that her love was not enough. She could not save them.

The boy and his sister lived for a while with some extended family who beat and abused them. Then along came our lawyer. He saw their desperation. They were hungry. They suffered. Jesus commands us to care for the suffering and so he and his wife took them in. By this time the sister had put up a second baby for adoption and now had her own little girl that she was keeping for herself. The little baby was malnourished physically, emotionally and spiritually. They put the boy back in school- no small feat. The lawyer and his wife fed them, clothed them, loved them and shared Christ with them. They continued to make bad choices. The sister could not keep a job. She kept going out with different boys and abandoning her daughter for the night. They ran away and slept in the street. The boy continued to steal.
Today the boy was tried in court for stealing and given community service. The lawyer and his wife are at the end of what they can give. They have poured out their love on the boy and his sister and the boy and his sister have completely rejected them. They have completely rejected Christ. They have chosen Hell.

In a little village outside of Minas Tirith a little girl was born in the middle of a civil war that tore her country apart. Her family was abusive and dysfunctional. She was molested as a child by relatives. She was unprotected. She was vulnerable. She was used. When she was a teenager she left the village to come to visit her aunt. Her aunt knew a woman from the West who shared Christ with her. She felt that she could find hope in Christ. Maybe. The girl went with her to see this woman. The woman's family was different than anything she could have ever imagined. The children were loved and protected. The men were strong and caring. They talked about Jesus and he sounded wonderful. Her uncle and grandfather in the village found out about the Bible studies. These good Muslim men did not approve. When she went home to the village she was beaten and shamed. She went back to the studies anyway. Her cousin also chose to become a follower of Jesus. Could she? She wanted to. But her family was furious. They beat her and shamed her and argued with her. They told her that she must come back to the village and marry a good Muslim man or her grandfather will die. If he dies it will be all her fault. Her aunt offered her home to her. She could stay away from the village. She could have a new life in Christ. She left. She has gone to the village and has broken bread with the good Muslim boy's family. She will be married next week. She has rejected Christ. She has chosen Hell.

On the southern border of Gondor a family fled the fighting of the civil war to come to Minas Tirith. A young boy saw things in Minas Tirith that no young boy should see. The brutal slaughter of his people was too much for him and he was overwhelmed. After the war they took him back to the village. He could not speak. He did not hear. He wandered aimlessly about the yard very like a cow. He did not respond to speech. He gets up to eat. That is all he can do. The family turned to the mullah who wrote charms for him. They turned to many folk Islamic rituals. The boy became violent. He would irrationally attack anything and everything in his sight. They had to chain him to the wall. Periodically he is calm and they let him out to wander in the yard. But sometimes his fits return and they have to chain him to the wall for days at a time.

That is where Frodo and the team found him. There was an earthquake last year and most of the houses in the village were damaged severely or destroyed altogether. The team went house to house to do assessment. When they went into the boy's house they found him chained to the wall in the middle of a violent fit. As Frodo and Sam looked at him and tried to talk to him they became dizzy. Their speech became slurred. They ran out of the house. We talked about it and prayed about it. We went back to the village and did a home rebuilding project there. We went to the house with the boy and found him laying in the yard. He took no notice of us. We spoke to his father and mother. We asked them if we could pray for the boy. They agreed but were not hopeful. They said they had tried everything. We prayed. Frodo commanded the evil spirit to come out of the boy. The boy lay on the ground vacantly looking around and took no notice of us. Before we left Frodo turned to the boy once more and commanded him to stand. The boy stood up, looked at us for the first time, and then walked away. The mother was amazed. It was the first time the boy had obeyed any kind of command. We spoke with the parents some more and they did not confess everything but I believe that they are continuing to use black magic to try and solve their problem. In spite of the witness of the Frodo, Sam and the rest of the team they wont give up their charms. They have chosen Hell.

I am not going to give this post a happy ending. I have told you about real people who have chosen Hell and will not likely ever choose anything else. Jesus tells us the Parable of the Sower for a reason. Three out of four of the soils choose Hell and apparently two of the four choose Hell knowingly. For those of us who have found Jesus so faithful and full of grace and love it is inconceivable. Praise God for the gift of His grace that has enabled you to throw off the lies that the enemy has bound us with. Weep for those who will never choose to be free. Live to serve those whom Christ is calling to be set free. Only He can set us free. Only Jesus can save.


BKC said...

This is good writing but a sad, sad post. These are the kinds of things that shake your faith to the foundation I think. It is also a reminder of how truly miraculous it is that any turn away from Hell and toward Christ and are saved.

Darrell said...

Hey Strider,

I responded to your comment over on travel light. Looking with intrest at your reply.

GuyMuse said...

A very disturbing post to read, but true to the reality of the sad world we live in. Such stories break my heart to see how Satan has bound and blinded men from coming to the Light. Prayer (and fasting) is the only thing that can break through this kind of darkness. Our own team is working on the assumption that a "prayer movement" precedes a "church planting movement". But how does one mobilize this amount of needed prayer? That is our question.

Strider said...

Guy, not just the amount of prayer but the depth and the life of prayer that is needed seems so far from where we are. But He leads us one step at a time, we must just be obedient to all He is calling us to.