It’s not just about you

Pastor Thad Gifford - Contributing Columnist

This week’s article is going to be a lot more straightforward than some of the previous articles because of what happened on Wednesday, June 14 in Washington, D.C. As you know, several Congressmen and two Capitol Policemen and several others were shot while practicing for an upcoming softball game. One of those who were shot at said if it were not for the Capitol Police controlling the shooter, the carnage would have been much greater.

Why? Because carrying a firearm in D.C. is prohibited. At least it’s prohibited for law-abiding citizens but not for those whose intent is to do harm to others. Several of those who were shot at went on to say that they thought their life was going to be ended inside that ball park. All they had to defend themselves against the active shooter were baseball bats and trash cans.

Now, I’m not here to defend gun ownership or concealed carry, but I do want to ask you this question. “If today were to be your last day on earth, where will you spend your eternity?” That is a very serious question that everyone needs to ask of themselves and also answer. And whether you believe in eternity, or Heaven or hell, does not change the fact that eternity and Heaven and hell exist; they do. The Bible says they do and Jesus said they do too. So whether you believe the Bible or whether or not you believe what Jesus said, does not change the fact that one day you will die (see Hebrews 9:27) and one day you will be judged by the God of the Universe as to where you will spend your eternity. If you accept the fact that God says we are all sinners, believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and accept Jesus as your Savior, you will spend your eternity in Heaven. If you don’t, you won’t. It’s a plain and simple as that.

Also, if you fail to accept Christ as your Savior, and live your life and die, and because of your unbelief your family fails to accept Christ as their Savior, they will die in their sins and they will spend their eternity in hell too. It’s much more than just thinking about ourselves, it’s being concerned for our children and our grandchildren too. If we fail to warn them and tell them about the necessity of being saved, their blood will be on our hands and we will be responsible for their suffering in hell for all eternity. (See Ezekiel 33:1-20.)

I was told of a father who went to church in his childhood years and even into his high school years. But after he left his parent’s home, he stopped going to church. He never made a profession for Christ — he never accepted Jesus as his Savior. He left the church and lived the way he wanted to live. A few weeks ago, his oldest daughter died unexpectedly. For all practical purposes, because his daughter wasn’t raised in a Christian home, she probably never made a decision for Christ either.

The Bible tells us that if we die in our sins, we will spend our eternity in hell. For all I can imagine, his daughter has just begun her eternity in hell. She has realized her need for Jesus Christ to be her Savior. She has also realized that her very own father failed to teach her about her need to be saved (born again see Romans 10:9-13) and because of his neglect, his daughter is in hell. Forever. Think about that for a while.

I don’t share this to speak lightly about this young lady spending eternity in hell. I share it to cause you to think about what I just said. What if one of your children dies unexpectedly and they don’t know Christ as their Savior when they take their last breath? The Word of God tells us they will spend eternity in hell. Is that what you want for your family? I cannot imagine anyone deliberately wanting their family to spend eternity in hell. Yet, many people live their lives without any concern about the influence their life will be on their family, friends and neighbors.

Even Christians — those who profess Jesus as Savior of their lives — have a tendency to think only about themselves. Without regard to those they come in contact with, they live with one foot in the world and one foot in church.

All I can say is this, “It’s time to get serious about spiritual things. It’s time to understand what God’s Word teaches about eternal life. It’s time to walk away from the church you attend if they do not preach and teach the necessity of being born again.”

Many churches are nothing more than a social club — a place to go and see and be seen. A place to sing the same old songs, and go through the same old format of worship and leave with a warm fuzzy feeling because the message was “good.” Maybe you need to give thought to what I have said in the article this week.

Maybe you need to go to a church where the message doesn’t necessarily make you feel good, but the message stirs you to accepting Christ as your Savior. And then maybe your spouse will be saved, and then maybe your children will be saved, and then other members of your family will be saved. And when you draw your last breath, you can leave this world knowing that you left your family with the one most important thing that anyone could give to another — the chance to accept Jesus as Savior and the opportunity to be born again, which will mean they will spend their eternity in Heaven and not hell.

And that is Something to Think About for this week.

If you are on Facebook, you can watch our service “live” on Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. Simply “like” our Facebook page at Crossroadslondon and watch.

Pastor Thad Gifford

Contributing Columnist

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at, or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at, or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.