by: Wayne Schatzle
As a young man I was drafted, and soon found myself in the middle of a war in southeast Asia. I served in the Infantry in the Mekong delta area. Our duty was to search and destroy Vietcong insurgence, which usually meant many tiresome hours of trudging through knee deep mud. Our patrols of 12 men were three days out and 2 days in camp. Usually a helicopter would drop us off at a point and pick us up at a predetermined site 3 days later. On one mission, after the second day we became hopelessly lost. We were in a area of dense growth over our heads, with no landmarks to guide us. After another day and a half of slogging through the mud, fearing booby traps, snipers, snakes and leeches, out of food and water- it seemed all hope was lost. Eventually, we did make it to the landing zone, but that experience will forever define the meaning of the word, "lost" for me. Many hours of prayer went up during that awful time, and just maybe God, in His mercy, led us to safety.
The overall theme of the Bible actually deals with lost people and how to find their way back home. I spent some time describing being lost while in the Army, yet that experience is nothing compared to the situation mankind faces on Earth. The advantage I had back then was that I knew I was lost in a jungle swamp, half a world away from my loved ones. Nevertheless, folks today are just as lost even though they may be in a easy chair watching TV, enjoying a round of golf, or having a dinner out with their family.
Get this - we are LOST for all eternity if we do not get help! The good news is: help is just as close as a heartfelt prayer by One that knows the way. That individual is Jesus Christ. He not only can show us the way, but put it in writing for us to study.
I encourage everyone to be active in a church, and become a spiritual family with believers. I only caution searching souls to the fact that there are deceivers that will hide the way to life from you. All too often churches will erect walls of tradition that block the true path to salvation. There is no substitute for much prayer and bible study.
Bible teaching is plain that salvation is only through Jesus Christ, and He made it clear that "wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction and many will go in by it, but narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life and few will find it" (Matthew 7:14). Jesus ministry is to save those who are lost. What folks need to do is realize they are in fact LOST, and must seek the One who can save them. In the months and years ahead, as prophesied, there will be a great deception, if it were possible, would deceive the very elect of God. In fact, the notable "four horsemen of Revelation", the first one is religious deception. Be warned that Satan is the god of this world, and his goal is to hide that path to Life. [Rev 12:9; 2 Cor 11:15; Mt 24: 5].
So if your life is going well, good job, plenty of money, (too) much to eat, attend a large church which you depend on to take care of the spiritual details- CAUTION: Realize you could be just as lost as that young man in the jungle in Vietnam. You could be on a path that seems to be the right way, but not. Why not leave nothing to risk and secure your eternity by asking Jesus to reveal the narrow path that leads to life, and set aside time in your life to study to show yourself approved unto God? "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalms 119:105). The Freedom Biblical Information Center is available to help with your studies.
(Written by Wayne Schatzle,