In the past two days, there has been a blanket of sadness spread over the many at our office who had come to love our affable your security guard chief. Josh was only 34, kind, polite and a solid family man with the brightest of futures ahead of him. He loved to talk about spending time working with his stepson on the latter's car or about the new piece of property he just purchased to build a home for his dear wife. He was just a nice guy and everybody loved him.
No one knew what happened a couple days after the final time saw him last week. He had gone out to southern California to visit some longtime friends on a short vacation of a few days. Last Saturday night, Mountain View Police reports indicated that he was crossing California Street and was struck and killed by a car, out of nowhere. It was 10:20pm. He died on the spot. Josh left his wonderful family and friends to mourn this more than tragic accidental death. He may have been only 34, but the short time allotted him by the Lord, was up.
You and I never know how much time WE have. It could be today or 10, 20, 30 years from now, if this old planet is still around. But what I have been noticing more and more in the past year in this area of less than 140,000 residents are the disproportionate amount of young people showing up in the obituaries. It is not a morbid occupation. I don't get the daily paper anymore. Occasionally, I will check the online version of it, but not daily, since news is readily available elsewhere. But young folks from as young as 20, up to their mid 40's are moving on to the next world at an alarming rate!
What is even more shocking to me and too few of my fellow ministers/evangelists and preachers of the gospel, is what their obituaries say about their lives! Almost none - ZERO - zippo of the portrayal of their lives indicate any following of the Lord; Jesus Christ or being anything else but a Christian in name only. Some of their services are not even officiated by a minister according to the paper, but they may a celebration dinner or...who knows what. This is so sad and scary to us because we know what all of this means. As nice as Josh was, the couple of us who spoke to him about spiritual matters could not say that he was even a follower of the Lord or had given his life to Christ. So many obits, when talking of the life of the young deceased, boldly proclaimed their love of the St Louis Cardinals; hiking and hanging out with friends. There is nothing wrong with that. I have yet to see one this year, of the dozens and dozens, that said "So and So....a firm believer in Jesus Christ, who loved and followed Him, and looked forward to meeting Him one day in heaven..." or similar.
This is a horrible reflection on the churches of the today...a horrible reflection on not just the church leaders of today, but the youth pastors of the past generation. They gave up our young people to the world, and an eternity of hurt without a fight. They give them up to the culture and political correctness and eventually eternal separation from God, because they did not take the time or energy and spend the money we gave them in the offering, to disciple these young people. They went ahead and built buildings with it, instead of the Body of Christ.
My close brother and fellow author, bi-vocational pastor Mike Henderson summed it up best of all here "The last three generations are nearly all lost when you look at percentages. Nearly 75% of all people never have had any affiliation with church or any religious activity. 15 % go to church once a year and 10% regularly. That my fellow saints is from the 2010 census for the city. Very sad. It is century one all over again and just like breaking new ground everywhere. We do not have the luxury on 3/4ths of those we witness to of building on another's plantings. Best to brush up on sharing Christ from scratch and pray for God to give the increase. Little by little we will take this city back from the lying stealing deceiving and perilous clutches of Satan's minions of death!"
Amen brother Mike, let us resolve - you, Mike and all of us, to do just that! Start teaching even 30 and 40 year olds, the basic truths and facts of just WHO Jesus Christ really is!!!! Amen!