After learning the gut-wrenching news that a severely injured (the line of duty kind) colleague had passed on Saturday night, and not yet having seen a shred of evidence or information about whether or not he died knowing Christ as Lord and Savior (it should be abundantly clear and not some kind of bogus “secret”), I was exceedingly disturbed. In fact, God, no doubt, woke me at 0330 yesterday (Sunday) morning pressing me on the issue. The feeling I experienced/am experiencing is nothing short of anguish.
The dictionary defines anguish as severe mental or physical pain; agony; excruciating suffering. At least to a degree, I think that this is exactly what I’m dealing with. And I truly believe it is purposeful–something that God has laid on my heart to share with you all in this dire time.
Anyone who knows me understands I have three great callings in my life: my service in law enforcement, my call as a godly husband, and my call as an evangelist (EVERY Christian has this latter calling — 2 Timothy 4:5). And this latter call extends both for the lost (unsaved) in general but also for our own in law enforcement (ours being a true mission field inasmuch as a truly saved officer is most definitely an exception rather than the rule).
Frankly, I have no time to play games or “play nice” (I’ll leave that to others). And anguish is an accurate description of both my calling and what I experience to some degree whenever an unsaved officer goes down in the line of duty, takes their own life or makes it to retirement but dies having refused to surrender in faith to Christ as Lord and Savior (meaning they died without a saving faith).
Interestingly, anguish is also an accurate description of what our Savior felt as He approached His torture and crucifixion. Anguish over what? Anguish for the lost, anguish over our sin, anguish over the horrific physical and mental pain to come, and anguish over those who rejected Him then and reject Him still. As He prayed in the Garden, His anguish was so severe that he actually sweated blood. Luke the physician—writing under the direction of the Holy Spirit in Luke 22:33—accurately describes the physical effects of Jesus’s suffering as He struggled to obediently accept what was to come: “Being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground”. Here we may encounter what has come to be called hematohidrosis, a rare but documented physical reaction to extreme stress: the bursting of the capillaries under the skin so that blood comes through the pores.
So, what does this have to do with my own anguish? Over what should really be the anguish of every Christian and every Christian officer. Yes! Where is your anguish? Anguish for your unsaved brother and sister officers who currently destined for hell unless they “repent and believe” (Mark 1:15) in Christ alone for their salvation. And where is your anguish for living “all in” for Christ? Or your anguish for our lost nation?
Without a doubt, we would run through fire to save a fellow officer who had called for backup or had gone down. And we mourn terrible as the loss of a fellow officer (even those we may not know personally). But so very few (tragically) have that same “Code 3” (lights and siren) sense of urgency for their eternal souls.
Accordingly, and in keeping with this concept of anguish, I am pressed to share fellow evangelist David Wilkerson’s (now with the Lord) famous message that he too entitled “A Call to Anguish” as he preached from Nehemiah (someone who also experienced anguish) about a year after 9/11.
As I’ve shared so often (just about every study, in fact), our service and so-called “good deeds” as police officers will not save us! Jesus—God in flesh—was and is emphatic: none of us are “good enough” to get into heaven or to escape an otherwise just eternal sentence in hell unless we are first born again in Him alone (John 3:1-21, 14:6). As Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our service and so-called 'good deeds' as police officers will not save us! Jesus—God in flesh—was and is emphatic: none of us are 'good enough' Click To Tweet
Friends, Bro. Wilkerson’s call is one I share as well. And I too am too old (and there is not enough time) for anything but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the Truth. The life and death kind of truth. Please—even if you just listen to the short version—take it in and allow God to move you to anguish in these last days (with powerful application for cops and civilians alike).
And here, as I get ready to close, is just a small part of Bro. Wilkerson’s message that hit me (and should hit you), right in the mouth:
“Does it really matter to you that your unsaved loved ones are dying and getting closer and closer to the end? Does it really concern you? They could die and go to hell, even though you’re a lover of Christ? Where’s the anguish? Where are the tears? Where’s the mourning?”
Finally, and in keeping with the anguish God put on both David’s heart and mine, if you are reading this today and have yet to truly repent (yes, repent) of your sin and surrender in faith (Mark 1:15) to Christ alone for your salvation, I implore you…do so now . Friends, tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us. Yet, out of love, God’s desire is that none should perish but rather that all should come to repentance and faith (2 Peter 3:9). Will you do that? If you’ve yet to surrender in faith and say “yes” in repentance and faith to Christ as Lord and Savior, I implore you to make today “the day of your salvation” (and know I’m here to help).