All For Nothing


The young men take the stage

the children gather to listen

an epic story is to be told, for sure

of foes subdued

of challenges conquered

of the secret to their victories

The people walk away happy

like children fed candy, they will return

and return

and return

The young warriors take to the podium

swords in hand

as if ready to fight

but it is all a show

for the enemy lies within their hearts, still

ready to deceive

ready to poison

ready to kill

The people walk away excited and sure and ready to follow

in the footsteps of the young warriors

for they know not where this path leads

its end, they cannot yet see

"All for nothing!"

said the man whose treasure was burned

"All for nothing!"

said the woman whose children perished

"All for nothing!"

at last, said a young warrior

as he surveyed the masses

and wept

This summer

like many summers past

you will hear the thrilling tales

of two young men

who will offer you what may simply be termed an inoculation

This summer

like many summers past

you will be told that you can have it all

success, prestige, worldly acclaim, wealth, your best life now

and eternal life

This summer

like many summers past

you will be challenged to believe

that love of the world and love of God can co-exist in your heart

that what Jesus commanded is hard — but not so difficult nor impossible as some say

This summer

you will be presented with a false message, a half-truth

that will inspire you, but not save you

that will instill within your soul a love for the things you should forsake

you will be asked to work hard, where Jesus would call you to come and die

This summer

the cheap "gospel" is being sold in your town

the kind that offers you the world, not Christ in His fullness

the kind that promises life, without death

the kind without a real, rugged cross which you must carry and upon which you must hang

This summer

you are being invited to join the company of those 

who hear not God's Voice

who speak of His Will but do it not in full when He requires that which is truly difficult

who pay little for what little they have and yet charge you for what God said should be free

This summer

for the low, low price of $30-40 

you can be inoculated against that which would require your life, but save it

or for free you can pick up a Bible and read it

take up your cross, let go all other loves, answer the call of the One who requires your all

Many, I know

would rather pay a few dollars than give everything right down to their very life

for the "same 'gospel'"

who would buy a "product" for $500,000,000 when it's being offered for $40 by well-dressed traveling salesmen

unless they knew that one would save their life and the other was only worth as much as it cost

"All for nothing!"

the people said

who finished their race first, second, third place

only to find themselves in hell

only to find that they had run the wrong race

"All for nothing!"

the man said

who had once inspired others to do their best, to try their hardest

for all his efforts now proved useless, worthless, and empty

without the love that believes, counts all lost, grasps the rough wood of that inimitable torturous cross, obeys the Voice of the One who calls, follows, bleeds, hangs, dies, and declares it freedom

Copyrighted material, used with permission.