We have probably all heard this phrase used before. In a movie or TV show, some macho guy is at the end of his rope. There is little or no hope left. He can see that the odds are stacked against him, and it is certain that his doom is imminent. He looks around at his side kick (if all have not already abandoned him or been laid to waste themselves…)
and says, “I’m ready to meet my maker…” or words to that liking. He then utters his last words by gritting his teeth and spitting through them almost under his breath just loud enough that all the remaining survivors of the apocalypse he has found himself in can hear, “but if I’m gonna die now, I’m going to take as many of them with me as possible!”
In theaters or even in the quiet of our home, these scenes make men stand and offer a robust rebel yell. We cheer for these men as we now have cemented them in our minds as Metal of Honor winners in the making. We know they are going to die, they know they are going to die, everyone watching the movie knows they are going to die. But with every kill-shot that drops his enemy one by one, we cheer all the louder. He runs through the crowded field of combatants, hades-bent on killing our hero, only to be beaten to the trigger or knife. In the end the numbers are just too great, and as expected, the defenses can’t hold and our hero falls. Tears come to eyes, and hats come off heads. We mourn the loss of such a mighty, fearless man. This is a man who put principal ahead all else. He believed in the mission he was given to the point he was willing to do anything to accomplish it. This man put others in front of himself. He stood immovable against the enemy, and fell fighting the good fight.
I do not write this prose to make a political statement. I do not write it to make folly of real world heroes. I do not write this to suggest that we do not honor such fighters as these. On the contrary. I write this so that I might submit to you, that you too can be such a hero. Not for country. But for Christ.
Allow me to draw the full analogy.
In the story above, the hero knows his death is certain. Yet he battles on in order that he might kill as many of the enemy as possible before he himself comes to the end of his days. His reasoning for killing as many as he can before he dies, is that if he must die, it is better to destroy as many of the enemy as he can in order that those who follow him might be spared of facing such great odds. He fights so that others might live. Or at least live a better, safer life.
As a Christian, we should have a common desire with the hero above. Our desire must also be to take as many people with us when we go as possible. Not to death, but to life.
We may not know what our hero is fighting for, but we know that he holds with great conviction, that for which he is fighting. If he did not, he would not be willing to die for his cause. As a Christian, we know what we are fighting for. We are fighting for the eternal lives of those people who have rejected Christ as their King. Because of such, it is our calling to live with similar convictions as our hero . Just as the death of the hero was imminent, so too is our physical death. But more importantly is the spiritual life or death of those people around us whom we do not know are saved. Once we have obtained salvation by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, in spite of the fact that our physical death is certain, so too is our life eternal. Our life eternal is just as certain as the death of our physical bodies. But what should compel us to fight with the same convictions and drive as our hero, is the sick feeling we should be getting when we meet someone, only to shortly thereafter realize that they are separated from Christ and destined for eternal separation from God and just punishment for their sin.
Hence the title, “Take ’em With You“. We fight not to see that those who fight against our King (as all those who reject salvation in Jesus do, consciously or otherwise…), but rather to win them to Christ, to take them with us if you will. In this case it is not a fight of self-survival, but rather a rescue mission; a rescue mission that we are willing to go to any lengths for to see that those around us are saved. Our comfort, our safety, our desires and privileges must be laid aside so that the message that we have been entrusted with by God can be delivered, and that we might save as many from death as we can.
If we are confident of our reservation in heaven, and we know the consequences of not having such a reservation, why would we not give all we have to take as many with us as possible? Our commission is not just to make converts, but to make disciples. Let’s use the same valor as our fighting hero to make this happen. Spare nothing to follow the calling of God in your life and your ministry. Like our hero soldier, take the sword of the Word, and yield it with the power that it has. Do not compromise the truth, do not water down the Word, and do not cower from those who oppose it. Rather, run forward into the spiritual battle. Run as if you are going to win the race. Remember it is the love and respect and honor that we have for Jesus who made this all possible for us that is our driving strength. The motivation is to save the lost, but the power is of the Holy Spirit.
Listen, we all know we are going to die. And knowing that this is true, fight the warrior fight, and take as many with you as possible. Paradise can never be too crowded.