Rushing into a Perishing City

by Nov 30, 2023

One of my new neighbors spent some time living in Arizona years ago. She eventually reluctantly followed family back to New Orleans. Before I introduced myself, she already knew that we were relocating because she noticed our Arizona license plate. She asked, “What in the world made y’all want to move back here?!” Her question wasn’t unwarranted. I was glad she asked. It gave me the opportunity to briefly talk about God saving me and how the city’s greatest need is the gospel message.

As we’ve met local New Orleanians over the past month, almost every interaction has brought an opportunity to share why we would leave safety, family, friends, possessions, and comfort all behind in Arizona for what the locals know is a harder life in New Orleans. Life is dangerous and difficult here. So people’s confusion about our eagerness in coming is, in some sense, understandable. But their confusion is also a telling indication that they have no idea of their present, greater spiritual danger.

Imagine you woke up in the middle of the night to sirens blaring, surrounded by flames, hardly able to breathe because of the dense smoke. If, all of a sudden, firefighters burst into your room to grab you and bring you out to safety, you wouldn’t be confused at all about their coming. In fact, the very last question on your mind would be, “Why in the world are you here?!” You would know exactly why firefighters were present and you would welcome their help.

“Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you,” says Ephesians 5:14. People here who are still dead in their sins are like those asleep in a house engulfed in flames. They don’t understand why we would come to New Orleans because they don’t  even know they’re in danger. They don’t know they need rescuing. But we do. We’ve been rescued, awakened, and resurrected with Christ. So, now, we get to run back to New Orleans — a perishing city — with good news about a great Savior who is eager to rescue any who would come to Him.

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