Author: James Appiakorang || President, Mercy Train Missions Ministry
Death is not always a bad news, at all.
Infact sometimes even a pastor can pray for a peaceful passage for a relative or a church member.
In the Bible, we see that even though Mary the mother of Jesus Christ and other loved ones grieved over his death because they saw it as a tragedy, it was and has been a gain to all humanity.
The tragedy occurs when the death occurs while the ‘victim’ was not well prepared for eternity (meaning he died without committing his/her life to Christ Jesus, the Lord).
To die without knowing Christ is a disaster no man should be a victim of. Jesus Christ painted a very vivid picture of what happens to such a person in his parable in Luke 16.
Luke 16:22-24 KJV
 “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame”. [emphasis added].
Look at the conclusion of the verse 24: “…for I am tormented in this flame.” This is a real tragic end!
I do not have statistics to prove but it appears to me, that the death rate in the past decade keeps increasing than it used to be. People are now dying in tens and hundreds in small communities monthly. And this, to us at Mercy Train Missions, gives cause for concern. The cemeteries are getting full, and people in some parts of the world are forced to accept cremation.
See, it is full with lives that could have been saved, full with people whom the Lord could have used to save, shepherd or impact other lives.
Why we’re worried
Our passion is to see people get saved, not necessarily live long. Long life on earth could be a bonus. After all, the real life is what we experience after leaving this earth; living forever whether in flames (hell) or in joy (heaven). Hence we are worried because:
1. Unfortunately, many preachers seem to now focus more on acquiring material substances which to them, signifies blessings, than preaching what Jesus asked us to preach, which the Apostles very well did; the Kingdom of God. See Luke 4:43, Acts 28:30-31.
2. The world seems to be running at a faster pace than it used to, leading to rampant miserable deaths, and the church (the watchman) appears to be in a snoring state, adamant of the numerous people heading towards hell…including some who are with us in the church. There is therefore the need for the church to arise and also speed up.
3. Many Christians seem to be busily chasing after material gains, at the expense of working out their own salvation with fear and trembling.
Mercy Train Missions is not in anyway against acquiring material gains but we are guided by the advice Jesus Christ gave in Matthew 6:30-33 KJV
 “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [emphasis added]
4. Even worst, there are still Christians who have allowed themselves to be misled by the deceitful ‘once saved, forever saved’ doctrine due to their itchy ears and desire to satisfy the flesh.
I heard the story of a preacher who held a crusade and only one person gave his life to Christ. And that one person was Billy Graham. Years after that this man Billy became a great Evangelist holding the biggest crusade ever in world history and winning millions of souls to Christ.
Again, many people in the Ashanti region of Ghana (West African country) have also heard of the story of the late Evangelist Amoako. He was a street boy and chain weed smoker, committing all sorts of crimes.
Then one day during an outreach by a preacher, he was convicted and surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The street boy Amoako then grew in Christ speedily and became one of the greatest Evangelists, even till now, that the Ashanti region, and Ghana for that matter, has ever seen.
Now, imagine if that first preacher did not hold that crusade and Billy didn’t get saved there. Imagine if that preacher didn’t reach out to street boy Amoako with the gospel. What would have happened if these preachers also focused on enticing, deceiving or stealing members from other churches, while ignoring the thousands perishing without Christ.
Now many pastors are no longer even holding crusades, many haven’t preached about repentance in a long while, and the church…even the church is filled with sinful members, talk less of the streets. We know that every healthy church shall always have ‘babes’ which signifies growth and outreach rate, but when members who are several months and years old still behave as babes and unrepented persons, then the church has a lot of work to do, and this we must do with all compassion and diligence.
Let us Arise. Christians around the world, Arise.
Let us arise onto the mandate whereof our Lord gave us in Matthew 28:19-20. We were not tasked to go around the world amassing wealth for ourselves but amassing souls for Christ Jesus our Lord. Every other thing that comes along is bonus. Let us not lose sight of the main target and chase the bonus.
Arise dear believer, Arise.
The writer, James Appiakorang is the President of Mercy Train Missions Ministry. He is a pastor at House of Faith Ministry, Jesus Haus branch (Achimota).