The other week, I went to a one day event called Turn Your Campus held at Biola University, a Christian college. It’s an event held every year and I have been attending since 2012. The annual event is a favorite at my church and this year did not fail to have many sign ups. The reason for the popularity (excluding the wide variety of food in the cafeteria) is the many workshops and seminars available for students. Nearly 40 workshops are offered and many of them relating to the life of a teenager. Turn Your Campus is geared toward the youth and is a large gathering of many young believers meeting and learning from each other. Each student receives a handbook and simply looks at the large variety of seminars and choose 3 to attend, with lunch offered in between. This year, the theme was “Fearless.”
One of the seminars I attended was called, “Having God’s Eyes for the World.” To be honest, I didn’t know what this was really about, but the group I was going with decided to attend this one. If it was my choice, we probably would’ve gone somewhere else. It wasn’t a seminar that particularly caught my attention. However, it was a memorable time for me.
First, the description did not seem intriguing. That was one of the reasons why I was skeptical about going. In the end, it was actually on the topic of missions around the world. There’s a section of my brain that wants to travel to different countries whether on vacation, studying abroad, or possibly missions. The speakers were two experienced missionaries that have experienced learning a different culture, living in it, and evangelizing. However, that was not the memorable part of this event.
There was a certain boy also in the seminar. When the graph of unreached and unengaged nations was presented, he asked “If God loved us, why is he allowing all these people to go to hell?” or something along those lines. Although young and inexperienced, I thought that I would give my two cents about that question since the answer given by the instructor unsatisfying. Let me first start off in saying that I have a horrible fear of being wrong. This prevents me from answering any type of question asked even if I knew the right answer. I am easily persuaded due to my lack of self confidence so if a person tells me otherwise, I would probably believe them unless I am completely and absolutely positive. So there was a lot of hesitation due to the fact that we moved on from the question and it would require me to speak to the guy after the seminar and actually go up to him. I am not a people person at all. I don’t like interactions with strangers so often, although I don’t mind when they start up conversations with me. Hmmm. Long story short (not really) there was about 10 minutes left for people to ask questions. So more hands are raised as I’m losing my chance to share until I worked up the courage to give my answer.
Before the actual answer, I wanted to mention how I got it. Wow! I know right? It must be an amazing answer if I’m building up to it using TWO paragraphs. Well, I just wanted to talk about how in the world could a 15 year-old come up with that? God’s will of course. It just so happens that our pastor was gone the Sunday before on a retreat and all his backups would not, well back us up. Instead, 4 high schoolers had to run service that day. Our pastor prepared a video for us regarding the topic of well, it’s the hottest place around! Hell. Is there a hell? The topic no one wants to talk about and the topic to stump Christians everywhere. The speaker (not positive of his name) gave quite a nicely detailed sermon on hell, and how God does not want us there. During that week, a Thursday night bible study spoke about God’s plan (something along those lines, it was awhile ago). The main points I remember was how we were all brought together at that moment someway and somehow through God’s will. The group I was with, Cru High School, is an evangelism team coming from Tennessee (I think) and were very passionate toward a calling to California. The teacher that day referenced Habakkuk 2:3.
This vision is for a future time.
It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
for it will surely take place.
It will not be delayed
Habakkuk 2:3 (NLT)
So, I guess it was along the lines of fate. It just so happens that a combination of both lessons was used that one Saturday on January 25th, 2014 in some classroom at Biola University by a 15 year old girl who just so happens to be in the same class as a certain boy with a certain question who just so happened to have been sparked by the speaker to ask some profound question. AND SO, I actually spent an extremely long time overthinking things as I always do but of course I finally said what I wanted to say.
Hell. God does not want us to go to hell. At all. It is not pleasing to him to see us there and so he created a way out. Because he loves us, that way out is available to all. Now why does it seem so selective when 1000 nation groups out there have not even been able to listen to God? But is it not true that God is working? The statistics given in the presentation earlier showed that 1,050 turned into 449 nation groups in just a year. How could God possibly not be working in that? So He is putting the way out there, putting ideas into our hearts, giving us callings. It’s US who needs to be there doing the work He prepared. I referenced Habakkuk 2:3, it was luckily (or was it luck?) that it was from Habakkuk, an extremely easy book to remember that only ended up having 3 chapters anyway so it took me 10 seconds to be able to find it, even though I didn’t remember the specific address. God’s vision is for the future and it will occur. It will not be delayed. Those 449 will soon be reached and engaged so that all will have the opportunity to know of His way out. How many people could say that they have not heard the Gospel in any way shape or form, whether from the media, atheists, or proclaimed Christians? It’s there, it’s always been there. Even if you haven’t well I’m telling you now that there’s a way out! Turned away hearts is not turned away love.
I thought about how it would’ve been extremely difficult for me to even think of anything relatively close to answering that question, if just earlier that week I hadn’t suddenly heard that sermon or learned that lesson (shout out to Brandt, Casey, Eric, Hung, and Trey). To be honest, if there wasn’t that 10 minute time period, I wouldn’t have had the guts to walk up to that guy and say “Hey, I think I might be able to answer that question.”
So there you have it, my answer. In reality, I probably only said about half of what I just wrote. So whether or not you believe me, it’s there with open arms. The pathway stretched open and all you gotta do is run toward it. Or walk. Or crawl. As long as each step is in the right direction.