There is a saying here in Paraguay, that goes something like, “if you can survive August, you’ll live another year”. We realize that isn’t really true, as people die year-round, but this year August was a time where we saw six people we knew pass away in a span of just a couple weeks.
One was the Susana, the wife of Roberto, one of the Chamacoco pastors. When I talked with him afterwards, he shared with me how she calmly faced death, knowing Christ, trusting Him, and where she was going. Such a contrast to how death was faced among the Chamacoco, not that many years ago.
Most of those we’d known who died, were believers, and are now with Christ. But what of those who had never trusted in Christ? The Bible is pretty explicit, and it’s not good news.
I recently got a chance to share a little about that, at a church that was preparing to serve as a Host Church for Bill and Debby Abitz and three of their kids, who were preparing to join our team here in Paraguay.
When I asked those present if a person who had never heard of Christ or the Gospel would go to heaven when they died, not surprisingly, a few said yes. That opened the door for the opportunity to share from Romans chapter 1, and other passages, where Paul clearly states that all are separated from God by sin (Jew, Gentile, and even someone who has never heard) and that though mankind can see there is a God (His power, authority, and divine nature – Rom. 1:20), that knowledge can’t deal with sin or save us.
Paul goes on to explain, that that’s why Christ came. To pay what we couldn’t and that salvation only comes through a knowledge of Him. That, I was able to share, is why the Abitz family was coming and why Laurie and I are here… to join the team sharing that good news with the least reached people groups here in Paraguay.