GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 654 • June 24, 2021
YOU NEVER MENTIONED HIM TO ME
2 Corinthians 5:10-11, 14-21, and 6:1-2
The title of this essay is the title of a song by James Rowe that we sing infrequently: YOU Never Mentioned HIM to ME. The song has some questionable concepts, but it causes one to think about his present position and his present activities with regard to the lost. It is not really a song about judgment. It is no doubt intended to encourage evangelism, sharing the gospel of Christ with others while there is still time and opportunity, especially for those who do not yet know Him or have not yet obeyed Him. Whether or not the author intended it, it is painful to sing if we are honest and sincere about the condition and destiny of others and our desire to see them saved and safe in Christ.
The first verse and the chorus will make many of us feel guilty – we will want to change the subject, sing about how Jesus loves us rather than question how much we love Him and others, and whether or not we are actually active in speaking for Him and about Him to others who need to know Him. It may also be painful because it forces us to examine our own relationship with Him and whether we are properly involved in carrying on His mission: To seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).
This song does raise some interesting questions. It is about evangelizing while you still have ability, time and opportunity.
Do you ever give serious thought to what it will be like in the day of judgment, when all persons from all times and places on earth, from the beginning to the present, will be gathered before the Lord for judgment? What would you say to others at that time – assuming that you would be able to say anything to anybody? You probably will not be waiting in line for a one at a time judgment, not conversing with others, not listening to the questions, commendations or condemnations of others, or even reviewing in your mind what you will say when your turn comes. In light of 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 the whole final scenario – the Lord’s coming, the resurrection, the end of the world, the judgment, and the transference to heaven or hell – will take place in an instant, the blink off an eye, one brief moment of time. We will not be congratulating the saved or commiserating with the unsaved. We will be focused intently upon what is going to happen to us personally and individually. Let us look carefully at the song and its message.
When in the better land before the bar we stand, how deeply grieved our souls will be,
If any lost one there should cry in deep despair, “You never mentioned Him to me.”
All will appear at the judgment seat of the Lord together (Matthew 25:31ff, Romans 14:10, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Revelation 20:11-12) – no one will miss that final gathering. There will be no “evangelizing of the lost” at that time. Judgment will be immediate and final for all; the results will be eternal (Matthew 25:46). The scripture does not speak of accusations brought against the saved by the unsaved (for example; negligence, silence, failure to speak out to the lost, etc.). But what a disturbing and distressing thought when one’s own conscience tells him that he never mentioned Christ to (some of) the lost when the opportunity presented itself. Knowing one’s “loved ones” died without Christ, perhaps without even having heard about Him, would be especially painful. It is painful enough when they pay no heed to your pleading, no matter how hard you try to tell them. But how much more painful when you know you have not tried to tell them.
O let us spread the word where e’re it my be heard, help groping souls the light to see,
That yonder none may say, “You sowed me not the say – you never mentioned Him to me.”
The word needs to be spoken – spread everywhere, and not just where it has already been or is being spoken and shared. The speaker desires to prevent the possibility that anyone can ever say, “You never mentioned Christ to me.” There are always some – perhaps only a few – who are struggling to find the light of God’s truth, who would obey the gospel if they heard it. Since we cannot know who they are (except in those rare cases when they tell us or contact us with a request for information), the best approach is to tell everyone. The sincere truth-seekers will obey it.
A few sweet words may guide a lost one to His side, or turn sad eyes on Calvary,
So work, as days go by, that yonder none may cry, “You never mentioned Him to me.”
Sometimes it only takes a little extra teaching, a few words of encouragement to point people to Christ and/or persuade them to obey him. Whether they obey it or not has to be their own choice – we cannot choose for them. Your choice and mine, as Christians, is to speak or not to speak about Christ. Will we or will we not mention the Christ by name, share His gospel, His message and mission, point the way to God through him, shine the light of his love and his word upon others?
You never mentioned Him to me. You helped me not the Light to see.
You met me every day, and you knew I was astray.
But you never mentioned Christ to me.
With some – those we see day by day, those we know have gone or are going astray from the Lord – we have to make the choice to speak or not speak more than once. We may have to make that choice daily. We may have to speak up frequently. Perhaps every day. Don’t let them die untold if you can prevent it – tell them. Whether they listen or not, whether they respond properly or not, tell them.
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS
A question about those who do not speak up for Christ and about Christ to others: Is it because they are shy, frightened, embarrassed, or fearful of rejection? Is it because they are unconcerned, indifferent, unloving? Perhaps they are simply lazy. It may be that they are not convinced that the lost are actually lost, or that they could be saved by hearing and obeying the gospel. Perhaps they are not convinced that the saved can also be lost if they refuse to tell others (1 Corinthians 9:12-27 – note especially verses 16 and 27).
A question about those who hear the gospel but do not obey it: Are they not convinced that they are lost until they obey Christ? Perhaps they are not convinced that Jesus Christ is the only Savior (Acts 4:12, Hebrews 5:9). Jesus Christ has certainly been mentioned to you. What will you do with Him? Will you accept and obey him, and then become a true servant for him?
Where would you be if nobody had ever mentioned Christ to you?
What if you had never seen or had access to a Bible, especially to what is called the New Testament of the Bible, the gospel of Christ?
What if you had been looking, searching, hoping for and wanting to find the effective way to God, but could not find it? Suppose you were confused by the myriad gods, goddesses, and religions, the plethora of sacred writings and paucity of supporting evidence for all of them. Suppose you come to the final end – as we all will – still searching but unsatisfied. What will the answer be for you? Do you ever think about that? The answer for you will be the same as the answer for all others, including the ones you could have told, should have told, but didn’t tell. Have you thought about that?