Vol.VI No.III Pg.3
May 1969

The Greatest Tragedy

Robert F. Turner

Some tragedies surpass others. The death of an only son is a tragedy of tragedies, yet it is not the greatest tragedy. I remember sitting with parents whose son shipwrecked his faith and became an atheist. In tears his mother said, I could have buried him easier. I did not doubt it. I could have found more words of comfort at a grave than in such circumstances.

Look at the greater tragedy — the lost soul. There is nothing but a certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (Heb. 10:27) It means to be banished from Gods presence (2 Thes. 1:7) to a demons hell. Mans most terrible experience describes the anguish. Not one pleasant thing is found there — not even a drop of water for a parched tongue. The degraded and outcasts, the heartless and oppressors, the arrogant and hypocrites are its inhabitants. And there is no escape — no end — no relief. Such thoughts stagger the imagination, but a lost man is NOT the greatest tragedy!

The greatest tragedy is to be lost and content. A man who knows he is lost and is disturbed over his prospects will not stay lost. Jesus died for him. Teach him the truth and such a man will obey. Angels and men will rejoice. It is far different with the lost man who is satisfied.

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Prov.16:25)A man feels he is right — is satisfied with his religion — as he contentedly walks to his own destruction.

For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace. peace: when there is no peace. (Jer. 8:11) It is healing like giving a diseased man some tranquilizers and telling him he is fine. He needs to know his condition so he can seek help.

Some brethren cant understand our concern for them, — after all, they are not worried. Come back we cry. but he echoes Judahs words, Wherein shall we return? (Mal. 3: 7) Preacher, what are you talking about? Return? We havent been anywhere. He is perfectly satisfied to he half-hearted though it nauseates the Lord. (Rev. 3:15—) View the greatest tragedy — lost and content.

Others know the truth, know their life is wicked, know the blessings of faithfulness and the wages of sin. What can you say? He knows your pleas before you say them; he has voiced them himself in times past. He tasted the good things and deliberately embraces the world. It is impossible to renew him to repentance (Heb. 6:l) — the greatest tragedy.

I reason with my religious neighbors; they are insulted. You think I am lost. No matter what I think, are you lost? Religious folk can be lost and feel safe (Mt. 7:21—). You may be an admirable person — even a zealous church worker, and yet be lost. Such commendable traits make the tragedy of your being lost the more lamentable. What a shame you should be content to be less than a Christian — that is the greatest tragedy. Joe Fitch