Luke 19:10 (NLT) For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.
William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army in 1865) received a vision from God in which sinners were drowning in a raging ocean and slipping into eternal perdition as they shrieked with terror. Just then, a great mountain emerged in the sea, depicting Calvary where Jesus Christ paid for the sins of humanity. Around it was a platform where rescued sinners, spared by Jesus from the tumultuous waves, were now carrying on as Christian believers.
What astonished Booth was how little these Christians seemed to care about trying to rescue the sinners who were drowning around the platform. The drowning men and women were in the same plight from which the Christians had been rescued. While some did make attempts to help (i.e. the men in the rowboat, the person throwing a life-preserver, and a man reaching out his hand to pull someone up to safety), the vast majority seemed to be distracted by the everyday affairs of life.
In the above painting (going from left to right), we see a man with a fishing pole – presumably trying to help, but being ill-equipped and accomplishing no good whatsoever. Next is a woman in contemplation (perhaps about how to help). Her mere thinking about the situation without taking action, results in her doing nothing. Others are distracted by business ventures. A young couple in love contemplates marriage. Friends discuss the latest news. A man on his phone engages in important conversation, while others are too busy with their hobbies of painting and music. Others enjoy fine meals, discussing their busy lives and their future plans. Finally, a man is shown lifting weights, seemingly more concerned with the well-being of his own flesh over the souls of the lost.
The painting is appropriately titled, “Who Cares?” Every day, souls are perishing in their sins and slipping into hell. Is anyone trying to help in the Lord’s great rescue of mankind? Or are we indifferent?
Oh Lord! Help us to care about lost souls and to rescue them from hell!