A Passion for Souls
Escape for thy life! (Gen 19:17)
Last Sunday we saw the eternal torments of hell. And the topic today is, “A Passion for Souls.” These two subjects are linked together. When you see the eternal torments of hell as multitudes are heading for the lake of fire and they will be tormented forever, then how can the believer have no feelings for the lost, no passion for the lost? You have to be inhuman not to have any sympathy and to snatch the souls from the fires of hell.
If a blind man is heading towards a great pit, you will have sympathy and you will stop whatever you are doing and run towards the blind man before it’s too late, you will shout and scream and run towards him and save his life from falling to this great pit. Why it is human to save life and it is inhuman if you do not care.
Now those who are not Christians have sympathy for others who are in danger and they even give their life to save someone, how much more the believing Christians should have a passion for souls who are perishing daily and going to hell. Will you not tell your neighbors, relatives, friends and others of the danger of hell and the eternal torments? Will you not cry out to them, pray for their souls daily, witness to them?
Those who truly love the Lord, who are living near to Christ, will have a holy passion for souls that are perishing. Love is at the very root as it was the love of God that moved him to send his only begotten Son to save us from the wrath, from the fury of hell.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
God saw a believer and his family living in Sodom. But God is just about to bring destruction to that whole city, but there is an elect of God, a believer living in that wicked city. What did God do? There was action. The angels came down to earth to rescue Lot and his two daughters and the command of the angel was urgent as he said, “Escape for thy life!”
People on this earth are eating, drinking, enjoying the earthly pleasures, going to work, doing business as usual as if they will live till an old age and retire, not knowing any time their life will end, not knowing that they are on their way to hell. Multitudes died on Sept 11 as twin towers came crashing down with fire and explosion. No one knew it was his or her last day on earth, no one knew of the terror that was going to come. If they only knew one hour before they would escape for their lives, yet no one knew.
Jesus gave us the greatest commandment to obey.
Matthew 22:37 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
If we really love our neighbor, we will want to share with him the message of salvation in truth.
You Christians believe the word of God and know that there is hell and many are heading towards it. It is your calling to act in love just like how God acted in love sending his Son from heaven to save your life, you too will act in love by reaching out to those who are perishing proclaim the gospel to them. Tell them of God, sin, his wrath that is coming to all those who are living in disobedience to God, tell them of your freedom from sin, love towards God, your peace and the joy of salvation.
On the other hand, we see the worldly churches and the cults are busy in bringing people to a false gospel. The ministers of Satan are diligently working hard with the false gospel. The popular evangelistic phrase you will hear today is “God loves you and he has a wonderful plan for you.” This comes directly from the pit of hell and the sinners are not convicted at all of their sins, they do not see how they have committed a crime against God but they are offered eternal life without any convictions of sin.
The worldly Church is drawing multitudes with entertainment, drama, one of the qualifications for the pastor is that apart from the word of God, he need to be witty, humorous, draw a crowd. We are living in a generation where churches are packed to hear the false gospel, the preachers are popular and they preach a popular gospel to attract the world, the attraction is to sugar coat the gospel, don’t be too hard on them or else they will leave the church. Do not preach sin, do not explore sin, just be mellow on sin, speak of love all the time, speak of unity and peace all the time, speak to the flesh not to the soul. Just give them what they like to hear. Pulpits are packed with soft pussy footed, comedians who wanted to tickle the crowd, make them laugh, give them candy for the soul. Father of Lies enters the pulpit as an angel of light. Multitudes are following the devil to the lake of fire. As multitudes are not saved and they are deceived thinking, they are saved!
George Whitefield before preaching said, “I did not come to tickle your ears but to preach to your soul!” Many are deceived as they have received another Jesus who will only give them bear hugs all the time, they see Jesus only as a lamb but not as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who will come to judge the world. We need to show the sinners not only the bright diamond of the gospel but also the two edged sword.
John the Baptist, the last Old Testament prophet, crying out in the wilderness, multitudes came to him, he did not say the modern phrase we hear today. “God loves you, he has a wonderful plan for you, just repeat this prayer after me and you will be saved!” Instead, he said;
Luke 3: 7 He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”
When Jonah arrived at Nineveh to preach repentance what was his message? Did he say, “People of Nineveh, God loves you, he has a wonderful plan for you, repent of your sins, say this prayer after me and you will be saved.” Instead, the message from God was in opposition to our nature, God put the words in Jonah’s mouth to cry out to the people saying, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” The message was judgment and the wrath of God.
Lu 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
The heart of the fallen man is hard, you cannot sprinkle chocolate syrup on it, but need to be ploughed and break with the double edged sword of God so they will be convicted of their sins.
John Own the great puritan theologian said which I am going to paraphrase; those who were bitten by the serpents were healed by looking to the brazen serpent, which Moses made. First, one have to be bitten by the poisonous serpents, and then they will look up to the brazen serpent to be healed. Unbelievers need to be bitten, realizing they have sinned against the holy majestic God and the wrath of God is coming then only they will look for mercy and grace to be saved. How we need to point sinners to the Savior Jesus Christ.
John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
Acts 1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
There is an urgency to preach the gospel. We cannot do it without the power of the Holy Spirit. There is a part of a hymn, which says;
“Holy Spirit, dwell in me, I, myself would holy be.”
How true this is, God cannot use an unholy vessel for his glory, first we need to be separated unto God to be used by him. Then the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth; you will feel the power of God’s truth. The power of the Holy Spirit is moral power. We are going to a world of ungodly, wicked people and we need God’s power to witness to them, only God’s power can raise the dead and open hearts to the gospel.
The Holy Spirit will give us this moral power to witness, power to have courage, power to be calm not to get into the flesh, power to be confident in God, power to be patient, power to suffer in love, power to endure perseverance and to have a burning zeal. Moses was slow in speech and Jeremiah was only a kid but it was God who gave them the power.
You are to witness, the word witness is to what already has been revealed in the Bible and not to make up your own gospel. The doctrine you have learned from the Bible, that was preached and taught by the apostles is what you are going to witness. Apostles never told the unbelievers, “God loves you and have a wonderful plan for you.” They never told people to repeat a prayer after them to be saved. We are witnessing Christ and what is written in the Bible.
In order for you to have a passion for souls, there has to be a sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed to come to this earth, so you need to sacrifice your time in reaching out to the others. A dear brother in Christ whom I have never seen been hearing our sermons through internet, he is from Indiana, U.S he wrote to me last week saying, “With no alterations to your message, I assume it would be ok to burn CDs of your past Sunday’s message to distribute, thanks Nick, I appreciate you and your ministry. Then when I replied to him saying our goal is to give the gospel free to all, he replied again saying, “I thank you for the MP3s, downloaded all of your 1 John series, thought that might me a good place for a regular Bible study.”
Yes, brothers those who are listening in the internet all over the world, you are welcome to make copies of MP3 cds and use them for God’s glory, and we would love to hear from you.
There is a sacrifice in witnessing. Spurgeon said, “I have often heard of the natives in Africa say of the Missionaries, “These men must believe a true religion or else they would not come here to die for us poor black men.” The blood of the missionaries becomes the seed of the church.
We Christian should weep our souls in secret places for the sins of our relatives, friends, neighbors and others, as we need to have a feeling, a passion for souls. Remember God announced Judgment to Judah through the prophet Jeremiah but they refuse to listen to Jeremiah.
Jer 13:17 But if
you will not listen,
my soul will weep in secret for your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears,
because the Lord's flock has been taken captive.
True Christians who have a passion for souls will shed many tears in their prayers as they see their loved ones, friends, neighbors and others are heading for the lake of fire. Apostle Paul was called by God to witness to the Gentiles, yet he had a passion to win his own.
Ro 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
Remember Moses when he came down from the Mount Sinai with the two tables of the Ten Commandments, he found the people in a grievous sin as they were worshiping a golden calf they have made, what did Moses do? He fasted and prayed for them of their wickedness.
De 9:18 And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
You who are Christians, who love the Lord, cry out to him in prayer for passion for souls, passion for the lost, bringing the gospel of grace to those who are lost at any cost. We are to tell them that they are sinners and how they can flee from the wrath of God and how God can pardon their sins through Jesus Christ, yes tell them the story of the cross and our blessed Savior.