Compassion for Souls

If you can live without souls being converted, you shall live without their being converted. But if your soul breaks for the longing that it has toward Christ’s glory and the conversion of the ungodly, your insatiable hunger shall be satisfied; the craving of your spirit shall be gratified. Oh! I would to God there should come upon us a divine hunger that cannot stay itself unless people yield themselves to Jesus; an intense, earnest, longing, panting desire that people would submit themselves to the Gospel of Jesus. 

This will teach you better than the best college training how to deal with human hearts. This will give the stammering tongue the ready word; the hot heart shall burn the cords that held fast the tongue. You shall become wise to win souls, even though you never exhibit the brilliance of eloquence or the force of logic. The Holy Ghost shall overshadow you, and your heart shall teach you wisdom, God teaching your heart. Deep feeling on your part for others shall make others feel for themselves, and God shall bless you.

For a moment, I beseech you, contemplate that which causes horror to every tender heart. Behold, I pray you, a soul lost—lost beyond all hope of restitution. Heaven’s gates have shut upon the sanctified, and the redeemed are there, but that soul is not among them, for it passed out of this world without having washed its robes in Jesus’ blood.

My child shut out of Heaven! My husband absent from the seats of the blessed! My sister, my brother not in glory! When the Lord counts up His chosen, my dear companion outside the gates of pearl, outside the jeweled battlements of the New Jerusalem! O God, it is a heartbreaking sorrow to think of this.

Can you bear to think for a moment of the perdition of your own flesh and blood? Does not your spirit flinch and draw back with horror at the idea of one of your own family being lost? Yet, as a matter of stern fact, you know that some of them will be lost if they die as they are now living. At God’s right hand they cannot stand unless they be made new creatures in Christ Jesus. You know that; do not try to forget it.

Have we done all that it is possible for us to do for the unconverted around us? 

Let it be said by each one here, “If a soul perishes, I, at least, will have done all in my power to reclaim it.”  

 

Adapted from a sermon preached Feb. 5, 1871. Work is in the public domain.