Getting a Passion for Souls

What do you see when you are at the airport, market, mall or cultural event? I see people who are lost and dead in sin and facing the day of judgment. I see people who need Jesus, who alone saves and gives eternal life. I see people whom Jesus has sent us to go to, with the gospel.

Here is an article from Larry Rosenbaum’s February 2008 newsletter:

“To be a soul winner is the happiest thing in this world, and with every soul you bring to Jesus Christ, you seem to get a new heaven here on earth. I would sooner bring one sinner to Jesus Christ than unpick all the mysteries of the divine word, for salvation is the thing we are to live for.” Charles Spurgeon.

When I think about the legal battles we have faced over the years, I remember the apostle Paul. He, too, spent a lot of his time dealing with legal matters. They gave him opportunities to witness to many government leaders, but eventually they led to his death. We too must be willing to die for our faith. It is appointed to each of us once to die, and what better way than while preaching the gospel! Hebrews 11 tells of the Old Testament saints who “stopped the mouths of lions…others were tortured…they were stoned, they were sawn asunder…they were slain with the sword.”

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs is filled with stories of Christians who suffered terribly and died for their faith in Christ. At one time, Christians who were burned at the stake would testify to the surrounding crowd about Jesus Christ. The public officials, not wanting the crowd to hear them, would beat drums to drown out the message.

When I first started witnessing on the streets 37 years ago, I was living in Portland, Oregon in the winter. It rained almost every day for many hours. I stood in the rain all day long giving out tracts. Almost every night, unsaved people came to our Bible study. And several people got saved each week. In 37 years, I have never gotten sick from witnessing in the rain.

The heathen are so much more dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure than we are to the pursuit of God’s will. Seventy thousand football fans will sit in a stadium for hours in the rain or snow watching a football game. Three hundred thousand people will stand for hours in the rain watching the Chinese New Year Parade. But there are very few Christians who are willing to stand outside in the rain in order to witness for Jesus.

The apostle Paul compared the Christian life to an athlete seeking a prize for winning a race. I am amazed at the way athletes will punish their bodies in an effort to win a sporting event. Often, a football player will play, despite having the flu. Sometimes they play with broken bones. Amazing!

Sadly, most Christians no longer need an excuse. They simply refuse to witness for Jesus on the streets, to their neighbors, at work, or even to their relatives. Sadly, most pastors have given up trying to encourage the people in their churches to witness. Yes, God, revive your church! We need a genuine revival that will cause your people to zealously proclaim the gospel to a dying world! God, give us a burden to reach the lost!

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