I have known two consistent soul-winners who had an exceptional burden for lost souls. One was a man who came to know Christ in his late forties. He sold his business, entered the ministry, and witnessed constantly. I’ve seen him in tears and in prayer for someone he knew needed Christ. The other was a simple, quiet, but genuine man who spoke often about how heavy his heart was for those headed for eternal punishment. He sacrificed financially to print and distribute well over 7 million gospel tracts, and he did so even in very poor health. Neither of these men ministered to lost souls to boast to others about how many they lead to Christ. They quietly, and humbly, went about the work of sharing the gospel, therein giving Christ the glory.
Quite probably there was no other mere man who had a greater burden for lost souls than the Apostle Paul. His testimony was, “…I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Romans 9:2-3). Note that he said he “could” wish himself accursed, not that he did. Paul knew that his soul, like that of everyone in the Dispensation of Grace who trusts in Christ, was eternally secure. Taking someone’s place in the Lake of Fire is simply not possible. Paul had such a heavy burden for the lost that he could contemplate such a scenario. It was this burden that motivated Paul to go into hostile synagogues to share the gospel, to suffer the perils of dangerous travel and assassination plots to further spread the offer of salvation through faith in Christ, and to work tirelessly for years. What produced this kind of burden? He knew that every soul who dies without Christ would be cast into the Lake of Fire to be tormented day and night forever (Revelation 20:15). He knew those in the fire of eternal punishment will have no rest day or night for all eternity (Revelation 14:11). He knew those in hell will experience an intense burning torment that is hard to fathom, especially since it will never end. The only solution was to reach lost souls before they stepped into eternity.
At least mentally, we should take a tour of a hospital burn unit to witness the suffering. Then we should pray for a greater burden and consistency to share the gospel with lost souls.
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