A Burden for the Lost

I came that they may have life and have it to the full. (John 10:10b)

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:36-38)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

One of the things missing in much of today’s Evangelicalism is the simple burden for the lostness of people without Christ. Methods of evangelism have changed in the West and the less confrontational and the more congenial methods are more effective. In the West people resent trying to be scared into the kingdom of God with threats of eternal damnation. So we have become more gentle and persuasive-like - which certainly does reveal a Christlike spirit. And it is also very much in line with the apostolic examples of how they preached to the Gentile world.

Yet we must still maintain the inner awareness that without Christ people are lost and hell-bound. All of humanity is guilty of sin and falls short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). All of humanity is under the curse of eternal separation from God - “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The extraordinary steps that Christ undertook for our salvation - coming to death, dying on the cross - make no sense whatsoever unless mankind truly is hellbound. We are only saved by the grace of God in Christ, through faith, and not through ourselves or through our works.

So we must keep this understanding before our minds and our hearts. Not every person on earth is a terrible person in his general social behavior. Lost people can appear on the outside to be quit decent folks. But the sin problem cuts across the hearts of us all, and we still are unworthy to enter into eternal life in our own righteousness alone.

And no one will find his truest and highest potential in life apart from knowing Christ as Savior and Lord. These are the thoughts we must keep before us - not in arrogance or self-righteousness, for we are also merely saved by grace. But in humility and love and in a sense of responsibility - as one hungry beggar who has found food telling other hungry beggars where they might find it.

Let us pray that Christ would give us a burden for lost people. The sustaining power of the Spirit to bear witness is not only seen outwardly by the power to preach and share and witness, but also by inner burden that, like Jesus, was moved to compassion upon looking at the crowds in the world.

_______________________

21 Days of Prayer for IBC Stuttgart
Day 9: Sharing the Gospel

The second of the core values that the Vision and Mission Team identified in 2008 is:

We encourage people to find their God-given potential through a personal relationship with Christ.

This recognizes that no one can find his truest and highest potential in life without a personal relationship with Christ through faith. This means that we share the gospel and encourage people to trust in Christ. It means that we help new believers to grow in the faith.

The world is lost without Christ. People are living in spiritual darkness without shepherd for their soul and without knowing the true spiritual life of Christ. We need to develop this same burden that Christ felt for the lost to know Him.

• Pray that the Lord may put on our hearts the lostness of friends and neighbors and colleagues
• Pray that the Lord would open a door for us to share the gospel
• Pray that our church will also attract people to the church who will trust in Christ
• Pray that we may make the message clear and understandable.
• Pray that through our witness people will trust in Christ

Blessings,
Pastor David

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