“Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep” (Rom. 13:11).
My brethren, receive a loving word of exhortation from one who feels his own great need of what he desires to inspire in others. If we believe the word of God, we must believe that very many of our acquaintances and neighbors are fast going on to eternal condemnation. What, then, should be our attitude toward them? No angels hold a commission to preach the gospel. No voices from heaven wake the dead. We alone have this trust, this blessed privilege, committed to our charge.
The apostle Paul said, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). He believed too certainly what he preached, his doctrines were too great realities, heaven’s glory was too bright in his eyes, and hell’s torment too vivid for him to be turned aside by the many devices of Satan.
If we believed hell to be a fable, and heaven an old wives’ tale, God’s love to man a hollow invention, the Cross of Calvary a worthless tradition, then our lukewarmness would be accounted for. But this is not our case. We are not infidels but Christians, who for ourselves believe as Paul believed, but whose faith bears little fruit. There is a fearless self-appropriation of all God’s promises and blessings with this quiet renunciation of responsibility toward the lost.
All Christians should make the gospel known; one in private, another in public, one by writing, another by preaching. All should be at work, warning every man to flee from the wrath to come. To those who watch for the eternal interests of their fellow men there are a thousand means by which the great and blessed work of winning souls may be done. Show me one whose heart is set upon this blessed service, and I will show you one who never lacks opportunities.
May we all be more alive to the solemn realities of eternity. “He that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).