My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.
General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, once said that if he had his way, he wished part of the final training for Christians going into the work of evangelism would be for them to dangle over Hell for twenty-four hours. It wasn’t so they would fear it for themselves, because they had the hope of Heaven. Rather, it was so they could see the reality of what awaits those who do not know Jesus Christ.
In Romans 9, Paul identified something that is essential for effective evangelism. He wrote, “With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them” (verses 1–3).
In fact, if we are lacking this quality, then everything else really is of no consequence. Paul had a God-given burden for those who did not know Jesus Christ. He cared. It burned inside of him. And in his case, it was for his own kinsmen, the Jews.
Do you have a God-given burden for those who don’t know Jesus Christ? And if you don’t, do you want one? Be careful. If you ask God to give you this burden, you may be surprised at how quickly He answers you. The results could be life changing.
As I have said so many times, God is not looking for ability; He is looking for availability. In time He will help you in your ability. He will help you in your technique. He will help you in all those things. But what you need to start with is a God-given burden for the lost.
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