A Passion for Souls

Among professing Christians of today there is a fearful lack of the sympathy that should be felt for souls unsaved. Unless our hearts beat in unison with the heart of Christ, how can we understand the sacredness and importance of the work to which we are called by the words, “Watch for … souls, as they that must give account”? We talk of Christian missions. The sound of our voices is heard; but do we feel Christ’s tender heart-longing for souls?

We are on the very verge of the time of trouble, and perplexities that are scarcely dreamed of are before us. A power from beneath is leading men to war against Heaven. Human beings have confederated with satanic agencies to make void the law of God. The inhabitants of the world are fast becoming as the inhabitants of the world in Noah’s day, who were swept away by the flood, and as the inhabitants of Sodom, who were consumed by fire from heaven.

The powers of Satan are at work to keep minds diverted from eternal realities. The enemy has arranged matters to suit his own purposes. Worldly business, sports, the fashions of the day,—these things occupy the minds of men and women. Amusements and unprofitable reading spoil the judgment. In the broad road that leads to eternal ruin there walks a long procession. The world, filled with violence, reveling, and drunkenness, is converting the church. The law of God, the divine standard of righteousness, is declared to be of no effect.

A New Life From Above

At this time—a time of overwhelming iniquity—a new life, coming from the Source of all life, is to take possession of those who have the love of God in their hearts, and they are to go forth to proclaim with power the message of a crucified and risen Saviour. They are to put forth earnest, untiring efforts to save souls. Their example is to be such that it will have a telling influence for good on those around them. They are to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus.

Intense Earnestness Needed

Intense earnestness should now take possession of us. Our slumbering energies should be aroused to untiring effort. Consecrated workers should go forth into the field, clearing the King’s highway, and gaining victories in new places. My brother, my sister, is it nothing to you to know that every day souls are going down into the grave, unwarned and unsaved, ignorant of their need of eternal life and of the atonement made for them by the Saviour? Is it nothing to you that soon the world is to meet Jehovah over his broken law? Heavenly angels marvel that those who for so many years have had the light, have not carried the torch of truth into earth’s dark places.

Why are we not more in earnest? Why are so large a number idle? Why are not all who profess to love God seeking to enlighten their neighbors and their associates, that they may no longer neglect so great salvation? The Saviour was an untiring worker. He did not measure his work by hours. His time, his heart, his strength, were given to labor for the benefit of humanity. Entire days were devoted to labor, and entire nights were spent in prayer, that he might be ready to meet the wily foe.

Heart Missionaries Wanted

It is heart missionaries that are needed. Spasmodic efforts will do little good. We must arrest the attention. We must be deeply in earnest. The man who loves God does not measure his work by the eight-hour system. He works at all hours, and is never off duty. As he has opportunity, he does good. Everywhere, at all times and in all places, he finds opportunities to work for God. He carries fragrance with him wherever he goes. A wholesome atmosphere surrounds his soul. The beauty of his well-ordered life and godly conversation inspires in others faith and hope and courage.

When the reproach of indolence and slothfulness shall have been wiped away from the church, the Spirit of the Lord will be graciously manifested. Divine power will be revealed. The church will see the providential working of the Lord of hosts. The light of truth will shine forth in clear, strong rays, and, as in the time of the apostles, many souls will turn from error to truth. The earth will be lighted with the glory of the Lord.

Heavenly angels have long been waiting for human agents—the members of the church—to co-operate with them in the great work to be done. They are waiting for you. So vast is the field, so comprehensive the design, that every sanctified heart will be pressed into service as an instrument of divine power.

Let church-members bear in mind that the fact that their names are registered on the church-books will not save them. They must show themselves approved of God, workmen that need not to be ashamed. Work, O work, keeping eternity in view! Bear in mind that every power must be sanctified. A great work is to be done. Let the prayer go forth from unfeigned lips, “God be merciful unto us; … that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.” Psalm 67:1, 2.

— E.G. White, Review and Herald, 1/12/1911, Art. B

Historical Author

This is a republished article or book excerpt from early Adventist history. The author will be credited at the end of the article.

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