The Compulsion from the Heart
Every saved person this side of heaven ought to be vitally concerned about every lost person this side of hell. Paul had this concern when he said, "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" (Rom. 9:2-3). Notice Paul's burden was great, continual and in his heart.
Great soul winners have had a great concern that men receive Christ. Philip Doddridge said, "I long for the conversion of souls more sensibly than for anything besides. Methinks I could not only labor but die for it with delight." David Brainerd said, "I cared not where or how I lived or what hardships I went through, if only I could win souls for Christ. While I was asleep I dreamed of these things; when I waked my first thought was of this great work."
My wife had the joy of leading our five-year-old five-year-old son to Christ. That evening he wanted to write a letter to his friend in Pensacola. He would tell us what to write, we would print it out and he would copy it. First he said to write, "Dear Billy, I am saved." Then he continued, "I want you to become a Christian too." The first thing on his heart was that he wanted his buddy to be saved too. This has been the experience of many believers.
What happens to this burden? The answer can often be found in a principle given in Matthew 25:29: "Unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.: To those who were given talents and had put them to use, God gave more; but from the ones who had not used what He had given them, He took that which they had. So it is with a burden for souls: use it or lose it. Often Christians are stirred up to witness but then allow fear or laziness or plain disobedience to keep them from their task, and soon they lose their burden. Dr. L. R. Scarborough said, "Winning one person creates the hunger for more, and on it goes until the soul winner is consumed with a burning passion to win others to Jesus Christ." Paul had this burden: "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel."