The Passion for Souls
By Oswald J. Smith
Every church should spend more on missions than it spends on itself. That is only logical. If we believe that world evangelization comes first, then we should invest more money in the regions beyond than we use for ourselves here at home.
Mt. 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God (the extension of God’s kingdom world-wide). Seek His kingdom first and all the rest will be added unto you. His program never fails
We teach the children to give for themselves. From the time thy are five or six years of age, they are taught to give systematically. Then when they grow up we have no trouble with them. They have learned how to give.
The work of missions is far too important to hand over to any one organization. It belongs to the whole church, and when everyone catches the vision and everyone does something, then our goal is reached and our budget met. Our motto is, “Every Christian a missionary.” It is the work of the whole church
World-wide evangelism is too important to be put in a budget. You will have to pull it out of the budget and put it on the platform where the people can see it.
All you have to do, you see, is to give the whole church the vision and when each one becomes a systematic giver, the problem is solved.
It is no light thing to be a watchman. “His blood will I require at thine hand.” The Supreme Task of the Church is the Evangelization of the World. What are you going to do about it?
Compassion is not pity. Compassion is love in action. Are we moved with compassion? If we are we will do something about it.
What are you going to do? Either you must go yourself or else you must send someone in your place, and woe to you if you do nothing. God’s orders must be obeyed, His commands carried out, and there is no way to evade the issue.
When you have seen the vision, you cannot be satisfied doing anything else. The urge will come upon you, you have seen the vision. “This is what I exist for. I am a pastor second; I am a missionary first. I must do all I can to find and send a substitute.”
The Next Towns –
Christ: “I must preach in the next towns for therefore am I sent.” He was ever mindful of “the other sheep.”
Paul: “the regions beyond”. He, too, realized that the Gospel had to be taken to “all the world.”
There are churches, hundreds of them, that have become mere social clubs, and if the Church of Jesus Christ does not awaken and give the Gospel to the whole world, what happened to Africa will happen here. The light that shines farthest, shines brightest nearest home.”
The field is the world. Why not complete the work in the homeland before going to the foreign field?
Why did David Livingstone leave Scotland and go to Africa
Why did William Carey leave England and go to India
Why did Judson leave America and go to Burma
Why did the Apostle Paul leave for Europe before Palestine had heard the Gospel
There is only one answer and the answer is what is found in the Bible: “the field is the world”
The example of the Bible
The example of Christians in the past like mentioned before as well as Peter, John, Paul, etc
The example of the world – the tobacco firms are already sending their missionaries into foreign world. They want new markets and they are wiser than we are, for that after all, is God’s plan and we would do well to emulate them. It has never been God’s will that we should remain at home until the work here is finished
Are you sad that you are still a heathen or are you glad that Paul left his home, that someone gave you the Word as well.
Some churches do not even go fifty-fifty. They do not send as much to the foreign field as they spend on themselves
Why should everyone hear the Gospel twice before everyone has heard it once?
Why the haste? Why the hurry? Why not take our time? Why not do it later? Why must it be done now? Because it is now or never. The harvest will not wait. There ma be another, but this harvest will be lost, and lost forever.
This means that the one and most important work of the Church is to give the Gospel to the whole wide world in the shortest possible time.
When Juese left His disciples, nearly two thousand years ago now, He gave them but one task; namely, world evangelization. I can imagine Him talking to them something like this: “I am going to leave you and I will be gone for a long time. While I am absent, I want you to do just one thing. Give this Gospel of Mine to the entire world. See that every nation, tongue and tribe hears it.” As a matter of fact we have done everything else except the one and only thing He told us to do. But the one and only thing that He did tell us to do is the one and only thing that we have left undone. We have not given the Gospel to the entire world. We have not carried out His orders.
There are 626 tribes in New Guinea, 521 in the South Sea Islands, 350 in Africa, 300 in South America, 200 in Australia (Aborigines), 100 in India, 60 in Indo-China and 60 in the Philippines. Hence, at least 2,000 tribes are still waiting in the darkness and midnight gloom for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
But how are they to be reached? Only by the young people of our churches, our Bible Schools and our Seminaries. It is the young who can go.
The world must be evangelized. Our only hope is in the young people. Unless they go, the job will never be done for no one else can do it. God is calling the young. The youth of our country must respond.
We are to work both fields – both the home and foreign, together (Acts 1:8)
I would rather spend money any day on the publications of foreign booklets than on those in the English language.
What would you do if you should see ten men lifting a log and if nine were on one end and one on the other? Where would you help? Why on the one end where the one was lifting, would you not? Need I say more? It is the foreign field that needs our help most.
Three different groups – senders, prayers, goers – all three are necessary
This then is the most important task of the moment – to finish the unfinished task
It is not what a man has in his head, but what he has in his heart, that counts.
It is the study of the Bible that is most important. All other subjects are of secondary importance. God forbid that we should lose the vision.
A Christian worker should never become a hermit
A Christian must not only be a student, but always active in service
Missionaries are God-made.
Mass evangelism is God’s most effective method even in foreign lands.
Acts 14:21 – wherever he went, “he preached and taught”
We all want to do His Will and we know that there is nothing nearer to His heart than the evangelization of the world.
God will be no man’s debtor. “Give, and it shall be given unto you.” You cant’ beat God giving. “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that witholdeth more tha is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”
You just cannot get away from it. It is one of the unchangeable laws of God. You square with God and God will square with you. You give to God in days of prosperity and God will give to you in days of depression. You withhold from God in days of prosperity and God will withhold from you in days of depression. If you faithfully give to God you will never find yourself in the bread-line. Just why it works like that I do not know, but I know it does.
You are either laying up treasure in Heaven or upon earth. Everything you have you must ultimately lose. Everything you invest in the souls of men, you will save. You are going to enter Heaven either a pauper, having sent nothing on ahead, or as one who is to receive an inheritance, made possible by contributions laid up while still upon earth.
Are you in the bucket brigade or are you merely a spectator
Have you given yourself? Have you given your children? Have you given your prayers? Have you given your money? Have you given anything? What have you done for those in darkness and midnight gloom?
Will there be anyone who will recognize you except a few of your own relatives and friends or will there be a man from China, etc who will thank you for making it possible so that one can go tell him about Jesus
God never told sinners to come to us, He told us to go to them
The truths of the Bible do not need to be defended; they only need to be proclaimed
Proverbs 24:11-12 – if thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death;….
The evangelist is like the doctor, he brings the baby into the world, but no one would ever expect the doctor to remain and take care of the child. That is the follow-up work which must be done by the parents.
Evangelism will fill any church. I have proved it again and again and it will fill it week after week and year after year.
I cannot, for the life of me, nderstand how any minister can be satisfied to preach a Gospel sermon and then pronounce the benediction and go home without ever giving the people to whom he has preached, an opportunity of accepting Christ as Saviour there and then. A lawyer is out for a verdict and a minister should be as well, for God has promised fruit and it is the privilege of the minister to reap as well as to sow.
But it is not very long, if God’s people have been set on fire, before the children of satan will gather around the fire. Nothing attracts like fire. So it is with revival. When the church is truly aflame, the world will see it and be attracted by it. The Psalmist cried, “wilt thou not revive us again.”
Is it not true that God does more in a few weeks during days of revival than in years through the ordinary channels of church work?
For when the church ceases to evangelize, it will fossilize
Today’s Christians think it nothing to forsake the Lord’s house – they are casting a vote to close the church for the summer months, for as soon as everyone does it, the church will have to close its doors
Two farmers – one takes a look at his fields and sys to himself, “I would like to have a crop this year. However, it is none of my business. There is nothing I can do about it,” and with that he goes into his house, sits down in front of the open greate fire and prays for a crop. The other farmer says, “I , too, would like to have a crop this year and there is a great deal fro me to do. I am sure I can have one if I do my part.” He goes to work. He ploughs the ground. He harrows and rolls it and then he plants the see and after he has done all that he knows is necessary, he then looks to God to send the sunshine and the rain and with perfect confidence, looks forward to the days of harvest.
If then revival depends upon us, if we must meet the conditions, if we must pay the price, then what are the conditions, what is the price that must be paid?
It is because there is so little travail today that there are so few souls saved. Finney took a pray-er, Father Nash – and when Finney was preaching, Father Nash was praying; William Bramwell agonized for some thirty-six hours in a sand pit without food, for the souls of men. All God’s servants, right down through the centuries, have travailed in prayer. Those who know how to travail, know what I am talking about, for soul travail is part of the price that must be paid for revival.
The five subjects to preach on in revival – sin, salvation, heaven, hell, judgement.