She stepped out from behind the bus and into eternity, a truck ripping her from the two children safely behind the bus. The young mother’s lifeless and crushed body lay in the road.
The driver spit out the window and cursed her stupidity. My missionary friend jumped to his feet. “There are little children back there, and now they are all alone. We can not just leave them!” People all around him jeered, “Why do you care? They are not your children.”
For years the missionary had dreamed, planned, studied and prayed, so as to give the Good News to this unreached people high in the mountains of China. Now on this first journey this young missionary was thrilled to find the whole bus filled with the people group to whom God had called him. Sitting down he was overjoyed to hear the chatter of a language he would soon learn…
With the squeal of tires and the horrible death, all fantasies were destroyed. Far from being “cute,” far from being endearing, these people were mean, monstrous and insensitive. They were heathens. How else should those who have been under the brutal rule of the Kingdom of Darkness for hundreds and even thousands of years behave? These are the lost.
In Psalms 142:4, David is in despair and darkness and cries out, “No man cared for my soul.” Around our world tonight I hear this cry over and over. Millions, about whom no man cares, groan in darkness and despair.
These millions live among the unreached with no one to pray for them and tell them about Jesus. Sadly, many Christians who are “saved,” have a “ticket to heaven”, and “fire insurance,” do not care about the souls of the lost.
I read in a newsletter that it is impossible to maintain passion for the lost, and that we should not even try. Furthermore, it implied that ministry flowing out of compassion is mere “humanism.”
What a beautiful contrast Jesus is! It was His very passion for souls that brought Him from heaven to earth; His passion for souls motivated His compassionate activity (Luke 19:10). His care for souls pressed Him to a rough cross where He surrendered His life to save the lost. Jesus looked upon the multitudes, the helpless, hopeless, and hurting people, and His heart was moved with compassion. Though they spit and mocked and murdered Him, He gave His life freely out of a heart of love. Surely we who claim the Name of Jesus should desire the same heart for sinners that motivated our Savior!
Our love for the “heathen” is about an inch deep, and they will quickly bleed us dry of all human compassion. But that is where the love of Jesus is so far beyond imitation. As His love flows through us, we are made capable of laying down our lives for cruel and hateful…lost people.
It is possible for us to experience Jesus’ self-sacrificing care for others’ souls. But our enemy will do everything He can to prevent that. His objective is to cut us off from our Head, who is Jesus, and in doing so effectively cut us off from His passion. In this separated condition, of course we cannot think like He thinks. Of course we will not be moved by the world’s needs, feel compassion for the multitudes, because we are cut off from His great heart.
Without being intimately connected to Jesus, we will not care for their souls. True passion for and connection to Jesus enables us to keep caring out of the bottomless depths of His heart, not the shallow pool of human concern.
Count Zinzendorf, the leader of the great Moravian missionary movement, was emphatic, “I have one passion, one passion only; it is Christ!” Out of this singular fixation flowed true passion for souls that sustained them and empowered them to heroic levels.
Henry Blackaby, the author of Experiencing God, stated it correctly, “To stay intimate with Him is the success we need in missions … to reflect His heart is only possible if we have His life blood flowing through us. The only one who has the kind of passion that makes a difference in others is God, and the person who wants to have the heart of God laid over his or her life will experience a passion for souls.”
Jesus gave us not only the message to deliver, but He also modeled the method! He lived with the people, sharing their lives of joy and sorrow, laughing deeply and crying with those who mourned; He was truly engaged.
Sadly, many are content to throw some tracts at the lost and hope they are literate, or finance a plan to beam a satellite image of some televangelist on a golden throne and hope tribal folk will convert. Living, crying, suffering, enjoying, befriending and laughing is the plan Jesus lived and asks us to follow.
There is One who cares for their souls. We do not need to maintain or stir up our passion for the lost. He is the source of true, life-sacrificing compassion. We need to maintain our connection with Him! And as His life flows through us, we will have His compassion for them. As we give our lives completely to Him, He will again lay His life down for them. There is One who cares for their soul, and He lives through us.
By the way, the young missionary stayed and the Church was planted. Today that people group has over 55,000 believers.