Summary: The greatest concern of hell is soul winning; the greatest joy of heaven is soul winning; the greatest responsibility of Christians on earth beyond our personal relationship before God and our families is soul winning.
TITLE: SOUL WINNING
Luke 16:27-31 – The greatest concern of hell
Luke 15:1-7, 10 – The greatest joy of heaven
Mark 5:18-20 – The greatest responsibility of earth
These three things are really one and the same. The greatest concern of hell is soul winning; the greatest joy of heaven is soul winning; the greatest responsibility of Christians on earth beyond our personal relationship before God and our families is soul winning.
The Greatest Concern of hell
The rich man in hell had 2 concerns: (1) That maybe someway he might be relieved of his awful suffering. Abraham of course assured him that there was no way that he could ever be released. That tells us, that once a man dies, his character is fixed forever. When a man dies there is no second chance, there is no parole there is no reprieve, there is no appeal. His character is fixed forever. This man did not love God on earth; he didn’t love God in hell. He didn’t repent on earth, he couldn’t repent in hell. As a man dies, so he remains for all eternity. (2) This second concern overpowered the first. Since I cannot get out then I want you to make sure that somebody wins my 5 brothers so that they don’t come here. This man loved his 5 brothers on earth and he still loved them in hell.
Some have foolishly made the statement, “If I go to hell I will have plenty of company.” The truth is that people in hell don’t want anymore company. They don’t want anybody else to come and especially members of their own family. So he said I want you to do something to see that my 5 brothers get saved so that they don’t come where I am. What kind of place is hell if the people who are there don’t want to see anyone else come to that terrible place?
So we must conclude that the greatest concern of hell is for Christians on earth to win sinners so that they don’t go to that terrible place. The greatest concern of hell is soul winning.
Why is it that he now has such an interest in his brother’s salvation when he didn’t have that concern when he was on earth? It is obvious, he is now finally convinced that there is a judgment to face. He now knows from personal experience that there is a burning hell for men to spend eternity in. That knowledge made him want to see his brothers saved above everything else. Obviously he did not fully believe that there was a judgment to face when he was on earth or he would have been concerned about his brother’s salvation on earth.
I have a question to ask you now. Why is it that a majority of Christians especially in the U.S. are really not interested in winning people to Jesus Christ on a personal basis? The answer has to be that we have reached the time that we are no longer really convinced that there is a judgment to face and a place where people will spend eternity in hell. We know it as a doctrine, we accept it in theory. We say we believe it because the articles of faith teach us that we are supposed to believe it. But in reality, if I believe that a man is going to spend eternity in a burning hell I cannot meet him day after day and not do anything to try to keep him from going to hell. If every Christian could go to hell for 5 minutes and then come back we would evangelize the world in 5 months because then we would be convinced that there is a judgment and a place called hell.
There has been a shift, we are more concerned about the present than we are about eternity. We tell people how to live on earth today instead of how to live for eternity. We are more concerned about getting people to see what God can do for them now than what He can do for them in eternity. Don’t misunderstand me, God is interested in His people today. God does want you to make it through. But God is far more interested in where you are going to live in eternity. The main interest of Scripture is not on today but eternity.
The Bible says 10 times as much about hell as it does about heaven. There is a reason for that, because God wants to keep us reminded that there is a burning hell and that we will be soul winners if we are convinced of it.
Until you are convinced that men are lost and going to hell you will never be a soul winner.