Summary: We have a obligation to the lost world.
The Peril of the Soul
As the God of heaven looked down on a sinful race, knowing the many perils to which people were exposed, he was moved by his grace and mercy to the extend that he gave his only Son to die on a cross that people might be saved.
As Jesus beheld the needy multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them. He experienced a suffering pain in his heart because he saw them as distressed, despairing, defeated, doomed, and diseased by that fatal malady called sin.
When Jesus looked down on the city of Jerusalem, the Scripture says that as he behold the city, he wept over it. These were not the tears of a sinner filled with remorse or of a defeated conqueror or of one who felt sorry for himself. Jesus was weeping because of the spiritual condition of people, because of the blessings they were missing in the here and now, and because of the eternal destiny of their souls. He recognized the dangers to which they were exposed, and he wept because of their refusal to be saved.
Jesus sought to impart and to instill within the hearts of his disciples his own compassionate concern and burning enthusiasm for the salvation of unsaved people. He warned them against the universal tendency of people to put off until tomorrow the task of today by saying, “Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then come harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
Paul permitted the yearning compassion of the Savior for lost souls to invade every compartment and to fully captivate his heart. Paul considered himself to be under the burden of an oppressive debt to a lost world made up of Greeks and barbarians, wise and unwise, Jews and Gentiles – a debt that could be paid only by the proclamation of the gospel, the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. It was he who said, “I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself where accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:2-3). “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved” (10:1). He also said, “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Cor. 9:22). Because of this compassionate concern for a lost world, Paul could say, “Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Phil. 1:20).
Through the centuries when people have permitted the compassion of Christ for unsaved souls to permeate and saturate their hearts, the church has been blessed, souls have been saved, the citadels of evil have been stormed, the moral standards have been raised, and God’s work has moved forward in a mighty way. On the other hand, when the disciples of our Lord have ignored the perils to which the souls of people are exposed, their compassion has been chilled and their evangelistic zeal has died, and the church has suffered a stroke, resulting in paralysis.
Indifference on the part of our members, and a cold, compassionless, and complacent ministry in the pulpit are the mud that hinders the wheels of the gospel and the redemptive process. Lack of concern for souls is often the result of a preoccupation with private interests. Many permit themselves to be lulled to sleep by the promises and comforts of materialism. Consequently, in many instances, evangelism has been put on the side track instead of on the main track. The so-called disciples of our Lord have joined the cult of comfort and found themselves a cushion of which to relax instead of bearing a cross for the salvation of the lost world. We have become executive officers on the Lord’s sitting squad. We have made of our churches cold storage plants instead of power stations.
Indifference concerning the perils facing our unsaved friends is inhuman, unnatural, and unchristian. Indifference and unconcern often grow out of ignorance or forgetfulness. Again and again we need to remind ourselves of the perils the unsaved face in order that our hearts might be filled with compassionate concern so that we might be compelled to go out and proclaim the gospel of redeeming love.
So this morning I want us to look at five different perils the unsaved will face.
I. The unsaved face the peril of being forever lost because of the fatal malady of sin.
a. Jeremiah said, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9)