Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Words to Winners of Souls

Several months back I picked up a booklet that had been on my desk for a long while. As I read, the words on the page prodded and poked at me. Although written in the mid 1800s, the words were timely and fresh. The author, Horatius Bonar (1808-1889), wrote with great conviction and insight. It is apparent that this Scottish 'shepherd' loved the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and also had a love for those who were perishing without Him. Bonar did not promote the sort of programmatic fluff that is labeled evangelism today. He advocated a heart-level, relational type of ministry that was common among pastors of a bygone era.

Here is a brief passage from the opening chapter: "We take for granted that the object of the Christian ministry is to convert sinners and to edify the body of Christ. No faithful minister can possibly rest short of this. Applause, fame, popularity, honor, wealth - all these are vain. If souls are not won, if saints are not matured, our ministry itself is vain."

I commend Words to Winners of Souls to every Christian minister. You must purchase this book and read it soon. Certainly, it is a book that all Christians should read. Indeed all of us have been charged with the task of sharing Christ. We need to be reminded of our duties, of the urgency of our task and of the lostness of the world around us. Graves are being filled with the unconverted, and the Church for the most part is standing by paying lip service to the gospel and evangelism. God help us!

I find that my days are tangled up in a multitude of tasks that have nothing whatsoever to do with reaching the lost with the truth of God's grace in Christ Jesus. I suspect the same is true for you. We must live with a greater sense of urgency and a deeper love for those around us who are not in Christ. Our Lord has commissioned us to be engaged as 'winners of souls.'

1 comment:

Thad Noyes said...

Thank you for this, Jon.