Bearing a Burden for SoulsBro. Tony Chancellor
2/6/2011 6:00 PM
And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
Palsy – a disease that leaves you paralyzed with involuntary twitching. It leaves you unable to move. The four friends did this man a wonderful favor. They took him to God when he had no way to go himself.
It’s our job to bear those with spiritual palsy to God. It’s not an easy to task to bring the unsaved to God. There are obstacles in our way. [Whiteboard illustration of hindrances in the way of bearing others to God: Enemy (roof), Crowd (weariness, distractions, unbelief, time, family), Four friends = confidence, boldness, hope, and faith, man on stretcher = burden for souls]
And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words. And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.
Weariness, both spiritual and physical, has to be overcome. All of us have things to do. The more you take on, the wearier you become.
They were human, too. Will you allow weariness to keep you from bearing souls to Christ? If you allow weariness to stop you, you will never bear souls to Christ.
Will you allow spiritual weariness to stop you? You may have been praying for years, but keep praying. They can’t bring themselves to Christ. We have to be about the Master’s business. It has to be first. Care about the souls around you.
And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Peter’s goal was to go to Christ. He didn’t make his goal. He made it partway and then Christ had to come and rescue him. He got distracted by the circumstances around him.
Prayer’s goal is to come to Christ. How often do you let distractions hinder your prayer? You have to stand against distractions and focus on your prayer. The enemy will put hindrances in the way. Souls need us to keep going to God and seeking mercy for them. Nothing is impossible for God.
God won’t give you more than you can handle. Give your trouble to God and let him handle it, then pray for souls. We want Christ to come and rescue lost souls.
And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Unbelief is another obstacle to overcome. How much do you believe God can do? Do more than mention them. Really be concerned. Believe that God can do what needs to be done. Is something holding you back? The devil wants you to doubt God. God can do anything we ask of him. Too often we ask, “Will he?” That’s unbelief.
We know God’s will is that all men would be saved. What is our attitude toward the unsaved? Do we see some souls as impossible cases? Jesus can handle even the “impossible” cases.
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Nothing is impossible to God. We need to have faith. Don’t let unbelief come in and make you give up.
And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
If a burden comes to you late at night, do you pray, or do you go back to sleep? Will you let time be an obstacle you can’t overcome? When you give all to God, there are no limits to what he can ask of you. When God gives a burden, listen to God. Don’t put it off.
Sleep is needed just because we’re human. Try to take some time in your morning routine to spend time in prayer with God. Souls are important. Overcome whatever obstacles are in the way. Don’t let time be an obstacle you can’t overcome. Our society is run quite a bit by the clock. Time can be a real challenge to overcome, but overcome it.
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Family is important, but it can become an obstacle. God still has to be most important. Get your priorities right. Family could try to hinder you from praying. Family is important, but God is more important. Your unsaved family needs God and needs God to be most important to you, even if they don’t realize it. Don’t let family be an obstacle to you.
Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
As we endeavor to live for Christ, we will still have our own personalities. Things between you and others will hinder your prayers. It may become an obstacle you can’t overcome. Go to that person and work it out.
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
The enemy wants to destroy and prevent others from finding God. The enemy wants to destroy everyone. Pray for yourself and your fellow saints. The enemy will let you get close to Christ, but will prevent you from getting to Christ, if he can. Many religions let people get close to having salvation, but prevent them from having it. The judgment will still be the same. Don’t give up before the need is met. Keep going and overcome all obstacles.
It takes certain qualities to bear the burden:
Faith: You have to believe your prayers will be answered, or you’re just wasting your time.
Confidence: You have to know you can come to God and be heard.
Boldness: You may be required to say some things. That takes boldness, too. People need to hear the gospel. God may send you out with it.
Hope: Don’t let your hope run out. Hope that God will answer your prayer.
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
God tells us to bear our burdens to God. Bear the burden of others. Do you have a burden for souls? If you don’t, then ask God for it. It’s a very real need.
After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
Impotent – physically helpless. The souls we bear to Christ are spiritually impotent. “The impotent man answered him, Sir I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool…” There are souls who have no one to bring them. Our responsibility is to bring souls to Christ. People need the Lord. Are we bearing them? Bear the needs of others to Christ. Be what they can’t be. Don’t give up on prayer. Nothing is impossible for Christ.