Concern for SoulsBro. David Chancellor
7/29/2007 11:00 AM
Confess your faults one to another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Elijah was just like us, but prayer had an effect for Elijah. It can work for us, also. Prayer should be important to us. Elijah was a "man of like passions." We should be passionate about something – the things of God. We should be passionate about the cause of God. It should matter to us.
1 Kings 19:9-10
And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
Elijah prayed that it wouldn’t rain. He was stirred enough about the Israelites not following God that he wanted whatever it took to cause them to make a decision. The answer was no rain. He had to put his own case in the hands of God. We should care enough for souls that we are willing to go through things for their sake. We can take our cares to God, but there should be times when something greater stirs us. God has designed it where we can put our cares on him so we can focus on what really matters. Elijah wanted the people to see the choice they were making for what it was. We should want people to be awakened out of a life of sin. We should be moved by their condition to pray.
Romans 9:1-5; 10:1-3
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Paul was concerned enough for these that he was willing to suffer so they could get what God gave them. We don’t have to be accursed for others to be saved, but we should care that much. We should want others to know what we’ve found.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, nor the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
As Noah built the ark, people were indifferent to what was going on. They weren’t focused on serving or pleasing God. It’s a problem when man has no focus on the things of God, especially when they claim to be serving God. Now is the time to be stirred about souls. Our prayer should be "whatever it takes." There should be something more than just daily life.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side. And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee, and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought: Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the peoples ought to destroy him. And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.
These people couldn’t see what God had provided for them. People today have the same problem. They’re pursuing temporal things and missing out on the really good things. Trouble was ahead for these and they rejected the answer that stood before them. Jesus cleaned out the temple because he knew it wasn’t what God intended it to be. When he had it cleaned out, he began to heal and help people. He turned it back into a place of prayer; a place where God was felt and needs were met. We need to come to the place where we can pray, "Whatever it takes." We should get stirred about this. We need to care about souls.