But if I say, “I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,” then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it (Jeremiah 20:9).
A preaching brother recently asked me how to light a fire of faith in ourselves and in our brethren to evangelize and to have a love for souls. He observed that the how is harder than the what, and he is certainly correct.
Our marching orders are in the Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15-16). For several years I taught the church growth class at the Nashville School of Preaching. I learned that many churches have no strategy for taking the gospel to their community. Many haven’t even kept records of baptisms, restorations, their growth, or their loss. They worship regularly but have had little thought about winning souls for Jesus. Many sermons are crafted for the saved with little thought of the lost and dying souls or exhorting us to evangelize.
Before Paul wrote to Timothy to fan the flame of his gift from God (2 Tim. 1:6-7), he reminded Timothy of the “sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well” (1:5). If we believe in the cross and in the resurrection, we believe in a hereafter and a judgment. Our faith will not allow us to remain silent about sin and salvation. Peter and John said, “we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20; cf. Jer. 20:9). Fire in our bones arises from faith!
We need to revive our sincere faith, to have a deep conviction of what we believe and why. The Lord has called us to deny ourselves, to take up our crosses daily, and to follow Him. Let us put away a spirit of timidity and renew a spirit of “power and love and self-control” (2 Tim. 1:7). Let us not be afraid to preach with love the distinctive nature of the one gospel, one faith, one body, or one baptism. When we preach the truth in love, we will win souls!
The Lord be with you,