Our burden.

The Christian carries a “burden.” We look around us at the unspeakable atrocities and carnage of humanity and cry out in despair to God. When we speak out about the fruits of sin, we find that the world contends with us. The unsaved suffer horribly with the disease of sin and yet refuse the cure.

One fruit of a sinful world is a system of law that eliminates any reference to God, who is the final authority, the one whose laws are perfect and just. When a nation forsakes God’s Moral Law, it produces erroneous judgments. But as desperate as things seem, God can “do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (see Eph. 3:20). He allows us to see iniquity for what it is so that we might be driven to prayer and see Him fulfill His wondrous purposes.

Habakkuk 1:1 The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw. 2 O Lord, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, Violence! And You will not save.3 Why do You show me iniquity, And cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; There is strife, and contention arises.4 Therefore the law is powerless, And justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore perverse judgment proceeds. 5 Look among the nations and watch Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you.

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In hell for 5 minutes.

“Most Christian ministries would like to send their recruits to Bible college for five years. I would like to send our recruits to hell for five minutes. That would do more than anything else to prepare them for a lifetime of compassionate ministry.” William Booth

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Springs of the sea.

“Modern deep-sea-diving cameras have discovered amazing hot-water vents on the floor of the oceans. These thermal vents release huge amounts of mineral-rich, super-heated water springs in the darkness.” Richard Gunther

“There are four main points in this matter that the Old Testament affirms. First, the Old Testament asserts positively that springs do exist in the ocean [Job 38:16]. The source of this knowledge claims omniscience and is allowing that omniscience to be tested by scientific investigation of the ocean floor. Second, the undersea springs are said to have been established at the earth’s creation [Psa. 33:6,7]. Third, the Flood of Noah is claimed to have been caused, at least in part, by an unusual activity of ocean floor springs [Gen. 7:11]. Finally, springs are mentioned so we can marvel at the wisdom and power of God [Prov. 8:22,28].” Steven A. Austin, Ph.D. 

Job 38:16 Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths?

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Eternity in the heart.

God has placed eternity in the hearts of humanity. The Adamic race is unique among creation. We crave immortality, but that craving for many is silent until faced with a terminal disease. That’s why we must remind sinners that they are part of the ultimate statistic—ten out of ten die—and plead with them to listen to the claims of the gospel of salvation.

“The longest time man has to live, has no more proportion to eternity than a drop of dew has to the ocean.” D. L. Moody

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

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Overcoming our fears.

We overcome our fears through love. The Bible says that perfect love casts out all fear. Think of a firefighter. He’s up a sixty-foot ladder. In front of him are a mother and two children, clinging to each other in a window on the fourth floor of a burning building. Flames are licking at the terrified family. If he doesn’t rescue them, they will certainly die. Would he rather be home spending time with his wife and kids? Of course he would. But he ignores his fears and he denies himself his own legitimate pleasures because he is thinking of that family’s terrible fate. Love consumes his fears.

The Bible likens Christians to firefighters: “And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude 22,23).

2 Chronicles 20:15 And he said, Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but Gods.

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Accusing God of wrongdoing.

Skeptics often point to this passage and accuse God of wrongdoing. However, God didn’t sanction this incident. The Bible is filled with strange, foolish, and wicked acts of men: Lot foolishly offering his daughters to homosexuals, Jephthah’s rash vow (see 11:30–34), and many others. These incidents were not instigated by God, but were recorded for our instruction (see 1 Cor. 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16), so that we wouldn’t make the same foolish mistakes.

Judges 19:23 But the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, No, my brethren! I beg you, do not act so wickedly! Seeing this man has come into my house, do not commit this outrage.24 Look, here is my virgin daughter and the mans concubine; let me bring them out now. Humble them, and do with them as you please; but to this man do not do such a vile thing!25 But the men would not heed him. So the man took his concubine and brought her out to them. And they knew her and abused her all night until morning; and when the day began to break, they let her go.26 Then the woman came as the day was dawning, and fell down at the door of the mans house where her master was, till it was light.27 When her master arose in the morning, and opened the doors of the house and went out to go his way, there was his concubine, fallen at the door of the house with her hands on the threshold.28 And he said to her, Get up and let us be going. But there was no answer. So the man lifted her onto the donkey; and the man got up and went to his place.29 When he entered his house he took a knife, laid hold of his concubine, and divided her into twelve pieces, limb by limb, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel.30 And so it was that all who saw it said, No such deed has been done or seen from the day that the children of Israel came up from the land of Egypt until this day. Consider it, confer, and speak up!

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Planting seeds.

There may be times when you do not see any fruit for your evangelistic labors. You are planting seed in the hearts of sinners but it seems that no one is being born again. If that is the case, consider this verse: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).

Keep planting and don’t be tempted to revert to using the methods of modern evangelism to get “decisions for Christ.” That may make you rejoice because you think you are seeing fruit, but keep in mind that while we may rejoice over “decisions,” Heaven reserves its rejoicing for sinners who repent (see Luke 15:7), and repentance is God-given (see 2 Tim. 2:24–26). Sow in tears, and you will reap in joy—in God’s time.

Genesis 16:2 So Sarai said to Abram, See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children.Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her. And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.

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