The following story is taken from a sermon preached by the famous evangelist Billy Sunday:
I will never forget one time in a town in Illinois when I was leaving the tent where we were holding meetings. Among those who went out last was a young man to whom I was especially attracted by his keen, bright appearance. I walked down the street with him, and we engaged in conversation. Presently I put to him the inevitable question, “Are you a Christian?”
“No, I am not.”
“Father and mother alive?”
“Father a Christian?”
“I don’t know; he is a steward in the [local] church.”
“Is your mother a Christian?”
“I don’t know; she is superintendent of the Sunday School in the same church.”
“Have you a brother or a sister?”
“I have a sister.”
“Is she a Christian?”
“I don’t know; she teaches in the primary department in the Sunday School.”
“Do you have family prayer in your home?”
“Ask the blessing at the table?”
“Has your father or your mother or your sister ever asked you to be a Christian?”
The tears trickled down his cheeks as he answered, “Mr. Sunday, as long as I can remember, neither my father, mother nor sister has ever asked me to be a Christian.”
Certainly that young man had a right to say, of his own flesh and blood, the mother whose breast he nursed, the father whose name he bore, and the sister he loved, that they didn’t care for his soul.”*
We say we care, but our actions speak louder than words.
How much do you care that souls are going to Hell?
The Apostle Paul wrote:
I tell the truth in Christ. I am not lying, my conscience testifying with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing pain in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers’ sake, my relatives according to the flesh… (Romans 9:1-3).
Sidney Lanier, the great Georgian poet, died at the age of thirty-nine. He said, “I have a thousand unwritten songs in my heart.” When we come to the end of the way, must we also say, “There are thousands of things which I should have done for Christ, but now I must leave them unfinished.”**
*Curtis Hutson, ed. Great Preaching on Soul Winning, (Murfreesboro, TN: Sword of the Lord Publishers), 1989.
**W. Herschel Ford, Sermons You Can Preach on John, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1958) p. 329.
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