How To Get A Burden To Win Souls

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning and evening, Oct. 8, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Lamentations 3:48-51

Text: Lamentations 3:51

Lamentations 3:51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.

Introduction: I want to talk to you today about “How To Get A Burden To Win Souls.” You and I would be better soul-winners if we could just stay motivated. We would be better soul-winners, too, if we had broken hearts for the lost. I don’t believe that “dry eyes” are a legitimate excuse for NOT going soul-winning. I believe that we are to witness regardless of whether or not we have a real burden. However, the Bible still says:

Psalms 126:5-6 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

I say to you that if we don’t CARE about souls, we will not win them to Christ. I say further that if we do not win people to Christ, it is because we do not care for their souls as we should!

How can we get stirred for soul-winning? Well, we are talking about the heart. If you and I want to get our hearts stirred for soul-winning, we need to recognize that what we hear and what we see affects our hearts. I am hoping that what you hear from this pulpit and from the word of God will stir you today.

As you HEAR this message, I am going to direct you to LOOK in some directions that will give you a burden to win souls. Your EYE affects your HEART:

Lamentations 3:51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.

Some people look and LUST in their hearts – King David
Some people look and LAUGH in their hearts.
Some people look and LIVE in their hearts – John 3:15.
Some people look and LAMENT in their hearts – Lam. 3:51.

That’s what we need. We need to look and LAMENT. We need to look and WEEP. Paul, perhaps the greatest soul-winner of the New Testament times, said in Acts 20:31 that he warned everyone night and day with TEARS. He said in Rom. 10:1 that he had continual sorrow in his heart over those who were lost.

Where do we look for a burden? First, I say that we should


Acts 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,

If we look at the lost, studying them,

A. We will see their confusion

  • They are blind followers of the blind.
  • They are as confused as a termite in a yo-yo!
  • They don’t have a clue!
  • They are confused about religion. They don’t know the difference between the Baptists, the Methodists, the charismatics, or the Catholics.
  • They think we are all working to get to the same place.
  • They are confused about righteousness. They think that if their good outweighs their bad, they will go to heaven. They have heard so many people call good evil and call the evil good, that they are not sure they can identify either!

B. We will see their calamities

  • Unsaved people are going through terrible times.
  • They may seem to be prospering, but they have calamities in the midst of their good times.
  • Their homes are miserable.
  • Their hearts are miserable.

C. We will see their condemnation

  • They are already under condemnation.
  • John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

D. We will see their corpses

  • The saddest of all funerals to me is the funeral of an unsaved person.
  • They have no hope, who die without Christ.
  • If you get a burden for someone at his FUNERAL, it is TOO LATE!

If you want a burden to win souls,


Psalms 39:3 My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,

A. In our hearts we see Satan’s deceptions

    • Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
  • Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
  • Satan has many Christians deceived about FOLLOWING CHRIST. We are deceived by Satan if we think we are following Jesus when we are around unsaved people all week and never speak to them about their souls. Those who follow Jesus are “fishing for men” – Matt. 4:19.
  • Satan has many Christians fooled about BEARING FRUIT. We are deceived if we thank that we are being fruitful just because that we don’t have some bad habits that others do and because that we pass out a tract or two during the week. THE FRUIT OF A CHRISTIAN IS ANOTHER CHRISTIAN.

B. In our hearts we see the Spirit of God’s desire

  • The Holy Ghost, who indwells EVERY believer(Rom. 8:9), performs two main works toward the unsaved:
    • 1. He reproves them of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and
    • 2. He reveals Jesus Christ.
  • In other words, the Holy Spirit in your heart longs for people to be saved and know the Lord.
  • If you and I will listen to the Spirit, if we will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit within us, we will have that same longing and burden.

C. In our hearts we see our own soul’s deliverance

  • Do you remember when you trusted Christ?
  • Are you glad that YOU are saved?
  • Then tell someone else how to be saved!
  • Don’t you want other people have what YOU have?
  • Don’t you want other people to have the same salvation that God gave YOU?
  • Don’t you want other people to be saved because of gratitude for being saved yourself?

If you want a burden to win souls,


2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.




  • It is clean!
  • It is holy!
  • It has perfect government!
  • It has beautiful scenery!
  • Reservations have been paid for by the blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ!


  • Somebody won them, or they would not be in heaven! Let’s tell others!


  • Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
  • Heaven rejoices when people get saved!
  • Doesn’t that stir you?
  • Don’t you want to cause rejoicing in heaven?
  • Have you ever caused rejoicing in heaven by winning someone to Christ?
  • When is the last time you won someone to the Lord?


  • Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
  • We see Him caring still. He cared when He came. He cared when He was crucified. He cares NOW! You talk about “a great cloud of witnesses” … JESUS is watching!
  • We see His crucifixion scars — they are in heaven as a testimony to the desire of God to see the lost saved!
  • We see Him coming soon! Let us hurry and “bring them in”! When Jesus comes, we will leave, and it will be TOO LATE to win souls! Then you and I will face the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ — not to determine our salvation, but to evaluate our SERVICE here! While we are answering to God about that, “the great deception” and “the great tribulation” will be going on down here on the earth! Oh, let’s win people to Christ, because the Lord is coming!

If you want a burden to win souls,


Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Who warned them? Well, if no one else warned them, a man of God named John sure did! That’s because he believed in a real, burning, awful place called HELL!

Looking toward hell, we will get a burden for lost souls, because we will see that:

A. Hell is a place

  • It is as real as heaven.
  • If you knew a restaurant’s food was poisonous, you would start up a campaign to warn people against the danger! Hell is as real as any restaurant, and the danger is much greater!
  • If you knew a road in this town had a drop-off in it that would always result in certain death, you would take steps to warn people! Hell is as real as any road a person may travel, and the danger is greater!

B. Hell is painful

  • Look at the horrors of that place!
  • Look at the flames!
  • Look at the tormented souls!
  • Look at them scream and gnash their teeth in pain!
  • Do you want people to suffer there because you are to scared or too tired to go soul-winning?

C. Hell is permanent

  • There is no rest!
  • There is no refreshment!
  • There is no retirement!
  • There is no review of one’s sentence!

D. Hell is preventable

  • No one HAS to go to hell, but MOST people WILL go to hell!
  • We must warn them!
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