Sometimes we get so busy about life that we forget that souls all around us are on their way to a Christless eternity in Hell. We become cold and indifferent to this most sobering reality of life. Our brother in The Faith tells us of how the Lord dealt with him about the great need of “eternal realities” from page 20 in his book.
God burdens Leland’s heart for the conversion of sinners
In the month of October, my mind was graciously impressed with eternal realities. Souls appeared very precious to me, and my heart was drawn out in prayer for their salvation. Now, for the first time, I knew what it was to travail in birth for the conversion of sinners. The words of Rachel to Jacob were the words of my heart to God: “Give me children or else I die.” One night, as I lay on my bed weeping and praying, I thought if it was spring instead of autumn, I would spend all my time at the feet of Jesus in prayer, and at the feet of sinners, praying them to be reconciled to God; but winter was coming on, the summer was ended, and the opportunity past. On which reflection, the following words burst into my mind with surprising effect: “The shepherds rejoiced on a winter’s day.” These words awakened all the latent energies of my soul. I resolved to double my vigor, and had faith to believe that I should see souls return to the Lord, and that I should rejoice at it that winter. For eight months after this, I had the spirit of prayer to a degree beyond what I ever had it in my life; and, if I mistake not, my preaching savored a little of the same spirit. My field of preaching was from Orange down to York, about one hundred and twenty miles. From November, 1779, to July, 1780, I baptized one hundred and thirty, the chiefest of whom professed to be the seals of my ministry.