Our Duty: Help Others Find Salvation

Has God set before us such a glorious prize as the saints’ rest, and made us capable of such inconceivable happiness? Why, then, don’t all the children of God’s Kingdom exert themselves more to help others find it?

Consider what Christ did toward the saving of souls. He thought them worth His blood; shall we not think them worth our breath? Will you not do a little when Christ has done so much? 

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Consider what fitting objects of pity ungodly people are: They are dead in trespasses and sins, and do not have hearts to feel their miseries or to pity themselves. This was once your own case. It was God’s command to the Israelites to be kind to strangers, because they themselves had been “strangers in the land of Egypt.” So should you pity those who are strangers to Christ, and to the hopes and comforts of the saints, because you were once strangers to them yourselves.

Consider also your relation to them. It is your neighbor, your brother, whom you are bound to love as yourself. He who does not love his brother, whom he sees daily, does not love God, whom he never saw. And does he love his brother if he will watch him go to hell and never hinder him? 

Our hearts must be affected with the misery of others’ souls. We must be compassionate toward them and yearn for their recovery and salvation. If we earnestly longed for their conversion, and if our hearts were concerned to do them good, it would put us to work, and God would bless it. We must take every opportunity we can to tell them how to attain salvation. If the person is ignorant, work to make him understand the chief happiness of man. 

But, because the way we perform this work is of great importance, observe these rules: Enter upon it with right intentions. Aim at the glory of God in the person’s salvation. Do not do it to get a name or esteem, to bring people to depend upon you or to gain followers. Do it in obedience to Christ, in imitation of Him and in tender love for people’s souls.

Up, then, everyone who has a tongue and is a servant of Christ, and do something of your Master’s work! Why has He given you a tongue, except to speak in His service? And how can you serve Him more wonderfully than in laboring for the salvation of souls? He who will pronounce you blessed on the last day and will invite you to “the kingdom prepared for you,” because you “fed Him, and clothed Him, and visited Him” (see Matthew 25:34-36), and His poor brethren, will surely pronounce you blessed for such a great work as bringing souls to His Kingdom.   

Adapted from “The Saints’ Everlasting Rest,” by Richard Baxter. Work is in the public domain. 

Richard Baxter (1615-1691) was an influential English Puritan known for his commitment to evangelism and Christian unity. Among his most repeated quotes is, “I preached … as a dying man to dying men.”