Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.…
True religion consists chiefly in love to God and love to man; and wherever one of these is found, there is the other also. Observe —
I. THAT SERIOUS CHRISTIANS PLAINLY PERCEIVE THE DANGEROUS STATE OF UNCONVERTED SINNERS AROUND THEM. This state appears from —
1. Their openly living in sin.
2. Their carelessness about religion.
3. Their formality in religion.
4. Their reception for truth of great and fundamental errors as to the doctrines of religion.
II. THAT SERIOUS CHRISTIANS EARNESTLY AND SINCERELY DESIRE THE SALVATION OF THEIR NEIGHBOURS, WHOM THEY THUS PERCEIVE TO BE IN A DANGEROUS STATE.
1. We tremble to think of their future misery (Romans 1:18).
2. As we wish to prevent their future destruction, so we earnestly desire that they may share with us in the joys and glories of the heavenly world.
3. We wish them to know and enjoy the present pleasures of true religion.
4. We wish the salvation of others on account of the glory of God, for which we feel ourselves concerned, and which will be promoted thereby.
5. Beside all, we have some view to our own peace and happiness. The conversion of a soul is the greatest honour and happiness, next to our own salvation, that we can enjoy.
III. IN WHAT MANNER THIS DESIRE OUGHT TO BE EXPRESSED.
1. By prayer.
2. By urging our friends to come and hear the gospel.
3. By the Christian education of children — our own and our neighbour's.
4. By personal exhortation.
5. By a holy life.
Parallel VersesKJV: Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.