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IMBís Elliff laments Christiansí callousness about lostness comment (0)

September 12, 2013

ROCKVILLE, Va. — International Mission Board (IMB) President Tom Elliff is concerned that Christians have become desensitized to everyone’s need for a Savior.

Christians pray for others’ hearts to be stirred toward Christ but they also need to pray that their own hearts are continually stirred by a deep burden for the spiritually lost, Elliff told IMB trustees during their Aug. 27–28 meeting at the IMB International Learning Center in Rockville, Va.

Elliff said he has a hard time sleeping after watching the evening news, not just because of wars, disasters and other tragedies, but because “every one of us has learned how to look at the most horrific things you can imagine and be unmoved by them.”

“We know where the great tragedies are, we see people running for their lives and starving physically,” he said. But most often they also are starving spiritually.

“We’ve learned how to be aware of lostness but not be moved by lostness,” Elliff said. “We have a tendency when speaking of lostness to speak of it statistically.” But statistical overload, he said, does not equate those numbers with individuals in dire need of Jesus.

The words of Proverbs 24:11 haunt Elliff: “Deliver those who are being taken away to death and those who are staggering to slaughter. Oh, hold them back.”

“‘Hold them back,’ God says. That’s our mandate,” Elliff said.

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