Soul winning is the greatest work you can ever be involved in. it is the most rewarded enterprise you can undertake. It is a work that gives joy in this life and brings reward in the world to come. It is a work of the greatest consequence.
Winning a soul effectively to Christ is more than calling a person into church. It is more than convincing an individual that Christianity is a good religion. Soul winning turns those who are reached from sin unto righteousness and holiness. It is a work of eternal value.
Soul winning is the focus of every believer should be. A real believer should not be interested in how to make people come to church or convince people that his church is the best. He is not interested in winning an argument but in winning souls. It is easy to win an argument and yet lose the soul. A serious believer does not seek to make moralists out of people. It is all too possible to turn over a new leaf without being a new creature. A moralist with all his code of ethics, who has not been saved from sin by the precious Blood of Jesus still need to be born again in order to live with God in eternity. Soul winning is infinitely more than convincing people to stop smoking, drinking, or some other particular habits.
“But when he (Jesus) saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;” (Matthew 9:36-37).
Jesus was moved with compassion when He saw the multitudes. Until we see the need, we cannot be moved with compassion, moved to action to save the lost multitude. Think of the multitudes in the streets, markets, hospitals, etc. And you will see the need of soul winning. Now, note that Jesus had been busy helping and healing the sick; seeking to saving the lost. In the short period between His baptism and this time He had done more for souls than some churches have done in 50 years. Yet now, seeking the multitudes outside the sanctuary and seeing the many that congregate for worship, you may not see the need for soul winning. But if you will look at the suffering, straying multitudes outside your church building, you will be moved with compassion. For every hundred inside the church, there is a million outside the church and outside Christ. The need is great!
The one who really wants to win souls is not looking at past successes. In chapter four of Matthew and verse twenty-five: “And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.” Great multitudes of people followed Him but the need of others who were defeated, detained and were being destroyed by satan did not escape Jesus. He “was moved with compassion”. Seeing the need of multitudes around you, would you not with compassion, move into action to seek and save the lost? Jesus had preached the greatest message that was ever preached in Matthew chapter five to seven – and had had the greatest success anyone could have, yet His past success could not cloud His vision of reaching out to multitudes roaming the streets. “… the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Matthew 7:28-29). “And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. (Mark 2:2). “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous” (Matthew 9:36-37). Though many souls have been won, the Lord is calling out to anyone who needs a vision. “There is still much to be done,” “… the harvest truly is PLENTEOUS.”
With all the successes you might have had in the past, if your zeal for soul winning dies out, or the fire in you quenches, or your vision has become clouded, then you need more of Jesus’ compassion for the lost. The need is great. Multitudes in their millions are waiting for soul winners who have compassion and can be moved, seeing the need. Jesus had blessed and reached more than many denominations have reached and blessed for 100 years, yet His compassion was aroused, seeing multitudes still on the way to perdition. Have you compassion? Are you moved? Are you aroused to soul winning? Would you win with Christ? Would you make it a life job? You need to have the mind of Christ which can move with compassion at the sight of lost multitudes. There were many denominations in those days yet Jesus had COMPASSION for the “sheep without shepherd” who were perishing outside the sanctuary. There is need for winning soul, a great need. This is why Jesus commanded YOU: “Go ye into the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). W expect sinner to come to church, but Jesus expects YOU to go to the sinners and preach the gospel to them. The Jehovah’s Witness, though they do not have the message, have the method we should be using. If they had been waiting for people to come to the Kingdom Halls, there would have been none to embrace their Jehovah. Multitudes have been taken to that cult, because of their method. We have the message; let us use the method He commanded. “GO YE…TO EVERY CREATURE”. That is a command. It requires your implicit, complete, unquestioning obedience. Disobedience to the Lord’s clear command is SIN.
“Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35). Look at the villages and towns and cities in your environment. There is so much need. And except YOU rise up to meet the need, nothing will be done. Nothing can take the place of house-to house witnessing. The visiting evangelists from abroad cannot reach these villages; they can only reach few who are willing to come out to reach them in the big cities. The pastors of churches may never go to some villages or if they do, they are going there for their own selfish ambition. Even before they ever go there they will put it into three programmed. Several villagers would have died. If you leave the salvation of the people in your house, office f schools to the evangelist, pastors, prophets or church programmes, multitudes will never be reached. About 85 people die every minute. Won’t you moved with compassion and sympathy to reach the lost? The lost of one soul is the great consequence – it means eternity in the burning lake of fire.
Perhaps you were saved through the witnessing of a soul winner before you joined a living church. Now, suppose there had been no soul winner to win souls for Christ, would you have been saved? If the whole converts have been as many as they are now? If the whole work of soul winning had been left in the official hands of churches, what would have been the situation now in the country? If you were saved through the witness of a Christian, you should reach others the way you were reached. God needs you for soul winning. “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30). Your obedience to the call to soul winning is of great importance and consequence. God sought for a man who could bring the sinners to repentance, who could turn the sinners from their vanities unto the living God, who could win people to God’s side, but found none. “Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the FIRE says the Lord GOD.” (Verse 31). Why are many, multitudes consumed with FIRE on the other side of death today? Because YOU were not found to stand in the gap. How many have died without God, without Christ, without hope since you knew the Lord? How many in your school, office, street, village have died without being saved since you became a born again Christian? They passed from under your nose into eternal FIRE. Wake up! God is looking for a man to tell sinners (around him) that there is a way out of sin. And God will not destroy them if you can volunteer to help them. Please help – you must help. So much depends on you! Do you have enough desire to deliver others from the clutches of satan? Do you have enough sympathy for the Saviour’s suffering to save the lost sinners? Will you care?
A GREAT PRIVILEGE AND RESPONSIBILITY
This is a great privilege, a wonderful responsibility that carries with it, satisfying reward. Remember, you are not working for church or a man. Won’t you give your name to God as a soul winner? Why not fix a particular day (or some particular day) and time in the week when you will engage in the business of soul winning? Can you fold your hand and stand aloof, unconcerned in this matter? Can you sit in the premises of worldly pursuit and neglect this command from the Lord? Can you bury your head in Church duties and refuse to give the drowning public a saving hand? Is it nothing you that sinners are crying for help? Must Christ suffer in vain for sinners? “…lovest thou Me” Christ asked you now with tearful eyes.
THE CONSEQUENCE OF NEGLECT
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: “When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. “Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.” (Ezekiel 3:17-20).
You are charged with MURDER if you neglect to warn and win sinners and backsliders. Neglect is costly. Wake up! God said sinners will die if you do not witness to them: “but his blood will I require at thine hand” for neglecting to show him the only way out of sin. It is serious issue. You may say, ‘I am saved! I don’t continue in sin. I am no longer an adulterer or a fornicator!’ but you are a MURDERER! God said He would require the blood of lost sinners at your hand. You had better wake up to soul winning. Look at the blind falling into the pit when you have message to guide them. Look at many being burnt by fire when you have the message of their escape. Yet your hands remain folded and your mouth closed. How wicked you are! God will rightly charge you with murder.
But you say: ‘I don’t feel the call!’ if your house is on fire and your child is inside the house, do I need to feel a call or hear a voice before I give you the information that your house is on fire? If your are suffering and I know a sure remedy, do I need to wait for a call before I relieve you? What other call to soul winning is more than what Jesus said in Mark chapter sixteen verse fifteen? The written word of God is greater than any other revelation you are waiting for. Or are you afraid of witnessing to people? If my house is on fire with my mother and I inside it, and the fear of man stops you from rescuing us from being burnt to death, God has a right and a duty to condemn you in judgment.
“Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD” (Judges 5:23). Who were these inhabitants of Meroz that were cursed? They were the ones who refused to come to the help of the Lord in His effort to save the lost. What did Meroz do? They did NOTHING! Why were they cursed bitterly? Because neutral about this business of soul winning and they are bitterly” cursed. Why are they cursed by the angel of the Lord? Because they idle when they should be busy doing something towards the eternal benefit of souls and the eternal joy of the Almighty. What would you think of a person who had the ability, knowledge, equipment, command, and wages to put off fire and yet allows your house and family to burn to ashes? What would you think of the doctor who was trained by the family and yet allows his relatives to die of sickness he was specialized to cure? “So shalt thy judgment be” if you fail to rescue those who are perishing in sin when you know the Saviour who is ready to save them if they call on Him. Have you not read what Jonah suffered for not willing to tell the sinners the Lord’s message in the book of Jonah chapter one!
“BUSY HERE AND THERE”
“And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver. And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.” (1 Kings 20:39-40).
This man was not idle; he was rather busy here and there. But unfortunately, as he was busy here and there, the person he was given to keep was gone – he lost whom he should keep, while being busy gaining what he would lose. You are busy making money, when souls entrusted to you are being lost. Pastors are busy in committees and souls are being lost. Christians are busy learning music, singing and drama, while souls are perishing. Some others are busy doing overtime at work and preparation for examination and promotion, and souls are dying. Who is not busy at one thing or the other? Soul winning is neglected because many are busy on earthly materials which are more important to them. And you are busy too. Busy on idle talk – paving your way to a talkative hell. Where is the new convert you were to follow up and keep in Christ? He is gone. Wake up! Neglect is of the costliest consequence. Perhaps your case is worse – you are busy on useless visitations! If all Christians were like you, no sinner will ever know there is Saviour who suffered and died for them. But how can you even care properly for your own soul (not to talk of another’s soul) if you busy here and there? Is not your spiritual poverty plain to you? Is this not the result of your being too busy over temporal things? Oh, what condemnation awaits those who are “busy here and there” to the neglect of soul winning!
THE FATE OF THE UNPROFITABLE SERVANT
Jesus gave the parable of talents to His disciples and if you are a disciple of Jesus, He recorded the parable for you.
“But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.” (Matthew 25:18-19).
THERE IS A RECKONING DAY. The Master expected the servant to do what he should have done if He had been there. So Jesus expects you to do with the salvation message what He would have done if He were here now. There would have been much profit in souls if the servant had done the right thing. But no work was done, no soul was won. “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:30). That is the fate of the unprofitable servant. Wake up to your duty! “He that hath an ear, let him hear” (Revelation 3:13).
Sinners are waiting to be saved. They are looking help and seeking the answer in places of vanity because of their ignorance. You have what they need. “Whoso stoppeth his ear at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself,but shall not be heard” (Proverbs 21:13).
Rise up to the task. Soul winning is a work you must do. “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Psalm 68:11).
Join the great company of soul winning today.
THE GREAT VALUE OF A SOUL
MONEY AND SOUL
“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
In this verse of scripture quoted above, Jesus stated that one single soul is worthy more than the whole world. In memory, one soul is of more value than the wealth of the whole world. If it were possible to collect together all the money in the entire bank in the whole world and put it all on one scale of a balance, then, put a single soul on the other scale of balance. You will discover that one soul weights more than all the money. This is what wee doo not know. We may convince ourselves that we know this fact but our action speaks to the contrary. See how we work very hard to make money. How many works so hard to win souls to Christ? What insult of humiliation will you not endure to keep your job? What will you not sacrifice to have money? What effort will a student not make at his studies to qualify for a better job with more money? Are you willing to eagerly seek fir souls to be saved in the same way that men are eager for money?
If the pastor works as hard for the salvation of souls as his colleagues in the world do for money. The church of God will be filled to overflowing. Face up with the charge! If you worked as hard, as persistently for the salvation of the lost as you have worked for money, multitudes would have been converted to Christ. Face the fact! YOU value money greater than souls. If we show any interest in soul winning, if we sacrifice and suffer to rescue the perishing, pastors and parents, friends and fellow believers readily charge us with fanaticism. But if we put our whole energy into making money, they do not see that we are in any danger. Most people value money more than souls. How different they are from Jesus! How much do people suffer to make money! Which labour has not been undertaken for money! What journey has not been taken to foreign lands for money! Yet, one soul is worth more than all the money in the whole world. What value to YOU put on souls? Are you willing to rise u today and work as a soul winner as seriously as you have worked for money?
BUILDING, POSSESSIONS AND SOULS
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37).
Have you ever seen contractors and businessmen at work? Do you know engineers and builders? What importance do they attach to buildings? How feverishly and strenuously they work to erect buildings. A man who wants to qualify as an engineer does not care how long or hard it takes to qualify. The man who wants to become a recognized contactor does not care how much sacrifice it takes at the beginning. The apprentice who wants to be a master or carpenter undergoes all the insult and ill-treatment he has to pass through to reach his goal. What would you think of the tireless efforts put forth by the boy-mechanic in training? What does he do ll this for? Why all the toil? For building and possessions!
If you could bring all the contractors and engineers together and ask them to work as seriously, steadily and carefully together for the restoration of a single soul as they would work on their trade, IT IS WORTH THE EFFORT. S single soul is worth more in value than all that the engineers and builders have ever done. When all the buildings in the world, all the bridges and good roads, all the furniture and possessions in the worlds would have been burnt away with fervent hear, the soul will still be alive in everlasting consciousness – in Heaven or in hell. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (Peter 3:10). What time, energy, resources have not been spent to erect buildings? Where is the soul winner who spends as much time, energy, resources on souls as contractors and engineers do on buildings? It shows what little value we put on souls.
ANIMALS AND SOULS
“Behold the fowls of the air…Are ye not much better than they? (Matthew 6:26). “…ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:31).
A single soul is of more value than all the birds in the world. Have you done as much for souls as other have done for birds? Audubon was accounted a great naturalist and he did much to learn of the birds of the world. Robert G. Lee tells us in his book that “Audubon counted his physical comforts as nothing compared with success in his work. He would rise at midnight, night after night, and go out into the swamps to study the habits of certain nighthawks. He would crouch motionless for hours in the dark in a fog, feeling himself we-rewarded, if, after weeks of waiting he secured one additional fat about a single bird. During one summer, he went day after day, to the bayous near New Orleans to observe a shy waterfowl. He have to stand almost to his neck in the nearly stagnant water, scarcely breathing, while countless poisonous moccasin snakes swarm past his face, and great alligators passed and repassed his silent watch. “It was not pleasant” he said as his face flowed with enthusiasm, “but what of that? I have the picture of the bird” he could do that for the picture of a bird. What would you do for the salvation of a soul? Men of the world have done unimaginable things to have honour and recognition for knowledge. They do it all to obtain a “corruptible crown”. How much more are you willing to do for an incorruptible crown? Can you sacrifice as much for souls as Audubon sacrificed for bird? A soul is worth more than all the birds in the world.
CARE AND CURE OF ANIMALS VERSUS
COMPASSION AND COMFORT FOR SOULS.
“If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.” (Exodus 23:4).
Would God not expect you to care for souls of men more than He expects you to care for your enemy’s ox? Is a man’s life and destiny less important to you than an animal’s life? “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17).
“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast…” (Proverbs 12:10). Even wicked Ahab some concern for his beast: “And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts.” (1 Kings 18:5).
And in numbers chapter twenty-two, from verse twenty-seven to thirty-four Balaam was miraculously REBUKED for beating his ass “And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me…” if God had such concern for animals, can you be accounted righteous before God if you do not show any regard for man’s soul? How can God count you righteous if you act unconcerned about the eternal destiny of your neighbors’ soul? Have you read about David before? He was a man after God’s heart. “And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear…” (1 Samuel17:34-36). If a fellow man, a fellow believer cares as much for a lamb, an animal, what will YOU do for the salvation of soul? “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” (Ecclesiastes 3:21). If you really know that the soul of one man is worth more than all the animals in the world how YOU convinced the perishing souls around you that you care for their eternal happiness? There are men who spend YEARS to qualify for the practice of veterinary Medicine – the care and cure of animals. They do not feel ridiculous for spending so much time and energy on studying the health of animals. They feel so gratified for doing their best for the progress of the animal kingdom. Brothers and sisters tell me, how will you face God if you do less for the souls of men? Soul winning is a MUST. Men learn and suffer to win and catch all sorts of dangerous animals to put them in the zoo. What have YOU learnt or suffered in winning souls to Christ, putting them in ZION? Repent of your weakness. Many spend years of exertion and labour putting a whole life-time effort into farming and gardening. Will you care less for men’s souls? Doctor’s work and study for years to preserve the ‘dust that shall return to dust’. Leaving the eternal soul for YOU to direct to his eternal rest. Don’t they prove more faithful than you are? Much knowledge, zeal, resources are spent to develop the world and yet, a single soul is more value than the whole world. Be involved in this work of eternal value called soul winning.
OF MORE VALUE THAN ANGELS?
When some of the angels went into rebellion against God with Lucifer, the morning star, nothing was done to redeem them. God only preserved them for punishment in torments in the everlasting lake fire. But when man, made in the image of God, fell into sin, God immediately revealed His redemption plan to save man from sin and hell. He immediately gave out the promise of the coming Redeemer. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15). That scripture points to the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world for our salvation. Does that not show the importance of a soul? If God is not willing that ANY should be lost, will you not do all that needs be done to point sinners to the Saviour? Do you know that the return of a single sinner to God causes joy in Heaven more than the presence of all the angels in Heaven? Do you know that God and Heavenly beings rejoice at the salvation of a sinner more than they rejoice at the sight of all apostles and prophets who are in Heaven already? “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7). Can you see how to make God joyful? What a great privilege and honour to be able to make the Almighty happy. If God is your Father you will want to do what gives Him joy and pleasure. If you will rise to the take of soul winning, your action will cause the jubilee bells of Heaven to start ringing. You ought to win souls!
WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT – BODY OR SOUL?
Man is not only flesh and body. He has a soul and is a spirit living in a body. When Jesus talked of the seriousness of losing one’s soul, He joined soul and spirit together under a single word, soul. How much do we care for our body? And how much do we care for the soul? The body lives for a while and then is buried in the earth; it is the soul that lives forever. The body is the least important part of us, but we are ignorant of this truth.
Doctors take so long to qualify to help the body. Do pastors care for souls as much as doctors care for the body? When your relatives are sick physically. Don’t you see how you run around feverishly, eagerly desiring they would recover? Have cared as much for their sin-sick souls? Tailors are dedicated to covering naked bodies. Most people dutifully clothe many people around them. They give beggars clothes to wear. We cannot bear to see any person going naked. So much care for the body! But have we endeavoured to cover the soul of sinners with the garment of salvation? Are we desirous to see the robe of righteousness on many more people? We wash every morning to keep the body clean. Do we care as much to keep our souls clean of the pollutions of the sinful world? Do we really act as if we knew our souls to be more important than our bodies? Do we know the truth? Do we live by the truth? How often do you feed the body daily? How often do you feed your soul with the word of God? If you eat only as many times as you read the word of God, perhaps you have starved to death physically. The soul is sadly neglected, yet it is more important than the body.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4). “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12). Have you esteemed the word of God as much how many of you will feel convenient if people living with you are not fed with physical food regularly? Yet it does not give you concern if those same people are not fed with the word of God. You are not bothered if they are void of saving faith that the soul is more important than the body but your actions betray you. When you are sick, you go around brothers and sisters, desiring prayer to be healed as quickly as possible. When your soul is backsliding in wandering thoughts, lustful desires, band other soul-damning sins, are you as desirous and prayerful to be set free?
Do you care for souls as much as you care for your body? Do you desire to be holy as much as you desire to be healthy? Do you look after being clothed with the garment of salvation as much as you clothe your body? Isn’t the soul naked while your body id gorgeously dressed?
“He that winneth soul is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12;3).
There is no suffering too much for all the people of the world to suffer, if by so doing one soul would be saved. There is no foreign land too distant or any portion of it too inaccessible to take a journey there, if by so doing one soul could be saved. There is no trouble too great, no humiliation too deep, no suffering too severe, no love too strong, no lour too hard, no expense to much, in the effort to save one soul.
A soul will never die. Once a person is born his existence is as eternal as God is. When the earth has crumbled to dust and has passed away into the forgotten past, a man’s soul will still be in its freshness of youth. When a million, million eternities have each lived out their endless ages and have rolled by into the unthinkable past and time is no more.
Satan hates the soul and can do anything to run and destroy man’s soul. God loves the soul and has done everything to save man’s soul. What you are willing to give, to do, to suffer, to sacrifice, to spend in order to save a soul shows which side you belong – for God in soul winning or satan in soul winning.
Are you willing to help save the lost? “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 1:19-20).
“The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Psalm 68:11). “And none shall appear before me empty.” (Exodus 34:20).
AND YOU TOO – A CANDIDATE FOR SOUL WINNING
“But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.” (Mark 1:45).
How? Without radio, without television, without electricity, without loud-speakers, without posters, they came to Him from every quarter! There was no car, no motor-cycle, no bicycle, no newspaper to advertise in, yet they came to Him from every quarter! He was neither supported by the government nor encouraged from the synagogue; He had no heralds, neither did He have many people to recommend Him to the public. Yet, they came to Him from every quarter! How? What is the reason behind His success? A leper had been blessed and the leper and become a soul winner. Would you do less than a leper did?
Seeing the people that God used in the past, you will know that YOU also can be used if you are willing. “And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” (Mark 1:40). This leper was not even sure, like you are; that it is God’s willed to heal. He had been separated from people because of his leprosy and he did not know the promises of God. He doubted God’s will to heal. He prayed: “if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” And Jesus… said unto him, I will; be thou clean.” And he was cleansed. He was blessed wonderfully by Jesus. He was happy; he had been charged in a moment. And “he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter.” He carried only one message with him: once I was a leper, now I am cleansed.’ He did not wait for theological training or doctrinal exactness; he knew enough of the love of God and he published and blazes abroad the matter. He told others about the love, power, mercy, and compassion of Jesus. And he showed them the evidence – his cleansed body. He had not been sanctified neither was he yet baptized with the Holy Ghost, but he had experienced the touch of the living God on his body. “but he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter…” he was outspoken and fanatical about it. “…and they came to him (Jesus) from every quarter. And again he entered into Capernanum… And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: AND HE (JESUS) PREACHED THE WORD UNTO THEM.” (Mark 1:45). Did he quote any verses? Did he distribute any tract? Could he heal the sick himself? Did he preach doctrine? He has a testimony and he published it much and blazed abroad the matter. You too can do that. A single cleansed leper did this much. What have you done? Have you not been cleansed from sin? Have you not met Jesus? Then tell others about Him and tell what He did for you. And assure them: what He did for me, He will do for you.’ You can be a soul winner.
“And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, (about 6,000 devils) sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him (Jesus) to DEPART out of their coasts. And when he (Jesus) was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, GO HOME TO THY FRIENDS, AND TELL THEM HOW GREAT THINGS THE LORD HATH DONE FOR THEE, AND HATH HAD COMPASSION ON THEE.” (Mark 5:15-19).
This man readily decided to follow Jesus and have his unbelieving friends. How like us! We love to be with Him because He has done so much for us. But there is need for soul winning. He had just known god’s power and love. He knows nothing of the kingship of Christ, the second coming of Christ or of the deep teachings of gospel. Yet Jesus told him to go and tell how great things that Lord had done for him. Jesus sent a newly delivered person to win souls. Do not tell them what you do not know but just tell them what the Lord has done for you. “And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.” (Mark 5:20). You do need to be convinced, if you are saved, that you know more than this man. You are in a better position than this man was. This was the very day he came to Jesus and was sent to win souls. His past life before meeting Jesus was as deplorable as any could be, yet that did not hinder his success in soul winning. He had a message and he told it everywhere he went. He had not attended church service, Bible studies, or prayer meetings, but he obeyed Jesus and told all around the wonderful story of Jesus’ love. He had noting (tracts or any other thing) but his mouth did the job of soul winning. If you still sit idle, your only hindrance is unwillingness.
In the fourth chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus met a woman at the well. Jesus had been talking to this woman about the water of life while the disciples went to buy food. Gradually, Jesus brought her to her realization of her spiritual need. She had been very sinful. But she had desire, like everybody else, to have the best God could provide for her. In verse twenty-eight to thirty, we are told of her dramatic action as she saw, believed and accepted that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, the prophet that was come, the Christ of God, her Saviour and the Saviour of the world. “The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then thy not t f the city, and came unto Him.” It is glorious! That woman also are saved to serve, born to reproduce, won in win, loved to love, sanctified to sacrifice, empowered to propagate the gospel of God. Sister, you too can win souls – you must.
This was only a single woman. Her past record had been bad – terribly bad. Many of my converted readers were not as bad, before conversion. She had lived with five husbands before and she was with the sixth man when she met Jesus. Yet the grace of God reached her and save her from the deepest of pits. None is excluded from the plan of salvation. All can be saved, the moment we believe. And she immediately became a soul winner. Oh, love of God, to use such a wretch. It gives me hope and assurance that He will use you too. Amazing grace!
Sometime we are told that woman should not preach the gospel. But what about this woman? Who sent her? Who commissioned her? Was she ordained? Was she confirmed and baptized? What church doctrine or creed did she know? What Bible school did she qualify from? What backing did she have from a church? What revelation did she receive? What did she know about having ‘a call’ for service? Brethren, let us be simple and help ourselves to see that all of us win souls for Christ – men and women. We only need to have a testimony that He is the Savour and we would be successful soul winners. She went without being sent, yet she was not condemned. Which father would condemn his child for bringing back the prodigal ones to their father? Which government will jail me for putting of fire of a burning house, because I am not an officer in the fire brigade? How can God condemn me foe telling my fellow men that Christ came to save them? He has commanded every Christian to preach the gospel to every creature. The pastors alone cannot preach the gospel to every creature since sinners do not all come to church.
She left her waterpot (that s significant) and went into the city to evangelize. The water was not sin, she needed it to draw water and drinking water is not sin! Soul winning was so important to her that she left doing 9 for that moment) what was so needed and necessary for her physical life. Oh, that you would know that soul winning is more important than any other good, necessary, important thing in your life. She had no tracts to distribute, no microphone to use, yet she brought people out of the city, and they came to Jesus. “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.” (John 4:39). And after the Lord had spent two days with them there:, “And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” (John 4:41-42). If this woman had waited for ordination who would have ordained such a woman? Would the “many more” people of the verse 39 have been saved? Would the “many more of verse 41 have believed after listing to Jesus’ own words for two days? Sister, if you are truly born again, whatever the story of your past life maybe, you too can be a soul winner. And you can start today. Jesus guarantees you success and reward.
A LITTLE MAID
Even ‘a little maid’ won a soul for God of Israel, in the land of captivity.
“And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord (Naaman) were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:2-3).
That led to the cleansing of Naaman’s leprosy and to his decision; “and Naaman said…they servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD” (2 kings 5:17). If you will allow God to remove the fear of man from your heart, you too will win others to Christ. Other people who are not better than you, by any standard, have done it. Why not you? Indeed why not?
The only method that can effectually reach the world for Christ is the individual soul winning method. This is the method Jesus commanded and it is the method that won multitudes to Christ during the time of the early Apostles. In Acts chapter eight, a great persecution of the Disciples of Christ broke out. “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.” (Acts 8:1). The persecution was so great that all the brothers and sisters were scattered abraded and only the twelve Apostles remained in Jerusalem.
Now verse four of Acts chapter eight is most significant. “therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.” Who were these? Were they the apostles? No! The apostles were at Jerusalem. These were the ordinary believers, the unordained brothers and sisters, who were scattered abroad. They preached the word. Every Christian saw himself as a missionary and counted every sinner a mission-field for him to preach the word to. Was God unhappy with them? How could God be unhappy when they were obeying the command of Jesus? “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20). It was the ‘ordinary’ believers that carried our God’s plan of reaching the lost in the early Church. “…ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).
Jesus outlined the programmed for gospel out-reach “Jerusalem…Judea…Samaria…Uttermost part of the earth.” The apostles won Jerusalem for Christ but the ordinary believers won Judea and Samaria for Christ. The inhabitants of “the uttermost part of the earth” can only be reached by ordinary believers today. Dearly beloved, if the salvation of the uttermost part of the earth is left solely in the hands of our anointed pastors, multitudes will still be lost. The Lord has need of you – for soul winning.
The ‘ordinary’ believers of the early church did it, we also can do it. They did it well, we also can. What God did through them, He can do and He will do through us if we are willing. “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness…” (Psalm 110:3). These are the last days – days when should see also children of God empowered for service. This is the time to get plugged into God’s power. “thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power…” we should be as willing as the early believers were, to win the lost to Christ.
“And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.” (Matthew 21:1-3).
Beloved, the Lord has sent me and you. And if any man say ought and asks me why I wrote you this blog, my answer is what He told me to tell you: “the Lord hath need of them.” The Lord has need of all His creatures – His new creatures. The Lord has need of you. But you are tied with ropes of tradition. You are tied with the chains of the “fear of men.” You are tied with the cords of ignorance and unbelief. There is a remedy: “loose them, and bring them unto me.” “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32). If you remain bound, it is because you have voluntarily rejected the truth on these pages which could have set you free. A voluntary life-imprisonment!
“The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Psalm 68:11). Thank God for great company who have responded to the call of soul winning. Are you left out? “I tell you that, if these (you) should hold their (your) peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:40).
A DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
This is an essential doctrine of Christ which is not plan to many. Many do don’t regard this as Bible doctrine but simple as a practice among some Christians which may be follow dir neglected. Some Christians who witness are easily swept off their feet because they do not know the scriptural basic of which they do. Others there are who oppose those who witness because they are ignorant of the true Bible teaching on the subject. Lukewarm believers who do not understand the basic of their practice evangelize only at a convenient season. Yet it is not been taught “all the counsel of God.”
To establish any doctrine in the Word of God we need at least, two or three clear Bible references to prove the doctrine (2 Corinthians 13:1). If verses are taken out of content, twisted or misinterpreted, the result will be false doctrine. There are very many verses confirming the teaching of personal evangelism. In fact, some of the verses do not have to be interpreted of explained by another person before they are understood. They are self-explanatory.
PERSONAL EVANGELISM: A BIBLE DOCTRINE
The teaching and the practice of personal evangelism was so commonly understood and so clearly carried out in the early church that multitudes were reached in a short space of time. “witnessing was the whole work of the whole church of the whole age” said Dr. A. T. Pierson. And Dr. H. E. Freeman said that “within a period of few years, the gospel of Christ had spread throughout Palestine, Europe, Africa, Asia, Greece, Crete, Babylon, Italy, Spain’. The success in the spread of the gospel was due to the fact that they knew the doctrine of personal evangelism as part of the doctrines of Christ. In fact there were many disadvantages that could have hindered the spread of the gospel. There were no printed Bibles for everybody to read in the house. Neither was there a gospel tract, book or any Christian literature at everybody’s disposal. They did not have good roads nor did they have the modern method of transportation. Travelling was very slow and dangerous. The mail service or the postal system did not exist. They lacked the modern methods of communication such as radio, television, internet or tape recording of even film shows. Moreover, most of the early Christians were uneducated. What then was the secret of such amazing success in spreading the gospel? It was personal evangelism and open-air evangelism? (Acts8:4).
With the advanced methods of communication and organization, it has found that it is possible to reach, with single message on air, more areas than Paul covered in his three missionary journeys. Why then is the church doing less today than the early church did? Our lack of understanding of the teaching and practice of personal evangelism is the major reason. Letter-writing evangelism which is possible today was not possible then. Oh’ what opportunities we have today! You can still sit in your house and witness to a soul through a letter media and thereby win soul to Christ. You can witness on the phone today, video, mobile chat, and even pray for sick on phone. If the early believers were living in days like ours, we would not have been saying that only about ten percent of our present population has been reaches for Christ.
THE NEGLECTED COMMAND
What have we neglected? What have we forgotten? What have we disregarded? What have we disobeyed? What have we taken away from the words of the book? What have we trampled underfoot? It is these precious words from the gracious lips of Jesus: “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark16:15). There it is! The preacher behind the public’s do not and cannot reach “every creature.” It takes every believers in active personal evangelism to reach “every creature.” To establish a doctrine, we need at least two or three scriptures. Mark chapter sixteen verse fifteen is one of such scriptures to establish the doctrine of personal evangelism. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
The command says” Go.” Most pastors and Christians want sinners to ‘come’ to them, to hear them preach the gospel. We are commanded to take the gospel to the world but we want the world to come to the gospel. Jesus said we should go to the sinners outside where they are and preach the gospel but we sit in the church or fellowship and expect the sinners to come to us where we are and hear the gospel. ‘Go’ and ‘come’ are two opposite words. Obey Christ, even if you have to disregard your feeling. “Go”! And where you go, do not remain silent witness’. ‘I will let my life tell the story’. There is no silent witness’. A silent witness is as much a contradiction as a silent noise.
Today, we arrange evangelistic meeting in the church where salvation messages are preached regularly and sadly enough, the majority of our listeners are believers who regularly attend our services. In the early church, from the account written in the Acts of the Apostles, all the salvation messages were preaches outside the church where the sinners were. When God says “Go”, make up your mind to obey Him. When “the Spirit said unto Phillip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot,” Philip did not ask the eunuch to come down and hear. He went in obedience and the eunuch was saved.
EVERY BELIEVER’S DUTY
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Acts8:4). All the apostles remained in Jerusalem but the ordinary disciples who were scattered abroad “went every where preaching the word.” It is interesting to note that the persecution scattered them “throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria” where all believers were to carry out personal evangelism. There more than eight thousand believers at this time (Acts2:41-47; 4:4; 6:7). And they all went every where preaching the word. The Bible says, “and the word of God increased and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly. “The word of God increased” is not referring to the printing of more Bibles or Christian literature. There was no printing then. The spoken word increased! The more disciples were won the more there were witness of Jesus Christ. Increase in the number of Christians meant increase of soul winners. Then was it gloriously fulfilled that, “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.” (Psalm68:11).
Jesus said “Go” and more than eight thousand believers went in obedience, preaching the word. The apostles did not modify Christ’s command or restrict the other believers’ preaching. They knew that all the members of the Body of Christ were of function (1 Corinthians 12:12-18). There were no building to erect and the only way every member could effectively function was to obey Christ in personal evangelism. Every member has his function, duty, privilege, and responsibility in the work of God. There is no useless part in your own body and so there should be no useless member in the Body of Christ. There is no member of your body that is set aside for one, two, or five years only to be developing. Let him that has as ear hear. Let those who have the mind of Christ also consider the usefulness of every member of the Body of Christ. The moment a child is born; all members of his body begin to function. Brothers and sisters, you are part of His Body. Function and be useful.
This is a doctrine. As a Christian you do not believe ‘water baptism’ when and only if you like it. You believe it because it is part of the “doctrine of Christ.” The same conviction or tradition hesitation has nothing to do with this. You must obey the Word of God. Jesus commanded it; the apostles upheld it and the believers carried it out. He said: “Go” and they went. Both the Old and New Testaments confirm personal evangelism as a Bible doctrine. To omit the practice in your own pattern of life is to neglect the major and most effective weapon of accomplishing Gods purpose.
“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:6). The weeping shows the burden, compassion and deep concern that you have for the lost which makes you to pray earnestly for them as you go forth with the precious seed. What is the seed? “The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). Success is guaranteed for everyone “that goeth forth” to the sinners where they are, “and weepth” “pouring out his heart (in prayer) like water before the fat of the Lord… for the life of those that faint for hunger.” Only let him “bear precious seed” preaching the word, not telling a tale or fable, and he “shall doubtless come again with rejecting for soul won to the Lord.
Personal evangelism, no doubt, has many advantages over the other forms of evangelism. It can be practiced anywhere. A pastor may not be preaching everywhere but soul winner can win souls to Christ anywhere.
Personal evangelism can be practiced anytime. You can go fourth anytime and sow the seed, preach the gospel. Even at midnight you can sit up and write a letter to a sinner, writing nothing but words to draw him to Christ! Because of the obvious advantage of doing it anywhere and at anytime, it is an outreach that everybody can and ought to participate in.
Personal evangelism can be done without any expense. No loudspeakers and microphone are needed. It is simply a matter of talking to an individual about his soul and Christ whether the person is a friend, relative or even a complete stranger. You do not have to seek the permission of the government, of a church, or recommendation is needed before you can talk to a friend about your friend.
Moreover, personal evangelism can reach all classes of people-ladies and men, children and adults, illiterates and the educated, the poor, the rich and all. You can also reach those with whom you are familiar as well as strangers. Not all people can read tracts or having internet or Bible but all can be talked to and win to Christ by personal contact. Personal evangelism can be adapted to help, edify and build up other believers.
You can teach believers divine healing and help them to appropriate their healing by the method of personal evangelism. You share the word of God on holiness and sanctification with individual believers just like you share the word of salvation with sinners. Also, believers can be helped to understand the word of God on, and experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit through personal contact and personal teaching of the word of God. Personal evangelism can be adapted to meet the spiritual needs of believers. It must also be observed that personal evangelism is the most fruitful of all forms of evangelism.
If there were only one Christian in a town and he prayed, sought and won a person to Christ, and if these two continued each month to win another each and if every month, there led to Christ continued to win another every month, there will be 4,096 Christians in that town at the end of the year. We refer to this as the exponential law of spiritual reproduction. Personal evangelism, if done prayerfully, diligently, consistently with the presentation of a scriptural message to sinners, is very fruitful. It can doubt a church in less than three months.
SEEK AND SAVE
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10). That sums up the mission and driving passion of Jesus on earth. He came to seek and to save the lost. It is important to note that when you are seeking for what is lost, you do not sit down idly waiting for what is lost to find you. You go where the lost property to seek and find it. Jesus taught on evangelism when He said:
“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Matthew 4:19; Luke 9:60; 14:23; John 17:18; Mark 16:15).
But the Lord did not teach personal evangelism, He also laid the example down for every believer to follow. “for the Son for man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”. Immediately after declaring His mission, the Lord told His disciples. “occupy till I come,” “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” (1Peter 2:21). The life of Jesus is the perfect example for every believers, irrespective, a hero, god-father, or god-mother, or another unscriptural opinion to make you disobey the doctrine of Christ. Abide in the doctrine of Christ. Evangelize! If you are born again, you are a fisher of men. Then, go where the fishes are and do fishing. No fisherman stays in a swimming pool in his house to fish. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” (John 17:17-18).
Jesus prayed for “them” to be sanctified and also sent the same “them” to the world to seek the lost and preach the gospel. Was Jesus praying for only the apostles to be sanctified? How about Martha, Mary Lazarus, Justus Matthias and “the five hundred brethren?” (1 Corinthians 15:6; Acts 1:15; John 11:21-23). And He prayed for you to be sanctified, so you must have your full share in the task of personal evangelism.
The Father sent the Son into the world to seek and to save the lost. As a great miracles Worker, Jesus Christ did not stay in Nazareth, expecting the people to come. “He went about.” As light of the world, He did not say the people would see His spotless life and be turned to God “He went about seeking the lost and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom.” He has also sent you into the world as His Father sent Him. Go forth and preach the gospel.
Moreover, those who have been promised the gift of the Holy Ghost are also commanded to be to be “witness” of Jesus. Are you promised the gift f Holy Ghost? “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts2:39). All, as many as the Lord has called, are witnesses. “ye shall be witnesses unto me.” Here Jesus said that the women are also sent into the world to be witnesses unto Him. And they can be no silent witnesses. “That…which we have heard,(the word of God) which we have seen with our eyes,(the miracles and glory of Jesus) which we have looked upon,(the Lord Jesus Himself) and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you” (1 John 1:1-3). A New Testament witness declares the word of life.
Personal evangelism has been abundantly shown to be a Bible doctrine. Whatever is happening between you and your denomination, you and your parents, husband, wife, or others, must not be allowed to stop your obedience to Christ. Suppose your denomination does not believe in holiness. Does that make you forget “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrew 12:14)? You must evangelize whatever others think, feel, or say. David prayed, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” Psalm 15:12-13). Almost all preachers quote David when teaching the doctrine of divine healing. You can quote David also on personal evangelism.
We are told in Proverbs that “he that witness souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30). If you are wise, you will throw off all your fears, restrictions and hands up. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever“(Daniel 12:3). There is also much reward for soul winners who turn many to righteousness. You will shine as stars for ever and ever if you will obey your Lord and Master. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” May nothing cause you to reject the doctrine of Christ. May nobody take your crown and reward from you.
Arise. “occupy till I come.”
“If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” “…to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (John 13:17;James 4:17).
THE WITNESSING BELIEVER
The word of God abundantly sets forth personal evangelism as the duty of every believer. There should be no spectator among the believers; everyone is expected to be an active soul winner, an effective witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians are indifferent to the need for dying and doomed souls all around them, not for want scriptures on the task of personal evangelism but for want of love, compassion and zeal to carry out their redemptive task. We have the fire and fuel but we also have enough fire-extinguisher to make us insipidly cold and lukewarm. The word of God is fire and that word is in our hearts and mouths. The Holy Spirit is the fuel to quicken and fan up the fire into life-purging flame. We have the Spirit of the Father in us. What then? Why are we cold and indifferent? Materialism, bigotry, worldliness, disobedience are enough to grieve the Sprit and quench the fire. The world is zealous in error and the church is sleepy in the truth. Something should be done, yes; everything must be done to wake believers up tp simple obedience to the divine command on personal evangelism.
There is no side-tracking the issue. Personal evangelism runs through the pages of the inspired word from Genesis to Revelation.
“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” (Genesis 18:19).
Abraham was to talk to his own children and household, maids and servants, about “the way of the LORD.” Through personal evangelism in his own home, he was to bring them from their own way to the way of the LORD. Is this not a pattern for us too, seeing “Abraham is the father of us all”? (Romans 4:16).
“And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.” (Genesis 19:12-19).
Lot was neither a preacher not a priest, yet he was expected to tell his sons, daughters, sons in law, servants, maid, relatives, “whatsoever thou hast” and “any besides” that destruction was near and urgent escape was necessary. Are we not in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah? Is destruction not close and near at the door? Is there not an urgent need for our relatives and “any besides” to know that the end is nearer than they suspected? If the looking back to Sodom of Lot’s wife is a warning to us, is not the “going forth” of Lot to tell others of sudden destruction an example, incentive and encouragement to us: sir, “hast thou here any besides? Loose no time, spare no effect, bring them out of this place
.” And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Right there it is. The salvation of your children depend more on you than on the Sunday school teacher. The word of God was to be in the hearts of all the Israelites. But no sooner than they had the word in their hearts was it to be on their lips, teaching it and talking it to their children and others. The revealed duty of everyone who had the word in the heart was personal evangelism in the house, by the house, by the way, at night and during the day. Moreover, they were to write the word of God upon the posts of their houses. What a place God gave His word in their heart and house!
“And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying … the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you … That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty” (Joshua 4:21-24).
When others ask you the reason for the hope that is in you, that would be an opportunity for personal evangelism to make them know that God is mighty to save. “Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee. And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had” (Joshua 6:25). Do you know that Rahab’s father, mother, brethren, her father’s household and also all that she had were saved “by faith, not perishing with them that believed not” (Hebrews 11:31), through the personal effort, exhortation, entreaty, pleading and warning of Rahab? If her good work of faith is placed before us to make our faith active should we not include her personal evangelism in our Christian living to make our love real? (James 2:25-26).
“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” (Psalm 51:12-13).
He was neither a full-time preacher nor an ordained priest. He was a king who was to fight in battle but not to preach in sanctuaries nor offer sacrifices on the altar. Yet he recognized personal evangelism – teaching transgressors with love and concern in order that they might be converted – as his privilege and responsibility, if only he was restored from his backsliding before, will not want to help sinners to know the LORD even after their restoration. David would rather act in love than be tied down and hindered by the memory of forgiven and forgotten sins. Go forth in love – that is the way to leave your fears behind “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.” (Psalm 68:11). The Lord has given the Word to every believer. Believer, what is your response? The only acceptable scriptural response is to “publish it”. “My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. …I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only…” (Psalm 71:15-16).
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30).
There were ten virgins but only five of them were wise. They were wise because they had the extra oil to make their lamps shine bright in the darkness hour. Are you wise if you hide the light under a bushel at such a dark hour as this? Is the farmer wise if he does not sow the seed at the time of famine? You have at least one talent – the opportunity to tell the lost, all around you, of the Saviour. Are you wise if you hide that talent in the earth? You have remained a foolish virgin long enough! Jesus is coming. Be wise virgin. “…He that winneth souls is wise.”
“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” (Ezekiel 3:17-18).
After hearing the word at His mouth, there is only one direction to follow – obedience. Every Christian hearts the word at His mouth. But believer, why has God told you the doom of sinners when you are no longer a sinner? Why is the Lord teaching you about hell-fire when you have your name in the Lamb’s book and you are on your way to Heaven? What has the Lord talked much to you about blindness, ignorance and death of sinners when your nature and sight have been changed! Why? Why? This is it! “……hear, Hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.” “But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth” (Ezekiel 3:27). Cooperate with God.
“And I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge and stand in gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them…saith the Lord God” listen, your indolence and indifference t soul winning is the reason for the unchecked indignation and wrath upon sinners of your acquaintance. Do not tell me you have love when your neglect is the reason for the eternal suffering of the people.
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3),
It s everybody privilege to “turn many to righteousness” by being whole-heartedly involved in the daily business of personal evangelism.
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”(Matthew 4:19).
Most preachers preach on the first part: “follow me.” But they never complete their task of helping believers who follow Christ to be fishers of men. And most of us joyfully sing ‘I will be the next, I will be the next, I will be the next, I will be the next to follow Jesus now.’ Singing so beautifully on the first part of the sentence, our next stanza of the song should have been our decision to be fishers of men now. But we feed on half the loaf and leave the other half to the Jehovah’s Witness to trample under feet. We are guilty of taking away from the word of God! We may run off to bury our dead, but He says, “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60). Our disease today is the idea of ‘Me first’. It takes ‘God first’ to go and preach the gospel.
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15).
Nobody must be lost, everybody must be reached. The pastors cannot reach every creature. It takes every man, every woman, every boy, and every girl in Christ’s fold preaching the gospel before the church can “preach the gospel to every creature.
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10).
To follow Christ is to walk in His footsteps. Seek the lost.
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” (John 17:17-18).
He prayed for all the believers; at that time, to be sanctified. The number of believers then was more than one hundred and twenty – (Acts 1:13-15; 1 Corinthians 15:6). And He sent all those believers into the world as the Father had sent Him. He prayed for your sanctification and thus He also sends you into the world as the Father sent Him (John 15:16; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 8:4; 20:21; Philippians 4:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Galatians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; James 5:10-20; Revelation 22:17). “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17). The Bride of Christ must bid those who are athirst to come and take the water of life freely. Are you part of the Bide of Christ? Then invites those who are outside Christ to come to the living water.
A PPERSONAL ASSURANCE
The soul winner, to do what he is sent for, must aim at the conversion of sinners. That being the case, he must have a personal assurance of salvation. How horrible to be a preacher of the gospel and yet be unconverted. An unconverted preacher is a blind man elected to a professorship of optics, philosophizing upon light and vision, distinguishing different colours to others while he himself is absolutely in the dark! He is a dumb man elevated to be an instructor in music or a deaf professor to educate singers in singing and harmony. He is like a tree with leaves only. Horror of horrors! Before ever witnessing to others “ye must be born again”. In addition, the soul winner must be living above sin, flesh and the world daily (John 8:34; 17:14-16; 1 John 5:4; 2:15-16; Romans 14:12-14).
- The soul winners must also have Christlike compassion for the lost. (Matthew 9:36).
- A regular, effective, and dynamic prayer life. (John 15:5; James 5:17-18).
- A thorough working knowledge of the scriptures especially on salvation and relevant topics. (Hebrews 4:12).
- Be a practical Christian who lives in the benefit of the great and wonderful promises of God (Acts 1:8; 2:39; Mark 11:22-24; 3 Jonh2).
THE UNCOMPROMISING GOAL
Aiming at immediate conversion, the soul winner must labour to remove the sinner’s prejudices, resolve his doubts, conquer his objections and then drive the sinner out of his hiding-place of false security. The sinner must be awakened to his helplessness and need of Christ (John 16:8; Acts 4:12). Preach believingly, for the saving of souls is a weighty business. Be earnest and trust the Lord to open the sinners’ eyes to the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice. The sinners must be instructed for they are not to be saved in darkness but saved from darkness. They must be taught concerning themselves, their sin, and their fall; their Saviour, redemption, regeneration, and so on. With their faith quickened in Jesus Christ as Saviour, it is wise to appeal to their understanding, give the invitation to come to Christ immediately, lift up the curtain and let them see the future of damned souls who delay and postpone their day of salvation. But love is the winning force. Seeing his readiness to forsake sin and believe Christ, that moment, pray with him as he gives up sin and receives Jesus, the Lord, into his heart.
THE SUCCESSFUL SOUL WINNER
There is much to learn on the job as you win souls to the Lord daily. There are other soul winners whose experience, manner and method of soul winning con be of great benefit to you. We are to see three great soul winners in chapter and then we would extract precious lessons as to the message, manner and method of a successful soul winner.
JESUS: THE GREAT SOUL WINNER
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:1-7).
Note that the great soul winner did not accuse Nicodemus for being a Pharisee, or condemn him for being a ruler in a denomination, or judge him for coming to Him at night because of the fear of men, or charge him with hypocrisy for calling Him a Teacher, neither did the soul winner praise him for believing in miracles!
JESUS: THE SUCCESSFUL SOUL WINNER
“There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink… Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.(John 4:7-9).
There is tribalism, or racial prejudice, or denomination pride in most sinners. “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” (Verse 10). Our great example did not argue with the woman, neither did He point out her unkindness to a stranger nor did He comment on the racial enmity between the Jew and the Samaritans.
“The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?” (Verse 11)
Sinners walk by sight and their sense-knowledge is often a hindrance to their receiving God’s precious blessings. “Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?” (Much religious history; obviously she was a staunch member of her sect – yet she was a sixth man! Being religious is different from being righteous. She had her father Jacob, yet was faithfully serving her father satan. Those born in the church are often the farthest Christ). Jesus answered and said unto her, whosoever drinketh of the water shall thirst again: (our example avoided all argument about Jacob and religion and mentioned a practical point and then gave an externally valuable promise). But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water spring up to everlasting life. The woman saith unto Him: Sir, give me the water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. (When sinner sees that there is a blessing to receive they are willing to throw their unprofitable religion overboard). Jesus saith unto her, go, call thy husband, and come hither.
(Jesus did not accuse her of adultery – her obvious sin). The woman answered and said, I have no husband, Jesus said unto her thou hast well said, I have no husband: for thou has had five husbands; and he whom thou now has is not thy husband: in that sadist thou truly. (He commented on her telling the truth). The woman saith unto Him, Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. (Sinners always leave the question of their salvation and they are curious to know where to worship, on which mountain to pray, which denomination is the best of which church can save).
Jesus saith unto her, woman, (Jesus so respectfully called her woman, like He called His mother (John 19:26), believe me the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. But the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. The woman saith unto Him, I know that Messiahs cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things. (Many sinners know of the coming of Christ and their knowledge of written prophecy should not deceive us as to their state). Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He. The woman then left her waterpot, (what a new creature she is now. She had believed just after verse 26) and went her way into the city, and saith to the men (women witnessed to men). Come see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”
PHILIP: THE SPIRIT FILLED SOUL WINNER
“And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”
PAUL: THE SUFFERING, IMPRISONED SOUL WINNER
“And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.” (Acts16:27-34).
For examples of these soul winners, read summaries the following important lesson for those who desire to win souls to Christ.
- Be natural when speaking. The Lord always speaks in a natural tone.
- Do not be a denominational ‘robber-stamp’ and do not say a critical word about any denomination either. God did not call you to fight for or against denominations, yet, people must be warned of cults (matthew16:6-12).
- Do not fear to talk to anybody. Fear of man brings a snare (proverbs29:25). It is not laziness or indifference that causes many to fail, it is fear.
- Do not wait for an impulse, a feeling or even an opportunity. If there is no opportunity, make one. Witness as you think Jesus would witness. ‘put on Christ.’
- Do not create problems in the sinner’s mind. Instead of creating a lot of problems, why not be a solution? Do not teach sinners doctrines. We must get them to Christ before we teach doctrines (Isaiah 28:9; Acts 2:41-42).
- Do not argue or advertise yourself. You do not have to convince the sinner that you are better or greater. Everyone knows who is better or greater of the Christian and the sinner – it is needless mentioning an obvious point.
- Do not give up too soon. Speak with faith. Speak with authority. Speak with love. Pray before you go out to witness and pray as you speak. Break the devil’s power and influence on the prospect with your prayer. ‘Compel them to come’ to Christ.
- Do not be in hurry; do not be impatient and a king must not lose his temper. Do not minimize what is involved. ‘TELL IT LIKE IT IS.’
- Do not interrupt another Christian who is witnessing to a person.
- Get the sinner to a DECISION FOR Christ. Do not always insist on a long process of conviction, confession and conversation. Let the Spirit work out the details. See Luke 5:4-11; Acts 2:37-41; 8:27-39, examine other conversations in the New Testament.
- Do not wait for impressions before you talk to others about their souk’s salvation (2 Timothy 4:2).
- Do not always try to prove or explain spiritual things (John 3:1-10).
- Do not exalt above the sinner (John 4:7-329).
- Do not condemn denominations or sinners and doo not criticize the government. (John 3:16-21; 4:19-24).
- Avoid unnecessary questions – do not raise any (Titus 3:9).
- Do not permit the sinner to lead you from one subject to another for the sake of argument (John 4:19-21, 25, 26).
- Do not state your idea or denominational belief. Give what the Word of God says (Matthew 15:6-9).
- Do not act victorious or proud when you score a point. It humiliates the sinner and makes you to lose the soul though you may win the point (John 4:15-19; Matthew 11:29).
- Do not tell sad stories. Point the sinner to Christ (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9).
- Do not have bad breath or noticeable body odor or other distraction. It repels sensible sinners whom you are trying to win (1 Corinthians 11:32).
- Do not tell sinner to think it over. Bring them to a decision at once if possible (2 Corinthians 6:2).
- Do not insist on keeping sinners on their knees (Luke 11:9-14).
- Do not emphasize emotions, dispositions are different. Faith first, feeling later (Ephesians 3:8-9).
- Do not act familiar with the opposite sex (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
- Do not fail to instruct new converts regarding how to live the Christian life (John 8:31).
Be wise: “he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him … ASK IN FAITH.” (James 1:5-6).
“The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.” (Psalm 68:11).
THE NEED FOR FOLLOW-UP
“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.” (Proverbs 27:23).
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts20:28).
It is after a child is born that the parents spend more money, time and care to clothe the child, feed him, teach him how to walk and do every other thing. This is exactly what follow-up can be likened to, if after the child is born, the mother think she has done all that she needs to do and neglects the child, the child would not grow well and would soon die as a result of starvation.
Follow-up is the important aspect of soul winning that has been neglected by many preachers and soul winners to loss of many precious souls, of precious rewards in Heaven and to the accumulation of damnation on the soul winner’s head.
When a soul is won to the Lord or converted, half of the work is not yet done. Preaching the gospel to sinners is the first side of the soul winner’s task. It is after the souls are converted that the more important work of making the souls to stand in the Lord and grow in His grace begins.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, knew this and instructed His disciples to do follow-up: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20). In verse nineteen, Jesus commanded them to “Go ye therefore, and teach”. That refers to preaching the gospel and bringing sinners to repentance and salvation. After the sinner is converted, Jesus commanded that they should be baptized in water (not before conversion but after conversion). “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;” (Mark 16:16). Then in Matthew chapter twenty eight verse twenty, Jesus commanded them again to “Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” That is what is called follow-up. The word teach in verse nineteen means preaching repentance and forgiveness of sin, but the same word teach in verse twenty means more than that, because they are to teach “All things whatsoever I (Christ) have commanded” to those who have accepted the first teaching and have repented of their sins. We shall see some examples of follow-up from New Testament beginning with the example of Jesus Christ.
In John chapter four verse thirty-nine, Jesus preached in the city of Samaria and many were converts, but the work was not finished yet. Even His coverts, knew this and therefore asked Him to “tarry with them: and He abode there two days” (verse 40), doing follow-up. Mary and Martha were converted of the Lord Jesus Christ, when Jesus entered their house, Martha was busy here and there about serving, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet to hear His word (Luke 10: 38-420). Later, Jesus told Martha “one thing is needful (for the young convert to sat at the feet of Jesus and at taught of God after being born again); and Mary hath, chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her.”
In Matthew chapter four verse nineteen to twenty-five Jesus made converts and healed many people. For follow-up, He sat on the mountain and taught all the people in chapters five, six and seven.
“In the mouth of two of three witnesses shall very word be established.” We have seen three examples of follow-up from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Despite how busy Jesus was, preaching and healing the sick, He still found the time to teach and establish the new converts.
The apostles followed this pattern. On the day of Pentecost, three thousand souls were won to the Lord (Acts 2:41-46). For the follow-up, the apostles saw to it that their converts “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” This they did “continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house.”
After Peter had won souls in the house of Cornelius to the Lord, he tarried with them “certain days” in the house to establish them and teach them to observe all that the Lord had commanded them (Acts10).
Also in Acts chapter eleven verse twenty-three, immediately and proper follow-up was done after souls were won to the Lord. In chapter fifteen verse thirty-six, Paul told Barnabas “Let us go again (they had gone once) and visit our brethren (with the purpose of follow-up) in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.” They had taught them once, bringing them to repentance; now they sought to go back to confirm them, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever the Lord had commanded. “And he went through Syria and Cilicia confirming the churches” (Acts 15:41). That is follow-up. That is the work the soul winner must take as a special task never to be neglected.
As to the time follow-up ought to be done, it is of great importance to note that after Jesus had won souls in Matthew chapter four, He did not wait for one week or month before He did the follow-up. He immediately went up to a mountain and there sat and taught them. In Acts chapter fifteen verse thirty six, it was not after one year that Paul did follow-up. It was ‘some days after.”
It does not take a mother one week before she starts to nurse and feed the new-born baby. Immediately the child is born, the mother begins to feed the child with water and milk. The case of the mother is the same with the case of the soul winner – infact the soul winner is a spiritual nursing mother whose duty it is to see that the child grows unto full maturity, lacking nothing.
Therefore it is very necessary for the soul winner to know how is his converts are doing in the Lord and to know whether they are having regular Quiet Time; whether they are still following the Lord consistently; whether they are making use of the Word of God as milk (for their food and the sword of the Spirit to defeat the Devil; whether they are overcoming temptations; whether they are living victorious Christian lives; whether they knew how to reply on the Lord for every need; whether they know how to pray; whether they are also witnessing and winning souls; whether he needs to gave a message that will stir them up to make sure they are not lazy and indolent but zealous and active in the work of the Lord.
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (Timothy 2:2).
The things that the soul winners had heard at Bible studies, fellowships, in the devotional Quiet Time, he must pass across to his converts making sure he gives them the right thing at the right time, so that they will be able to win others to the Lord and teach them. It is not enough to get souls converted. It is not enough to establish them in the faith. The soul winner must go forward to make soul winners of his converts. And so reaching out to the lost is the first thing, the more important thing is to follow them up and bring them up in the admonition of the Lord. Blessed is the soul winner who knoweth these things and doeth them (John 13:17).
HOW TO DO IT
A good mother would not handle her new born baby in the same way she would handle her ten year old child. She requires more patience, love, tenderness and attention for the new-born baby than for the ten-year old; she also required more wisdom and understanding to help the new-born baby. Since the soul winner’s task is equivalent to that of the nursing mother, it is of absolute necessary that he shows or manifests wisdom, love, patience, tenderness and all the other qualities that a good nursing mother manifests.
Jesus said “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16). Whether in preaching to a crowd, in the bus, or in personal evangelism and even in follow-up. wisdom is very essential to answer the questions and solve the problems of new converts no matter how childish or immature they may be. It is wisdom for the soul winner to appreciate the smallest testimonies his converts have to share with him. The more the soul winner appreciates the little testimony his convert has, the more convert is strengthened and encouraged.
Jesus did exactly that in Luke chapter ten verse ten to nineteen, when the seventy He had sent out to preach the gospel came back with testimonies of what the Lord and done through them. Jesus encouraged them and strengthened them and instilled more faith into their hearts. To crown it all, He made them know that the greatest thing was that their names were in the Book of life. He rejoiced with them and told them that they were blessed to have seen and heard those things they had seen and heard (Luke 10:20-24). This is wisdom and it is very essential for every soul winner.
True, the testimonies of his converts might seem small to the soul winners and some of them may be ordinary day-today happenings in his own life, yet to convert they are great. For the soul winner to appreciate the ‘little’ God has done for them would strengthen the faith of the converts and open the ways to greater things. This is the kind of wisdom the soul winner cannot afford to ack. Personal and other testimonies of victory would also go a long way to buttress the faith of the converts.
In the early church, follow-up was very important after souls were won to the Lord. The epistles which Paul wrote to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, etc, were written as a sort of follow-up. For example, Paul wanted to know the state of the brethren (new converts) in Philippi but he was not able to go personally, therefore he had to write to them. Besides, he sent a person to them whom he knew and trusted could care for souls (Philippians 2:19-23). He sent Timothy whom he knew was as zealous, compassionate and efficient as himself and would do the work like he would do it. That means that the soul winner today can do the same for his converts if he is strictly indisposed to go, sending not just anybody, but a faithful soul winner like himself who would do the work efficiently.
Besides, prayer is an important part of follow-up. The work of the soul winner involves prayer for the converts that come to the Lord.
Paul prayed for his converts (Ephesians 1:16-17; 3:14-19). The soul winner would need a list of the names of his converts so he could pray for them specifically for definite things. He would also need to know their needs, praying for them individually and giving thanks to God for them.
Good mothers know that the natural milk is more nourishing and beneficial to the child than artificial food. It is not different in the duty of the soul winner. Personal contact and teaching of the word of God would do more good to the young convert than all Christian literature without personal teaching from the soul winner himself. For this, the soul winner would need Bible Study outlines specially prepared for young converts and aimed at bringing him up in love, faith and purity of life.
However, it must be mentioned that tracts, books and devotional guides containing soul doctrines would also go a good way to help the young converts. The soul winner has to bring his converts to a place of worship where they would have good, scriptural food. Bible Studies could also be organized to make the converts grow strong and firm in the Lord.
DANGER OF NEGLECT
Suppose a mother left her new-born baby uncared for, without food, without washing it and went about doing other things. What would you call that mother? Wicked, isn’t it? Or, suppose a mother provided all that she felt her child needed like food, water, etc., and piled them neatly beside the child and went her way saying that the child would take care of itself. What would you call the dear woman? Negligent, foolish and cruel, isn’t it? So cruel and wicked is the soul winner who live his children in the Lord uncared for and unfed. So is every soul winner who supplies all that his converts needs and goes his way leaving the convert to care for himself.
Many souls have backslidden because of lack of proper follow-up than for any other reason. How many young converts have gone back after a few weeks because they had no contact with their spiritual fathers and mothers! Many such converts needing comfort, counseling and encouragement and having none have been swept away by the wind of temptation and false doctrines. Why? Because the soul winners who brought them to the Lord were busy here and there about less important things and in the process the enemy came and did his horrible work (1 Kings 2:39, 40). A careless mother who leaves her children has swallowed some poisonous thing and has harmed themselves in some way. So is the case of the neglect soul winner.
When a soul is won to the Lord, the devil is not happy because a once-faithful and obedient servant of his has been snatched from his hands. He seeks the soul by all means like a hungry lion. But when the shepherd is there among the flock, the lion dare not come near. What business has the wolf among the flock when the shepherd is up and working? None. Jesus, the Chief Shepherd has made the soul winner a shepherd, saying, “Feed my lambs”? (John 21:15). After Paul and Barnabas had evangelized in Antioch, some other people went to confuse them so as to bring them back to the Law of Moses. The matter had to go to the elders in Jerusalem. And from Jerusalem the elders wrote, because they could not leave the work at Jerusalem, to clear off the confusion and confirm the young converts in the Lord (Acts 15:23-31).
As it was in the early church, so it is today. There are false cults around who would want to shift the faith of young converts from Christ to other things. There are others who would want to preach the Law of Moses to the converts if the soul winner is not around. It was so at the time of Paul and so it is today (Galatians 1:6-9). The soul winner must have to warn his converts of these false cults and false doctrines so that they would not be carried away from Christ by the wind of false doctrines and by the cunning craftiness of false teachers.
JUDGMENT OF NEGLECT
“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.” (Ezekiel 34:1-10).
If the judgment upon the neglect soul winner be so severe, is it not time to awake out of slumber “while it is yet day?” for “the night cometh, when no man can work.” “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” (Ephesians 5:14).
BASIC LESSONS IN FOLLOW-UP
Besides the general knowledge on the method of follow-up, the soul winner must also acquaint himself with some basic fundamental lessons he must pass across to the convert during follow-up. The first of such lessons is the necessary of the assurance of salvation.
ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
Most people whose conversions are dramatic have little or no difficulty in having an assurance of salvation. But there are others, who are, after having genuinely repented of their sins and have received Christ as their personal Saviour, still lack the assurance that their sins have been forgiven and that they are now children of God. Invariably, the reason for this is lack of assurance is because the person wants to feel saved before he believes the promises of God. How then can a person have an assurance of his salvation?
- (a) Faith in the unchanging Word of God. God will surely fulfill Hs promise to forgive and receive a sinner who repents and believe on the Lord Jesus (Numbers 23:19; Psalm 19:89, Matthew 24:35; Ephesians 2:8-9; Psalm 32:1-2; John 1:12).
- (b) Confession of his new life in Christ daily and whenever doubt assails (Hebrew 10:23).
- (c) The Holy Spirit will bear witness with your spirit that you are now a child of God (Romans 8:16). He should be reassured this witness and should not listen to the devil’s lies.
- (d) The fruits of his new life will begin to show (2 Corinthians 5:17). He will walk in the way of God, loving God and having peace with Him (Romans 5;1; Galatians 2:20).
A person does not have to feel saved! Salvation is not based on feelings but is by faith in the Word of God. After a person has repented and received Christ, the manifestations of his new life will surely follow.
Our relationship with Christ can be likened to the marriage relationship (Ephesians 5:25). When the lady makes a commitment to the man, saying ‘I do’ before the minister or other person of authority and the man also makes the same commitment with the simple word ‘I do’ they have assurance that they are now married. Their feelings may or may not confirm their new state but their present relationship has been confirmed by the words ‘I do’. But if the lady is misinformed about the man or if she lacks correct information about him, this leads to lack of assurance. Also, if she does not have a genuine desire to obey and please the man, she will not have an assurance of the marriage relationship continuing ‘until death do us part.’
There are people who do not have the assurance of their salvation because they are afraid to trust God completely with their lives. If our attitude is resistant to God’s will, we have good reason to doubt Him regarding our salvation. Unless there is a genuine desire to obey and please the Lord Jesus Christ, one has a right to question whether he is really a child of God. Also, if any known sin is allowed to continue in our lives, we have cause to doubt the validity of our faith in Christ. After truly and completely turning away from all sins and believing that Christ died for you, your salvation should be a fact to you. The following story has helped some and can help you also.
One day, a soldier assisted Napoleon when his horse became unmanageable. The great general said: “Thank you. CAPTAIN!” the soldier immediately took him at his word, and said” ‘of what regiment, sir?’ Napoleon, pleased at his sharp perception and ready trust, replied: ‘of my guards’. He then rode away. The soldier laid down his gun and proceeded to the company of staff officers. He announced he was a Captain of the Guards but they would not believe him. But General Napoleon had said it! So, at the general’s word, and through the soldier’s trust and appropriation, the soldier became a Captain. A greater than Napoleon has said:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24).
THE QUIET TIME
The necessary of a regular observation of the Quiet Time is another major lesson the soul winner must endeavour to pass across to the convert. The outline below can be a very good guide in putting the convert through on Quite Time.
- What is Quite Time?
Quite Time, as the name signifies is a period specially set aside by a Christian for the purpose of having communion with God – allowing Him to talk to you through His Word (the Holy Bible) and also bringing your request before Him in prayer.
- Why should we have regular Quite Time?
- (a) To follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 1:35; 6:46; Matthew 14:23).
- (b) The journey of life the new day id greater than you can walk alone in your strength and wisdom (1 Kings 19:7; John 15:15; Exodus 33:11-14).
- (c) For speedy spiritual growth, consistent, victorious Christian living and steadfastness. (1 Peter 2:2; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3).
- (d) God wants us to draw near to Him (James 4:8) and during the Quit Time, God speaks to us as we study the Scriptures and talk to Him in prayer.
- When should we have our Quit Time?
- (a) Early in the morning when the mind is fresh and not yet occupied with the day’s activities. Besides, we have the following examples of the Lord Jesus Christ as well as other men of God who rose early in the morning to have communion with God.
- (i) The Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 1:35);
- (ii) Abraham (Genesis 19:27).
- (iii) David (Psalm 5:3).
The Bible reveals the mind of God. It is food for the soul, light to your feet, as well a mighty weapon against the devil. It is better to put on the amour in the morning than any other time after the battle has been lost.
Most great men and women of God spend the early hours of the morning with God alone. Susannah Wesley, in spite of caring for 19 children, found time to be alone with God for a full hour each day.
- (b) It is proper to start the day with God.
- (c) Wake up early enough to avoid being disturbed by the usual noise of the neighborhood. An alarm clock can be used if necessary to ensure that an early and regular waking time is maintained.
- (d) As much as possible, you should be physically alone with the Lord. But if you are sharing a room with some other persons, you should wake up early to have your Quite Time before they wake up. Apart from the morning Quite Time, it is also proper to follow the example of our Lord who often sent the multitude away and retired to a lonely place to commune with God. We also have the example of David and Daniel who prayed three times a day (Psalm 55:17; Daniel 6:10).
- What is needed for Quite Time?
- (a) A good Bible with Concordance
- (b) And aid to daily Bible Study
- (c) Quite Time Notebook – for jotting down lesson learnt from the study of the Bible.
- (d) A prayer notebook – for writing out prayer requests and noting the answered prayers.
- How to have Quite Time?
- (a) Come before the Lord in Reverence, in faith, in meekness and with an open mind. It is always better to kneel down but, if sleepy, one can stand up for some time.
- (b) Ask the Holy Spirit, the Author of the Bible, to explain His Word to you as you study (Psalm 119:18). The Word of God is food for soul. As you study it and pray, you are strengthened in the inner man to face the day’s temptations and problems.
- (c) Listen attentively in your inner man to what God gas to teach you in the passage of Scripture you are studying. It may be a warning to heed, a good example to follow, a pitfall to avoid, a command to obey, a promise to claim or a task to perform.
- (d) Believe what the Lord has taught you and write it down in your Quite Time notebook for future reference.
- (e) Read the notes or commentary in your devotional aid or any other guide, for more lessons.
- (f) Pray in faith on what you have learnt with a firm decision to obey the Lord, believing that His grace is sufficient for you.
- How long should one spend on Quite Time?
There is no hard and fast rule about the length of time to be spent on Quite Time. Although what matters is the quality of a Quite Time and not the length of time, but since it is a joyful thing for the child of God to commune with his Father, the new convert will spend more time with the Lord as he grows in the Lord and loves Him more.
- During the day, the believer should meditate on what the Lord has taught him during his Quite Time and practice them.
STEPS TO SPIRITUAL FRUITFULNESS
It is the desire of every Christian to be a strong disciple of Christ, to be consistently holy, dynamic, effective and fruitful in the Lord’s vineyard.
The fulfillment of this desire is provided through literature – tracts, magazine, booklets, video messages and MP3 or MP4 CD audio player.
Get a pack of tracts and reach out with them trusting Jesus for fruitfulness. These tracts are aimed at:
T – Testify to those who are unsaved.
R – Reaching the in churched multitudes.
A – Admonishing those who are perplexed.
C – Converting and converting nominal Christians and deceived religionists.
T – Teaching the ignorant, the babes and growing Christians.
S – Strengthening the weak.
Tracts given to a friend or complete stranger can be a good introduction to spiritual conversation.
Tracts can be a vital way of spreading the Gospel. Tracts are silent missionaries which lead sinners to Christ, heal the sick and strengthen the believer.
Tracts can also be an effective means of following up the new converts.
EXPONENTIAL LAW OF SPIRITUAL REPRODUCTION
- Creature and the unchangeable law of reproduction.
- What is the significance of ‘after their kind’. ‘After his kind’ in Genesis 1:21-25? Trace this law in the vegetable and animal Kingdom and in the human race. Bring out an important spiritual lesson.
- How do we see the exponential law of reproduction in Genesis 1:21-28; 9:1?
An eye opener! The spiritual application here is breath-taking and fantastic. If groups of dedicated, covenant – keeping Christian apply this faithfully, they will cover the land in one year! Start with 100 Christians who love God and have zeal, faith, conviction and soul compassion. Each of them wins one every months, they become 212 x 100 saved, strong, steadfast Christians. An Army for 212 x 100 = 409, 600.
- God created all life with the ability to reproduce itself. His COMMAND was: “be fruitful and multiply.” What is true in the realm of natural law is often true in the spiritual.
- (i) What is the spiritual state of the natural man? 1 Timothy 5:6; Luke 9: 59, 60; 15: 32, 24; Ephesians 2:1; Jude 12; Ephesians 5:14.
- (ii) What is the spiritual implication of being “born again?” John 3:3-36; 1 John 3:14; Ephesians 2:1; Romans 8:9-17; Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:13; John 5:24.
- (iii) How does “after his kind” and “be fruitful and multiply” apply in spiritual reproduction? Galatians 4:19; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Corinthians 11:2; John 15:5-6, 16; 2 Peter 1:3-4; of Exodus 23:25-26; with John 15:2.
- (iv) Mark which ever applies to you:
In the past from today till you see God
( ) born to die ( ) born to live
( ) born to be barren ( ) born to reproduce
( ) born to born ( ) born to burn
- THE NEW Creation and Personal Evangelism
The theological name given to this ‘reproduction’ is Personal Evangelism.
Personal Evangelism is an endeavour motivated by love and compassion on the part of a Christian to show another person from the Bible.
- (i) His need as a lost sinner.
- (ii) That this need is Jesus Christ, Saviour and
- (iii) How to live for Him henceforth.
- Why is Personal Evangelism important?
- (i) It is your Father’s heart desire.
Ezekiel 18:23, 32, 33:11; 22: 30; John 3:16: 1 John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Isaiah 6:8.
- (ii) Your Saviour and Lord taught it by word and laid the example down for believers to follow.
John 3:1-3; 3:5-43; Matthew 4:19; John 17:17-18; Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 19:10; 1 Peter 2:21; Acts 8:1-4 with Mark 16:20.
- (iii) It is the Christian’s responsibility. Ezekiel 3:17-18; 33:1-11; Proverbs 24:11-12; 11:26; 1 Corinthians 9:16; James 4:17.
- (iv) The reality of hell is enough to stir us to win souls.
Psalm 9:17; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 14:11; 20:15.
- (v) The value of a soul makes evangelism a necessity. Mark 8:36-37; Psalm 49:6-7; Mathew 10:28; 6:25-26.
- (vi) The shortness of time and the endlessness of ETERNITY make it binding on you to evangelize. Psalm 90:10-12; 144:4; John 9:4; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; Romans 13:11-14; James 4:13-14; 1 Peter 1:24; Matthew 25:46.
Lifetime is brief but eternity is an ocean without shores. It is time without end. It is the lifetime of God.
A VESSEL OF HONOUR
God is looking for better men rather than better methods. God depends on men (not empty methods) to make them channels through which His power and love can flow to others. The preacher is the golden pipe through which the divine oil flows. He makes or mars the message from God to man. The pipe must not only be golden, but open and blemish-less, that the oil may have a full, unhindered, unwasted flow. What the preacher says is tinctured, impregnated by whom the preachers is. The message grows because the man grows. The message is forceful because the man is forceful. The message is full of divine unction because the man is full of the divine unction. The message cannot rise in its life-giving force above the man. Dead men give out dead messages, and dead messages kill. Everything depends on the spiritual character of the preacher. Preachers are not message- makers but men-makers and saint-makers and he only is well trained for this business that has made himself a man a saint. It is not great talents or great learning that God needs; but men, great in holiness, great in love, great in fidelity; if they be men-pleasers or men-fearers, if their faith has a weak hold on God or His word, they cannot take hold of the word of God. Only hearty, compassionate, fearless men, clothed with humility, abiding in meekness, wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove, having the simplicity and sweetness of a child and throwing themselves with all the abandon of a perfect self-emptying faith and a self-consuming zeal, into the work of soul winning can take a generation for God.
- To be effective in soul winning, you must be
- (i) Born again – John 3:7; Matthew 15:14; John 9:31-333.
- (ii) Living above sin – Isaiah 52:11; 2 Timothy 2:21; 1 Timothy 4:12.
- (iii) Prayerful – Luke 11:5-10; 18:1; Acts 6:4; Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 1:9.
- (iv) Thoroughly familiar with God’s Word – Acts 6:4; 2 Timothy 4:2; 11 Timothy 4:13.
- (v) Compassionate and zealous – Acts 20:31.
Why not pray God to do a deeper work in you through the cleaning Blood of Jesus and also consecrate yourself to a thorough and more consistent study of the Holy Bible? It will be richly rewarding there and eternally.
- What is the importance of motives in anything we do? Acts 5:34-39; 20: 28; Matthew 6:5-16; Philippians 1:15-17; John 5:44; 12:43.
There are many who are motivated by bigotry (Luke 9:49; Numbers 11:28-29), personal ambition (2 Samuel 15:1-6), love of praise, pride of denomination (Isaiah 65:1-5), love authority (2 Samuel 15:1-10), and pride of talent. Such workers are found wanting in the sight of God (Revelation 2:1-5; 1 Corinthians 13:17).
If a zealous, diligent soul winner sat down to evaluate his motives, with an open heart to listen to the Spirit’s conversation, and correction, he might find the analysis of his zeal something like this:
Personal ambition ……………………………………………..20%
Love of praise …………………………………………………….15%
Denomination pride …………………………………………..15%
Love of Authority ……………………………………………..15%
Pride of Talents ……………………………………………..….15%
Love of God ………………………………………………………….5%
Love of Men ………………………………………………………….5%
Try and write up a sincere, candid analysis and evaluation of your motives for evangelism and doing well on general. What will yours look like when it is analyzed?
You must realize, however, that this analysis is not designed to make you listen to the “accuser of the brethren” and keep you from doing the Masters work. It is only to make you listen to the Spirit so as to do the Master’s work better. The Blood of Jesus cleanses from wrong habits as well as wrong motives.
- (a) What specific characteristic exalt a nation? Proverbs 14:34; Psalm 33:12.
(b) What brings reproach, disgrace, downfall upon a nation? Proverbs 14:34; Deuteronomy 18:9-12; Psalm 9:17, from these references what is the effect of social sins, occult practices and atheistic campaigns on a nation?
- What part does God play in the affairs of nations according to the following scriptures? Psalm 22:28; Deuteronomy 2:20-21; Romans 13:1
- What are the specific responsibilities of Christians towards their government and leaders? 1 Peter 2:13- 15; Titus 3:1; 1Timothy 2:1-4.
- State a divine principle of God’s judgment, in the light of the following scriptures? Genesis 18:25, 26, 32; Jeremiah 18:7-9; Jonah 3:3-10.
- What should be the effect of the presence of righteous believers in your country or residence? Matthew 5:13; Ezekiel 22: 29-30; James 5: 16; Exodus 32:9-14.
- To deliver and set the human race free from sin and sin satan’s dominion, Jesus had to deny Himself His very life (John 3:16; 16:13; Colossians 1:13-14; 1 Peter 2:24). In making individuals to experience freedom, deliverance and redemption, He sent His disciples to tell the nations what He has done to set us free (John 8:32; Romans 10:12, 13,14,17; John 20:21; Luke 24:47-48; Acts 3:26).
The early disciples were so loyal to God and their entire lives were directed towards worshipping God, serving the body of Christ and saving the lost.
Acts 2:44-46; 4:32-37; 5:41-42; 6:7; 8:1-4; 9:19-23; 10:36-37; 11:19-23; 12:24; 13:44, 47-49; 14:21-23; 15:25-26;17:2-4; 6:10-12; 18:12, 24-28; 19:9-11, 18-20; 20:20, 27, 31; 21:10-14; 24:24,25; 26:22-29; 27:23-24; 28:8,9, 22, 23, 30, 31.
Those early believers have served their own generation, bringing others to God. They cannot serve this generation. But you can do that. Where are the 20th century believers who can throw their lives, reputation and possessions into winning the nation for God? Where is the man who is to the front-line of soul winning – a man of one thought, the Gospel of Christ; a man of one purpose, the glory of God. Where is the man who sees only one thing, who is swallowed up in only one thing – the salvation of the world?
God needs you if you are full of zeal, compassion, humility, faith, love, power and wisdom. You can serve your generation from eternal destruction.
Come to a decision. Decision your whole life to God. Consecrate yourself entirely to God and to soul winning.
PROPER PERSPECTIVE IN SOUL WINNING
- “In His Steps.” 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6; John 13:15; 20: 21. The Christian is identified with Christ in all phases of life and so every believer ought to live as He lived. John 15:5a; Galatians 2:20; Romans 5:4; 1 John 4:17; Romans 5:17; John 14:12.
- Christ’s Ministry of soul winning, Luke 19:10; 1 Timothy 1:15. He came to save souls and He ‘specialized’ in the art of soul winning. He never lost any opportunity. Nobody was neglected – He talked to individuals, preached in villages and cities, and taught in synagogues and mountain sides.
He never lived for self. He lived for others and God. He was everywhere helping almost every time. He could go anywhere to help anybody at anytime.
In soul winning, He constantly manifested:
- (i) Luke 2:42, 46, 50; John 4:5, 6, 7, 31-34; 9:4.
- (ii) Matthew 9:34-38; 17:1-4, 14-19; John 11:35-36; see Luke 10:30-37.
- (iii) Lowliness and Humility. Luke 7:36-50; Luke 19:1-10.
- (iv) Faith, Fearless and Power. Mark 5:1-20; John 11:38-45, 48.
- (v) Self-denial, Consecration and Diligence. Matthew 14:9-21; Luke 23:33-43; 19:13; 2 Timothy 4:2.
- (vi) Love, Kindness and Mercy. Mark 10:17-30; Matthew 15:25-28; Luke 13:1-5.
- (vii) Clarity and Charity. Mark 10:17-30; Matthew 15:28; Luke 13:1-5.
- (viii) Wisdom Destiny and Tact. John 4:7, 10, 14, 15 – 18, 25, 26, 28-30, 40-42.
It should be the sincere desire of every Christians to be like Christ. Here then is what Jesus Christ lived for. Do thus likewise. Follow His steps.
PERSONAL EVANGELISM OUR RESPONSIBILITY
Soul winning is a Divine drama – taking men out of hands of the enemy, out of bondage, darkness, failure and weakness, and giving them strength, light, joy and success. The Lord is restoring love for souls into the church and children of God and many are burdened for souls. In 1975 the Methodist Pentecostal Church in Santiago had 80,000 members. How does that compare with the early church? God is doing it again.
Yet, we must say that some hearts are unnecessarily cold, others insipidly lukewarm – half awake half asleep. This may be caused by a number of reasons. Some of them are ignorant of the state and end of sinners, ignorant of the shortness of time, ignorant of the Lord’s will and plan, unconcerned, negligent and fearful.
Quoting from the Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman (Professor of Evangelism in a Seminary), he says ‘it is ironic when one stops to think about it. In an age when facilities for rapid communication of the Gospel are available to the church as never before, we are actually accomplishing less in winning the world for God than before the invention of the horseless carriage.’
In the estimation of Jesus Christ evangelism or winning of soul is more importance to God than what dear children of God are busy about. Think about it.
- What did Jesus give His time and life for? (John 9:4; Luke 19:10; Matthew 4:23; 9:35; Mark 1:38-39; Luke 10:1)
- What does He expect from His followers? (1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6; Matthew 4:19; John 17:18; 20:21; Acts 1:8 mark 16:15).
- What was the Old Testament method of evangelism? (Psalm 107:2; Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Psalm 68:11; 2 Kings 5:2-3; Ruth 1:15-18).
The Old Testament worshippers were not concerned with soul winning. Their main emphasis was upon temporal blessings, victory over enemies and the preservation of Mosaic institution in Israel (see Matthew 23:15).
- Were the disciples of Jesus involved in an evangelism programmed during the life – time of Jesus? (John 1:40-24, 43-47; 4:28-30; 39-41; Matthew 10:1, 5,-8; Luke9:1; 2; 9:49-50; Mark 5:15-20; Luke 10:1-3, 9, 17-24; Mark 6:34).
What type of evangelism do we observe here? Personal evangelism and open-air and Mass evangelism. For the second type, see Nehemiah 8:10, 12; Jonah 3:2-10; Matthew 3:1-12; Luke 13:26; 14:21-23; Acts 8:4; 22-34.
- The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:47-49).
The principles of soul winning are also revealed in Luke 9:59, 60; 10;30-37; 12:47, 48; 14:23; 19:13; Revelation 22:17; Proverbs 19:17; 11:26, 25 24; Daniel 12:3, 4; Proverbs 11:30.
- The method of the early church in spreading the Gospel (Acts 18:1-8; 5:42; 6:2-15; 7:1-60; 8:3-8, 26-39; 9:10-22).
If God remains the same; if the Lord, our Saviour, has not changed; if the Holy Spirit, working in believers, is still the same; and if believers are still believers of the first-century type; then the spreading of the Gospel should continue as it was in the early church. Every member should evangelize.
- Reasons why Personal Evangelism must take first priority in your life.
- (i) Time is short, the end is near (John 9:4; 1 Corinthians 7:29, 35; Romans 13:12; Matthew 24:33, 24).
- (ii) Souls are precious to God (Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36,37; 10:31; 6:25,26; Psalm 49:6-9).
- (iii) Hell is the end of all who die in sin (Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-31; Psalm 9:17; Revelation 20:10-15).
- (iv) Multitudes die every day.
- (v) Power of darkness and cults are growing (2 Timothy 3:13; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Peter 3:3; 2 Corinthians 10:4, 5).
- (vi) Plenteous harvests are ripe already. Delay causes waste (John 4:35; Matthew 9:36, 37).
- (vii) At present, in Nigeria, there are more people in the other religions than even church-goers. Except we go to them in their houses, the church cannot reach them.
- (viii) Among the Bible readers, there is more dedication among the ‘blind’ than among those who are saved. We must wake up.
- (ix) Many villages, towns, cities, do not have Gospel churches.
- (x) Those who neglect soul winning will be guilty before God (Ezekiel 3:17-20; Matthew 25:14, 15, 19, 24-30; Judges 5:23; 1 Kings 20:29-40; 1 Corinthians 9:16).
- (xi) Neglect hinders your prayers and progress (Proverbs 21:13; 24:11, 12; 11:26; Haggai 1:4-11).
- (xii) Conversion of sinners causes joy in Heaven (Luke 15:10).
- (xiii) Every believers ought to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5; Acts 10:28; Matthew 9:36).
- (xiv) You are saved to serve. There are no useless members in the Body.
- (xv) You do not belong to yourself (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Matthew 25:14-19, 30; Ezekiel 3:17-18; 33:1-6).
God is in need of men and humanity is in need of soul winners (Isaiah 6:8; Ezekiel 22:30, 31). Who will go? ‘Here am I.’
PERSONAL EVANGELISM – OUR URGENT TASK
1 Kings 6:28; 7:16.
- The Present State of the nation (2 Kings 6:28-30). Sins and sinners are to the increase (Ezra 9:6; Jeremiah 5:28; Matthew 12:45; 13:15; 2 Timothy 3:13). Death and judgment are sure and imminent – be alarmed! (Hebrews 9:27; Job 30:23; Psalm 49; 10; Ecclesiastes 8:8; Revelation 21:8; Luke 16:19-31).
Average life-span of people in the world is about 40 years. About 87 million people die every year – more than 238,000 die every day, more than 9,916 die every hour. Have you ever seen one single individual die? Think and meditate on the implications of many you have known dying.
Population growth is alarming (Genesis 1:28). The population of Nigeria in 1972 was over 50, 000, 000. The population increases at the rate of 121/2. That means an increase of 1, 250, 000 every year! Do born again Christians and soul winners increase at rapid rate to meet up the tremendous task? Are you concerned for the eternal welfare of these multitudes?
- Prophecy, Provision, and Participation 92 Kings 7:1-16). Salvation provided (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 26:28; Acts 4:12).
God in prophecy, provided for salvation (Genesis 3; 15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 26:28; Acts 4:12; 1 Kings 7:1-16). Our responsibility is to tell others (1 Kings 7:8-11; Ezekiel 3:18). Nobody has a right to hear Gospel twice before others have opportunity to hear once. Imagine an individual to whom a letter was written instructing him to save and rescue another who was on the brink of death. The letter also contents until the unfortunate man should have helped died. What a love for letter, yet what cruelty to the injured. What a great condemnation awaits slothful Christians who hide under religious pretenses.
Evangelism is the urgent task for every believers (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15, 16; Genesis 3:9 with 4:9).
Christ has no hands but you hands,
To do His work today.
He has no feet but your feet,
To lead men in His way.
He has no tongue but your tongue,
To tell men how He die,
He has no help but your help,
To bring them to His side.
We are the Bible
The careless world will read;
We are the sinner’s Gospel,
We are the scoffer’s creed,
Given in word and in deed.
What if the type is crooked?
What if the print is blurred?
What if your hands are busy
With other work than His?
What if your feet are walking
Where His work is left indone?
What if your tongue is speaking
Of things that do not save sinners
How can you hope Him
And escape the idler’s condemnation?
- Knowledge transferred into Action (2 Kings 7:9-11). If you are a Christian, you must be a soul winner (2 Kings 7:9-11). This is because
- Others sought you.
- The world needs Christ.
- The Church is sadly ineffective by the modern method.
- Every Christian can be a witness.
- What God expects of every Christian He enables each to perform.
- Personal Evangelism may be practiced anywhere, anytime, and without any expense.
- Personal Evangelism is able to meet and satisfy every spiritual need.
Genesis 18:19; 19:12-14; Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Joshua 4:21-24; Psalm 51:12, 13; 68:11; 71:15-18; Proverbs 11:30; Jeremiah 5:24; Ezekiel 3:17; 22:30; Daniel 12:3; Matthew 4:19; Luke 9:59, 60; Matthew 9:35-38; 28:19-20; Mark 1:15; Luke 19:10; John 17:17, 18; 20:21; 15: 16; Acts 1:8; 8:4; 20:20, 21; Philippians 4:9; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21;Galatians 5:22; 6: 1-4; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; James 5: 19, 20; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 22:17.
- The messenger or the soul winner must
- Have a personal assurance of salvation (1 John 3:3).
- Be living above sin, the flesh and the world daily (John 8: 34; 17:14-16; 1 John 5: 4; 2: 15-17; Romans 13: 12-14).
- Have Christlike compassion for the lost (Matthew 9:26).
- Have a regular, effective, and dynamic prayer life (John 15:5; James 5:17-18).
- Have a thorough working knowledge of the scriptures especially on salvation and relevant topics (Hebrews 4:12).
- Be a practical Christian who lives in the personal enjoyment or benefit of the Great and wonderful promises of God (Acts 1:8; 2:39; Mark 11:22-24; 3 John 2; John 16:8).
The massage is NOT
- To get a person interested in church-going (Luke 6:46).
- To make a person change churches (Acts 4:12).
- To accept Christianity as the best religion (Romans 7:24).
- To start doing good (Isaiah 64:6).
- To stop smoking, drinking, etc., by will-power (Mark 10:17-25).
- To start trusting God for healing, miracles, etc. (Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
- To keep the law (Romans 3:20).
The massage must
- Convert the sinner of his sins (John 16:8; Acts 2:37-39)
- Awaken the sinner to his helplessness and need of Christ. (Acts 4:12).
- Open the sinner’s eyes to the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice (Matthew 26:28).
- Quicken faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour (Ephesians 2:8).
- Draw the sinner to meaningful, sincere and hearty decision to forsake all sins and receive Jesus as Saviour (John 1:12).
PERSONAL EVANGELISM – COMPLETE OBEDIENCE TO THE GREAT COMMISSION
Personal evangelism is a most rewarding task. And the Lord has promised to give us all that we need to fully accomplish the work. The Lord abundantly gives the needed love, zeal, compassion, faith, knowledge, wisdom and power to all who ask in faith (James 1:5; Ephesians 3:16-20; Luke 11:5-10).
- The part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19, 20). Warn sinners of sin and judgment and win them to Christ. Why do we WARN sinners whom we are to win for Christ?
- (i) satan’s grip (Luke 11:21; 2 Timothy 2:26; Romans 6:16; Isaiah 42:7).
- (ii) The sinner’s ignorance (Joy 20:4-24; 21:7-26; Psalm 73: 3-22; Ecclesiastes 11:5; Romans 10: 3; Ephesians 4: 18; Acts 17: 23).
- (iii) The sinner’s environment (Nehemiah 9:34; Jeremiah 5:31; Lamentations 4: 13-15; Hosea 6:9-10; Romans 3: 9-18).
- (iv) The sinner’s nature and state (Psalm 51: 5; 2 Peter 2: 19; Proverbs 5:22; 1 Timothy 4: 1-2).
- (v) God’s judgment (Ezekiel 3: 18-21; 33: 3, 7-11; Acts 20:31; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 2 Corinthians 5:11; Hebrews 12: 29).
After the sinner has been awakened from sleep, converted of sin by the Holy Spirit, convinced of the danger that lies ahead, desirous of deliverance from sin and satan’s power, the task of the soul winner is to WIN the sinner to Christ:
- (i) Like you win a bride for bridegroom.
- (ii) By presenting the Saviour who save readily and miraculously (Matthew 1: 21; Luke 19: 10; John 8: 34-36; 1 Timothy 1: 15; Romans 1: 16).
- (iii) By presenting the promises of God that build up faith for salvation (Romans 10:13-17; Acts 2: 17, 21; Ephesians 2:4-9; Titus 2:11-14).
- The second part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 19, 20).
“Teaching them to observe” (Matthew 28: 20; Acts 2: 41, 42).
Scriptural examples of following-up involves the conservation, maturing and multiplication of the fruit of evangelism (Colossians 1:28). The new convert requires parental guidance and special feeding on “the milk of the word” (1 Peter 2:2). The new convert needs the personal attention of the soul winner to have his question answered.
Paul’s examples of following-up are note worthy here (Acts 15: 36, 41; 18: 23; 14: 21-23; Philippians 2: 19, 20).
For example of Paul, mention at least four ways in which we can follow up new converts.
There are basic things you must teach new converts. They include: how to live a victorious Christ life (Matthew 28: 20; John 8:11; Luke 9:23-26; Matthew 10 37-39; 18: 15-35; 18:7-9; how to pray (Matthew 28: 20; Luke 18: 1; Matthew 26: 41; 7:7-11; Mark 11: 22-24; how to develop the habit of studying God’s word (Matthew 28: 220; Luke 18: 1; John 5: 29; 1 Peter 2: 2; Job 23: 12; Psalm 119: 72, 103, 140; James 1: 222); and how to obey the Great Commission in witnessing (Matthew 28: 20; 9: 27, 38; Mark 5: 19-20; Luke 9 : 59, 62; Acts 26: 15-20).
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