May 10, 2018
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he that winneth souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30.
If you are a Christian then someone presented the Gospel to you. It may have been that you were raised in a Christian home and your parents nurtured you in God’s word and led by example so there was never any doubt in your mind about your need for Jesus. If that’s the case then your parents have earned a crown. Or, you may have happened to talk with a friend who presented you with the Gospel and you realized your need for salvation in Jesus. If that’s the case then your friend has earned a crown. Every Christian should have a desire to tell everyone about Jesus and spread the Gospel. In fact, Jesus gave us orders to do just that. “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24:46-47. Jesus did His part for the salvation of the world by giving His life for us, now it’s up to us to do our part and share the Gospel. Every Christian has been commissioned to spread the Gospel but few of us do. Why is that?
Many Christians aren’t prepared to share God’s word. Most of us find it easy to share unimportant things with other people, such as hobbies or political views, but the most important thing that we can share is the Gospel. Could it be that we don’t spread the Gospel because we try to complicate it? We think that only very wise men who have gone to seminary are qualified. Wrong. Jesus didn’t choose the religious leaders when looking for men to teach, but He chose fishermen, tax collectors, and other regular men to be His disciples. Paul was an exception…he was schooled in the Law and very intolerant of Christians until he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul was given the challenging job of spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles. The Gospel message has never changed. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. That’s really pretty simple. State the facts. We are all sinners and Christ died for our sins, He was buried, He conquered death and rose on the third day, and he appeared to many people who were well aware of the crucifixion. Paul also shared his personal testimony. Every Christian has a testimony that can be used to share the Gospel with others. Take a minute and think about how you came to faith in Jesus. Is there someone you know who you can share that testimony with? The person you share with may have questions and it would be good for you to have answers. “I’m a good person, how can you say I’m a sinner” or “I’m too bad so hasn’t God gave up on me long ago”. Could you give answers to these questions? Study God’s word and become familiar with what it says and that will help you to have confidence when sharing the Gospel.
Soul winners aren’t unique people. They are Christians just like you and me, but they aren’t shy about sharing their faith. It seems that in today’s world we can share everything except Jesus. Do you have a Facebook account? How many times do you share a cute video of a kitten or your innermost feelings of hurt and anger, but have you ever shared your testimony? Have you ever shared the Gospel? When talking with friends or co-workers do you share Jesus? You never know when the words you say will cause someone to give their life to Jesus. We forget that we live on the mission field. Jesus didn’t commission anyone to go build houses in a foreign land and call it missionary work. He commissioned us to spread the Gospel. It’s to be taken into all the world, but that doesn’t negate the need for mission work in your own town. You may be surprised to find that there are many lost souls in your neighborhood and in your own family. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:14-15. If you don’t share the Gospel, who will? It might be hard to tell sweet little Aunt Bessie that she faces eternal death unless she understands that she’s a sinner in need of salvation, but it’s important that she hear God’s truth before it’s too late. The Good News is that faith in the shed blood of Jesus on the cross was the final sacrifice that takes sin away. There’s no other way to salvation. It’s a gift that has to be accepted by each person individually, but unless a person is told the Gospel truth, how will they know?
There are some people who, for one reason or another, think they are a Christian but they have never confessed Jesus as their Saviour. Were you baptized when you were a baby? That wasn’t a choice on your part and Baptism won’t bring salvation. You need to make your own confession of faith and then choose to be baptized. A soul winner will be able to explain that it’s a personal choice that nobody can make for you. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10. Many people who belong to cults believe they are saved. Can you explain to a Mormon why Jesus isn’t the brother of Lucifer? Jesus is God and Creator of everything and existed prior to everything, including Lucifer and the angels. That truth can’t be compromised. Many people also think that there are many paths that lead to Heaven. A soul winner will lead a lost soul to the only path that leads to eternal life. That life is found in Jesus.
The Bible is filled with examples of soul winning and we need to follow those examples. Jesus sent out missionaries and set the standard for spreading the Good News and soul winning. “And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” Luke 10:8-9. He sent them to nearby towns and told them to heal the sick and share God’s word. That’s missionary work. You don’t need to go somewhere far away, but look for opportunities in your own town, your own home, and even your own congregation. The seventy who Jesus sent out got results. “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” Luke 10:17. Scripture doesn’t say how many souls these seventy missionaries reached, but they were obedient to what Jesus told them to do…share the Gospel. Another example of soul winning was on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached the Gospel. At first the people who were listening mocked the Apostles, but after Peter spoke plainly to them about Jesus, many were saved. “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:40-41. Peter had been a fisherman, but he spoke the Gospel and people listened. Another time Peter and John encountered a crippled man who was begging for money. “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Acts 3:6. This opened the way for Peter to share the Gospel with all who were nearby. You don’t need gimmicks, just God’s truth and a desire to win souls.
God loves everyone, but not everyone loves God. Your love for Jesus should cause you to want everyone you know to come to salvation. You really don’t want anybody to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. You can also win a crown for soul winning. “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” Philippians 4:1. It’s hard to imagine how many people Paul led to Jesus, but it must be millions. In his letter to the Philippians he called them his “joy and crown”. Not only did he tirelessly spread the Gospel in person, but his letters are still bringing people to Jesus. Paul’s example of missionary work should be studied and applied today. He didn’t hide the Gospel in works, but he boldly presented the Gospel to the lost people he met. He didn’t just tell them about salvation through Jesus, he also mentored them, which is something missing in many congregations today. Paul was in Thessalonica for three weeks and when he left they not only knew why they needed to accept Jesus for salvation, but they had been taught deep truths, such as the Rapture. Soul winning and mentoring is easier when you know what you’re talking about, so do some study yourself. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. Few Christians are taught much more than “You’re a sinner and need a Saviour” even though they’ve been “going to church” for decades. Study God’s word and be sure to mentor the next generation of soul winners.
“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” 1 Thessalonians 2:19. Soul winners share the Gospel and bring the lost to Jesus. Be one and win a crown.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.