Soul-Winning Principle: The Person
While much more could be said concerning the message that God has given to us to herald, we should venture into the area of the person that communicates this message. Is there anything we need to know about the Soul-Winner?
All throughout God’s Word we can see principles concerning God’s redemptive plan and in Numbers chapter 16 we are presented with a vivid picture of the Soul-Winner.
The chapter starts in verses 1-6 with rebellion. Notice what verses 1-3 tells us about this rebellion:
Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?
Though it seems that this group was rebelling against Moses and Aaron, we are told in fact that they had rebelled against the LORD. Moses states this plainly:
“For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the LORD: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?”
And while we shake our heads at the foolishness of this group we cannot excuse ourselves from the truth that man, since the fall in Genesis 3, has been in rebellion against God.
"They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof." Job 24:13 (Compare with John 3:20)
Just like the children of Israel the natural man without Jesus is at enmity with God.
As the passage continues God renders judgment upon this rebellion and in verse 30-32; the wages of sin are paid.
And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.
The only ground separating the lost man from eternity is God’s mercy and grace. Just as rebellion was judged then by our Sovereign God, judgment for every person is one breath closer. Those who are lost, without Christ, will face the result of rejecting Jesus Christ; rebellion against God. The pit of judgment could open at any moment. The time is unknown as to when every Soul will be called to account.
Surprisingly, though the same result has been repeated over and over again throughout man’s existence. It is shocking that the next group here in our passage continues down the same path. In verse 41 we see this sad statement:
"But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD. And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.”
How can this be that man would continue to walk off the cliff to utter destruction in the same fashion repeating the mistakes of untold numbers before them? And yet it is that all around us, the path of rebellion continues. What can be done? This is where we see this picture of our Great High Priest; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But also, as ambassadors for the Great King, we see the picture of the Soul-Winner as well.
After the glory of the LORD appeared the LORD makes this statement:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.”
Who will not tremble at the wrath of Almighty God?
Notice the first response of the godly sort. “They fell upon their faces…” More than anything, the Soul-Winner needs to be on their face before God. We must avail ourselves of the throne room of grace beseeching our God for boldness, mercy, and the souls of men. And yet too often we are quicker to take up the censer, having forgotten that the increase comes from God.
Secondly, we find that the godly sort needs two things; fire and incense. The incense and fire from the altar speak of the only atonement that can appease the just and holy judgment of our God. Aaron here typifies both Jesus Christ who “who came into the world to make an atonement for sin and to turn away wrath…” (Matthew Henry) and also the Soul-Winner in delivering the message of Salvation. We as ambassadors, must take the Gospel message of our Lord and Savior; for it is the only option for the rebellious posterity of Adam.
Thirdly, concerning the messenger we must notice the urgency. Verse 46 tells us that Aaron must “go quickly unto the congregation…” Why? Because “the plague has begun.” There is no doubt that sin has destroyed man. The plague is already begun. In fact, we are told explicitly that those who have not accepted Jesus Christ “…the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
Lastly, it is not good enough to pray about it and prepare for the delivery of the message without going. Had Aaron not gone into the midst of the congregation all would be lost. Verse 47 tells us that the we are to go.
“And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation;”
In fact, this last phrase in verse 48 embodies the work of personal evangelism. “And he stood between the dead and the living…” What a powerful truth! Notice the dead are mentioned before the living. Picture Aaron running through the masses with his censer. In front, before him, where the atonement had not been applied we find the dead. Those behind him, saved by offering made unto God, stand the living. Let us take this phrase and not forget about this Soul-Winning principle; the person.
- James Grandinetti, Community Outreach Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
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Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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