Acts 5:42 "And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."
I am not against inviting people to church. I am not against membership campaigns that churches might carry out. However, I do want you to notice that the Bible does not say that the early church tried to multiply the number of the disciples. What it does say is that every day, publicly and privately, they told people about Jesus Christ. The result, as we find from the next verse, was that "the number of the disciples was multiplied."
One of the mistakes of church building is that church growth should not be the primary goal. We should not wait until we get enough good workers to start a Soul-Winning program. We should be winning souls no matter how many people we have in our churches.
When it comes to Soul-Winning there are a number of misconceptions people have about it. Let me give you five truths about Soul-Winning that will correct some of those misconceptions.
1. Soul-Winning Is A Command, Not A Spiritual Gift
Matthew 28: 19-20 "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."
All those who have been born again should carry out this command. It's not a suggestion to consider; it's a command to obey! You don't need to pray about whether or not you should do it. You just DO it!
We should coach our converts. Look at Matthew 28:20a "Teaching THEM to observe ALL things whatsoever I have commanded YOU." Don't forget that part of the 'teaching them' is doing what is commanded in vs)19. Too many people today want to do the teaching part but not what was initially commanded. Many people have never been trained to go Soul-Winning. But, thank God that we here at SBC have given people numerous opportunities to learn how to win people to Christ.
2. Soul-Winning Is Chief, Not Secondary
1 Timothy 1:15 "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."
Soul-Winning was the motivation of Christ. He came into this world to save sinners. He lived without sin so He could die as a sacrifice for sinners. He died on the cross for sinners. He rose again for sinners. Therefore it is the mission of the church.
Matthew 4:19 says, "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." If you take to heart 2 Corinthians 5:20a where it says, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ," we see the clear and compelling mission of the church.
It is the main emphasis of the church. Every ministry of the church is either to win souls or to strengthen Christians so that they are able to win souls. If a ministry is not doing that we have forgotten what the main emphasis of the church ought to be.
3. Soul-Winning Is Charity, Not Solicitation
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Some businesses today try to forbid Soul-Winning on their property with a posted notice against solicitation. However, Soul-Winning is not solicitation. To solicit is "to ask for or plead for, especially in reference to receiving payment or money."
We offer a fantastic gift - eternal life. What can be better than spending an eternity with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in heaven. Nobody can offer us eternal life except for Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 3:15 "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." Some have tried to find the fountain of youth, others have spent millions of dollars in hope cryogenics will preserve them so they can one day be brought back to life to be healed. But Jesus said in Matthew 25:46, speaking of all those who reject Him as Saviour, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
We offer a free gift. It's free, but it's not cheap! It was paid for by the most precious substance in the universe, the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. You can't buy it. You can't earn it. You can't work in order to get it. You can only receive it as a free gift from God by faith in Christ Jesus. What was the cost of this gift? It was none other than the life blood of Jesus Christ.
Peter 1: 18-22 "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:"
4. Soul-Winning Is Cooperation, Not A Single Effort
In 1 Corinthians 3:6 Paul says, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."
The Bible makes it clear that we don't win souls by our self. We cooperate with our Saviour. Paul writing to the Corinthian church tells us that in 1 Corinthians 3:9a "For we are labourers together with God." Throughout the Bible we are taught that God requires the work of man, and that he will not help those who will do nothing for themselves or for him. The world was to be evangelized not by sudden miracle, but by faithful human labour. Mark 16:20 states, "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."
We cooperate with other Soul-Winners. Luke 10:1 "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come." I believe it's the Lord's plan for us to go out two by two in our Soul-Winning and evangelistic efforts. King Solomon said, "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour" (Ecclesiastes 4:9). What joy and fellowship I have experienced down through the years as we shared the gospel to a lost and dying world with my Soul-Winning partners.
5. Soul-Winning Is Continuous, Not Sporadic
From out text we find these words, "and daily." Our Soul-Winning should be daily. I'm for churches having a night for organized Soul-Winning and visitation, but we should be winning souls every day! As a matter of fact, if the church as a whole would win souls on a daily basis our churches would be overflowing with new converts.
Our Soul-Winning should be deliberate. Jesus told His disciples to follow Him, and He would make them fishers of men. People don't catch fish by accident; they catch them on purpose. The reason Christians don't win souls is that they do not make a deliberate choice and plan to do it.
I challenge you to just do it! Let's go after sinners as we're commanded to do! No excuses, no lies, no alibis and no reason why not, just do it!
Dr. Jack Hyles went to be with the Lord years ago and wrote the following little poem entitled "Incomplete."
Like a fire with no glow, Like a winter with no snow,
Like a river with no flow, Like a conviction without a "NO,"
Like an oar without a row, Like a wind without a blow,
Like a scale without a do, Like a pitcher without a throw,
Like a harvest without a sow, Like a trip without a go,
Like a kneader without dough, Like a Santa without a Ho,
Like excess without overflow, Like a foot without a toe,
Like a gardener without a hoe, Like a cock without a crow,
Like a con without a pro, Like a high without a low,
Like a truth without a know, Like a fast without a slow,
Like a buck without a doe, Like an actor without a show,
Like above without below, Like a to without a fro,
Like violins without a bow,
IS A CHRISTIAN WHO WILL NOT GO.
- Pastor David Carroll, Senior Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Proverbs 4:23 "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."
I don't know about you, but I've heard this verse and quoted and said, "Yep that's good and so true!" But recently I really started thinking about it...what does this mean??...keep our heart? So I began to study it out some. The first place I went was to my study bible and it's explanation said this, "Heart could often be translated "mind". Since the Hebrews had no separate word for "mind" the word "heart" often served to represent the seat of the intellect. The key to the whole man is his mind! Whatever captures the mind captures the man.
Wow, this really began to open my eyes and help me understand the importance of guarding my mind. So we could say keep thy mind with all diligence. When I hear the word diligence or diligent I think of consistent, hard work. But as I was studying this out I found that guarded is another word that is used to describe diligence and for me that was the 'WOW' moment . We MUST guard our minds!
I would dare say we have all fallen prey to wrong and negative thinking at times.
Philippians 4:8 instructs us on the things we must think on: things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. What we think on WILL control us. The evil that is in this world constantly tries to engage our minds and if we entertain wrong thoughts, before you know it you will be so far out there you have come up with all kinds of "imaginations." II Corinthians 10:5-6 tell us we must cast down these imaginations and bring our thoughts captive.
"5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ: 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is full. " (II Corinthians 10: 5-6)
I love these two verses and we could teach an entire lesson from these. But we must be bringing out thoughts captive and guarding our minds. Listen to this situation and see if you can relate:
"Every morning when Laurie comes in to work she stops and chats with Susie. Well this particular morning Laurie comes in walks right past Susie's desk, doesn't look doesn't speak, nothing. Well Susie is all worked up now thinking well what is wrong with Laurie. She's mad at me? What did I do? Frustrated and upset the day goes on. Susie then sees Laurie down the hall go into the boss's office. Oh great Susie thinks, now she's going to tell the boss I'm a horrible worker and get me in trouble. How could she do this to me ? I thought we were friends. The anger and frustration for Susie builds. At lunch time Susie is in the break room eating and Laurie comes in. "Susie, you are not going to believe my morning! As I drove up to work this morning I did not think I would make it in the building, my stomach was so upset It was all I could do but run to the bathroom. It's been awful. Then the boss called me into her office to discuss that project I was working on last week. My it's been a crazy mourning for me. How has your morning been?"
Do we not do the same things? Jumping to conclusions before we know what the entire story is? Our thoughts can get us in a world of trouble and bring us down. If we start thinking on wrong things or past mistakes or looking at around at what others do and don't do. We are now no longer guarded. We can go in all kinds of wrong directions with our thoughts, But we can also go in the right direction and that is to follow the Philippians 4:8 pattern. BUT WE MUST CHOOSE to think rightly. The only way we can accomplish this is by filling our minds with the correct things. First and foremost this is done with God's Word. We find strength, help and instruction from God in His Word. It makes it harder for Satan to get his ugly clinches in you if you are diligently, as the first part of the verse says, in His Word daily.
The second part of this verse : for out of it are the issues of life. What's going on in our mind and thoughts will flow out into our daily living. That's plain and simple I think.
I've heard the saying what you feed grows. If we are feeding our minds with God's Word and right thinking then it will flow out in our lives by how we act and treat others. If we are not, well whatever else we are putting in will flow out! Whether it be wrong thoughts, wrong books, wrong movies, you fill in the blank it will affect your daily life and how you treat others.
Think about this I read this from the commentary Biblical Illustrator referencing our physical heart as an organ. "It is the fountain of life, through which the blood passes, to be distributed to every part of the system. Stop the heart, and death follows!!!!"
Wow, think about that with our minds. Stop right thinking, right feelings and you are shutting down our entire purpose of living, which is bringing honour and glory to our Saviour Jesus Christ!
Shannon Grandinetti, Women's Missionary Fellowship Director, Sharon Baptist Church
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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