THOSE THAT WIN SOULS
God loves the lost and has made plans to save them through the gospel. Do we really believe Judgment Day is going to come for every person, including those we know and love? If we do believe in the reality of Heaven and Hell we ought to get down on our knees and ask God to forgive our failures in the realm of evangelism. We should pray for God to give us the strength and courage to do what we ought to do. Then we should get up off our knees and share the gospel of Christ with as many as we can and do it as quickly as we can.
Those that win souls must make personal preparation. We can offer many excuses but Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14:15.) No one can be an effective soul winner until they are right with God. Our personal preparation reflects in our daily living. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23.) Be careful how you live, for you may be the only Bible some people ever read.
Those that win souls must have the proper attitude. Many of our spiritual failures can be traced to our attitudes. Philip “ran” to the man from Ethiopia with the gospel. (Acts 8:30.) The proper attitude is one of self denial. "Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." (Matthew 16:24.) The proper attitude is also one of dependence on God. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20.) Do you have the attitude of a soul winner?
Those that win souls must have a love for the lost. God loved lost humanity. The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16.) The lost person is somebody's father or mother, son or daughter, brother or sister. Let us have the same kind of love the father had for his prodigal son. (Luke 15:11-32.) Do you have a genuine love of the lost?
Those that win souls must have joy in their lives. Christians must learn to rejoice. "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4.) The privilege of being used by God as a soul winner should cause much rejoicing in our lives. "Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all." (Philippians 2:17.) Our joy must show as we live day by day with others. It is not enough to "out preach" others. We must "out live" others. Let your joy show!
Those that win souls must recognize the value of one soul. One soul is worth more than the wealth of the world. "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26.) I do not know who wrote these words but they are powerful! "If I firmly believed, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of Christianity in this life influences destiny in another world, Christianity would be to me, everything. I would cast aside earthly cares as follies and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Christianity would be my first waking thought and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I would labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow and eternity alone. Earthly consequences should never stay my hands or seal my lips. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a lifetime of effort. I would go forth to the world and preach Christ in season and out of season, and my text would be: 'What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?'"
Those that win souls must believe in the power of the gospel. The gospel is God's power to save the believer. "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." (Romans 1:14-16.) God's word is a sharp two edged sword which is able to pierce the heart. "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12.) Preach the gospel and it will do its work.
Those that win souls must study for themselves. In 2 Timothy 2:15 the King James Version says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." The New King James says, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." If you are to win souls you must learn where things are found in scripture. "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." (1 Peter 3:15.) You must know what you believe and why you believe it.
Those that win souls must never give up. Patience must be added to our faith and patience is sorely needed if we are to win souls. "But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love." (2 Peter 1:5-7.) On the day of Pentecost one sermon converted 3,000. Today we may feel that it takes 3,000 sermons to convert one. It takes patience. If you are to win souls you must stick to it with love and patience.
Those that win souls must be praying people. The words "pray without ceasing" certainly apply when it comes to soul winning. (1 Thessalonians 5:17.) Those who would win souls quickly learn that, "men ought to pray and not lose heart." (Luke 18:1.) There is power in prayer.
If you want to win souls have a strong desire today to be in heaven. Allow the joy of Jesus to fill your soul. You must travel the way of the cross if you are to become a soul winner and that is the difficult part. Let’s take somebody to heaven with us. I love you.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 37037 USA