Temple Baptist Church - 3-15-2020
Daniel 12:1-3 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (2) And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (3) 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.
A. The Laodicean Church has lost a very important aspect of its reason for existence. Propagation of the Gospel! Soul winning characterized the early church and Jerusalem knew who the Christians were! In Apostolic days, the local church had a zeal for souls!
B. I have lived in the Bible Belt for almost 37 years now and can only remember 2-3 instances where someone approached me with either a tract or a verbal witness and tried to win me to Christ. None within the past 30 years! As a matter of fact, no one ever invites me to their church and, yet, almost everyone in our county is affiliated with a church of one variety or another.
C. That makes salvation possibly the “BEST KEPT SECRET” in the Bible Belt! Why?
1. Because of a LACK OF SALVATION – The woman at the well said come see a man; the Ethiopian Eunuch went away rejoicing; the lame man leaped for joy; the blind man said I was blind but now I see; yet people in our day claim to be saved with no outward expression or confession.
2. Because of a LACK OF CONCERN – People are too busy with their own affairs
3. Because of a LACK OF REALIZATION – Hell is real, still hot, and sinners do go there for all eternity!
4. Because of a LACK OF PRIORITY – Church priority now is numbers, not souls! Many churches have a “statistics board” visible in the front of the auditorium displaying attendance and offerings but do not have a visitation program.
5. Because of a LACK OF WISDOM – The Lord that “adds to the church” through the salvation of the lost!
D. The early church and soul-winning: every day, publicly and privately, they told people about Jesus Christ.
Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. (Amid fearful circumstances [they were threatened with stoning], they ceased not to preach Christ!)
E. I am not against inviting people to church. I am not against membership campaigns that churches may carry out. These things are necessary tools in reaching people by getting them under the sound of preaching.
1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
F. This may offend some, but church growth should not be the primary goal. We should be winning souls no matter how many people we have in our churches.
G. There are several misconceptions concerning soul winning that I want to look at this morning that will give each of us help in this area.
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: 20 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.
a. We should carry out the command.
1) It is not a suggestion to consider; it's a command!
2) You don't need to pray about whether you should do it. You just DO it!
b. We should teach our converts - Matthew 28:20 Teaching THEM to observe ALL things whatsoever I have commanded YOU!
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.
a. It was the motivation of Christ.
1) He came into this world to save sinners.
2) He lived without sin so He could die as a sacrifice for sinners.
3) He died on the cross for sinners.
4) He rose again for sinners.
b. It is the mission of the church.
1) Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
2) 2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
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. (To solicit means asking or pleading for, especially in reference to receiving payment or money.)
a. Soul winning is the offer of a FANTASTIC gift – “eternal life”
b Soul winning is the offer of a FREE gift – “gift of God” (Free but not cheap! It is 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 get it by receiving it as a free gift from God by faith in Christ Jesus.)
4. SOUL-WINNING IS COOPERATION, NOT SINGLE EFFORT - 1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (It is everybody’s job, either by visitation, giving out tracts, confrontational witnessing, and missions.)
a. We cooperate with our Savior - 1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
b. We cooperate with other soul-winners - 1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
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.
Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
5. SOUL-WINNING IS CONTINUOUS, NOT SPORADIC - Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
a. It should be daily - Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (I believe in organized visitation but we are to be soul winners everywhere and every day.)
b. It should be deliberate - Mark 1:17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. (When I go fishing, it is planned! I do not accidentally end up in a boat on a lake. Fishing is a deliberate act. Fishers do not catch fish by accident!)
Conclusion: Years ago, Dr. Jack Hyles, years ago, wrote the following little poem:
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 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.
Romans 10:13-15 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 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! (May God bless OUR beautiful feet. The beautiful feet of the winner of souls!)