Temple Baptist Church - 7-25-2010
A. Churches today have become “numbers orientated.” Much emphasis has been placed on numbers with many churches having a statistics board in the front of the sanctuary, displaying attendance and offerings.
B. The early church did not endeavor to multiply the number of the disciples. What it does say is that 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.
C. 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. (It is the Word of God that brings about saving faith.)
D. 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.
E. 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. Many believers believe that they are not capable of witnessing effectively. Witnessing, at this point, becomes a special gift of boldness and “gab” that only a few have. Witnessing is a command of God! Witnessing is not a special 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 all need to carry out the Great Commission! It takes every believer to “go into all the world.” Witnessing is not something that we pray about doing (though prayer should be involved). You just witness. Witnessing is simply telling others about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and what it did for you.
b. We need to teach our converts to win souls - Matthew 28:20 Teaching THEM to observe ALL things whatsoever I have commanded YOU!
2. Witnessing as become almost a thing of the past in our day. If the salvation of souls was the number one priority of the Lord Jesus Christ, then it should be at the top of our list also. 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 priority 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 to be the mission of the church
Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
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. Witnessing is a sign of our love for both Jesus Christ and the souls of men! Witnessing is 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 is to ask for or plead 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. Witnessing is a corporate effort, not the efforts of a select few! 1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (It is everybody’s job, either by visitation or giving out tracts.)
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. Witnessing is a continuous effort, not a sporadic one! We are to be living epistles, read of men. We re the only Bible that most people read. “A life lived is worth a thousand sermons preached!” 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 every where 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 the beautiful feet of the winner of souls!)