THE SOUL WINNER
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).
“The highest work given to humans is that of winning souls. It is the work which Jesus Himself came into the world to do. His part was to reveal the love of God and then make redemption for the lost; the winning and gathering of perishing ones–He committed to his disciples. In ordinary cases lost sinners are brought to repentance and faith, only through those who already believe. There is only one Saviour, but human messengers must tell the story of His grace, His mercy and point souls to Him.”
Jesus gave us a command when He left this earth. He says, “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 always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus goes along the paths of life; seeking the lost, through those who are His disciples. “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach…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? (Romans 10:8 and 14 – KJV). Our mission in this world is to carry and model Jesus to those who do not know Him. This is especially true of all whom as preachers and teachers are sent to present the gospel to others. They have a great responsibility in this work; which should not be neglected.
Any servant of God especially those in leadership in whose heart there is not a strong desire to win souls, has not yet realized the seriousness of the relation which he sustains to the members of his church. Those who sit before others with the Bible in their hands, to guide them into knowledge of the truth, should make sure that they know their duty. The Holy Spirit desires through them to present Jesus as Saviour and Lord. There are those who may never be saved unless it be through us; if we fail in our duty to them they may perish, and their blood will be upon us.
In the story of the five loaves and two fishes told in John 6:9; the disciples themselves never could have fed the thousands with the little they happened to have. Yet neither did Jesus feed the multitude, except through His disciples. “He gave the bread to them and they distributed it among the hungry multitude who sat there on the green grass. Jesus and His disciples were joint-workers together feeding the multitude. In that we see a picture of the manner in which the blessings of redemption reach lost men. Jesus gave His own life to be bread for the hungry world. No other one can provide bread for our souls. Yet He does not with His own hands carry the bread to the perishing and hungry. He had given the loaves to His disciples and they distribute to the people.”
What if the disciples just took the loaves from the Master’s hands, and, sitting down on the grass, just fed themselves, eating until they were satisfied, then laying down the bread, and not passing it to the hungry multitude waiting; what would have been the result? While there was bread enough to feed all the thousands, they would have remained unfed.Jesus’s provision would have failed in His purpose of mercy and compassion toward the people, not through any lack of power in Himself or of provision ready, but because His disciples had failed in their mission as distributors of the blessings that He had prepared.
“It is easy to see what terrible consequences may result from this neglect of duty. Souls may perish in their sins because we, in our thoughtlessness or in our spirit of self-indulgence, will not do our part by simply passing to them the bread of life. If we continue the way we are and not go out into the field as Paul said, referring to the lost:” “I am pure from the blood of all men.”It should always be a question with us, when we are interceding for others, asking blessing or help of any kind for them, whether it may not be our duty to take to them what we ask God to give them.
ONE MISSIONARY STORY
There is a story of a city missionary, on his rounds, was passing a hovel and heard cries as of children from within. He knocked but received no answer, the cries still continuing and indicating sore distress. He opened the door and went in, and what met his eyes soften his heart. On a little heap of straw in one corner of the apartment, lay a woman dead, and to her lifeless body two little children were clinging, weeping bitterly and calling to her. There was no fire and the room was cold.
The missionary was deeply touched and his sympathy went out to the orphan children. He did not know what to do for them, and therefore fell upon his knees and prayed to God. He prayed, “O God, my faith this instant dies, unless You send help to these little children. Send someone — some angel, some messengers, to provide for them.” But hardly had the words escaped his lips, when there came a strong rebuke in answer to his thoughtless prayer. He seemed to hear, as if from the skies, the words: “You are my messenger — do not dare to leave my little ones. I have sent you here for the very purpose of caring for them. To your keeping this night I give them!” So he arose and answered his own prayer. Giving a hand to each child, he led them away to shelter and care. Thus, many times, the only answer to our cries to God for help to others is, “Go–and minister to them in my name. You are my messenger.”
When we ask how we may win souls, the answer is, that our part is that only of the messenger of Jesus. When Jesus came down from the Mount of Transfiguration and the distressed father told him of his demoniac son, and how the disciples had tried in vain to cast out the demon, Jesus said, “Bring him here to me.” That is what He asks us always to do with the souls in whose salvation we are interested — “Bring them to Me.” That really is all we are to do — all we can do.
VESSELS FIT FOR THE MASTERS USE
Not everyone is ready to bring the lost to Jesus our Saviour. We must be vessels fit for the Master’s use or He will not use us in this most sacred work. We must follow Jesus so that His light can be seen in us and in our lives. We must seek to make lost sinners know that God loves them. This really is the heart of the gospel message. It was to reveal this fact to men in their sins that the Son of God came down from heaven to earth. This was the gospel which shone out in Jesus life as He moved about, — “God–manifested in the flesh.” This was the meaning of the cross — it declared that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to be the world’s Redeemer.” This is the great burden of the message of the Church to men; it says to every sinner, “God loves you.” He who really learns this one truth, whose heart learns it, “God loves me!” is saved. The first thing, therefore, in those who sit down before others to try to win them, is to make it plain and clear to them that God loves them.
In the heart of every Minister, there should be a genuine love for souls, a true compassion for the unsaved. The love of God towards us brought Jesus from heaven to earth, and the cross. Therefore, we must have that same love, if we are really His messengers so that we can bring lost souls to Him. We cannot be soul winners if we do not have the mind that was in Christ Jesus. Until we have that kind of love and compassion of Jesus; we are unable to win the souls to the Saviour.
We must love or we cannot tell of God’s love. The love of Christ must throb in our hearts, shine in our faces, melt in our eyes, tremble in our words, and offer itself again on the cross in our lives, if we would win souls to heaven.
The bible tells us that, “He who is wise wins souls.” Souls cannot be driven to Christ, they cannot be coerced into discipleship; they must be won. When we study the manner of Jesus among men, we readily see how he sought to save the lost. He loved people into His kingdom. He proved himself the Friend of sinners. He sought not to be “ministered unto, but to minister.”
The winning of the soul is the beginning. After that, they are then to be watched over with great care. They must be wisely guided, faithfully shepherded, helped in all true ways, built up into strength and led out into fields of active service; so they themselves can win souls too.
Our lifestyles and personal character is that which gives value and weight to our speech. We all know people who say honourable things yet they do not live honourable. The reason is that their life, as others see it, fails to give evidence. It goes without saying that inconsistency in the life and conduct annuls, the best and wisest instruction. We must not only point out the right way to those who sit before us to be taught and guided, but must ourselves walk in the same way. Consequently, there must be seven qualifications possessed by those who win souls for Christ. These qualification are: (1) holiness of character, (2) full surrender, (3) spiritual experience with God, (4) daily consecration, (5) humility, (6) living faith, (7) unction of the Holy Spirit. Thus, it is very important for us (each one) to examine ourselves as a soul winner and ask: Do I possess holiness of character ? Am I fully surrendered? Do I have a vital spiritual experience? Do I make a daily consecration? Am I truly humble? Do I possess a living faith that will draw others to Jesus? Do I have the unction of the Spirit? We must live the truth we say to others; through: (1) knowledge, (2) sincerity – (3) Earnestness, (4) Love, (5) Tenderness, (6) Wisdom, and (7) Understanding. We must examine ourselves and ask: Do I have an accurate knowledge of the truth? Am I truly sincere? Am I deeply in earnest? Do I have a love for souls? Do I have a tender heart? Do I impart wisdom and understanding when dealing with people? The Lord Himself teach us what we ought to be and do as successful soul winners.
Jesus came in the flesh to bring the life of God down close enough to us for us to see it, and we in turn are to bring down in our own lives the life of Christ, close to those whom we would help, so that they also will follow Christ.
That was Paul’s way of teaching, “I beseech you therefore, be imitators of me.” He was to men, the interpreter of Christ. He invited people to look at him to see in his life, Christ’s. “Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.” He was not afraid to ask those he taught to take him as their example. Nor in this confidence did he take any honor from Christ. He was conscious in his heart that he was following Jesus, and showing in his own life and character, the fruits of the Spirit which he desired to see in others.
Those who represent Jesus should be so blameless in their character that they need not fear men’s eyes. No one can ever teach more of Jesus than he knows through personal relationship with Jesus. All efforts, therefore, to guide others further into spiritual life than we have gone ourselves, are futile.
The mission of Christians in this world was very clearly defined by Jesus, our greatest teacher, when he said to His disciples, “As the Father has sent Me, even so send I you.” That is, we bear the same relation to Jesus that He bore to the Father and we are sent by Him. It follows that we represent him who sent us: we are His ambassadors; we speak for Him. This is true not only of Ministers, those who are ordained to the Holy Offices; it is true of every Christian. As Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father,” we should be able to say, “He who has seen me has seen Jesus.”
“All True Believers Are Soul Winner”
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