reaching of lost souls for Christ should be a major focus of the believer's
life. A veteran proclaimer once said that "every saint this side of heaven
should be concerned with every soul this side of hell." Soul-winning evangelism
should be a central activity of every genuine saint of God. The writer
believes the following elements, when sincerely implemented in the Christian's
life, will result in effectual evangelism of the lost.
PURGING of all known sin is the first essential step in winning
the lost and being an effective evangelistic ambassador for Christ.
In Ps. 51, David knew that his heart needed to be purged first of sin
(Ps. 51:7) before he could "teach transgressors" God's ways and see
sinners converted unto God (Ps. 51:13).
In II Tim.
2:21, the apostle Paul declared that saints must "purge" themselves
from known sins before they can be "vessel[s] meet for the master's
use." God's power cannot be manifest, for any purpose, and his blessings
abound when unconfessed sin is present in the believer's life-Ps. 66:18,
Prov. 28:13. Confession of sin (I John 1:9) is a normative essential
for God's power and we are cleansed by the word that He has spoken unto
us (John 15:3).
is a second essential for effectual evangelism. While prayer is not
everything in the Christian's life, everything should be done by prayer,
and that includes potential soul-winning endeavors. It was after "Zion
travailed" in Isaiah 66:8 that she brought forth children.
for lost souls in prayer is arduous labor, but it is that kind of agonizing
prayer that produces spiritual results-Col. 4:12. While our prayers
do not save anyone, they can help produce a spiritual soil that is fertile
for the gospel message. The Apostle Paul pleaded for the prayers of
the Thessalonian saints so that the word of the Lord might have its
desired effects in the hearts of men-II Thess. 3:1.
is a third indispensable element in evangelism. God's word implanted
in the soul produces eternal life-I Peter 1:23. It is through the gospel
proclamation that sinners are converted-I Cor. 1:18 and 21. In the book
The Heartbeat of the Holy, the author rightly states, "If the
preaching of the gospel is not utterly necessary, it is totally unnecessary."
world does not need seminars that produce refined sinners, it needs
sermons that produce redeemed saints. In describing the success of the
first century Christians, Luke declares that "they that were scattered
abroad went everywhere preaching the word-Acts 8:4." The manifestation
of God's word via preaching was the method Paul utilized-Titus 1:3,
and it still is God's means of reaching the lost today.
the seed is a fourth activity in effectual evangelism. The sower who
goes forth to sow spiritual seed in Mark 4:4 is the soul-winner and
the seed that he sows is the Word of God-Mark 4:14. While the response
to that sowing varies in the individual hearts of human beings, it is
just sensible spiritual mathematics that the more sowing the saint does,
the more reaping, the saint will experience. The planting of the gospel
seed via tracts and personal witnessing is not wasted labor. God's word
does not return void-Isaiah 55:11.
an area with the gospel is a fifth vital factor in productive evangelism.
Using every legitimate means of modern communication tools available
is not an evil activity. Paul declared in I Cor. 9:22 that he was "made
all things to all men that he might by all means save some." The mail
box, e-mail, the coffee cup, the telephone, the internet, tract distribution,
TV broadcasts, radio, etc., are all legitimate evangelistic tools that
can be effectively utilized in spreading the good news of the gospel.
world by using night club sounds, however, is a definite no-no. It should
be remembered that "what you win them by is what you win them to." To
win carnal sinners, believers must never use carnal weapons-II Cor.10:4.
in giving forth the Word is a sixth ingredient in productive evangelism.
Too many potential soul-winners give up too quickly. Two key words in
the great example cited in Acts 5:42 are the words "daily" and "'every."
One of the major
reasons the Jehovah Witnesses cult is so successful in gaining converts
is their persistence in return visits. They come back time after time,
even when there seems only a slight ray of prosyleting success. While
soul-winners must be keenly sensitive to the Holy Spirit's guidance,
they need to be like the importunate woman in prayer in Luke 11 and
persist until they are successful in reaching that lost soul.
with genuine tears and the Word is a seventh means of reaching the lost.
Psalms 126:5-6 makes it clear that there is no substitute for a burning,
burdened, pleading, tearful heart. Public pleading in person should
follow private pleading in prayer.
flowed with tears as he wept compassionately over the spiritual welfare
of lost souls in Ephesus-Acts 20:19. Therefore night and day, he continued
to warn everyone with tears about vital spiritual matters, both among
sinner and saints-Acts 20:31.
souls today may involve more difficult labor than in previous generations,
but bringing sinners to Christ is a rewarding experience-Prov.11:30,
Dan. 12:3. Since the Rapture has not yet occurred, there is still a
harvest to be reaped-John 4:35. Until Christ returns, winning souls
will continue to be a wise activity-Prov. 11:30.
in this issue:
Holman Christian Standard Bible [HCSB]