FOGBO unit 16a
 
Biblical Soul Winning and Evangelism or the Way of Human Secularism.
 


Subject Table of Content

Biblical Soul Winning
Biblical Evangelism
Self Test
 
Syllabus for Biblical Soul Winning Unit 16                  

We must remember that we were made to be in the image and likeness of God, therefore we are to take on His character and live by His standards and not ours or the worlds.
Remember every true Biblical Doctrine is in harmony with the nature and character of God.
See what you can learn of Godís will. [His heart for you]

2. Assignment: For the application of what you have studied in this unit.
Evaluate your approach to soul winning and compare it to that found in God's Word. 

 

Biblical Soul Winning and Evangelism or the Way of Human Secularism.

 

Biblical Soul Winning:
 
"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." Proverbs 11:30
 
But what is Soul Winning? Let us consider "Soul Winning" from Jesus perspective as we look at His examples.

1. Speaking to a religious Jew: John 3:1-21  "1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  [Jesus avoided the flattery, speaks to him of his spiritual need]  "4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

[Jesus answers his question informing him of his need]  "9Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?"

Notice: the inferences to the work of the Father and the Holy Spirit in witnessing Jesus now gives him the Gospel and choice to be made, as well as the results of each choice. 13"And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

Having given Nicodemus the Gospel Jesus does not press him to a decision, but leaves that to the drawing of the Father and the free will of man. [It will be his decision, not that of Jesus.] "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. " John 6:45 

Consider John 6:65; John 17:1-8, 18-20

Jesus says the only true soul winner is the Father, Not even His own disciples!  "One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.  He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ." John 1:40-41

Consider: Matthew 16:13-17

Notice: Jesus said, it was not Andrew's saying Jesus was the Christ, but the drawing of the Father to that truth that saved him.  Jesus never sold Himself to anyone, neither should we sell people on Him!   We are only to witness of who and what He is, what He has done for us, and their need of Him, and leave the results to the drawing of the Father, as Jesus did.  The only responsibility a sole winner has is to testify of Christ and leave the decision to man, and the results to God.

2. Let's see how Jesus leads a Samaritan woman to receiving Him. in John 4:3-42  "3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. 4And he must needs go through Samaria. 5Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour." [Jesus follows the prompting of the Spirit to some one in need] "7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans." 

[Notice Jesus was not interested in her identity or ethnic background, but her spiritual need]  10 "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." 

[Jesus focused on her learning His identity and her spiritual need.]  "11The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?" [She is still not seeing Jesus for who He is] "13Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

[Jesus again draws her attention to His identity and her spiritual need] "15The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw."  [She is still thinking of self and material things, and wants what He has for the wrong reasons] "16Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly."

[Jesus reveals her sin] "19The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."  

[She now tries to dodge the issue with a religious argument] "21Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." 

[Jesus ignores the argument and takes her to spiritual truth that can fill her need]  "25The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things." [This woman reveals she believed the Messiah would come, and how He could be identified]  '26Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he." 

[This is the only person other than His disciples that Jesus openly declares His identity, while helping her see He fit the description she gave of the Messiah to come.] "27And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? 28The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30Then they went out of the city, and came unto him." 

[Notice she received Jesus as her Messiah (Vs. 25-26) and immediately became a witness for Him.] "31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. "

[Here we see the sustaining power received when doing the will of God. ]  "35Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. 39And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. 41And many more believed because of his own word; 42And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world."

This woman demonstrated repentance, a turning from her past life to a faithful ambassador for Christ.  She was the greatest soul winner in Jesus' lifetime on earth, just by telling others what He did for her.  Jesus was a faithful Ambassador for the Father, revealing the Father and the Son, both by word and deed.  "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." John 14:6-11 

Jesus sent us to be the same kind of an Ambassador for Him, that He was for the Father.   Consider: John 17:3-4, 18-21; 2 Cor. 3:2-3; 1 John 1:5-7; 2:6; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; 2 Cor. 5:18-20

Remember: it was Jesus who led the Samaritan woman to the knowledge of Him as her Saviour, she then led the men in the town to Jesus, and the disciples entered into their labors and all shared in the results. "And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labors." John 6:36-38

Soul winning, you see, is a team effort: The ambassador for Christ witnesses of who Christ is and what He has done, another adds to their witness and the Father draws the heart to receive the message and they all share in the harvest together.  1 Cor. 3:5-9

Everyone that is a faithful witness for Christ, is His ambassador and soul winner in God"s eyes. May God forgive the pride of those who claim the glory for themselves.
 
3. Jesus made known the cost to those that would be following Him up front, even though He knew it would cause some to turn away. "And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. 23And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? 27And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. 28Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. 29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. 31But many that are first shall be last; and the last first." Mark 10:17-31

Jesus gave him a choice he must make, but did not press him to a decision, but left the results to the drawing of the Father and the free will of man. Notice mans' efforts to save anyone is of no avail, only God can save anyone and then only on His terms, to forsake their old life whatever the cost, and follow Him.

Consider Jesus' word's concerning the cost of following Him. "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me." John 15:18-22

Jesus said the cost of receiving Him was rejection, persecution and being hated by the world and that would be the cross they must bear to follow Him.

Consider: Matthew 10:38; Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:23

Consider the Apostle Paul's evaluation of the cost of following Christ. "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:" Phil. 3:7-9

4. Jesus said belonging to Him requires a total commitment to Him and His Word. "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"  John 10:26-27

The Apostle Paul's understanding of the need and motive for a total commitment to Christ.  20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:20-21

Consider: 2 Cor. 5:14;

Jesus expressed this total commitment as an abiding relationship with Him. " I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." John 15:1-6

A total commitment to Christ is manifest by an open testimony for Christ. " Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Math. 10:32  Consider: Romans 6:1-6

Notice: Baptism is a public testimony of a total commitment to Christ, and to living the new life in Him.

There is one more aspect to Biblical Soul Winning we must explore.  That of the condition of the one we are trying to reach with the Gospel.

Remember Jesus said: "No man come unto Him except the Father draw him." James  4:6 " But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

God will not draw a proud heart to Christ, God will draw those with a broken and contrite spirit. "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." Psalm 34:18  "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Isaiah 57:15 [contrite : crushed (literal powder, or figurative contrite)][humble : depressed, literal or figurative : low (-er,-ly)] [revive : to live, whether literal or figurative; keep (leave, make) alive,, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), save (alive, life, lives)]

When a heart is ready to receive the gospel, they are ready to repent, confess and turn from their sin.  "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" Acts 17:30  [repent: to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (moral feel compunction) to turn in the apposite direction]  Mark 1:15

David's Confession: David is not telling God something God did not know, but is agreeing with God about his life.  "To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. 5Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:1-17

David's repentance: "8Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me."

David's faith confidence in God's forgiveness: "12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. 14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. 15O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. 16For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."  Ephes. 2:8-10

Proverbs 11:30 "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." The righteous are as trees of life; the fruits of their holy living and love, their instructions, reproofs, examples, and prayers, their interest in heaven, and their influence upon earth, are like the fruits of good tree, precious and useful. They contribute to the support and nourishment of the spiritual life in many; they are the ornaments of the working of the Lord's Spirit in the life of the saved, that leads others to Him.

Those who God uses in the process of winning souls, have need of wisdom, to know how to raise them up in the Lord. "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching 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." Math. 28:18 -20  

Consider: 2 Tim. 2:15: 2 Tim. 3:16-17; James 1:5

True wisdom comes from the Word of God not secular humanistic reasoning.  It is clear the requirements for Biblical Soul winning are as follows.

1. To present the Gospel. Testify of who Christ is, what He has done for you. Be living in such a way that they can see Christ living in you. This is the only positive proof of our belief to Christ, as well as those in the world around us.

2. Let them know they must Repent of their sin. That is being broken hearted over offending God and willing to forsake their sin and follow Christ.  

3. Let them know God expects them to be wholly committed to Christ and His Word.  Let them know God does not accept half-hearted decisions.

4. Let them know God expects them to live a changing life.  Changing from what they were, to what Christ is, through the power of His Spirit and His Word. Not by their own effort but by His..

5. Let them know the cost of following Christ. God expects them to live for Him at any cost, for who and what He has done, thatís picking up their cross and following Him.

6. Let them know those to whom they talk must make the decision to follow Christ. Do not sell people on Christ, they be must be drawn to Christ by the Father, or they are their disciples not God's. Therefore, they must leave the decision to the free will of the person to whom the Gospel was presented as Jesus did.

7. Fulfill your God given responsibility to disciple those who receive Christ in the knowledge of Him and His word. This requires availability, much time, and patience.

8. Soul winning is a privilege and a responsibility given to all in God's family. "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20Now 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." 2 Cor. 18-20

9. Remember: Soul winning is a team effort.  "And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labors.: John 4:36-38


What Happens if these opportunities and responsibilities are neglected?

1. You do not have a share in the harvest of souls.

2. Those that are saved, do not grow in Christ, and cannot get victory over sin in their lives.

3. There will be a mixed multitude of saved and unsaved in the church.

4. People are led to believe they are saved without a regenerate life. Those without Christ live a life in contradiction to life in Christ. 

Such are a mission field within the church, giving a mixed message to the world as to what salvation and the church is. The world is unable to discern a worthless religion, from one living the life style of Christ.  

Biblical Evangelism Taking the Word of God into the World.  Where did Jesus carry out the responsibility of soul-winning?

As we have seen....

1. With a woman at the public well in an area of the country populated by mixed nationalities. [though she was a woman of ill-repute] Later Jesus and his disciples went to her home town Sychar in Samaria to present the Gospel there and many received Jesus as the promised Christ, their Saviour.

2. With an spineless ruler of the Jews. [That came to Him in the night] Jesus was available whenever and wherever someone was ready to hear the Gospel.

3. He also spoke in the synagogues, and in the temple, as well as in the streets or country side and in the homes that would open up to Him. He took the truth of God's Word anywhere people would listen to it.. There is no way to take the Gospel into the world, except to be in the world, where people are, as was Jesus and the disciples. We are to separate from sin, but not from the sinner. " I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." John 17:15-17

We are to be ambassadors for Christ in an alien world. We are to be in the world, but the world is not to be part of us, hating the sin, but loving the sinner.

Consider the Apostle Peter: " And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean."  Acts 10:28

Consider the Apostle Paul: " For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you." 1 Cor. 9:19-23

Paul also warns us to be cautious in exercising our authority as an ambassador for Christ in this world. " Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way." Rom.14:13 

We must sometimes deny ourselves privileges that are ours, rather than give offence, as Paul did. " But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." 1 Cor. 8:9-13

Note: We should be very careful of doing anything that may cause another to fall to a sin. Liberty is valuable, but the weakness of a brother should, cause us to give up our liberty to do things for personal desires.  We must not strive to claim or use our own rights, to the hurt and ruin of a brotherís soul.  When it is certainly foreseen that my doing what I desire will cause a fellow-Christian to do what he ought not to do, I shall offend, scandalize, or lay a stumbling-block in his way, which to do is a sin. No matter how lawful the thing itself is. 1 Cor. 10:31-33 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 1 Cor. 11:1  2 Cor. 6:1  We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain." [Vain = without profit to God]

However, we must never fail our duty to give out the Gospel, out of fear being an offence. Christ's preaching and miracles offended them, yet He went on with them, better offend men than God.  Math 9:9-11 "And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. 11And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?"  think on this Math. 11:19  "The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children."

Consider Luke 15:1-2; 19:7; Matthew 9:12-13

Jesus did not come to bolster the self righteous, but to show all their need of Him, and His willingness to receive all that receive Him. "Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Math. 15:12-14       

As ambassadors for Christ we are to avoid offences whereever possible without denying the presentation of the Word of God to any people, any time, place or in any circumstance.  "Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 7By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.": 2 Cor. 6:3-7:1

Notice: Vs. 4-5 All the places and circumstances in which the ambassador for Christ may be in, while approving themselves by the character of Christ seen in them, being what Christ would be, and do, in the same circumstances Vs. 6-7

Remember 1 Cor. 10:32-33 "Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved." ( However, Paul clearly shows there is no way to avoid all possibility of being an offence to someone, you are sure to be right in the eyes of some and wrong in the eyes of others.) Vs. 8-10 Especially those that judge not knowing your intentions." Consider: Titus 1:15

As religious leaders found fault with Jesus' perfect life and ministry, and so will those of today find fault with all His ambassadors who follow Him.  Jesus demonstrates the necessity of not offending the authority over us by refusing to pay taxes levied on us, yet it was an offence to His own people. Matthew 17:27 "Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee."

Note: The money collected for Caesar was the government that kept them in bondage, and in part used for building temples to false gods and support of those false religious systems. [Jews were sure to be offended and to considered paying such taxes was ascending to the legitimacy of the Roman bondage and its religions]

Regardless of their offence Jesus gave them God's Word on the subject. "Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." Matthew 22:17-21

Jesus said: "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake."  Luke 6: 22  

Consider: Jesus said John 15:20; John 17:14, 18; Paul said: 2 Tim. 1:8

Nevertheless, we are to avoid offences wherever possible without denying the presentation of the Word of God and the receiving of the Gospel by those we are trying to reach for Christ. As ambassadors for Christ must be concerned not to hurt his neighbor, he must be concerned to promote his spiritual welfare; and must consider how to act so that he may help others, and not hinder their spiritual well being. as much as possible. Everything that is lawful in itself, is not therefore right to do, so must be considered before it be done.

Then, there is the warning Jesus gave concerning offending young believers in Him, through pride, or self gain. "At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" Mark 18:1-8

The context of this passage is dealing with the question who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? The answer is those that care for these young believers, illustrated by the child He put in their midst. Putting a child in front of them Jesus said: "3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Children were taught to obey with out question the authority over them with humility. 4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."  Those that come to Christ with that same humble, obedient attitude of heart as a child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus goes on to speak of those who humbly help those that believe in Him. "5And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me."

Consider  [The context here is when Jesus is dealing with how the Gentile Nations treated His people during the millennium Kingdom .] "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:31-41

Jesus will reward those that humbly care for those who are His during this Church age, in much the same way, but will also deal with those that offend them.

Jesus warns all people, they will answer for any injury to one of Christ's "little ones", and that is true today. The crime is offending one of these little ones that believe in Christ. Their believing in Christ, unites them to Him, so that, as they partake of the benefit of His sufferings, He also partakes in the wrong of theirs. Even the little ones that believe have the same privileges with the older ones, for they have all obtained like precious faith. Grieving and vexing their righteous souls, discouraging them, taking advantage of them, failing to meet their needs, is sure to bring God's wrath. "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." Math. 25:41-45 

Consider: Math. 18:6

We must also be on guard not to offend the Lord, by being yoked to those that are not yoked to Him. We must consider the difference between being a friend of unbelievers and being yoked with them. [Being yoked is to be bound together: as in marriage, business partners, church member, politics, etc.] "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Cor. 6:14- 1 8 

Consider: 2 Cor.7:1

As ambassadors for Christ we are to be in the world, but not bound together with the world.  While we must remember all in Christ are yoked together in Him in this world, we must guard against being unequal yoking with churches that are unequally yoked with the world.


Note: The spiritual condition of each church was different. Each one was in a state of immaturity, which Paul was striving to correct in some area or another.  Some were grossly in error. Some had a miserable testimony as a whole. But Paul entreated them as a part of the family of God to correct their errors, clean up their walk with the Lord and each other as the children of God. As did Jesus to the seven churches in Asia that Paul founded. [Rev. chapters 2-3]

Where are we, in carrying out these Responsibilities of Soul Winning and Evangelism?  "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching 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."  Math. 28:19-2 0 

Consider: Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; Acts 26:20

Evangelism [Missions] is to start at home and work out from there. Starting in your home, to your neighbor, your neighborhood, your city, county, your country, then to the world.

Remember: As ambassadors for Christ we are to take the Word of God to any people, any time, any place or in any circumstance. Remembering : As ambassadors for Christ we are to avoid offences wherever possible but not denying the presentation of the Word of God.

Remember: As ambassadors for Christ we are to let the character of Christ be seen in our words and actions wherever we go, whatever we do. [Being whatever He would be to those we are trying to reach with the Gospel]  "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. "  Gal. 2:2O

Something to think about: "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Matthew 12:36-37  "Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks." Ephes. 5:4  "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;" 2 Tim. 1:8  "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:" John 15:26"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33

Much of today's "Soul Winning and Evangelism" is based on secularism humanistic brain washing, to claim success for themselves. 

How do they do it?  They use a formula in presenting the Gospel so as there is only one answer to their qualifying questions, assuring a positive response. That is selling Jesus to the people, not presenting the Gospel. That is pure human secularism not the example of Christ.

Here is an example of a perversion of a truth to impress people with religious zeal, and self made professional achievements.  It is that human secular success is dependent on four things:  [Remember: a half truth is a lie.]

1. God has a plan for your life! [truth]  What is God's plan? [ Eeveryone wants a plan that is assured of working so they will listen]

2. Know you are a sinner. [truth] Romans 3:23  "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

3. Know God's plan to save you. [truth] Romans 6:23 " For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

4. Accept God's plan. [truth]  Romans 10:13 " For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Notice the absence of REPENTANCE and personal responsibility, making this plan a half truth, that's omitting an absolute demand of God to get a positive response.  

Most every one will take anything that is free of cost and personal responsibility. That is a shoe in for a yes answer. They now lead them to a decision through questions designed to give a positive response.

Will you accept you are a sinner? [any honest person would agree] Do you want the gift of God? [Only a fool would not]

 Will you say the sinners prayer and receive the gift of life from God for you?  [Only a fool would not, after all its free, it will not cost you anything.]

Will you pray, that is ask God for His gift of salvation.  Have mercy on me a sinner and save me for Jesus sake & ask Jesus to come into your heart.  [They have nothing to lose by doing so, they will follow your prayer.] Besides some will say anything to get away from someone button holing them.

Having presented the plan, they got the desired answer.   Then thy assure them they are saved. How ? God's Word says so. That is a truth of half truths, containing omissions of repentance and personal responsibility, which make it a lie

While all these facts about their sinful condition and Godís provision is true, the mere vocalizing these words does not necessarily result in salvation. Salvation is not intellectual formula or even praying, walking the aisle, and being baptized. That is the work of man.

1. Salvation takes place at the time of belief in the Gospel, and if that belief is real, there will be responses to it, that bring assurance of salvation.  Review "The Principle of Faith and Eternal Security" and "Faith on trial"

2. Modern soul winning and evangelism omits the need of repentance and commitment to Christ.  Omitted because it is offensive and would eliminate many from coming down the aisle, being baptized and joining the church. Omitted to get a positive response.

3. Modern soul winning and evangelists goal is to get them to walking the aisle, pray, be baptized and join the church to build up the congregation. Then try to get them committed to Christ and serve Him.

4. Modern soul winning and evangelism omits the need of living a changing life, because it is offensive to those that want a religion that allows them to keep their life style, and they would not join the church..

All of the above is diametrically opposed to what Jesus, and the apostles did.  The result of modern soul winning and evangelism in the church today is a mixed multitude of saved and unsaved but religious people. Is it not time for us to go back to Godís methods and let the results to God, He does a better job of it.

The bottom line is shall it be Biblical Soul Winning and Evangelism or the Way of Human Secularism.  The choice is yours to make.
 


Self test: on Biblical Soul Winning and Evangelism.

These questions are more than an academic quiz, they help you think through the facts you have learned, so that you can form convictions as to the will of God for your life. Remember meditation on Godís Word is the key to gaining wisdom, and only when it is applied in your life are you assured of being in the will of God and the place of His blessing.

Things to Consider:
Q1. What are the responsibilities of the ambassador for Christ?
Q2. What part does God have in soul winning?
Q3. Who are on Godís soul winning team?
Q4. Where is the ambassador for Christ forbidden to go?
Q5. What is the goal for Biblical soul winning?
Q6. What must we beware of when evangelizing?
Q7. What is the result of failure to take the Gospel into the world?
Q8. Who is responsible for those that reject the Gospel?
Q9. Who is responsible for leading a soul to Christ?
Q10. What other responsibilities are there to evangelism?
Q11. What differences are there between Biblical soul winning and evangelism and modern secular humanistic version?

You are now ready to study Unit 17 BEWARE of APOSTASY  

May your decisions bring you the promise Romans 8:28 ď And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.Ē   
Your friend in Christ Warren T. Smith


  
Go to Family of God Bible Outlines            Go to The Shepherd & Bishop of Our Souls

Investigate the Scriptures.     Christian Alerts and monthly articles.     Informative Topics bring knowledge and understanding.     Challenging subjects to think about.   Tools for discipleship.    Return to Home Page

Let me hear from you at    warren.thinker@gmail.com