Monthly Archives: October 2011

Take the challenge to apply what you’ve learned.

I challenge you to perform an experiment for the next thirty days. Begin each day on your knees asking God to lead you to someone whose heart has been prepared for your witness. Go prayerfully and in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in the spirit of the apostle Paul, “talk about Christ to everyone who will listen.” Present the gospel as contained in the Four Spiritual Laws. Expect God to use you.

At the end of thirty days, I am sure that you will be convinced, as multitudes of others have been before you, that there is no greater adventure in life than introducing others to our Savior.

Remember, “you can bring a lot of happiness into this world” by sharing Christ with others.

If the following prayer expresses the desire of you heart, make it your own. “Lord Jesus, I thank you for Your love for me. I thank You that through Your death and resurrection I have been forgiven of my sins and am able to live a fruitful life for You each day. As an expression of my love for You and for all men, and in obedience to Your command, I want to give daily priority to introducing others to you. Thank You for Your promise to make me fruitful if I follow You. Amen.”

Remember, How You Can Introduce Others to Christ is a transferable concept. You can master it by reading it six times; then pass it on to others as our Lord commands us in Matthew 28:20: “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” The apostle Paul encouraged us to do the same: “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).

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8 Reasons Jesus Wants You to Witness

Telling others about Christ has many purposes.

Permit me to give you, briefly, 8 reasons God desires all believers to share their faith.

First, as you witness, you bring glory to God. Jesus says in John 15:8, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

Second, the love of Christ compels us to share our faith. In Paul’s words, “The love of Christ constrains us.” If you have experienced the love of the Lord Jesus, you will also want to introduce him to others.

Third, sharing your faith is a direct command from Jesus Christ. He says, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” And, “You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.”

Fourth, people without Christ are lost. Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The Word of God declares emphatically, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Fifth, God wants you to witness because of the benefits He offers to those who receive Christ. When you introduce others to Christ, they become children of God; their bodies become temples of God; all their sins are forgiven – past, present and future! They begin to experience the peace and love of God; they receive God’s direction and purpose for their lives; they experience the power of God to change their lives; and they have assurance of eternal life.

Sixth, God wants you to witness because of the benefits to those who witness. Witnessing stimulates your spiritual growth. Witnessing leads you to pray and to study God’s Word and encourages you to depend on Christ. As you witness in the power of the Holy Spirit, you sow love and joy and peace. According to the law for sowing and reaping, you always harvest what you sow and even more. For example, if you sow love, you will harvest love. If you sow joy, you will reap joy. If you sow peace, you will reap peace. And always, the harvest is greater than the seed sown.

Seventh, God wants you to witness to experience the tremendous privilege and honor of representing Jesus to the world. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “We are Christ’s ambassadors. God is using us to speak to you. We beg you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, receive the love he offers you – be reconciled to God.”

Most people consider it a high honor to serve as an ambassador for the head of their country – the president or king – but as a believer in Christ, you are an ambassador for the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

Eighth, God wants you to witness because the Holy Spirit has been given to provide the power for you to do so. Jesus says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” To fail to witness for Christ is to deny the Holy Spirit His right to empower and to use you to introduce others to our Savior.

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October Is Soul WInning Committment Month (Part 3) Suggestions for Evangelism as a Lifestyle

Now, permit me to share several simple suggestions that will help you to introduce others to Christ as a way of life.

First, begin every day with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to empower and lead you to those whose hearts He has prepared.

Second, relate to people in a loving, natural, personal way. Avoid being mechanical. Everyone responds to love. As you walk in love, the Spirit of God will confirm to those with whom you are sharing Christ that you are genuine; that you are not simply trying to win an argument or promote a cause; and that you have taken time to talk to them because you truly love them with God’s love.

Not everyone will be prepared to receive Christ or even be positive in his response. Some may even be antagonistic. God may want you to sow the seed to use you as an instrument of harvest. Whatever the case, relax and let Him do what He wants to do through you.

Remember, just as all fruit in an orchard is not ripe at the same time, so some individuals will be ripe for harvest and others will still be green – not yet ready to respond to the gospel. Consider every gospel conversation a great privilege and opportunity, not a legalistic  responsibility. Think of God’s great love, of what knowing Him has meant to you and what it will mean to others when they receive Christ. Make sharing your faith in Christ a way of life.

Third, use a clear, simple presentation of the gospel. There are many benefits which result from using a tool such as the Four Spiritual Laws. Let me list some of them:

  1. It enables you to open your conversation easily and naturally.
  2. It begins with a positive statement – “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”
  3. It presents the gospel and the claims of Christ clearly and simply.
  4. It gives you confidence in your witnessing because you know what you are going to say and how you are going to say it.
  5. It enables you to be prepared at all times and to stick to the subject without getting off on tangents.
  6. It makes it possible for you to be brief and to the point.
  7. It enables you to lead others to a personal decision through a suggested prayer.
  8. It offers suggestions for growth, including the importance of involvement in the church.
  9. And, of special importance, it is a “transferable tool” whereby those whom you introduce to Christ can be encouraged and trained to lead others to Christ also.

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October is Soul Winning Commitment Month Part 2

Last week we started looking at being an effective witness. We will continue that throughout the month in our Pastor’s Pen.

Make Large Use of the Bible

Effective witnesses must be men and women of the Book. In the story of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8), three essential things are mentioned: (1) There is an anxious inquirer; (2) there is a copy of the Scriptures; (3) there is a man on the lookout to win a soul for Christ. Philip could have done very little with the eunuch if he had not had a copy of the Scriptures before him. From the Scriptures, Philip “preached unto him Jesus.”

Have you noticed what a large place the Scriptures occupied in our Lord’s ministry? His whole personal life was nourished and built up upon the Word of God. And in all His public work it was to the Word of God that He turned again and again. When He met the tempter in the wilderness, He vanquished him by quotations from the Word of God.

It was the same with the apostles and in the experience of the early Church. What a wonderful regard Peter, Paul, John and the rest of the apostles had for the Scriptures! We might follow on through the whole history of the Church of Christ and find the same thing repeating itself. Some of the mightiest soul-winners were the Puritans. What was the secret of their success? It was because they were men who from morning to night steeped themselves in the Word of God.

I remember reading somewhere that Dr. R. A. Torrey said, “There are four reasons why every Christian worker should know his Bible: First, to show men their need of a Savior; second, to show them that Jesus is the Savior they need; third, to show them how to make this Savior their Savior; and finally, to deal with specific difficulties that stand in the way of their accepting Christ.”

I suppose you know everything about D. L. Moody, but may I remind you how Henry Moorhouse taught Moody this secret? Moorhouse said to him, “You are making a mistake in giving people your own words. Give them the Word of God, and you will learn the secret of power. ” And about thirty years earlier Robert Murray McCheyne, of Dundee, had said a similar thing: “It is not our comments upon the Word that bring life; it is the Word itself.” Our comments are like the feathers of an arrow which guide the arrow of the Word to its mark, but it is the Word itself that gets home.

A Personal Testimony

It is a great delight to see so many young faces before me on our Wednesday Night Serves, and it is for their sake in particular that I mention these things. Some of you may say, “How can I gain this skill in the Word of God? How can I know instantly where to turn for an appropriate passage?” I suppose there are various methods. I will give you a little bit of my own experience. In my early Christian life I was greatly helped by reading everything I could lay my hands on that related to the Bible. I participated in Bible Drills and the Youth Speakers Tournament.

There are others who have adopted the method of underlining specified passages of Scripture with different colored inks: underlining in black references to sin and condemnation; underlining in red references to the death of Christ and the efficacy of the shed blood, and so on. I have not followed that method at all times, but I know others who have found it useful.

But let me say this: Such methods are all right to begin with, but you have not developed much if after ten years of Christian work in soul-winning you are still as dependent upon such aids as you were at the beginning. You ought to become so expert in the Word of God that without even the need of colored inks you can turn to the passage that you know is appropriate to the point under discussion.

Dr. Handley Moule used to say “Every Christian should know his Bible as much as a Londoner knows his London.” London is a huge city, spread out much more than Chicago or New York. In other words we should know our Bible like we know our way around our home town. I know the main thoroughfares and many of the side streets, and that is how we ought to be able to know our way about the Scriptures. We ought to know the large areas of the Word of God. We ought to know the theme of every book and the main lines of the history or the argument of an epistle. Whatever method you begin with, aim at least at that, and use all the aids that will enable you to become proficient in the knowledge of the Word of God. Make much use of concordances and the other helps that in these days are so abundant.

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As we enter this month I would like to challenge each of you to do what you can to be a more effective witness. To some that will simply mean begin to learn how to share your faith. To others, it will mean sharpening your rusty skills. To still others it will mean just simply starting to do what you know you have needed to be doing for a long time. This months Pastor’s Pens will be dedicated to sharing tips, tools, and sharpening skills for the effective soul winner.

Remember God’s Word says, Proverbs 11:30 (KJV) 30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

WHEN PAUL WAS WRITING the second letter to Timothy, he summed up the practical purpose of Scripture in the words, “All Scripture … is profitable … that the man of God may be perfect [or complete], throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Tim. 3:16, 17). The greatest vocation under the sun is that of the soul-winner, and we ought to give serious consideration to the preparation for it.

Let me remind you of a few essentials if you are to be an effective winner of souls.

Be Sure of Your Conversion:

First of all, and needless to say, we must be very sure of our own conversion. And yet, I wonder, is it needless to say it? Two hundred and fifty years ago, Richard Baxter declared, “Many a preacher is now in hell that hath an hundred times called upon his hearers to use every care and diligence to escape it.” When I first read that I was inclined to think it was an exaggeration, but in the light of further and wider experience, I am inclined to think that Richard Baxter was right. Yes, it is possible to warn men to flee from the wrath to come and yet not to have fled from it oneself.

And then I suggest that we try to keep the freshness and the wonder of our conversion experience. God forbid that we should ever come to regard it as one of the commonplaces of life. A friend of mine years ago whimsically said to me, “I was converted to God forty years ago, and I never got over it!” It is a great thing to live with a constant sense of wonder that the grace of God has reached us and saved us.

Be Sure of Your Motive:

In the second place, if we are to be effective soul-winners we must have a pure and unselfish motive. We must be “approved unto God.” That is one of the picturesque expressions of the New Testament. It means being subjected to drastic tests. I found an illustration of that in Saturday’s Daily News. Here is a picture of a worker in a foundry taking molten steel from the furnace. From there it goes to the laboratory where it is subjected to the close scrutiny of metallurgical experts. The fire will try every man’s work. Study—give diligence-says Paul, to be approved unto God—to be bright metal cleansed from every bit of dross, effective for its purpose. Oh, let us beware lest there is any alloy mixed with our motive! Beware of trying to gain a reputation for ourselves as a soul-winner instead of seeking the glory of Christ.

I think the most outrageous example I ever came across was when a man actually advertised himself after this fashion: “I will gain for you fifteen church members in a week, or I will give you twenty dollars.” Fancy a man making a bet as to how many souls he was going to win for Christ in a week! All reputations of that character are bubbles that will soon burst and disappear. When D. L. Moody was asked upon one occasion how many converts he had made, he answered, “I don’t keep the Lamb’s book of life.” We can leave the results to God!

In Matthew 4:19, Jesus gave some fisherman a rather strange proposition. “Follow me,” He said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” What could He possibly mean? How can one “catch” men? A simple reading of the book of Acts will give us the answer. Jesus wanted these men to become soul winners!

It is the call and duty of every born again believer to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with lost sinners.


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