Evangelism: Reaching Out To God’s Glory — Allen Webster & Matt Wallin

A six-year-old boy restlessly struggled to listen to what seemed like a very lengthy sermon.  After the service, the little boy asked, “Dad, what does the preacher do the rest of the week?”

Dad replied, “Well, he’s a very busy man. He takes care of church business, visits the sick, studies the Bible, teaches Bible studies, and counsels with people. And he has to take some time off to rest up. You see, preaching in public is not an easy job.”

The little boy thought about that for a minute and said, “Well, listening ain’t so easy either!”

Evangelism “ain’t so easy either,” but it is a work God blesses.

The words to the song “Lead Me to Some Soul Today” remind us of the great task we have before us:

Lead me to some soul

today;

O teach me, Lord, just

what to say;

Friends of mine are lost

in sin,

And cannot find their way.

Few there are who seem

to care,

And few there are who

pray;

Melt my heart and fill my

life;

Give me one soul today.

 

Lead Me To Some SOUL Today

Asking the Lord to lead us to some soul indicates that we recognize the value of every single person (Mt. 16:26). Your most valuable asset is not your house, your car, or even your family. Your most priceless possession is your soul. Every person you know, every person you love, every person in your life has a soul. That soul will live beyond this life and will enter into the next one.

Since as Christians we have greater knowledge of the future than those around us, we have greater responsibility to tell them how to prepare. George Sweeting tells of John Currier who in 1949 was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Eventually, he was paroled to work on a farm near Nashville, Tennessee. In 1968, Currier’s sentence was terminated, and a letter bearing the good news was sent to him. But John never saw the letter, nor was he told of it. Although life on that farm was hard and hopeless, John kept doing what he was told, even after the farmer for whom he worked had died. Ten more years passed. Finally a state parole officer learned about Currier’s plight, found him, and told him that his sentence had been terminated. He was a free man.

Would it matter to you if someone sent you an important message — the most important in your life — and year after year the urgent message was never delivered?  As Christians, we know that Jesus died to set all men free (Jn. 8:31-32).  He has put the letter in our hand to deliver it.

LEAD Me To Some Soul Today

The average Christian comes into contact with 1,783 people in a week.  Of those, perhaps, a thousand or more are lost (cf. Mt. 7:13).  How many of those thousand could be saved with the right conversation?  One hundred?  Nine hundred?  One?  The answer is unknown, but even if it is a single soul — and surely the answer could not be zero — the possibility is exciting.

Think of the opportunities that you may have today to find a soul for the Savior.  When Jesus sent the Twelve out on the Limited Commission, He included this admonition, “As ye go, preach” (Mt. 10:5-7).  Instead of setting up scheduled speeches at synagogues or lecture halls, they were to preach as they went along each day.  Their audiences would be anyone they happened to encounter as they moved from street to street, village to village, house to house.

Our daily business takes us to many places and places us in contact with many people.  That is how the “go” command is fulfilled.  There is nothing magical about a movie or a plane ride; but when our eyes are opened to souls, every journey, errand, and encounter is an adventure.

Lead Me To SOME Soul Today

The U.S. Center of World Missions reports that in AD 30, when the church was just getting started, there were 200 million people in the world and only about 5,000 Christians.  That is a ratio of 40,000 to one.

John 4 is a good case study in evangelism:

  • Jesus did not let culture close doors to souls (Jn. 4:4).
  • Jesus overcame fatigue (Jn. 4:6). Most of the great things done in the world are done by tired people.
  • Jesus began by engaging in friendly conversation (4:7).
  • Jesus chose a time when others were not around (4:8).
  • Jesus was not put off by potentially offensive statements (4:9).
  • Jesus offered the woman something more than she had (4:10).
  • Jesus had to gain her trust (4:11-12).
  • Jesus did not ignore sins that potentially could close the door (4:16-18).
  • Jesus emphasized sincerity and truth (4:23-24).
  • Jesus identified the Savior (4:26).
  • Jesus used one contact to lead to many others (4:28-29).
  • Jesus took advantage of a spiritual opportunity at the cost of physical loss (4:31-34).
  • Jesus believed that there are always souls ready for harvest (4:35).
  • Jesus saw joy in the future of both the soul winner and the soul won (4:36).
  • Jesus recognized that some conversations require time and more than one teacher (4:37-38).
  • Jesus rearranged His schedule when souls were at stake (4:39-41).
  • Jesus knew that one person cannot reach all types of people and that a team is more effective (4:42).

Lead ME To Some Soul Today

Why many people don’t evangelize:

  • Ninety percent have failed in attempts in the past.
  • They are biblically illiterate.
  • They leave it to the professionals.
  • They don’t want to impose their faith on others.

There is no soul-winning without people.  Every person saved heard the gospel from someone else.  Somebody was involved.

There is something here for ME to do.  We cannot afford the attitude of “Let someone else do it.”  There is no one else.  We cannot afford to procrastinate.  Sometime is not on the calendar.  Someone is not in the phonebook.  Ultimately, we must decide whether we are going to be involved or not; whether we will touch a soul or not; whether evangelism is important to us or not.

Lead Me To Some Soul TODAY

This song was often used as a campaign song to urge us in our evangelism.  Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (Jn. 9:4).

It is easy to make excuses:

  • In summer we say, “Wait till school starts.”
  • In school we say, “Wait till summer when we have more time.”
  • In summer it’s too hot; in winter it’s too cold.

Raymond Kelcy said, “It is better to wake up five hundred Christians than to convert five hundred sinners, for if five hundred Christians really wake up, they will win more than five hundred sinners.”  It is time for us to “lift up (our) eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

Lord, lead me to some soul today.

allen@housetohouse.com

Editor’s Note:  While talking to Matt about writing this article, we discussed how much political talk is taking place during this election year.  Matt and Allen work to put together an excellent evangelistic publication, House to House/Heart to Heart.  An upcoming issue will discuss, “If Jesus Were Running For President, Would He Win?”  They want to reach 3.2 million homes with this issue and thereby encourage our communities to look for spiritual strengths in those we elect, and to ultimately allow Jesus to be their Lord.  Only Jesus can provide the answers people look for!  Email them to learn more about this work.          — Jon

 

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