Soul winning is a very important and serious aspect of true Christianity. The reason it is not viewed this way by many who profess to be Christians is primarily because of the way Christianity is portrayed on TV and elsewhere as a means to ease, comfort, pleasure and financial prosperity. This, however, is not only not the truth about our struggle (Eph. 6:12), but it has greatly distorted our purpose as Christís representatives (2 Cor. 5:20).
The Soul Winner's ResponsibilityWhen I say to a wicked man, "You will surely die," and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood (Ezek. 3:18).See also Ezek. 33:8. The Apostle Paul seemingly had these verses in mind when he said to the abusive Jews at Corinth who opposed him:Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility (Acts 18:6).Christian, are YOU clear of your responsibility in verbalizing Scriptural truths to the wicked people you know? A non-verbal example, though very important, isnít good enough! See Mark 16:15.
It seems that ignorance of Scripture and indifference are the chief problems in the body of Christ in America today. Together, these problems have compounded the overall problems facing the individual Christian who isnít like the majority, that is, he/she is seriously trying to Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling (Psa. 2:11). Nowhere in the Bible does it say that a faithful, loving and humble servant of Christ will win a popularity contest or even receive common respect and courtesy from the world. Just the opposite is to be expected! See LK. 6:22,23; Jn. 16:2; 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Jn. 3:13; etc. Remember the righteous of the past, who were also examples of faith and of whom this world was NOT worthy, were tortured, destitute, persecuted and mistreated, as they were poorly clothed and wandered in the deserts and mountains (Heb. 11:35b-39). See Paulís charge to Timothy (2 Tim. 2:3).
The seriousness of being ashamed of Jesus in this evil world is another issue that should be addressed. In the Lordís own words:If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Fatherís glory with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38)Since Jesus is NOT ashamed of His spiritual family (Heb. 2:11), to be ashamed of Him, then, is to negate your salvation! What does it mean to be ashamed of Jesus? The Greek says: to feel shame for something. Our secular dictionary would similarly define it as being embarrassed, uncomfortable, hesitant or reluctant. As the true Christian is ashamed of his past life of sin (Rom. 6:21), we must not view our identification with Jesus in the same way at any time or in any place! To do so is to merit the same mutual response from the King. For some, the basic reason they havenít witnessed lately is because they are ashamed of Jesus, even though they would never admit it! If you havenít witnessed lately, ask yourself this question: Am I secretly ashamed to identify myself with the Lord Jesus at any time, in any place or in front of any group of people? If you are, God already knows it, for your heart is seen by Him. To remedy your spiritual situation, sincerely ask Jesus to forgive you and give you the boldness and graces needed to never be ashamed again.
In summary, the fisher of men (Mt. 4:19) is:
Successful Christian living in general, according to the Bible, is measured NOT by the number of people that we get to pray a prayer, but instead by simple obedience to God in general! If YOU have been obeying Godís commands, including witnessing about Jesus, and the known fruit is very little, you might be discouraged, but you are NOT unsuccessful!
- Clearing himself/herself of his/her Christian responsibilities as Paul did.
- Enduring the hardships and problems that come to the godly as good soldiers of Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 2:3; 3:12).
- Refusing to be ashamed of his/her only future hope (Jesus), 1 Tim. 1:1.
Finally, remember that even Jesus didnít win everyone to whom He witnessed, though His words and tone of voice were always perfect. The rich, young ruler is a prime example of this. On his knees, this unsaved man asked Jesus about eternal life, yet when Jesus gave him the truth, he became sad and walked away from Jesus. There was NO fault in what came from Jesus. The problem was only in the heart of the listening potential convert. See Mark 10:17-25.
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