The greatest need in America - Soulwinners “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-38)
There are 9 times as many lost people in the world today as the total population in Jesus day when he gave the commission
At the present rate of soul-winning without any births it would take 320 years to win the U.S. and 4,000 years to win the world.
The average southern Baptist church in 1981 baptized only 8 converts.
83 each minute; 4980 each hour; 119520 each day go out into eternity without hope. Approximately 52,560,000 per year die without hope. That’s 4 people every time you draw a breath. No wonder the angels of heaven rejoice over 1 sinner that repents more than over the 99.
A SOUL A living soul, how priceless! Its value is untold. Invisible, immortal, Worth more than purest gold. And oh, the souls are countless Upon life’s busy way Who know not Christ, our Saviour, Who never stop to pray. They rush toward sin’s gay glitter, Its glaring, garish light These souls of men are marching To everlasting night. O go ye into all the world, Is his divine command. I hear his voice so tender, I see his loving hand Outstretched in power and blessing The fallen ones to raise. Then may we do his bidding Through all our early days; And when the sheaves are gathered Before his throne that day, May there be souls most precious Whom we have shown the way. Ð Berth Prince Vander Ark
Everyone is worried about secondary things. Economy, peace, future food supplies. These are not the greatest needs to America. The greatest need is Soul-winners.
I. SOUL-WINNING IS THE COMMAND OF CHRIST. Matthew 28:18-20 - (3-fold) - imperative mood! A) Win them - Mark 16:15,16 B) Baptize them - Acts 2:38 C) Disciple Them - Matthew 28:19, 20 * Gospel preaching is not primarily pulpit work. Acts 1:8; Acts 5:42
II. SOUL-WINNING IS A PARTNERSHIP WITH CHRIST. Matthew 28:20 - Lo I am with you alway Revelation 22:17 - The Spirit and the Bride say come A) Salvation is a call to yoking up with Jesus in a soul-winning effort. - What an honor. Matthew 11:28-30 B) We are laborers together with Him. I Corinthians 3:4-9 (Key v.9) 1) (v.6) Our part - * plant the seed - Matthew 13 * water it - tears - Psalm 126:5,6 2) (v.6,7) God’s part - Give the increase - John 6:44 C) As we speak on the outside, He speaks on the inside. John 12:32 compare Revelation 3:20 * My job is to lift Him up.
III. SOUL-WINNING IS A TEST OF CHRIST. A) Test of Lordship - Luke 6:46 Other commands Baptism, church membership, Bible. B) Test of friendship - John 15:14 C) Test of followship - Matthew 4:19 D) Test of fellowship - Matthew 10:32-33 E) Test of faithfulness - John 14:15 proof of love F) Test of servants heart - Luke 14:23 G) Test of loyalty in representation. Luke 19:10 compare II Corinthians 5:20 H) Test of our wisdom - Proverbs 11:30 I) Test of our vision - Proverbs 29:18
Greatest test of true Christian living
IV. SOUL-WINNING IS OUR GREATEST RESPONSIBILITY TO GOD AND MAN Romans 1:14-16; Ezekiel 3:16-17 * Estel Derrick - Charleston W.V. - 80 yrs old. Got saved and died the next day. - What if I had not witnessed. * Ray Regal - Had just asked his wife for a divorce before I got there.
CONCLUSION * Soul-winning is the greatest need in America! Matthew 9:36-38 - Harvest is plenteous, labourers are few. John 4:35 - The fields are white unto harvest.
More than we need fine church buildings and padded pews. More than we need eloquent preacher with perfect English. More than we need financial stability in America. More than we need great armaments. We need Soul-winners of every size, shape, form, walk of life, etc.
Give us a watchword for the hour; A thrilling word, a word of power; A battle cry, a flaming breath; A call to conquest or to death; A word to rouse the church from rest; To heed the masters high behest; The call is given ye hosts arise; The watchword is Evangelize! Evangelize! To fallen men a dying race; Make known the gift of gospel grace. The world that now in darkness lies; Oh church of Christ - Evangelize! Evangelize!
What we need in this room tonight is for God to raise up a great army of soul-winners. We need to be consumed with the thought... It is Christ’s command It is a blessed partnership with Christ It is a test of Christ It is the highest responsibility to Christ
ALL SUFFICIENCY OF GRACE
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:” (II Corinthians 9:8) “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:9)
Key text - “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
A. God’s grace is in view
B. Grace is the unmerited favour of God.
C. It is sufficient. It is equal to the demand and it is adequate in its power to the need.
I. GRACE CAN GUIDE THE SOUL IN ITS GLOOM
II. GRACE CAN HELP THE SOUL IN ITS HURT
III. GRACE CAN CALM THE SOUL IN ITS CONFLICT
Acts 20:23, 24 Psalm 27:3 IV. GRACE CAN PROMPT THE SOUL IN ITS PERPLEXITY
II Corinthians 4:8, 9
V. GRACE CAN RAISE THE SOUL FROM ITS RUIN Jude 1:24, 25 compare Ephesians 2:1-9 I Corinthians 15:10
VI. GRACE CAN CROWN THE SOUL ABOVE ITS CONDEMNATION
I Timothy 4:6-8 I Peter 5:4 Revelation 3:11
God’s all sufficient grace is available to you. What are you doing with it? Some of you are frustrating it in different ways. (Galatians 2:21) To frustrate is to impede and render ineffective. Are you tapping the all sufficient grace of God or trying to do it in your own sufficiency?
“I 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.” (John 15:5)
How to make lasting decisions
“When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-7)
• He said WHEN not IF you make a vow. • God wants us to make holy vows. • But how many times have you seen people weep and sincerely make vows to God and go back out and do the same things again in a few short weeks? • Why?
A) Decisions made on emotion will be reversed when emotion changes. B) Decisions made because of others and to please them will change. C) Decisions made in the power of the flesh will change.
• How then do you make lasting decisions? Crucify the flesh. A dead man is not tempted.
I. RECOGNIZE THE ROOT OF YOUR PROBLEM. Romans 7:14-24 Galatians 5:16-21 - the striving
• The real problem is not with - Long hair Rock music Improper dress Immodesty These are symptoms of the flesh being in control.
• Most people spend all of their time dealing with symptoms rather than the root problem.
Two natures struggle in my breast The one is foul the other blessed The new I love, the old I hate The one I feed will dominate
II. DEAL WITH THE MAIN PROBLEM
If I have heart trouble that sends pain down my left arm, all the liniment in the world won’t cure it. I must deal with the heart. Galatians 2:20 - Get on the cross Romans 12:1, 2 - Give yourself Romans 6:11-15 - Reckon yourself dead to sin Colossians 3:1-9 - Mortify your members I Corinthians 15:31 - Die daily - Illus. shooting the flesh
III. YIELD YOURSELF TO GOD James 4:7, 8 Ephesians 5:18 - filled or controlled All to Jesus I surrender All to Him I freely give
Collasians 3:10-16 - let Christ live through you Galatians 5:24-25
CONCLUSION: The glove illustration. A glove does not move independently. It responds to the hand that fills it.
If you would make a lasting decision you must crucify the flesh which is the root of our sins. Deal with the root and the symptoms will go away.
How to crucify the flesh. - Daily, in the morning fall out of bed on your knees and surrender your body to God in prayer and ask for fullness and guidance of spirit. Also read the word. If flesh rises up crucify it immediately.
Outlines and Illustrations that Preach
Why Me Lord?
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;” (James 1:2)
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” (I Peter 4:12-19)
“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.”(Romans 8:28)
A. Why isn’t my house as nice as others?
B. Why do I have financial problems?
C. Why is my health bad?
D. Why did I lose a loved one?
E. Why do I have family problems?
F. Why am I out of work?
G. Why did my car break down?
H. Why am I disabled?
I. Moses said, “Why me Lord?”
Elijah said, “Why me Lord?” God rebuked them.
J. He didn’t say, “Gripe about it.”
He said, “Count it all joy.”
John 16:22, 33 - all have problems in this world
Philippians 2:14,15; 4:12,13
• Why problems and trials come
I. IT COULD BE CHASTENING Hebrews 12:5-11
A. Jonah, Ananias - Acts 5:1-10
B. Psalm 119:67 - before I was afflicted I went astray
II. IT COULD BE PRUNING AND IMPROVING John 15:1-7
A. Job, Joseph, Daniel - no chastisement, but pruning, improving, and preparation for a task
III. FOR THE GLORY OF GOD John 9:1-3; John 11:4
A. Some of the sweetest Christians I know - 1. Have cancer 2. Are bed-ridden 3. Are blind - Fanny Crosby
• But they glorify God in their affliction I Corinthians 10:31
IV. TO SHOW US WHERE OUR TRUE STRENGTH LIES II Corinthians 12:7-10
It’s spiritual exercise, like weight lifting.
B. We get to see what God can do when we come to the end of ourselves. V. TO QUALIFY US TO HELP OTHERS II Corinthians 1:4
VI. SO WE CAN BE PARTAKERS OF CHRIST’S SUFFERING Philippians 1:29; I Peter 4:12-16 • I cannot suffer as a Christian (I Peter 4:16) If I do not suffer
• Remember: All things are shaping the Christian for eternity.
A. It is not mine to question “Why?” It is only mine to do or die.
B. Footsteps in the sand - A man complained to God that in the valleys of life there was only one set of footsteps in the sand. He assumed God had forsaken him. The Lord informed him that the footprints were His not the mans. God said, “I was carrying you.”
C. Don’t complain, count it all joy. Romans 8:28
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, or faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Hebrews 12:5-11) INTRODUCTION
• The most dangerous thing I can think of is responding to Gods dealing in the wrong way.
• There are three ways of responding to Gods dealing as a Christian.
A) Despise it (v5) “Ignore the hand of God in it”
B) Faint under it (v5) Some become discouraged and bitter against God because of it.
C) Be exercised by it (v11)
• David was exercised by it. Psalm 119:67-71 Psalm 51
• Naomi was exercised by it – Came home
Quote: “God teaches us lessons in the school of suffering that we could learn in no other classroom.”
• The sad thing is that most people respond in one of the first two manners rather than being exercised thereby. This only brings more severe chastisement. It’s dangerous business.
Gods steps in dealing with us.
I. god speaks first
Through the word Through preaching Through the spirit’s wooing
God speaks through his preachers - I Thessalonians 5:20