Thanks for your kind comments. Your blog post covers a subject that is timeless—soul winning.
In your blog post you said, “You have such a good attitude about soul-winning. I wish I always had a good attitude about it.” Then you describe some discouraging moments you had going door to door soul-winning. I won’t retype your whole blog because: a) I type slow; b) Anyone can read them on line; c) Others are waiting on the typewriter as we have only two working typewriters here for 550 men; and, d) My back hurts when I sit for long periods of time since I broke it once, had whiplash twice, and slide on it way too much. Baptists not only believe in backsliding, we practice it!
Here are some of my random thoughts about soul-winning prompted by your post:
1. The Bible says in Proverbs 11:30, “He that winneth souls is wise.” Daniel 12:3 also says, “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” From these passages, I get the idea that a wise man wins souls (or tries to) and a fool does not. We need to ask God for wisdom and win souls (James 1:5)!
2. Spreading the gospel and winning souls is a command of the Lord (Mt. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15-20; Acts 1:8). Just do it.
3. You don’t have to feel any love for the world or the lost. That may or may not come. Jonah hated the people God sent him to. (Jonah 4). The Bible says, “God so loved the world…” (Jn. 3:16). I don’t have to love them. God does. I love God, so witnessing is done because of love for and obedience to God; not always from a love for the lost.
4. You mention “always” having a good attitude about it. Forget it. I often do NOT have a good attitude about it but do it anyway. God is the Boss. I am His servant. (I am NOT His “slave” as most new perversions say. A slave has no choice. I am a voluntary servant. See Ex. 21:1-6.) I don’t always have a good attitude about being God’s servant either. I read His Word and try to follow it but there is no compulsion. Follow God if you want. The same mentality applies to scores of other relationships. God gave commands for the husband, the wife, the children, the servants, and the masters (Eph. 5:21-6:9; Col. 3:18-4:1; 1 Pt. 2:17-3:8).
It is a truly wonderful thing when a man voluntarily surrenders his will to the will of God. I find the more I simply obey the easier life gets. God is admonished us not to “harden our hearts” (Deut. l5:7; 1 Sam. 6:6; Ps. 95:8; Heb. 3:8, 15; 4:7). He warned us in Proverbs 29:1, “He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
It is a sad thing when a child hardens his heart against the will of the parents who love him (Eph. 6:2). The first commandment with a promise was to honor the father and mother (Ex. 20:12). That promise was a long life. It is just as sad when a wife does not understand her commands and a husband does not understand his commands. Disobedience always brings problems in the family, in the church, and in society. God told us what He wants and blesses us when we do it but He does not force His will on us. Even after being a Christian for nearly 43 years, I still go through cycles of serving willingly and cheerfully and then serving begrudgingly or even not serving or obeying at all. You would think I would learn. Some of us are hard-headed!
Anyway, DON’T wait till you have a good attitude about sharing the Gospel. Just go.
5. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking there is only one way to fulfill the great commission to go and spread the Gospel. It does not have to be door to door. Jesus “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). You could develop an entire ministry around something you love to do. For example, suppose you like to bake cakes. Bake ten cakes and go find some person or family to give one to. As you give them the cake say, “God laid it on my heart to give you this. He wants you to know that He loves you and wants you in His family. Can I leave this tract with you or can I share with you how to join God’s family?
I don’t know if Dr. Carl Hatch is still alive or if his material on soul- winning is still available but he was one of the most innovative and effective soul-winners I ever met! If you find his teaching tapes you will get hundreds of new ideas on how to win souls. The same is true of Ray Comfort’s materials available on www.livingwaters.com.
If you don’t like going door to door, then don’t do it that way. I like using creation science information to start conversations and lead people to Christ. I spent MANY years going door to door and had some great success. I drove a church bus for 17 years and brought thousands to church and to the Lord. I’m for that method but fear that some get stuck thinking that is the only way. Not true. In the parable of the sower in Matthew 4 and Luke 8, some of the seed was accidently sown by the way side “as he went out to sow.” Before the sower even got where he was going, he planted some seeds unknowingly.
Let God guide you into how He wants you to do tell others about Him. You could be a video missionary. Just give out DVDs to people you meet. Creation Today offers a “tract pack” where you can order 100 DVD’s for $99. These make great “tracts” that bring people to Christ. You could be a full-time tire changer. Look for people along the highway with a flat tire and say, “Excuse me ma’am. I’ll change your tire for you if you will read this booklet while I do it.”
Just remember the scene from the movie The Matrix”—there is no spoon. There is more than one way to share God’s Word. Just do it!
6. Give something away. “A man’s gift maketh room for him.” (Proverbs 18:16). When you give someone a gift, they will often have “room” to give you some of their time to hear the Gospel. As I mentioned above, giving a free DVD is a great way. Here are a few more:
A. Go visit hospitals or nursing homes and give booklets like “Big Daddy” or “In the Beginning” or “It’s Coming” all available at www.chick.com and available from www.creationtoday.org. Give them your time by reading to them and listening to their stories. You can give the gift of laughter. Just read them the blog I wrote called “The Dog Died.” That ought to open a door to minister to someone!
B. Give out book markers. I make book markers here for the men and their families. If you have never seen one of these I make, please send me your address and the names of your family members and I’ll be glad to make them each one. They are way cool! I am currently rather limited in my opportunities for evangelism, which I am sure the Devil intended, but I can still witness by making these little gifts.
D. Give an hour of free yard work or house cleaning in exchange for them reading a tract or watching a DVD. The list of ideas along this line would be endless! Just find some way to get someone to listen to the Gospel.
7. Don’t get discouraged! The results are up to God. Noah preached for many years and nobody listened (2 Pt. 2:5). Paul preached and some believed, some mocked and some said, “Hmmmm…let me think about that.” (Acts 17:4-5; 28:24). Be not weary in well doing (2 Thes. 3:13). God is keeping score and He will try every man’s work to see of what SORT it is, NOT what SIZE it is (1 Cor. 3:13). Think on THAT verse for five minutes!
Elizabeth, thanks again for your kind words. It is such a blessing to get words of encouragement in prison (Pro. 25:25; Mt. 25:34-46). Many serve God faithfully for years and never see the fruit of their labor (Heb. 11:39). If you have never heard the story of “The George Street Preacher,” be sure to listen to that one! It is only about ten minutes long and it will bless your gizzard!
Keep running the race! I’ll see you here, there, or in the air!