How to Win Souls without Fear
I've heard about a little six-year old boy who restlessly struggled to listen to a rather lengthy sermon. After the service, the little boy asked the question that sooner or later most “church kids” ask. “Dad” he said, “what does the preacher do the rest of the week?” The dad replied, “Son, he’s a very busy man. He takes care of church business, visits the sick, studies the Bible. . . and he has to take time to rest up. You see, preaching in public is not an easy job.” The little boy thought about that and said, “Well, listening ain’t so easy either!”
William A. Ward has said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
Today, I hope to inspire you in soul winning using the Word of God and illustrations.
The Church is the only society on earth that exists solely for the benefit of its non-members! As John Wesley rightly put it, “The Church has only one business, and that is to win souls!”
George Barna Survey:
George Barna’s surveys indicate that fewer than one in four Christians even believe that it is their responsibility to witness to others. Most Christians think that it is the job of the “professionals” to evangelize. In fact, most Christians never share their faith with someone else and few have ever led someone to Christ.
Dr. D. James Kennedy, founder of Evangelism Explosion, stated that “One of the saddest statistics of our day is that 95% of all church members have never led anyone to Christ.” It has been said, “We are content to be keepers of the aquarium, rather than to be fishers of men.” (Is he right?)
Illustration: The Times-Reporter of New Philadelphia, Ohio, reported in September, 1985 a celebration of a New Orleans municipal pool. The party around the pool was held to celebrate the first summer in memory without a drowning at the New Orleans City pool. In honor of the occasion, 200 people gathered, including 100 certified lifeguards. As the party was breaking up and the four lifeguards on duty began to clear the pool, they found a fully dressed body in the deep end. They tried to revive Jerome Moody, 31, but it was too late. He had drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their successful season. Is that an example of what is happening in our churches?
Dr. Adrian Rogers of Belleview Baptist Church (20,000 members) in Memphis goes so far as to say that “There are two types of Christians: soul-winners and backsliders.” Is he right?
During the reign of Oliver Cromwell, the British government began to run low on silver for coins. Lord Cromwell sent his men on an investigation of the local cathedral to see if they could find any precious metal there. After investigating, they reported, “The only silver we could find is in the statues of the saints standing in the corners.” To which the radical soldier and statesman of England replied, “Good! We’ll melt down the saints and put them into circulation!” This is what may be needed today as well. The saints need to have our hearts melted with the love of God and we need to put ourselves in circulation.
What is needed is a never quit attitude. Here is a great example of this.
Illustration: Johnny Unitas could have thought he was inadequate as he was cut from the Pittsburgh Steelers and sent home with $10 bus fare money. They said he was too skinny, slow and did not have the arm strength needed for the NFL. Johnny never quit. His first game with the Baltimore colts, he threw an interception on his first play and fumbled on the next two series. But Johnny never quit. In one game, his nose was broke, he had a concussion and his teeth were knocked through his lower lip. He told the coach, I’ve got to get back in the game.” The coach said, “Why?” Johnny said, “Look at the score board, we are behind.” Unitas packed some mud on his lip to stop the bleeding and returned to the huddle and said, “Just block and we will win the game.” Johnny won because his heart was in the game. They won the game because Johnny Unitas never quit with any excuses of inadequacy.”
Here is a question for you. Have you ever felt inadequate to do the work of our Lord? I was reading about Myrtie Howell. She was a devoted Christian woman. But she had lived a hard life. Her family was very poor. When she was 10, she quit school and went to work in a steel mill for 10 cents a day. She married at age 17. But in early 1940, her husband was killed in an accident. And when that happened, she lost her home. And she had to go back to work to support herself and her three kids.
Years later, her declining health forced her to move into a old, high rise nursing home. A few weeks later, her youngest son died. And that's when she fell into a depression. She said, “Lord, what more can I do for you? I've lost everything that ever meant something to me. And now I'm stuck in this dark, dreary room. I have nothing left to live for! I want to die! I've had enough of this prison. Take me home.”
But then God spoke to her as clear as possible. He said, “I'm not through with you yet, Myrtie. Write to prisoners.”
So she wrote a letter and sent it to the Atlanta Penitentiary. And this is what the letter said: “Dear inmate. I am a grandmother who loves and cares for you. I am willing to be a friend. If you' d like to hear from me, write me. I will answer every letter you write. A Christian friend, Grandmother Howell.”
The letter was given to the prison chaplain. And he gave her the names of eight prisoners she could write to. Prison Fellowship gave her some more names. Soon, she was corresponding with up to 40 inmates a day. She became a one woman ministry reaching into prisons all over America.
She said, “I thought my life was over. But these past few years have been the most fulfilling years of my life! I thank Prison Fellowship! And most of all, I thank Jesus!”
Myrtie Howell became a great missionary for God. Out of a one room apartment. No matter where you live. Or what your situation is like. God can still do wonderful things through your life. As long as your heart is still beating. And your blood is still pumping, Jesus Christ is not through with you.
Three Characteristics of Soul Winners:
Compassion-The three type of people that respond to accidents can be a good illustration of soul winning: The first group is the bystanders and onlookers. They are curious and watch to see what happens but have little active involvement. The second group is the police officers, The third group are the pramedics-They are the people usually most welcomed by those involved in the accident. They couldn't care less whose fault the accident was and they did not engage in lecturing about bad driving habits. Their response was to help those who were hurt. They bandaged wounds, freed trapped people, and gave words of encouragement. Three groups -- one is uninvolved, one is assigning blame and assessing punishment, and one is helping the hurting. Which group are you in?
Effort: Example of recent searches for lost children and people. The extreme effort is illustration of how God searches for a lost person. Great effort is required to prepare for the saving of a soul. This does not negate the Holy Spirit that does the work salvation.
Persistence-Following an exhilarating performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall, celebrated classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma went home, slept, and awoke the next day exhausted and rushed. He called for a cab to take him to a hotel on the other side of Manhattan and placed his cello—hand-crafted in Vienna in 1733 and valued at $2.5 million—in the trunk of the taxi. When he reached his destination, he paid the driver, but forgot to take his cello.
After the cab had disappeared, Ma realized what he had done. He began a desperate search for the missing instrument. Fortunately he had the receipt with the cabby’s ID number. After searching all day the taxi was located in a garage in Queens with the priceless cello still in the trunk. Ma’s smile could not be contained as he spoke to reporters. Yo Yo Ma did not quit but persisted because what was lost was too valuable to give up on. The spiritually lost are too valuable for us to quit trying to reach even though our efforts do not pay off quickly.
So here is a simple way to share your faith that I have found to work..
Share Jesus Without Fear - The Questions you ask the person.
If you want to share Jesus without fear, how do you get started? Starting a discussion about spirituality is often the biggest barrier to sharing your faith in Jesus Christ. Do you wonder how to approach the subject in the midst of everyday conversation? You can make this a much easier task by using the simple technique of asking your friend questions about his beliefs. This technique usually has two benefits. First, your friend may be more obliged to listen to your beliefs once you have listened to his. Second, and more important, this technique allows you to know what is going on in your friend's life so that you can better minister to him.
Here are a few questions that can move the conversation from a secular topic to a spiritual topic. The questions act as a funnel to introduce the Gospel.
- Do you have any kind of spiritual beliefs?
- To you, who is Jesus?
- Do you think there is a heaven or a hell?
- If you died tonight, where would you go?
- By the way, if what you were believing is not true, would you want to know?
These five questions, asked in the order listed above, can move a conversation from the secular to the spiritual. And if your friend answers “yes” to the final question, you will have the privilege of sharing your faith with your friend.
Share Jesus Without Fear - Let God's Word Speak
You can share Jesus without fear! Rather than recite an elaborate presentation, simply open your Bible and let God's Word speak for itself. For this to work, you will need a Bible (preferably a small one because small Bibles tend to be less intimidating to non-Christians), and a few salvation passages to share. Some passages that serve this purpose are listed below:
- “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
- “In reply Jesus declared, 'I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again'” (John 3:3).
- “Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'” (John 14:6).
- “That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, 'Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame'” (Romans 10:9).
- “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again"
(2 Corinthians 5:15).
- “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
Invite your friend to read a verse aloud and then have him explain the verse to you. Take him through all the verses listed above. If your friend interprets a passage incorrectly, don't argue or offer your interpretation, but politely ask him to read it again, and then explain it a second time. Misinterpretation should not be much of a problem if you use the Bible verses listed above.
Even if your friend mentions that he doesn't believe in or agree with the Bible, it is best not to argue. You can state that you simply want him to understand what the Bible says about eternity. Isn't it wonderful to know that it's not our responsibility to convict? Conviction is God's job. All we can do is share. Once we have shared, we have done God's will. Witnessing for Christ is a no-lose activity.
at the conclusion of sharing these verses you can ask if they would like to pray with you. Lead them in a simple prayer that might go something like this.
Father God, I'm a sinner and right now I confess my sins. I ask you to forgive me of them all. I accept and believe that the sacrifice that your Son Jesus made on the Cross of Calvary was made for me, so Icould be forgiven and have everlasting life. I believe you raised Him from the dead. I confess with my mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord. Thank you, Lord God. Amen!
If you have 15-20 minutes with someone I will share with you an expanded method of sharing the gospel.
The verses in order are: have the person read each verse then ask the question.
- Verse 1: 2 Tim. 3:16
1. This verse qualifies the Bible
"What is God saying in this passage?”
- Verse 1b: Rev. 4:8b
"How does scripture describe God? What does the word “holy” mean?”
- Verse 2: Rom. 3:23
2. Man / Separation
"What does the Bible say about our sin?
- Verse 3: Rom. 6:23
3. What do the words “wages” and “death” mean?”
- Verse 4: Rom. 5:8
4. Jesus on the Cross
"What does God say about His love for us? What did Jesus do for you?”
- Verse: 4b Rom. 10:9-10 (this one is not on the tabs I have, but is one I still like to use)
Verse 5: 1 Cor. 15:3-4
5. Buried / Raised
"What three things does God say Jesus did for us? If Jesus came back to life again, who does that make Him?”
- Verse 6: John 14:6
6. Cross - The Bridge
"What does Jesus mean when He says, “Iam the only way to God?”
- Verse 7: Eph. 2:8-9
"What can we do to get to Heaven? What does God's gift of grace mean?”
- Verse 8: John 3:16
8. Eternal Life
"What does “perish” mean? (point to the flames) What does “eternal life” mean? (point to the light)”
- Verse 9: John 1:12
9. Man and God united / Invitation and prayer
"What does it mean to “receive and to “believe?” Do you desire a relationship like that?” Prayer “Dear God, &Amen”
- Verse 10: Matt. 22:36-40
10. God desires a relationship
"What does it mean to love God with “all” your heart?”
- Verse 11: Phil. 4:6-7
11. Talk with God
"Tell me what is God saying about prayer? So what does God tell us to pray about?”
- Verse 12: 1 Pet. 2:2
12. Study God's word daily
"Why should we thirst for scripture like a baby thirsts for milk? Why should we study God's word daily?”
- Verse 13: Heb. 10:25
13. Meet with other Christians regularly
"What does the Bible say about fellowship with believers?”
- Verse 14: Mark 16:15
14. Tell others about Jesus
In His grip,