How to Lead a Soul to Christ Part 1
“Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:17-20
Intro: Soul winning is the greatest work in the world. God has entrusted each of us…, every believer has this God given incredible responsibility. Can you take the bible and point a sinner to the savior?
Today we are going to begin a new worship series on “How to Lead a Soul to Christ.” I will teach you five simple steps you will want to learn and use when talking to someone about becoming Christian. Get out your sermon notes: write this down.
I. Show the Need for Salvation
A few years ago pro boxer Hector Macho Comacho four time…, three weight class…, boxing champion of the world. was being interviewed on TV. He was bragging about his wild past—His prowess as father at age 15…, drugs…, party life style. The sportscaster asked him, “Don’t you believe that a sports hero like yourself has an obligation to be a role model for our youth?” Comacho snapped back, “Look, I did my dirt, but I ain’t no Hitler.” Less than two years later he died from injuries sustained in a drive-by shooting in Puerto Rico.
Comacho’s response is the typical human response.
“I may have my faults, but I’m not totally immoral!”
“I make mistakes, but I am not totally wicked.”
“I might not be a Christian, but I am not a sinner.”
Many people think this way.
They do not see the need for salvation.
That is kind of alarming when it is said out loud. But in the recesses of the mind. In the remote corners of the heart and soul there is this quiet deception: That I am really not so bad that I would forfeit my soul and be need rescue or salvation.
The first step in leading a soul to salvation is getting them to see the need to be saved.
Liz was a mother of three beautiful children. Two boys and a girl. She and her husband had been happily married since college. One Easter they decided that the kids were old enough to hunt Easter eggs, so they went to church. As Liz sat there, she began to wonder if she needed to become a Christian. Does church really bring joy and peace? Does salvation really matter? Was being a Christian all that it was purported to be? What would I have to change to be saved? Liz did not listen to the service that day. She did not pay much attention to what the preacher had to say. But it was a good start…, for her and her family. Because it got her to thinking.
From that time forward, Liz realized that no matter how many good things she had done, and how good she felt about her community involvement and charity work. She could not keep the “sins” in her life and expect her life to be acceptable to God. You…, can…, convince someone…, they need to be saved. Leading a Soul to Christ…, is the most rewarding thing you will ever do in your own spiritual life.
When you are talking to someone about salvation, they may not say yes the first time. But don’t give up.
Every word we hear is stored in our subconscious mind. Every word you say is put away for safekeeping in their heart. The next time you talk to them about the same thing the brain and the heart will begin to resume the work you started the last time.
Plus you have the help of the Holy Spirit. Salvation originates from God the Father. It is brought to us and made visible by the Son Jesus Christ on the cross and resurrection. It is revealed and communicated today through the work of the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV)
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Think about the words “a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” That is what the Holy Spirit does. It guarantees that we belong to God and that God will do what God has promised to save us. The Holy Spirit is like a down payment,… a deposit…, a validating signature on the contract. The presence of the Holy Spirit is what gives each person that final blessed assurance that says, Yes, you are forgiven. Yes, you are a child of God.
The power and work of the Holy Spirit is what transforms the fear into faith, the doubt into belief, the defeat into victory, the lost sinner into saved believer. The most important thing that you can do as the person who is working to lead someone else to Christ is to pray for the Holy Spirit. Ask God to anoint you. Ask God to give you a double portion of Spirit. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Ghost. Have you made room in your heart to receive the Holy Spirit? Have you prayed “God give me more of your Holy Spirit?”
Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."
John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”
The Holy Spirit is what goes before us to open the way for us to lead others to salvation. The Holy Spirit guides us in all truth and knowledge about Jesus Christ.
Luke 1:17 “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
This verse is the work of the messenger. Their job is to go out and proclaiming repentance and baptism. To preach and teach and prepare the way for the Saviour.
This is like the work you and I have to do…, to prepare the way…, for the lost sinner to hear about salvation.
Notice the phrase: “he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah.”
I love the stories in the book of Kings about Elijah.
Elijah had just gone up against the most wicked King and Queen in the bible. Ahab and Jezebel.
Elijah had prayed for it to not rain.
And for 3 ½ years God stopped the rain.
Do you remember the story where Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal?
Baal was a type of idol god the people prayed to Baal for rain.
Elijah said, let’s put your god to the test.
Let’s make an altar and sacrifice.
The God who answers with fire will be the true God.
The prophets of Baal sing and dance and even cut their skin to bleed as they call on Baal.
But Baal does not answer.
Then it comes Elijah’s turn.
Elijah says, bring 12 barrels of water. Pour the water over the wood on the altar.
Where did they get the water?
My guess is this was out of their reserve supply. They probably thought we can hold out for rain for quite some time. But just maybe Elijah was making it more pressing for them to turn and have faith in the Lord God.
So, they pour the water on the altar. God answers with fire Burning up all the wood, water and even soil around it.
Elijah has just had this great victory. He has just won this great challenge against the evil King and Queen.
You would think after such a victory
Elijah would be full of life and energy.
19 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”3 Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
Elijah experience the depths of fatigue and discouragement. Just after two great spiritual victories.
Often discouragement sets in after great spiritual experience in our life. Especially those battles that require a great amount of physical work and emotion.
But God sent Elijah to rest and eat before he needed to return to the mission and ministry.
Sometimes the workers can get so exhausted.
They feel like quitting.
They feel like giving up.
Lord just let me die.
I have had enough.
Take my life.
But no matter how much we do
No matter how much we accomplish
The work is not over yet.
While Elijah is sleeping God sends an angel with bread and water.
The angel touched Elijah and said unto him, “Get up and eat for there is a long journey ahead of you.”
Touch the person beside you and repeat the angels message.
“Get up and eat
for there is a long journey ahead of you.”
The Lord speaks to Elijah. Then Elijah prays for rain. Elijah told his servant to “Go look toward the sea.”
The servant looked and returned to Elijah and said, I don’t see any clouds on the horizon.
Elijah told him to go and look seven times and his servant went.
Remember I told you don’t give up
just because someone doesn’t come to Christ the first time you talk to them about salvation.
Finally on the seventh time, his servant told him.
“I saw a little (sign) cloud about the size of fist rising from the sea.”
Elijah shouted, “Hurry go tell Ahab to climb into his chariot and go back home.
If he doesn’t hurry the rain will stop him.
Sure enough the sky grew black with clouds.
A heavy wind brought a rainstorm.
Ahab had left to go back home to the city of Jezreel.
1 Kings 19:46 says Now, the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. (Think about the words “special strength” Elijah tucked his cloak into his belt And ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot All the way to the entrance of Jezreel.
It was 17 miles from Mount Carmel to the city of Jezreel And Elijah is out running the kings horses and chariots. Faith is one of the most essential part of a healthy daily Christian life. Hebrews 11:6 says, “He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Jesus taught us to pray in faith, Jesus also taught us believing…, we will receive what we ask for (Mark 11:24),
and that even the smallest amount of faith will do powerful things (Matt. 17:20).
It’s not enough to just pray about something. We must pray with faith that God will answer.
There are a lot of things that seem impossible for us…, but God will give us the “special strength” to do. things that seem unlikely…., It is all about “Faith.”
When it comes to things of faith we can’t see it right in front of us.
It will first happen inside you.
It will first happen in your own heart and soul.
You can actually believe something on the inside and not see it yet on the outside.
It takes saving faith to get us to heaven.
Christians have saving faith or you wouldn’t be a Christian
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is having confidence that what we pray for will happen.
Faith is really “now faith.”
God I believe right now that what I am praying for you are going to bring to fruition.
You will complete my request.
The final result of my pray of faith is an answered prayer.
When I am saying I can’t run that fast
But my prayer says, God is going to make a way for me to get to where you need to be. That is faith.
The King James Version says, “the hand of the Lord was on Elijah.”
The Hebrew means: power, strength, means, direction.
It is God doing something that we can’t do own our own.
So, he puts his hand, we can call it his power, his strength, his means, his direction.
We can think of it as “His Spirit” on us. To do the work To accomplish the task To fulfill our duty
To serve as God’s servant To Lead a Soul to Christ.
How many of you were here last week and you remember the sermon “Ripe For Harvest”
People are ready to be picked for Harvest
We are to do the work necessary to lead them to salvation.
That means we have to be open and receptive and willing,
There has to be heart conditioning.
When we have Faith and heart in the right place then we can be used of God.
Every Sunday we have to be really positive.
Always be uplifting.
Emphasized what is working well in your church life.
Put our time and energy into that.
If there is something you don’t like…, never talk about it in an open class…,
or in the hall way where it can be overheard
by visitor or others in the church.
Philippians 2:14 “Do all things without grumbling or disputing;”
A recent report from the Institute of Church Health said that it takes a little as 5%
or even less of a church’s average attendance
complaining and being negative to cause harm of a churches reputation in a community.
The false impression that a church lacks unity reduces a congregations ability be a transformational church.
Our Spiritual life is reflected in the things we say.
Are you witnessing the bright shining light of Christ?
Or is it clouded by complaining and negativity?
Shine out for God!
You can show someone else the need for salvation.
But it is going to come out of a genuine relationship with the Saviour in our own life.
Talking about Jesus takes prayer, and faith, trusting in the Holy Spirit. Christians we are commanded to share good news with the world. We are all evangelists and witnesses of the Gospel. Who is waiting for you to talk to them about getting saved? Think about a time when you gave food to the hungry. Think about a time when you gave a coat to someone who was cold. Think about a time when you gave a gift to someone who had little to be thankful for. Why did you do it?
Can you think of a time when you missed the moment to share the story of the cross, the tomb and the salvation?
Now imagine yourself talking to someone who is in need of spiritual food.
Imagine yourself sharing with someone who has been turned off by the church their heart is cold
Because all they see in the church is hypocrites and people who are complaining.
Imagine yourself talking to someone who is broken spiritually and needs to hear the Good News.
Soul winning is the greatest work in the world.
God has entrusted each of us…,
Every believer has this God given incredible responsibility.
Can you point a sinner to the savior?
The first step is “Show the Need for Salvation”
Through your own personal story and witness your faith and be a role model of forgiveness, and patience.
Next week we are going to look at the next step in the worship series on “How to Lead a Soul to Christ.”
But I want to give this invitation today
you need to come to the altar.
There is a Prayer of Invitation (UMH Hymnal 335)
O God, the Holy Spirit,
Come to us, and among us;
Come as the wind, and cleanse us;
Come as the fire, and burn;
Come as the dew, and refresh;
Convict, convert, and consecrate
Many hearts and lives
To our great good
And to Your greater glory;
And this we ask in Jesus Christ. Amen
The reason people get saved is because the people in the church get their heart in the right place.
When the church has its heart in the right condition
We will be where we need to be Lead a Soul to Christ.
It all starts inside of us. Can you show someone the need for salvation?