Summary: Proverbs 11:30 tells us that "He that wins souls is wise." There are three keys to understanding that ought to motivate us to be active soul-winners - the plight of the unsaved, the heart of the believer, and the command of the Savior.

Church Essentials: Part Four

Soul Winning - Acts 4:37-41, 47

Essential to the continued existence of any God honoring, Christ centered, church community is an outward focus with the intent of winning souls. The early church was actively engaged in soul winning on a daily basis. Carl Nelson, President of Transform Minnesota, observed that "Churches that faithfully and winsomely proclaim the hope of the gospel and hold true to biblical teaching are the churches that are growing." ( Proverbs 11:30 tells us that "He that wins souls is wise." It is a well established fact that when a church loses its passion to reach the lost, the congregation begins to die. This was not the case of the early church as we read of their evangelistic fervor throughout the book of Acts. Acts 2:47 "...the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."; 5:42 "And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ."; 8:1b,4 "And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles...Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." The early believers were actively evangelizing; the church was reaching their world for Christ. They clearly understood the imperative of soul-winning. There are three keys to understanding what motivated them which also ought to cause us to be active soul-winners - the plight of the unsaved, the heart of the believer, and the command of the Savior.

I The Plight of the Unsaved

A Acts 4:12 " Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

B The Bible makes it very clear there is salvation in no one else! Jesus is the ONE and only Savior, and those souls without Him are LOST.

C If a man does not have Christ, no matter how nice a man or lady he or she may be, if a man does not have Christ, He has nothing!

D We must see the unsaved as God sees them. Understanding the condition of people without Christ is not only one of the keys to becoming a personal soul winner, but it is vital in changing our hearts and thinking toward the unsaved

E Romans3:10-12 " As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one."

F God created man and placed him in a perfect environment. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God by eating of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:1-6). By His sin man lost the image of God. God is holy, but man , because of disobedience is unholy. But not only was Adam sinful, every person born has inherited Adam's sinful image. All men are sinners by nature from birth.

G Romans 5:12 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

H Not only are all men sinners, without repenting of their sin and placing their faith in Christ alone as their Lord and Savior they will spend a Christ-less eternity in Hell.

I Someone has said, "If you ever caught a glimpse of the eternal fate of these individuals you would be motivated, to have a burden for the lost; and be encouraged to present the Gospel to those who are headed to this awful place."

J There are 162 references to Hell and eternal judgment in the New Testament alone, and nearly half, 70 of them, were spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ! Consider just a few of them:

1 Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”.

2 Matthew 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth”.

3 Mark 9:43-44 "If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having two hands, and to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.

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