Summary: If you were able to provide a cure for an incurable terminal disease, would that cause you happiness and joy. In knowing Christ you have the only cure for the world’s greatest disease sharing it ought to put a smile on your face.
THE JOY OF SOUL WINNING
Introduction: If you were able to provide a cure for a man with an incurable terminal disease, for which medical science had long sought to overcome, which would extend that man’s life for another 15-20 years, would that cause you the slightest degree of happiness and joy. Well, if you know Jesus Christ you have the cure for the world’s greatest and most pandemic terminal disease which will not extend a man’s life for only 15-20 years but for eternity. To share that cure brings great joy.
I. The Importance of Soul Winning
A. The State of Man
1. Man apart from Christ is
• Ephesians 2:12a “at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise...”
• Hebrews 11:16 “But now they (believers) desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
c. Hopeless – Ephesians 2:12b “... having no hope and without God in the world.”
2. There is no middle ground on the lostness of mankind
3. J. Oswald Sanders reports that years ago, Paul Morphy was the world’s champion chess player when he was invited by a friend to look at a valuable painting titled, “The Chess Player.” In the painting, Satan was represented as playing chess with a young man, the stake being the young man’s soul. The game had reached the stage where it was the young man’s move; but he was checkmated. There was no move he could make which would not mean defeat for him and so the strong feature of the picture was the look of utter despair on the young man’s face as he realized that his soul was lost. Morphy, who knew more about chess than the artist, studied the picture for a time, then called for a chessboard and pieces. Placing them in exactly the same position as they were in the painting, he said, “I’ll take the young man’s place and make the move.” Then he made the move which would have set the young man free. - Source unknown
4. We know the move that will set man free – John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
B. The Mission of the Church
1. Mark 16:15 “And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
2. Proclaim the Gospel – the Good News! Our word gospel comes from two Old English words meaning “good news”. There is no good news like the grand news that God sent his Son to die on a cross rid us of our sins.
3. “The gospel is God’s message of mercy to humanity. “It contains an exhibition of the plan, and the only plan, of salvation. It sets forth the person, the work, and the offices of Christ, and urges all to whom it comes to accept Christ as their God and Savior, and to devote themselves to His worship and service; and it assures those who do so that they shall never perish, but shall have eternal life. In one sense it is everyone’s duty, provided he or she has received the knowledge of the gospel, to preach it, to make it known to others. “The commission and command—‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’ (Mark 16:15)—is given not to the apostles exclusively, but to the whole church and all its members. Every member has the right and the obligation to make known this great salvation to his fellow humans.” - Charles Hodge
C. The Heart of God
1. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
2. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
3. Luke 15:4 "Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it?”
4. The shepherd left 99 sheep in open country to search for one lost sheep. He didn’t say, "Oh well, 99 percent isn’t bad. You’re going to lose one once in a while." God’s heart makes clear the inexpressible value of one soul.