The Lord gave the word, great was the company of those that published it.” Psalm 68:11
TEXT: Acts 16:1-10
An art was defined as a superior skill that you can learn by study, by practice and by observation. I think we need to remind ourselves that, before the apostles of Jesus Christ were called, these men were a perfect representation of the sinful world. They did not know the true meaning of salvation. These sinners were the people that the ministry of mercy of Jesus Christ have to change and transformed. The transforming changes in the lives and characters of the disciples provided a clear evidence of the efficacy of the power of salvation to the whole world.
The apostles were not idle people. They had ambition like every one of us. Some have well paying professions. But they left all to follow the Master. They did not put anything as a pre-condition before they followed Him. The disciples were not learning in a classroom setting, no text book—unlike our time that bible became available to all of us to day. They did not have jotter and pen, neither did they have tape-recorder. They only learn by studying the ways the Master operated in His ministry. They all always go about with our Lord Jesus Christ to be part of great things that were happening in his ministry in the cities.
They learned about His powerful teaching and His authoritative ways He handles the word of God.
They knew the Master and were aware about His deity. Matthew 16:15-17
They observed their Master during His healing miracles they also learn about compassionate issues that always brought about the demonstration of His mercy towards others.
They learned about the boldness of their Master, in dealing with the persecutors with the revelation of the word of God.
They observed the ways He prays daily that brought about demanding Him to teach them to pray.
They learn about His humility—how He easily blended in love with people that the world had tagged—sinners in order to show them the way of salvation.
They learned about the sacrificial nature of the dissemination of the gospel of Jesus Christ, they all watched their Master sealing the deal of the salvation of the whole world with His blood on the Cross where He was crucified.
They watched His body buried in the sepulcher and they witnessed His resurrection that proved the truthfulness of His teachings.
They also watched Jesus Christ ascending to Heaven bodily in glory. These were the way the apostles of Jesus Christ learn the doctrines of righteousness, truth, holiness and perseverance in good doings.
PASSION OF THE SOUL WINNER—Acts 15:36
With passion about the elusive truth that had been revealed to the apostles, each of them developed their own mind along the pattern of righteousness, holiness and truth couple with sincere passion to bear the banner of salvation to the entire world as they learnt from Jesus Christ. Whenever the disciples were preaching, they were testifying to what they have witnessed. That was why they were so passionate about the most important interest of their Master. Do you know that if they were not passionate in their calling, salvation will not reach us in our own part of the world?
Upon this understanding, Mark emphasized that the eternal destiny of every one hangs on the gospel of Jesus Christ. If the people hear the gospel they would be saved. If they do not, they will perish Mark16:15-16
Luke said the assignment of the Church will not be completed without preaching the gospel of repentance and salvation from sin. Luke 24:47-48
Passion will trigger off the need to place soul winning on priority list of all the soul winner activities. Acts 16:3—Timothy was circumcised for the purpose of soul-winning so that the Jews will not have any reason to reject him.
A passionate soul winner must be persevered. He must be tenacious, bold and unintimidated by the threat of the persecutors. A passionate soul winner must be ready to execute the mission purposes with wisdom. He must be wise as serpent but as harmless as dove. Acts 4:18-19
He must be ready to penetrate the community with the gospel message, because gospel message is not a property inside the cupboard. Matthew 5:14 “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” A passionate soul winner must be ready to go to the field evangelism and sow the word of God with expectation that it will fall on a good ground.
Perhaps you are wondering why we should preach. The concern and passion of Paul for the salvation of the Israelites was expressed in Romans 10:14-17 If Christian—the living saints do not preach the gospel, the sinners will continue to wallow in their ignorance, and probably died in their sins. Certainly, the idol worshippers will not preach the gospel because our Lord Jesus did not entrust the great commission into the hands of unbelievers. Ezekiel 33:6 “But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” God is counting on the elects for the salvation of the world. We have begun to see the handwriting of passionless Christianity on the wall in our environments. When we see people that drunk themselves to stupor and other despicable scenery around us, we shake our heads. Great numbers of sinners in our community that have not received Christ are perishing every day. These are the challenges that are to spur us to passionate soul winning activities. Rest assured that we shall all give account of how we spent our Christian lives at last.
PERSONS OF SOUL WINNER—Acts 16:1-3
Preparation—A soul winner must be someone that is spiritually prepared—reading the word of God as God commanded Joshua—Joshua 1:8 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:17)
Prayerful—P-U-S-H—pray until something glorious happen towards salvation of others—Nehemiah prayed until something happened towards the project city wall building, repairing of the temple of God and redirecting the hearts of the Israelites back to God. Nehemiah 1:4-11
Obedient and Passionate—Move at the commandment of God—Jonah was a prophet of God but he did not want to go to Nineveh to deliver the message of God
Practical Christianity— 2 Corinthians 3:2 “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.” A soul winner is a living epistle that the world around him are reading. His life and characters must reflect the gospel of Jesus Christ that he preaches.
PRESENTATION OF SOUL WINNER—Acts 16:4-5
Presentation—All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) This is the standard of God and no one should attempt to deviate from it. A soul winner must present the word as the Spirit leads him according to the precept of God.—Illustrate using the scene of Winter Worship 2010
“Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word.” (Jeremiah 26:2) The audience of the soul winner presentation is humanity, the message of the soul winner presentation is the word of God. ”But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8) Presentation of the message of gospel by a soul winner must not be designed to satisfy self or group of important people in the community. The gospel message of a soul winner must not be based upon the political issues in the community. There must not be any ulterior motive in the presentation to deviate from the true doctrine of the Bible.
Lastly we must understand that the lesson today is about soul winning. Today is the last Sunday of 2010. The last instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ is, Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore … Brethren you may say this is just a coincidence. But I believe that God is speaking to our Church to go out and win souls. We about to step into the New Year, let us yield to the impulses of Holy Spirit and honor the commandment of our Father in Heaven.
Let us pray …