– Charles Spurgeon
Salvation is of the Lord
Step one to being a soul-winner is that he or she knows that God alone saves. The psalmist got it right when he wrote, “The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble” (Psalm 37:39), so it’s fully a work of God and His Spirit to bring a sinner to repentance and trust in Christ, however, Jesus as the Head of the Church has commissioned all believers to be taking the gospel into all the world (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8), and even if we can’t go into “all the world,” we can go next door. Trust God in this; He is the Lord of the harvest.
Bringing in the Sheep
The old hymn, Bringing in the Sheep is about bringing lost sheep to the Good Shepherd so that He might place them in His sheepfold. All we can do is bring the sheep and then leave the rest up to God. We can’t save anyone but God does use us as a means to save some, so it’s not our responsibility to save anyone; it is their response to His ability, although it is our responsibility to tell them. Who told you about Christ? Shouldn’t we want to share this most precious of all messages?
Joy in Persecution
The apostles were brought before the council for preaching Christ and told to not preach about Jesus anymore, but the Apostle Peter said, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), so “when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go” (Acts 5:40). Imagine being beaten for following Christ’s command! Were they concerned or worried about it? How did they take it? It says, “they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” (Acts 5:41). Can you rejoice when you’re being persecuted and your gospel message is being rejected? There is supposed to be joy in being persecuted for Jesus’ name’s sake, not just joy in soul winning.
No Greater Joy
Christ and being used by God as a means to save some. Certainly, God alone saves, but He gives us the great privilege of being used to enter into the harvest and seeking those who are lost that they might be found. I find that I am still a bit nervous when I share the gospel, but the feeling I have after I’ve done that is too great to describe. I pray you know the joy of soul winning.
If we understand that salvation is not from us or we don’t save anyone, but is from the Lord Himself, we can enter into the fields as laborers with joy knowing that God is able to save Whom He wills, so it’s not up to us to save anyone. And when persecution comes (not if, but when), will we find the same joy that the apostles showed because they also persecuted Christ? I hope so, because I cannot find any greater joy next to my own salvation than in being used by God to save others.