WINNING PEOPLE ONE BY ONE: THE PRACTICE PRINCIPLES AND RESULTS
Texts: John 1:35-51, Mark 16:15-20
Winning them one by one also known as personal evangelism is the compelling responsibility of every believer and it consists in showing a sinner his need of Christ as Savior, leading him to a definite experience of the new birth as well as showing him how to continue in the experience so that he might escape God’s judgment. It is inescapable, inexcusable and urgent commissions for all that have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. The pitiable conditions and descriptions of sinners’ plight demand that every Christian must have insatiable desire for the salvation of man. The fact and reality of hell as a destination for all un-repented sinners demands that winning them one by one must be carried out on daily basis and with all diligence.
The Campus world provides the greatest opportunity for doing this great, reward-able and constructive evangelistic work. This is because the campus community housed academics who are the most brilliant, dogged, violent and vocal defenders as well as perpetrators of error, false philosophies and ideologies. There are great possibilities in personal evangelism when pursued vigorously and scripturally. It produces abundant results through the law of spiritual multiplication. Despite these great possibilities in personal evangelism, it is sad that there is observable decline in commitment to this great assignment left for the church by our Master on our campuses today. These decline can be attributed to in-excusable ignorance, unwillingness to suffer for the salvation of other, worldly cares and deceitfulness of riches reflecting in the rat race for riches and obsession for degree and certificate at all cost with little or no time to serve the Lord. Other reasons include activities in the church that are unacceptable substitute and prayerlessness together with lack of compassionate love.
1: IMPERATIVE PREPARATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR WINNING THEM ONE BY ONE
Isaiah 52:11, II Timothy 2:6,7,19-21,Acts 26:22-24,21:8-14, I Corinthians 9:16, Matthew 9:36, Roman 9:1-3
To be effective in the act of winning them one by one, there are imperative and indispensable preparations to be made by the soul-winner. First and foremost he must have experienced sound Conversion. This is indispensable because you cannot give what you don’t have and an unconverted soul-winner is like a blind man trying to explain the beauty of colours. Secondly, the soul-winner must possess strong and solid Conviction about the bible, salvation of man, life after death and the fate of sinners that die in their sins. Thirdly, there must be Savior-like Compassion. A deep, burning, Christ-like compassion compels true campus Christian to sacrifice all that is necessary for the salvation of others. Fourth, the soul-winner must receive and accept the great commission and that the responsibility of winning others is a debt and not optional. Fifth, the life of the soul-winner must be filled with sacrificial Commitment and Consecration. With commitment, he is able to devote his time, talent, strength and money to win the one next to him. Sixth, his life must be filled with strong Courage to ensure persistence in the act of evangelism. Lastly, he must be a man of steady Communion with God. An effective soul-winner must be a man of lots of secret praying which must be importunate enough to open the heart of men to God. It is through this secret prayer that there will be outpouring of the Holy Spirit for wisdom, strength, power, courage, hope, faith and a glowing, burning and appropriate message from God.
2: INCESSANT PRACTICE AND PROCEDURES OF WINNING THEM ONE BY ONE
Isaiah 62:6, 7; Ezekiel 33:7, Mark 16:15-16, Acts 8:30, John 3:3:1-7, 4:7-29, Matthew 9:10-13
The practice of winning them one by one must be incessant and on daily basis because of the urgency. The time is short and men are rushing to hell on daily basis. Several methods have been adopted in scripture and in our contemporary time to win souls to God. They range from direct to indirect method. In the direct method, there is abrupt introduction of the vital issue of salvation to a sinner because of limited time of contact with the sinner. In this direct approach, a direct question about the issue of his soul, relationship with God, readiness for eternity is asked from the sinner.
The indirect method on the other hand is conversational focused in which the heart of the sinner is reached by gliding from the physical realities into eternal truth. This includes the friendship evangelism in which a soul is lead to Christ by cultivating same gender friendship. Through this, acts of kindness, demonstration of love and friendliness is used as a bait to get the sinner converted.
The after fellowship approach is also very effective in which a first-timer in our church, Koinonia and House Fellowship is lead to Christ after the service. Gospel tracts, magazines, CD, emails, Skype, face book, text messages could also be employed in winning the one next to you.
Whichever method is adopted, it must be done with all earnestness, love, simplicity, tact and wisdom together with perseverance. The message must be presented cheerfully and faithfully. There must be wise, knowledgeable and skillful usage of the scripture to address the state of the sinner to point him to the Saviour.
In winning the sinner for Christ, the soul-winner must first enquire of the sinner to discover the class he belongs and to know how best to handle him. Thereafter the disease of sin must be explained to the sinner and the remedy prescribed. The sinner must be warned of the danger of delay and rejection and he must be urged for immediate decision. After deciding for Christ, his faith must be anchored in the word of God and he must be showed how to continue in his new found faith.
3: IMPENDING INDIGNATION FOR THE INDIFFERENT AND INDESCRIBABLE BENEFIT OF WINNING THEM ONE BY ONE
Ezekiel 3:17-18, Proverb 24:10-12, I Corinthian 9:16, Psalm 126:5-6, Daniel12:3
The lord planted us in the academic community to carry out a rescue mission. If we fold our arms we stand the risk of losing the favour of God and we may be courting His fiery anger. The reverberating effects of our indifference to the great commission upon the campus community, the church, the nation and this generation will be indescribable. Promiscuous and permissive life-style, moral decadence and spiritual bankruptcy, and other vices will continue to rise daily. The future of the church and that of our country will remain bleak.
On the other hand the great benefits of winning them one by one cannot be quantified. The rising waves of corruption, godless philosophies and ideologies, permissiveness and occultism will be stemmed. Responsible, God-fearing future leaders will be turned out from our campuses. Winners of soul will receive great reward here on earth and stars on their crown in heaven.
We should therefore throw aside all flimsy excuses as there is no trouble too great, no humiliation too deep, no suffering too severe, no labour too hard, no expense too much to win a soul. Arise therefore and win the one next to you.