“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” [Proverbs 11:30]
Before we get into this message, I want to make sure everyone have understanding on the meaning of the word: Ardent
The word ardent simply means to be very enthusiastic or passionate. Other words deriving from this is: fervent, zealous, wholehearted, eager, flaming emotional or even burning / glowing.
An ardent soul winner is someone who is moved by compassion and love to bring those in darkness out into the light they walk in [1Pet.2:9].
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An ardent soul winner is a successful Christian
Christian success here is not directly linked to material substance and possessions like being rich, having a nice car, a big house, wearing name-brand clothing, etc… There’s much more to success, it is spiritual, it is being blessed [Eph.1:3]. Not to say that it’s wrong to be rich or to have a big house, and so on is evil, but it does matter how you use your wealth as a Christian. In the world, success is measured by wealth and earthly possessions; and most of the time the rich becomes wealthier by piling up stacks of money in the bank accounts and investing their money on the stock market, buying big houses, expensive cars, etc; in order to capitalize on and optimizing what they have. This is somewhat selfish, because there’s so many folks suffering all around us, but the rich in the world would hardly sponsor a poor man to rise above poverty. A Christian ought to be charitable to every available opportunity possible.
The carnal minded give because they have, but the spiritual minded have because they give. To define this even more; the carnal minded give as an investment in others for themselves, but the spiritual minded give with no expectations of self-gain whatsoever. It is sad to see how those carnally minded folks will give because somewhere down the line they would expect something in return; and even sadder to say that some Christians are rather carnally minded instead of spiritually focused. Romans 12 verse 2 exhorts us: ‘…be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…’
You might be wondering what does this have to do with soul winning; and I will tell you – As a Christian, you measure your success by the successfulness of those you have taught in the ways of the Lord. Soul winning is not complete or fulfilled until you have taught this new soul to observe to do as you do. A successful Christian will use material substances in winning souls. When we go out into the world to preach the Kingdom of God and heal the sick [Luke 9:2], we deal with carnally minded folks; they interested in material blessings. For example; when you minister to a poor man, he might not be that interested in hearing about ‘your Jesus’; he might even make like he is interested but in his heart he is more concern and focused on how he will put food on the table or pay his rent. How about this; next time you out ministering to a poor man, don’t just ‘jump straight in for the kill’ like a predator out hunting; start with a causal chat. Make a comment on how expensive things are, or even in a shop; pick up a random item and say: ‘Wow, can you believe the price of this…’ Most people are more likely to respond to a seemingly ‘genuine’ complaint rather than to a direct approach. By doing this, you will be able to get a good feel on the person situation; and the Spirit in you will surely give you this understanding or discernment. Either then offer to pay for the few carefully selected items they buying or if you can, offer them to select items which you will pay for. Some will shy away, but this is almost a definite step in the right direction in ministering to them and ensuring you will have their undivided attention.
There’s many ways you can approach people in a genuine and compassionate way. The bottom line aim here is to meet people’s needs instead of bombarding them with things that may interest them the least. You will be surprised at this, that speaking to people in need doesn’t really have interest hearing you preach to them. If they were interested in hearing someone preaching, they would have been attending church. Now, the problem with most Christians while embarking on soul winning is, they try and win or convince souls who already has been reached. I find many Christians will rather seek out folks more open to hear them speak about salvation then to those who show hostility towards their attempt. Yes, minister unto every soul, but don’t selectively seek out those more welcoming to you.
A soul winner is knowledgeable
Matthew chapter 28 and verse 19 to 20 says this about soul winning; the commissioning verse; I will start from verse 18 with the quote from Jesus: “…All power is given unto me in Heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
Take note of the highlighted portion of the verse above: ‘…Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…’ Translators does not always give accurate translations; to observe here does not only mean look, but look to do – so in essence, ‘Teaching them to observe to do all things whatsoever I have commanded [taught] you.’ Jesus spent three years with the disciples, teaching them hands-on-skills in reaching out and winning souls. Many of the more the more detailed teachings of Jesus to His disciples are expressed in the epistles throughout the New Testament. Jesus had trained and taught His disciples to be soul winners like Him. In Matthew 4:19 and Mark 1:17 Jesus said: ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men’, meaning He will teach them how to win souls so that they may win souls and teach them to do the same. If you a pastor in a church, it does not mean you now exempt from stepping out during corporate soul wining events and days; you ought to do so more because that’s where Jesus effectively taught His disciples and that where you will effectively teach your disciples. Sheep follow one another, but they always obey the voice of the shepherd. You need to be taught in these things, and you also need to teach others the things you been taught.
Jeremiah was an educated prophet and said in Jeremiah 20:9 – “…His Word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones…’ Jeremiah was faced with persecution for being a prophet to his people who turned away from God, but even during pressing times, the Word of God was burning in him to be released, because he was a learnered man in the things of God and knew the power of repentance. If he did not know the scripture of old, God would not have used him. So to today, God wants to use you in reaching the lost, but He can’t do it if you don’t study and be equipped with the Word of God. You are God’s epistle unto your world, the expression of God’s salvation unto all mankind by Jesus Christ; to be read by all men. How will they hear you if you yourself don’t have knowledge of these deeper things…
Acts 1:8 tells us: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me… unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” Take note: this power Jesus said that they will receive after the Holy Spirit came on them, that is the power of salvation; but they needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts is full of accounts of major soul winning events, but more importantly to notice is that this particular book has no closing [end]; it has been left open as the church, even the church today continues with these acts being filled with the Spirit.
In Ephesians 5:18, Paul admonishes us by the Spirit of God – “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit.”
To many Christians have adopted the foolishness of the world, to wait for opportunity to arise; instead of creating opportunity. With what you have, step out and create platforms for soul winning. Being shy is not excusable in the sight of God; He has given you His Spirit, the Spirit of Boldness and He will not leave you, neither will He forsake you, He will be with you to the end of the earth. Start praying King David’s prayer: “Send us around the world with the saving power of Your Word; and Your eternal plan for all mankind” [Psalm 67:2/TLB].