Soul-winning: Presenting the Gospel
July 27, 2015
This evening I want to continue with what I preached about last Sunday night which was the subject of soul-winning. And last Sunday night we talked about the philosophy of why soul-winning is so important, why we go soul-sinning, and what we mean by soul-sinning is just going out and knocking on people's doors and just opening our Bible and showing them how to be saved. Or this could just be done walking up to somebody out and about; it doesn't even have to be at their door but just walking up to a stranger, opening up your Bible and showing them how to be saved. The thing that I focused on last Sunday night, was starting the conversation. We went into all the philosophy of why we need to go out and preach the Gospel to every creature and why God wants everyone to be involved in this. But then we got into just how to start the conversation, how to assess where the person's at spiritually - finding out whether they're saved or not. We talked about how to do it at the door and then also how to do it I everyday life - just easy ways to bring up the conversation. So tonight I want to pick up right where I left off and get into the part where you actually present the Gospel to this person. They're already ready to listen and if you weren't here last week you can download it or get it on tape, but basically we are at the point where we are ready to start showing this person how to be saved. We've gotten through the introduction.
So the first thing we want to establish with someone that we give the Gospel to, is we want to teach them first of all that everyone is a sinner. A couple of scriptures on that are in Romans 3: of course we have the famous verses in Romans 3:10, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." And then of course verse 23: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Here's the thing about this first point about everyone being a sinner; I don't spend a lot of time on this point and here's why: 99% of people you talk to, the already have this down. How often do you really come to somebody that tells you, 'no, I don't sin. I've never sinned.' It's very rare; it happens every once in a while but it's extremely rare. Then you'd obviously go other verses like 'if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us'. If we say that we haven't sinned we make Him a liar and His Word in not in us. But let's face it, 99% of people already know this point. So you don't need to beat this into the ground. I've seen people beat this point into the ground and spend minute after minute after minute on the fact that the person that you're talking to is a sinner. You're wasting your time. Here's the way I see it with the points of the plan of salvation: there are four basic points that you want to get across to people when you're giving them the Gospel. When I realize that the person understands that point, I move onto the next one. Because it becomes boring and repetitive for someone to keep telling them the same thing over and over again. So once they get that they're are a sinner like 99% of people already get, move onto the next point. I basically will through this point like so: "First of all, the Bible says that we're all sinners. Right here in Romans 3:23 it says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." I've sinned, you've sinned. Truth be told, we probably sin every day because the Bible says the thought of foolishness is sin. Even just thinking something stupid is sin. We've all sinned." That point is a really quick point. The second point that I like to get across to people when I'm giving them the Gospel is that there's a punishment for our sin. I flip them over to Romans 6:23, where the Bible reads, "For the wages of sin is death". This is a point that I spent a little more time on just because a lot of people don't believe in hell, don't understand hell or they just don't realize that because of our sins, we deserve to go to hell. A lot of people don't realize that. They think that hell is a place where really bad people go. If you were to ask the average person 'what would you have to do to go to hell?' A lot of people would think they would have to do something major, go on a major killing spree or something. You'd have to really commit some serious sins to go to hell. And what we want to get across to people with this second point is that the wages of sin is death, period. And no matter what sins we've committed, we are not worthy of entering into heaven. We cannot make it into heaven on our own good because we've all sinned and we all come short of the Glory of God. Here are some verses I like to use to short that. Go to Revelation 21. I like to flip over to Romans 6:23 because it's so close to Romans 3:23 so if you're already showing them we've all sinned, it's really easy to flip the page to say there's a penalty for our sin, there's a punishment involved: the Bible says "For the wages of sin is death." But after we die physically, that's not the end. The Bible talks about a second death. So you can show them Revelation 20:14,15: "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Then I ask the person what we commonly refer to that place as, the lake of fire? Of course, 99% of people say that's hell. Here's what the Bible says about those that are going to hell: look at Revelation 21:8, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." So, you may not be a sorcerer or a murderer or a whoremonger, but have you ever told a lie before? 99% of people will admit they've lied. I know I've lied, have you ever told a lie? Of course we've all lied. I always say this, we've done other worse things in life too. We've probably done some of the things on that list, but either way we know we've all lied, we've done all kinds of sins in our lives and because of our sins the Bible says where are all liars going? To hell. So God wasn't just kidding when He said that. We do deserve hell, but God loves us so if God loves us, does He want us to go to hell? No. So here's what he did so that we would not go to hell.
I take them to Roman 5:8, where the Bible reads, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." And then I go onto explain that. There's more than one way to skin a cat. 'Pastor Anderson, you're showing us this method that you use to give people the Gospel. I've seen a lot of other methods that work great.' That's true, there are a lot of great methods and there are different ways to do this and there are all kinds of verses to choose from to illustrate this but here's what I've noticed: sometimes people will give the Gospel in a way that is illogical and hard for people to understand when they jump from subject to subject. For example, if I show up and I start saying, 'we've all sinned, Jesus died for our sins and who Jesus was and how he died on the cross..." and then I say, 'let me show you what the punishment for sin is. Now let's talk about the resurrection of Christ..." Some stuff is just being thrown at people like all the pieces are there but it's like you're giving them a puzzle which is not assembled sometimes. You're jumping around, you forget a point and go back and cover that. The goal of soul-winning is to get people to understand the Gospel, to make it easy to understand. Anytime you're teaching anyone anything, a good teacher is someone who can that which is complex and make it simple. Some people do the opposite: they take something simple and they make it hard, they make it complicate. They're called computer programmers! They take something that is hard and they take things that are easy and they make them hard. We want to simplify things; we want to make sure we get the truth across ad we get all the truth across. We don't want to make it hard we want to make it understandable because the goal is that they walk away understanding. The reason why a lot of people don't get saved is because they don't understand the Gospel. What does the Bible say? "When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side." So we don't want the seed to fall by the way side, we want people to understand the Gospel. So the reason why I do it the way I do it, is because it makes sense. It's a logical progression. You can come up with your own way once you become better at soul-winning, but make sure that it make sense. Make sure that it's logical, make sure that it follows A-B, B-C where it actually makes sense. The point I'm trying to make when I preach the Gospel is first of all, we've all sinned. Secondly, the punishment for our sins is that we deserve to go to hell. But thirdly, God loves us; He doesn't want us to go the hell. It is what we deserve, but that's why he sacrificed His life for us and paid the penalty of our sin for us that we might be saved. And obviously, the last thing you would have to get across to people is that in order to be save, they have to believe Jesus Christ as their Savior. That's how it gets applied unto them. And then on the tail-end of that, we always teach people that you cannot lose your salvation and the reason why is simply that the average person has been so indoctrinated with work salvation, no matter what religion they're coming from, whether their coming from Islam, Catholicism, an Apostate form of Christianity or just growing up in a church where they never heard the plan of salvation. Your average unsaved person thinks that you go to heaven by being good and you go to hell by being bad. They're right, you do go to hell by being bad. The problem is, there's none good but one, and that's God so that's where we would all be going. We get to heaven, not by being good, but by Grace. By Grace through faith. People are so ingrained with that that even if we sit there and tell them until we're blue in the face that it's by faith, grace, it's not works, it's nothing you can earn, it's a free gift, usually, it doesn't quite click with them that it's free until you explain to them that you can't lose it. What will happen is people will think that's it's all by faith. Do you think you would lose your salvation if you do something bad? Of course you're going to lose it. I thought you just said it's all by faith?! But now all of a sudden, you do bad stuff and you're going to lose it? Now all of a sudden, you quite serving God, you quit going to church and you lose it? You don't have to work to get saved and you don't have to work to stay saved. All that it work salvation and because people are so ingrained with that, usually they don't get it until you explain eternal security. Most churches that I came up in, when they would do soul-winning, they wouldn't talk about eternal security at the door. They'd go through and tell the person that they're a sinner, hell is there, Jesus died for our sins and rose again and that all we have to do is believe on Him, call on Him, call on Him by faith but they didn't explain that you can't lose it and as a result, a lot of people don't get it.
Some people do. My estimation of all the years I've done soul-wining. All the thousands and thousands of doors I've knocked on, I'd say about one in ten persons, when you explain to them that it's all by faith, they get that you can't lose it because it's by faith, it wasn't by your works in the first, it's nothing you earn by how you live. Nine out of ten people, that doesn't click with them until you actually show them that it's eternal life, it's ever-lasting life, He'll never leave us. Then they actually get it that it's actually free and that it's not based on them keeping the Commandments, living a good life, etc. So that's the skeleton of what we're trying to get across: you're a sinner, you deserve to go to hell, Jesus died, was buried and rose again, and you just have to believe on Him and then you'll be saved forever and you can never lose it. That's what we're trying to get across. That's logical in that order. So that's a great order to present it in. If you jump around people can get confused so it's good to make sure that you keep it logical and keep it clear.
Also, it's great to do things in a way that's better, but sometimes being different just for the sake of being different doesn't make any sense. So if you see somebody winning souls and what they're doing is working, just do it the way that they do it. You don't have to be different just for the sake of being different. There's nothing wrong with starting with Romans 3:23. People have been starting with it for years, it works great. You don't have to be cute with and find some other way. But if you find a way that works better for you, go for it! As long as it's logical and you're hitting these key points. As long as you're not leaving out major gaps.
So we talked about No.1: showing them they're a sinner. That's quick - that's a piece of cake. 99% of people already know that. Roman 3:10, Romans 3:23. Got it. Check. What's next? Show them that the penalty of our sin is hell so you can show them Roman 6:23 then take them to Revelation and show them some scripture on hell. I recommend Revelation 20:14, 15 and especially Revelation 21:8 because it says there "all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Rarely will you have somebody say something along the lines of, "well, I've lied but I'm not a liar." You'll get that every once in a while. But most people get it when it says all liars, and they say they've lied enough to fall into that category. But every once in a while, you'll get ones that say, "Well, that's talking about a habitual liar." Have you ever had someone say that to you when you've given them the Gospel? There's a real easy fix for that because you don't even have to leave that chapter. Go to the last verse in Revelation 21, and I always say, here's what the Bible says about those who are not going to go to heaven. Verse 8 talks about who's going to hell, verse 27 talks about who's not going to heaven, and look what it says: "And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." So I say right there, just to be clear, he says if you make "A lie", you're excluded. So how are we going to get to heaven? That's where Jesus comes in. If righteousness comes by the law, the Bible says, then Christ is dead in vain.
Why in the world would Jesus have to die on the cross if you could go to heaven by being good? Obviously, Jesus died on the cross to save us because we needed saving. So, No.1: we've all sinned. No.2: we deserve hell because of our sins. No.3: God loves us, he doesn't want us to go to hell. So here's what he did, "But God commendeth his love toward us," Romans 5:8, "in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." At this point, you want to explain to the person who Jesus is and what he did for us. And you can do this in your own way, but you can explain something like the fact that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. That Jesus was God in the form of man and then he grew up and lived a sinless life. The Bible says he was tempted at all points just as we are, yet without sin. You could maybe bring up Bible stories that they might be familiar with like the fact that Jesus walked on water and turned water into wine, healed the sick, raised dead bodies back to life and he preached the Word God to great crowds that came to hear Him preach with power. Of course there were those who hated Him and we angered by His preaching so He was arrested and then He was beaten, spat upon and nailed to the cross. The Bible says that when He was on the cross, He Himself bore our sins in His own body. That means every sin that I've ever done, every sin that you've ever done it was as if Jesus had done it - He was taking the punishment for our sins. When He died on the cross, they took His body and buried in the tomb, His soul went down to hell for three days and three nights and three days later He rose again from the dead. And I always like throw in the fact that He actually showed the Apostles to holes in His hands and the hole in His side and the reason I like to bring that up is to make sure people understand that He literally, bodily rose from the dead. So they don't think it was just some kind of spiritual thing where his spirit left His body and ascended up into heaven or an apparition but that He showed them the holes in His hands; they actually handled Him, the Bible says. And He actually ate and drank with them - I like to point that out to people just in case they've been taught a false doctrine about the resurrection.
And then explain to them that although Jesus Christ died for every person, not everybody is automatically going to go to heaven. SO the question then becomes - what must I do to be saved? And the Bible has the answer: I like to take them right there to Acts 16:30, 31, where the Bible asks the question straight out. We're trying to make the Gospel simpler and what could be simpler than Acts 16:31? "What must I do to be saved?" Thank God that guy asked that question - it's such a great question. Just what do I have to do to be saved? "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." What's he saying? Is he saying join a church and thou shall be saved? No. Get Baptized and you shall be saved? Stop sinning and you'll be saved? Live a good life and you'll be save? No. It's just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Now, sometimes people are thrown off by the "and thy house". All He's saying is that this goes for your house too. Because of the fact that they're talking just to the jailer at that point, just one guy. So they tell him when he says "what must I do to be saved?" He says, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house." Meaning if you house will believe, they'll get saved too. And that's why he ends up getting the opportunity because he says "and thy house" then he ends up preaching the Gospel to the whole house. That's why he said that. He's not saying, "If you believe, your whole family is automatically saved." He's saying "and thy house" - this offer also applies to them and I want to preach it to them also and that's what he did.
Then the next place I like to take people is John 3:16. And the reason I like John 3:16 is that almost everybody has heard it before. And even though they've heard it before, the truth of it has gone right over their heads. How many times have you had somebody, when you start to show them John 3:16 finish it for you: "For God so loved..." "O - for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - "So what do you think you have to do to get eternal life?" - "O, live a good life...be a good person..." Because a lot of times people will mindless repeat things without letting the meaning sink in. So I like John 3:16 because they've heard it before. It's not like you're coming at them with some crazy thing they've never heard before. You've heard this before. But stop and think about what it says: "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." That's why Christ died. Not so that everybody who joins the church should not perish, but everyone who believes would not perish, but have everlasting life. That's why I like John 3:16. Sometimes I point out to the person that it's written on the bottom of the cup in In-N-Out Burger. It's something that people hold up at a basketball game, it's been translated into all languages. A lot of times it's the first verse that will be translated into some dialect or some language because it's considered the greatest verse in the Bible. I'd say it's one of my favorite verses in the Bible, if not the greatest verse in the Bible. It's an amazing verse, a powerful verse, a powerful truth. And so therefore I like to use John 3:16.
If you feel the need to reinforce that truth, you have John 3:18 and John 3:36 right there. John 3:18 says, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Why is he condemned? Because he does not believe. John 3:36, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." So that's part of the point that you're making, that salvations by faith and not of works. That's another verse you could go to - Ephesians 2:8, 9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." Then once you get that across, it's all by faith, it's not by works, and they still don't get it, that's when you go to the part that you cannot lose your salvation because that drives it in with people. Let me just do a quick review to explain some kind of pitfalls, some mistakes that you could make along the way. First of all, you're a sinner. Here's a mistake you could make: spending ten minutes explaining they're a sinner. What a waste of your time, their time, everybody's time and you're going to burn people out on listening to you. Because if people are bored of what you're saying, they will just turn you off. "Where was the church again? Ok, we'll see..." Move on. If they get it, move on. No.2: we deserve to go to hell because we've sinned. Here's some mistakes you could make on that point. Beating that point into the ground. What I've seen some people try to do, and this is a popular, trendy method now, with the wave the master, comfort teaching, they say this: they spend ten minutes trying to show the person just how filthy, wicked and wretched they really are because they feel for a person to get saved they have to break them down. And if you look at a lot of salvation plans, they'll spend 80-90% on that second point that we deserve hell and it's barely an afterthought that Jesus died on the cross for us. That's not emphasized. There's a big emphasis on the fact that we deserve hell, but honestly, here's the problem with that philosophy. The problem with badgering someone and beating them over the head with the fact that they're so wicked and vile and filthy that they deserve to go to hell is that number one, you're being rude and abrasive to people. But that's not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is number two, what you're giving people the impression that you have to be really bad to go to hell. When you spend ten minutes trying to convince someone how bad they are, that makes it seems like you have to be really bad to go to hell so let me show you how you really are that bad. You really do deserve to go to hell because you're that bad. That's kind of what you're saying, whether you come right out and say that or not, that's what you're leading them to believe when you go on and on and on about how bad they are, when the true story is, you don't have to be that bad to go to hell. You just have to be an unbeliever. You just have to be a liar. Therefore, it doesn't make any sense to just really try to show the person how wicked and filthy there are; they don't have to be that wicked and filthy to go to hell. They just have to be a liar. That's why it makes more sense to just ask if they've lied before and look at what the Bible says about all liars going to hell. And if they get that, "o wow, that says I'm going to hell," time to move onto the next point because they realize the problem, they realize I'm a sinner, I've lied and especially if you say to me that they've probably done worst stuff than lying, they have. What does the Bible say? We deserve hell, God's a holy God. Move onto the good news: Jesus died for our sins. So a mistake you can make is badgering people, "Come on, you know you've done this, you've lost it in your heart, you've hated people that you're bothered without a cause, you've sat there and..." just going through everything that's wrong with the person can seem really hostile and antagonistic. No.1, are you really there just to antagonize someone or are you there to help them? You're there to help them, you're trying to lead them to Christ. You're trying to love them and teach them something. So you're not there to expose all their sins - have you ever done this before? Well what about this? Just listing all that stuff is ridiculous. It's a waste of time and it mislead people that they have to be really bad to go to hell when they don't. They just have to be unsaved to go to hell, they just have to tell a lie. So honestly, on points 1 and 2 I don't spend a lot of time. Now the only time I would park it on point two is if they're saying they don't believe in hell. If they come at you with that, then let's go to more verses that talk about hell. Go to Mark 9 and see what Jesus Himself taught about hell. Look at Revelation 14:10, 11, look at Revelation 20:10 if we need to reinforce that point. I don't want you to get me wrong, I'm not saying just to blow through points one, two and three. What I'm saying is when they get it, move on. If they don't get it, park it on that point until they get it. Once they get it, move on. Plus, I do spend a lot of time talking to people when I give them the Gospel, but where I spend most of my time is on the part about Jesus and salvation by faith and eternal life because that's the most important part. This other part is just a precursor because why would they need to be saved if they don't know that they're a sinner or that there's a punishment for their sin? Because the Bible says that His name would be Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins. So if they don't know they are a sinner how can they be saved from their sins? And if they don't know that the wages of sin is death and that hell is there, they don't even realize what they're being saved from. So the mistake that can be made is just to beat those two points into the ground and waste time and also antagonize people needlessly.
When you get to the third point and you're showing them the fact that Jesus Christ died for us on the cross, that's pretty basic. Just explain them the story of who Jesus is and the fact that he died on the cross, was buried and rose again, and then you want to get to the part of how we get save. Acts 16:31, "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved". John 3:16, whatever other verses you want to use; 3:18, 3:36, 5:24, 6:47. There's a whole smorgasbord of verses on salvation by faith.
Then we get to the last point which is the fact that you cannot lose your salvation. Let me give you a couple of different approaches to this. Approach no.1 is the illustration of the fact that it's a gift and this is great because you've already touched on Romans 6:23 with them so you come back to Romans 6:23 and you show them where it says "for the wages of sin is death", but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. So the gift is very different from wages. Wages are something that you earn at your job or pay check. A gift is something that you don't earn; it's given to you for free.
So you can use the illustration of it. If I were to give you this Bible as a gift, but I said, "Hey Dominica, I've got a gift for you but you have to give me five bucks," is that a gift? No. 90-something% of people realize that's not a gift. Everyone once in a while you'll get people that are real slow that are like "yeah, sounds about right...the school system isn't working..." or whatever. So say, "What if I were to give it to you for free, but I said you'd have to go wash my car." Is that a gift? No. What if I said, "It's free, it's a gift, take it and then I come back two or three weeks later and knock on your door and say I need that back." Is that a gift? No. So a gift is eternal and it's free, you get to keep it and the gift is called 'eternal life'. And I usually ask a person, what's eternal mean? Most people know it means forever. It never ends. If God gives you a gift that lasts forever, how many times do you need to get it? One time. Why would you need it a second time if it lasts forever? So once he gives you that gift, it belongs to you, it lasts forever, it's eternal life. Then to really drive the point in, I illustrate it this way: I say to them, "I believed on Jesus Christ a long time ago as a child. So what if I today..." I'm asking them now so as to try to gauge their understanding - "What if I were to know go out and commit a major sin? For example, let's say I were to go out, get drunk and commit adultery? Would I still be saved?" And here's what I like to say to people, and this is approach no.2, and I use this approach with every single person I talk to; I first talk about the fact that it's a gift, then I talk to them about the fact that we are God's children once we believe on Christ, and that He will discipline us but He will not throw us out of the family. That's the second approach that I use to show them that it's eternal. So I say to them that I believed on Jesus Christ a long time ago and let's say I was to go out and do some awful sin, for example, got drunk and committed adultery. Then I say to them, "God is going to punish me for that on this Earth. I'm going to get a disease, I'm going to lose my job, I'm going to lose my family, whatever. God's going to punish me for that upon this Earth, but I'm not going to lose my salvation because it's eternal life, it's a free gift. It's eternal, you can't lose it. And then the way that I illustrate that is with approach no.2, that we are sons of God and the verse I like to use for that is John 1:12 where it says, "But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." So if I believe in the name of Jesus then I become a son of God. A lot of people think we're already God's children but no; you become a son of God when you believe on the name of Jesus Christ and I say to them that I have rules for my son, especially if they have kids, I say do they have rules for their kids? They say of course and I say what if they break the rules? Do you just smile and say that's okay? What do you do? You punish them. But do you throw them out of the family? Do you say that's it, you're not my son anymore? No. You punish them, but you still love them and they're still your children. It's the same thing with God: if we go out and break God's rules. God's going to punish us but He's not going to throw us out of the family. He's never going to leave us, nor forsake us, nothing can separate us from the love of God, etc.
Now, here are some common mistakes that I've seen on this point. Keep in mind what our goal is here at this point. We figured out points 1 and 2 - those are easy. Explaining the story of Jesus - that's pretty easy too. Just the basis story of who He is, what He did, just show a couple of verses. Explaining that it's believe only, not works, that's pretty easy. But when you get to this part of eternal security, what's the goal with this final point here that it's eternal. The goal is to get the person to believe that. Because they've been ingrained the other way; their whole lives, they've been ingrained - "if you go out and do something really bad, you're going to go to hell. If you kill yourself, you're going to go to hell. If you don't go to church and live right you're going to go to hell." They've heard that in all these phony Pentecostal churches they've been in or whatever phony religion they've been a part of or the Catholics told them that, whoever told them that. But that's been ingrained in people. What is your goal at the door? It’s to get them to change what they believe and to come over to your side. You've got the truth over here that salvation's an eternal free gift so you want to explain that to them and get them to come over to your side. Here's the mistake I’ve seen people make: they make eternal security sound ludicrous to the point where no one's going to go over to their side because they're explaining it in such a weird way that it sounds ludicrous. You want to make it sound legit because it is legit. It's a Biblical teaching but why would you make it sound all wild and crazy and let me give an example to how somebody can make it sound wild and crazy. And although what their saying could be technically true, it sounds crazy and this is not effective to get people to understand what you're saying: "What if I just start gunning down hundreds of people randomly...Am I still going to heaven then? What if I just openly blaspheme Jesus and what if I just...." Just coming up with all this wild and crazy stuff - "what if I come and kill your family? Then will I still be saved?" You're making it sound too wild, too crazy. Look, we all know that no matter what you do, you're not going to lose your salvation. Who here thinks that no matter what you do, you're not going to lose your salvation? We all get that. But do you really have to make that sound all that crazy with all these wild scenarios that would never happen? People just wonder what you're talking about and think you're nuts and what's your goal? Is your goal to be a soul-winner or a soul-loser? You want to be a soul-winner. You're trying to get people to see the truth. The Bible explains it in a way that makes sense, why don't you explain it in a way that makes. Not this wild, crazy stuff. That's why when I give people an illustration - because you do want to use illustrations because you want to make sure they get it and an illustration can make them get it. I use something that's realistic, like a realistic scenario that somebody might actually find themselves in. Is it really that unrealistic for a married man to go out and get drunk and commit adultery? Does that ever happen? It happens. Did a guy in the Bible do something like that? Absolutely. That's realistic. It's extremely bad but sometimes it's good to use a bad illustration because of the fact that you want to really drive it in: look, you can't lose it. But you don't want to use an illustration that's so crazy that it's just not even logical. So if we use an illustration of "what if I were to get really angry and kill somebody?" That's realistic. It's a major sin but it's realistic. It happens. Sometimes people do get angry, lost their temper and kill someone. Sometimes I've said to people, "what if I later got into drugs, got addicted to drugs and got in some situation where I ended up shooting somebody?" And a lot of times what I'll say to the person when I give an illustration is "hey, just to use a real extreme example, what if I were to actually kill someone?" Just to get crazy and use a real big example. What if I were to actually shoot someone? Would I lost it then? And then I explain to the person that if I did commit adultery or shoot someone that God would punish me severely on this Earth because then it make sense because I've had some people to whom I say that you can't lose your salvation and they're like "no, you can't do that. Do you think you're just going to go on and have no consequences?" That's how people can misunderstand this point. There's always going to be a consequence so the point I like to make right away is that if I went out and did something really bad, even as huge as killing somebody, I act like it's a big deal, don't say it flippantly as people will think you're nuts. It makes more sense to say that it's a big sin but if you were to kill someone, here's what would happen. God's going to make sure you get punished on this Earth, you're going to go to prison or worse. But He's not going to take away your salvation because it's eternal; it's a free gift. He already died for all your sins, past, present and future. He paid for all of your sins before you were even born and He knew what you would do and wouldn't so and He already promised you eternal life. I'm not saying He's not going to punish you, just like your parents will punish you when you do wrong, but they're not going to throw you out of the family and that's what it's like with God. God's going to punish you but He's not going to hate you and send you to hell because you've already believed God and you're saved, you're in the family. I talk about how you wouldn't throw your kid out of the family; you would punish them and that's what God's going to do if you sin. Commit a big sin, you get big punishment - a little sin, little punishment. But He's not going to throw you out of the family. That makes sense to people. What's the goal? To get them to come over to the truth, not to make the truth sound so wild. If you leave out certain facts like the fact that God chastises His children, then you can make this sound crazy too. Right so you kill people and you go heaven, you commit suicide - straight to heaven. Adultery, drunkenness, murder and you're still going to heaven no matter what. If you don't explain that you're going to be chastised on this Earth people think that this sounds a little too good to be true, it sounds a little crazy. It's true that if you did all that, you'd still go to heaven but why not explain it in a way that they understand, by telling them there is chastisement on this Earth but He's not going to take away the salvation. I say to people that you can screw up your life on this Earth, but once you're saved there's nothing you can do to mess this up because it's an eternal gift and if you were never good enough to get saved in the first, you're not going to get bad enough to take it away. But you can mess up your life on this Earth really bad, but when it comes to heaven and hell, it's whether or not you believe on Jesus Christ. That's what that come down to. So, once you've explained all that, you're ready to wrap things up. Here's another common mistake on this point of eternal security. Mistake no.1 is getting all wild and crazy where you're mass-murdering hundreds of people and just spewing out all this wild stuff and no consequences; that's how you make it sound. That's a bad way of doing it. You can even bring up the fact that even if I were to commit suicide, I still wouldn't lose my salvation because honestly, it's just a promise that He'll never break. It's eternal life and because it's not by keeping the Commandments, it's by faith. So that part is mistake no.1: getting too crazy in your illustrations, too much of a blood bath, too much of a crazy event.
The second mistake that can be made on this point is where you try to trip the person up. What are you doing trying to trip people up? It's one thing to ask questions and try to make sure that the person is coming along on this journey with you as you explain things to them, and it's good to do a little bit of dialogue just to make sure that they're paying attention, not just you with a monologue. It's good to have a little bit of asking a few questions, making sure that it's making sense to them but I think that a mistake is when you try to trip people up. Here's an example of this - "so if you do that then you'll lose your salvation right?" And they say "yeah". You - "WRONG. GOTCHA." Don't confuse people, don't try to trip them up. Ask questions, but don't try to feed them a wrong answer. At the beginning of the conversation, I know we talked about that last week, in the start of the conversation don't try to trip them up. What are you doing trying to trip people up? Just ask them a normal question and get a normal answer but don't try to mislead them just to make sure they get. Don't throw a trick question just to test them. Don't play games like that. Just ask them questions to gauge their understanding like "so, if a person were to believe on Jesus Christ and be saved and they believed it with all their heart and then years later they do X, Y and Z, where is that person going? Heaven or hell? That's a reasonable question. Don't try to purposely mislead just to make sure their paying attention, throwing a little curve ball. That's ridiculous. So that's the plan right there.
As far as the scripture goes that we use to present the Gospel: point 1 was Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23. Point 2: Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:14, 15, Revelation 20:1, 8. Point 3 Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 2:24 and explain that. Point 4 we use Acts 16:30,31, John 3:16, that was the crux of it but then there's come extra verses you could throw in which would be 3:18, 3:36, Ephesians 2:8,9 - something optional to drive that in. And then on the eternal security point, the verses that I like to use are Roman 6:23 and John 1:12. Again, if any of these points need reinforce, it's good to have a list of back-up verses.
So let's say you're a beginner in your life and this is too much to remember and it's quite overwhelming. Here's a good tip: draw a map in our Bible and here's what I mean by this: you just know how to get to Romans 3 - everyone knows how to open our Bible and get to Romans 3, if not, figure it out. Once you know how to get to Romans 3, you underline the verse and write down what the next step is. So basically, if I were drawing a map in this Bible, I'd go to Romans 3:10 and underline it then I'd write next to it 3:23 and that's telling me where to go next. Then I'd go to 3:23, underline it and then write next to it 6:23. Then go to 6:23, underline it and write Revelation 20:14, then underline 14 and 15 and write 21:8 and so on. This way when you turn that verse and show them, it tells you were to go from there. That's a good way for a beginner to find the verse quickly by having a map drawn in your Bible. So, you've gone through the whole thing and you've made your points. You're a sinner, you deserve to go to hell, Jesus died for our sins, he was buried and rose again, it's all faith, it's all believing, it's not works and it's impossible to lose your salvation, it's eternal life, it's everlasting life, we're children of God and He'll punish us but He won't send us to hell. A lot of times I like to ask people at the end, "who's going to hell then according to the Bible?" And if they understood me then they'll say people who don't believe in Christ because you've just finished explaining to them that it's the believers who are going to heaven, so who's going to hell? - The unbelievers. If I get to the end and I have a feeling that this person isn't getting it like when they're giving you the right answers but you just have that feeling, here's the best question to figure out whether they got it at the very end - "so what do you think you personally have to do to get into heaven?" - "What do I think? Well I think you have to live a good life, go to church, etc..." And then you realize they didn't get it even though you've spent ten minutes explaining it to them. At that point I just tell the person that it's 'believe' and to have a good day because I just spent ten minutes talking to you and it all went straight over your head and I don't want to waste much more time on you so I'll give you one more verse just to tell you you're wrong and thanks for listening, have a great day and come visit our church sometime. And move onto somebody who's listening. How long does it take for you to give somebody the Gospel? In a perfect scenario where the person is ready to hear, they're understanding every point straight away and I'm just giving them the bare bones, just the real basic, it would probably take just about 8 or 9 minutes. That's if the person is just the perfect candidate and gets it right away. If a person is a little slower on things, it's going to take around 15 minutes. Now I have spent as much as 20 or 30 minutes, I've spent hours talking to somebody before, but I've even talked to people who are mentally disabled, people with Down's Syndrome for example, or a very small child, you might spend 30 minutes because they might not know what sin is, they might not have heard of heaven or hell, never heard of Jesus and you have to define everything. But people who are exposed to Christianity, they've been in church, they know the basics but they're just not saved, you can get through this in 8 or 9 minutes. A lot of people criticize that and say "you're just going around and just 1, 2, 3 repeat after me..." Let me explain something to you: there are people out there who do a 1, 2, 3 repeat after me. I've seen it, I've been there and it's stupid. They're just real quick, ""For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God". Do you believe you have sinned? Well, Jesus died for your sins. Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Do you believe Jesus died for you? Do you believe he rose again from the dead? Ok, great, next point. What do you believe we have to do to be saved? Well, the Bible says right here, "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." You believe in Him? Well the Bible says right here "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Do you want to do that right now? Just pray right now? Just call upon Him? Let’s do it...." That's bad soul-winning. Here's why: that guy could be totally trusting works, that guy could be a Catholic, a Mormon, a Jehovah's Witness, believe you can lose your salvation, not believe in the Deity of Christ, because you're just basically saying if you believe in Jesus, let's pray. There are people out there who do that. I don't know why as it seems a weird thing to do. Because what is it that saves us? It's our faith that saves. So let me ask you this, and I really want you to pay attention to this point, this is really important what I'm about to say: if I walk up to him and he believes a certain way and when I walk away he believes the same thing that he believed when I got there, then he didn't get saved. Either one of two things is true: either he was already saved or he's still not saved. But he did not get saved, something changes about what they believe because if they already believed right then they're already saved. This junk about believing but they weren't saved: that's junk. They believed the Gospel, they believed that Jesus is the only way to heaven and that you can't lose it but they just weren't saved...what? That's what it means to be saved. You're saved by faith. "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." People aren't saved because they don't believe right; that's why they're not saved. And how do they get saved? By changing what they believe. By putting their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. They had their faith on something else like themselves, good works, and the church. The Roman Catholic Church is going to get me there, I just need to do the rituals and the priest is going to absolve me. They need to get their faith out of the church, out of themselves, out of idols and whatever they're trusting and get their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ or they might have their faith on another Jesus. On the Jesus of the Bible. They need to believe the death, burial and resurrection of Christ: that's what's going to get them saved. If they believe the same way that they did when you got there, praying a prayer is not the issue. It's the faith that has to change.
Let's get to the wrap up. We've gotten to the point where we've taught them everything that they need to learn as far as the faith, what to believe, the facts. Now we want to wrap things up with this person. A lot of people will just go through all the teachings with them and then I just say, "Do you believe that? Then you're saved." See you later. That is not effective soul-winning because of the fact that the Bible teaches that the response of a person who believes on Jesus Christ and wants to put their faith in Him is to call upon His name for salvation. That's the Biblical formula. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" Jesus said, and this is a whole other sermon in itself so I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this, I've already done sermons like this, but for example in John 4, Jesus said to the woman at the well, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." And that living water is eternal life, according to Jesus. So if you knew who it was, you would have asked. If you believe in Jesus, that he is the Savior and holds your soul in His hand and controls your destiny between heaven and hell, then you will call out to Him for that gift. You will call out for salvation. If people believed right, then they would have expressed that to the world by now. The reason that they didn't or maybe they called upon the Lord, but they didn't believe in Him - calling without believing in Him doesn't do anything for you. How can you call on Him and not believe? You need to believe in Him, out your faith on Him, then ask Him for that gift of salvation. A lot of people make a big deal out of this point because they've been influenced by this Calvinist doctrine of calling upon the Lord as works. That is foolishness because asking for a free gift is not works. What if I said to you, Dominque, "if you ask me for this Bible, I'll give it to you." Who thinks that he just worked for that? Or that that wasn't a free gift? No because you'd have to be an insane person to think that he just worked for that. What if Chipotle said, "We're giving away free burritos tomorrow. All you have to do is come up to the counter and ask for a free burrito and you will get a free burrito." Would anybody say that you paid for that, that you worked for that? Nobody would say that would they? That's stupid. But what if Chipotle says "If you come down here and bring ten friends with you then we'll give you a free burrito." Then you would say you worked for it, you had to gather ten people. Or "if you come down here and work in the kitchen for an hour, then we'll give you a free burrito," well you're working for that one. But if you just ask for a free burrito - that's working for it? I guess all these people on welfare are working for it? They all ask for it. They all say give me my welfare cheque, give me my food sample - they earned it. That's stupidity but there are false prophets out there who teach that nonsense that asking is works. It isn't. But what if I said to Dominque, "I'm going to give you this Bible but I want to see a big change in your life buddy, and if I see you clean up your life then I'll give it to you." Then you would say he's working for it. Or, "Do you promise to be my servant? I'll give you this if you promise to serve me. Do you promise to follow my rules?" They you'd say that's works but ask and you shall receive. People have some weird ideas.
So, how do you wrap things up? What's the best way to wrap it up? Some people say is it possible to get people saved without praying with them at the end; just preach them the Gospel and just walk away. Of course it's possible to just preach somebody the Gospel and the Word, teach them everything and just say that they know what to do and to see the later. It's really possible that they're going to say on their own, "Lord, I believe that. I want salvation Jesus." It's very possible they would do that. But it's also possible to use a pair of plyers to put your pants on, but is that the best way to do it? Does it make any sense to do it that way? Who cares if it’s possible? What's the best way to do it? The best way to do it is to lead the person in prayer. There's this trendy movement out there that says 'make the people word their own prayer' and the reason for this is just to make sure there's none of this 1,2,3 repeat after me. But how about if it's 1,2,3,4,5 and you're really thorough on 1,2,3,4 and 5 and then its repeat after me - I don't think that the problem with 1,2,3 repeat after me is the repeat after me part. I think the problem is the 1, 2, 3 part. The problem with this quick slip-shot soul-winning is the fact that they're not thoroughly explaining the Gospel and the person isn't understanding it. If the person understands it, then why wouldn't you want to help them pull the trigger and make that decision and seal that deal right then and there? You wouldn't if you didn't love people. If you cared about that person you would help them get saved. Here's what I do: once I've gone through and given him the whole plan of salvation and made my five points and he gets it, I'd do a quick review like this at the very end just to make sure he gets it: For example, "Hey Dominque, do you believe that you've sinned? Do you believe Jesus died for all your sins? Do you believe that Jesus rose again physically from the dead? So according to the Bible, what do we have to do to be saved? If you believe that and you receive Christ as Savior, is there anything you could ever do to lose that?" So does this guy understand what I've been explaining? So if you just ask a few questions like that, it doesn't have to be those exact questions, it could just be "do you believe Jesus died on the cross for us, for all our sins and rose again from the dead bodily? So, what do you think a person has to do to make it into heaven? And if Jesus were standing here right now and you asked Him to save you, would He do it? And how long would you be saved for? Is there anything you could ever do to mess that up?" Just ask a few questions. Once I know that they've got it, then I don't say to them, "do you want to pray and ask Jesus to save you right now?" Because it doesn't matter whether they want to, that's what they need to do if they believe it. If he gets these questions wrong like "what do you have to do to be saved? - Live a good life," just say, "The Bible says actually "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."" It doesn't actually say have a good life, "but it was good talking to you buddy! I've spent 15 minutes talking to you and you still don't get it, see you later..." I don't say that, I'm nice but you get the idea! But if he answers everything right, would it be bad to pray with them? He believes it, let's just make sure we can nail it down with them and solidify this in his mind. Why do this? What if I'm telling him everything and it's making sense to him and sounding good and he has not fully made this his belief yet. He's still just listening and hasn't really owned it yet. Then he might just be thinking about what I'm saying, it's making sense, I'm proving it all from the Bible, then he walks away and gets busy with other things and starts thinking about something else and just ever solidifies this decision and makes that his own personal faith in Christ and calls upon the name of the Lord. And that’s why it's a good way to wrap it up. Once he answers the questions right and I know that he gets it, here's what I say to him, "I want to pray with you right now, and just help you tell God that that's what you believe right now. And you can just repeat this after me - I'm going to help you tell this to God right now. Let us pray..." Here's what's wrong with saying, "Hey, do you want to pray?" Do you know what he's thinking? - "I don't know how to pray, I've never prayed before." He's nervous. Or "why don't you word your own prayer?" A lot of people are un-churched. They think that prayer is a big fancy thing that you read of a script. Think about when people pray at these government things, they have some prayer that they read from notes. It's not from the heart. Word your own prayer - this cute, trendy, stupid thing invented by people who do very little soul-winning. They're like, "our Father....which art in heaven....I don't know what to say here..." It makes sense to help someone - "let me help you, let me call upon the name of the Lord right now and bow our heads and you can repeat after me. Dear Jesus, I know I'm a sinner, I know I deserve to go to hell, but I believe that you died on the cross for all my sins and rose again. Please save me right now and give me eternal life, I'm only trusting you Jesus, Amen." It doesn't have to be in-depth, just pray a prayer with them. Then when they look up I ask if they meant that and where does the Bible say they're going and why? "Heaven because I believe." If you've been thorough up to this point, they'll say because I believe. That's how it's done.
Don't put doubt in their minds by asking straight away if they meant that - "I thought I did until you pointed your finger at me and asked me in that voice..." So it's better to just say, "Hey, you meant that didn't you?"
Here's the thing: idiots are going to say that anyway. Those fools - the idiot who's is watching this right now, fool online who's going to come in and easy believism - "O you're just going around praying..." - "Shut up fool! Because I'm going to keep soul-winning and teach people how to be a soul-winner, and I'm going to teach people ways that are effective and I'm not going to tailor my soul-winning methods about what some critic is going to say about it!" - "O I better be careful to make sure that nobody's going to criticize..." But if you do what's right you're always going to get criticized. Here's what I learnt a long time ago: quite trying to please people that are critics because you're never going to please them anyway so here'd the thing: do it the best way, do it the way that works and nuts to these fools who want to attack soul-winning. Anybody who attacks soul-winning, shame on them and I wonder if they're even saved. And if they are saved, will be unto them, and if they aren't saved, ever greater will be unto them. Don't worry about the critics, don't worry about the people saying it's stupid and it doesn't work. They say that you just care about the numbers; well that's funny because doesn't God care about the numbers? Didn't God write a book called Numbers?! What about the numbers in Act 2 where it says that three thousand people got saved? And then Acts 5: five thousand people got sick. I've noticed that some of the saved people who tell you that you think too much about numbers, they'll give you another bunch of other stupid numbers that don't matter like money numbers like missionaries who say they raised this and this in support and they gave out this many tracts. It's funny how you can count your worthless tracts but then you catch them out when you tell how many people got saved. They say that you don't really know if those people got saved but I have a confession to make: I don't really know that anybody I talked to really got saved. If I go through this with somebody and they say that they understand everything and they give me all the right answers and then I pray with them, do I really know for sure that that person really got saved? You can't see their heart. But here's the thing: don't you think that the vast majority of people I've talked to really got saved? Then you're going to get a person every once in a while who's going along with you. Here's another thing: when I go soul-winning, when in doubt I don't count it. For example, I was just soul-winning a week ago and I went through the whole plan of salvation with somebody and I prayed with that person but I walked away, even though they gave me all the right answers, with the feeling like I wasn't really sure they got it as they were a little shaky on things. I don't count that because of the fact that they're still going to go to heaven whether I count it or not. It's not like if I don't count it they're not going. So if you go out soul-winning, because we do keep track of the numbers of people save because we actually like it, we're excited about it. We rejoice in it. We like to make sure we're doing something for God and figure out that what we're doing is effective. But we want the number to be as accurate as possible, but it's never going to be an exact number; it's a rough number because of the fact that you're going to pray with people and turns out they didn't really get it. Then there are a lot of people I feel are a little shaky so I don't count them but those people really got saved so in the end, it balances out. Sometimes I'll go back and go knocking in that same neighborhood and I'll see that person that I was doubtful about and I'll question them about salvation and they'll give me all the right answers weeks later. This proves they weren't just going through the motions with me if weeks later they know they're saved because Jesus died for their sins and it's all by faith and can never lose it. So I would then count that person. There are quite a lot of people that I don't count because I'm a little unsure that really were saved and then there are probably some people who I count and it turns out they really weren't saved because we can't see the heart. If you're in doubt, don't count them. If you go out soul-winning and you talk to a group of three kids and one of them is kind of young, one is kind of following the lead of the other, just don't count them. When in doubt, don't count as we do want our numbers to be accurate. If you feel confident, then count them. I believe that that the number is an accurate representation of approximately how many people got saved in the course of a year's time. It's never going to be exact - we're going to have to wait until we get to heaven to get the exact count. Do you know why people get mad about this counting? And they want to fight this counting - because they have a number associated with their life and this number was invented in India and it's called '0'. And that number '0' is their life's number - they're a big '0' so they get offended by numbers like '1, 2, and 3' because they're a '0'. It hurts to be a '0'. So they get mad and criticize people who have other numbers. Two are better than one - that's a quote from the Bible. And people wonder if it's all worth it just for that one soul but it's even more worth it for ten souls, and even more worth it for a hundred souls. Getting one person saved per year isn't going to cut it when someone is dying and going to hell every three seconds. We need to be thorough; we need to do our best. Here's a good rule of thumb if you're being thorough: is that how you would give the Gospel to your mum? Is that how you would give the Gospel to your brother? To your best friend? Treat it like somebody you care about. But at the end of the day I don't want to get one person saved, I want to get a lot of people saved. Often I've spent four hours, five hours soul-winning and only got one person saved or maybe even no people saved. Sometimes you have to go soul-winning for eight hours to get somebody saved, sometimes you get multiple people saved per hour because everybody you talk to wants to hear the Gospel and you're on a roll. That's the way it is. Do you know why our church has big soul-winning numbers? It's really simple - because we have a big number of people going out for big hours. Scott - you had 17 people out soul-winning. How many hours did you spend soul-winning with those people? - Three. So, Scott's soul-winning team had 17 people and they spent three hours out soul-winning. So about 51 man-hours of soul-winning. How many people got saved? - Ten. "Isn't that such a wild, inflated number? They're just going around praying with everybody..." No. The reason we have big soul-winning numbers is because we have big man-power out in the field. 51 hours of work went into getting ten people saved. My group went out on Wednesday and we had about 23 people out soul-winning. We were out for one hour right before the service. 23 man hours and we had 6 people saved. Why are our numbers through the roof? Lots of people doing a lot of work and that's what it takes to get the job done. Soul-winning works if we work.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, We thank you so much for this time of instruction, Lord. And I pray that it will bear fruit and that people who are under the sound of my voice right now in this auditorium, Lord, will be inspired to go out and go soul-winning, Lord. It's so much easier than they think Lord if they would just go out and do it. Help some new people to go out and be a silent partner Lord, and learn how to do it. Help others to start doing the talking and preaching the Gospel, Lord. Help us to be an effective force for soul-winning Lord in this area and all over America and to the uttermost parts of the Earth, Lord. Please just use us in a mighty way and God, I couldn't cram everything in tonight that I wanted to because there's a lot to teach, Lord, but I pray that some things that I said tonight would stand out in people's minds and they would be able to use them and the people will be saved as a result. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.