Soul Winning: The Believer’s Mission

by Missionary Bill

About Me

I call myself Missionary Bill. My purpose is to help people understand that YOU CAN TRUST GOD. That's a simple, but very important lesson of life I have learned over the past forty years that I've been a Born Again Believer in Jesus. During that time I am sorry to say that I have learned more about the Christian Life by trial and error, than by studying the Bible and seeking the Lord in prayer. However, when I did finally decide to commit to a serious study of the Word of God and to seek the Lord in prayer each day, my life changed in many ways. I began to understand that no matter how many Church Services or Bible Study sessions I attended, there was simply no substitute for personal Bible reading and daily prayer.

If you require a label, most people would consider me a Born-Again, Bible Believing, Conservative Christian. I study and use the King James Version Bible. I am not a Pastor, but have held many positions in local churches and helped to plant them in different areas of the USA. I have a certificate in Biblical Studies, but am certainly not a Bible Scholar. What I have learned by experience working in local Churches and with people that I consider to be great men and women of God, along with my personal studies in the Word of God, is what I hope to share with you.

Introduction

Churches look for all kinds of plans to increase attendance and grow. Most ignore the one that God gave to the Church: Soul Winning and Visitation. Jesus used it himself as we see in Matthew 4:17-25 (KJV):

[17] From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. [18] And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. [19] And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. [20] And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. [21] And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. [22] And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. [23] And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. [24] And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. [25] And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.

Jesus didn’t just go about preaching, he preached the Gospel and personally invited people to join him. He told the fisherman to follow him and he would make them fishers of men. The result of giving out the Gospel and inviting people to follow him was that ‘great multitudes of people’ followed him. Wouldn’t you like to see great multitudes of people get saved and join your church?

There is no substitute for personally meeting with people, sharing the Gospel with them and inviting them to church. You can place a sign outside your church, have the world’s best web site or try all kinds of campaigns to get people in the door. However, as someone who has worked extensively in church planting and the revitalization of established ministries, I can attest to the fact that soul winning and visitation go hand in hand and that is the right way to go if you want to see people get saved, baptized and join your church.

Please allow me to show you the who, what, when, where, why and how of soul winning and visitation. I’ll keep it simple and try my best not to get wordy. May the Lord bless our efforts.

- Missionary Bill

Chapter One: Why You Should Have A Soul Winning and Visitation Program At Your Church?

I was saved because I saw a change in one person, someone else invited me to a church youth camp and yet another person gave me the Gospel in 1972. It took three people to bring me to Jesus. That was lesson one about the Christian Life that I learned: It takes people to reach people.

After I was saved I couldn’t wait to share my salvation experience with others and tell them about Jesus. Most Christians that I have met over the years were saved through the testimony and actions of Christians.

The next lesson I learned about bringing people to Jesus is that there an urgent need to give them the Gospel. To illustrate this, I will take the time to tell you a bit more about how I was saved and what happened afterward...

It wasn’t easy to get me to come to youth camp. I was fifteen years old, went to a public high school and attended a stuffy old Luthern Church with my folks on a regular basis. After being confirmed in that religion, I volunteered for their summer youth program with young children and even served as an acolyte (someone who lights the candles for the church service). I did all this and was still lost and on my way to Hell. I had no personal relationship with God and couldn’t understand the Bible.

I was born in New York City, but attended high school in Florida after my parents moved there in 1970. We lived on the West Coast near St Petersburg. It was during my first year of High School in tenth grade that I met a girl I’ll call Debbie. She was in my homeroom. Every day Debbie came to school either hung over or strung out. I wasn’t sure whether it was alcohol or drugs that caused her condition, but she was a mess.

I never used drugs or alcohol. Growing up in the 1960s, I saw most of the kids that lived in my neighborhood in New York die because of those things. They died in traffic accidents, were drowned, overdosed, committed suicide or were poisoned by drinking too much alcohol all at once. I knew that this wasn’t something that I wanted for myself and had no desire to die before I got a chance to live my life.

Debbie sat in her chair hunched over every morning during homeroom. She was all but asleep. Because she was also in an English class with me, she would beg me to let her copy my homework. I felt sorry for her and allowed that anytime she asked. Debbie was a tall and very attractive girl, but no one went near her because of her apparent addiction.

As an only child, I sometimes found it difficult to relate to or communicate with other kids. I was used to being alone or around adults. I had friends my own age, but shyness always kept me at a bit of a distance from them. I can honestly say that I never allowed even my closest friends to get really close to me. That’s why I kind of backed off when another student named Alan started talking to me during lunch and between classes.

Alan was a well dressed, neat guy who seemed to really have it together. He was a straight-shooter that would tell you like it is. We had a history class together and because I must have looked like one of the few kids that wasn’t on drugs or in trouble more often than not, he sought me out as a study partner. At some point he invited me to come to a youth camp where young people gathered for fun and Bible Study a couple of nights each week.

I always had an interest in the Bible. I recall one time when I really shocked my parents by asking them, “Who made God.” They had no idea how to answer that question and, as confirmed members of the Lutheran Church in good standing, could not even tell me that the Bible teaches that God always was and always will be.

I politely declined Alan’s initial invitation to go to the youth camp. I knew it would probably not make my parents happy and had no way of getting there. The location was at least a half hour drive from where I lived and it was on a weeknight. My parents didn’t like me going out on school nights unless I was working. I did say that I might come to the youth camp at some point in the near future as long as I could get a ride and had my parent’s permission.

Back in homeroom things went from bad to worse for Debbie. She started arriving late all the time and then didn’t show up for what seemed like a month. Someone who knew her better than I did said she had a very abusive father who beat her on a regular basis. I did notice that she always looked beat up along with being hung over or strung out.

When Debbie returned to homeroom, she really freaked me out. I barely recognized her. All of sudden Debbie was clean and sober, dressed neatly and was well groomed. I was still marveling at her new appearance when she spoke to me. Debbie told me that she had become extremely ill because of her alcohol use. She ended up in the hospital and almost died.

During this dark time someone she knew came to visit her in the hospital and invited her to the very same youth camp that Alan asked me to attend. After she got out of the hospital, her friend gave her a ride to the camp. It was there that she heard the Gospel and accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior.

Although not everyone has the inner strength to make an immediate change in their life, Debbie did. Having been weaned off alcohol in the hospital, she vowed not to fall back to that habit and kept that vow. She also ironed things out with her family. She went to stay with her mom and that ended the problem of having to deal with an abusive father.

One of the reasons that Debbie went to the youth camp meeting was because she saw a change in her friend. The friend had gone there, accepted the Lord and made drastic changes in his life. Debbie wanted whatever it was that her friend had and found it in the Gospel that was given to her at the meeting she attended. It took two people that saw an urgent need to bring her to the Lord.

As we talked in homeroom, Debbie reminded me about how she used to look and act every morning. She wanted me to know that she had discovered a truth that made a huge change in her life and one that could do the same for me. I almost fell out of my chair when she took out a little New Testament and read John 3:16 to me.

I could see that Debbie found something that I wanted, but I wasn’t sure how to get it for myself. She was a new Christian and had not yet become adept at leading people to Jesus. However, her amazing testimony caused me to re-think Alan’s invitation to the youth camp. I spoke to him about Debbie and he was equally astounded.

Alan had just recently bought a car and told me that he would gladly give me a ride to the youth camp if I decided to go. Kids got their driver’s licenses at younger ages back then and he had a used car that worked well enough to get him around town and back and forth to school. I spoke to my parents and although they were not exactly thrilled about me going to a non-Lutheran religious activity, they couldn’t see any harm in allowing me to give it a try.

The next morning I told Debbie about Alan’s invitation for me to come to the youth camp and she kept encouraging me to go. She did that for several days in a row, always reminding me of the way she was before she came to know the Lord. She was relentless in encouraging me to go and wouldn’t take no for an answer.

I finally agreed to go with Alan on a Friday night. There were having an all night pizza party along with the Bible study and some other activities. Alan picked me up just after six in the evening and we headed out. When we arrived the place was packed with young people. I knew some, but most were strangers.

The man who ran the youth camp was a guy in his twenties. He was a Bible college graduate who planned on being a missionary. He and his wife were both committed Christians that loved the Lord and felt that God had led them to this ministry instead of to the foreign mission field. Both their parents managed to escape Castro’s Cuba having faced religious and political persecution there.

As the Bible study began, I was stunned at how simple this man made the Gospel seem and how informal the entire event was. There were no candles, Apostle’s Creed or pastoral vestments. Just the Bible and a guy explaining God’s simple plan of salvation to kids in need of it. When the missionary asked everyone to bow their heads, close their eyes and told us how to ask Jesus into our hearts, I did so.

I didn’t know much about the Bible at that time, but I knew that what the missionary said made perfect sense and he backed it all up with scripture. That was good enough for me. I accepted the Lord, knew I was saved and couldn’t wait to tell Debbie about it. I told her about my conversion when I went to homeroom on Monday morning. She rejoiced along with me and that was the first time in my life that I experienced real joy.

After I became a Christian, it took a while for me to find a church that I felt comfortable with. I visited many, but held back from becoming a member. The reason for my confusion was partly due to the fact that while the youth camp did a terrific job at presenting the Gospel, they really didn’t have much of a follow-up program to get new converts into church.

After bouncing around from church to church without becoming a member, I finally found one that I felt wanted me as much as I wanted them. It had been six years since I became a Christian and I was as doctrinally confused as I was without a church home. I attended all kinds of services, crusades, bible studies and meetings looking for the right fit.

After serving in the military, I began to think about going to college. I didn’t race into that decision because I always found plenty of work. I got my first job at the age of fourteen working in a hospital kitchen and kept that job for some time. Even after I got out of the military, I was quickly offered a job as a Cook and Kitchen Manager at a Christian Retirement Home in the Midwest.

I took the job and remained in the Midwest for a couple of years. However, I longed to move back to New York where I was born and lived for half my young life. I knew it was a place that, unlike the Midwest, did not have a lot of good Bible preaching churches. I felt like the Lord could use someone like me to help change that. Besides, my mother had already moved back there after my father passed on.

Both my parents became Christians thanks to concerned Christians who led them to the Lord. It was hard for me to reach them as their son, so I asked others to help and they did. Again, it took several people willing to share the Gospel to bring them to Jesus.

Back in New York I was quickly hired to manage two fast food restaurants at a local airport. During that time I lived in a rooming house where I met a number of fascinating people. It was Spring and the place I lived was an old house that was located in Queens, New York City. It had a lovely porch where I would sit and read the Bible when I wasn’t working.

Although I was still without a church home, I attended services regularly at various local churches in my area and became a bit more adept at leading people to Christ. I always carried a New Testament with me for just that purpose. That was a habit I got into thanks to Alan who always had one with him.

The first person I lead to Christ was a girl named Cindy. That happened while I was still in Florida. Cindy was one of seven children. Her Stepfather was a disabled veteran and former big rig truck driver. He father lived in the Midwest and had an important job as the Administrator for a large cemetery. I met her while we were still in high school through a mutual friend and discovered that she was a troubled young girl who had already tried to kill herself once and had a nervous breakdown.

Cindy’s stepfather abused her and touched her in an inappropriate way on a regular basis. What made things worse and even more complicated was that her stepfather was also her father’s brother (her uncle). I shared the gospel with her, she accepted Jesus as her Savior and started reading the Bible.

After I joined the military, I wrote to Cindy all the time and she wrote back. Interestingly enough, she invited me to visit her just after I got my honorable discharge. By that time Cindy and her family had moved back to the Midwest were they were originally from. Now living in Michigan, I flew there on my first day as a civilian.

I always got along well with Cindy and her family. They invited me to stay with them for a few days and I accepted the offer. I had a pocket full of cash as part of my separation pay and money that I saved up while in the military. I purchased a used car and planned to drive to New York City after spending a few days with Cindy and her family, but the Lord had other ideas.

I received a call from a woman that helped Veterans find jobs. When she found out I was in the Midwest and had experience as an institutional cook and food manager from the days of first job in a hospital kitchen as a teenager, she told me about a job at a nearby Christian Retirement Center. I agreed to go there and found that the position was a good fit for me.

I told my new employer that I would work there temporarily until they could find someone that would fill the position on a more permanent basis and they agreed to that situation. The job paid well and allowed me to have evenings free. I liked going to church services, Bible studies and Christian meetings during the week and that day job freed me up to take advantage of those opportunities at night and on Sundays.

After a couple of days at Cindy’s home, I found a nice apartment nearby that was available month to month. It was close to her family’s house and near my job. I moved in, bought some inexpensive furniture and started my new job. I met a number of terrific Christians at that job and shared wonderful fellowship with them. They all invited me to their churches and other Christian activities in the area.

Cindy also kept me busy. I had a burden to win her family to the Lord. I had already given the Gospel to her parents and some of her brothers and sisters, but most of them were not very receptive. Undaunted, I met Cindy’s older sister. Her name was Kathy.

Kathy and her husband had been married for several years, lived some distance from Cindy and were having some marital problems. Kathy was an extremely attractive young woman and that made her husband very jealous.

Over the next few weeks I shared the Gospel with Kathy and her husband. They responded to it, got saved and started attending a doctrinally-sound church nearby their home. I attended a few services with them, but resisted joining because of the distance. A short time after Kathy and her husband accepted the Lord, Kathy told me how grateful she was that they were saved.

I found out later that Kathy’s husband was been having a number of personal problems, had beat her a few times and was close to committing suicide. That’s when the urgency of responding to God’s leading really hit home to me. That same realization came back again and hit me even harder a short time later. Within just one month Cindy and I visited one of her former boyfriends, a cousin and her best friend.

Cindy’s ex-boyfriend seemed receptive to the Gospel, but I couldn’t get him to make a decision to accept Jesus. Cindy also went to work on him and just in time. Within a week of meeting him, her ex-boyfriend was in a terrible car accident. Once in the hospital, Cindy visited him while I was at work. She called me later that day to tell me that he accepted Christ as his Savior. He died less than a week later. It took two people to bring him to the Lord, and just in time.

Following that incident, Cindy took me to meet her best friend. Her name was Betty. They both went to grammar, junior high and part of high school together until Cindy moved to Florida. Betty was single and lived in her family’s house on a busy street. We spent the better part of a Saturday with her and both of us were able to give her the Gospel.

Betty was apprehensive, but believed what Cindy and I told her. She asked Jesus to come into her heart. I left her with a small New Testament, encouraged her to start reading it as soon as possible and told her about a church near her house that would be a good fit for her. The next day I was stunned when Cindy called me to say that Betty had been killed that morning. She was hit by a speeding car while trying to walk across the street to a neighbor’s house.

A short time after that I met Cindy’s cousin. He was about ten years older than Cindy. Her cousin was an awesome auto mechanic and she wanted him to take a look at my car. I was having some trouble with it. He fixed the problem in a jiffy and refused to take any money for the work.

I shared the Gospel with her cousin and he was very receptive. Although he did not accept the Lord while we were there, I left a New Testament with him and some Bible tracts. I also suggested that he attend a nearby church. Cindy called me a week later to let me know that he attended a service at the church and accepted the Lord. His wife also got saved there.

Less than a week later her cousin was attending a baseball game in Detroit and got bit by some kind of insect. He became gravely ill, was paralyzed from head to toe and died a few weeks after that. Again, the matter of urgency when it came to sharing the gospel was hitting me like a ton of bricks.

I met a lot of wonderful Christians in the Midwest and enjoyed all the church services, Bible studies, evangelistic meetings and other Christian events that I attended. Cindy and I became close friends and although I knew that I would miss her and her family a lot, I felt it was time to go. The Retirement Center where I worked really did not want me to leave, but they finally found someone to replace me and that’s when I headed east.

I was in my early twenties at the time I moved back to New York City in the late 1970s, but I looked a lot younger. It didn’t take long for the neighborhood teens to start coming around the rooming house porch to say hello and get to know me. Most of them were white, black and Hispanic and we all got along wonderfully. I slowly gave the Gospel to all the kids.

One of the kids that liked to hang out with me was a seventeen year old boy named Richie. He was a good student and the kind of guy that tended to stay out of trouble. He lived at home with his parents and younger sister. They were all really nice people. His father was from Cuba and his mother came from Puerto Rico. Richie and his family introduced me to Hispanic culture and I introduced them to the Lord. They were all eventually saved and that brought great joy to my heart.

During this time I picked up a Gospel tract that I found near the subway station. The tract listed a name and phone number on Staten Island. I called and discovered that the man was a Christian and the member of a local church. His church was too far away for me to attend on a regular basis, so he gave me the name and phone number of a pastor who was starting a church in my area. I called the pastor and he came to visit me.

I was very impressed with this pastor and I agreed to visit his church. I started attending on a regular basis and eventually was able to bring Richie, his family and some of the other kids that hung out with me there as well. Besides church membership, another thing that I had put off was baptism. I didn’t want to be baptized until I found a church I could call home. This was that church. I was baptized and joined that church as a charter member.

I eventually transitioned from the restaurant management job I had at the airport to a better position that required less hours and offered more pay. After visiting several Bible colleges, I made the decision to study for a certificate in Biblical Studies by mail through Liberty Home Bible Institute. That would allow me to remain in New York City, work and still get my certificate.

I completed the two year course, received my certificate and put everything that I learned to work helping that pastor to build a church. Both of us had a tremendous amount of evangelical zeal and I was thrilled at how many people were coming to know the Lord through our efforts and God’s wonderful grace.

During this time Richie’s sister became engaged to a man named Howie. Rose and Howie were both unsaved. I met them at a family barbecue at Richie’s house one Sunday afternoon. We all sat in the backyard talking about various things and enjoying an excellent meal. All during this time I felt a very strong urging to tell Rose and Howie about the Lord.

Richie and his family were still new Christians, so I wasn’t sure how they would react to my evangelistic efforts. I was even more worried about Howie. He was Jewish and I did not want to come off as attacking his ethnicity or religion. Fortunately, our conversation revealed that Howie was not a religious Jew. More importantly, he was open to hearing what I had to say about Christianity.

I treaded carefully, but gave Howie the Gospel in the same manner that I would offer it to anyone else. He commented that he looked at Jesus the same way he saw Abraham. In his mind they were both great teachers and maybe prophets, but nothing more. After doing all I could, I let things go at that being satisfied that I had made every effort to win Howie to the Lord. Rose also listened, but didn’t respond.

Howie and Rose’s Wedding was less than a week away and everyone was excited about it. I lived just a block from Richie, so I walked home after the barbecue and wondered what more I could do to reach Howie and Rose. I went to church that night and asked everyone to pray for them.

I had the next day off and decided to sleep in. Sundays were busy for me because I picked up people for church, dropped them off, taught a Sunday School class and preached to the Junior Church. I didn’t wake up until nearly ten in the morning that Monday. Shortly after I woke up the phone rang. As soon as I heard Richie’s voice, I instinctively knew why he was calling. He never called me that early and after the urgency I felt the day before concerning Howie I expected bad news.

Before Richie could tell me why he was calling, I said “Let me guess... Howie is dead.” Richie was shocked and wondered how I knew. I explained about the urgency I felt to offer the Gospel to Howie the day before. Richie then filled in the blanks by telling me that Howie had been driving on the Belt Parkway earlier that morning from Brooklyn to Queens when he apparently had a massive heart attack and died after his car went off the road and hit some kind of a wall.

I was sad, but satisfied that I had done everything I could to give Howie the Gospel the day before, and who knows: It’s always possible that he had second thoughts and accepted the lord before his death. Either way, Rose was devastated. Richie’s family asked me to go with them later that day to visit Rose and I agreed. I prayed with them all and Rose accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior that very day.

It’s important to understand that all these people came to the Lord because people, including myself, responded to the mission that God gives to all Believers as outlined in 1 Peter 2:1-5 (KJV):

[1] Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, [2] As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: [3] If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. [4] To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, [5] Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

We are to be ‘an holy priesthood’ offering ‘spiritual sacrifices’ to God. What are those? This is made clear in Mark 16:15 (KJV):

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

We have our marching orders from Jesus, what more do we need? Too many churches and believers are merely interested in "growing in the Word" instead of sharing it. Instead of standing on the promises, they remain seated on the premises of their church building.

The simple fact is that churches which do not emphasize soul winning and visitation do not grow properly or reproduce soul winners. They do not bring the "spiritual sacrifices" to the Lord that he has told us to bring to him. They become cold, dead and indifferent to the things of God opening the door wide open for Apostasy. Yes, we are supposed to learn the Bible and grow in Christ, but how can we do that if we are not obedient to the entire Word of God?

The great evangelist Billy Sunday once described dead churches where the only emphasis is on spiritual growth in this manner: He likened those preachers to giant baby bottles filled with milk who dispensed what they knew to their congregations through nipples. His point was that the members fed off the pastor and what he knew and were only able to handle the 'milk’ of the word without getting to the meat that Christians need to grow spiritually and obey God. The Lord doesn’t want us to become novice Bible Scholars, he wants us to learn his Word so that we can serve him.

God predicted the present state of people and many church congregations in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 (KJV):

[1] This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. [2] For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, [3] Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, [4] Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; [5] Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. [6] For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, [7] Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

While it is very important to learn God’s Word, it’s equally important to put it to work in your life. Remember, we are to be ‘an holy priesthood’ and that means getting the Gospel out to the unsaved. It doesn’t mean sitting back, getting fat on the Word and ignoring God’s commands to serve him.

Chapter Two: Soul Winning The Wrong Way

A few years after helping my home church to get started and grow, I found myself working to plant a church on Long Island. It was during this time that I took on a new job in Nassau County. I liked the job and worked alongside two other Christian young men that attended the church I was trying to help get started. The church had some problems getting people in the door. The pastor was a adept preacher and all the folks I met at that church seemed committed to making a go of it, so I went about trying to find out what was wrong.

The first problem I noticed was that half the church members came from a another nearby church that had been dead for years. It was an perfect of example of a church where the preacher preached pretty sermons, but no one hardly ever got saved or baptized. The people from this church had been poisoned by Hyper-Calvinism.

Calvinism is a kind of doctrinal teaching that misinterprets Scripture to make Christians believe that only people who have been chosen (elected) by God before the world began can be saved. The Bible doesn’t say that. God knew who would be saved before the world began because he knows everything past, present and future and, therefore, calls them out accordingly.

With Calvinism present, the next logical step was to judge people before witnessing to them and that’s exactly what happened. After I got to know the two other Christians I was working with, I noticed that one of them was quick to judge his co-workers. All the staff members were under thirty and many were in their early twenties. Some were still in college.

Needless to say, the young people we worked with were often foul-mouthed and many did drugs or got drunk on a regular basis. For this reason, one of my Christian co-workers named Larry simply refused to witness to them and gave them up as lost. It bothered him that they occasionally made negative comments about his faith and God in general. Well, of course they did because they were unsaved and did not know God!

The other Christian I worked with was a wonderful guy named David. He was a bit more circumspect about reaching his co-workers, but went along with Larry for friendship sake. Both Larry and David were Bible College graduates. They felt like it was their duty to invite their co-workers to church. If they were to be saved, that would happen at church and if they didn’t come, they were probably not meant to be saved anyhow. Huh???

I was only at my new job a few weeks when both Larry and David decided to quit. They found a very affordable and nice place to live that they would share, but it was too far away from the job. After also finding work closer to their new place, Larry started attending a different church. David remained at the one I was helping to plant for a bit longer.

After Larry and David left, I started to reach out to my co-workers. A few visited the church, but one responded to the Gospel. I was able to lead Marianne to the Lord after she came to a church service and allowed me to explain some Biblical concepts to her. She had an interest in the Bible, but her family were devote Catholics.

After accepting Jesus Christ as her Savior, Marianne started attending church with me. During this time another co-worker named Jay was in a terrible accident on the Long Island Expressway. He was taken to a hospital in Queens where he stayed for several weeks with a bad back injury. Marianne, myself and several other co-workers visited him there at different times.

I continued to share the Gospel with him, but he was still stinging over what he felt was a slight from Larry. While Larry was still at the job with Jay, David and I, Jay and another friend working there offered to help Larry with a church youth activity he was planning. He told them they couldn’t help because they were not church members. He also made it clear to them and everyone at work that they were far too decadent to come anywhere near young people.

While I understood his point, it wasn’t the right thing to say and I felt that Larry could have handled the situation far better. Meanwhile, I was becoming frustrated with the church I was trying to help plant and that frustration boiled over after Marianne and I went with the pastor to a rescue mission in downtown Manhattan (New York City). The pastor went there once every couple of months to preach.

The mission had been there for many years and existed to present the Gospel, feed the hungry and help alcohol and drug addicted people that needed assistance to and turn their lives around. The preacher gave a sermon about the prodigal son. That parable is found in Luke 15:11-32 (KJV):

[11] And he said, A certain man had two sons: [12] And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. [13] And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. [14] And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. [15] And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. [16] And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. [17] And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! [18] I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, [19] And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. [20] And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. [21] And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. [22] But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: [23] And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: [24] For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. [25] Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. [26] And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. [27] And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. [28] And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. [29] And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: [30] But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. [31] And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. [32] It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

I was stunned to discover that the pastor told the crowd how he could relate to the feelings of the older brother in the parable and felt sorry for him. The pastor was a preacher’s son and dwelled on the fact that he had been a devoted servant of Jesus. He played the piano and had a wonderful singing voice, but bemoaned the fact that every time he was invited to preach somewhere he was expected to ‘sing for his supper’ by playing the piano and singing before his sermon.

At the end of his sermon, I was taken aback by the fact that he did not ask everyone to stand for the invitation to be saved. No one came forward anyway. He later explained to me that he felt that because the people present had made such a terrible mess of their lives that they needed to take the extra step of standing to come forward to meet with us and find out how to be saved. huh???

While we were at the mission I had a few minutes to speak to the person who ran it. I told him how much I appreciated being able to come there and that I had a great appreciation for the work he was doing. He invited me to come and speak there two weeks later because another pastor had already canceled. I accepted the invitation, came to the Mission with Marianne and spoke about what the Bible taught about alcohol and why those present desperately needed to seek the Lord before it was too late.

We did ask everyone to stand and many came forward in response to the invitation. We spent quite a while with them and the person who ran the mission was astonished. After several people accepted the Lord, he told me that no one ever comes forward because if they do they miss out on the best pickings of the free meal that follows the Bible service and might actually miss out on the entire meal if they took too long.

I gave all those that came forward to be saved tracts and New Testaments and requested that the man who ran the place see that they were fed and paid special attention to helping them grow in the Lord and get straightened out. He agreed to do that for me and we all felt blessed.

I decided to cut ties with the church I was trying to help get started. I wasn’t a member there, explained my reasons for moving on to the pastor and we parted as friends. Marianne came with me when we started attending another new church that David found. I started helping them and all of us felt more comfortable there.

I wasn’t judging the other church or pastor, there was enough of that going on there already. I just felt that people should be given the Gospel or assistance without conditions. We’re all sinners and it is only the Grace of God and the gift of the death of His Son on the cross as payment for our sins that sets us apart from everyone else.

The Bible clearly states:

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6 (KJV)

“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.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

Helping people is the best testimony because it makes the Christian prove their faith and that faith becomes apparent to the lost. Too many Christians are all about judging people and worrying whether or not a family or individual is worthy of their help. I see it all the time. People have to fill out forms in triplicate before some churches or ‘Christian’ organizations will help them.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:44-48 (KJV):

[44] But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; [45] That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. [46] For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? [47] And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? [48] Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I am fairly certain that Jesus did not make people fill out a form before he taught, healed or helped them. In fact, the religious leaders criticized him for that.

The Bible states:

“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” Matthew 9:10-12 (KJV)

Jesus gives us an important admonition in Luke 6:27-38 (KJV) thats sets the standard for how we should behave:

[27] But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, [28] Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. [29] And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. [30] Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. [31] And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. [32] For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. [33] And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. [34] And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. [35] But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. [36] Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. [37] Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: [38] Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Even though many of the comments that Jesus made during his earthly ministry were directed to the Jews and not all the things he said in the four Gospels apply to Christians, I do believe these statements from the Book of Luke are applicable to Believers because many of them are echoed by the Apostles in later Books of the New Testament.

Chapter Three: Understanding The Bible Makes You A Better Soul Winner

I. You Can Understand and Rightly Divide The Word of God

The Bible is nothing more than a confusing book of stories, history and poetry to the unsaved. It certainly means more to Christians, but many Believers stumble because they cannot understand the way the Word of God is divided. Modernist theologians and preachers focus on the moral teachings found in the Bible and interpret these in their own ways. Even some Bible believing and Christ honoring Christians dwell on the milk, instead of the meat of the Word. If you want the meat, you have to understand the way in which the Bible is presented to people.

Let's begin by looking at how God uses his Word to reach people. He reaches out to the unsaved by presenting the Gospel. Simply defined, the Gospel is the message of Salvation through Jesus Christ. The Old Testament is filled with prophecies about the birth, life, work and death of Jesus. It leads us up to the point when Jesus comes to earth, dwells among people, teaches about the past-present-and future, shares the Gospel, tells his disciples to share the Gospel with the world, dies on the cross for our sins and is resurrected.

A Christian is a person who has responded to the Gospel by saying a simple prayer to God in which he or she has admitted they are a sinner, believed that Jesus Christ died for their sins and accepted his death on the cross as payment for their sins. The Bible describes the process necessary for Salvation in Romans 10:9-10 (KJV):

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Once saved, a new Christian needs what the Apostle Peter has called the milk of the word in 1 Peter 2:2: "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:" The milk is the Gospel and the teachings that form the basis of living the Christian Life.

Once a Christian starts reading the Bible, gets baptized, joins a local church and learns how to lead others to the Lord, they are ready to begin feeding on the meat of the Word. God expects us to progress in our lives as Christians to the point that we can begin to understand and use the meat of the Word to become teachers and leaders in our church and community. He makes this clear in Hebrews 5:12-14 (KJV) by scolding Believers that have not progressed:

"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

We become skillful in the "word of righteousness" by studying the Bible, not just reading it. This is made clear in 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV):

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

There are many divisions in the Word of God, but those most important to Believers are the ones described in the New Testament. Each division is a Dispensation. A Dispensation is a time frame, set of commands and promises from God. These time frames are found described in the Book of Ephesians and there are three of them. Each one represents God's commands and promises to the people of that particular time frame:

Time Past:

"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:" - Ephesians 2:11-12 (KJV)

This Dispensation describes a time when Gentiles (non-Jews) were separated from God as described in the Old Testament. Israel (the Jews) were to be God's People and live under the Law which God delivered to them. They were to serve and represent him on the Earth. That's why Jesus first offered the Gospel (Salvation) to the Jews. However, Israel kept turning away from God and breaking his Laws during Old Testament times. The Jews also rejected Jesus as their Messiah while he was on earth and after he died and was resurrected.

The period sometimes called the time of the Law and the Prophets extends from Genesis to Malachi. Next comes the time sometimes known as God's Kingdom which was at hand. This occurred during the time that Jesus walked the earth (and shortly after) when he offered salvation to the Jews, was rejected by them, had his disciples offer Salvation to the Jews after his resurrection and was again rejected by them. It extends from Matthew to John and part of Acts.

But Now:

"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." - Ephesians 2:13-22 (KJV)

This Dispensation, also known as the Dispensation of Grace, describes a time when the Gentiles are invited to become people of God by accepting the offer of Salvation through Jesus Christ. This occurs after most of the Jews reject the Gospel. Beginning in this time, the Gentiles are no longer separated from God. In fact, all people have the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Savior and have their sins forgiven during this dispensation. This fact is clearly presented in Romans 10:12-13 (KJV):

"For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

This fact is again reiterated as an invitation in Revelation 3:20 (KJV) where Jesus states:

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

We are currently living in the Dispensation of Grace. This is a time when the Mystery of the Gospel and Grace is first revealed. Jesus talked about it while he was still on Earth in Mark 4:10-12 (KJV):

"And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them."

Jesus tells his Apostles that God has revealed his plan for the Dispensation of Grace to them. Why? Because they believe in and follow him. Belief is the key to Salvation and the understanding of anything in God's Word. Those who do not believe (or do not want to believe) are spiritually blind and cannot understand or accept the gift of Salvation by grace. This blindness is accomplished by the Devil. This is made clear in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (KJV):

"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

Paul reveals the 'mystery' of the Dispensation of Grace in 1 Corinthians 1:25-29 (KJV):

"Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily."

This mystery was never spoken of in Old Testament prophecies. It includes the spiritual blindness of Israel that Jesus alluded to in Mark 4:10-12 and which will continue until all the gentiles that will be saved have been gathered up by God. The Dispensation of Grace period extends from Acts 28 to Philemon and includes the Rapture. That's a term we have given to an event described in II Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV):

"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

The suddenness of this event is described by Jesus in Matthew 24:36-42 (KJV):

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."

The Rapture is an event that includes part of the Second Coming of Christ which will occur in stages. During this first part, God will remove all the Christians from the Earth to protect them from the punishments which God is about to dispatch to the wicked.

The Ages To Come:

"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 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." - Ephesians 2:5-9 (KJV)

This is a time when God will accomplish many things including the restoration of Israel (believing Jews) and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. This period extends from Hebrews to Revelation. It includes the appearance, defeat and punishment of the Anti-Christ, the wrath of God and his judgment on un-believers, seven years of tribulation, the visual ("...every eye shall see him..." - Revelation1:7) or second part of the Second Coming of Jesus, a one thousand year rein of Christ on Earth, the great White Throne judgment and much more.

Knowing about these three basic divisions described in the New Testament will help you to better understand the Bible. It's important to understand that all scripture is available for us to read, but not all scripture is written to us or about us. This is why is it essential to rightly divide the Word of God so that we may fully and correctly understand it and become proficient in its use.

II. Learn and Understand The Fundamentals of the Faith

I became a Christian in 1972 after attending a service at a youth ministry. Like so many others that were saved through that ministry, I came from an old line denominational religious background. After accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior, I began to wonder why the Lutheran Church that I attended with my parents did not preach the Gospel as simply as the youth ministry did. I wondered WHY they did not tell people that they needed to be born again. The answer to that question seemed obvious, but was weighed down in theological double talk that took me years to translate.

As I grew in Christ, I finally came to the startling and sad conclusion that the gospel being preached in the Lutheran Church I came out of was not the same gospel that I heard at the youth meeting. It is easy to understand why the Apostle Paul continually warned Believers to avoid false teachers and the gospels they were trying to share.

The Bible tells us in Galatians 1:6-12 (KJV):

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."

Paul clearly spells out the attributes of the gospel that he and others delivered to sinners in Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV):

"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."

More than just thinking or knowing about it, we must make a decision at some point in our life to accept the free gift that God offers. We can't just say, "Oh, how nice. Christ died for me and now I am headed to Heaven." Paul explains how in these verses:

"But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:8-13 (KJV)

At some point in our life we pray the sinner's prayer accepting the free gift of salvation by admitting we're sinners and asking Jesus to forgive our sins. It sounds simple and it is. There are no works involved or anything we can do to purchase or earn our salvation. It's free and that's that.

The "other" gospels that Paul warned about are never simple and they always end up adding or subtracting something from the teachings found in God's Word. Millions of people sitting in churches all over the world this Sunday will eventually die and go to hell because they listened to another gospel; one that came from a corrupt teacher, teaching corrupt doctrines from a corrupted book (bad translation of the Bible).

In order to get far enough away from true doctrine, the devil has managed to convince people that they are using an antiquated version of the Word of God. The whole thing began innocently enough with various Bible Scholars trying to update the words found in the King James Version of the Bible to modern language. However, it wasn't just an update, it was a series of new translations and transliteration based on corrupt interpretations that attacked the very heart of sound Christian doctrine.

Here is a list of eight specific areas of sound doctrine that new versions of the Bible and those that support them most frequently attack, try to deny or change which create a "modern" and terribly corrupt gospel that will not save anyone from anything:

1. The Virgin Birth of Christ

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS." Matthew 1:18-25 (KJV)

Some versions of the Bible substitute 'young woman' for virgin, removing the miraculous nature of Christ's conception and birth. This would make Jesus like any other man. It is any wonder why so many churches today merely refer to him as a 'great teacher.' Well, he may be a great teacher to them, but he is God to me! If he is not God, he cannot lead a sinless life...

2. The Sinless Life Of Christ

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” I Peter 1:18-19 (KJV)

Only a sinless Savior can die and pay for our sins on the cross. If he was a sinner, he would be like everyone else and, perhaps, just a great teacher espousing worthwhile sentiments. But, that is not the case. He came to Earth as God in the flesh. The attack on the diety of Christ and his sinless nature has gotten to the point that many liberal theologians and preachers look at the Bible as a 'Paper Pope."

They want nothing to do with an 'antiquated book' teaching an 'antiquated gospel' and view the Word of God as a book filled with a few good suggestions and ideas that support Humanism. That philosophy rejects traditional morality and established doctrine as defined in the Bible and seeks to redefine the search for spiritual fulfillment by examining the human spirit in the light of the complete reinterpretation of Bible teachings. These apostate teachers, preachers and theologians believe that Bible teachings have to be viewed and interpreted in the light of "modern" ideas, newly established societal norms and progressive thought and attitudes.

Humanism has birthed such ideas as, "If it feels good, do it" and "Everyone is basically good." Is it little wonder why so many people are divorced today, do not care for their children or abandon their family to "find themselves." Humanism creates excuses for people to involve themselves in all sorts of deviant and even unlawful behavior. If someone kills people, they are not bad, just sick and in need of treatment.

Let's see what the Bible says about trusting God verses trusting ourselves or other people:

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." Jeremiah 17:7-10 (KJV)

3. The Vicarious Death of Christ

"...Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." I Peter 2:21-24 (KJV)

Also called the substitutionary death or atonement, this means that Christ died in place of us to pay for our sins. Only a sinless Savior could do that, not merely a great teacher. If Christ was not born miraculously, he could not be God and could not be a sinless Savior. Here we see how by rejecting one fundamental, the others fall like a house of cards.

This is the very basis for much of what liberal theologians believe. They seek to reinterpret the Bible to agree with 'human reason' believing that the Bible is not a reasonable book to believe by the standards of most educated people. The Bible explains their actions well:

"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." 1 Corinthians 1:17-21 (KJV)

4. The Victorious Resurrection of Christ

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time." 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (KJV)

This is yet another Fundamental of the Christian Faith that is under attack. Liberal theologians constantly stress the 'human' side and nature of Christ. After all, if he rose from the dead he really was God. if not, he was a great teacher espousing worthwhile sentiments and suggestions for the pattern of human behavior.

Some even prefer to paint Jesus as a Jewish Revolutionary bent on stirring up rebellion against Rome in his day, therefore using him as an example to ferment rebellion today. Others still have Jesus on the cross suffering for our sins everyday. These explanations come from another gospel, not mine.

The Bible gives us the truth and predicts that people will abandon Scripture in favor of false teaching more and more as time goes on:

"Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness." 2 Timothy 2:8-16 (KJV)

5. The Visible Return

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:13-14 (KJV)

"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:7-8 (KJV)

The Bible makes it clear that Jesus will come back to Earth as a triumphant Savior in a manner that is visible to all. Those who wish to deny this fact do so in the hope that they can remove the divine nature from Jesus. Again, they seek a humanist humanitarian, not a risen Savior who died for the sins of the world.

6. The Triune God

"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:1-17 (KJV)

The third chapter of Matthew in the New Testament is a perfect illustration of the fact that we worship a triune God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Those who seek to separate any or all of the Triune God do so to rob God of divinity or try to prove that Jesus Christ was not the Messiah who died for the sins of the whole world.

7. The Infallible Word Of God and The Perfect Preservation of the Bible

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men." John 1:1-4 (KJV)

Jesus Christ came to Earth as God and, according to the Gospel of John, was also the very living Word of God. When he spoke, he spoke with the power and authority of God because he is God. Is it any wonder why those who hate the truth would seek to attack and defame the Bible?

The Bible also says:

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)

All Scripture is inspired by God and he has delivered it down through the centuries for us, ready to use in our daily lives. His Word is perfect and without blemish. It began with those he allowed to write down His Words:

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1 :19-21 (KJV)

Can we trust that today we have the Word of God, perfect in every way and ready to come alive in our hearts, thoughts and life? The Bible gives us the answer:

"The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Psalms 12:6-7 (KJV)

I believe that God has passed His Word, perfect and intact, down to us today. Personally, I use the King James Version (also known as the Authorized Version) of the Bible. Why? Let's compare the same verse I just presented to you in both the King James Version and the New International Version:

KJV:

"The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Psalms 12:6-7 (KJV)

NIV:

"And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. O Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever."

What??? The NIV, like so many other new versions of the Bible, seems to remove the doctrine of Perfect Preservation. That's because many of the liberal theologians that support it would have you to believe that only the original manuscripts (or their copies) are perfect and infallible, if that. However, there are a number of these manuscripts and various denominations and sects pick them apart and choose those that suit their own beliefs the best.

Even worse, many of these false teachers and preachers believe that the Word of God is an evolving work that grows with people's ability to understand and obey it. This supports the philosophy of humanism by passing off the Bible as a working model for individual and societal behavior. For example, they would teach "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" in Matthew 5:5 as literal; but would say that "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" in Matthew 10:28 as more of a parable that warns against self-destructive behavior and the earthly consequences of it.

The scholars that gave us the King James Version of the Bible prayed and fasted before beginning their work.

They chose only the most reliable copies of the original manuscripts to translate from and compared all the manuscripts available to them before translating.

I believe that God used them to deliver His Word to the English-speaking world. I trust the King James Version as the very Word of God and I am not alone. Great men of God down through the centuries have taught and preached from the KJV. Now four hundred years old, the King James Bible has proven itself over and over again to be the Word of God.

Let's face it: If we do not have a reliable Bible, we do not have a reliable Gospel, Savior or Salvation to depend on. That's why the devil uses various people to attack the Bible and pervert it into new and watered down translations.

8. The Priesthood Of Believers

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Peter 2:1-5 (KJV)

These verses make it clear what God expects of Christians. We are to offer up "spiritual sacrifices" by sharing the gospel with a lost world. Appearing to his followers after he died and rose again from the grave, Jesus told his followers:

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15

We have our marching orders from Jesus, what more do we need? Too many churches and believers are merely interested in "growing in the Word" instead of sharing it. Instead of standing on the promises, they remain seated on the premises of their church building. The simple fact is that churches that do not emphasize Soul Winning do not grow. They do not bring the "spiritual sacrifices" to the Lord that he has told us to bring to him. They become cold and dead and indifferent to the things of God.

Yes, we are supposed to learn the Bible and grow in Christ, but how can we do that if we are not obedient to the entire Word of God? Understanding, accepting and following the Fundamentals of the Christian Faith will keep you from apostasy (the abandonment and renunciation of belief in what God teaches us in his Word) and help you to grow in the Lord.

Chapter Four: Soul Winning The Right Way

I. How To Use ‘The Roman Road’ For Soul Winning

The Roman Road: A Biblical Highway That Leads To A Personal Relationship with God

The ROMAN ROAD is a tried and true method of explaining why people need a Savior and how they can accept Jesus Christ and be sure of Heaven as soon as they do. This method of soul winning is superior to most others in that it allows the Soul Winner to simply explain SIN'S PRESENCE, SIN'S PENALTY and SIN'S PAYMENT by following an easy path through, basically, one Book of the New Testament (the Book of Romans, King James Version), with just a brief stop in just a few others (optional).

There are various versions of THE ROMAN ROAD, so I will present to you the one that has been most successful for me and many other Soul Winners that I know. It's simple, easy to memorize, quick and can easily be underlined in your Bible. Begin by making a note somewhere in the front of your Bible. Write down the first verse of the Roman Road which is Romans 3:10. This will give you an easy starting point until you become familiar with the Roman Road.

Underline each verse of The Roman Road in your Bible. Make sure it is a full size Bible and I highly recommend that it be a large print type for easy reading and presentation. After each verse, carefully write in the next verse. For example (Romans 3;10 is the starting point, Romans 3:23 is next):

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” 3:23

It doesn't take long to show a sinner the way of salvation using the Roman Road, so it's really convenient for almost any occasion and works well in most any environment. The key is to keep in mind that most people you speak to know little or no Scripture, and they are unlikely to stand still or be patient enough for some long, drawn out or over-dramatic presentation. You have to catch their interest and keep it. The Roman Road does that for you.

STEP ONE: Begin your presentation with this provocative question: IF YOU DIED RIGHT NOW, DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE THAT YOU WOULD GO TO HEAVEN?

Try to obtain their answer with a simple YES or NO . If they say YES, ask them how they know. Most will say they are doing their best to live a good life, go to church or help others. Some will simply say they don't believe in Heaven or Hell and try to shut you down immediately. If that happens, try to get them to listen to what you have to say by offering up the idea that they might be wrong or ask them if they would give you a chance to hear your side of the story.

If they say NO, they do not know for sure about Heaven, explain that you can show them how they can know for sure about Heaven and that you can do it right from God's Word. Then get right into the next step.

STEP TWO: Turn to Romans 3:10

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:"

Everyone is a sinner, even those who try to "be good" or "do good works". Most people would not argue with that fact and that is made even more clear in the next step.

STEP THREE: Turn to Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

Even those trying to be good are told, in no uncertain terms, that their efforts are in vain. God has already judged the actions of all humans and found them to be sinful.

STEP FOUR: Turn to Romans 5:12

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"

Adam was the first man and his sin in the Garden of Eden caused every person that followed to be born with a sinful nature. That means that no matter how hard we try, we are going to do things that are wrong at one time or another.

STEP FIVE: Turn to Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Concentrate on the first part of that verse for this Step)

There is a wage, or payment for sin and that is PHYSICAL DEATH. We know this because Adam eventually grew old and died and so have people born after him ever since. But a lot of people do not know that there is also another kind of death included in that wage for sin.

STEP SIX: Turn to Revelation 20:14

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."

The wage for sins is not just physical death, but also spiritual death in Hell. Hell is a place of eternal regret and torment. No one in their right mind would want to go there. Fortunately, God has provided an escape from that terror.

STEP SEVEN: Turn to Romans 6:23 again.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Concentrate on the second part of that verse for this Step)

God offers us the gift of Salvation. He sent his son, Jesus Christ, to the Earth to die on the cross for our sins. Because it is a gift, there is NOTHING we can do to earn it. It's FREE.

STEP EIGHT: Turn 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."

These verses make it crystal clear that NO ONE can earn Salvation. No one can work or buy their way to Heaven and no person can claim that they got to Heaven because they were better than someone else. Christ already paid the penalty for our SINS - past, present and future. It's a GIFT, and like any other gift, all we need do to have it is to ACCEPT IT and the Bible clearly tells us how to do that.

STEP NINE: Turn to Romans 10:9-10, 13

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

All we need do to accept God's FREE GIFT of Salvation through Jesus Christ is to ask for it. According to verse 13, anyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord will be saved (no matter how good or bad they believe they are). According to verses 9 and 10, all we have to do to accept the GIFT of Salvation is to believe in our heart that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that God raised Him from the dead and to confess that belief with our mouth to God. We can do that by praying a simple prayer. Ask the person you're speaking to if they would like to do that right now. Offer to pray along with them. Provide them with the words, if necessary.

A SIMPLE PRAYER TO ACCEPT JESUS AS SAVIOR: Dear God, I admit that I am a Sinner. I now believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins and was raised from the dead. I accept your gift of Salvation and ask that Jesus save me from Hell right now. Thank you, Lord.

STEP TEN: Turn to II Corinthians 5:17 if they have prayed a prayer to accept the Lord.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Explain the BASICS of their NEW LIFE to them and lend a hand:

The Bible clearly teaches that once we accept Jesus as our Savior, we begin a new life in Christ. Because we are still not perfect and will continue to make mistakes from time to time, God is always ready to forgive us when we do sin as long as we express regret at making bad choices and ask for His forgiveness through prayer. Those sins will not send us to Hell, but God (like any Father who cares about their child) will punish us here on Earth in order to make us aware that we have done something that can cause trouble for us unless we ask for His forgiveness. God will also send the Holy Spirit to dwell in those who accept Jesus as their Savior. He will helps to keep us on the right path and open up the Scriptures so we can understand them. A good place to start reading the Bible is in the New Testament Gospel according to Luke. At the same time, it's wise to begin a daily prayer life and speak to God at least once or twice a day. He is ready, willing and able to answer our prayers and help us live a happy and fulfilling life.

Offer to help new Christians by inviting them to your church, studying the Bible with them and even praying with (and for) them. It's easy for new Believers to fall away unless we take the time to mentor them and make sure they get the help and fellowship they need to get started in the right direction!

Part of getting New Believers headed in the right direction is to be ready to answer their questions and offer to study the bible with them at their own pace. You should also make it clear that they should consider the following steps as part of their new walk with God:

- Get baptized (water baptism by immersion) as taught in the Word. - Tell others about your new faith in Christ. - Get in the habit of praying and reading some portion of Scripture each day. - Fellowship with other life-minded Believers. - Find a Bible-believing local church to attend and ,eventually, join it.

A FINAL WORD ABOUT THE ROMAN ROAD:

The key to using the Roman Road is to keep it simple. Let the Lord convict the heart of the Sinner and allow the Word of God to do most of your talking for you. Remember, you are there just to provide enlightenment when it comes to the meaning of the Scriptures. You do not need to provide long theological explanations, just short statements of fact so that the person that you're speaking with can understand what they are reading. ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT THEY READ ALONG WITH YOU as you go through the Roman Road. I sincerely pray that God will bless your efforts and hope that you, in turn, will pray for me.

Chapter Five: Follow Up and Visitation Essentials

Hebrews 10:22-25 (KJV):

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Follow-up and Visitation is as important to the local church as any service. That’s because it helps to fulfill the Great Commission to preach the Gospel to all, reaches out to New Christians, and allows a point of personal contact between the pastor, the congregation, members of the church and visitors. It is the best way to let new converts, members and visitors know that someone cares. It’s not enough just to make new converts, members and visitors feel welcome during services, we must let them know that we are concerned about them and willing to go the extra mile.

Luke 14:16-24 (KJV):

“Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”

Jesus has made His Will very clear in this parable and he always practiced what he preached. Jesus taught in the synagogues whenever he could, but he also went out to where the people were to give them the Gospel and encourage them to worship God. If that meant feeding or healing to get them to listen and believe, he did that. Jesus did whatever he could to engage people. If you are not doing the same, you are not obedient to God.

Types of Visitation:

I. Follow-Up

Every church should have a comprehensive follow-up program to deal with New Christians. It’s wrong to just hand a New Christian some booklet about their new life and wish them Godspeed, you need to teach and disciple them! Start with the essentials. They them that they need to...

- Get baptized (water baptism by immersion) as taught in the Word. - Tell others about their new faith in Christ. - Get in the habit of praying and reading some portion of Scripture each day. - Fellowship with other life-minded Believers. - Visit the church and join it.

Pastors should create a discipleship program that visitation teams can use to instruct New Believers. Keep it short, simple and to the point. The best way for New Christians to learn is by hearing and doing. Get them into church so they can grow and immediately put their new faith to work. Find the best fit in church programs for New Believers and NEVER discourage them. Assign each New Believer a personal mentor who will take responsibility for their church attendance and growth.

II. In Personal

There are three types of visitation available to churches and all have the potential to win souls, help the church grow and allow members to obediently serve the Lord:

1. Members

It’s easy to neglect church members, even those that attend services on a regular basis can be forgotten. All church members should be visited at least once during the year. Those that only come on Sundays should be visited every one or two months. Visitation is an excellent time to encourage members that do not attend all the church services to start coming out more often for midweek meetings, special events or Bible studies.

Visitation teams should make every effort to get a commitment from these types of members to come out to a midweek service, special event or other function at least once. This is also the perfect opportunity to evangelize and engage family members that may be a part of the household, but do not attend services. Every visitation team should carry soul winning materials and a list of weekly or monthly events so that they can make members and others in their household aware of what is available to them at the church.

2. Visitors

Anytime someone new comes to church for the first time it is essential to visit them that very same week if at all possible. Visitation teams should always have soul winning materials (tracts, Bibles, New Testaments), church brochures, membership requirements for those interested in joining the church, and a church activities list available. Soul winning comes first. If they are not saved, they need to be. If they are saved, get them into the church door.

Visitors may require a ride to church or have other needs that you can help them out with. Don’t wait for them to ask, if you see or sense a need, ask them about it. Bring note taking materials and write down any questions, concerns, inquiries or needs that visitors have. Turn these over to the pastor or the appropriate person who can help at the church. Follow up on these matters is essential. If you make a promise, keep it!

3. Shut Ins, Jails and Hospitals, Health Recovery Centers and Nursing Homes

The Bible provides specific directions about how Christians should serve the Lord when it comes to visitation and social responsibilities in Matthew 25:31-46 (KJV):

[31] When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: [32] And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: [33] And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. [34] Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: [35] For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: [36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. [37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? [38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? [39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? [40] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. [41] Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: [42] For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: [43] I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. [44] Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? [45] Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. [46] And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

It’s easy to neglect these areas of visitation because they are unlikely to produce new church members or visitors, but that’s not the point. God wants us to reach out to people in His Name and do the work that he has commanded us to do. You can dance around this issue all you want to, but I believe that any church that doesn’t reach out to shut-ins and those in jails, health recovery centers and nursing homes is not obedient to the Savior. Many people have a burden for this type of visitation. As your visitation program grows, you will discover that various members of your teams excel in one area or another. People should be assigned to serve with that in mind.

III. Electronic

We live in a day when email and social media rule the realm. It would be wise to offer members, in-person visitors and web site visitors the opportunity to sign up for email newsletters. Not having to publish a paper newsletter saves a lot of money and people that have an interest in the Lord will probably read your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly ezine or email newsletter. These should not be wordy, get right to the point, inspire and motivate Christians, and always provide people with the opportunity to contact someone by email and phone for prayer, questions or other inquiries.

If you do not have a web site or social media (Examples: facebook, twitter), get them and do it fast. Place Twitter and Facebook buttons on your web site so people can LIKE it or tweet their friends about it. You can visit my web site at http://gthomy.tripod.com to see how I make use of these things.

IV. Phone

There are many younger or older Christians who, as church members, can easily feel neglected because they are unable to participate in soul winning and visitation or other church programs due to age (younger or older) or physical limitations. Engage these folks by getting them busy on the phone! If they want to serve, give them call lists of people to contact.

You can also have volunteers answer prayer lines or take general interest calls. There is a job for everyone in the church if we care enough to get our members involved. Have volunteers keep phone logs and take notes. Make sure that any contacts are reported to the appropriate person at church and followed up on as soon as possible.

Chapter Six: Let The Lord Lead You

“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Psalm 127:1 (KJV)

Always allow God to run things. I can tell you from experience that he will put people and situations in front of you that provide plenty of opportunities to serve Him. God uses people to reach people and he is a faithful partner in your labors. God will open the hearts of those he sends your way. All you need do is share the gospel with the lost, invite Christians to church and meet the needs of those who require help as best you can.

People love to do things their own way or follow some program that somebody thought might work, but God has a soul winning and visitation program and has clearly laid out marching orders for us. All we need to do is respond by obeying him. Doing things God’s way is more important than how much flows into the offering plate, how new or big the church building is or meeting the expectations of people.

“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” I Samuel 15:22 (KJV)

If you have questions or would like to contact me, please send an email to youcantrustgod@gmail.com or visit my web site at http://gthomy.tripod.com

- Missionary Bill