PRACTICAL ISSUES ON SALVATION

“The Lord is my strength and song and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him”   Exodus 15:2

          I like the following illustration. Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman, famous evangelist, said that the New Testament records tell of forty people, each suffering from the same disease, who were healed by Jesus. Of this number, thirty-four were either brought to Jesus by friends, or He was taken to them. In only six cases out of forty did the sufferers find the way to Jesus without assistance. Of the vast number of people who find their way to Jesus today, most of them reach Him because the friends of Jesus are concerned about the welfare of their souls.[1]

          Dr. Chapman’s illustration captures the essence of what I have been trying to say these past couple of days. If lost are going to be healed from their sin disease then we had better get busy bringing them to Him!

          Today I will take a different approach in our study. Rather than focusing on theological issues I want to give some practical advice about sharing our faith with others. I will be sharing five key principles with you.

          1.  We must not get discouraged when we share the gospel and a person does not get saved. Nor should we blame ourselves if they refuse to accept Jesus as Lord. After all, Jesus told us in the Parable of the Sower that when the seed was scattered some fell on the “wayside”, some on “stony ground”, some “among thorns”, and some on “good ground.”  Out of all four locations only one was truly saved.

          2.  The second principle flows out of the first; we must realize that God is not looking for success but rather He is looking for faithfulness. I am so glad that God will not judge me based on how many people come to Christ through my ministry. After all, I can’t control whether people get saved or not. But I will be judged by my faithfulness! This scares me because I know that too often we are not faithful in sharing the gospel and we will one day be held accountable.

          3.  If we plan on seeing a harvest in our generation then we must get out among the lost and sow some seed. We would give strange looks to a farmer who tells us that he will reap a harvest from his unplanted field. Yet we think nothing of the seedless community that we live in and wonder why we don’t see more people coming to Christ. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:5-6: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”

          4.  If we plan on seeing a harvest we need to pray for workers! Jesus told the disciples to do this in Matthew 9:38: “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” I believe that we would see more people in Level Plains come to Christ if we just had more workers to send out. Instead, we have lost our zest for evangelism and need prayer for renewal.

          5.  Prayer is the greatest outreach tool we have! We should not only pray for the laborers to be sent but we should also pray (by name) for the lost. I like the example of George Mueller,

More than half a century ago, George Mueller, that prince of intercessors with God, began to pray for a group of five personal friends. After five years one of them came to Christ. In ten years, two more of them found peace in the same Savior. He prayed on for twenty-five years, and the fourth man was saved. For the fifth he prayed until the time of his death, and this friend, too, came to Christ a few months afterwards.

For this latter friend, Mr. Mueller had prayed almost fifty-two years! When we behold such perseverance in prayer, we feel that we have scarcely touched the fringe of real importunity in our intercessions for others.[2]

For Further Study

1.      Are you being faithful to share the gospel with others?

2.    Make a list of three lost people you need to begin praying for this week.

3.    Please pray that God will rise up workers in our church. Are you willing to be one of those workers?

 Today’s Prayer

          Form your own prayer today based off of this less0n. Begin now to pray for your lost friends by name and for workers to be raised up in our church.

[1]Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

[2]Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.