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Winning Souls, part 5
The second reason we turn people to righteousness is for their sake.
Consider the words of James, the head of the Jerusalem Church. He closes his letter to the Jews with this message: James 5:19-20 “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
Periodically we have to come to grips with the fact that if a person does not have a personal relationship with Christ they are not going to heaven. Nobody has a special dispensation. This is the day of salvation by grace, and by no other means. A person cannot do good works and make it to heaven. No one is saved because of some religious position they hold in the church. All people are saved ONLY through the blood of Jesus Christ, as it washes away the sin of our past. In fact, the blood of Christ will cover a multitude of sins when a person repents and recognizes their need of a savior.
Therefore, God is looking for men and women of wisdom who work diligently at turning the wandering heart back to the truth. When James says, “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back,” he is talking about a brother or sister in the Lord wandering away from the truth. This is what we call a backslider. James implies that this one, who at one time knew the truth, will die in their sin if they are not brought back to the faith.
One day as Jesus was talking to the Sadducees, He said, (Matthew 22:29) “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” The Sadducees were ministers - but not very good ministers. Not only did they not know the Scriptures, they did not know the power of God; subsequently, they could not turn people to righteousness. They could not take God at His Word and so Jesus corrects them.
Do you remember our definition of wisdom? It's "all the knowledge and understanding necessary for a consistent Christian life." Have you ever tried to live a consistent Christian life without regular times in the Word of God and Prayer?
If you are going to be wise and a winner of souls you will find that nothing you have ever undertaken will call for more power. There is a finer use of power and skills in soul winning than any other activity. Diplomacy, tact, and fine-tuned management, must be at your command. You will need to be a wise man/woman to do such work. Winning souls is no simple task. And yet that IS the calling of EVERY follower of Christ. END
Medication: A Merry Heart
A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. (This was in the days when a service station attendant actually pumped the gas for you.) The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him in front of the service station. Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump.
“Reverend,” said the young man, “sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip.”
The minister chuckled, “I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business."
God Bless, Have a Great Weekend!
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: Isaiah 58:10-11 ESV
Today’s readings: Exodus 30 – 32
Saturday: Exodus 33 – 35
Sunday: Exodus 36 – 38