Sunday school notes; lesson by S.V. on August 3, 2008
6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Our church has a growing relationship with Bearing Precious Seed Ministries. What this ministry does is prints out copies of the KJV bible, John & Romans, and New Testaments in various languages, puts them together and sends them to churches in the countries where the languages are spoken (free). We've had two opportunities now to have 2-3 days at a time to bind the scripture booklets together. This ministry prints the scriptures, and churches put forth the labor in binding them or putting them together to be shipped off. It's a partnership in getting the Word of God to people who otherwise would not have it.
Our church completed another scripture project this past week and in addition to what is being shipped out today (the day this article was written), we completed 20,000 John & Romans with customized covers for our own church. The covers have our church information, picture, etc ... we are about to do a "40 days of prayer and fasting", and when we are finished with that we are going to go out into our community as groups and pass them out, inviting people to our church. Sound familiar? (I've always thought the JWs were so dedicated to their cause in the way they covered total areas in groups like they do...)
So our lesson for Sunday school was soulwinning, and how to mark our bibles and / or use the John / Romans booklets to lead someone to Christ. A very good but forgotten point among a lot of Christians was made: we pray for God to use us, but do we let him? We ALL are called to be soul winners if we are saved, yet how many of us actually participate in soul winning activities and actions? You have to actually GO soul winning, not just think about it or think people will just come to you! The bible says "He that goeth forth..." - not "he that stayeth home" "he that lives righteously", but "He that goeth forth..".
A marked bible is just one of the tools to use when witnessing to a lost person. I remember our teacher telling a story of a man that cold not read. However, he knew the scriptures necessary to talk to someone who was lost in order to lead them to the Lord. He started out with the first, and had the person read the verses to him, and he talked to them about it. His bible was marked so the person flipped the pages and read each verse and they talked about the need for salvation and Jesus' finished work on the cross at Calvary. The man could not read, yet he was still an effective soul winner!
I learned there are advantages to using the John & Romans booklets when witnessing. There are three definite ones.
1) You can leave it with the person you are talking to.
These booklets have the whole books of the gospel of John, and the book of Romans in their entirety. In those two books, is the picture of Calvary and the plan of salvation. Even if they do not get saved when you are talking to them, they have the ability to go forward with the information needed provided in the back of the booklet, and be saved.
2) People are less likely to throw these away.
Even lost people have respect for the bible, and a John and Romans is indeed, two books from the bible! These booklets just might linger for a good while in some one's car or home, to be there at a different season in their life where they might be more receptive to the gospel and plan of salvation. The opposite is likely true for regular tracts (though tracts are equally valuable.) Tracts are more easily disposable.
3) You can get the person started in reading the bible.
Those two books are just enough to wet the appetite for a new believer. It's a good jumping off point!
How to mark your own bible for witnessing purposes:
1) Have a starting point. Turn to Romans 3:23.
23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
ALL of us have sinned, and unless one understands this first, how will they understand the need for salvation? Sin was the entire reason for the cross, why else do we need to be saved?
A person can go their whole life and not go to the doctor. One day they can wake up not feeling well and go, to find out they have cancer. They find out there have been screenings available for years to catch cancer early to have a better chance of recovering, but theirs is aggressive and advanced. If they had known about the screenings, they would have partaken in them. The same applies to salvation. UNTIL one understands that they are a sinner and needs salvation, they will never accept salvation because they do not understand the need that they have. How many people die not having that understanding and go to hell because of it? It's too late then :o(
2) Mark the passage and note what it means if need be, and write down where to turn next- which would be:
23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Because we have sinned, there is a penalty for our sin. That penalty is death, and nothing less according to the bible. Jesus Christ was sent to pay that debt for us.
8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Jesus is the one, and our salvation lies in Him and Him ALONE. He is the one that paid the wages for our sin, for ALL of our sin, and that was death. It happened on the cross at Calvary, and he done so willingly, for us!
9That 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.
10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Anyone who calls upon Him, who puts their faith and trust in Him can have their sins forgiven. "Whosoever" means ANYONE and everyone!
12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Whosoever calls upon Him for salvation and receives him as their Savior, He gives them power to become a son of God. You could stop and the verses would be complete here.
3) Lead them in the sinner's prayer.
I know a lot of people disagree with the idea of "the sinner's prayer", but it needs to be understood that it's not the prayer that saves- it is the confession with one's mouth that they are a sinner in need of salvation, is what saves a person. But confession must indeed be made in order for one to be saved! Praying is talking to God, s unless you ask God for forgiveness of your sins and acknowledge the need for salvation, there is absolutely NO WAY one can be saved. So, one must pray in order to be saved.
Isn't it said "Communication is the key to every relationship"? That applies to God, too!
4) If you are using a John & Romans, there are helps in the back of the booklet that can get one started in their Christian walk. It is similar to this post from Apples of Gold ministries.
5) Encourage the person to get into a good, bible believing - preaching church as soon as possible whether they are saved at the time of your conversation or not!
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
I would like to hear your witnessing stories- things you have done to communicate the gospel with people, ways you have shown God's love towards others recently. Please leave a comment! *CG