|Volume 21 Number 3 March 2019||
Most people believe that as long as one is sincere and honest about his religious beliefs that it does not matter what one does religiously and that all religious people will finally enter Heaven. In essence, all humanity is trying to worship and please the same God who is the Creator of all things, including man. All humanity has sinned against God. Yet, the world is very much divided religiously. There are many faiths and many different beliefs about origins. In almost every religion on earth there are many honest and sincere people who are trying their best to please God and thus hope that He will open the door of Heaven for them when they leave their earthly existence.
However, the fact is that being sincere and honest does not always and necessarily mean that one is right. One may sincerely drink or swallow poison from a wrongly labeled bottle of medicine, honestly believing it to be the right medicine, and die. Poison will not save one, no matter how sincerely it is taken. The Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25). Through the account of the wise and the foolish builder, Christ taught a very powerful lesson on this subject that we all need to heed. He said:
Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness. Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house: and it fell. And great was its fall. (Matthew 7:21-27)
In this narrative, Christ taught that many on earth are living with false hope, thinking and believing that whatever they are doing in His name to please God will be acceptable. However, it is not going to be true on the Day of Judgment when many will discover that they were on a wrong way (Matthew 7:13-14).
God has appointed Jesus Christ as the one Mediator between God and man through whom every individual can be reconciled to God (1 Timothy 2:5; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21). Based on what He has done for the salvation of man from sin (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10), He declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Through Jesus, we learn what we should do to be saved (Mark 16:16). He taught the way we all must worship God acceptably (John 4:24). He should be our example in life (1 Peter 2:21). If we want God to receive us in Heaven, we must hear what He taught and do what He said. Only by doing that can we make sure that we are on the way that is right and which will lead us to Heaven.
Winning Souls for Christ
Mark T. Tonkery
Proverbs 11:30 states, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.” The New Testament continues to emphasize the winning of souls by teaching us to make disciples in Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15-16. Once one has been won to Christ, he is to continue being taught. Acts 2:42 tells us to be devoted to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. Acts 8:39 tells us to continue to rejoice in our salvation. First Corinthians 1:17 tells us to keep preaching the Gospel. When each Christian makes disciples, teaching the Gospel, fellowshipping, praying, rejoicing and serving, we will win souls. According to Acts 2:47 and Acts 16:5, this is what the church did in the first century; Christians won souls daily.
When was the last time you “won a soul for Christ”? When was the last time you taught someone the Scriptures about how to become a Christian? When was the last time you saw a person baptized and become a new creation in Christ? When was the last time you invited someone to worship services?
We have seen the church winning souls in the past, and now it is time to get back to winning souls for Christ. Unfortunately, too many Christians are just baptized and are not involved in the work of winning souls for Christ. For too many Christians, they have not been taught that Christianity is a total conversion and commitment to the cause of Christ, which includes winning souls for Christ.
One’s conversion is just the beginning of one’s salvation. God wants our whole hearts, minds, bodies and actions. He wants us to be totally converted to His cause. God wants every Christian doing and modeling His will in their daily lives. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20). Can this statement be our statement? Have we crucified our souls, minds, hearts, bodies and actions with Christ? Are we totally committed to Christ and to winning souls for the kingdom of God?