To be fruitful is one of the basic and foundational commandments of Jesus to his true believers.  As Christians, we are expected to win souls into the Kingdom of God.  We cannot be satisfied that “my four and no more” have made it into the Kingdom of God or are on the right path to getting there.  We must be concerned about all of mankind and do our best to compel them to come into the ark of safety.  Soul winning is sometimes frustrating because ultimately it is the responsibility of each man and woman to receive Jesus when He is presented.  Each person must recognize that they are a sinner and must desire to walk away from sin when the door is opened to them.  However, if our Heavenly Father commands His children to win souls, that means that it is possible and a requirement that we do so. There is a clear connection between the commandments to love and the ability to win souls for the Kingdom.  First, the importance of love must be clearly understood.  Matt. 22:37- 40 lets us know the importance of our love for God and then others.

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Let’s examine the potential soul winner’s point of view.  Often, after preaching on the streets and in the pulpits, passing out tracts, witnessing, praying and seeking God for souls, Saints are less than successful in their soul-winning efforts.  We have to begin to wonder, what exactly is the problem?  Of course, we realize that Satan is the root cause, but we also know that he is a defeated foe.  That means that we must then look into our own hearts as we search the Scriptures to discover the answer to our dilemma.  While there may be more than one reason for our shortcoming, John 15: 12-17 provides good answers for us.  In the following passage of Scripture, Jesus is speaking. He says:

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

From these verses, several things are made clear.  Jesus tells us that the way we show that we love Jesus is by doing whatever He commands us to do.  (A commandment is defined as a rule to be observed as strictly as one of the Ten Commandments.  A commandment is not a suggestion but a mandate).  Jesus illustrated His love for us by dying for us, his friends.  Being called a friend is very important.  Prov. 17: 17 tells us that 17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.  (A brother will be there for you when the times get rough and the going gets tough.)  Then Jesus says,

16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Jesus explains that we were chosen and ordained to bring forth fruit or win souls for the Kingdom of God and those souls should remain.  Our frustration is that though we are commanded to be soul winners, and though it is expected and required of us, at times it seems that we simply cannot get people to yield to the gospel of Christ.  When we just can’t see this happening for us, perhaps the next thing that Jesus says in verse 17 is the cause of the problem.

17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

Oh!  Could it be that the reason that we are not more successful soul winners is that we are not loving each other, our fellow man, as God requires???  Let’s think about this.  Jesus died for us when we were absolutely unlovable.  And now he is telling us to love our friends just as He did???  WOW!  We may have to make some changes in our attitude towards our friends, right?  And then there is Gal. 5: 14-15 which states

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

So, this is what I conclude from the Scriptures that we have reviewed:

  1. If we love Jesus, we will obey Him.
  2. He commands that we love our fellow human beings, (even when they are unlovable).
  3. Then, because we were chosen to bring forth fruit (win souls), it will happen because if we ask the Father in Jesus’ name He will give us what we ask (including success in soul winning).

So, love is the answer.  But how do we love as Jesus requires?  Love is an action word. In Jesus’ case, His action was to die for us.  What do the Scriptures teach us about the type of love that God requires? When we re-visit Gal. 5: 14-15 we read this:

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

So that’s one answer derived from Galatians:  There should be no biting or devouring each other because no one would do that to himself.

Next, let’s look at the specific actions and behaviors found in 1 Cor.13 4-7 for direction:

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 

Of course, charity is just another word for love.  The Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, p. 325, note g, presents nine ingredients of divine love based on 1 Cor. 13: 4-7.  It states that love is patient, kind, generous, humble, courteous, unselfish, good-tempered, righteous and sincere.  In other words, our hearts have to be right to love like this.  In order to be successful soul winners, we have to sincerely want to bless, help and comfort others.

 And finally, we look to 1John 3:16-18 for the deeds or actions that true love will perform.

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

The acid test of true love and Christianity is whether or not we are willing to give material things to those who are in need.  If we don’t love by doing, then we have to question ourselves about whether we really love as we should.

So, here is my final conclusion.  For true believers who are unsuccessful or under-successful at soul winning, let us evaluate our love quotient towards our friends and fellowmen.  If Jesus considered all of mankind to be worthy to die for, so should we.  No soul is unimportant.  We should demonstrate our love for others because love is an action word.  Then, if we ask God to bless our efforts to bring souls into the Kingdom He will do it!  The bottom line is this:  If we want to win souls, we must show more demonstrated love in actual deeds towards our fellow man.  May God continue to bless our efforts.  Let’s give it a try.  God’s plan never fails.

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