Reaping a Harvest of Lost Souls Getting Saved
1 Thessalonians 1:4-6a For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,  because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. [6a] You became imitators of us and of the Lord.
Acts 17:4 tells us that, as Paul preached in Thessalonica, “some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.”
- • Paul reaped a harvest of lost souls in Thessalonica.
• In our main text above Paul tells us HOW it happened.
(1) “Our GOSPEL” — Our message is the Gospel =
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you....  By this gospel you are saved....  ...Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
- • Here is a biblical definition: "The Gospel" is the Good News of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, so that our sins may be forgiven and we may be saved.
- 2 Thessalonians 1:8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
- • So it is urgently important that people hear and obey the Gospel.
(2) “CAME TO you” — Unsaved people rarely come to us. It is our duty to go to them.
- Luke 19:10, KJV For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Mark 16:15, 20, KJV And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature....  And they went forth, and preached every where...
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations...
(3) “not simply with WORDS” — But we do need words, and specifically the Word of God!
- Romans 1:16, KJV For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth...
Hebrews 4:12, KJV For the word of God is quick, and powerful...
• God’s Word is awesome, it is living, it is powerful. But the Gospel is to come to people ... “not in word only” (KJV)...
(4) “but also with POWER” —
- Romans 15:18-19 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have SAID AND DONE —  by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have FULLY proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
Paul “fully preached the gospel ... through the power of the Spirit” (19).
• “By the power of signs and miracles” (19)
• “By what [he had] SAID and DONE” (18)! Not just by what he "said".
HOW does that power come?
(5) “with the HOLY SPIRIT” —
- Micah 3:8, KJV ...truly I am full of power BY the spirit of the LORD.
Luke 4:14, KJV And Jesus returned [from His 40-day fast] in the power of the Spirit into Galilee...
Acts 1:5, 8 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit....  you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses... This Holy Spirit power comes to us in the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
(6) “and with DEEP CONVICTION ... [KJV] much ASSURANCE” —
This conviction/assurance is a RESULT of the items above, that is:
- • the simplicity of the gospel
• brought to people through God’s Word
• confirmed in power, with signs following
• and under the conviction of the Holy Spirit
(7) “You know HOW WE LIVED among you” —
- Your godly life style clinches the nail.
People are more willing to listen to someone whose lifestyle they know and respect.
• 2 Timothy 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become CONVINCED OF, BECAUSE YOU KNOW THOSE from whom you learned it.
Seven Keys to a Harvest of Souls:
- 1. the Gospel
2. shared with people
3. with God’s Word, but not in Word only
4. also with power
5. with the Holy Spirit
6. and with deep conviction
7. backing up your message with a godly lifestyle
A related sermon of interest to soulwinners is Catching Plenty of Fish.
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©2005, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.