Soul Winning - 7 Practical Ways to Win the Lost to Jesus
- Summary: All Christians would like to be good witnesses for our Lord. But far fewer do it effectively. I think we often make it too hard on ourselves. Come see seven practical ways to present Jesus to the unsaved. You will see that these ways are not difficult and can simply be blended into your everyday life.
Luke 6:27-28 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
1. Love your enemies.
- • Aren’t you glad that Jesus loved you when you were still dead in your sins? I did not get saved until age 25. When I did finally realize how much Jesus loved me — enough to die an excruciating death for all of our sins — that love and the promise of His forgiveness drew me to faith and repentance.
- • Luke 23 is one of the Gospel records of Jesus’ crucifixion. Two criminals were also crucified, one on either side of Him. They heard Jesus from the cross forgive His executioners — “Father, forgive them!” (vs. 34). Deeply touched, one of the criminals from his own cross said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (42). Jesus replied, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (43).
- • Jesus graciously forgiving His executioners deeply moved the criminal and led him to faith in Jesus, a faith that culminated in his salvation. In the same manner, as we live a life of love towards those who hate us, revile us, and mistreat us, some of their hearts will be touched by our reflection of the love of God. And by that love some will be led to faith in Christ.
Matthew 5:16 …let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
2. Live a godly life before those around you.
- • Live a good life before the world. Do “good deeds,” show kindness, and manifest charity, holiness, and the fruits of the Spirit. And do it in such a way that deflects any praise towards God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus said that our light shining to those around us will lead some to “glorify [the] Father in heaven.” The visible testimony of a godly life can have a powerful impact upon people surrounded by the wickedness we see around us in our daily lives.
- • When I was courting my wife 46 years ago, I had not yet come in faith and repentance to the Lord. One day I complimented her on some facet of her godly lifestyle. Her response was: “That’s Jesus in me.” She deflected praise to Jesus, the Source of any good that I might see in her. That had a strong impact on me and was definitely part of the multiple influences that led me to salvation in Christ in February, 1969.
Mark 5:18-20 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
3. Tell people the wonderful things the Lord has done for you.
- • Perhaps you’ve had a wonderful experience of the Lord’s grace in your life. Deliverance from drugs, a notable healing, a miraculously answered prayer. These and other manifestations of His love for you can serve as powerful testimonies to those around you.
- • The formerly demon-possessed man, now fully delivered by Jesus, wanted to follow Jesus in His travels. But the Lord told him to go back to his people and “tell them how much the Lord has done for you” (vs. 19). He did so, “and all the people were amazed” (20).
- • Tell your family, tell your friends, about the amazing things Jesus Christ has done for you. The Samaritan woman in John chapter 4 did this. Jesus, who had never previously met her, spoke an astounding revelation about her personal life (vss. 16-18). She went into her town and told others about this amazing man (Jesus) whom she met at the well. And as a result, “many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did’ ” (39).
- • If Jesus has done something wonderful in your life, tell others about it. It might greatly impact them.
Acts 16:23-26, 30-32 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose …  [The jailer] then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.
4. Rejoice in the Lord in the midst of trial.
- • The apostle Paul and his companion Silas were locked in the Philippian jail with their feet in the stocks. The outlook seemed bleak. But nonetheless at midnight they were praying aloud and singing hymns to God. The other prisoners heard them, and undoubtedly the nearby jailer did, too. Then a violent earthquake shook everyone’s chains loose. The jailer, so astounded by all this, asked Paul and Silas, “What must I do to be saved?” They said to him, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household.” And that’s precisely what happened. The jailer and his household heard the word of the Lord and were saved and baptized (33-34).
- • The takeaway for us today is this: even in our darkest hours, rejoice in the Lord! Our victory even in the midst of great duress can leave a very favorable impression on those who see us go through trials with grace and even joy. And that can open up meaningful conversations about the Source of our rejoicing, as we’ll see in the verse below.
1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…
5. Live a hope-filled life, and be ready to explain why.
- • Perhaps the single best witness for Christ I’ve personally seen was in a supermarket in southern Oregon. I was second in the checkout line. The man ahead of me commented to the smiling young lady ringing up his purchases, “My, you're cheerful today.” I will never forget her reply. With a warm smile she said, “Would you like to know why?” He said yes. So she told him, very briefly, that she used to be a very depressed person until she received Jesus Christ into her life, and then Jesus had changed all that and had given joy to her.
- • After the man had left and she was ringing up my groceries, I thanked her for that beautiful testimony. She understood the apostle Peter’s encouragement and was living a hope-filled life before others. And she was clearly “ready to give an answer” to anyone who asked a reason for that visible hope. I was proud of her!
John 9:10-11, 35-38 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see” …  Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
6. Pray for the sick and for others in need.
- • Jesus had healed the blind man (vs. 7). And to shorten this long story, the healing led the man to faith in Christ — “Lord I believe” (38) — and he worshiped Him.
- • Acts 3 records Peter and John being used by the Lord to heal a crippled man near the temple (vss. 7-8). This healing amazed a large crowd in the vicinity, and Peter preached the Gospel to them, with literally thousands believing and being saved as a result (Acts 4:4).
- • When the apostle Peter ministered complete healing to a paralyzed man in Lydda, the entire towns of Lydda and Sharon were so amazed that they “turned to the Lord” (Acts 9:32-35).
- • Pray for people! Pray for the sick, offer to pray for any of their needs. People are touched by prayer!
Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
7. Share the Gospel with people. There is no substitute for the Gospel.
- • All the things mentioned above can soften hearts and open them to the Gospel. But to be saved, a person must still hear the Gospel itself. They must hear about how Jesus died for their sins and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
- • Psalm 1119:130 tells us that the entrance of God’s words gives light. Tell them the words of the Gospel. Give them the Good News that “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21, KJV) will usher them into eternal life as a born-again son or daughter of God.
SUMMARY: Seven Practical Ways to Present Jesus to the Lost
- 1. Love your enemies, as God does.
- 2. Let those around you see your godly life and your good works, done in the Lord’s name.
- 3. Tell people your testimony of the great things the Lord has done for you.
- 4. Continue to rejoice in the Lord in the midst of trial.
- 5. Let your hope in the Lord be evident to all, and be ready to answer when people ask about the reason for that hope.
- 6. Pray willingly for people — for the sick, for the hurting, for those in all types of need.
- 7. Simply tell people the Good News — that Jesus Christ died for their sins and rose to life again, and He is willing to forgive them, receive them, and grant them eternal life.
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©2014, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.