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John 1:35-42 THE TRAITS OF A SUCCESSFUL SOUL WINNER

Intro: I read again this week the wonderful story about Ed Kimball, a Sunday schoolteacher. He won a young fellow to the Lord and got that one stirred up. The new convert got the secret of the Lord’s power upon his life. He became the well-known D. L. Moody.

The story says that after evangelizing America, D. L. Moody started on England. There in England Frederick B. Meyer heard his message. One of the illustrations that Moody used did not at first stir Brother Meyer. Then one of his Sunday school teachers came to him and said, "Brother Meyer, the illustration that that preacher gave in our church the other day stirred my girls so much that there has been a lot of weeping, confession and testimony. We are sure that the Holy Spirit has come among us; and we have had an experience in our class that you won’t believe!"

F. B. Meyer was so affected by the testimony of that teacher and those girls that he got off by himself, and soon it began to grip him in the same manner. His ministry began to open up and spread, and as it did, he was invited to come to America.

He came and went to Furman University to preach. One young fellow in the student body had decided to quit the ministry and go back to a secular job. But the message by F. B. Meyer was given with such fervor and flame that the young fellow stepped out, came forward and renewed his vow to his calling. He became the great R. G. Lee.

Then F. B. Meyer went on to preach at another location. In that service a young fellow caught fire and began to evangelize. His meetings spread out all over the areas of New England and the mid-Atlantic coast, until they were bulging at the seams. J. Wilbur Chapman, set on fire of God through the preaching of F. B. Meyer, began to stir up the whole northeastern coast.

Then, because of Chapman’s preaching, he was invited to speak at a certain place. His ministry was changing, and he needed someone to move in on those citywide crusades that he was holding. Someone said, "The man you want is the young convert, Billy Sunday."

Billy Sunday, influenced by J. Wilbur Chapman, got into the ministry and went to Charlotte, North Carolina. There a group of laymen got so inspired and so stirred up that they organized a committee to invite other evangelists back. One invited was Mordecai Ham from Louisville, Kentucky. He preached in a meeting, and Billy Graham got saved. Billy Graham became a renowned evangelist around the world—all because Edward Kimball—one nobody—won one other nobody and started a series of dominoes falling that ended up with millions saved in Moody’s ministry, hundreds of thousands in Meyer’s ministry, hundreds of thousands more in Chapman’s ministry, hundreds of thousands more in Lee’s ministry, and hundreds of thousands more in Graham’s ministry. All because one fellow won one soul to Christ!

It is certainly possible to change the world via the avenue of simply sharing your faith and inviting another human being to come to Jesus.

All of you folks are here today because you have a little of Edward Kimball in you. You feel led of the Lord to witnesses for Him and His glory. As a result, the Lord has placed you in a tremendous position. A position in which you will have the opportunity and the privilege of sharing your faith with men and women who need Jesus as their personal Savior.

You all want to do well, but perhaps some are anxious and unsure of themselves this morning. That’s why I am here today. I want to be an encouragement to you and show you that you can be a witness for the Lord. We are going to look into this passage today and see a few principles that can help you be a witness for Jesus Christ. These principles show us The Traits Of A Successful Soul Winner.

Ill. The Context of these verses. To my mind, the best place to learn about anything is from someone who is successful in that thing. From these verses, it seems that Andrew can be called a success. Therefore, let’s examine these verses, and ourselves, and see whether or not we possess the traits which mark the successful soul winner. If you find that you do, then rejoice! For God is going to use you mightily! If you find that you lack some of the things you need, then remember that the storehouse is open today and God is generously equipping His saints to be successful in the labor He has called them into.

Who knows? The next D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday, J. Wilbur Chapman or Billy Graham may be waiting on you to tell them about Jesus. Do you have what it takes?

Successful Soul Winners Have:

I. v. 37, 40 A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST

A. There Is A Commitment In Salvation – (John 3:3, 7) (I John 5:12)Before anyone can witness, they must know what they are talking about! You have to be saved before you can share!

B. There Is A Confidence In Salvation – (v. 41) (Ill. 2 Pet. 2:10; 2 Cor. 13:5) The prospective soul winner must have his/her salvation nailed down. When there is a lack of confidence in one’s own salvation, there will be a lack of power in one’s witness. (Ill. It is possible to know for sure – 1 John 5:13; 5:1)

C. There Is A Clear Testimony Of Salvation – (. 41)The prospective soul winner must think his own salvation experience through in detail. Only then can he tell others what has happened in his life. (Ill. Your most powerful illustration of salvation is you own personal experience with Jesus Christ.) (Ill. Andrew was able to share with Peter what he had already experienced of Jesus Christ.) (Ill. The Demoniac in Mark 5:20) (Ill. I am glad you folk are saved, but I can’t testify of your experience. I can tell you, however, what Jesus did for me!)

II. v. 41 THEIR PRIORITIES IN ORDER

A. They See The Sinner’s Condition (This is what we call a "burden for the lost") (Ill. Andrew was burdened for Simon Peter!)

1. His Present State – (Eph. 2:1-3; Eph. 2:12) (Ill. If this doesn’t move our hearts, then we are made of stone and have forgotten where the Lord brought us from! – Isa. 51:1)

2. His Prophesied State – (Ill. Luke 16"19-31; Psa. 9:17) The soul winner knows that men are headed to an eternity apart from God, 2 Thes. 1:8-9, and he is moved by this knowledge. He has a desire to snatch men from the jaws of destruction. (Ill. The Gospel has the power to do just this!)

B. They Sense The Urgency Of Their Need

1. The soul winner knows that the night is coming in which no man can work, John 9:4.

2. He knows that life is just a vapor and that men are perishing without the promise of another minute, James 4:14; Pro. 27:1.

3. He knows that the window of grace will close with the return of Jesus in the rapture – 2 Thes. 2:11.

4. The soul winner knows what the lost sinner has no inkling of, he knows he is lost from God, Hell bound and hopeless, apart from the salvation that can only be found in Jesus Christ!

C. They Seize Every Opportunity – The soul winner looks for the open

door of opportunity wherever it may appear. Sometimes even nudging open a door that is only cracked a little. However, if the Lord is not at work, then the soul winner is wasting his time! (Ill. John 6:44; John 6:65) This thought raises some questions:

1. Doesn’t God love everyone? Yes He does, but they

cannot be saved at the time of their choosing.

2. Can’t anyone just call on the Name of the Lord and be

saved? Yes, but only when the Lord is drawing them unto Himself. Generally speaking, if the Lord is not drawing, there will be no interest in what the soul winner is saying, no evidence of conviction and no desire to make a profession.

3. What does the soul winner do? He is sensitive to the Lord and His leadership. He watches the person he is witnessing to and he seeks to sense what the Lord is doing in the conversation. Remember, not every contact is a time of reaping! It may be a time of sowing seed orwatering, but that is just as important in the eternal picture. Our duty is to Go…Tell!

III. v. 41b A PROPER VIEW OF CHRIST

A. His Person – The soul winner knows who Jesus is. The soul winner knows He is the Son of God, (Ill. Simon Peter – Matt. 16:16). You don’t have to be a theologian nor must you be able to quote all the relevant Christological passages, but you must be aware of who it is that you are representing. (Ill. This is what separates us from the cults! They are all wrong on the Person of Jesus.)

(Ill. Illiterate men in Texas. He couldn’t read, but he got himself a pocket full of tracts and went out to the highway and started hitchhiking. When someone picked him up, he would ask them to read the tract to him and then he would tell them what Jesus had done for Him. He would try to lead that person to Jesus. When he finished witnessing to that individual, he would get out and hitch a ride back the other way. Again, asking the person to read him the tract and telling them about Jesus. In his first year, this illiterate man had won 168 people to the Lord. He wasn’t a theologian, but he knew who Jesus was!)

B. His Performance – The soul winner needs to know what Jesus did. We need some basic things nailed down in our hearts! We need to be comfortable talking about:

1. His Birth – Virgin born, Isa. 7:14, and sinless, 1 Pet. 2:22

2. His Life – Sinless, 2 Cor. 5:21ans impeccable.

3. His Death – On a cross, dying a horrible death for sinners, Isa. 52:14; Rev. 5:9 – (Ill. sfazw – Butchered, slaughtered). (Ill. Never be afraid to proclaim the saving power of His Blood – Heb. 9:22; 1 Pet. 1:18-19) (Ill. Many are, but it’s still the Blood that saves from sin!)

4. His Resurrection – Matt. 28:1-6 – Remember a dead Savior saves no one! Thank God He lives!

5. His Ascension – Acts 1:9-11 – Remember that even now, Jesus is at the Father’s right hand interceding and watching out for His children – Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34.

6. His Return – This is the blessed hope of the believer and something worthy to be shared with the lost and dying. The same Jesus who died, was buried and rose again is returning to receive His people unto Himself, (Ill. John 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:16-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-52).

7. You have to know who He is before you will be able to share Himwith another. It doesn’t require a degree, but it does demand prayer and study of His Word.

C. His Power – The soul winner knows that Jesus has the power to save all who will call upon Him by faith! (Ill. John 14:6; Acts 4:12; John 1:12) (Heb. 7:25 – He is able to save! Able = "dunamai" – It means to have power residing in one’s self or one’s resources. It is explosive power! Jesus possesses the power to dynamically save the lost sinner. He is able!) Ill. Eph. 3:20 – He can save you, or your contact, better than you think He can!

D. His Promise – The soul winner needs to know that Jesus is not only able to save, but that He is willing as well! He doesn’t have to be coerced into loving and saving the sinner, He stands always ready to receive all who will come to Him by faith – John 6:37; John 7:37; Rev. 22:17)

IV. v. 42 A PASSION FOR POINTING MEN TO JESUS

(Ill. Praying Hyde – Prayed for souls and God honored his request. He had a true burning passion to bring men to Jesus. Do you?)

A. He Alone Is Our Message

1. The Woman at the Well – John 4:28-30

2. John the Baptist – John 1:29

3. The Blind Man – John 9:11, 25

4. Philip and the Eunuch – Acts 8:35

5. Anything else is a message of death – Pro. 16:25.

B. He Alone Is Our Mission – We are to bring men to Jesus. Not to our denomination, to our church, to ourselves or our way of thinking. When we go into His fields, we are to remember that He must have the preeminence, Col. 1:18. If He is lifted up, men will be drawn unto Him – John 12:32.

C. He Alone Is Our Master – Matthew 28:18-20 sheds some very important light on this matter of witnessing and soul winning.

(Matt 28:18-20 - And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.)

Notice three very important facts from this passage:

1. He Will Go With Us – v. 20 (Heb. 13:5)

2. He Will Guide Us – v. 20 (John 16:13)

3. He Will Gift Us – v. 18 (Matt. 10:19; John 16:13-15)

Conc: Are you a successful soul winner? You can’t judge that by the number of notches on your gun. Success in soul winning comes from doing exactly what Jesus said to do. Go…Tell! If you are doing this, then you are successful. The harvest is the Lord’s business, (Matt. 9:36-38 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.), our business is to go into the field and tell others about Him. If you have examined yourself today and have found that you are lacking in some areas as a witness, then I invite you to bring that need before Jesus right now. He can make it right and use you as a successful soul winner.

Sermon By Alan Carr

 


 
 
 
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