Soul-winning vs Evangelism

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by sanderson1769, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. sanderson1769

    sanderson1769
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    We Baptists have been sold a wooden nickel by the Protestants and non-denominationalists who have taught us that the best way to get people saved is by bringing them to a preaching service where they will be “preached down the aisle.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

    God’s soul-winning commands usually involve the word “go” and are telling us to GO OUT and get lost people saved ourselves and not just rely on a preacher to do it.

    Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    Psa 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

    God tells us in Psalm 126:6 that if we go out preaching the Gospel, we will return with our “sheaves.” Sheaves have already been harvested which signifies bringing an already saved convert to church.

    Now bringing unsaved people to church is not a bad thing, but here are several reasons why this should not be our primary methodology:

    1. Then the pastor is the only one who has the joy of preaching the Gospel and winning souls.

    2. The people of the church will not be fed spiritually if they are constantly only hearing salvation messages every Sunday morning.

    3. The church will begin to become worldly in its style and music to accommodate all the lost people they are seeking to get in the door. This is exactly what is happening in churches all over America.

    We have been enamored by the image of some ecumenical Billy Sunday crusade where hundreds are flooding down “the sawdust trail” and supposedly getting saved, when God’s method has always been going out into the highways and hedges and preaching the Gospel from house to house. Jesus was constantly winning people to the Lord one by one, not in giant services. In his giant services (e.g. the Sermon on the Mount), he preaches more on Christian living and against sin as opposed to an evangelistic message.

    For years preachers have misinterpreted the story in Acts 2 and made statements like, “Peter preached, and 3,000 people were saved and baptized.” In my sermon this Sunday morning I proved conclusively that nothing could be further from the truth, and that Peter was only speaking to a small percentage of those who got saved. There were 119 other soul-winners preaching the Gospel and getting people saved in at least 17 different languages! 3,000 people did not “come down the aisle,” 3,000 people were won to the Lord by 120 soul-winners who WENT OUT where the lost were. (Here is the link if anyone is interested in hearing the sermon that conclusively proves this point:

    http://www.faithfulwordbaptist.org/page5.html

    The title of the sermon is “Soul-winning vs. Evangelism.”)

    If we would get back to the BAPTIST method of soul-winning instead of the PROTESTANT method of evangelistic services, we would get multitudes more saved, everyone would be able to have the joy of participating, and maybe church would begin to taste like church again and not like the world.

    Sincerely,

    Pastor Steven L Anderson
    Faithful Word Baptist Church
    www.faithfulwordbaptist.org
     
  2. Helen

    Helen
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    I need a little help here. I hear over and over again that we are to win souls (by whatever manner), but I don't see that in the Bible. I see that we are to make disciples, which is a very different thing, as that involves teaching a believer -- someone whose soul is already won.

    I thought that the Father brought the people to the Son. I thought it was God who won the souls. Sometimes He seems to work through us, but that is His mercy, certainly not His necessity.
     
  3. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    Winning souls is probably not a good way to put it. Saving souls is more accurate Biblically I think.

    Making disciples is how we save souls, because souls are not already saved when someone believes in the substitutionary death and shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, on behalf of sinners.

    When someone believes in Christ's death and shed blood on their behalf it is their spirit that is made alive. Their spirit and soul are separated and their soul is to be "won" or "saved" by them becoming obedient through faith to Christ as Lord.
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    "Making disciples" in Matt. 28:19 is witnessing so that someone comes to Christ (whatever the validity of the term "soul-winning"). You say it involves teaching a believer, someone whose soul is already won--then the Great Commission in Matthew would be redundant: "Make disciples (teach them) and then teach them to observe...."

    Look at the usage of the term "disciple" throughout the NT. It is usually used as a synonym for believer, as witness in Acts (don't have time to look the verses up) where it says, "The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch." I could give many other examples from Acts.

    My wife still hasn't called me for breakfast, so I'll add this. In Walter Bauer's famous lexicon it has: 1) be or become a pupil or disciple. 2) become a disciple; become your disciples; be instructed by you. 3) trans. make a disciple of.

    Further evidence: the tense in Matt. 28:19 is aorist imperative, and the aorist always refers to a one time event. Making a disciple in this verse is not a process, but an event--the soul getting saved.

    Gotta go to breakfast!:wavey:
     
  5. gb93433

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    Have a great breakfast!!


    Maybe I misunderstood your post I am not sureDisciples are simply followers of Christ. Howver as newborn babies they need encouragement to press on past being a new baby. It is much like being born and then born again. When a baby is born it is incapable of surviving on its own.

    If you did not need to teach believers then what Paul told the elders in Acts 20 would seem to be rather unnecessary.

    If we were to go make disciples that means more than just reaping baby converts. Making disciples is to bring believers to the point of survival and a level of maturity so that thye are able to reproduce themselves. Of course to get to the point where they even take the first step of becoming a believer they must know what is necessary to be saved. But to be obedient the believer must know what that involves.
     
  6. tinytim

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    Amazing... He actually posted a OP that I sorta agree with...

    I have always called them direct and indirect evangelism..
    I have also taught to let the Spirit lead you within the conversation... If you can't lead them to the Lord, at least lead them to someone who can ie. the church.

    I too have gotten away from the phrase, "soul winning"
    Because in todays culture it implys either a game, or competition... and sadly, I grew up in churches where the folks showed up for visitation, went out to poor unsuspecting souls, and came back to compare how many they "won." It was all about numbers... and no discipleship.

    We do not win souls. The Holy Spirit does... we just follow orders from the Holy Spirit. And the orders are to witness for Christ. It is not up to us to "win" them or even "save" them. That is Christ's job.

    It would be great that every Christian could witness and see at least one person saved. But it doesn't stop there. They need to disciple them also.

    But I won't complain if they bring them to church first...
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Cheese omelet, bacon, grits (sent from a friend in the US), OJ--yum!

     
  8. PeterM

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    The work of evangelism is only the first step in "making a disciple." Bill Bright put it this way...

    Win

    Build

    Send

    When the believer is ready to be sent (reproduce) they are fully functioning disciples. "Disciple" in the greek carries with it an implied meaning of multiplication and reproduction. A won soul, new believer is certainly worth celebrating and rejoicing, but that infant is not capable of reproducing.
     
  9. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    While I agree that a new believer ought to be taught immediately to witmess, I've never heard the interpretation that the Greek for disciple carries an implied meaning of multiplication and reproduction. Please give me a source for this interpretation. It is nowhere in my lexicons.
     
  10. EdSutton

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    :sleep: :type: :sleeping_2:

    I always try to post an appropriate response, you see! :rolleyes:

    Ed
     
    #10 EdSutton, Sep 11, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2006
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Actually, this is a mistake. I have known of many cases where a new believer went right out and won someone else to Christ. It is not that difficult to witness for Christ. Think of Simon who brought his own brother Andrew to Christ.

    One man I know, now a missionary, was won to Christ by a friend in the military overseas. He immediately went out and grabbed another friend and witnessed to him. The man said, "I can't become a Christian, I'm a Jew!" But he got saved shortly after that! It was already very late, but the new believer next went and shook awake a faithful Christian who he had been persecuting, but who had been faithfully witnessing to him and told him of his salvation. :thumbsup:

    The truth is, new converts often have an immediate burden to see people saved, often a bigger burden than we old hands do.
     
  12. pinoybaptist

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    way to go, Helen...way to go....:wavey: :thumbsup:

    God chose, wrote down His people's name in His roster....Christ redeemed...The Father draws to Christ....The Spirit quickens....and men make disciples....the church has no mandate to win souls, it is mandated to glorify God and edify one another...
     
  13. pinoybaptist

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    Neither is winning souls an accurate Scriptural term. Christ is the One who won souls. No man has the authority and right to take that glory away from Him.

    Making disciples is how one saves souls in the timely sense. Teaching them about the whys, wherefores, and how's of their eternal redemption saves them from erroneous and fallacious doctrines and practices, or ungodly creeds where they may be at the moment (Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, etc).
    Teaching them and discipling them in the ways of Christ saves them from the timely effects of a sinful life.
    But no one saves or wins souls in the eternal sense.
    That glory belongs to Christ, and Christ only.

    When someone believes in Christ's death and shed blood on their behalf it is because their spirit has already been made alive. Belief and faith are proofs of a regenerated spirit, not the cause.

    No disrespect, and not to be argumentative on this point, nothing personal but where is the Scripture that says their spirits and souls are separated, except in death ?
     
  14. PeterM

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    I totally agree with you in that a new believer is capable of "winning another" to Jesus, but that is not how I define biblical reproduction. Winning the soul is but the first phase of fulfilling the commission. The elements of marking (baptizing) and teaching are long term obligations and are just as vital to the commission as the winning element. That command is an individual responsibility, not an institutional one.
     
  15. John of Japan

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    Thanks for the clarification. I took reproduction just as it is physically, the act of producing another life. In this are you following Dawson Trotman and his little book, Born to Reproduce?
     
  16. John of Japan

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    I'm bothered by two things on this thread.

    First of all, I am bothered by the idea that "soul winning" is an unbiblical term. On the contrary, it comes directly from the Bible in Prov. 11:30--"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." This verse is clearly talking about spiritual influence, since it uses terms such as "righteous" and "tree of life."

    Secondly, I am bothered by the idea that "soul winning" means a believer saving anyone by his own efforts outside of the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing could be further from the truth, though I disagree with the idea of simply having a person pray and then saying they are saved. Consider the following definition: "Winning souls means to get a sinner changed into a child of God. It means that he has a supernatural change of heart. He is to be 'born again.' He is to become a 'partaker of the divine nature' (II Pet. 1:4)" (The Golden Path to Successful Personal Soul Winning, John R. Rice, 1961, p. 11).

    This is what was meant by evangelicals who originally used the term in the late 19th century: being used of God in the salvation of a soul. I'm not sure who originally coined the term, but I put it in the 2nd half of the 19th century. I have an undated book by R. A. Torrey, probably from around the turn of the 19th century, The Wondrous Joy of Soul Winning.

    Note that Fundamentalism and the Independent Baptist movement did not exist then. No one objected to the term then; it was a term generally used by evangelicals of all kinds, and I'm sure even by reformed groups such as the Presbyterians. There were some great soul-winning Presbyterian missionaries in those days such as Jonathan Goforth to China.
     
  17. J. Jump

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    You are right, because the spirit is what is saved in an eternal sense not the soul. The soul is speaking of salvation for the coming age, which is the kingdom.

    Can you show Scripture to back that up and how that lines up with Acts 16:30-31 and Eph. 2:8-9 which are directly opposed to your statement.

    Well you can see it in OT type in Genesis 1 and then in the NT in Hebrews 4:12.
     
  18. pinoybaptist

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    I think it is because we have been taught from the very beginning that this pertains to the saved sinner. I think this verse more rightly speaks of the Savior Himself, also referred to as "the only wise God", by Paul.

    I can't quote them off the top of my head, but I think there are a lot of Scriptures that men apply to themselves which rightly apply only to the Savior.
     
  19. PeterM

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    While certainly not the first (as the concept of Disciple-making is entirely ancient and pre-dates the earthly ministry of Chirst), Trotman's model is a modern example. Billy Graham himself said that it would be one on one discipleship, not crusades that would win the world.

    While not as flashy as the evangelist-encounter/tent revival concept that still dominates today, the model of disciple-making is making something of a comeback in ministry/missions circles.

    It is long term and requires the discipler to maintain the standard of living that is encompassed by "imitate me." I will always love preaching and seeing people won by the Spirit of God in worship services, but my own ministry will always be dominated by the Jesus in me being reproduced in others who will in turn their world upside down.

    Blessings,
     
  20. John of Japan

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    There is nothing in the context or the text of this verse that refers to the Savior. Proverbs was not written so that Jesus could gain wisdom but that we could gain wisdom.
     

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