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What is (and is not) Biblical Soul-Winning?

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions & Witnessing' started by Pastor_Bob, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    "Soul-winning," although not a word found in our English Bibles, is certainly based upon a biblical truth:
    Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

    I suppose each of us have our own ideas of what soul-winning is. Some may say that it is passing out gospel tracts. Others may say that it is "letting our lights shine" (Mat. 5:16). Some may have a very different conception of soul-winning.

    Lately, I have been giving thought to what soul-winning "is not." So, I am interested in what others might have to say on the subject. What do you consider to be biblical soul-winning, and what evangelistic efforts do you feel would not fall into that category?
     
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  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    It is not anything that does not include scattering the word of God.
     
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  3. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    I certainly do not disagree with this, for this has been my philosophy as well. As I have been giving the matter much thought, the question comes to mind - does leaving a gospel tract in a public place constitute soul-winning? Does putting a door-hanger on doorknob constitute soul-winning?

    I'm thinking it involves more of a face-to-face encounter to qualify for biblical soul-winning.

    Let me quickly say that I am for passing out tracts and leaving door-hangers; but, although that is evangelistic activity, is it Bible soul-winning? In other words, if I leave a tract in a public restroom, have I fulfilled my responsibility as a soul-winner?
     
  4. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    I agree with Rev...If you are not scattering the Word, it's not remotely close to Biblical soul-winning. I believe, when Soul-Winning has reached it's "consummation", we have brought the hearer to a place they must "do something" with the Good News we have presented (it's Good News to believe). As Moses said, "Choose Life or Choose Death." I'm not talking about merely a decision, i'm talking about asking, "What will you do with This Jesus?" Reject Him and His Free Gift of Salvation? Or Receive Him, surrendering to Him as Lord and Believing He was Raised from the Dead for our Justification. I heard it said the other day, "We must preach for a Verdict." Is this all made-up religiousity? Or Is this the Only Gateway to forgiveness, Redemption and Eternal Life? Today is the day of Salvation, If you Hear His voice, do not harden your hearts!
     
    #4 JonShaff, Feb 9, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  5. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I think that whatever we do is good. Certainly leave the tract in the restroom, but don't stop there.
    I had a chap come to my house to fix my plumbing, and before he left I gave him a Gideon Testament and said a few words. He was off to his next appointment so there was no time to do more, but God can use that Testament to save him.

    Better yet is to get into serious conversation with someone. Why not invite your neighbours to a Christianity Explored course?
     
  6. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    The late D. James Kennedy used to refer to soul-winning as taking advantage of divine appointments. Share when you can. Always be an example. In other words, take advantage of the opportunities God provides to the extent that you are able to take advantage of them. In the end, soul-winning is in the purview of the Holy Spirit, not us.
     
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  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I believe that simply witnessing for Christ is not the same as soul winning. The term "winning" does not have the meaning of uncertainty about whether someone got saved. It is a positive word, meaning getting the victory. So soul winning is when you give to gospel to someone and they actually trust Christ as Savior.

    Now in order to do that you have to (1) have the correct Gospel, which includes the death for our sins and the resurrection of Jesus Christ (don't leave out the resurrection); (2) go in the power of the Holy Spirit, because He is the one who saves; (3) invite the sinner to trust Christ.

    Now as to what soul winning is not, it is certainly not simply having the prospect pray a prayer if they don't understand the Gospel and they don't have true faith in their hearts. Soul winning is not simply giving the Gospel to someone, whether it is verbal or written. That is evangelization, the Greek word being euaggelizo, "give good news." It is not simply telling someone how you got saved. That is "witnessing," or relating your own experience. It is not standing up in front of a crowd and telling them all about Jesus, but not knowing if anyone got saved. That is preaching. These are all good things, but they are just not soul winning.
     
    #7 John of Japan, Feb 20, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  8. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    I would like to present a bit different thinking.

    Too most, soul winning is bringing an unsaved the Scriptures and they become a believer. This is good, and nothing to be criticized when done properly.

    But, there is another aspect that is often overlooked.

    It is that effort James declares in James 5:

    19My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.​

    May we be fervent in both areas.
     
  9. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    I believe problems arise when terms are conflated. One can actively "witness" and "evangelize" as John defined the words. in post #7. However, "soul winning" is best seen in the rearview mirror. IOW, problems arise when folks use labels like "Tuesday\Thursday Night\Saturday Afternoon" Soul Winning.
     
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  10. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    The emphasis of the local assembly is not on "soul winning" but upon going, and as one goes they are to be a witness and those that are saved, as a result of the God of Heaven granting them salvation, are to be discipled.

    Soul winning should be an extension of a great blessing to the daily character of the witness. The emphasis is on witness, not soul winning. All believers are commissioned to be witnesses, and soul winning is a result of the character and quality of being the witness.

    The Lord did not say that we are to purpose and struggle to be witnesses, but that we are witnesses and apostles (messengers) of the Lord's gospel. As Paul said in Corinthians: "If I have not love, I am nothing..." the witness is a witness because the Love of God cannot be hidden, but the witness is compelled by the very work of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace...) to present a living testimony.



    I will share an opinion.

    If a believer is not a witness, then they are either unchanged, unchallenged, or unmotivated typically by the embrace of worldliness and iniquity. Such have perhaps never encountered the true change of the new life in Christ, perhaps they are lazy undisciplined disciples, and perhaps the thirst for lusts and pride have robbed the joy of service and quenched the Spirit.

    Witnesses are those who can be thankful that they were given the opportunity to experience one coming to Christ in belief. They rejoice that others are blessed, for true love is not boastful and is without jealousy. They are witness of God giving the increase, and should express such in giving God the exaltation of saving.

    There are no "great soul winners." Personally, I have encountered those who have been proclaimed "great soul winners" who have lived shamefully wicked lives, and yet were excused because of fame and claim.

    All believers are soul winners for they are witnesses.

    Witnesses are seed scatters, not the Lord's of the harvest.
     
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