How To Win Others For Christ
[Editor’s Note: While there are various ways to lead someone to Christ, the latter portion of this article offers some suggestions, questions and Scriptures that may be helpful in your personal outreach.]
Soul winning is a task and a privilege from which no Christian is exempt. All are commissioned, “Go ye…and preach the Gospel” (Mark 16:15).
Christ is depending upon us. He has limited Himself to work through redeemed human channels. “Ye shall be witnesses unto Me,” said our ascending Lord, as He assigned us our supreme earthly task (Acts 1:8).
The accompanying sketch will make clear the necessary elements in personal witnessing and soul winning.
This is a divine work – through human instruments. Therefore, there will be the spiritual side to it as well as the natural.
We begin with the need of consecration. This is the starting point. Without a real, vital and living experience with Christ, there will not be a grip in our witness.
God’s Word commands that we be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). One filling is not enough – we must keep filled, and walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16). “...For the tree is known by his fruit” (Matt. 12:33). Note carefully what the Bible says is the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. And watch that the “works of the flesh” are not manifested in our lives (Gal. 5:13-21).
“...Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to convict people of sin (John 16:7-8).
“Abide in Me,” says Jesus, the Son of God (John 15:4) – Make My heart your home; My blood your refuge for cleansing; My wisdom, My power, My joy, My life your sufficiency. “...Without Me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Though we speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love – a rich love for Christ and a love for those He loves – our witness will be as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal (1 Cor. 13:1-3). Those to whom we speak or whom we are trying in some way to influence will detect our lack – though they may fail to name it.
The Ephesian church was full of witnessing and working Christians, but there was something wrong and our Lord named it – “...Thou hast left thy first love…Repent…,” He said, “or else I will come…quickly, and will remove thy candlestick...” (Rev. 2:1-5).
“...Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34). If Christ dwells deep down in our heart by faith, we will make much of Him when the opportunity of witness arrives, and the Holy Spirit will see that we have opportunities if He knows that what we are, what we do, and what we say will exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.
Daily Bible reading and prayer promote and maintain this heart fellowship with Christ. Constant, consecutive meditation upon the Scriptures is a necessity.
Look for a fuller view of Christ: the Living Word in the Written Word. “...In the volume of the Book it is written of Me” (Psa. 40:7). Then turn your meditation into prayer – for the power to lift Him up till all men are drawn unto Him (John 3:14-15; 12:32).
The fruit of this companionship with Him will be a growing concern for those around you who are out of Christ. This concern is vital. Without it, all our Christian effort will be mechanical and powerless.
“For the love of Christ constraineth us...” (2 Cor. 5:14).
It is the concern of Jesus that we need, not our own worked-up concern. The Holy Spirit registers this within us according to our capacity at the moment, spiritually, to feel as Jesus feels about these unsaved friends and neighbors around us.
The saintly William C. Burns, so used by God in Scotland and in China, was met by his mother one day in a Glasgow street, and he was weeping. Her inquiry brought this answer, “I am weeping at the sight of the multitudes in the streets, so many of whom are passing through life unsaved.”
Divine Compulsion: The Lord Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). Surely, we feel this Divine compulsion. No man will do anything really great until he feels he must!
When this passion, this hidden fire takes hold of your life, you will earnestly seek deliverance from sinful bashfulness, pride, and the common excuses for not doing this work, and the Holy Spirit will hear your cry, meet your need and use your witness.
Lord, lay some soul upon my heart,
And love that soul through me,
That I may nobly do my part
To win that soul for Thee!
Pray often through the list of your family circle, your friends, your associates in the business world, and your casual acquaintances; and ask for an alertness to see opportunities to help this one and that one, in a practical way. Actions will often speak louder than words, and are a vital means of making contacts for Christ.
Use every ability you possess, and bring in the ability of your Christian friends – to prove your genuine interest towards those you would win for Christ.
Always look to God to guide you by His Spirit. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will show you that you are having your only opportunity just now to witness for Christ unto some soul. Obey the urges of the Holy Spirit!
Learn the art of spiritual diagnosis. It will be a lifelong study. Human nature is complex, and satanic powers are subtle. Ask the one you are dealing with pointed questions. Find out his knowledge of Christ and the Gospel. Get clearly his attitude towards Christ.
“What do you think of Christ?” is the big question you must return to repeatedly.
See if he is facing the reality and the consequences of his own sin. Does he admit his own desperate need of Christ? Use the Scriptures freely. Pray, as you get him to read. Expect the Holy Spirit to apply the Scriptures to his need.
As you sense that the Spirit of God is working, convicting him of his sin, and revealing his need of Christ, ask him, “Will you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord now?”
If he responds, ask him to pray with you. Open your Bible at Isaiah 53:6 and make plain once more what God has done with his sin, and what his sin did to Christ: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Then get him to read John 1:12 and see that he must “receive” Christ, and thank the Lord Jesus for dying for him. Then turn over to Revelation 3:20 and show him the wonderful promise: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”
Assist him to pray something like this: “Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the One who died for me, and paid the full debt of my sin on the Cross. I am sorry that I have sinned against You. I repent, and ask You to have mercy on me, to forgive me, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness.
“I now receive You into my life as my Savior and Lord, to take entire charge of my life. And with Your help, from this moment on, I am determined to live for You, and to serve You always. Amen.”
Ask your friend to read Matthew 11:28-30 and John 6:37.
Never ask a seeker, “Don’t you feel better?” By doing so you divert his attention from Christ to himself and his feelings. Feelings will take care of themselves.
Finally, never tell a seeker he is converted, or has received the blessing he sought. This is dangerous; for if he should believe you while he is not yet right with God, you have been the means of deceiving him. It is the work and office of the Holy Spirit to tell the seeker he has received what he sought. And the Holy Spirit will most assuredly witness – when the work is done. (Read Romans 8:15-16; 1 John 5:10-13.)
Let us feel the urgency of our task and get to work, constrained by the needs of dying men, and by the love of Christ.
God bless you in this great work.