Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 27, 1968
NUMBER 9, PAGE 9b-11a

The Wisdom Of Winning Souls For Christ

George Welsh Tyler

The position of Christ among men is altogether unique. No one could accuse Him of being an egotist yet the claims He made for Himself have no equal. Think as long and as hard as you can; yet you cannot find anything to say about Him greater than that which He has already claimed for Himself. To question these claims is to question the integrity and honesty of the Christ Who made them.

Among these claims none are more challenging than that "all authority" rests in Him. Christianity is an authoritative religion and Christ is its authority. On this the whole Christian System stands or falls. To make a moral interpretation of Christianity is to make it an immoral religion. The morality of a system, like that of the individual, rests upon its claims. If these claims are not true, then the whole system is false.

To question the authority of Christ is to question His Lordship. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords or He is not Lord at all. As "Lord of lords" He came to woo the heart of sinful man back to the love of God. Being omniscient he knew, as none other, the awful state of man in his lost condition. With His Father He had looked down upon man and saw the devastating effects of sin. His coming to earth was not only to reveal Himself to man as Saviour, but also to reveal to man that he was in a lost condition and in need of a Saviour.

The Lostness Of Man

The Divine decree has gone forth and with it is the statement of the condition of all men. Paul wrote, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" Rom. 3:23. The wages the devil pays his followers is death. Ezekiel wrote, at the direction of God, "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth it shall die." Paul wrote, "The wages of sin is death" Rom. 6:23. James says, "Lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is full-grown, bringeth death" Jas. 1:15. Before you can tell a man what to do to be saved you must convince him by God's Word that he is in a lost condition and that God in His infinite love has made available to him a way by which he can escape eternal death.

Many of our preachers spend so much time defining sin they have none left in which to tell their audiences of the terrible consequences of sin. In a world that speaks of sin as a "mistake" or simply "missing the mark" you cannot expect a great number of conversions. Sin has been given the sweet-sounding phrase of "stumbling along life's way." It is more than "a mistake" it is death. Sin is more than just "missing the mark" it is choosing the wrong target. It is more than "stumbling along life's pathway"; it is choosing the wrong path. I Jno. 3:4 we learn that sin is lawlessness. Jno. 8:3 Jesus said, "Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin." James says, "And sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."

Will God punish for sin? Let us take a look at Calvary. If God will permit His own Son to suffer and die for sin, how much more does His demand that you and I pay the price too? "The wages of sin is death." The penalty for violating God's law is to die as we have already learned. There is one thing God cannot do; He cannot lie Heb. 6:18 reads, "By two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie we may have a strong encouragement." If His Word demands that the wages of sin be death -- then death it must be. The obedience to any law depends upon its enforcement.

Christ, The Saviour

When we succeed in making man conscious of his lost condition, the difficulty of getting him to accept the Saviour shall have been overcome.

There are some who are still interested in and are crying for the renewal of that old time evangelistic spirit among men. This won't come until we come to look upon men as did Christ, His apostles and Christians of first century church. Some one has said, "No price is too great if it will save a soul." With that attitude and knowledge of that great truth Jesus suffered being nailed to the cross. Christ is the only way. A Saviour, one who Himself was free from the guilt of sin must present Himself as the sacrifice for sin. From the beginning God saw the end. Biblical history tells us that long before the Son came into the world, blood sacrifices were made in remembrance of sin. The meaning and power of a blood sacrifice was emphasized while Israel was yet in Egypt. The tenth plague was the death of the firstborn. God told Israel to kill a lamb and put the blood on the doorposts and lintels of their homes. With the coming of the night the angel of death came. Where there was no blood he struck. Where the blood of the lamb was found there was no death. They were saved by the blood of the lamb. This helps us to understand the meaning of John, who pointed to Jesus and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world!" Jno. 1:29. In Egypt the lamb was killed that the firstborn might live. In God's kingdom the Lamb of God, His Son, died and those purchased with His blood never die.

There are some who call such preaching "old-fashioned." Instead they had better thank God for an old time religion with an old-fashioned God with an old-fashioned Son who died on an old-fashioned cross to save "the new fashions" from eternal death. Ours is an old-fashioned church. It came into being A. D. 33 in the city of Jerusalem, Acts 2nd chapter. It is old-fashioned, tried and found safe, effective and true. Our Saviour is old-fashioned too, but thank our heavenly Father "He is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him" Heb. 7:25.

The Worth Of Man

All things have value. Jesus gave us the value or worth of the soul of man in Matt. 16:26. He said, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul"?

Most men are governed by distorted values such as money, social position, power, special recognition and such like which to them become the "supreme worth". Even the church is not entirely free from guilt. We find some members and preachers clamoring for "the chief seats in the synagogues", and thus become trouble-makers, like Diotrephes. They spend so much time promoting themselves and seeking their own ends they just cannot find time to "seek and to save that which is lost." They don't realize the value of their own souls or the value of the souls of others.

To determine the value of man we have to determine who and what he is. What is the supreme worth of man? (1) Man is worth more than sparrows Matt. 10:31. (2) Man is worth more than a sheep Matt. 12:12. (3) Man is worth more than all the world and all things in it combined Matt. 16:26. (4) The exact value of man was declared at Calvary. The value of a commodity is ascertained by the purchase price paid. I Pet. 1:18,19 tells us "Ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers; but with the precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, even the blood of Christ." "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life."

Man is the greatest thing in God's creative efforts. Read what we will in fiction or revelation we find that man is always greatest. He is the central figure of the world, the crowning glory of creation. He is created in the image of God. He is the only thing in creation that is eternal.

The Wisdom Of Soul-Saving

History tells us of men who thought it wise to suffer and die for empires that tottered and fell. They gave their all for silver and gold that could vanish in a day. How much more is it a sign of wisdom to give your all to save the souls of men. The writer of Proverbs said, "And he that is wise winneth souls" Prov. 11:30. James wrote, "If any among you err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins." Jesus said, "The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost" Lk. 19:10. It was for this purpose that Jesus suffered and died upon the cross. Every follower of His should imitate Christ as closely as humanly possible in all things. He gave us the example and said, "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his lord" Matt. 10:24.

The wise Christian will obey the commandments of the Saviour. In the final analysis, it is not ours to decide whether or not that we should do personal work in the harvest field. Christ forever settled the matter for us when He gave the command to "GO" — "PREACH". Preach what? The gospel. He did not say, "Give a sweet little twenty minute oration on how nice and beautiful it is for nice people to be nice." He did not say, "Give a review of the latest best selling book." He said, "PREACH THE GOSPEL."

Soul-winning is of supreme importance to those who recognize the "ALL AUTHORITY" of Christ. The story of how the church of the first century carried out His commands thrills us beyond measure. Read the book of Acts, which is the first history of the church and as you do so you will find about twenty instances showing how the early church worked to save souls. "The Spirit and the bride say, COME. And LET HIM THAT HEARETH SAY COME" Rev. 22:17. Brethren, Jesus is saying to every one of us, "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46. 3811 Pershing Avenue, San Diego, California 92104