We Are Messengers; Not Soul-Winners

One of my big complaints and regrets is hearing and having said from a pulpit that “We MUST be soul-winners!!” But, there is nothing further from the truth of God’s Word than that false statement. Folks, there is only One soul-winner and He did that on the Cross!! His Name is Jesus Christ for He paid the price of redemption!! However, what He did say is simple enough, “Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20 HCSB.

Believers Are TO BE Messengers of The Gospel

From Proverbs 11:30, we find this statement which seems to be the ‘anchor’ statement for the proclamation of being a ‘soul-winner,’ “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,

And he who is wise wins souls.” NASB. And from the KJV, “The fruit of the righteous [is] a tree of life; and he that winneth souls [is] wise.”

“While it is true that evangelistic soul-winning is wise work, soul-winning is not all that this verse is talking about. The idea here is that wise people influence others to follow the way of wisdom, which includes turning to God for salvation. Soul-Winning or Wise Living?” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50:3 (September 2007):517-35.

Some Hebrew scholars suggest that the word translated as ‘wins’ can also be translated as being ‘taking or capturing.’ However, the best understanding of Proverbs 11:30 seems to be that a righteous person will be one who practices the teaching from God’s Word and thereby influences others with His abundant grace. A wise person will teach others the wisdom found in God’s Word and the place to begin is proclaiming the saving grace of Jesus Christ, thus influencing lost souls to confess Jesus Christ as Savior. Admittedly, this can be construed as ‘winning souls,’ but this is stretching the truth. For Just as Paul writes, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16 NASB.

Jesus, Alone, Saves

From Romans 5:8-9 we find these words, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” NASB, and from the KJV, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. {in due time: or, according to the time} For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

The understanding from God’s Word should be that Jesus Christ is THE soul winner, but we ARE His ambassadors, “Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Chapter 6 Working together with Him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive God’s grace in vain.” 2 For He says: I heard you in an acceptable time, and I helped you in the day of salvation. Look, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.” Romans 5:8-6:2 HCSB.

What we do know is this, we are to work with Him in making proclamation of His Gospel because today is the day of salvation, today is the acceptable time to know Him. And there are many verses of Scripture that can be used stating this truth. In his first letter to the Corinthian church, the Apostle addresses the weak, those who are obviously weak-will or in moral consciousness such as the Jewish community. In our day and time we can point out the LBGQT community and those that support their practices, and many who may profess to be ‘Christian,’ but their immorality says otherwise. In Corinthians 5:22b we find Paul doing this very thing when he states that, “I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some.” He does everything amoral while addressing their immorality. That is, he attempts to look past the ‘fog of blindness’ in order to move them into the light of the Gospel, to the Savior.

Becoming All Things to All People

“Although I am a free man and not anyone’s slave, I have made myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law—though I myself am not under the law—to win those under the law. 21 To those who are without that law, like one without the law—not being without God’s law but within Christ’s law—to win those without the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some. 23 Now I do all this because of the gospel, so I may become a partner in its benefits.” 1 Corinthians 5:19-23 HCSB.

There is no real necessity to return to my original premise which is, God did not call me nor anyone who chooses to follow Jesus Christ, to be ‘Soul Winners’ as such. However, we are directly instructed by Him to ‘disciple the Nations.’ It is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict the lost soul of sin, judgment, and righteousness, and it is the willful choice of everyone who hears to respond to this, “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), 9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. 11 For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13 NET2.

Jesus remains Lord.



About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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