Soulwinning – Part 1

I am starting a series of articles that deal with what I think is the greatest area of compromise in Bible Believing Baptist circles. It has to do with how we present the Gospel in our efforts to win the lost to Christ.

Looking back to the 1970s I see something that I believe is at the root of the problems in our churches today. At that time, success was counted in numbers. The most common, and probably the first question asked at a preacher’s meeting was, “How many did you have Sunday?”

I don’t know when it really started, but many Baptist churches were doing outlandish things to draw a crowd. Pastors and youth directors were doing things like swallowing live goldfish. Churches were announcing that they were going to have the biggest, fastest, most unusually [you fill in the blank] next Sunday. They were inviting people to come for the show rather than for the preaching of the Word of God.

The cry of the day was, “We must reach the lost, at any cost.” I took issue with this statement back then, and I take issue with it today. We must not reach the lost at the cost of God’s glory and His righteous precepts. There is no shortcut to growing a church the Bible way. Souls must be won to Christ, not to the pastor. They must not be seeking salvation from Hell, they must be seeking salvation from sin because they will face a holy God. Spurgeon put it this way:

“The unsaved sinner loves a salvation from Hell. The true Christian loves a salvation from sin. Everyone desires to be saved from the pit, but it is only a child of God who pants to be saved from every false way.”

I believe there are a few things that are necessary to bring someone to true salvation. I will cover these things in this series of posts. They are all found in Scripture, so I am confident that they are sound.

I am really bothered by the fact that we claim to believe the Bible, but when things are not going well, when we aren’t seeing as many souls as we think we should see, instead of seeking a Bible answer, we add a new program or method.

The things we add are based on human psychology. For example, we do things during our invitations to make people feel guilty if they don’t respond. For example, we have them raise their hands if they are not sure of their salvation. Once they do that, we make them feel uncomfortable if they don’t come forward.

I understand that after one of D.L Moody’s meetings an old man asked him, “Why don’t you let the Holy Spirit do the work?” I have the same question for most Baptist preachers today. We can get people to come forward at an invitation, and even coerce them into saying the “Sinners Prayer,” but only the Holy Spirit can bring true conviction of sin and work repentance in the heart, both of which are needed for a person to be truly saved.

I might point out that the “Sinners Prayer” is not found in the Bible, and I can’t find where anyone ever prayed a prayer to be saved. People are not saved when they pray, they are saved when they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31

These articles about bringing more people to true salvation. They are about how to get lasting change instead of empty professions from those who are supposedly saved.

It is my hope that all who read these posts will take seriously what is in them. It is also my hope that each one will examine their evangelism by the Word of God, and not by what we have been taught in Bible schools, or even by what I say in my posts. I am not the authority, the Bible is. I am just voicing how I see things. It is the reader’s responsibility to compare what I say with the Scriptures to see if it is accurate.