Two days ago (Thursday), I confessed that I am drawn to "cops and robbers" television shows. I mentioned that the law enforcement folks were always looking for evidence that a suspect had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to commit the crime. That started me thinking about the effectiveness of the Church in reaching the lost for Christ. Please do not think that I am equating soul-winning to criminal activity. On the contrary; I am saying that a lack of soul-winning is more like criminal "inactivity."
Soul-winning is not merely a New Testament phenomena. Proverbs 11:30 says, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." Fruit is evidence of the identity of a tree, and it contains seed. In the parable of Jesus, seed was defined as the Word of God (Mk 4:14). The fruit of an apple tree bears seed that becomes another apple tree; the Christian bears seed that will "grow another Christian." That is why Jesus told His disciples to go teach, baptize, and nurture "their offspring" (Matt 28:19-20).
Long after Saul of Tarsus became the Apostle Paul, he wrote that one becomes a born-again believer when he believes that Jesus is his Lord, and that God raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 10:9-10). Then he asks a logical question: how can a person believe something they have not heard? After all, faith can only come when one is exposed to the Word of God. A soul-winner has to share the Word of God. There are a variety of ways this can be done. Money can be spent on printing of Bibles or other materials containing the plan of salvation. Printed materials, such as Gideon Bibles, can be distributed. A person can tell others about how the Word of God changed their life. If called of God, a person can become a preacher, evangelist, Sunday school teacher, or a missionary. Today, some of us have access to audio and video recordings, radio, television, the internet, magazines, and newspapers. We have the means.
There are several good reasons that we should witness for Christ. One, He told us to. Two, we want our loved ones to experience their own relationship with the Savior. Three, we want our neighbors and co-workers to experience their own relationship with the Savior. Four, we receive a joy unspeakable when we see someone we told about Christ respond in faith. We have the motive.
Based upon all of the means available to us in this generation, and realizing that of all people, we have the freedom of speech and print, it is impossible to say, "I didn't have the opportunity." There is a whole world out there that needs to hear the Gospel, and believe it or not, the Holy Spirit is opening doors for YOU to share it with individuals. Having your sins confessed, having studied the Word of God, having prayed for the Spirit's direction and help, you and I definitely have the opportunity.
The question is, will we witness for Christ, or will we be guilty of "criminal inactivity?" It is up to US!