by Steve Hale
"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" ( Mark 16:15, NKJV).
Why isn't the church on fire for saving the lost? Why has our brotherhood fallen prey to internal squabbling? Why aren't churches of Christ the fastest growing religious movement in the world?
Powerful questions, aren't they? We need to "pass it on!" So, why aren't we? There are three powerful presuppositions to soul-winning. Perhaps we are not convinced about one, or all of them! These are:
1. Men and women not in Christ are lost. Do we believe that? The Bible clearly teaches it! When Jesus returns in judgment, the Bible says He will: "...in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 1:8). Sin is powerful, it is the most awful reality effecting the human experience. Isaiah said: "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden If is face from you" ( Isaiah 59:2). Because of sin, men and women not in Christ are lost!
2. The gospel is God's power to save the lost. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first, and also for the Greek" ( Romans 1: 16). God's power to save is not Holy Spirit baptism, it is not a vision, nor is it a new revelation. His power to save is the gospel!
Therefore, preachers need to be about the business of preaching the gospel, and every Christian needs to be about the business of sharing the gospel. As Jesus died, was buried, and resurrected ( 1 Corinthians 15:1-4), so must humanity die, be buried, and raised with Jesus by means of baptism to become His ( Romans 6:1-7).
3. Something will happen as we share the gospel. The gospel is powerful (Gk. dunamis, that is, it's God's dynamo and dynamic to save man! Lydia's heart was "opened" when she heard the story of Jesus ( Acts 16:14). Those at Pentecost were "cut to the heart" by means of Peter's message ( Acts 2:37).
True, some will turn away and mock the truth, as did the pseudo-intellectual in Athens ( Acts 17:32-34). But, some were converted, like Dionysius and Damarius!
The gospel is not a cherished trophy designed to be prized, shelved, and scrutinized. It is a seed to be planted, a fire to be lit, a bomb to be exploded! Pass it on!