It is my hope that the title of this article may have already sparked a thought about the Great Commission. As Christians we have one main purpose on this earth, to “seek and save that which is lost”. It is to carry on the very work of Christ. We are striving to be Christlike, and he already set the example for seeking and saving the Lost. Soul Winning is the work we are called to do, and the purpose for which we are intended to fulfill. Throughout the New Testament you will often find that when one accepted Christ, the first thing you see that individual doing is sharing Christ with others! It is the first purpose presented to the disciples as Christ called them into the ministry of being “fishers of men”!
As an Independent, Fundamental, KJV Bible Believing Baptist, I faithfully attend every Soul Winning opportunity presented at our church. I always have the hope and prayer to see someone accept Christ. I always pray for someone to be saved, but also come to church, to get baptized, and to have their life changed by the Lord. I know that Success in Soul Winning is for me to Obey and Go, It is to see a Lost Soul Saved, even if they never darken the church doors. In my estimation the “Ultimate Success” in Soul Winning is to see a soul Saved, who visits the church, makes a public profession of faith and gets baptized, to then began faithfully attending and grow in the Lord. This is the kind of success that excites a Christian who goes Soul Winning and the kind of success that will ultimately grow the church.
In approximately 14 years of going Soul Winning. Though I have successfully seen hundreds of people saved in those 14 years, it has been rare to taste of the kind of “Ultimate Success” I mentioned above. The church I currently attend was the first and last one I visited when I was searching for a church in my town. I chose this church because their website described that, what I have described as the “Ultimate Success” was taking place. The website for the church stated that the founding and current pastor set the precedent for the church and its endeavors by personally walking his converts down the aisle at the invitation time! This was all I needed to know! This was a church where the power and approval of God was resting. As a member of the church for the last 4 years it has been a joy to see that the pastor still sets the precedent! I have marvelled over these 4 years as to how it happens! More specifically I have marvelled at how God has used him to transcend cultural and linguistic barriers to reach and bring in people from Southeast Asia. People who don’t speak English, and the Pastor doesn’t speak their language either. How does God use my pastor to reach and bring in so many people? How does God work through my pastor beyond those cultural and linguistic barriers? Can or will God use me in that way?
I believe that many Christians may be asking these same questions to themselves. I believe that just as many may share my desire to be used like that of God to reach people, But how? Why isn’t it working for me? What am I doing wrong or Different? What do I need to Change? The answer is found in the title of this article, “The Great Omission”. As you may well know the passage of scripture found in Matthew 28:18-20 is called and known as “The Great Commission”. In the infallible Word of God, the King James Version, it reads like so…
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
“The Great Omission” is verse 18! Many Pastors, Preachers, Teachers, Evangelists, Soul Winners, and Christians just read verses 19 and 20. Verses 19 and 20 are the direct command. But verse 18 tells us how that command is to be carried out! The missing part of the “Great Commission” is this “All power is given unto me in heaven and earth” These are the words spoken by Christ. The power to carry out the following command is found in Christ! When I was a child I was taught, when you see the word “therefore” go back and see what it is “there for”. The word therefore could be replaced with, “knowing this”, or “because of this”, or “for that reason”. All power is given to Christ in heaven and earth, KNOWING THIS, Go, Teach, Baptize! All power is given to Christ in heaven and earth, BECAUSE OF THIS, Go, Teach, Baptize! All power is given to Christ in heaven and earth, FOR THAT REASON, Go, Teach, Baptize! Do you see how important verse 18 is? It is the key to fulfilling the command that is given in verses 19 and 20.
In Acts chapter 1 Christ ascends into Heaven leaving us a Comforter and the essence of His power, The Holy Spirit! Throughout the book of Acts you will see the power of Christ through the Holy Spirit resting on men of God like Paul, Silas, Barnabas, Ananias, Peter and others! When a person accepts Christ they are now indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit must needs be fed! When the Holy Spirit is not fed it is quenched by our flesh making the power of Christ seem small or non existent in our lives. But when the Holy Spirit is fed, it is strong and easily overcomes the flesh directing us to truth and right. The Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary to Soul Winning, necessary to see souls saved, and necessary for what I have called the “Ultimate Success”.
The problem today in our churches, our ministries, and our Soul Winning today is the “Great Omission”. Not that people are leaving verse 18 out when they read the “Great Commission”, but that they are leaving it out in their actions. They are literally leaving the power of Christ out of their ministry and soul winning but still expecting to see great success and results. Let me put this into perspective. If a saved man is faithfully attending church, tithing and ministering in some way as a teacher or worker, by all accounts that man appears to be what God would be pleased with. The time comes to go Soul Winning and this sees many saved each week, his converts come to church, and get baptized and began attending faithfully. I can tell you something about this man. Based on the word of God found in the Book of James, you have seen the works of this man and it shows his Faith. This is a man who prays, who reads his Bible, and who intently feeds the Holy Spirit within him so that the Power of God overcomes the flesh and accomplishes a great work through him. Now let’s say that same man attends faithfully, tithes, ministers and appears to be a good and pleasing Christian, but throughout the week the man drinks at the bars, smokes, spends time with the wrong crowds in the wrong places, curses like a sailor, and puts filth before his eyes and ears. This man when soul winning comes around will rarely produce any success other than in the obedience of going. He is in the habit of quenching the Holy Spirit and allowing the flesh to hinder the Spirit thus leaving him without the power of Christ in his Soul Winning.
Please understand, I am not saying that everyone who goes out soul winning but sees no one saved, is living like the devil through the week. What I am saying is that Christ has the power to save lost souls, if there is lack of souls saved it is either on our part or the lost souls part but not on Christ’s part. If the Power of Christ is truly resting on us and with us, then every soul that is open to salvation will be saved! Often though, I believe Christians are lacking the power of Christ; “The Great Omission”! Based on the Scriptures, if a man or woman having the power of Christ, full of the Holy Spirit would go and speak with those same lost souls that the powerless Christian did, they would surely see them saved if they were indeed open to the Gospel.
Christians need to make it a focus to possess the power of Christ! Without it we can accomplish nothing for God. Read the book of Acts, notice the great things accomplished for God. Notice the Power of Christ through the Holy Spirit resting on those who accomplished those great things! We have too many powerless Christians in our churches who are doing nothing for God, who are affecting no one for Christ, who are bringing no one to Christ. These powerless Christians are the branches that are pruned away because they do not bear fruit. In John chapter 15 we are told that the Husbandman will prune and cut back those branches which do not bear fruit. In many Churches it is interesting to look at those who have been pruned from the church. It is interesting to notice that they never produced any fruit, they were powerless Christians who rarely saw converts saved, baptized, or attending church. Those individuals became branches that were pruned to spur on new growth. There now grows a new branch bearing fruit! They have become the fulfillment of John chapter 15.
The answer to all the questions presented in the beginning is this: we need the power of Christ to rest in and through us in the Holy Spirit! This is how we have “Ultimate Success”. This is how God can use me the way he uses my Pastor. This is the way that I can see fruit abound to my account, from my branch as it were, that I be not pruned for lack of fruit. The answer to success in soul winning is the Power of Christ, we must be careful to lot let the power of Christ, The Holy Spirit Fullness, be the great omission of our Soul Winning. For if it is, many will die and spend eternity in hell, when the reality is that if a person with the power of Christ would have simply given them gospel they could be viewing the gates of heaven instead! Make it a goal to possess the power of Christ! Feed and be full of the Holy Spirit! Bear Fruit!
“Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God; such alone will shake the gates of hell.” -John Wesley