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Philippians 4:4-19

As I live life, I have noticed how much stress there is in just daily Living.  As I have aged (we all age differently, some quicker and some slower), I have noticed many more pains and difficulties that are added to the daily drudge of life itself.  It can get us down.  It can make us discouraged; can cause us to stress when we really are looking for joy and comfort.  Sometimes, as we go throughout the day, the happenings of the day itself, work, children, money, bills, family, and many other issues which surround us constantly can bring stress that can ruin the day—sometimes for days, weeks, or even months.

How do we deal with these changes in life that bring these stresses?
 
How do we have a joyful life? 
 
How do I have comfort and just simple peace?
 
Sometimes it can just become difficult to make it through the day without breaking down.  

This is what I love so much about our Lord.  He saw this and placed for us in His Word an answer that can and will get us thought the stress of Life everyday, even the days when we just don't feel like we can take just one more step.

We find this is Philippians 4 verses 4-6 and to have a full dose of the truth we can go all the way to verse 19 and just have this all the time.


 
Philippians 4 verses 4-6 
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.  Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”


 
Let me say to you first, there is no shame in feeling overwhelmed.  We do, to deny this, or to get mad and angry because we feel this way is not our answer.  We are all human and this happen to everyone and we are all looking for relief.  It is not sin to be frustrated or stressed out.  It is not that God is making some kind of judgment on our life, it is part of being human, and that is why our Lord has an answer for us.
 


Notice verse 4 “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”

The Source of our Joy is not anything in the world; it is simply in the Lord.  At all times we may rejoice that there is a God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The world is always changing, the things of this world are always bring something that we do not anticipate, and sometimes when we do anticipate it we still have to deal with it.  

Everything changes.  But the Lord He Never Changes.  He is the same; the same God, the same love, the same power to overcome, the same joy, the same victory, the same everything.  



Government changes, friends change, family changes, work changes, houses or homes change, moods change.  Moment by moment everything are always changing. Yet My Lord is the same. I can depend on Him.  Notice it does not say rejoice in man or men or people or institutions.  For they all changes.  However, He never changes.

That unchanging is where the joy comes from.  That is the only place that joy comes from. 

Thank you Lord for letting us know that the joy that can replace my stress starts with my unchanging Saviour, Jesus Christ.

With that knowledge I can move on to securing that joy.  Verse 5 “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”

The word, moderation can also be understood as patience, self-control, restraint.

We can let everyone see this in us when we remember what the Lord has for us. PEACE.  How???

“The Lord is at hand.”  He is right with us.  He may be in Heaven but, he is with you and me and no matter what happens in life he is right at our side.  We are never alone.  He lives in us. He has given us His Spirit who dwells in us 24/7.  This whole thing of living life can make us feel all alone though we are surrounded by people.  Yet, we feel these people can do nothing to help us.  There is one who can help us. Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, He is at hand.  He can make it right with you and with me.  Once you have received Him as your Saviour, He is with you no matter what happens the rest of your life.  That is apart of the great gift He has given to us in salvation.
 
Yes, this world and everything in it can spin around us as a whirlwind, throwing everything out of whack.  Yet, he is not moved one inch.  The Lord is right with you.  This he has promised.

Some say, “Yeah, but I just don't feel it.”  I know.  Many time we don't and I am glad the Lord did not stop talking here.

Verse 6 says “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Be careful in nothing, what is that????
 
Thanks for asking.  This is a great example of how to make it through the day, the week, the moth the year and life.  Be careful in nothing.

Don’t let this life stress you out, overwhelm you, take you over and spit you out.  Don’t let it give you anxiety.  I have something for you.  This is what be careful in nothing is taking about. 

Our Lord understood living on this rock.  He knows the stresses here.  He has live it, so he understands it. He created us and knows what we can take and what we can’t take.  So he gives us an answer.   He says be careful in nothing; but in EVERY THING… I am glad he used those words.

No matter what it is that is stressing us, this is the answer for every thing.  But, in every thing…Everything in reference to our wants, and the wants of your families, everything in respect to afflictions, embarrassments, and trials: and everything relating to your spiritual condition. There is nothing, which pertains to body, mind, our things, friends, conflicts, losses, trials, hopes, fears, in which we may not go and spread it all out before the Lord.   Tell him about it all.  Not only tell him express everything you think and feel about it.  Talk to Him and give him details.  He wants to hear from you about it.  Yes, he already now about it but, he want you and me to tell him all about it, how we feel about it, how it is affecting us, everything.  Tell him he is listing.  There is nothing to stop you.  He tells us he is asking for us to tell him. That is prayer.  Talking to God.  Not repeating a bunch of word that has no meeting to us at the moment, but it is us expressing ourselves to him.  This is what supplication is all about.  It is about what you are going, what is going on with you and in your life, knowing what to do and how to do it.  Supplication.

Then he says as you do this remember, I am with you and as hard as this might seem be thankful for it.  We don’t know what tomorrow holds for us.  Many times when something has happened in my life I thought at that moment, I HATE THIS! Yet it became a great help to me in life.  Now, looking back I can see how glad and thankful I am for what was happening them.  I could use many illustrations here and so could you.  Not knowing at the time of the impact it would have I did not like it.  So, the Lord knowing how we are he tells us with up front, these is something here to be thankful here.

No matter what is that is causing the stress, take a moment, He tells us and give some thanks for it.  If nothing else it has caused us to spend some time with the one who loves us no matter what our condition has been. 

He continues in the same sentence, make your request to me about what you want or need to do. Not as if you were to give him a command, but to express to him your wants. God needs not to be informed of our necessities, but he requires that we come and express them to him.

Doing these things bring something to your and my life that can only come from God, It cannot come from others or us.

“ And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  That is the result found in verse 7.  Stress released.  Frustrations set aside.  That which was overwhelming us is now overcome. 

This seems like a simple answer and it is. Yet so often I forget and may you do too.  I am very glad to know God knew this as well.  That is why we have the Written Word of God for us to read.  Yes, it is good to go to church and hear the Word of God.  But, we do not have to wait.  We can have it anytime.  In it His Word He reminds us what we have forgotten or in some cases just became too busy to practice.

I am grateful he has reminded me.   There is even more about it in the balance of this one small chapter. 

Philippians 4:4-19
 4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
 12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
 14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
 15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
 


 


 

Lets Go Soul Winning

By Dr. Jack Hyles

 
 
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations [Mark's says, “...preach the gospel to every creature"], 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 alway, even unto the end of the world." -Matt. 28:19,20.

Notice the simplicity of the Great Commission. I'm satisfied that this is not all it teaches, but this is the basic teaching, as I see it, of the Great Commission. There are several verbs in this verse. The first one is, "Go." We are to go. That means to go where they are. It doesn't mean to put up a shingle in your office and say, "If anybody wants to get saved, inquire within." It means you are to look them up, track them down. You are to go where they are.

The second verb is, "Teach" (Mark says, "Preach"). Actually it means to win them. Go out and tell them how to be saved. The first thing you do is to go; then get them saved.

The next verb is, "Baptize."
And then, "...Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you."
Notice there are four basic verbs: (1) GO. (2) PREACH (or teach, get them saved). (3) BAPTIZE. (4) TEACH them again. You teach them something after you get them saved and baptized. What do you teach them? To "...observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." It did not say to teach "whatsoever I have written you." But teach them "whatsoever I have COMMANDED you."

Now what did He command us to do? Go, preach, baptize, then teach them what He commanded us to do. So, we teach them to go and preach and baptize, that they may teach their converts to go, preach and baptize, that they may teach their converts to go and preach and baptize. If I understand the Great Commission properly, the first thing to teach somebody you win to Christ is how to win somebody else to Christ. Don't you think so? It says ‘to teach them to do what I have told you to do, what I have commanded you to do.'

Here is what I think the Great Commission basically teaches. I come to this brother here on the front. First, I go. I go to your house; I go to your store, then I tell you how to get converted. I get you baptized. Then I must teach you how to go and get the next man converted and get him baptized, that he may teach another how to go and get still another converted and baptized, that he may go, etc.

Dr. Rice, you don't quit there. You teach him how to get this man converted and baptize him. It is a long circle when you get somebody converted. We have the idea that the Great Commission is wrapped up in going, preaching, and baptizing, and that that is all it says. No, it says you teach them how to go. You teach them how to get folks saved. You teach them how to get folks baptized. That is also a part of the Great Commission and the first command to us after we win a soul to Jesus Christ.

So, this is the Great Commission, this matter of what I'm doing today. I'm teaching you how to have pretty feet. The Bible says, "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" So, I'm a chiropodist, a foot specialist. I'm going to make you have pretty feet. A secret of success is good feet. An athlete will tell you the first things that will go bad are legs and feet. No matter how hard you can bat, how good you can catch and pitch, when your legs are gone, the athlete is gone.

The most important thing about an army is its feet. When I was in the service they had a foot inspection at midnight. We would be sound asleep and then... "Attention!!!" Here comes the Captain. We would stand up and look, and here was that big old boy coming down the hall. They would say, "Get on your foot lockers." We got on our foot lockers. Great big old feet sticking out, and they say, "O.K. Hold up your trousers." We held up our trousers while they examined our feet. Why? Because the most important thing about the army was the feet.

Now the first thing to get cold about you is your feet-- physically or spiritually. I was in Phoenix in a conference. I got cold at night and I didn't know I was cold. I wasn't awake enough to know where I was cold, but I was awake enough to know I was cold somewhere. Invariably it is your feet that get cold, but you don't realize it. You start pulling the cover up around your shoulders while your feet are sticking out completely. Your feet get colder and you feel colder, but you don't know where you are cold. You pull the covers a little further. Finally, you are freezing to death.

It is your feet that are cold but you don't know it. And that is the first thing that will get cold spiritually. You start tithing and giving more money. But it is not your pocketbook that is cold;
it is your feet. You promise God you will start coming to prayer meeting, but your feet get cold first. And a lot of Christians are as cold as a wedge and don't know where it started. It started with their feet.

The same is true about being dirty. How many of you men (now you ladies wouldn't dare do this, but we men do it quite a bit); you don't want to take a bath. You are not quite dirty enough to take a bath, but your feet are dirty, so you take your shoes off, put your big feet up in the lavatory and wash them. Why? Because the feet get dirty first.

The same is true with a Christian. When the feet get dirty-- they are the first things that lead you toward backsliding. The first thing you leave off when you get away from God is not the Sunday School on Sunday morning; it is not the Sunday evening service. The first thing is visitation, calling, witnessing. If you can keep your feet warm, you will be warm all over. If you can keep your feet clean, you will be clean all over. If you
can keep your feet right, you will be right all over. So, today we will discuss how to keep your feet pretty.

Soul winning is the basic secret of every other problem in the church. For example, here a church is having cold services. There is no warmth there. The Lord does not meet with them. Now how do you overcome it? Get to winning souls. If somebody walks down the aisle every Sunday and professes their faith in Christ, that will warm the service up a great deal.

Here is a church having trouble with its business. It doesn't have enough folks who know business. It is having trouble handling it legal affairs. It doesn't have enough wisdom. The Bible says, "He that winneth souls is wise." So God gives extra wisdom to those who win souls. I would rather have a soul-winning ignoramus run the business of my church than a group of big shots who won't come to prayer meeting on Wednesday night.  In the First Baptist Church in Hammond our deacons and leaders are men not necessarily who are business wise, but men who are spiritual and soul winners because God gives them wisdom that no one else has.

The same is true about your finances. If you have trouble raising your money, just get some sinners converted. When Jesus wanted some money, what did He do? He caught a fish with money in its mouth. The same is true if you will get busy about soul winning. Now if you have a little trouble in the church, go soul winning.

Suppose Dr. Rice and I have a fuss. The best thing for us to do is to go soul winning together. If we can win somebody to Jesus together, we will make it all right. We will love each other again.

When I was in Texas a deacon there had a fuss with me. Of course I thought it was his fault. So, one night he came to visitation. We went visiting together. He said, "Preacher, that Bible study you brought last night was the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.” I said, "J.B., if you had an ounce of sense, if God gave you a brain the size of a flea's brain, you would know I taught the truth last night.” Now, he said, "Preacher, if I didn't love you, I would quit coming to this church.” I said, "J.B., the truth is, I ought not to even go with you." Boy, we really had it.

About that time we came to the first house. A fellow came to the door in his bathrobe and house slippers. He had gone to bed. We got him converted, and J.B. got happy and we started rejoicing.

The fellow woke his wife and she came and got converted. We walked out the door on the way home and J.B. looked at me and said, "Preacher, I've been thinking about that sermon at prayer meeting and that was one of the best sermons I have ever heard."
I said, "J.B., no, you're wrong. I was wrong last night and you were right." So we got in a fuss over who was right last night! I'm just saying, we got back together. Why? Because we were winning souls together.

Jesus said in John 15, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." Sometimes folks ask me about predestination. Yes, I believe I was chosen before the foundation of the world-- TO GET SOMEBODY SAVED. That is what it says. It says, "I have chosen you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: and that whatsoever ye shall ask of the
Father in my name, he may give it you." Then it says, "These things I command you, that ye love one another."

What? Going and bringing forth fruit.

Why? That will make you love one another. So soul winning is the crux of it all.

I tell my preacher boys in my church, "If you go to a church where they are about to vote you out, kick you out, go out and win enough folks to carry the vote right quick." I was called to a church one time-- in fact, the first full-time church I ever had. I carried the vote about 25 to 17.

When  I got there the first Sunday, a lot of my folks were gone. Usually the first Sunday at the church you present yourself for membership, but I didn't have enough folks there to vote me in and I was already pastor. So I didn't join. I went out winning souls and won eighteen or twenty the first few weeks, then I joined the church. I had enough then to vote me in. So it will take care of your problems.

This matter of soul winning is consuming to me. To me it is just the biggest thing. It consumes me with the bigness, and that anybody can do it.

I wish I could tell you about some experiences of folks who do it.

I know a fellow in Texas who, when he got converted, couldn't even spell Jesus. The first year he won 169 to Jesus. He picked up a hitchhiker and tried to witness to him. The hitchhiker shook his head. He then talked real loud, but the hitchhiker pointed to his ears and shook his head. So this new convert started writing the Gospel out and the hitchhiker pointed down and shook his head. He couldn't read, he couldn't hear, he couldn't talk. So this soul winner, who went to the third grade and couldn't even spell Jesus, stopped the car and got out, took his Bible, pointed to the Bible, pointed to his heart, pointed to Heaven, made a motion to open your heart and let Him come in, got on his knees and began to pray. The deaf and dumb fellow got on his knees and mumbled a bit, got up with a smile of Heaven on his face, pointed to the Bible, pointed to Heaven and pointed to his heart.

I'm just saying, anybody can do it. This is a chance for you. As Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., says, God doesn't have many today. This is a chance for you. God is hard up and He will even use you.

1. HAVE A DEFINITE TIME TO GO
This is one of the most important things in soul winning. If you are to be a soul winner, you have to do it on purpose. You must plan to do it. You must try to do it. 

Let me encourage you a bit. I'm sure I speak for others; I know I speak for myself. There never is a day when I want to go soul winning. We're all made of the same clay and have the same weaknesses. Soul winning is a spiritual matter and the flesh will fight against it. In the summer it is too hot to go. Besides, folks are taking naps and it will make them mad if we wake them up. In a few months it is going to start snowing and we don't want to go out in the snow because we will catch cold talking through the door, and they would catch cold, too. There is never a good time to go.

Let me say this, though. I never want to quit once I start. In soul winning you have to have a self-starter. You have to start against the grain. You must start because you are supposed to start. I get tired of folks saying, "Dear Lord, give me a burden to win souls." While you wait on the burden, go out and win a few. The Lord didn't tell you to win souls if you have a burden; He said to win them anyway. If you don't want to, win them; if you feel like it, win them. If we went soul winning every time we felt like it, not a one of us would ever go, because Satan will try to keep us from it. He will keep you at your desk. You may become a great theologian studying things that are good to know, but the Devil will use them to substitute for soul winning.

So have a schedule. The trouble with most preachers-- and I'm guilty of it myself-- is that we don't live a disciplined life. Every preacher should have a schedule and try to live by it. Every preacher, every Christian should have a set time in the week or several times in the week when he does soul winning.

Personally, I try to go every Thursday afternoon, every Friday afternoon, and sometimes on Saturday. If I cannot go or do not go one of those times, I substitute another time. I suggest the layman should go when the church has visitation, if possible, and maybe one other time in the week. If you cannot go on visitation night, go another time, but set aside a time and
say, "This is my time to win souls." If you do not, you will probably be a failure.

2. BE SOUL-CONSCIOUS

What does it mean to be soul-conscious? Talk to anyone any time or, better still, talk to everyone every time. Realize that everybody has a soul. The drugstore clerk, the barber, the shoeshine boy, the beautician, the grocery clerk, the milkman, bread man, service station attendant needs the Lord and we should witness to them.

Nobody is going to do it every time. It never gets easy to ask, "Are you a Christian?" I practice it. In front of the mirror I say, "Are you a Christian? Are y-o-u a Christian? Have you ever been converted? Are you saved?" I get in the habit of it. I don't care who you are; I don't care where you are, it is never easy.

For example, you go to buy a medicine from the druggist. Well, you preachers are pretty nice-looking fellows-- you could be mistaken for lawyers. You say, "Hello. How are you today?" The druggist thinks, "Isn't that a fine fellow." You know that if you ask, "Are you a Christian?" his opinion of you will change and he will think you are a nut, and nobody wants to be a nut. So you just don't say anything. 

Now you had better get in the habit of asking, "Are you a Christian?" You will win more if you just start witnessing everywhere you go. You will win as many on the side as you do on purpose, and you will have the most wonderful experiences.  If you preachers would start winning souls everywhere you go, you wouldn't have to get a book of illustrations to preach from next Sunday.  Instead of saying, "In a distant city many years ago a certain man down a certain street..." you could say, "Last Friday morning out on the field I won somebody to Jesus.  Let me tell you about it." It will liven up your sermons. That way you won't repeat anybody's illustrations.  They will all be yours.

So, be soul-conscious. I mean by being soul-conscious, make it a habit of asking people everywhere you go, "Are you a Christian?" Ask the bread man, the school teacher, the milkman, the fellow who works in the yard, the telephone man, the fellow who reads the meter for the gas and electricity. Just ask everyone you see, "Are you a Christian? Have you been saved?" Be soul-conscious.

Let me give you this illustration. I was out mowing the yard one day while pastoring in Texas. Our church was the largest church in our city. One out of seven people in town belonged to our church. I saw my members quite often. Now, when I mow the yard, I'm not quite a beauty queen! That day I had on a tee shirt with a hole in the shoulder, and one right under the arm; I had on a pair of old tennis shoes with holes in them, and a pair of trousers with patches in the knee, and I think I had on either a golf cap or a fishing hat. I was a tragic-looking thing, a sight to behold!

My wife came out in the yard and said, "Honey, would you go get some sugar from the neighbor down the street?" I said, "All right, I'll do it."  So I got the cup and marched down there with my tennis shoes on, and a hole in my breeches and tee shirt, and a fishing cap on.  We were very close friends to the folks, so we never knocked. They would come in our house and we would go in theirs-- just real close neighbors.

So I walked in and said, "Hey! Anybody home?" And there was-- thirteen people at home-- company all dressed up in suits and fine clothes.  There I was.  Imagine, Rev. Hyles, a cup in his hand, fishing hat on, split tee shirt, patch in his breeches, and a pair of tennis shoes on his feet! And I said, "Hello."  The lady looked at me, she looked at her company, then announced, "This is my pastor."  I was horrified!  I was humiliated!  I wanted to evaporate but couldn't.  Finally I said, "Excuse me; I'm sorry." Then I got to thinking.  Shoot! Just take over the conversation.  Just act like you have good sense.

So in I walked. "How do you do! How are you? Are you a Christian?" I went around the entire room asking the same question. Then THEY got embarrassed. (I found out long ago that when a preacher goes to a hospital or gets some place where he feels like a fifth wheel, he should just bluff them and take over the conversation. That will help you, too. It really will. You go to
the hospital. Here is the doctor, the nurse, the family. And everybody says, "That's the preacher." You know how you feel, pastors. It's a terrible feeling. So I walk in, "Hello Doc. How are you?" Make HIM feel bad. Make HIM feel like he's a fifth wheel.)

So I walked in and asked each person if he or she were a Christian. The last man, a young man, said, "No, I'm not, but I've been thinking about it." Well, I said, "I can help you think about it right here." We knelt there in that home and opened the Bible. He got converted.

He lived at Irving, Texas, forty miles from Garland. I said, "Now, J.D., you need to walk the aisle in the church in Irving tomorrow." He said, "If you don't mind, Preacher, I'll just stay over tonight and come to your church and walk the aisle." He did, and that night he got baptized in my church.

Later he joined the First Baptist Church of Irving, Texas. You don't realize how many places you will bump into people. I saw a lady while on vacation just recently. She said, "Hello, Brother Jack. Remember when you won me to the Lord?" I said, "I certainly do." It happened while I was looking for a Mrs. Marsh. I knocked on Mrs. Marsh's door-- I thought. She came to the door. I said, "Mrs. Marsh?" "No, I'm Mrs. Tillet.” I said, "Mrs. Tillet, I thought Mrs. Marsh lived here.”

"No, she lives five houses down the street." "Thank you, Mrs. Tillet." I walked off. Then I said, "Wait a minute, Mrs. Tillet. Are you a Christian?"  She began to cry. I led her to Christ right there.

I have won shoeshine boys and fellows on airplanes. I was going to Phoenix to a conference last year. I sat down beside a man seventy-two years old, a wealthy rancher. "Where do you live?" I asked,
He said, "On a ranch between Phoenix and Tucson."
I said, "Do you and your wife live alone?"
"My wife died a few months ago."
I asked, "Do you ever think about having anybody else come and live with you?"
"Oh," he said, "If I could find somebody who would come and live with me, a friend to keep me company,  I'd give anything in the world." He had chauffeurs, servants. He owned a big ranch with hundreds of acres, but was as lonely as he could be.

I said, "I know Somebody who would come and live with you."
"You do? Does He live in Phoenix?"
I said, "He sure does. He lives everywhere."
He said, "Who is it?"
"Jesus will come."

In fifteen minutes that man had Somebody to go home with him to live. Oh, if we will just take time to witness. The trouble is, we are ashamed of Jesus. We don't mind saying, "Isn't it hot today?" or, "I wonder how the Berlin situation is." We don't mind talking about Khrushchev. We're more eager to talk about him than about Jesus.

Isn't that a shame! Here we are redeemed. He died for us on the cross. We have been made heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. He is building a home in Heaven for us.
We're God's children and we won't even tell a stranger that we belong to
the Lord Jesus. Be soul-conscious.

3. BE CLEAN AND NEAT

There are two or three things a soul winner ought to watch. A soul winner ought to always watch his odor. That is tremendously important. Not only watch about your body odor, but you ought to be careful about your breath. One thing that will hurt more than most anything else in soul winning is bad breath. I would suggest that you carry mints with you. We men have a little pocket on the inside of our pocket. Put some mints in there. I always put one in my mouth before I conduct the invitation on Sunday and meet folks at the altar. So keep some mints handy.

There are other ways you can help your breath. Gum is good if you can chew it when no one sees you. Someone said the only difference between a gum-chewing flapper and a cud-chewing cow is the intelligent look on the face of the cow! You can also use Sen-Sen. I used to get a bottle of Listerine to keep in my car and between each visit I gargled.

A soul winner should also be neat. Too often the world's conception of a soul winner is some fellow on a street corner, in a suit that doesn't fit; his tie is turned around; he has a funny look in his eye; his collar is turned up; and he is looking at you saying, "You'd better get borned agin or you're going to Hell." Don't you think God could use some folks who know how to dress neatly? Don't you think God could use somebody with a clean white shirt as well as a dirty shirt? Don't you think God could use somebody who knows how to comb his hair as well as somebody with messed-up hair? Don't you think God could use somebody who knows how to brush his teeth as well as somebody who doesn’t?

Now I thank God for everybody who witnesses. I appreciate the sign on the back of a car. I admire every fellow who stands up and says, "You'd better get borned agin or you're going to Hell." I am grateful for every sign on a rock that says, "Jesus Saves." But I will say this: We need more people with some intelligence and a nice appearance, a nice personality, a good approach, to go into homes and tell people about Jesus Christ.

One should dress just as nice to go soul winning as he would to go to church. Men should at least wear a white shirt and a tie. I suggest you ladies wear high heel and hose. Dress as nicely as possible when you represent Jesus. When you go soul winning, you should give the best appearance. Someone has said, "I want to look so no one will ever accuse me of being a preacher, but they won't be surprised if they find out I am." So dress the part. Be clean and neat.

4. CARRY A TESTAMENT WITH YOU 

Personally I think it much better to carry a Testament than a Bible. Now do not be ashamed of the Bible, but if you plan to shoot a fellow, don't carry your gun out in the open up to his house. The best thing to do is to conceal your weapon.  If I were going to shoot you, Dr. Rice, I wouldn’t say, "Dr. Rice, here I come. Here's my gun. Here you are. Bang! Bang!" Dr. Rice would be out of the way by the time I got there. Now when some folks see you walking up the sidewalk with a big Bible, they will be hiding in the closet by the time you get there.  If you have done much soul winning, you know what I'm talking about. Simply get out of the car and walk up to the door with a concealed Bible or Testament.  Walk up the sidewalk with a big Bible and people will say, "Here comes the preacher." Mama says, "Tell him I'm not home." So the little fellow comes to the door and says, "Mama told me to tell you she wasn't home!" Now the reason is, they have you spotted. But I get out of the car with a little Testament tucked away in my pocket, walk up to the door and since they don't know who it is, I have an inroad. When you do to win souls, the best thing is to keep your weapon concealed until you get into the house.

 Carrying two Testaments is good also. I don't do this as religiously as I used to, but I did for years. You can buy inexpensive ones for about 25 cents. Let the lost person read from one and you read one. After you win him to Christ, give it to him as a souvenir. You can write on the inside that it was given to So and So on such and such a date (the date of the conversion), with a "God bless you" and a Scripture verse. Give him a Testament and keep one yourself. On occasion you might use his Bible if you see it around. I don't sit beside the person when I win him. I used to. Now I sit across the room. Two or three reasons why. One, it is always best to sit across the room if you are dealing with the opposite sex. Then it is best to look in the person's eyes when talking to him.

5. GO TWO BY TWO

There are many reasons why we go two by two. It is scriptural. Jesus sent the apostles out two by two. One can encourage the other. There is something about strength in unity. If you don't believe it, eat at a
restaurant by yourself tonight and try to witness to the waitress. Then tomorrow night go with Dr. Rice and me and see how much easier it is.

Another reason of primary importance. Jim Lyons and I were visiting in a home the other day (I'm the pastor and he is my assistant). The fellow took a liking to Jim. I don't know why but he wouldn't talk to me. He looked at Jim all the time. I moved around a little closer but still he looked at Jim. I said, "Yes, that's right"; still he wouldn't look at me. I wanted to say, "Hey, I'm the pastor; he's second in command." He still looked at Jim. That fellow wouldn't know me if he saw me on the street.

Now, Jim had to talk to him. What am I supposed to do? The one who seemingly has the best inroad should carry the conversation and the partner should keep the road clear for the conversation.

That is basically why two ought to go together. I believe in being spiritual. It is wonderful to praise God, but you have to start where they are instead of where you are. I was out visiting one
day with a wonderful Christian fellow. We knocked on the door. He said, "How do you do. My name is Jones (I'll call him that). Praise the Lord! This is Brother Hyles. Bless His holy name! We are here to tell you about Jesus. Glory to God! Are you saved? Hallelujah!" The man we went to see slammed the door in our faces. You must make them realize if they get what you have, it won't be so bad. So one makes the inroad while the other keeps the road clear.

What do we mean by keeping the road clear? We mean when the baby starts crying, you should change his diaper; when the beans start boiling, you put some water in them or turn the fire off; when the doorbell rings, you answer it; when the children start screaming for water, you get them a drink. If you are not doing the talking, you be quiet until your partner is finished. The one doing the talking should do all the talking. Every now and then somebody says, "Well, that means then one runs out of something to say, the other can say something." Don't you go if you are going to run out of something to say.  If you can't present the entire Gospel to a lost soul, you are not ready to go yet.

The fellow not doing the talking should keep the way clear. I have played every kind of game there is to play. I have done everything. I have changed many a diaper while out visiting. I have looked in every drawer in the bedroom hunting diapers so I could change a baby. That's right. I go to a house where there is a baby; the baby starts to cry while my partner is talking to the lost one. "Now, Mrs. Jones, never mind; I have had four little children at my house. I have had babies at my house for ten years and I've changed hundreds of diapers. Let me take care of that." She says, "Oh! Brother Hyles..." "Now, Mrs. Jones, you sit right there and I'll take care of it." And I do. I have played soccer. I have played dolls. So many kids have been on my back at one time playing "piggy back" and "ride the horsie" that if my partner hadn't gotten the soul saved soon, I would have dropped over!

One day I went soul winning with Bob Keyes, who was then my assistant pastor, but who is now pastor of the church Dr. Rice founded in Dallas. Bob was an excellent soul winner and still is. We were out soul winning. I was doing the talking and the lady had a little baby who was acting ugly. About the time the lady was ready to get down to pray, the little boy said, "I want my bottle." Mama stuck the bottle in his mouth. "I don't want my bottle." She took it out. "I wanna bottle." She stuck it in. "I don't want my bottle." Then I prayed, "Lord, do something about this little rascal or he is going to mess up the whole thing." Do you know, he stopped and looked spellbound, as if he were in a trance. I said to myself, "Well, glory to God!" For about fifteen minutes that little baby didn't move. He didn’t move his eyes; he just looked. The lady got converted and became one of the greatest Christians in our church.

When we left I said to Bob Keyes, "Bob, praise the Lord!” He said, "Amen! Why?"
"Did you see what God did to that baby?” He said, “What?" I said, "All of a sudden, at the crucial time, that baby froze.” Bob said, "Well, I'm sure the Lord had something to do with it, but I may have helped a little because I had a ballpoint pen behind the coffee table going up and down, up and down, up and down. Preacher, I did that fifteen minutes and I'm worn out!"

Now, don't you think Bob had a part in that soul? Sure he did. Some of you spiritual giants need to know how to change diapers and handle ballpoint pens! You would get more people converted.

One time I was out with a fellow who got to praying for this lady, "Lord, save her! Lord, save her!" while I was trying to witness to her. He was talking louder than I was. Pretty soon he got on his knees and prayed, "Lord, save her!" Then he got on the floor and started beating the floor and saying, "Lord, save her!" I had to say, "Now, friend, I'm sorry but she can't hear what I'm trying to say. Would you mind going into the other room?" He did and we got her converted. If we are going to beat on the floor, let's do it at midnight, alone. If we are going to agonize, let's  cry all night alone but not make a public demonstration or show. Do things that are necessary to do.

One night Bob Keyes was witnessing to a fellow and the doorbell rang. I said, "Dear friend, you stay right here. I'll answer the door." I went to the door. The fellow at the door said, "How do you do. Are you the man of the house?” I said, "I'm a man of the house." (I was a man and I was of the house!)
He said, "I have an appointment with you to show you a vacuum cleaner." Obviously he had called and had an appointment.
I said, "I will be delighted to look at it. Come and we'll look at it on the front porch."
I didn't want the fellow to leave and I didn't want him to stay, so I saw
all of the vacuum cleaner and its parts. We tested the thing out.

Finally Bob Keyes said, "Hey, Jack! Come on. I've got him saved now.” I said, "Mr. vacuum cleaner man, my name is Hyles. I'm pastor of Miller Road Baptist Church and we just got this man converted. By the way, have you ever become a Christian?" We turned on him and tried to get him converted.  Now, if I hadn't kept that vacuum cleaner salesman occupied, this fellow would never have gotten converted. Keep your eyes open if you are the second party.

Keep the way clear. Pave the roads in order for the person doing the witnessing to do the job. That's the reason basically for going two by two.
By the way, Dr. Rice told this morning how you can pray without ceasing. I imagine a fellow can pray and change the baby at the same time, don't you?  We can pray and water the beans or play ball with the kids at the same time.
 
6. GO WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE

Occasionally, somebody will ask me, "Brother Hyles, if you started a new church or if you went to a new church, what is the first thing you would do in training the people to win souls?" The first thing would be to have different folks go with me to win a soul. The best way to train a soul winner is for him to watch someone else win a soul. The wonderful thing about soul winning is when you win a soul to Christ in the home, you are training a soul winner at the same time.

For example, let us suppose one brother gets converted in a church during preaching. That is wonderful. He is saved, but he has never seen a soul won in the home. Let's suppose another brother is won in his home. He has already seen me win him, so he knows exactly how to win someone else. So, soul winning in the home reproduces itself. You train them and teach them how to become soul winners before they ever get converted. Now they can witness, and they can say, "At least I can do what Brother Hyles did to me." They already know basically what to do. So, go with different people so that others may watch you and learn.

7. CLAIM THE SPIRIT'S FULLNESS BEFORE GOING

Now I think basically that when a person goes to win souls, he should spend his time winning souls. I had a secretary once who came to work about nine o'clock every morning, then she wanted to spend the first two hours praying. I think prayer is wonderful, but from nine to eleven in the morning is not the time for a secretary with a job to pray. From six to eight might be all right, or from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m., or from seven to nine at night. But she wanted to pray from nine to eleven in the morning. She thought I was unspiritual because I wanted her to type letters and get the work done. I said, "I don't mind you praying, but I'm not going to pay you for praying. Don't you pray on company time; you pray on your own time." Now, soul-winning time should be time set aside for soul winning. We ought to set aside times for seasons of prayer, but not to borrow it from scheduled soul-winning time. When you go, say a simple prayer. I always pray basically this prayer, "Dear Lord, I claim in faith the fullness of the Holy Spirit before I go. I pray that You will help me to be a blessing to somebody and help me to win somebody today." Claim the Spirit's fullness-- a simple prayer of faith asking God to help and give power. I make it brief.
Suppose you are going soul winning at one o'clock on Friday afternoon and you are going to pray for thirty minutes; pray from 12:30 to 1:00, not from 1:00 to 1:30. Do not steal soul-winning time. If you plan to go soul winning at one o'clock and you want to pray for four hours, start praying at nine o'clock in the morning and go soul winning at one. Stay on schedule about your soul winning and claim the Spirit's fullness before you go.

8. GO BELIEVING

This one thing changed my soul-winning ministry. For example, people often take this little course, then call me on the phone to say, "Brother Hyles, it worked! It worked!" Sure it worked. Expect it to work. Isn't that what faith is? Believe that God is going to save somebody. Expect to win them. Go believing. God said He would save sinners if you would go. That is His  promise. "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Don't be surprised when God keeps His promise. Go believing.

9. BE NICE


Be nice, courteous, kind and gentle. One thing so difficult for preachers is to change our behavior from the pulpit to the living room. You can’t act the same in the living room as you act in the pulpit. It is quite different, because you were not invited. You are infringing upon their privacy. When in the home be courteous and kind.
Many seem to think that the Lord said, "Go into all the world and teach all ladies to quit smoking cigarettes." Now I don't believe in smoking. We don't allow any deacons to smoke in our church. I don't believe in smoking, and especially in ladies smoking. However, God didn't send us out house to house to talk to ladies into quitting smoking. God sent us out to get people converted. I've heard of preachers walking up to a door and addressing the lady thusly: "If you will throw that wicked weed away, I'll talk to you." This certainly is the wrong approach. Get her converted first; then perhaps she will throw her cigarettes away. In other words, don't get off the subject.

One day I was talking to a lady who said, "Brother Hyles, I can't be saved because I smoke. Do you think a person can be saved who smokes?”  I said, "That's a good question. Let's wait awhile and I'll discuss that with you." I said, "Do you realize that you are a sinner?”

"Oh, yes," she said, "but I'm not going to get saved because I'm not going to quit smoking.”

I said, "All right, that's a fine question. We will wait awhile and I’ll discuss that with you." So I told her how to be saved. I prayed and eventually she prayed and gave her heart to Jesus and was converted. After she got converted I said, "By the way, you asked something awhile ago about smoking.” She said, "We took care of that when we prayed.”

You will do a whole lot more good if you will keep on salvation, stay right on the line, and be nice and kind.

When you go to a home, be as courteous as a vacuum cleaner salesman or an insurance man. Be personable. I always say this: The first thing you have to do is win them to yourself. I don't mean you ought to selfishly try to make friends, then get them converted as a by-product. You have to first make them think you are all right. For example, you have to have a Christianity that they feel will fit them if they put it on. If you walk up saying, "Hello. Glory to God! How are you? Praise the Lord! Glad to see you. Hallelujah!" They say, "Oh, no! If I get what he's got, I'll probably be like he is; no thank you, I don't want it." A pleasant "How do you do. How are you?" is always in order. The first thought they should have is, "He is a nice fellow," or "She is a pleasant lady."

10. BE COMPLIMENTARY

Everytime you go to a home, brag on something. We live in a selfish world. It is good to say, "You sure have a nice suit," or "Isn't that a preciouschild?" Make it a habit. Develop it inwardly. It should be part of your nature. One of the sins of the ministry is professional gratitude. Did you ever hear it? We often say, "Mrs. Jones, that was a good meal," but we don't mean a word of it. Stop and think. Mrs. Jones started cooking two
days ago. She made her husband put his shoes outside the door when he came in and walk in barefoot to keep the floor nice. Those poor little ones couldn't even come in the house. They couldn't even use a towel. They had to use paper towels for two days to keep the towels clean for the preacher. The poor little things ate boloney for three days before you came to save so the lady could buy the nicest center-cut roast. She got the finest of everything, put out her best china, her best silver, her best crystal. She
is as nervous as a cat. The preacher is coming!

Now listen, stop and think about that; then look at her when you finish the meal and with a heart full of appreciation, say, "Mrs. Jones, I know what you've done for this meal, and I appreciate, personally, the work you've done to make this possible." Take the professionalism out of it and make it a part of yourself to want to be grateful and expressive of gratitude to people in the home.

The best thing to brag on is children. Be able to compliment little children. Man, listen. I can come in your home and say a few things about your young'uns and I'm a great fellow, regardless of what I've done wrong. We had an insurance man in Texas who used to bother me to no end. He would say, "If you loved your family, you'd have more insurance." I would answer, "If I loved my family, I would sell what I've got now and spend the money to buy food for them." I hated to see him coming.

One day I was out in the yard and I saw him coming. I walked out to the curb and waited for him. When he stopped, I leaned against the door on his side, grinned at him and said, "Hello." He didn't even look at me. He look at my little five-year-old girl and said, "Hello, sweetheart. You're the prettiest little girl I ever saw.” I said, "Isn't she though.”

My little boy came toddling out (he was three at the time) and the salesman said, "Hello there, son. You're a fine-looking fellow. Have some chewing gum.” I said, "Won't you get out and come in?” Sure, he knew how to get in. He bragged on the children. I think a man who has that good judgment about children deserves to come in! So he came in.

You do the same thing. Brag on the children. Compliment the home. If there is a new piece of furniture in the house, a beautiful carpet, a nice sofa or a dresser, brag on it. Be on the lookout for things to compliment.

11. BE CAREFUL ABOUT GOING IN

Now this I think is important. I do not try usually to go into the home  unless the people are unsaved. If the people are saved, normally I do not go in. I don't chit-chat much with the saints. When I do out to visit I usually make twenty visits in one afternoon. That is four hours' work. The way I do that is to find out quickly if they are saved, pass the time of  day very briefly, invite them to church and say goodby. To many of us go out to visit and when we find a good Baptist fellow who tithes, makes a big salary, and one whom we want in our church, we go in and spend the afternoon, drink coffee, eat cake and let the world go to Hell. I do not personally spend a great deal of time visiting with saints. I just keep going and keep going until I find the lost ones and spend my time with them.

Also, if it isn't the opportune time, don't go in. I would especially be careful about going in if the opposite sex is alone. Now a word to you men who find a lady alone. Be very careful about going in. Sometimes if the person is busy, it is good to ask her if you could make an appointment to come back later at her convenience. But be careful about going in.

12. BE A GOOD LISTENER

Talk about jobs wanted and positions open. There is lots of room in the world for some good listeners: there are many available positions open for good listeners. Did you ever hear a person say, "He sure is a fine fellow.  Just a quiet, fine fellow. He is such a good listener”?

So often this happens-- you preachers know this is true. A lady comes into  my office. "Brother Hyles, I need some advice. I just don't know what to do. I felt like you could tell me what to do.” "All right; present your problem.” She talks and talks for an hour or so. I say nothing but, "God bless you. Uh huh. Well, yes."

That is all I say for an hour. She gets up and says after an hour, "Brother Hyles, you always have the best advice. You always know just what to do." Well, I didn't advise anybody about anything. She just wanted somebody to unload on. That is one of the basic jobs of the pastor. Day after day they come through my office, as they do yours, wanting somebody to hear about their problems and burdens.

Go to a home and say, "Where do you work, Mr. Jones?"
"Down there at the steel company.” "What do you do down there?"
"Well, I make steel."
"How long have you been down there?"
 "I've been there six months," Mr. Jones says.
"Where are you from?" I ask.
"I'm from Tennessee."
"Tennessee? That's a beautiful state. I've been down in the Cumberland Mountains in Tennessee.”

Talk to him about his interests, and let him talk to you.

Ask him about his family, where he is from. Ask him where he works. Let him talk to you for a while. Personally, I'm not an advocate of quick witnessing. Some of the best soul winners I know are, but I differ with them here. I think it best to chit-chat for awhile and be folksy. Listen to them. Let them present their problems, then after awhile talk to them.

Not long ago my wife and I were going to Colorado where I was preaching in a conference near Pueblo. We were on a jet going to Denver. The wife was sitting next to the window, I was sitting in the middle, and a businessman was sitting by me. I started a conversation with him. "What kind of business are you in?" He talked to me for thirty minutes. I have never heard so much talking in my life. I didn't have any idea what he was talking about. I just tried to act intelligent. There are a lot of basic answers, you know. He would say,

"What do you thing about the geophysical problem in the United States?” I would answer, "It's really a problem, isn't it?” He would say, "How do you feel we are economically?” "Oh, I feel like we've seen better days, but we've seen worse days too, you know." Just a few basic questions and answers!

Finally after he unloaded for about thirty minutes, I got to talk to him. My wife punched me and grinned. She knew what I was doing. After we got off the plane she said, "You rascal! I knew the whole time you didn’t understand a thing he was saying but you were waiting for the time when he  would do the listening for awhile." If he talked to me for thirty minutes, then wouldn't let me talk to him for five minutes, he wouldn't have been very kind, would he? You listen to them for awhile and you will get them to listen to you easier. Be a good listener.
 
13. ONLY ONE DO THE TALKING

I wish I could stress this more. When two go together and both want to talk, it is often because of trying to argue people into becoming Christians. You can't do that. The best thing to do is ask the dear Lord to help and lead and open doors, then with a kindly, gracious, Christian spirit, go into the homes and present the plan of God to the people, giving them a chance to accept or reject.

Only one do the talking. The one who has the inroad should do the talking. Suppose Dr. Rice, that you and I are going soul winning and we meet a fellow who is mowing his yard. I walk up and start talking to him. "Hey, neighbor! You've got you yard looking mighty nice."

He says, "Well, thank you."

I say, "What kind of mower is that?"

"Oh, it's a Jacobson," he replies.

"This is a good lawn mower," I say.

He says to himself, "This is a nice fellow."

Suppose we meet a man who is working on his car. "Hello, how are you?" I ask, putting forth my hand.

"Oh, my hand is greasy," he says.

"I don't care. I have shaken greasy hands before."

He thinks, "That sure is a nice fellow."

Be folksy and get his attention. Then the person who has the inroad can do the talking.

For example, Dr. Rice has written some books. If the fellow says he is an author, then I say, "Dr. Rice here has written scores of books." Immediately he becomes interested in Dr. Rice. Then I had better go water the beans; Dr. Rice is going to talk to him. So, I'm going to keep my mouth shut. The best thing for me to do is to be quiet, prayerful and helpful, then if he fails, I may try. Again I say, only one do the talking.

I went soul winning with a man one time, a wonderful Christian and a great fellow, but he didn't know a thing about soul winning. We went to a lady's house. She came to the door. I said, "How do you do. How are you today? Nice baby. Beautiful day. You have a nice home," etc. We talked awhile, then I asked, "Lady, have you ever become a Christian?"

"Well, I was baptized down in Henderson, Texas."

"Oh," he interrupted, "Henderson, Texas? I had a meeting down there. Do you know Zeb Peabody who runs the feed store there?"

I said, "Now lady, have you ever received the Lord and been converted?"

She said, "Well, one time I thought I did down in Jacksonville."

"Jacksonville?" he interrupted, "I had four meetings in Jacksonville. Well, I'll declare! Jacksonville!"

Well, I had to send him home. He just couldn't be quiet. You just let one person do the talking. The one who gets the inroad should follow right on through and present the plan while the other on keeps the way clear.
 
14. STAY ON THE SUBJECT.

Now, the place the Devil will ruin more soul winners than most any other place is here. I sometimes think that knowing too much hurts soul winners. If we could just keep it simple and stay on the simple plan of salvation, we would do a lot better. I spent many days in school learning to handle a Mormon; I haven't seen but two since I got out of college. I memorized Scripture after Scripture on how to handle special cases. A Mormon will often handle just like a Jehovah's Witness. A Catholic will often handle just like a Seventh-Day Adventist. To learn how to win an unbeliever in the big thing. And the simple plan of salvation is the answer. Just stay on the subject.

Suppose the old question is asked-- "Where did Cain get his wife?" What should I do? I would say, "That's a good question, and I will tell you what we will do. I'll make a note of it and we will discuss it when we get through. Now, down here in Romans 3:10..."

Just stay right on the subject. You say, "Brother Hyles, what if he asks you a question about Heaven or Hell?" You are going to tell them about Heaven and Hell in a minute anyway. Tell them the same thing: "That's a good question." You plan the speech, and don't let anything he says get you off the main line. Don't spend your time answering his questions or he will be governing the conversation. You govern the conversation. You carry the ball. Stay on the subject.
 
15. FIND SOMEWAY TO GET THEM LOST.

Let me explain. Often I've gone out to win souls and asked, "Are you a Christian?" If he said, "Yes, I am," I would let it go at that. But some people will answer yes to "Are you a Christian?" who are not really Christians and you need to get the Gospel to them. To do this, we must get to a verse like Romans 3:10. I've got to figure some way to get to Romans 3:10 and get them to let me tell them how to be saved. Do you see what I mean?

Let me illustrate. A family comes to talk to me and I know they are lost. "Brother Hyles, we have a home problem. Do you know any Bible verses that would help our home?"

"Ah, yes. There is a verse in the Bible that will help anybody's home. Turn to Romans 3:10."

Somebody comes in, "Brother Hyles, my business is going bankrupt. What does the Bible say about business?"

"Ah, it says a great deal about business. The best Scriptures about business in the Bible begin at Romans 3:10." Then tell them about Jesus. He will solve any problem.

Now, let me give you an illustration that will prove what I am trying to say. This is the only time that it has ever happened but it is a most vivid illustration to explain this point.

I went to visit a family. Let's call the name Hill. It was up on the second floor of an apartment building. They had three lovely children. I walked in and said, "How do you do, Mr. Hill. Are you a Christian?"

"Oh, yes," he said. "I was saved when I was three years old."

Well, I didn't know what to say. Then I asked Mrs. Hill, "Are you a Christian?"

"Oh, yes," she said. "I was saved when I was a baby."

Well, now I didn't think they were saved. If they had said they weren't Christians, I could have showed them Romans 3:10 but I couldn't when they said they were Christians. So I asked, "Have you been born again?"

Oh, yes; both of them were born again. He was born again when he was three; she was born again when she was a baby.

"Have you been converted, saved?"

That's right; they had been saved.

"If you died, do you know if you would go to Heaven?"

Yes, yes; they knew if they died they would go to Heaven.

Well, I didn't know what to do. I wanted to get to Romans 3:10. So I said, "Well, let me ask you this: Do you ever wish you knew how to pray? If I could show you some Scriptures on prayer, would you be willing to learn how to pray better?"

I was going to show them a good Scripture about prayer-- Romans 3:10-- but she said, "Oh, we have family altar and private devotions; we took a correspondence course on prayer recently."

"Well," I said, "did you ever wish you had a Bible study, some Scriptures to show you how to study the Bible?"

If they had said, "No, we don't study the Bible much," I was going to say, "Listen, there are some Scriptures that will unlock the entire Bible and the first one is Romans 3:10."

But she said, "Oh, yes; we are taking a Bible course right now, a correspondence course."

I tried every way I could to get to Romans 3:10, but I couldn't do it. I said, "Well, is your home what it ought to be? Would you love to have some Scriptures on the home-- how to have a better home and a good Christian home?" I was going to show them Romans 3:10-- how it would lead you to have a better home, etc. I couldn't do it, so I prayed, "Lord, help me." Finally I said, "This is a good home. You have been born again; you are converted; you have been saved; you pray and you are taking Bible study courses. You know, there is one thing that a home like this ought to have."

They asked what.

I said, "A formal dedication service."

Now that sounded good to them, and Mr. Hill said, "Honey, that sounds real good. When could we schedule that?"

I said, "It so happens that I have one of the services with me right now."

He said, "Could we do it here?"

I said, "We can do it right here."

Listen, she went in and changed clothes, combed her hair, put clean little dresses and shirts on the children. They came in like a group going to Sunday School. I said, "Now, then, we're going to read some Scriptures on home dedication. It says in Romans 3:10, "As it is written, there is 'no home' righteous, no, not one." In Romans 5:12 it says that sin came into the first home and it was the first home that brought the first curse upon man. I went through the same old Scriptures, Romans 3:10, 5:12, 6:23, 5:8, and I said, "Those are Scriptures about the dedication of the home. Now would you like to pray a prayer of home dedication?"

They said that would be real nice. So we all got on our knees. I prayed and then said, "Mr. Hill, you want to pray a prayer of dedication for you home, don't you?"

"Yes, sir," he said.

I said, "Mr. Hill, this is the prayer to say: 'Dear Lord, be merciful to me a sinner and forgive my sins and save my soul. I do now repent of my sins and trust Jesus to save me.'"

He prayed the prayer. She prayed the same prayer.

We got off our knees and they were both crying. I said, "That's wonderful! Now you said you were saved when you were three, didn't you?"

Mr. Hill looked at me and said, "No, I just got saved a minute ago."

That is a long way around to get the Gospel to them without them wanting it if you don't think they are saved.

Let me say this also. If you can't get it to them, I have what I call a long plan and a short plan. In the long plan I read the Scriptures; in the short plan I quote them. For example, I say, "Would you like to be a Christian?"

He says, "No, I don't think I would."

I say, "If I were to show you in the Bible, would you be willing to look at it?"

"No," he says.

"Well, let me ask you this question." (Now that is the secret. Every soul winner ought to learn that little sentence, "Let me ask you THIS question.") I was previously going to take the Bible and show him these Scriptures, but he says he doesn't want to see them. So I say, "If you don't want to know the plan, let me ask you THIS question: Do you realize that Romans 3:10 says that there is none righteous, no, not one?" I'm doing the same thing that I was going to do. He thinks, "Boy, I sure got him off the subject; he is not going to show me how to get saved." He thinks you are off the subject.

So if you can't use the long method, use the short method. Just back up and take another path and go at him from another direction, but get the plan to him. Then you can go to him with the short method where you quote the same Scriptures but do not read them.

16. STAY IN THE SAME BOOK OF THE BIBLE.

This is important. Use the same book all the way through. Some books in the Bible you could use for the plan of salvation are: Romans, John, First John, Isaiah, Psalms, Acts, Ephesians, etc. Definitely it is best to stay in the same book in the Bible and not to jump around too much.

Here is the way I do it and I think this is a good suggestion. When I start talking to a person I say, "Now, Mr. Jones, the Bible is composed of 66 books and each book has a different immediate purpose. For example, the book of Genesis explains the creation of man. The book of Revelation explains the end time. There is one book in the Bible that is given especially to tell about the power of the Gospel of Christ and how to go to Heaven. That is the book of Romans. This book clearly explains how to go to Heaven."

What you are doing is this: You are saying to him, "Now, I'm taking you to that part of the book that specializes in telling you how to go to Heaven." It makes him feel you are an expert.

One thing I always try to do in a town where I pastor; I always try to make folks think of me as a specialist. All pastors should be specialists on soul winning, but I try to make folks think of me as a specialist. Folks call me all the time and say, "Brother Hyles, would you go to the hospital and see my lost loved one or send your assistant pastor to see him?"

"Well, yes," I say. "Do you belong to a church in town?"

They answer, "Yes, I belong to a certain church."

"Oh, is your pastor out of the city?"

"No, but he doesn't specialize in getting folks saved," they say.

I don't say a word about it. I just want to create the attitude in town that my church is primarily a place to get folks converted. It is important to build that kind of atmosphere. You would be surprised how many people who maybe wouldn't like you personally and wouldn't want to join your church, but they know you try to get folks converted.

For example, here is a lady who has an unsaved husband. He is a drunkard and won't go to church with her. One night he says to her, "Honey, I think I'll go to church with you tonight."

So she says, "Well, wonderful."

He says, "Let's go to your church."

She says, "Let's don't go to my church tonight; let's go somewhere new. Let's go to First Baptist and hear Brother Hyles. Would you like to do that?"

She knows we will try to get him saved. They might be having a special activity at her church, but she knows at our church we will try to get him converted. I'm saying that if you will build that reputation, you will get a lot of folks converted who may not stay in your church, but you will develop the reputation as the evangelistic headquarters in town.

So, I would suggest you try to lead the folks to know that you know what you are talking about and that you have found the book. Only use the one book. 
 
17. DRAW A MAP IN YOUR NEW TESTAMENT


I contend that you can be a soul winner if you don't know a single verse of Scripture, if you can draw a map in your Bible to tell yourself where to go. All you need do is find Romans 3:10 and you won't have to know a single verse of Scripture. Right beside Romans 3:10, write the next verse to tell you where to go in your Bible. Actually what you do is draw yourself a little road map in your Bible to explain where to go next.

First, turn to Romans 3:10. That is all you have to remember. Underline the verse. Beside it write 3:23. After you have read Romans 3:10, it tells you where to go next. Now turn to Romans 3:23. Underline that verse and beside that write 5:12. Turn to 5:12 and underline 5:12 and write beside it 6:23. Underline 6:23 and beside it write 5:8. Underline 5:8 and write beside it 10:9-13.

Now that is a map for you. You don't have to know a single verse of Scripture to be a soul winner if you draw a map in your Bible. You follow the map until you learn the Scriptures. Of course, as you go along, you will learn many other Scriptures that will help, but these are the basic ones.

18. ASK THEM, "IF YOU DIED NOW, DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU WOULD GO TO HEAVEN?"

I think that is the best question that I have ever used. Some use, "Do you know Jesus? Are you born again? Are you saved? Are you a child of God?" I try to avoid terminology that will be too religious for them. Many don’t know that kind of terminology.

Basically there are only two religions in the world. One is the belief that salvation is all of God, and Jesus did it all on the cross; the other is that we have to do something to get converted. In this second you have combined all of the false religions. That is the old mystery of Babylon, mother of harlots in Revelation 17. Many religions are wrapped up in this one thing-- that you have to do something to go to Heaven. Anybody who says you have to do something to go to Heaven, doesn't know if he is going or not. He usually says he thinks so or has a good chance or may go to purgatory. The only person who will tell you he knows that if he dies he will go to Heaven is the fellow who has trusted Jesus completely to save him. That is why I ask, "Do you know if you died you would go to Heaven? Do you know it?" Some ask, "Are you a Christian?" Almost anybody will say yes to this. I think that the best question is, "Do you know that if you died you would go to Heaven?" Now ask,
19. "WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW?"

Now ask,

20. "IF I SHOWED YOU HOW YOU COULD KNOW, WOULD YOU DO WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS?"

It may be done thusly. "Now, Mr. Doe, let me ask you a question: Do you know that if you died this minute you would go to heaven?"

"No, I don't believe I do.”


"Let me ask you this: Would you like to know? Don't you think it would be fine if you could know that if you died you would go to Heaven?"  “Yes."

"Well, let me ask you this: If I could take this Bible and explain to you how you could know beyond any shadow of a doubt, that you could know right now, and you could see it and you could understand it, would you believe it? Would you do what the Bible says?”


Do you see what I'm trying to say? It is good to get him committed that he will do it; then you have gone a long way toward getting him saved before you ever present the plan. So these three questions:

(1) “Do you know that if you died today you would go to Heaven?"
(2) "Would you like to know?" and
(3) "If I could show you how you could know, would you do it?"

21. SHOW HIM THAT HE IS A SINNER

For this, use Romans 3:10 and 3:23.

22. SHOW HIM THE PRICE ON SIN

Show him this in Romans 5:12 and 6:23.

23. SHOW HIM THAT JESUS PAID THE PRICE

Use Romans 5:8.

24. REVIEW THE MAIN POINTS TO BE SURE HE UNDERSTANDS


I always use the following: "Now, Mr. Doe, there are only four things you must know to be saved. First, you must know that you are a sinner. For example, Romans 3:10 says, 'As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.' Let me illustrate. If there is none righteous, that means I'm not righteous, doesn't it? (Notice, I didn't get him unrighteous first; I got me unrighteous. Never put the sinner below you. You always let him know that but for the grace of God you would be in the fix he is in. You get yourself lost first.) So if there is none righteous, I'm not righteous. If here is none righteous, then Mr. Doe, you are not righteous. Also, it says, 'For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.' Now if all have sinned, that means I've sinned-- right? That means your wife has sinned, and that means you have sinned."

If he still acts like he is not a sinner, you just list a few sins and you will catch him. A lot of times I say this: "You do realize that you are a sinner? For example, the Bible mentions some sins such as evil thinking, bad literature, ugly disposition, etc." Some where along that line there will be something that he does. Show him that he is a sinner.

Second, show him the price on sin. Romans 5:12: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin..." What kind of death? All death, both spiritual and physical death, the sum total of death. “...and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."

And Romans 6:23,  "For the wages of sin is death..." So there is a price on sin. What is that price? Death. What kind of death? That includes the second death of Revelation 20:14, and that second death is the Lake of Fire. So ultimately a person who is a sinner must pay for it by going to Hell. That is the basic price on sin.

Third, the next thing we must do is show that Jesus paid the price. So I say this: "Mr. Doe, God looked down from Heaven and saw that you were a sinner. He saw that you were in debt. He saw that you and I deserved to go to Hell. He wanted to save us and made a plan to do it. He came to the world Himself. His name was Jesus. He was God in a human body. For thirty-three years He lived here in this world. He did not commit one single sin. This is important. Mr. Doe, suppose that Jesus Christ had sinned one time only. The price on sin being death or Hell, where would Jesus have had to go when He died? The answer is Hell, but He did not sin. He did not commit one sin, but He went to the cross, and on the cross He suffered spiritual death when He said, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' He suffered the same thing that a lost person will have to suffer in Hell. I'll go farther than that. I believe that He suffered as much in that moment on Calvary as the sum total eternal suffering of all the lost people who will ever go to Hell to stay forever. Actually He was paying our price for our sins. He was becoming our substitute.”


Fourth, "If we will receive that price as our hope for Heaven and receive  Him as our Saviour from sin, He will make us His children and take us to Heaven when we die.”


That's the review. You explain it to them first, then you review. Let me review it with you now. "Let me ask you a question, Mr. Doe. Do you realize that you are a sinner?"  "Yes, sir.”


"Do you realize that people who die in their sins must go to Hell?" (Now be severe with that as you can. If a sinner knows he is going to Hell, say, "Do you realize that if you died right now, you would go to Hell?" If he is a little sensitive about it, then you can say, "Do you realize that a man who dies in his sins goes to Hell?" Be as severe as you can but don't make your patient so sick you will kill him before you heal him. You have to
stay with him.) "Do you realize that Jesus Christ has suffered your Hell already for you? If we knelt here together and had prayer and you sincerely received Christ as your Saviour, do you believe God would make you His child?"
That is the review. I have explained to him how to get saved, then I have reviewed and asked these questions.

25. ASK IF YOU MAY PRAY


There are several ways to do this, but you must try to get them to pray. If he is really ready, say, "Could I pray for you, and while I pray, would you pray and ask God to save you today?" Maybe he is not quite that ready.

Maybe you don't know. You could say, "Could I pray that you will get saved?" Maybe you don't think he will let you pray for him to get saved.

Then you say, "Could I have a word of prayer with you before I go?" Anyway, to get your head bowed is good. If you are talking to him, he might interrupt, but if you are talking to the Lord, he won't. You can preach him a little sermon in the prayer. If you can't win a fellow to Christ, and if he won't let you present the plan to him, the best way to tell him how to be saved is to tell the Lord and let the sinner hear you.

I go into a home and say, "Sir, would you like to know how to be saved?" "No, Don't have time for it. The wife's sick and I'm busy."

"Could I have a prayer for your wife before we go, that she will get well?" With his wife lying there sick, a man would be a fool not to let the preacher pray for her. He says, "Well, O.K.”

I pray, "Dear Lord, bless this wife and make her well, and help this man to know that Romans 3:10 says, 'As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.' And if people die in their sins, according to Romans 6:23 ‘the wages of sin is death.' O dear Lord, show him that Romans 5:8 is true when it says that ‘ God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners…'"

Pray him the plan. He won't interrupt you. You can get by with a lot of things talking to the Lord that you wouldn't talking to him. After you review, get to pray some way or another. If he will consider  getting saved, good. If you can't get by with that, just get him to let you pray.
26. ASK HIM TO PRAY


I stop abruptly in my prayer. I pray a simple prayer. Never pray a big prayer. You must pray a prayer so simple that he won't mind his prayer following yours. If you pray, "Jesus, Thou God of Jacob; oh, Thou God of Rehoboam and Jeroboam and Jehoshaphat; oh, Thou great God of the universe, the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God, would you save this man?" After that, he won't pray. But you can pray this, "Dear Lord, here is a  fellow who needs to get converted. I pray You will help him get saved. May he receive Christ. You love him, dear Lord..." "Now fellow, will you pray?" You pray like that, and he can pray his little prayer in a minute.
I always stop in the middle of my prayer. I say, "Dear Lord, lead this man to be saved. You led me here and I pray that he will be saved today. May his wife have a Christian husband and the little children a Christian  daddy. Make this be the day of his salvation. Now while our heads are bowed in prayer, Mr. Doe, would you be willing today to ask God to forgive you and tell Him you want to get saved?”

See, you stop in the middle of your prayer and lead him to pray. Let me say this: Fifty per cent of the time when you get this far the lost person is  going to pray. Now, I would suggest you tell him what to pray but not the words. Like this: "Would you ask God to forgive you and tell Him you want  to receive Jesus today?" Fifty per cent of the time he will make up a prayer. I've heard some of the sweetest prayers. A lot of times he won't
pray. He does not know how to pray. He says, "I have never prayed before." In that case I say, "Mr. Doe, would you just say these words and mean them in your heart, 'Lord, be merciful to me a sinner... forgive my sins and save my soul... I now receive Jesus as my Saviour’?"

Let me say this: By the time you get there, the forces of Hell will be fighting you. By the time you get this far talking to a sinner, you will feel like everything you own depends on what you do right now. Realize the seriousness of it all.
27. ASK HIM TO TAKE YOUR HAND

He has just prayed and asked the Lord to save him. "Now Mr. Doe, while our heads are bowed, if Jesus Christ came in the room, He would extend His hand, no doubt, and ask you to take His hand if you would receive Him. Mr. Doe, if you will make this day the day of your salvation and this moment receive Christ as your Saviour, just like my hand were His hand, would you put your hand in mine?" Now, he takes your hand.
28. YOU PRAY AGAIN

"Our Father, help this man to see in his heart that salvation is by faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did on Calvary. Give him peace in his heart and the assurance of salvation. In Jesus' name. Amen.”

Before you pray that last prayer, you may do several things. For example,  if the wife is in the room, have her come over and take his hand, too. Then  ask little Johnny to come and place his hand on Mommy's and Daddy's. Then you can have your closing prayer.
29. ASK HIM "WHERE, ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, WOULD YOU GO IF YOU DIED NOW?"

This is important. Many people, after they win a soul to Christ, ask, "How do you feel?" It doesn't matter how he feels. How he feels has nothing in the world to do with it. The average soul winner says, "Feel any better?" That doesn't make any difference. You will stand there and argue with a fellow and he will say, "I believe you have to feel it to get saved."
You say, "No, you don't. You don't have to feel it-- it is by faith." Then the first thing you ask him after you pray is, "How do you feel?" Salvation doesn't depend on how you feel; it depends on if you are believing the Book. The minute you do what God says in His Book, you believe God will do what He says He will do in His Book, you are converted. It is by faith in what God says.

The question is, "According to the Bible, where would you go if you died now?”

The answer, "I'd go to Heaven.”

The sweetest thing happened in our altar recently. A little lady came down to the front. She said she wanted to be saved. I prayed with her myself. I asked, "Now where would you go if you died?”

She said, "Well, the Bible says I would go to Heaven."

"Where do you think you would go?”

"I think I would go to Hell," she said. I said, "But the Bible says you would go to Heaven.”

"That's right; it does say that," she said. "Let me ask you a question," I said. "Did you ever tell a lie?” "Oh, yes, I have told a lie.” "Does God ever lie?” "No."

"All right, you say you are going to Hell, but God says you are going to Heaven. Whose word do you think I ought to take?”

"She said, "I guess you'd better take God’s."

"Now where do you think you would go?”

"I think I'd go to Heaven.”

It is because God said it. Ask them, "According to the Bible, where would you go if you died now?”

30. LEAD HIM TO A PUBLIC PROFESSION

31. GO BY AND GET HIM ON SUNDAY MORNING

32. SIT WITH HIM IN THE SERVICE

But you say, "I sing in the choir." Well, you had either quit the choir that Sunday or let him sing with you. Sit with him in the service.

33. GO DOWN THE AISLE WITH HIM
34. WITHIN A WEEK HAVE HIM OVER FOR A MEAL OR COFFEE AND CAKE OR SOMETHING
He just got converted. "According to the Bible, where would you go if you died?"
“Heaven."

Use that as an excuse to call somebody. Call a loved one; call a friend. Tell your wife about it.  Randall F. was a pretty mean rascal, a drunkard, mean to his wife and everything. Kenneth, his brother, was a good Christian. We went to see Randall about one o'clock in the morning. Kenneth go so burdened about him. Randall got saved. He really got saved. And he has been a good Christian. He got his wife out of bed and rejoiced in the Lord and they praised the Lord together. We just lived it up.

Some of us preachers-- a fellow comes down the aisle on Sunday and what do we do? We say, "Do you want to be saved?"
"Yeh."
The people never know what happened. It seems to me that if a person gets born again in your church, you ought to let folks know about it. Live it up. I had them come down
Sunday and kiss each other. A man gets converted and his wife is already saved.

"Come on down here with him. Bless the Lord. Give a word of testimony." "Oh, thank God! My husband got saved today!" Kiss him. The Bible says to greet one another with a holy kiss, so she kisses him. All the young'uns come down and stand with Daddy. Daddy kisses his little young'uns. Bless God, they have got a Christian daddy now. Some preachers make it sound like it was the Statue of Liberty being dedicated. Live it
up. Somebody got out of Hell! They're going to Heaven! Somebody got regenerated. Angels are singing. Folks are redeemed and going to Heaven, and not going to burn forever.

You in your ministerial cloak and croak, you get up there and the poor people don't even get one tear or one laugh before they go home. Isn't that a shame! I can't understand this dignified pomp and put-on when people are getting converted. We have more to shout about than anyone.

Here is a fellow-- he is going to Heaven. Jesus has taken him... salvation by grace... can't fall... can't lose it... preserved, and we say, "Amen." And here is a fellow-- he is hanging on... holding out... hoping he won't slip and fall and slide, and he shouts all the way to Heaven. Isn't that something! It doesn't add up, does it?

Every once in a while folks will say that I preach like a Pentecostal. I wished they would say I preach like a Baptist. When I was a kid they did that. Nowadays they say "like a Pentecostal," because we have changed a great deal. "All right, you have been saved now; you know you are converted; that if you died tonight you would go to Heaven. The next thing God wants you to do is to let people know that you have been saved. Read Romans 10:11, 'For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.' You believe on Him, don't you? You are not ashamed of Him, are you? The next thing God wants you to do is to make public your decision."

I always say something like this: "Mr. Doe, we could get a loudspeaker, drive down Main Street on Saturday afternoon and announce it to everybody, or we could have it printed up on circulars. But the usual way, Mr. Doe, is to come to church and when the preacher finishes preaching, come down the aisle to the front, have a seat on the front and let the preacher tell the people that you have been saved. Now, would you do that at some Bible-believing church this Sunday morning? If you would promise God, not me, but God, would you take my hand? Wonderful. Now, Mr. Doe, it just so happens that the wife and I come very close to here Sunday and we would love to have you as our guest Sunday morning. I'll be happy to come down the aisle with you to make it easy for you, and you can go with us and we can introduce you to some people, show you around. How about, say 9:15 Sunday morning? Wonderful.”

I get them and take them with me to church. Before the Sunday School starts, I take them into the auditorium (especially if I think they don’t know) and I stand back and say,

"Now, Mr. Doe, this is the auditorium and there is the pulpit where I preach. I'm going to ask you to sit in the service about right over here. When I finish preaching, we're going to stand and sing a song. When we stand and sing that song, you will leave your seat, come down this aisle to the front and over to the center and I will take your hand. I will ask you to have a seat on the front. I will explain to the people what happened in your home this past week."

I tell him everything he is going to do. I do that in every invitation at my church.

On vacation recently I was in a church where I heard a marvelous message. When the pastor finished preaching, he said, "All right, we are going to stand and anybody who wants to be saved, come." We all stood but we didn't know where to come-- whether to come to town, to the front, or to a party.

If a fellow hadn't known what to do, he wouldn't have known where to come. I say, "Now if you want to be saved this morning, leave your seat, come to the nearest aisle, down the aisle to the front, give me your hand if you will give Christ your heart."

Break it down in little pieces for them. So, before the service I tell them exactly how to make their public profession of faith.

Notice that up to this point I haven't mentioned joining the church. I often say nothing about joining the church until they are down the aisle. They will appreciate that, too. You will get the reputation of not being primarily interested in getting church members, but in getting people saved. Too many spend time telling you that the nursery is air-conditioned; they have a new educational building; and the young people have a good program, etc. I often do not talk to them about joining the church until after they make their profession. As soon as they make it public, my assistant pastor goes by and talks to everybody in the line. (By the way, we have them stand up in front and we shake their hands after we dismiss  the service.) My assistant pastor talks to each one about getting baptized. My secretary has a letter in her hands and comes behind him. The letter explains what to bring at night and invites them to come to the baptism class at 6:30 on Sunday.

Now very briefly I am going to win Mr. Doe to Christ. He is at home and I am going to knock on the door. He is reading the newspaper and has his house shoes on.

I knock on the door. "How do you do, sir. Mr. Doe, my name is Jack Hyles. How are you today? I'm glad to see you. Say, that's a cute child you have there. She's a doll. Would you like to have some candy, honey? Give me some sugar... Well, Mr. Doe, I hope you aren't too busy. I'd like to talk to you just a minute. I can come back later if it isn't
convenient.”

"No, I'm not busy; come in.”

"Thank you.”

"Have a seat," Mr. Doe says.

"Thank you.”

We chit-chat a while and I ask him where he works and talk about his home town. (Let me say this: this is where a general education comes in. Every soul winner ought to know as much about every subject as he can and about every state and every job, etc. General knowledge will come in handy as you can talk intelligently about most any subject.) We talk about the weather, his job, etc.

I listen to him for a while, then I say, "Let me ask you this, Mr. Doe: Do you know that if you died today, you would go to Heaven?”

"No, sir.”

"Let me tell you, it is a wonderful thing to know. Did you ever think you would like to know that if you died you would go to Heaven?"

"Yes, sir.”

"Let me ask you this question: Do you feel that if I could show you in the Bible exactly how you could know that if you died you would go to Heaven, and if you could see it and understand it, would you be willing to do it?"

"Yes, sir.”

"I'm glad you said that. I'm going to show you what the Bible says about becoming a Christian.

Now, Mr. Doe, there are only four things basically that you have to know to be saved. The first thing is, you must know that you are a sinner. I want you to look there at chapter 3 and verse 10 if you would please, where it says…" (By the way, I hardly ever QUOTE a lot of Scriptures myself. Act like you're reading it yourself. Don't ask him to read the Scripture if you think he might have trouble or that it might embarrass him. You are not there to show off; you are there to help him. A lot of times they might think, "Man, doesn't he know the Bible!" But that isn't what you are there for.)

"So, notice in verse 10, 'As it is written, There is none righteous, no,  not one.' If there are none righteous, Mr. Doe, that means I'm not righteous, doesn't it? That means that you're not righteous, doesn't it?”

“Yes."

"Notice in verse 23, 'For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.' If all have sinned, that means I have sinned and that you have sinned. Is that right?”

"Yes, sir.”

"Now, that is the first thing you must know-- that you are a sinner. "The second thing that you must know to be saved is that there is a price on sin. Look here if you will please, to Romans 5:12 where it says, 'Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.'

Here is the story.

God made a man, and his name was Adam. He made a woman, and her name was Eve. He put them in the Garden of Eden. He said that they could eat of every tree in the garden except one, and that was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He said that if they ate of that tree, they were going to die. They ate of that tree. Now every man is born in sin, is a sinner, and the Bible says that the price on sin is death.

Look at verse 23 of chapter 6, and it explains the same thing, 'For the wages of sin is death…' Here's what it means. When man sinned, he died spiritually. Now, if he is
dead spiritually and he dies physically while he is dead spiritually, he will have to suffer the second death, and that is called the lake of fire."

(Now usually on this matter of Hell, I say, "Of course you believe in Hell. Some folks don't believe in Hell." If you say, "Of course you believe in Hell" he will hate to say he doesn’t.)

"So that means a person who is a sinner must pay for it by suffering Hell. Do you understand this? That's the price on sin.

"The third thing that you have to know is that Jesus paid that price. Look at chapter 5, verse 8, if you will please, 'But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.' Now, what is the price on sin? Death. What did Jesus do for us? He died for us. That means He was paying our price for us. He was suffering our Hell. He came to earth from Heaven and became a man, never sinned one time. He did not owe the debt. He paid a debt that He didn't owe. You owe a debt that
you have not paid. He has a plus one; you have a minus one. He says that He would like to take His plus one and put it against your minus one, and balance the equation.

"Now the question is, How can you get His plus over here on your side? That's the fourth thing.
The first thing you must know is that you are a sinner.
The second thing, that sinners go to Hell when they die.
The third thing, that Jesus has paid the price for sinners.
The fourth thing, if you would be willing by faith to receive this plan as your hope for Heaven and Christ as your Saviour, He will take your sins and place them on His account and take His payment and place it against your sins and you would  not owe for your sins anymore. Jesus paid the price for you.


"Let me illustrate. (This is one of the sweetest things usually that we do when we win souls. This is one of the most effective plans I have ever used.) Let's just say now that this is your record in Heaven, and your record is written in Heaven. Let's just list a few of your sins. Did you ever take anything that wasn't yours? Did you ever say a bad word? All right, let's list-- bad word. Did you ever have an evil thought? All right, let's write it down-- evil thought. We'll list some more. "Now, what is the price on these things? The price tag is H-e-l-l, Hell.

You're a sinner; here are your sins. That is Romans 3:10 and 3:23. Here is the price-- Romans 5:12 and 6:23. Jesus went to the bank of Heaven and paid your debt for you. He sent me today to tell you about it. He has paid this price for you.

"Now, you have one of two choices. You can say, 'Preacher, I know He did but I don't want to do anything about it,' and you will still be in debt. Or you could say, 'Jesus, I know You died for me, You paid my Hell and I'm willing to receive You as my Saviour and trust You as my hope for Heaven.' That minute He will write P-a-i-d on your record and your record will be taken and thrown behind the back of God and will be as clean as that paper. Isn't that wonderful?
That is the way your record will look.

"Now, let me ask you this:
You realize you are a sinner;
you realize that if you died today you would go to Hell;
you realize that Jesus suffered  Hell for you.
Do you believe that if we knelt here right now and asked God's forgiveness and you put your faith in Christ, God would save you?" "Yes, sir.”

"Our Father, here is a man who needs to be saved. Jesus died for him. Lord, You have led me here today, and I thank You for it. Now may this be the greatest day in his life as he receives Jesus as Saviour…

"Mr. Doe, while our heads are bowed, I'm going to ask you to do the finest thing you have ever done, and that is to just ask God to have mercy on you and save you. Would you do it in your own words? Just like you talk to me, go ahead and talk to Him."

"Lord, I've sinned and I want You to forgive me. I want You to save me from my sins and I'll take You as my Saviour.”

"Mr. Doe, while our heads are bowed, if you meant what you just said and you are willing today to give your life to Christ and trust Him as your hope for Heaven and you will make this the day of your acceptance of God's plan of salvation, would you take my hand as a token of it?" (That is one of the sweetest things. Their eyes are closed and lot of times they miss and they feel for your hand.)

Then you say, "Dear Lord, thank You that this man has trusted Jesus. And if the Bible is true and he has been sincere, he is Your child. Help him to see it now. In Jesus' name. Amen.

"God bless you, brother.
Let me ask you this question now: According to  this Book, where would you go if you died right now?”

"To Heaven.”

"Do you believe this Book? When you get to the judgment seat, are you willing to trust your eternity on what this Book says?”

"Yes, sir.”

"That means you are God's child. Now, suppose somebody asks you tomorrow, Mr. Doe, 'Are you a Christian?'-- what are you going to tell them?”

"I'll tell them yes.”

"If somebody says, 'When did you become a Christian?'-- what are you going to tell them?”

“Yesterday."

May God use this simple plan to help make you a soul winner.

-end-

About Dr. Jack Hyles

Jack Hyles began preaching at the age of 19 and pastored for 54 years. These pastorates include churches that varied in membership from 44 to over 100,000. All of these pastorates, other than First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, were in the state of Texas: first, Marris Chapel Baptist Church of Bogata, Texas; then to Grange Hall Baptist Church in Marshall, Texas; from there to Southside Baptist Church of Henderson, Texas; and then to Miller Road Baptist Church of Garland, Texas. He pastored Miller Road Baptist Church for approximately 7 years and saw this church, with the Lord's help, grow from a membership of 44 to over 4,000. It was from Miller Road Baptist Church that he was called to First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana.

Dr. Hyles was Pastor of First Baptist Church from August, 1959 until his death in February, 2001. In the last five years of his ministry, this church had an average weekly attendance of over 15,000 with approximately 10,000 baptisms each year. For many years, the church has been acclaimed to have the "World's Largest Sunday School." During Dr. Hyles' ministry, First Baptist Church increased in property value from $70,000 to over $70,000,000.

Besides his position as Pastor, Dr. Hyles was Founder and Chancellor of Hyles-Anderson College and Superintendent of Hammond Baptist Schools, which enrolled approximately 4,000 students in 2000. The doors of Hyles-Anderson College opened in 1972, and Dr. Hyles led in the training of over 1,000 pastors and missionaries currently serving in the United States and on foreign fields. The First Baptist Church also owns and operates a rescue mission and cemetery, both of which along with the schools, are located within 20 miles of the church.

Dr. Hyles is the author of 49 books and pamphlets. Many of his sermons are available on audio and video tape. Dr. Hyles' experience covers numerous evangelistic campaigns, Bible conferences, etc. He preached in virtually every state of the Union and in many foreign countries. He hosted 37 annual Pastors' Schools, which have attracted thousands of preachers from all over the world.

At age 74, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, February 6, 2001, at the University of Chicago Hospital.

 
 
 

 
Don't have a Bus Ministry, Please Start One
 
Written by Eva Marco, Wife, Mother Missionary and Bus Kid.
My name is Eva Marco; I am married to Evangelist, Dr. Douglas Marco.  I would like to encourage you on behalf of the children in your area, if you don’t have a bus ministry, please start one.   If your not working on one, please start.  If you do have a bus ministry do not take any child for granted.  You never know what they can do for God in the future.
 

As I have traveled across the country, I have been in many churches.  I have heard hundreds of testimonies of people that were saved out of a life of drugs, alcohol and such.  You have heard testimonies like those.  My husband has a great testimony of what God did in his life.  For a long time I wished I could say how much my life changed and how different I am from what I used to be.  Then one day it dawned on my peanut brain.  What are you thinking?  No! God did not save me out of a life of sin.  He did something even greater.  God saved me from a life of sin thanks to the bus ministry.

 

In 1973, an old country preacher heard about another preacher in a little town called Hammond, Indiana who ran buses to bring children to church.  The old country preacher went back to his little town of Salem, Michigan.  He did not have a bus however; he did have a young couple with a van.  They were willing to let God use them and their van to bring dirty, snotty nose, uncouth children to church.
 

January 1974 my two brothers, my sister and myself were invited ride the van to church.  Excited about getting to go somewhere, we said YES!  You see we lived way out in the country and the only place we ever went to was to school.  That was no fun.  When Sunday morning came we were up early.  Dressed in our best waiting to be picked up.  WOW! Sunday school was totally different from Monday – Friday school.  This was fun.  The teacher was excited we were there.  The van driver was excited to be picking us up.  As a twelve-year-old girl it was easy to see that these people really cared about us.  I remember like it was yesterday, after Sunday school the teacher asked me to stay.  After everyone had left she asked me if I knew if I would go to heaven one day.   I told her no, I don’t think I do.  She sat down across from me and told me what Jesus did for me and why he did it.  Well she did not have to ask me twice.  Yes I wanted to go to heaven.  I know a good deal when I hear one.  I gladly asked Jesus to save me.

My mother started coming to church with us.   She accepted Christ as her savior and heaven as her home, where she went to live two years ago.  The summer of 1975 the preacher talked to my dad.  Yep, you guessed it, my dad accepted Christ as his Savior.  Two week later my dad was killed.  I don’t know how I would have made it through that time if it were not for my Preacher, Sunday school teacher and bus workers. 
 
October 15, 1977 my sister had a friend who was a standup comedian with Hollywood contracts to come and put on a clown show for my brother’s twelfth birthday.  Well, once he took off that clown makeup he was kind of handsome.  We invited him to church.  He was a Catholic.  He figured he had already sunk so low into sin, going to a Baptist church couldn’t be much worse.  After coming to church For a couple of weeks my rough, tough, four foot eleven inch tall mother asked him if he wanted her to go with him to the alter.  That Sunday night my future husband was saved.
 
Two months later God called him to be a preacher. He gave up his life of drugs, alcohol and sin.  He even gave up his Hollywood contracts to go and serve the Lord wherever God would send him. September 1, 1979 I became his wife, to stand by his side and help him serve the Lord.  We have had twenty -four adventurous years.  The Lord gave us four wonderful children that love God and were saved at an early age.  When our children were very small we started praying for my husband’s Catholic family to be saved.  Eleven years later my husband was asked to handle his grandmother’s funeral.  His family didn’t know what she was, but they knew she was not Catholic.  Shortly before she died my husband was talking to her about heaven.  She told him that at the age of seventeen she was saved in a Billy Sunday revival.  She had never told anyone till that day.   At the funeral my husband told the story of her salvation and how she wanted to see them again someday.  Not only did his mother and father get saved but twenty-three other relatives also accepted Christ as savior.  Since that time we have seen all but one of his six siblings saved as well as most of his neices and nephews.
 
We taught all our children to be a soul winner by the age of six.  They have been soul winners ever since.  Our family was soul winning in West Memphis, Arkansas during a revival meeting my husband was preaching, when one of my daughters stopped a young boy on a bike. She led this boy to Christ.  One week later we received a phone call from the pastor.  He told us that the young boy was riding his bike home from school when a satanic cult grabbed him and brutally murdered him.  The pastor went to the boy’s parents and told them that their son was in heaven.  The pastor was able to lead the parents to the Lord.
 
My husband has always taught soul winners to talk to people out on the street.  We will pass up ten people to knock on one door where no one is home. One winter day a man from our church was out soul winning with my husband, when they came across an elderly man shoveling his driveway.  The soul winner took his truck and plowed the man's driveway.  Then he led the elderly man to Christ.  Before the night was over the elderly man died of a heart attack. My husband has been an Evangelist for ten years or so, most of those years the whole family traveled with him. During those years our family was privileged to go soul winning with many churches and to see thousands of people come to know Christ as Savior. There are many soul winning stories I could share with you.  The Lord has allowed my family to see and do many wonderful things for him.
 
So I guess my plea to you is on behalf of children everywhere.  Don’t look at them as problem in your church, and not worth your time.  Think what they could do if you love them, teach them and pray for them.  You may be the only one that will.  I truly believe that if it were not for Dr. Jack Hyles, the bus ministry, an old country preacher and a couple willing to let God use them to bring children to church, my life would no be the same.  I would not be saved, my parents and mother and father in-law would be in hell today.   I would not be married to the man I am married to, nor would I have the children that God has blessed me with.  The people we have led to the Lord would not be saved.  The people saved by those we have influenced to become a soul winner would not be saved.  All those people were saved not because of me, but because of the bus ministry, because someone cared about the children.
 
Thank you Dr. Hyles for loving the children.  Thank you to the old country preacher and to the couple willing to give of themselves to care for me, a dirty little bus kid.
 

Most of all thank you to Jesus for making salvation so simple that even a little child could understand, and thank you for saving me from a life of sin.

 

 
 
IN THE CROSS

John 19:16-19

“Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.  And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:  Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.”

I have never been to Israel yet, I have learned some things, so let’s use our imagination as we look at the location of the world’s greatest deed. 

Outside the walls of Jerusalem, I would say about 250 yards northeast of the old wall, or about 250 yards northeast of the Damascus Gate, is a rather large cliff.  This tall cliff is about sixty feet high.

It seems to be made of old gray clay, embedded with rocks. In that cliff, 250 yards outside the old city wall, in that cliff are large indentations, three large indentations, almost like sockets, almost like eye sockets. They look almost like the face of a skull, if you use your imagination. It seemed to me there is a face of a skull in that cliff, with three large holes, looking like eye sockets and a mouth.

At the bottom of that cliff, there is a flat piece of ground. At the foot of the cliff was the place of Jesus’ execution on the cross. Right there, beneath this cliff, was perhaps the location of Golgotha.

It was about 1920, and there was a man by then name of Dr. Gordon who had been looking for the Place of the Skull.  Dr. Gordon was an archeologist.

For sixteen centuries, people had believed that the place of Jesus’ crucifixion was in the center of the city of Jerusalem, where the Roman empress, Mother Helena, had built a gorgeous palace for Christ.

It was called the Holy Sepulcher.  The Holy Sepulcher was crafted of gilded gold, baroque style, and very ornate. This Holy Sepulcher had become one of the most sacred shines of Christianity.

Dr. Gordon realized that a crucifixion could not have occurred in the city walls; a Roman crucifixion would not have been permitted in the city walls of Jerusalem. So Dr. Gordon, a British archeologist, began looking for the place of execution outside the city walls.

One day, after twenty years of searching, he had searched enough and was going to finally give up looking for the Place of the Skull. He was sitting in his villa about five o’clock in the afternoon, and he saw massive shadows on this cliff across the valley floor.

He saw those eye sockets and he went to work and he saw the Place of the Skull. Upon further investigation, above that sixty foot cliff was a large flat area, now a beautiful garden, about half the size of a football field. In that beautiful garden, were and are currently old olive trees and giant, old, old plants. Also in that garden above the cliff is an ancient tomb carved out of limestone. In front of that tomb, believe it or not, there is a trench, dug out by human hands centuries ago.  In that trench, is where a circular burial stone was rolled, to seal the burial cave.

To the archeologists, this was obviously an ancient burial site, an ancient tomb, an ancient gravesite. Gradually, most scholars have come to the conclusion that this was perhaps the authentic site where Jesus was crucified and buried. It fits the Biblical record very well: outside the city wall, close to the city, near a place called "The Skull," with a garden tomb nearby.

The cross is the central symbol of the Christian faith. We are drawn to the cross because the cross is the key that unlocks the whole Christian faith. The cross is the key that unlocks our lives.

We love our favorite hymns about the cross. I remember singing with gusto the hymn, “On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross,” and that melody and its words are etched into my mind and spirit.

People wear crosses around our neck; some wear crosses on our ears as earrings; Some have crosses on our desks or on the walls of our home.

Why the cross?  Why not some other Christian symbol. Why is the cross the central symbol of the Christian faith?

Because of what it symbolizes. Here on my ring finger is a special ring.  It is no ordinary ring, but a rich symbol of a deep love between a man and a woman.

At our marriage, my wife and I gave each other matching rings. There are no other rings in the world like ours.  These rings are not merely circles of gold; these rings symbolize who we are as a couple; these rings also symbolize who I am as a person.  These rings are the most symbolic “things” in our marriage; these rings symbolize our love.

And so it is with the cross.

The cross is the one strongest and most central symbol of the Christian faith, symbolizing both the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The cross symbolizes the love of God for man; the cross also triumphantly symbolizes the resurrection to new life forever. Both God great love and God’s great gift is symbolized in the cross. You see, it is only in the cross that you see the face of God.

I look into the cross and the cross becomes a window through which I see the face of a loving God.

I look into the sun and I see the energy of God. I look into the stars and see the infinity of God. I look at the atoms and see the complexity of God. But it is only in the cross that I see the face of God’s love.

It is only in the cross that I see a love so great that God was willing to die for me. It is only in the cross that I hear the statement, John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

There is no greater love than a person is willing to die for another, and the cross states all this. That is what the cross tells us:  God loved us so much that God was willing to die for us. That is the message of the cross.  That is what the cross says.  It is only in the cross that we see the face of God’s love.

It is in the Cross;

Not in the World.

Not in the stars.

Not in our work.

Not in things

Not in houses

Not in lands

Not in flesh

Not in knowledge

Not in fame

Not in money

But IN THE CROSS!

In the cross in the cross where I first saw the light and the burden of my heart rolled away.  It was there by faith I received my sight.  Now, I am happy all the day!!

    In the cross is victory
    In the cross is deliverance
    In the cross is joy unspeakable and full of Glory
    In the cross is a new life
    In the cross is a new home.
    In the cross is love; for God so loved.
    In the cross is compassion
    In the cross is longsuffering
    In the cross is live everlasting
    In the cross is understanding
    In the cross is forgiveness
    In the cross is “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3
    In the cross is Alpha and Omega
    In the cross is the beginning and the ending
    In the cross is eternity
    In the cross is a new world-old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
    In the cross is my new father
    In the cross is every thing anyone could ever want or would ever want.

The cross is that glorious window through which we see God’s great love, a love so great that God was willing to die for you, that God’s son was willing to lay down his life for you and me.

It is in the cross that one sees the face of God. It is only in the cross that we know the heart of God. It is from the cross that we hear the voice of God who constantly and persistently says, “I love you. I forgive you. I am with you.”

You cannot stop God from the cross saying, “I love you. I love you. I love you.”

What is the cross to you?


 
 
 

 
God Will Never Change
 
Malachi 1:11

"For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts."

 

Throughout the Bible we see the many changes that took place with the Israelites, God's people.  The book of Malachi was written to the Jews who returned to Jerusalem after seventy years of captivity.  When they returned to Jerusalem, it was not as they had left it. Both the temple and the wall around Jerusalem had been rebuilt. This was a great time of victory for the Israelites. Yet, they fell into sin once again.

 

We too are living in a day of much prosperity and change. The world in which we live is changing at a rapid rate with much focus on ourselves and not others, our Social world changes almost daily, what was acceptable yesterday and unacceptable today. We have become an electronic society and many social media, which controls people.  We seem to change so fast it is hard to follow the changes.  What was once right is now called wrong.  Good is called evil and evil is called good. 

 

The wonderful thing about our God is He never changes.

 

Hebrews 13:8  “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”

 

Micah 5:2 “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

 

How can someone have an abundant Christian life in these changing times?  We can stay strong in our faith in this changing society by;

 

1. Attaching our lives to the one who never changes!

 

Our God does not change!

Hebrews 1:12 “And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”

 

Ecosystems change, weather patterns change, economics change, People change, friends Change, jobs change, our bodies change, our moods change, life changes constantly but Our God Never changes!

 

Psalm 102:26-27 “They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.”

 

Romans 1:25 is speaking of mankind when it says, "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator."

 

Some men have changed the truth of God, but God has not changed-God will never change!

 

In our ever-changing society it may be difficult to find something that will never change.  Let me give you a quick list of what my God is,

He is....

All powerful

Holy

Righteous

Ever present

All hearing

Invincible

Faithful

Gentle

Merciful

Love

Compassionate

All seeing

Understanding

Pure

Kind

Immortal

Just

Truth

Loyal

Perfect

Long-suffering

Slow to anger

Never changing

 

That is what he is; not what he does. By His very existence are these attributes of who he is!

 

So what can we do?

 

We can stay strong in our faith in this changing society by;

 

2. Leaning upon God and His Word,

 

We know we have a solid, unchanging foundation.  John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

 

Verse 14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

 

Even when trials arise in our lives, we can turn to God and find help.  1 John 1:1 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;”

 

We can stay strong in our faith in this changing society by;

 

3.  Spending Time in Prayer (you talking to Him)

 

Jeremiah 33:3  "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."

 

Are you going through a changing time in your life?  Do you feel as if things are continually changing without your control?  No matter what goes on in the world or what circumstances may change, God will not change.  Look to Him for He is our ever-present help in time of need.

 

Also, are you connected to God and His Word today? We can only make it through unstable times in our lives if we are grounded in Him.  Take time to ground yourself in Him, for He will never change!

 
 

 I Sought For A Man Among Them: But I Found None

By Douglas Marco

Ezekiel 22:25- 30 “There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.  Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken. The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.  And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

 

Living in 2017 is very different then living in the 1970’s, when I was saved, and called to preach.  I immediately went to work for the Lord.  I still remember my first sermon. I preached on the Power of Satan as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Then the second time I preached someone came up after the service and gave me a check for $20.00, for preaching. I was offended. I did not want money for doing want God had told me I must do.  It was the Lord who gave me the message; it was for His people and had nothing to do with me, why should I be paid for doing what He wanted.   Still, over 40 years later I still am uncomfortable with being paid for doing what God has called me to do.  I know it is His way of caring for those whom serve Him, yet it is a calling not a career, not a job and not a paycheck.

 

I speak to many Pastors, college professors, church leaders who are looking for Pastors, and others who tell me; today men are looking for a job and not a ministry, a paycheck not a work of the Lord.  For me I still live in the mind set that this is the Lords work, I am his servant, it is the greatest honor a human can have, to be called to full time service to the Lord as a Preacher of the Gospel.  I am told this is old thinking and will drive you to poverty.  As a missionary, evangelist, or Pastor I have never gone hungry.  There have been times when it was sparse, yet other times of great prosperity.  I am not rich, with a large amount of money in the bank, and I will never be able to retire and live on an income that has been built over time.  My wife and I have been careful and saved what we could and God has always cared for us.  Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” This work, we as preachers do is not a job, it is a ministry!  I am in the service of the King.  I am not looking to retire or leave the work. I am looking to run the race until the Lord calls me home.  I want to be faithful until the end. 

 

I believe that is what the Lord wants from me and I am more then willing to give my life for Him who saved me.  1Peter 5:1-3 “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

 

What has happened?  Why are Preachers today are not concerned with the winning of the lost but instead the size of the offering?  Where have we gone?  When was the last time Pastor, you walked a convert down the isle whom you won to Christwhile out soul winning?   I know preachers who have in their wallets right now, the church debit/credit card using it as if it were their own personal bank account.  They want the world to know how well off they are.  We as Christians need to take care of our Pastors. We need to financially support them as the servants they are, and shame on the Church who does not care for the Pastor correctly.  Yet it seems like we live in a day where the money is more important then the work we are called to do.  Pastor, don’t take advantage of your church.  Do what God has called you to do.  Win the lost, preach the whole council of God, Pray and study your Bible, stay closer to God in each and every aspect of your life then any one or anything else, make Him your best friend. Remember you have been called by God to be His servant. Toady, this is not being done, something very horribly going wrong, the world the flesh and the devil, have the preeminence in the church today.  

 

Let me ask the question that you may be asking yourself right now:  “Whom do you think you are to be talking to us Pastors and Christian workers like this?” You are just a missionary, an evangelist!  Don’t you speak to me like this!!

 

You are right I am just a missionary, just an evangelist, a man who has pastored over 20 years, just another man who has spent over 4 decades in the service of the King.   I’m, a nobody.  However, I am not the one who is seeking for a Man and can’t find one.  My life of service is coming to a close.  I have done my best to win as many to Christ as I possible, while training and encouraging others to give out the Gospel to all they come across. 

 

I am not your God to tell you what to do.  I am a voice, as Dr. Jack Hyles so aptly said it many years ago.  I am a reminder that we MUST stand for the Lord.  We Preacher, Pastors, Missionaries and Evangelist MUST STAND IN THE GAP, feed the flock of God, not for filthy lucre sake. 

 

Listen to what God is saying, not me.  “There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.” Ezekiel 22:25.  Verse 28 “And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.”

 

The Almighty God said “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” Ezekiel 22:30

 

If this offends you, maybe you are under conviction. Put down the church checkbook, lock up the church debit/credit card, and pick up your New Testament and go soul winning. 

 

Who am I?  Simply, a nobody, a servant of the King for over 40 years.  One who is ready to go to Heaven, looking to hear; “well done thou good and faithful servant.”

 

Who are you?  Are you the Man the Lord is looking for?  Are you the Man who will make up the hedge? Are you the man who will stand in the gap?   There have been a great number of vacancies in leadership over my years of service. Leaders don’t last forever.  We need new men, new leaders who will stay with the same Word of God, in the same power of the Holy Spirit, who will stand in the gap between the world and God’s people.  God is searching earnestly, looking for someone, some man, some servant who will carry out His will and not their own.  There are some men around the world who are standing in the gap.  The number are falling, dwindling down to a very few especially young men. If you are one of those men, thank you.  Thank you for being a soul winner and letting God’s people see you winning the lost.  Thank you being obedient and serving the Lord not being employed by the Lord.

 

Lets not forget how Ezekiel 22 ends: 22:31 “Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.”  That is Old Testament.  Thank you, you are right so then lets not forget 1 Peter 5.

 

1Peter 5:1  “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.   Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.  To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

 
 

Dealing With Bitterness
 
Text:  Hebrews 12:14-17

There are issues in everyone's life that lead to a disaster waiting to happen.  All of the issues are because we live in a world where we have enemies.

The devil, hates anything that is Gods’. Since the devil can no longer have your soul in Hell with him, he will work to destroy your life, your joy, your peace, your victory in Christ and service that the Lord has planned for you.  

We are not that different, you and I.  We have the same frailties, same type of flesh, same type of feeling and so on.  We also have the same three big enemies. The World, the Flesh and the Devil. All of them work to destroy all that God has planned for you while here on this earth, as well as the rewards he has prepared for you.

Because, we have those enemies our Father, his Son and the Holy Spirit have plans played out before us to give us a victorious life. One of those plans He shows us is by letting us seeing the foe and how he works so when the situation and temptations come our way we can overcome them because He has showed us how they work..  

When we hear preaching and the teaching of the Word of God, God will often warn us in advance of the impending disaster.   One of the major areas of impending dooms comes through BITTERNESS. This  a great underlying problem of most of Gods people.

Hebrews 12:14-17, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.  For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected:  for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”

There was a town in Wales where a coal mine was.  For over a fifty year period they began to pile up coal debris consisting of Huge piles, or 'tips', of loose rock and mining spoil.  And place this on land above this town.  This had been built up over a layer of highly porous sandstone that contained numerous underground springs.  Over this time this became a mountain of useless debris all directly above the town of Abervan.  For 50 years they did this.  In October 1966, at this town of Abervan it had rained for several weeks.  Around noon, that mountain of coal debris started to move.  The way I understand it, over (1,400,000 cu ft) of debris smashed into the village made of coal debris and mud.  Right below this mountain of coal debris was an elementary school.  144 young children and teachers died from impact or suffocation that day.

Folks, do you know that many Christians today are in just as much trouble and danger as the elementary school?  

The reason is they have allowed a mountain of bitterness in their life.  You know people and so do I, who are not serving God today because they are bitter.  They are miserable in their life.  Hebrews 12:15, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”

Did you notice thereby many be defiled?  

Bitterness in your life will affect others around you.  

It will infect them from your life and testimony.  A bitter husband or wife affects their children or spouse and it can even go further than that to other family members and friends.  

Do you know what bitterness is?  It is nothing more than allowing your flesh to control your life.  Folks, have you ever noticed that life is not fair?  Have you ever noticed that people can be extremely cruel?

Many people are bitter today because they have been hurt, something did not go like they wanted it to.  

They were hurt at church, a job did not go like they wanted it to, their marriage is failing, they do not have the home they want or the circumstances they want or they are mad at others.  

Folks, bitterness is a serious issue and it can spring up quickly.  Let me give you three things about bitterness:

1.  Bitterness is designed by Satan to destroy your life for God.

James 3:14-16, “But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not and lie not against the truth.  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

Hebrews 12:15, Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.   Did you notice the word diligently?  

Folks, it is important that you guard your life in this matter.  It is a diligent matter for each of us.  

Notice the words, springing up many are defiled.   

Many Christians are bitter toward others.  Ephesians 4:29 and 31, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”

Just remember that the devil can use bitterness to destroy your life.

2.  One of the weapons against bitterness is submission.

Do you know that many Christians are bitter today because they have an authority problem?  

They cannot or will not submit to authority.  Hebrews 13:7, 17, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God:  whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”  — “Obey them which have the rule over you, and submit yourselves:  for they watch for your souls, as they must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

Many Christians fail to realize that authority is placed in their life by God,

Romans 13:1-5.  “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.”

The attitude they have is I do not care;  no one is going to tell me what I should do.

If that is the attitude a Christian has, they will die an embittered, ugly, failure spiritually. They do not understand that they are letting an authority figure create bitterness in their life because of a lack of submission.  

Many Christians say and do many cruel and ugly things because they are spiritually unfaithful in their life and many are destroyed because of it.

Many times people will hear their pastor speak on a certain subject and the Holy Spirit convicts their heart of the need of their life.  However, they refuse to submit to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, and then bitterness wells up in their life because of their lack of submission.  

Folks, it is a serious sin, that God warns and commands against. Remember submission is one of the keys to not having bitterness in your life.

3.  Repentance and Prayer Are the Keys to Fixing Bitterness.

This is something that you must realize is in your life because it will literally eat us up.  When we realize it is sin, you need to repent, turn from it and in prayer ask God to cleanse your heart from all bitterness.  

We need to submit your will to God’s will.  

What about the person who is bitter against you…

In prayer, turn the bitter person over to God, Romans 12:16-21, and let God work in their life.  God will do a much better job of it than you will.  Fighting with bitter people can and will make you bitter.

James 4:6-12, But he giveth more grace.  Wherefore, he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.  Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye double-minded.  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaveniness.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.  Speak not evil one of another, brethren.  He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.  There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy:  Who art thou that judgest another?

In the Bible, the heart and the mind are used interchangeably. There is a very important principle in

II Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

See the word imaginations? It means fantasies. Every person who is rebellion in their life (and bitterness is rebellion) is because they are living in a fantasy world. A place where they allow their minds to run off and fantasize about living in another time, another place, etc..

II Corinthians 10:4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;”

Notice the phrase, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”

We wrestle not against flesh and blood .Therefore, our weaponry is not carnal (fleshly). However, it is in fact powerful through God for the pulling down of strongholds. (Interesting word).

Strongholds where? In the mind. The word strongholds literally means “a heavily fortified containment and is used of a false argument in which a person seeks “shelter” (a safe place) to escape reality.”

Ephesians 6:13-18 describes some of the spiritual weaponry God has given for us. When a person is in rebellion to their parents, Biblical authorities, boss, etc. it never fails that they have not controlled their thought life or they do not know how to do

Folks, bitterness will eat you up.  

We need to Realize that you cannot change people, only God can do that.  

Notice in James 4:6-12, the failure to submit to God, will result in evil speaking and incorrect judgment of others all because of bitterness which comes from a failure to submit to God.  

If we fight bitter people in our own power we will be the loser.  Make sure no root of bitterness is springing up in your life.  If it does happen to get into your life, do not let it stay.  If it gets root in your heart, your life will be destroyed and you will be a source of destruction in others lives.  It will destroy your children and it can be a point to drive others away for the gospel.

I can hear someone now say, ‘you do not know what they have done to me.’  We have all been mistreated and hurt.  

However, forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting.  In essence, it does not mean you put yourself in harm’s way.  When you forgive another you are promising to do four things about their wrong doing:

1. I shall not use their wrong doing against them in the future.
2. I shall not talk to others about them and their wrong doing.
3. I shall not dwell on them myself. (Do not let their wrong doing control your life).
4. I shall turn them over to God.

Last Thought:  Bitterness is a strong thing and you may have to turn them over more than once.  

As you turn them over to God, and continue to do so, the devil will eventually realize that is an area that he cannot work on in your life and God will take care of that person or situation in His time.  

Also, look in God’s word to find out what it says about bitterness and apply Ephesians 4:22-24 in your life. “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

 
 
 

I Corinthians 13 – How Love Behaves

By Lehman Strauss
Lehman Strauss was a well known Bible teacher and writer in the USA. He was the teacher on the nationally weekly broadcast, "Bible Study Time."
 
1.    Love suffereth long (vs. 4).  Love is slow to become angry, slow to become offended, slow to become indignant.
2.    Love is kind (vs. 4).  Love is positive.  Love shows gentleness, tenderness, goodness of heart, and is pleasant.
3.    Love envieth not (vs. 4).  Love does not begrudge; therefore it will not be jealous or selfish of another.
4.    Love vaunteth not itself (vs. 4).  Love is not rash or boastful; therefore it is not guilty of vainglory.
5.    Love is not puffed up (vs. 4).  Love does not become inflated with pride or self-importance.
6.    Love does not behave itself unseemly (vs. 5).  Love is never discourteous or impolite, and is not lacking in good manners.
7.    Love seeketh not her own (vs. 5).  Love insists on no rights of its own but will forfeit all for the one it loves.
8.    Love is not easily provoked (vs. 5).  Love will not be excited or stirred up to anger, will not be aroused to resentment.
9.    Love thinketh no evil (vs. 5).  Love looks for the best and not the worst; it magnifies the good points and minimizes the weaknesses.
10.    Love rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth (vs. 6).  Love is never glad to see the wrong in others, only the right.
11.    Love beareth all things (vs. 7).  Love silently and sweetly puts up with all it cannot approve. Love will bear and forbear.
12.    Love believeth all things (vs. 7).  Love will trust and not doubt, accept and not be suspicious.
13.    Love hopeth all things (vs. 7).  Love will not quit, will not give up to a divorce.
14.    Love endureth all things (vs. 7).  Love rides out the storms of life, withstands every disappointment.
15.    Love never faileth (vs. 8).  Love will never leave off, never lose its grip.  Love must succeed. 

 
 

 
 
 
 

The Desire of a Soul Winner

Romans 10:1

“Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”

Though it would be impossible to know the Apostle Paul personally or to accompany him on one of his missionary journeys, to see his heart, we can simply read Romans 10:1: “my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” The desire of Paul’s heart was to see the people of Israel, who had rejected Christ nationally, turn to Christ individually. His burden was so strong that he said, “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:” (Romans 9:3). What was it about Paul’s desire that compelled him so strongly to win souls?

Notice that Paul’s desire was a compassionate desire. I think of the compassion of Jesus when He saw the multitudes. In Matthew 9:36, the Bible says, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” The love of Jesus Christ was certainly great. When He looked out at the multitudes that had gathered, He saw beyond the faults, the problems, and the hassles of the people and looked into their hearts and saw their need for salvation.  

When there is compassion in our hearts, there will be a desire to see someone saved. A layman named Edward Kimball in 1855 was concerned about one of his young Sunday school students who worked at a shoe store in town. One day Kimball visited him at the store, found the student working in the back stocking shelves, and led him to Christ then and there. Dwight L. Moody eventually left the shoe store to become one of the greatest preachers and evangelists of all time.

Moody, whose international speaking took him to the British Isles, preached in a little chapel pastored by a young man with the imposing name of Frederic Brotherton  Meyer. In his sermon Moody told an emotionally charged story about a Sunday school teacher who personally went to every student in his class and let each of them to Christ.

That message changed Pastor Meyer’s ministry, inspiring him to become an evangelist like Moody. Over the years Meyer came to America. While speaking in Northfield, MA a young preacher heard Meyer say, “If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?” That remark led J. Wilbur Chapman to respond to the call of God on his life.

Chapman went on to become one of the most effective evangelists of his time. A volunteer by the name of Billy Sunday helped set up his crusades and learned how to preach by watching Chapman. Billy Sunday eventually took over Chapman’s ministry becoming one of the most dynamic evangelists of this century. Billy Sunday’s preaching brought thousands to Christ.

Inspired by a 1924 Billy Sunday crusade in Charlotte, NC a group of Christians dedicated themselves to reaching their city for Christ. The group invited the evangelist Mordecai Ham to come and hold a series of evangelistic meetings in 1932. A lanky 16 year old sat in the huge crowd one evening, spellbound by the message the white-haired preacher gave. Each evening the preacher seemed to be shouting and waving his finger at the young man. Night after night the teen came and finally went forward to give his life to Christ.

That teenager was Billy Graham. Billy Graham has communicated the gospel to more people than any other person in history. And it all started with a Sunday school teacher named Kimball. Millions have been affected by his decision to go into a shoe store and share Christ with one person. Millions more will continue to feel his impact.

D.L. Moody made a covenant with God that he would witness for Christ to at least one person each day.  One night, about ten o’clock, he realized that he had not yet witnessed; so he got out of bed, got dressed, and in the Chicago snow, went out in to the street and spoke to a man standing by a lamppost, asking him, “Are you a Christian?”  The man flew into a violent rage and threatened to knock Moody into the gutter.  Later, that same man went to an elder in the church and complained that Moody was “doing more harm in Chicago than ten men were doing good.”  The elder begged Moody to temper his zeal with knowledge.

Three months later, Moody was awakened at the YMCA by a man knocking at the door.  It was the man he had witnessed to.  “I want to talk to you about my soul,” he said to Moody.  He apologized for the way he had treated Moody and said that he had had no peace ever since that night on Lake Street when Moody witnessed to him.  Moody led the man to Christ and he became a zealous worker in the Sunday school.

Paul’s desire was also a concise desire. He wasn’t praying that they would be recruited, reformed, or reorganized; he was praying that they would be saved. John R. Rice, the founder and editor of the Sword of the Lord newspaper, rarely met anyone without asking the simple question, “Are you saved?” Often times, we get distracted by so many other needs and concerns, but let’s not forget the main thing: are we leading souls to the Saviour?

How great is your burden for souls?

Who is it for which you must grow in compassion?

If your heart has grown cold and uncompassionate, then allow the Holy Spirit of God to soften and break your heart for souls today.

If you have been distracted by an array of other needs and have forgotten the need for the lost to know Christ, ask the Lord to attune your heart to the need for salvation. Someone that you meet today could be a few short breaths away from eternity! You could decide where they spend eternity if you will only tell them of Christ.

 


 

An Anchor in Troubled Times

3 Truths to Remember in Trials
Written by Anthony King Information Technology Director, Lancaster Baptist Church 4020 E. Lancaster Blvd. Lancaster, CA 93535
 
 
Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes life takes me for such a ride that I’m not sure which end is up. During times like these, we begin to question God and begin to wonder exactly what He’s doing. Such thinking isn’t wrong or sinful. The Psalms are replete with David crying out to God and wondering what exactly God is up to.

If someone were to stand trial, accused of a crime, the trial is to determine whether the charges are true or false, whether the person is guilty or innocent. Often, our faith is put on trial to determine whether it is a genuine or counterfeit faith. First Peter 4:12–14 says, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” In other words, “Knuckle up. Tough times are coming!”

During difficult and troubled times, there are a few key truths that we should keep at the forefront.
 
1. God Is in Control

Sometimes we refer to God as being sovereign, that’s one of His attributes. Sovereignty is a word that means He’s in charge of it all and He has the power to change it. First Chronicles 29:11–12 says, “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.”

Whatever you’re going through, God knows about it, and He’s in control. It’s been said that all of our trials are Father-filtered. I can rest easier during times of trials knowing that God has a plan.
 
2. God Works All Things for Our Good (Sometimes)

An oft-claimed verse during trials is Romans 8:28. We’ll say, “Well the Bible says God works all things together for good!” Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what it says. You see, it’s a conditional promise: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” It’s a promise to those who love God. If you don’t love God, you can’t necessarily lay claim to this verse. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” If you love God the way He deserves to be loved, lay claim to this amazing promise from the Bible!
 
3. God Is Our Anchor

During the trial, during the storm, latch on really tight to God. He is the eternal, unchanging, all-powerful Jehovah God of the Bible. He is the one constant! Jobs change, relationships fade, circumstances improve or degrade, but God, and His Word are our constants! If you aren’t currently going through a trial, file this away for when you do. If you’re currently in the thick of it, write down Nahum 1:7 and place it on a 3×5 card and stick it on your mirror, in your shirt pocket or in your purse.

“The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; And he knoweth them that trust in him.”—Nahum 1:7
 
 

Faith or Foolishness?

 
Written by Missionary Douglas Marco, Jr.  Missionary to the City of Talisay on the Island of Negros in the Philippines
 
 
“Click, click, click…” from the old wooden roller coaster was the most frightening thing I had ever heard one summer day in 1996. There is no more exciting day to an adolescent than a day at an amusement park. For me on that day, there wasn’t much amusement. I had dodged all of attempts of my sisters to get me on a roller coaster; although my winning streak was about to come to an abrupt end. “Come on son, you’re getting on this one”, was the last thing I heard before my heart dropped into my goodwill sneakers. I could hardly find the line through the watering of my eyes, but Dad guided me to where we needed to go. “Hail Mary full of grace… Our father who art in heaven… bless this food, amen…” and every other prayer I could muster came out of my mouth as this extremely short line was getting ever shorter.  By this point, I felt like a dog being led to the euthanasia chamber. I even think there might have been a puddle at my feet. When I thought all hope was lost, I sighed one final prayer. It went something like this, “Oh gracious and Heavenly Father, you know I can’t do this! Please, please, please do something, I beg of you!!!”  Just moments after whispering those words, God did something completely amazing. See, the sun is super-hot in Texas and my poor, little, 5 foot 85 lb, 15 year old sister didn’t stand a chance. She caught a sudden attack of heat exhaustion and fainted, hitting her head on the concrete walk way. My winning streak continued!  As we rushed her to shade, I knew God had answered my prayer in some awkward way.

I had always heard that God works in mysterious ways, but I didn’t know how mysterious till then. After that, the deafening roar and the creaking wood of that giant roller coaster didn’t seem so bad after all, until about three years later I found myself in the same predicament. Although some of the characters had changed, my paralyzing fear had not. This time, I was with my youth group and I knew if I chickened out I would be the laughing stock of that activity. It didn’t help that I was a tad nerdy anyway.

I prayed for another miracle, I even went as far as to have a bottle of water on hand and one of those carnival stuffed animals to soften the fall of my sister, but to no avail. It wasn’t long before I was strapped into this death trap with my sunburned knuckles turning snow white. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, when I was reminded by the old lady next to me that the ride hadn’t started yet. “Click, click, click…” and we were on our way. As we reached the top of the first hill, everything got fuzzy and I’m pretty sure I blacked out for a moment before being slapped in the face with my stomach! The ride roared, swerved, screeched and clacked, I could barely breathe. It seemed that no hope was in sight. The fear I felt, was nothing like I could imagine. I wanted it all to stop!! As I exited the most frightening experience of my life, I began to run as fast as my little legs could take me back to the front of the line to experience it all over again. The fear was still there but it was suppressed by the joy that I was still alive and I wanted to do it again.

Now you might be saying, “What does this goofy story have to do with the title of this article?” Well, allow me to share my thoughts. This month marks my fifth year living in ministry completely by faith. I was called to be a missionary at a young age and I always dreamed of the day I could start my ministry. Well, little did I know that my first experience on a roller coaster would become the rest of my life.

I had always heard there was a fine line between faith and foolishness but after these few years serving God, I can honestly say that line doesn’t exist. I prefer to look at it as I am just foolish enough to live by faith.

When I started deputation, I didn’t take the advice of some who said to wait until I had 10% of my support coming in before going full speed ahead. With less than a half of a percent of support coming in we packed up our little Chevy Malibu and with hardly any room in the back seat for our little boy, we hit the road. Times were seriously rough and full of fear. Our life began to take swerves and spins and it seemed too hard at times to hold on. There were days I didn’t know how I was going to feed my family or even afford diapers for our baby. Those days came far too often. One day we would be at the very top and then like a meteor, it seemed we would plummet to the bottom once again. In the midst of all of this fear and woe, God delivered again and again!  Although the fear of living by faith seemed overwhelming, the joy of seeing God come through kept us getting in line over and over again. At times I felt I couldn’t breathe and I saw no hope in sight. Then my God delivered again!

In the five years, our family has been used to help start two independent, nationally pastored, Baptist churches along with sending a portion of God’s word into twenty five countries and seeing over 18,000 people come to Christ. Currently, we are serving in the city of Talisay on the island of Negros in the Philippines. Here are some observations.

1. You will never live by Faith if you can’t hold on
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The darkest hour means dawn is just in sight. Remember heaven doesn’t run off of our time zone. Be patient and let God build your faith. Your knuckles might turn white but hold on! You might be breathless but hold on! My missions’ teacher and hero taught me that true faith is Forsaking All I Trust Him. Forsake the fears and hold on. Forsake the urge to jump and hold on. Faith is a scary ride and it is not for the faint of heart. If you have a weak heart, hold on!! God will come through and soon the joy of answered prayer will have you running to the front of the line for more.

2. Remember that the One who called you, goes with you.  


Hey Jack, you’re not on this ride alone!!  You may have never seen the curve that is up ahead but thank God, He has. Although it might have been my first trip down the tracks of that roller coaster, it sure wasn’t the cart I was strapped into first trip. That sure made it much more comforting and the ride easier to handle. The cart knows when to turn to the left or to the right, just let it do its job and you do yours. Sit still and let God move.

3. Always remember God can do it again just as He has done before.


Far too many of us fret and fear even after God has provided. It is almost as if we have forgotten all together that God has been on time, every time! We are making our lives much harder because we lose sight of the blessings God has already provided. Jonah is a perfect example of this type of lifestyle. Jonah had it made, all he had to do was just simply Go and do what God had asked him to do. I have no doubt that Jonah had seen the mighty hand of God move in his favor, but Jonah forgot and quickly found his fear through forgetfulness. This brought him a whale of hurt. Jonah was the cause of his whale and you will be the cause of yours if you exchange those memories of God’s goodness with doubts of his ability to provide your every need.

4. Prayer is the best fear suppressant.

In all my years of riding roller coasters the fear has never truly faded. In this life of faith, the fear never truly fades either but it can be suppressed by praying and fasting. While preparing for this article, my family had a need that I did not know how it would be met. I felt that all avenues had been explored to find an answer. As I spent the past few days in prayer, my fear gave way to Faith and like before, God in some miraculous way, that is unfathomable to me, provided yet again! Let God know those things that are causing you to have sleepless nights. Bundle all your burdens and fears and take them to the throne room of Jesus and let Him worry about them.

5. Go through every door God opens for you.

Our support has never been as high as was suggested and at times our statement looks as anemic as a starving child somewhere in Africa, but I can honestly say we have walked through every door that God has opened for our ministry. I am a firm believer that at the moment you walk through those doors, God is obligated to take care of you. The moment you hesitate and don’t take that step in faith, His obligation to care for you will stop too. I cannot do for my family what God can do, so I’m better off moving forward as He clears the way. Some of you like Jonah, are in the belly of the beast and wonder why God has forsaken you. Have you ever considered that it was you that forsook Him? It took Jonah three days, too many to come to that conclusion. Next time you read the book of Jonah, you might realize that it is two chapters too long. It should have gone from Jonah chapter 1 verse 1 to Jonah chapter 3 and verse 3. Two chapters of self- inflicted hardship, stress and grief. When it is all said and done how many extra chapters will be in your book? The rest of the world might think you’re crazy to live by faith. I don’t think I’m crazy; I’m just a fool forsaking all, trusting Him!
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

12 Characteristics of Ministry-Minded Millennials

The Next Generation of Leaders
Article by:  Dr. Paul Chappell Senior Pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church and President of West Coast Baptist College

Men like me who are over fifty are often baffled by the demographic shift in mindset represented by the Millennial Generation. (According to Pew Research Center, millennials, sometimes called Generation Y, include people born between 1980–2000.)

Millennials are known for challenging the status quo and resisting structure. In some ways this is good. But in many ways, for us “baby boomers,” we see these challenges as coming from an unearned platform. Older generations appreciate the Marine’s title: “Earned never given.”

Millennials are the first generation to grow up with a computer in their homes. (According to recent research, 97 percent own a computer.) As such, millennials are the first generation whose values are formed by the Internet. This gives millennials an edge on harnessing the potential to use technology to spread truth. It also represents a tremendous cultural shift. A further shift is seen in a study conducted by the University of Michigan, “Monitoring the Future,” which reported that only 35 percent of millennials find it necessary to develop a meaningful philosophy of life, compared to 73 percent of boomers
 

The millennial generation often fits perfectly into the Laodicean church age. The word Laodicea means “the people’s rights”—a perfect description of a generation that is self-focused. Author Jean M. Twenge in the book Generation Me lists three general characteristics of millennials: confidence, entitlement, and narcissism.

To be sure, every generation since Adam has had its flaws. We baby boomers have had more than our fair share of failures!

But in every generation, there will be spiritual, ministry-minded leaders as well as fleshly, divisive leaders. The difference will depend on those who humbly seek to walk in the Spirit and those who do not.

I know many godly pastors who are millennials, and I’m privileged to serve with many millennials on our church staff who are godly, Spirit-filled men and women of God. I appreciate their unique perspectives and their perceptive eye for authenticity.

What are the characteristics of ministry-minded millennials?

1. Ministry-minded millennials walk in the Spirit. They guard their spirit from anger and contention. They deny the flesh and walk in the Spirit. Invariably, this will result in peace and joy.

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.— Galatians 5:25

2. Ministry-minded millennials walk in humility. Every generation has to battle pride. Consciously choose to walk in humility toward fellow team members and laborers.

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.— 1 Peter 5:5

3. Ministry-minded millennials appreciate the contributions of others. Don’t dismiss the potential contribution of team members or fellow pastors because they are different. Some millennials quickly dismiss good influencers because they went to a “weird” college or are a bit more conservative than themselves. Biblical ministry has always been teamwork.

And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.—Philippians 4:3

4. Ministry-minded millennials pursue mentoring from the generations before them. Think of Paul and Timothy. When your values and philosophies are shaped by your peers (with whom you can easily connect on the Internet), you lose the most valuable sources of mentoring. Pursue—seek out—mentoring from generations before you. Read biographies of great Christians. Ask for counsel. Build relationships over generational divides.

Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.— 1 Timothy 1:2

5. Ministry-minded millennials limit their liberty. Spiritual leaders don’t push the limit. You don’t have to do everything just because you can.

Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.—1 Corinthians 8:13

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.—Galatians 5:13

6. Ministry-minded millennials pursue holiness. Millennials make valid arguments against some convictions of the previous generation: “You don’t go to movies, but you watch the same stuff on DVDs” or, “You can’t support that philosophy of dress scripturally.” While they raise questions worth hearing and discussing, they must give answers that indicate how they personally pursue holy thoughts or modest lifestyles, as in the case of these two questions. It’s okay to challenge the preferences or convictions of the last generation, but show us how you are going to conform to His image and not to the world in your generation. It’s not enough to claim “grace” if you don’t live with distinction. (I addressed this more thoroughly in Grace for Godly Living.)

Few millennials are emphasizing grace or liberty as their reason to give more to missions or witness more fervently. Somehow grace has become the license of some millennials to satisfy the “me generation.”

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;— Titus 2:11–12

7. Ministry-minded millennials are loyal to the principles and philosophy of Scripture. Times change, but principles never do. I believe most millennials in biblical Baptist churches want loyalty to principles and are sometimes frustrated by what they perceive as (and sometimes is) loyalty to preferences.

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;—2 Timothy 3:14

8. Ministry-minded millennials walk with deference to the pioneers who’ve built the platform on which they are now standing. Many millennials talk of unity and grace while showing little to their more conservative predecessors. If you are on a staff, be respectful to your leader and his vision. When you have differences, pose questions (with a genuine willingness to understand his or her viewpoint) rather than making accusations.

Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.—Philemon 1:9

And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.—1 Thessalonians 5:13

9. Ministry-minded millennials consider the end of a thing. Before you become taken with a new trend in ministry, ask yourself and the previous generation, “What will this cost the next generation?” Ministry-minded millennials don’t think of me and now only.

O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!—Deuteronomy 32:29

10. Ministry-minded millennials remember that success is not becoming the next mega pastor. Or having the next blog post that goes viral. Success is being faithful to the Word of God and the God of the Word. Success is a moving target while leadership is a fixed goal—and that goal is Jesus.

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;—1 Timothy 1:12

11. Ministry-minded millennials scripturally win, baptize, and grow people. It’s not enough to be a great “change agent” who “transitions” already existing believers to a more convenient or hip worship style—our commission is to win, baptize, and teach the lost of this world. Statistics are clear: the groups who are led by “change agent gurus” are baptizing fewer annually. Could it be that in becoming enamored with change we have lost passion for the lost?

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 alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.—Matthew 28:19–20

12. Ministry-minded millennials take up their cross and follow Christ. Even in ministry, the millennial generation’s emphasis on self sometimes comes into play. But it doesn’t have to. All of us battle self in various forms. And for all of us, the answer is the same—take up your cross and follow Christ.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.—Matthew 16:24

There have been those in every generation who have resisted the fleshly trends of their generation and used the unique strengths of their generation to accomplish much for God. I see a host of ministry-minded millennials doing just that, and I thank God for them—for you.

January 06, 2014
 


Giving Thanks: On Thanksgiving Day

 Psalm 100

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”

As we in the United States come to Thanksgivings Day we really need to think about what we are doing and giving thanks for.

Thanksgiving is an anticipated day when families join together to carve the turkey,  eat delicious food,
and enjoy each others’ fellowship.   I love to be with my family and watch the parades in the morning eat, have our annual thanksgiving dinner, snack on food rest relax and watch football on TV.

Most importantly, Thanksgiving day is a day when we can give thanks to God.

Our passage today reminds us to “be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

No matter what circumstances we are going through, we can always find a way to give thanks.  

When we give thanks it reflects an inner heart attitude.  

Our passage says to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord.”

Joy is something that comes from the Spirit of God—from the inside out.  

One hymn writer states, “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

Sometimes we can get caught up in thinking on the negative, instead of on our blessings.

When we take the time to count our blessings, it really will surprise us what the Lord has done!

Giving thanks also represents an acknowledgment of the sovereignty of God.

Verse three in our passage says, “Know ye that the LORD he is God.”

Sometimes we may wonder why a certain trial has entered our lives, but God’s Word says to give thanks in everything.

God understands what we are going through.  

He knows our situations and how we are feeling.

When we give thanks it represents the fact that we acknowledge God’s goodness and His sovereignty in our lives.

Lastly, Giving thanks is worship to the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Verse four says, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

When I have a heart that is right and I understand the sovereignty of God—that all the circumstances that I’m experiencing are under His control—then I can truly enter His gates with thanksgiving and say He is a good God.

A story is told of Matthew Henry who was once robbed as he rode horseback to preach the Gospel.  
The robbers took his money, and at first Matthew Henry was startled and shocked, but that night he wrote in his journal these words.

“I must be thankful today. First, I’m thankful because I was never robbed before.

Second, I’m thankful because they took my wallet and not my life.

Third, I’m thankful because they took everything I had, and it wasn’t much.

Fourth, I’m thankful because I was robbed, not the one robbing.”  

What are some things you should thank God for today?

There is always something for which we can be thankful!

Remember on this Thanksgiving day that the Lord is good, and thank Him for His goodness towards you!