This Week's Gospel Sermons
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December 19, 2010
“How blessedis the man who finds wisdom” and “Acquire wisdom!” and “he who is wise wins souls” (Proverbs 3:13-15; 4:5‑8; 11:30). See where wisdom leads?
He is wise in recognizing the value of a soul.
Jesus said, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36). A soul is indeed valuable because it bears the image of GOD (Genesis 1:26). It is valuable because it cost so much to redeem it. It cost the precious blood of Christ, the Son of God (Philippians 2:5-8). “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2Corinthians 5:21). The soul is valuable because when it is lost it is irreparably lost. “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). When a soul is lost, and death comes, there is no way to reclaim it, for its destiny is eternal (Matthew 25:46).
He is wise in recognizing lost souls.
Jesus came to “seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10). One who is wise recognizes the lost and seeks to save them by taking them the gospel of Christ. Who is lost? All who fail to believe in Christ are lost, for Jesus said, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). All who fail to repent are lost. Jesus further said, “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). People who do not confess Christ are lost. “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32,33). People who are not baptized are lost. As Jesus made faith essential to salvation, so he made baptism, for he said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved …” (Mark 16:16). Speaking as the Holy Spirit gave him utterance, Peter in telling people what to do to be saved on the day of Pentecost said, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins …” (Acts 2:38).
People who transgress God’s laws, and people who fail to keep His righteous commandments are lost (1John 3:4; 5:17). People who do his will for a time and then turn back are lost. “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them” (2Peter 2:20,21).
He is wise in knowing the power of God’s word.
He knows that there is power in the gospel to save all men from every sin. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes …” (Romans 1:16). When Paul came to the wicked city of Corinth, he was determined to know only Christ, and him crucified — to preach the gospel of Christ. There was sufficient power in it to do the job. After enumerating various sinners, Paul said, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1Corinthians 6:11). Later in the same epistle Paul said, “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain” (1Corinthians 15:1,2).
He is wise in knowing that the lost can be influenced for good, can be made useful, fruitful members of the church, and can be turned from darkness to light.
Jesus said, “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest” (John 4:35). Two shoe salesmen from the same company were sent to Africa. One was very discouraged, and wrote the home office, “Possibility of sales is very poor. People go bare-footed here.” The other was very optimistic, and wrote the home office, “Possibility of sales is great here. Everybody needs shoes.” The winner of souls is wise because he can see the fields white unto the harvest and the great possibility of turning the lost to Christ.
He is wise in doing what the Lord has told him to do.
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14, NKJV).
He is wise in making possible the salvation of his own soul. In his winning of others he is helping to bring about his own salvation.
It is said that a man in crossing a mountain pass in the dead of winter had gone as far as he could go in the deep snow. Completely exhausted, he stumbled and fell. Being unable to take another step, he was only moments away from death by freezing. But when he fell, he realized that he had fallen upon some object. The object turned out to be another man who had reached the same place and had fallen in exhaustion. In his efforts to revive the freezing man he stimulated and warmed himself. In saving another he saved himself. The soul-winner is wise in that in taking the gospel to others, in helping to save others, and thus in doing God’s will, he actually is helping to save himself.
— W.B. Norris Jr. and
S. Scott Richardson Sr.