OceanSide church of Christ
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LOST SOULS NEED US
Victor M. Eskew
About six billion people populate the earth. Each one of these individuals possesses a soul. According to the Christ, this is the most important possession that one has. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26).
The majority, the vast majority, of these precious souls are presently in a lost condition. They have sinned against God. They have not heard of the good news of salvation in Christ. Therefore, they have not yielded themselves to the truth. Their souls have not been cleansed by the blood of Christ. If they remain in this state, they will ultimately enter into hell, the place of eternal condemnation.
In I Timothy 3:15, Paul teaches that the church is “the pillar and ground of the truth.” The church is not some elusive organization that is set apart from her membership. The church is the membership. The church is composed of all baptized believers. The church consists of “the called out ones,” those who have been called out of the world and into fellowship with God and the rest of the redeemed. What this means, therefore, is that the truth has been delivered unto each member of the church. Every child of God has the truth of the gospel placed into his hands. Each church member is a steward of the saving message of the gospel.
With this in mind, it should be clear to all that lost souls need us. They are in the bondage of slavery. We have the means to set them free. They are under the sentence of death. We have the ability to give them life. They are sin-stained and vile. We can cleanse them and bring purity to their lives. Their ultimate end is condemnation within the unquenchable fires of ghennah hell. We can change that destination. We can set them on a path that leads to rest in the splendors of heaven.
Yes, lost souls need us, but do we feel the burden of their need? Do we arise from our beds of slumber
with the realization that we have the ability to save the lost? Do we wake with a burning desire to tell
the good news of salvation to every soul that crosses our path that day? The apostle Paul had that desire. In Romans 1:14-15, he wrote: “I am a debtor both the Greeks, and to
the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as
much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at
Many in the church do not possess a deep longing to try to save as many people as possible. Many evidences of this fact can be set forth. First, the churches of Christ are not growing in number. In fact, we are declining as the years go by. Second, very few congregations have many baptisms each year. Third, there are only a handful of members within the church who actively conduct Bible studies with the lost.
Many reasons for our neglect to save the last could be given. The following is a list of some of the causes of our failure in this area.
1. FEAR: We are scared to tell people about the gospel. We think we know how they will react. They will grow angry. They will become cold and distant. They will cease their friendships with us. They will slander our good name. We fear these outcomes. Thus, we remain silent.
2. LACK OF BELIEF: We are not fully convinced in our mind that we possess “the truth” and that others are really lost. That thought to some is very arrogant. To hold that position is judgmental. It involves the condemnation of another person. These people, it is believed, are good, moral, and sincere. They, too, have beliefs about God and the Bible. They dedicate their time and energies to their religious organizations. Just who are we to say that these people are lost?
3. IGNORANCE: Many know that the bulk of the world is lost. However, they do not possess the knowledge that is needed to instruct them in the path of righteousness. They do not know where the passages are that tell one how to be saved. They do not have enough knowledge to counter the objections that others will raise to their arguments. They have not studied the doctrines of other religious groups in order to show where they conflict with the truth. This ignorance causes them to keep their mouths shut.
4. RATIONALIZATIONS: Some have rationalized that the lost are not interested in the truth. They have convinced themselves that the lost are satisfied where they are. This is especially true of those who are caught up in man-made religions. The thought is that they have their beliefs and they are not going to change. If they are not going to change, why spend the time and energy trying to convert them?
5. INDIFFERENCE: Lack of concern is another reason that some do not try to convert others. Death is a long way off. There are many others pressing matters of life that must be taken care of. Too, there are many other people who are more skillful and knowledgeable who should be engaged in soul-winning. In fact, we pay preachers and appoint elders and deacons to do these things for us.
These five things are gigantic barriers to soul-winning. As long as we allow one or more to stand in our way, the lost will continue to die and perish.
The wise Solomon wrote: “…he that winneth souls is wise” (Prov. ). Jesus commanded, saying: “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark ). The apostle Paul asked the following questions: “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (Rom. ). All of these scriptures stress the need for soul-sinning. All of them emphasize the need for the church to fulfill her duty to those who are lost in sin.
Lost souls need us. They many not realize it. They many not appreciate it. They many not respond favorably to us, but they need us. Let’s not fail them. Let’s go to them and try to sow the seed of the kingdom into their heart. Some, according to Jesus, will hear the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience (Luke ). These people will have their soul cleansed with Jesus’ blood. They will awake in the resurrection with joy. They will stand in the judgment justified. They will live eternally in heaven. Why? Because we understand that person’s need and responded to it.