OceanSide church of Christ

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Just One Soul!

Victor M. Eskew


            The elders of the OceanSide congregation have settled upon our theme for 2018.  It is:  “Just One Soul!”  Today, we will be kicking off this theme by having a guest speaker, Brandon Baggett, to address topics that will spark our interest and motivate us to seek and save the lost.  We are glad to have him and his family with us today. 

            Some might wonder why our leadership chose the words:  “Just One Soul!”  In the remainder of this article, we will seek to give some explanations for this choice of words.  First, every human being possesses just one soul.  This is the spiritual element of man that will live on after death (Matt. 10:28).  This part of man is corrupted by sin.  It stands in need of the cleansing blood of Jesus to remove the filth of iniquity from it.  Sadly, some do not realize they possess a soul.  Some will even deny that such exists.  This, however, does not change the fact that each person has a soul that stands in need of being saved.  This was the reason our Lord came to this earth.  “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).  Jesus’ mission is now our mission (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16).  When we come in contact with individuals, we should not just see an outer shell.  We should see a soul that stands in need of the good news of the salvation which in in Christ Jesus the Lord (II Thess. 2:10).

Second, when we discuss the subject of seeking and saving the lost, money is always an issue.  We wonder:  “How much is it going to cost for this effort or that program?”  Invariably, someone will respond:  “Regardless of how much it costs, if we save just one soul it will be worth it.”  That response tells us the value of a person’s soul.  A price tag cannot be placed upon it.  No amount of treasure will ever surpass the worth of one soul.  Jesus taught this lesson as well in Matthew 16:26.  He said:  “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?” 

Third, when it comes to teaching the lost, each of us must begin with just one soul.  It could be a family member.  It might be a close friend.  It might be a co-worker.  It could be a neighbor that we have neglected through the years.  In order to get a Bible study with someone, we must pick out one soul and do the things necessary to attempt to redeem it.  The Ethiopian eunuch was just one soul.  The Spirit directed Philip the evangelist to that soul.  “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert…Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot” (Acts 8:26, 29).  Most of the time, this is the way personal evangelism is done.  One person teaches another person.  That teaching leads to the salvation of that one soul.

Fourth, the growth of the church comes through the addition of just one soul.  The Lord adds one saved soul to the body of Christ at a time (Acts 2:47).  One person teaches another person the truth.  That person obeys the truth.  The church grows by one soul.  Another person teaches a lost soul the truth.  That lost soul yields in obedience to the truth.  Again, the church grows by one soul.  This might seem like a slow and tedious process, but if one soul a day is being added to the local congregation, the growth of the church over that one year will be extremely large. 

Fifth, just one soul is better than none being saved.  When one soul is saved, that is one soul that has been snatched from the fires of hell.  That is one soul that has been cleansed from sin.  That is one soul that has been rescued from the clutches of Satan.  That is one soul that is now in the service of Jesus Christ.  That is one soul that has the hope of heaven in the hereafter.  One saved soul is definitely better than no saved souls.  Should we seek to save more?  Yes.  But, one is still better than none.

Sixth, let’s contemplate the idea of each member of OceanSide seeking and saving just one soul in 2018.  Let’s assume we have 60 adults that could do this.  If each one of us saved just one, we would add 60 to our number this year.  If we continued this into 2019, another 120 could be converted.  If we would to this for a third, year, we would add another 240 to our number in 2020.  In just 3 years, the OceanSide congregation would grow to 480 in number (60+60+120+240=480).  In three years, each of us would have only converted 3 people to Christ.  That is just one soul each year.  If everyone does it, the growth is exponential.  Some believe that this cannot be done.  We ask just one question:  “Are you saying you cannot convert just one soul to Christ each year?”  Before you answer think about that:  “Just one soul per year.”

Seventh, the conversion of just one soul can lead to the conversion of many more souls.  Cornelius was just one soul.  When Peter was initially contacted by Cornelius, he was only informed that Cornelius would hear him.  “And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by a holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee” (Acts 10:22).  However, when he arrived, he found that Cornelius had assembled a small crowd to hear Peter’s words.  “…And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends” (Acts 10:24b).  Not only was Cornelius saved but numerous others were saved who had been invited to hear the truth (Acts 10:47-48).  Just one soul can lead us to many other souls.  In some cases, one soul has been the cause of hundreds of others being obedient to God’s Word.

The words, “Just One Soul,” may sound small.  They may sound like we are limiting our possibilities.  In truth, we are not.  We want all of us to begin with just one soul.  Then, we can go to another and to another and to another.  One by one, we can win souls for Christ.  It is the only way that the church grows.  Dear reader, we pray that you will commit to winning JUST ONE SOUL to Jesus Christ in 2018.