OceanSide church of Christ

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The Misfortunes

Victor M. Eskew




A.    Activity:  As the class to put three misfortunes of soul-winning on a 3x5 card.  Give them a couple of minutes to fill this out.  Then, created a list of their answers on a blackboard.  You can take the cards up and compile a list of all of their answers to give them in the next class.


B.      Soul-winning

1.      Is something that is wise to be done (Prov. 11:30).


The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.


2.      Will produce fruit (Ps. 126:4-5).


That that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again, bringing his sheaves with him.


3.      Makes us like Jesus (Luke 19:10).


For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.


C.     But, soul-winning also has some misfortunes connected to it.  Let’s look at some of “The Misfortunes of Soul-Winning” in this lesson.




A.    We may have to ask 20 or 30 people for a Bible study before we get one.  This means we will experience a lot of rejection.


B.      We must remember:

1.      Jesus is truth (John 14:6) and many rejected Him (John 1:10-11).


He was in the world, and the word was made by him, and the world knew him not.  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.


2.      Our asking for a study is obedience to God.  The person’s rejection involves his missing the most wonderful opportunity ever offered to him.

3.      The rejection is not a rejection of us, but a rejection of God (Luke 10:16).


He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.




A.    We may ask someone to study and they agree.  But, before the time of the study, they cancel.


B.      This is tough because it crushes one’s hopes.  Anticipation is turned to depression.


C.     This is just another form of rejection.






A.    When we study with an individual, it is impossible to know all of the answers to every question.

1.      Some questions may involve their religion’s doctrines.

2.      Some questions may involve hypothetical situations.


B.      At the time, we can feel embarrassed.  We may start doubting ourselves as soul-winners.


C.     Two responses:

1.      If the question is pertinent to the immediate discussion, you will have to say:  “I do not know, but I will study it this week and have an answer for you next week.”

2.      If the question is not pertinent to the immediate discussion, write it down and tell the individual that you will discuss it with them in a later study.




A.    Truth confronts sinful behaviors and false beliefs.  People do not like to be expose or told they are wrong.


B.      A classic example is seen in Acts 7 and the example of Stephen.

1.      Acts 7:54


When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.


2.      Acts 7:57-58a


Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him…


C.     Anger is not a pleasant emotion to experience from another.  It can end the study.  This is just another form of rejection (See James 1:19-20).


D.    Things to do:

1.      Do not retaliate.

2.      If possible, question the anger.  “You seem very angry at this point in our study.”

3.      If the anger is too hot, you may end the study for the night and come back the following week when things are calmer.


E.      NOTE:  Anger has caused some people to attempt to disprove the truth.  Some have been led to learn the truth because of this.




A.    Some people will let you study with them and seem very interested in the discussion.  You know they understand the truth, but they will not obey the gospel.


B.      Acts 26:27


King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets?  I know that thou believest.


C.     We need to be satisfied that we have sown the seed of the Word into their hearts.



A.    This can be a rather large let down for the soul-winner.

1.      He is excited the individual has obeyed the gospel.

2.      He even spends time trying to ground the new convert in the faith.

3.      Then, the convert departs.


B.      Jesus said some would leave.

1.      The stony soil (Matt. 13:20-21)


But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while:  for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.


2.      The thorny soil (Matt. 13:22)


He also that receiveth seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.


C.     What is really sad about these individuals is that the latter end is worse with them than the beginning (II Pet. 2:20-22).




A.    Not very many people are good soul-winners.


B.      Churches are lucky to have one to two members who engage in personal evangelism.


C.     The Bible teaches that “two are better than one” (Eccl. 4:9), and Jesus sent out His disciples by twos (Mark 6:7).


D.    Sometimes, however, we just have to go it alone.  In Acts 17, Paul was in the city of Athens alone (Acts 17:16-17).


Now while Paul waited for them in Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.  Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met him.


E.      When we are alone, we have to rely on the promise that our Lord is with us (Heb. 13:5).


…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.




A.    Soul-winning is both exciting and challenging.


B.      The misfortunes of soul-winning can take an emotional toll on the soul-winner, even to the point that he gives up.


C.     We must trust God’s promises (Gal. 6:9).


And let us not be weary in well doing:  for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

List of misfortunes of soul-winning given by the class.


Rejection (8)

Fear (3)

People will not listen  (5)

People cannot understand

Time to follow through (3)

Separation (4)

Not knowing answers to questions or lack of knowledge (7)

Invoking anger (2)

Too zealous

Arguments (4)

Studying with different translations

People makING fun of you (2)

Caught up in the little things

Missed appointments

Difficulties within the study (Marriage-Divorce-Remarriage, dead loved ones)  (3)

Getting started

Staying on track


They refuse to obey the gospel after study

Hypocrisy of church members