Solomon said, that one who wins souls is wise. When was the last time you met someone who was so on fire for God that they couldn’t wait to talk to someone about Him? It is amazing to be around someone who has such passion for the Lord. It doesn’t matter whether they have ever met you or not, they are going to tell you the story of Jesus in the best way they are capable of doing in hopes that you will join them in faith in Jesus. Most of the people I’ve been around who had such passion were deeply grateful for the amazing grace of God that He would forgive a person who has failed him so miserably. The apostle Paul was the epitome of one on fire for the Lord and anxious to tell anyone who would listen. It never mattered with Paul where he was or what kind of situation he was in, it was the right time and place to tell someone about His Lord and Savior.
Think of different places and situations Paul used to share the gospel story. When he was in the Philippians jail with his feet in stocks and back aching from being beaten earlier in the day when he was arrested, he and Silas at midnight were singing songs of praise to God and praying to Him. All the prisoners could hear them. God was so moved by it that He sent an earthquake which caused the doors to the cells to swing open and the stocks the prisoners had on their feet were broken loose. When the jailer started to take his own life since the prisoners were surely escaping, Paul yelled at him not to harm himself since they ere all there. A trembling jailer fell at Paul’s feet, with pleading voice he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas told him that he needed to believe on the Lord and he and his family would be saved. They went to his home and spent the rest of the night with him washing their wounds and them telling he and his family about Jesus. Somewhere in the middle of the night he and his family were baptized and his whole life changed.
When Paul was stoned and left for dead in Lystra he left the city but it wasn’t long until he returned to the same place to tell the same people more about Jesus. This time the church had a young man who they felt would be a great companion in training with Paul. His name was Timothy and he became as a son to Paul. When Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians he said that when he came there to preach to them he was very sick and they had treated him royally while there. If they had been able to do so they would have plucked out their own eyes and given them to Paul. I don’t know what caused the problem with his eyes. But it must have been painful and difficult to see, but he went on telling the story of the Savior.
One of the most powerful statements ever made on this subject of winning people is from the pen of Paul in I Corinthians 9:19-23. “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” Imagine someone interviewing Paul about his zeal for God and his passion to win people to God. Suppose they said to him “Paul, just how far would you be willing to go to win someone to the Lord? How do you think he would answer? Perhaps he would have used the words He penned in Romans 9:3 “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel.” Truthfully Paul could say, there are no limits to what I will do or where I will go to reach another person for the Lord.
What has happened to such passion among Christians of our day? If we met someone with such zeal we would consider them an oddity. I don’t think it is that Christians are that different from what they were in other times. But we live in a time when so many Christ followers aren’t sure that anyone is lost. If they aren’t lost in sins then they don’t need the saving gospel and I who have the message can keep quiet. It is certainly true that I don’t know which people are saved and which are lost. But it is equally true that there are many more who are lost in the eyes of the Lord than there people who are saved.
Keep in mind that many who are lost don’t know they are lost. Jesus pictured people in the judgment thinking they were His followers and him responding “I never knew you.” Instead of wasting our energy trying to figure people out as to whether they are saved or lost, we need to have the passion for all people to share the message of Jesus with everyone we are around for any time so that if they aren’t saved they can be and if they are saved they may be encouraged to tell someone else about Jesus as you just did with them. No real Christ follower will be offended by you talking to them about their relationship with the Lord. If someone gets angry it is typically one who needs to hear the word of the Lord but haven’t faced the facts yet.
Think of every child as one of your grandchildren and it will motivate you to tell young people about the Lord. Think of adults as cousins whom you love and respect so that you want to be sure they know the Lord. All of us need to know Jesus far better so that we can grow in him all along. Don’t hesitate to tell friends and strangers about the one who can save.