Jesus said, "Follow Me, and I will make you ______________ of ________" (Matthew 4:19). Again He said, "From henceforth thou shalt catch ________ " (Luke 5:10). The Bible also says, "He that ______________ souls is ___________" (Proverbs 11:30).
How can I be a soul winner? How can I catch men? How can I point people to the living God?
In this chapter we will be looking at four examples of soul winning in the Bible so that we can better learn how to be soul winners ourselves. In the first two examples we will be learning from the greatest soul winner of them all:
Did Jesus come to Nicodemus or did Nicodemus come to Jesus (John 3:1-2)? __________________________________ How did Nicodemus know that God must be with Jesus (John 3:2)? ______________________________________________ How can people know that God is with you (compare Genesis 39:1-6) and that you are with God (compare Acts 4:13)? __________________________________________________________________________________
Nicodemus was a religious man (a P_________________________ , John 3:1) and he was one of the leaders of the Jews. Jesus knew that there is a difference between being religious and being saved. If a person has religion, does this mean that he has eternal life? ______ If a person goes to church, does this mean that he will also go to heaven? _______ If a person reads the Bible, does this mean that he must be a child of God? _____ If a person says prayers, does this mean that he is most certainly a saved person? _____
Religion does not save anyone, and Jesus knew this. Therefore the first thing Jesus said to Nicodemus was this: a man must be B_________ A___________ (John 3:3,7)! “Nicodemus, you need a new birth and a new life!”
Sometimes we think that religious people know and understand what salvation is all about. They should know (John 3:10) but they may not know. Nicodemus did not understand the new birth (John 3:4) and the Lord had to explain salvation to him very carefully (John 3:5-17).
What must a person do to be born into God's family (John
_________________________________________________________________________ What must a person do to have eternal life (John 3:16,36)? ______________________________________________ Religious people need to believe what God says and receive Christ as their Saviour and Lord. Do you think Nicodemus ever received Christ? Do you think he was born again (see John 7:45-52 and John 19:38-42)?
In John 4 we learn that the Lord Jesus came to a city of Samaria where He sat and rested on a well (John 4:6). It was noon time and the Lord was very weary from His journey and probably very hungry as well (John 4:8).
One of the reasons we do not win souls is that we often make other things more important than soul winning. If you are going to catch fish, you must go fishing. If playing baseball or riding a bicycle or a horse is more important to you than fishing, then you are not going to catch many fish. It is very difficult catching fish while playing baseball!
If we had been Jesus on this day we might have said, “I'm very tired from this journey. All I care about is resting and enjoying some lunch along with a nice cool glass of water!” The Lord Jesus was hungry and tired and thirsty, but He was more concerned about a certain woman than He was about resting or filling His stomach. Doing God's will was more important to Him than having lunch (see John 4:34).
Did the woman speak first to Jesus or did Jesus first speak to the woman (John 4:7)? _______________________________________ He started the conversation, and what He said really surprised the woman. She was amazed that He even spoke to her! Jesus did something unusual--something which most Jews would never have done. Why was she surprised that He spoke to her (John 4:9)? ____________________________________________________ The Jews hated the Samaritans, but Jesus loved this woman! Jesus was concerned for her soul and He dared to be different and to act differently than other Jews. Even today as Christians, people need to see a difference in the way we live and act. They need to see that we have a concern and a compassion that reaches out to all men. There might be a person in your school that hardly anyone likes. You can reach out to this person even as Jesus reached out to the Samaritan woman.
As they continued talking, Jesus said some things that really made this woman curious. First He told her that He would have given her living water (John 4:10). She must have thought: “He asked me for water, and now He says that He has water to give to me!” Then He told her that His water was much better than her water. Why was this so (John 4:13-14)? ________________________________________________________________________________ Did she want what Jesus had (John 4:15)? _______ People need to see that we have something that they need to have. We have a great Saviour and a great salvation and they need to have what we have!
The Samaritan woman was not yet ready to drink from the living water that Jesus offered her, because she did not yet fully realize her need. Jesus very carefully showed this woman her sin (see John 4:16-19). Read Luke 5:30-32. Who needs a doctor, a healthy person or a sick person? __________________________ Who needs a Saviour, a righteous person or a sinful person? _______________________ Before a person can be saved, he must first realize how sinful he is. What kind of a person did Jesus come to save (1 Timothy 1:15)? __________________ Like Jesus, we need to show people their need (show them how spiritually sick they really are and then point them to the Great Physician).
Philip was also in the land of Samaria (several years later). He was preaching the gospel to the Samaritans and many believed on Christ (Acts 8:5,12,25). Then God did an amazing thing. He directed Philip away from the crowds and sent him to talk to ONE MAN who was traveling in the desert! This would be like a fisherman leaving his nets (with hundreds of fish in them--see John 21:6,11) and instead grabbing a fishing pole and going to a little pond to catch one small fish!
The important thing is not HOW MANY people I can talk to. The important thing is being the right person in the right place at the right time with the right message talking to the right person. God knew what He was doing when He sent Philip to this Ethiopian man!
This man was sitting in his chariot reading something. What was he reading (Acts 8:30)?
a. the newspaper
b. a magazine
c. the prophet Esaias or Isaiah
d. the book of Genesis
Philip ran right up to where he was, heard him reading and asked the logical question: DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE READING? (Acts 8:30). Did he understand what he was reading (Acts 8:31)? ____ Who would be able to help this man understand (Acts 8:31)? __________ The Ethiopian man was reading from the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. Turn to this chapter and answer this question: WHO IS THE PROPHET ISAIAH SPEAKING OF IN THIS CHAPTER (see Acts 8:34)? Do you know the answer to this question? The Bible tells us that Philip opened his mouth and began at the same scripture (Isaiah 53), and preached unto him ______________(Acts 8:35).
We need to learn a lesson from Philip. If we are going to help people come to know the Lord, we need to know and understand the Scriptures. The more we know and understand the Bible, the better we will be able to share it with others. Philip was not stupid when it came to the Scriptures. He was able to guide this man to the knowledge of the truth.
Suppose Philip had said, “Mr. Eunuch,
I have never really understood this passage of Scripture. It has always puzzled
me too. I'm not sure who the prophet was speaking of. Maybe someone else will
come along and explain these things to us. I'm afraid I can't help you!”
In Acts 16 we learn that God's missionaries, Paul and Silas, arrived in the city of Philippi. Before long they were arrested, their clothes were torn off, they were beaten with many stripes, they were thrown into an inner prison and their feet were fastened in the stocks (Acts 16:22-24).
If this had happened to us, we probably would have cried, complained, grumbled or worried. What did Paul and Silas do (Acts 16:25)? _______________________________________________ They had a wonderful prayer meeting and song service! They were praising God!
Paul and Silas acted in a way that unsaved people would never act! The other prisoners (Acts 16:25) must have really wondered what was going on! They knew that something was different about these men! These men belonged to the living God!
When believers are living right, God will do wonderful things (see Acts 16:26-30)! If we are living right, God will give us opportunities to talk to people about Christ.
The jailer asked the right question (Acts 16:30) and Paul and Silas were ready with the right answer (Acts 16:31).
God tells us that we are to “walk in ________________ toward them that are without (those who are unsaved and outside of Christ), redeeming the time (making the most of every opportunity that God gives us)...that ye may know how ye ought to ______________ every man (Colossians 4:5-6). If we are going to answer someone, then this means that they are going to ask a question. Answers always follow questions.
Do I live in a way that makes other people ask questions? Do people see that there is something DIFFERENT about me? Do people say, “Why are you like that? Why do you do that? Why don't you do that?” And when they ask these kinds of questions, are you ready to give the right answers?
Our life should provoke questions; our lips should supply answers (compare 1 Peter 3:15).
May God help us to live right, act right and speak right!
May we be wise and skillful fishers of men!