God Giveth the Increase
1st Corinthians 3:6-7, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”
Every born-again Christian should have a burning desire to win souls to the Lord. We ought to be “soul conscious.” Where will others spend eternity? Caring is the most important quality which a Christian should posses. A Christian who cares will have a DESIRE to win souls to Jesus Christ. There are tens-of-thousands of religious students, who sit through years of theological seminary training, who never become soulwinners. What a tragic shame! We all need to stay hungry as believers so lost sinners may come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. Soulwinners are a rarity nowadays. We read in 1st Corinthians 3:7...
“So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”
This is a remarkable Scripture. The Bible teaches that one's heavenly reward is the same, whether he sows the Seed of God's Word or reaps the harvest of a soul saved. Only God can save a soul, i.e., give the increase. I may witness to someone, thus planting the Seed of God's Word into their heart; and then you may come along and water that Seed; but someone else may actually have the opportunity to lead that person to the Lord down the road. Our reward is all the same. We all had a part in the preaching of the Gospel to that individual, but only God can take credit for saving that soul from Hell. The Apostle Paul said that he planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
This ought to encourage every soulwinner that our labors in the Lord are never in vain. 1st Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” God doesn't reward us as believers for the number of souls we lead to Christ; but rather, for the effort we make to get them saved. We cannot save anybody, that is God's part. All we can do is preach the Gospel. The Holy Spirit does the rest.
A man came up to a preacher after the sermon and said, “Reverend, you just saved me.” The preacher replied, “I must have, because Jesus didn't.” No preacher can save you. No Pope or priest can save you. The entire concept of Last Rights (a false doctrine taught in the Catholic Church that says a priest can forgive one's sins on their death bed) is heresy. No church or religious organization can forgive one's sins. You'd be just as unsuccessful getting your sins forgiven in a Catholic confessional booth as you would in a telephone booth. My ministry cannot save anybody. I can't save anybody. All I can do is lead lost sinners to the Savior, Jesus Christ, and hope that they'll call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. It is Jesus Who has the nail-scared hands and the nail-scared feet. It is Jesus Who was crucified for our sins. It is Jesus Who shed His precious blood to take away our sin debt. Thus, only Jesus can save a lost sinner from the judgment to come. You must believe on Jesus as the Son of God.
Certainly, there is a wonderful personal fulfillment that comes from leading someone to the Lord. It will be a great joy in Heaven to meet people who were saved through our soulwinning efforts. The important thing is that we preach the Gospel, whether we think people are listening or not. It is our duty to share the Good News of Christ crucified with lost sinners, telling them of the promise of eternal life from the Scriptures through faith alone in Jesus Christ (Titus 1:2). We may witness to ten lost sinners and none of them get saved, but the Seed of God's Word has been planted. 1st Peter 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible SEED, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” Our goal as believers ought to be to plant the Seed of God's Word everywhere we go, i.e., to present the Gospel everywhere we go. Sometimes it might just be a statement or two that we say, but it's enough to make people start thinking about where they will spend eternity?
Getting Started at Soulwinning
There are always plenty of opportunities to witness to people. Some Christians are shy at first and it can be a bit scary to confront people about their beliefs. Most Christians never even try, so if you're even trying to witness to people, then you're doing great. Fear of going soulwinning is a bit like singing in public, it's only a mindset. Once you get past the starting point, it gets easier. Just do it! As difficult as it may seem, just witness to some people and you'll see it gets easier as you go. We learn to become better witnesses for Christ through experience, just like anything else.
I used to stutter a bit when I got nervous and people could sense that I was a bit uncomfortable. This is quite normal and you'll overcome it with experience. I am bolder now when I witness to people and can witness comfortably to a larger group of people if need be. It is the authority of the Scriptures that gives us boldness to preach with authority. The Bible is an authoritative Book, and if preached properly, leaves no room for conjecture or doubt. There is no controversy if you believe the Bible. You can preach with confidence if you understand the Scriptures. SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES (John 5:39). There is a wonderful Scriptures in Acts 4:13, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS.” As we spend time abiding in the Scriptures and walking with Jesus, we will become emboldened by the Word of God.
If you're a bit nervous, you can begin by witnessing to people with whom you already feel comfortable being around. The best way to witness to people is to enter into a normal conversation and then move toward the things of God. With experience, it becomes easier. I find that many people bring up the mess that this world is in—corrupt government, lousy schools, crime, poor healthcare, news stories, et cetera. Other people bring up making money, hobbies or like to share stories about their loved ones and past experiences. I usually have an idea how a person feels about God and religion before I ever mention a word about God or salvation. They often bring up something of a spiritual nature before I do.
A lot of people express their contempt for modern religion and greedy ministers. I agree with them and use that as a launching pad to present the Gospel. The Bible foretold of greedy false prophets who would come to us as wolves in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15). A lot of people are fed-up with phony ministers, greedy religion and psychotic cults. Many people view 90% of all ministers as being greedy crooks. Televangelists have given a bad reputation to Christianity.
Give Lost Sinners the Scriptures!
It is not our eloquent speech or wisdom of words that gets a person saved. Romans 1:16 tells us, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Don't try to impress people by saying just the right words, avoiding certain offensive topics (like Hell), or trimming the truth of God's Word. Just give them the Gospel! They're either going to get saved or not. If a person is ready to believe on the Lord, then they're going to get saved. And, likewise, if a hardened soul is not ready to receive Jesus Christ, then nothing you say is likely going to convince them otherwise. Remember, it is God that giveth the increase, our part is to present the simple Gospel of Christ Jesus. It is the Holy Spirit's job to reprove them of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8).
The notion that preaching about sin, Hell and judgment will drive people away from becoming a Christian is a false teaching. If you have to eliminate those topics to attract people, then you're merely leading them into religion; but you're certainly not leading them to Jesus Christ. God said what He meant in His Word, without apology, and so should we do likewise. I'm not trying to impress anybody. If telling someone the truth that they're headed for the Lake of Fire in their sins offends them, so be it! Millions of people today are coming to churchianity, because pastors no longer preach concerning sin, Hell and judgment; but those people are NOT saved at all.
Romans 10:17 says, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Just by quoting the Scriptures, God will use those verses to convict people's hearts. I have memorized numerous Scriptures from the King James Bible over the years, which I quote to people while soulwinning.
Here's a list of Scriptures that are helpful when soulwinning:
Some soulwinners like to use what is called “The Romans Road,” quoting various Scriptures from the Book of Romans. Other soulwinners like to use Isaiah 45:22, which speaks of looking to Jesus to be saved. Some soulwinners like to use Matthew 6:33, like me, along with 2nd Corinthians 5:21, which shows that we need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS to get to Heaven. There are many Scriptures to choose from, but the Gospel is always the same... we are saved by God's grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation is of God; and not ourselves.
We witness to a Catholic the same way we witness to a Muslim, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We may use a different approach, and different Scriptures, but the Gospel is always the same.
Do you truly believe there's a Hell that burns with fire, where Christ-rejecters will suffer for all eternity? Do you truly believe that the Bible is God's inspired Word? Can any believer truly claim that they are the soulwinner they ought to be? Very few, and I mean very few, Christians are. Our goal should be to increase our soulwinning efforts and stay hungry for souls. I don't ever want to feel like I'm doing enough for God. There's always room for improvement.
Also, don't get discouraged when people scoff at the Gospel, or seem like they couldn't care less, God will use the Seed of His Word to work in that person's heart. You never know what God is doing in a person's heart. Five or six Christians may water the Seed which has been planted until one day a fortunate believer has the wonderful opportunity to reap that Seed and lead that sinner to the Savior. We are a team in Christ, all working together. Our job is to plant Seeds. That Seed is the Word of God (1st Peter 1:18-23); but GOD GIVETH THE INCREASE!
Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!