In the last edition of this publication I wrote an article titled, “Pray For A Soul.” The theme came from an encouragement and challenge that I put before the congregation a number of weeks ago. As we finished a year long study on evangelism, I encouraged and challenged each member of the class to pray that God would send someone into their life to whom they could reach out with the gospel. I have continued to encourage the class and the congregation to pray that prayer. A number of individuals have shared with me that they have, indeed, been praying that prayer.
When I made the initial challenge, and at the end of this past article, I asked why any Christian would not pray that prayer. Have you been praying that prayer? Again, if not, why not? Why would you not pray for God to use you in whatever way He can to lead a lost soul to salvation through the gospel of Christ?
Someone might say, “That’s not my job!” Really? Whose job is it? Paul instructed Timothy, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim. 2:2). That falls in line with The Great Commission, as recorded by Matthew. Jesus told to apostles to make disciples of all the nations, baptize them as they responded in belief and obedience and then teach “them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:19-20). He had just commanded them to make disciples of all the nations- teach people everywhere about their need to, and how to become, disciples of Jesus. That instruction applies to every member of the Lord’s church.
Others might say, “I don’t know enough to teach somebody; I might say the wrong thing.” That’s where personal study comes in (2 Tim. 2:15; 3:15-17). You know enough to have made your decision to obey the gospel. There are many easy to use teaching materials that will do most of the teaching for you. Those materials are readily available for your use. Or, you can always ask somebody who’s more experienced to do the teaching while you listen, observe and support that study.
Some might say, “If anyone wants to learn they can come to church services and study and learn themselves.” The Great Commission begins with the word, “Go.” It does not say to wait for them to come to you. It instructs us to go to them.
Still others might shrink back out of fear. But “…God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7). When Jesus sent the apostles on the Great Commission He assured them, “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20). Do you think Jesus will be any less with you? Do you trust Him to keep His word?
An old hymn, “You Never Mentioned Him To Me,” portrays a scenario. What will we do, how will we feel, if at the judgment bar in eternity some lost soul should cry in deep despair, “You never mentioned Him to me.” One edition of the song goes on to describe that lost soul recounting that you met him day by day, and knew he was astray, yet never mentioned Jesus or the gospel to him. The song encourages each of us to live in such a way as to never have to hear a lost soul at the gates of eternity charge us with never having tried to talk to them about the gospel.
If we find ourselves at the judgment scene having not obeyed the Great Commission, having not tried to teach lost souls the gospel of salvation, what do you suppose the Lord will say to us? You know people who need the gospel. Have you mentioned Him to them?…
Gary L. Hutchens