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Robert Costa Witnessing for Jesus in a Practical Way

WITNESSING FOR JESUS IN A PRACTICAL WAY, page 2 of life known as conversion or being born again. Witnessing is the delicate art of tactfully and

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Text of Robert Costa Witnessing for Jesus in a Practical Way

WITNESSING FOR JESUS IN A PRACTICAL WAY Compiled by Robert Costa INTRODUCTION Leading a soul to a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest experience that can ever come to a Christian. God intends that every believer should know the unsurpassed joy of this experience of leading a soul to Christ. Most church members have a genuine love for their Lord. They want to share Him with others but often feel that they don t know how. Perhaps it is because we have sometimes made it seem so difficult. Witnessing for Jesus in a Practical Way does not involve complicated approaches. Rather, it shows you how you can share your faith with others in ways that are natural for you in harmony with your gifts and talents. There is a divine power that God has promised to those who will make a serious attempt to witness. There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, and lives a life wholly consecrated to God. -Christian Service, p. 254. Your horizon will be widened as you see how many different and practical ways there are of witnessing for Christ. The Lord will help you to find the approach that best suits your individual makeup and background. You will learn how to think through your own personal testimony of your relationship with Jesus Christ. How the Christian should relate to non-Christian relatives and members of the family. How to relate to unbelieving neighbors and work companions. How to nurture these friendships, developing them into interests, and ultimately church members. How to reclaiming former members. These simple matters that we often take for granted are actually the beginning steps in soul winning. It is perhaps the fact that we have overlooked these areas that results in our attempts at soul winning so often ending with disappointment. You might feel that leading a soul to Christ is something far beyond your ability, but you will be surprised by the following simple insights that you may not just lead them to Christ but ultimately make them disciples. THE BASICS Our Need of the Holy Spirit Before we talk about plans and techniques and tools, we must face our greatest need. A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. Christian Service, p. 41. It is the privilege of every Christian to have this true revival experience now. Among the prerequisites for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit are obedience to the revealed will of God, unity of spirit, and dedication to service. The Holy Spirit is given to empower us for service and will not be bestowed upon us as long as we continue in a state of indolence and inactivity. When with true dedication we accept the challenge of a task that cannot be accomplished without divine aid, God will pour out His Spirit. When we have entire, wholehearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God. -Christian Service, p. 253. Our Need of a Relationship with Him Christianity is not a theory. It is not merely a set of doctrines or a system of beliefs. It is a Person. It is our relationship with the Person, Jesus Christ, that produces the miraculous change WITNESSING FOR JESUS IN A PRACTICAL WAY, page 2 of life known as conversion or being born again. Witnessing is the delicate art of tactfully and lovingly leading others into this relationship with Christ. The basic preparation for witnessing is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord and a continuing relationship with Him. To present Jesus effectively, every soul winner must experience Christ s presence in his own life, there should be quality time for reading the Bible and for earnest prayer and meditation. A meaningful devotional life will result in divine power, and When divine power is combined with human effort, the work will spread like fire in the stubble. Selected Messages 1, p. 118. WITNESSING AT HOME, AT CHURCH, AT SCHOOL, AT WORK, IN THE COMMUNITY, WHILE TRAVELING, AND BEYOND Jesus Method Alone Following Jesus example (Matthew 4:23), churches and individual members may witness effectively in any environment. Christ s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, Follow Me. Ministry of Healing, p. 143 Leading a soul to Christ is simply introducing an earthly friend to a heavenly Friend. Every Christian is a witness, but because we have different spiritual gifts, we might not all witness in just the same way. There are three chapters of the Bible which deal at length with spiritual gifts: Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. Through prayerful reading of these chapters it might be that you will recognize gifts that you possess. Some gifts remain dormant until they are cultivated. Keep in mind that spiritual gifts are given for service and for the upbuilding of the kingdom of God. You may review more than 200 different witnesing ideas to testify following Jesus method, visiting the site , in the section Projects of Kindness. Remember, you are His hands, you are His feet, you are His eyes, you are His ears, and above all you are His heart to love them enough to lead them to Jesus. Casual Relationships Each day most of us have contact with many fellow members of the human family-in line at the supermarket, the attendant at the service station, the teller at the bank, the checker at the store, people we meet in post offices, public offices, waiting rooms, restaurants, hotels, motels, buses, trains, planes, hiking paths, parks and other places. Whenever you leave your home, it should be with the specific purpose of not missing a single opportunity to say a few chosen words for Jesus wherever possible. You should learn how to start a conversation with whomever you meet. Most persons are not on the defensive but are relaxed. It is not written on your forehead that you are a Seventh-day Adventist, so prejudice is not a factor. Usually it is very easy to smile and say good morning, adding a few words and giving your name. The other person then will usually give his name. Here are some approaches. 1. Bus, train, plane, waiting room, restaurant. Carry a newspaper with you. It has been called the devil s report for it is full of negative items, dramatic news, and sad information. Read the paper, noticing such subjects as disease, alcohol, drugs, maimings, vice, tobacco, crime, strikes, violence, hijacking, fraud, famine, earthquake, flood, fires, economic collapse, war, accidents. WITNESSING FOR JESUS IN A PRACTICAL WAY, page 3 Sitting next to someone, you may ask, Did you read the newspaper this morning? He will answer with yes or no. Then add, Oh, by the way, my name Look at this! And then in 20 seconds you can turn the pages of your paper and point out the sad and dramatic headlines. Conclude by asking, What do you think about this news? Your companion might say, Isn t it terrible? And he may add, Where are we heading? If he doesn t ask this question, then you should ask him, Where are we heading? His answer will likely be, I don t know. Then you declare, Oh, but I know. The person will look at you, expecting to hear what you know, but you should remain silent until he asks, What do you know? Where are we heading? After a few seconds of silence you might ask, Do you read the good Book? What good Book? Do you mean the Bible? The person may seem at first to be a little disappointed. Yes, the Bible. It states very clearly what is going to happen and where we are going. Speak enthusiastically. So you start speaking with the person about the Word of God, the signs of the times, and the return of Jesus as the solution. You may then have opportunity to give your testimony about how wonderful it is to know Jesus. Finally you can give your address and take his and leave a piece of literature. When it is convenient, read a Bible promise from the little Bible that you should always carry in your pocket or handbag. When feasible, offer a word of prayer, and don t forget to mention in the prayer whatever concerns your contact. It may be illness, discouragement, financial problems, or simply gratitude for God s goodness. 2. Waitress, stewardess, receptionist, maid. Just by being kind to a waitress in a restaurant, a stewardess on a plane, a receptionist in an office, a maid or other staff personnel in a motel may provide an opportunity to witness. After a short visit you may give them a piece of literature. It will open the way for you to tell them that you are a Christian, that Jesus means everything to you. You may say something about your family, expecting them to say something about theirs. All your conversation should be personal but so pure and clear that you can not be misunderstood. Soon you may give your testimony, mention a Bible promise and possibly pray. It is easy to pray with a maid who is taking care of your room in a motel-the door remaining open. Sometimes it is even possible to pray with a receptionist when no clients are around. You may not be able to say very much to a waitress because she is very busy, but a few kind words will be remembered. 3. Market. At the market you may speak to a child. The mother will be delighted, and will start conversing with you. You could say to someone, I am so glad that there are so many good and healthful products here in this market. What we eat is so important. Their reaction will tell you what to say next. 4. Parks. WITNESSING FOR JESUS IN A PRACTICAL WAY, page 4 Outdoors you may say to someone in a car parked next to yours, What a beautiful day it is! Shouldn t we be grateful to our Creator and Lord? Let the Holy Spirit impress you what to say and to whom to speak. It will work. Wherever you are and to whomever you speak, you should always have pieces of literature in your handbag or pocket, with your name and address stamped or neatly written on each piece, and be ready to give them away. Should a person show some interest, give your name and address, ask for his, and be sure to follow up. When you meet together do not immediately speak about religion, but rather talk about the family, work, and other interests. You may ask him about his religious beliefs, but let him be the first to ask questions about yours. You should refrain from talking about it too much. First you must win his confidence. Sharing your testimony can help you . do this. What in the beginning was a random encounter --on a plane, in a market, in a restaurant, in a waiting room, in a laundromat-- can turn into a golden opportunity to share Jesus love. Persons thus contacted should always remember you as a happy person, one who loves the Bible and is Jesus follower. He should remember you as a Seventh-day Adventist who prayed for him, or who promised, I shall pray for you. At Work, School and Neighborhood In getting acquainted with your co workers and neighbors don t speak immediately of your family life, your happiness, and confidence in the future. Speak first of their interests. They will automatically relate your attitude to your religious beliefs. Let them ask questions. Don t preach or give a Bible study, but simply answer questions. If we live our convictions as we go about our daily routines, those who are dissatisfied with the declining morals of the world will be attracted to us. Often they may be too timid to speak to us, but if we sense a kindred spirit, we should take the initiative. Among the possible approaches are the following: 1. An invitation to your home. 2. Ask questions which will draw them out. 3. An invitation to some wholesome secular activity which will give you an opportunity to enjoy something together. 4. An invitation to a church activity. One of the best ways to explore the interest of a casual acquaintance in spiritual things is by asking questions. You can use this technique at work, or at school, or with a seatmate while traveling. The conversation might go like this: Adventist: What kind of work do you do? Seatmate: I m a computer programmer. What do you do? Adventist: I teach in a Seventh-day Adventist school. Do you have any friends or relatives who are Seventh-day Adventists? Or the conversation might go like this: Adventist: Ben, did you hear the news this morning? Work Associate: Yes, I did. What about it? Adventist: Well, it just seems like there s trouble everywhere like Everything s falling to pieces. Work Associate: Yes, I know. I wonder what this world s coming to, anyway. Adventist: Ben, have you ever thought about the relationship between world conditions and the things that Jesus predicted were going to happen in the end of time? WITNESSING FOR JESUS IN A PRACTICAL WAY, page 5 If we want people to listen to spiritual matters, we often must begin by taking time for their present interests. In using the technique of asking questions, it is usually best to begin with questions about things you know to be of special interest to your friend. When there are children in the family, by all means take an interest in them. Learn their names and make a point to remember them and call them by name when next you meet. In this area of relationships, it is so very easy to take matters for granted and to overlook many simple means of revealing the love of Jesus. Everyone you meet daily-work associates or fellow students-should also be impressed by the way you live and be attracted by Jesus love reflected in your attitudes and manners. Your always radiant countenance will attract them and lead them to ask questions. Then you can open your homes and invite them for a simple meal. During the visit, take note of their problems, worries, hopes, and wishes. Before parting you may give your testimony-at least read them a Bible promise and pray with them. Do not forget to mention their problems, hopes, wishes, and their work in your prayer. Soon you should be able to start Bible studies with them. 1. Hospitality: Dinner Invitations. The gift of hospitality is a gift that can be cultivated on the part of many church members. One clue to the phenomenal growth of the early church was the fact that they knew how to use this gift. They invited neighbors and friends to share simple meals in their homes. In turn, they were invited to the homes of their new friends (Acts 2:42). People cannot eat together without speaking about the joys and problems of life; and it is easy to understand that these Christians, for whom witnessing was a way of life, used these contacts to lead people to Jesus after first building confidence and friendship. Whom do we invite to our homes? Members of our immediate families, relatives, and friends. We enjoy the company of people we already know, trust, and love. But how will we reach the others, the ones we don t know, those starving for companionship and care? If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful, there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one. Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 189. Many of us could invite a neighbor, a work associate, a new visitor to our church, a stranger, or a lonely person to our home for a meal. Why not do this once a month, or at least once a quarter? This association will provide opportunity to praise the Lord by sharing our testimony about how we met Jesus and to cheer the hearts of our guests with a precious Bible promise and a prayer. This would be the experience of the early church repeated in God s remnant church. Souls will be reached when we leave our ivory towers, widen our own circle of friends, mingle with people and use hospitality as a simple, effective means to build friendship and to draw others to Jesus feet. This is love in action. The combination of Bible doctrine and fellowship leads people to a relationship with Christ and His church, and the same two factors keep them steadfast. 2. When Someone Visits You With loving tact read a brief Bible promise and offer a short prayer before they leave. Reading from the Bible will take only 15 or 20 seconds. Then say, And now before you leave, let s ask the Lord to protect you from harm and danger and to bless our respective homes. Begin praying immediately. This prayer is very important. You will: (1) Mention the joy of their visit. Express your love for them. (2) Remember some important facts that were discussed and mention to God some of the problems these relatives are concerned about. Mention these issues in very simple words. (3) Thank God for the Holy Word and its messages of comfort, hope, and WITNESSING FOR JESUS IN A PRACTICAL WAY, page 6 encouragement, and (4) ask for protection, for happy homes (both theirs and yours); and conclude, Thank You, God, for the pleasant time we spent together and grant us the privilege of meeting again, and one day unite us forever in Your eternal kingdom. In Jesus name. Amen. The reading of this short Bible text and the prayer may make a deep impression on your relatives and friends without hurting their feelings. It should reveal your sincere concern for their welfare and happiness on earth now and in the hereafter. Every visit, every encounter, should end with a prayer. This should be the great difference between true witnesses for Christ and others who may know the theory but forget the practical aspect. 3. Small Groups After cultivating good relationships over a number of months or years, you might want to try a once-a-week neighborhood Bible class in your home. Some Adventist families follow the practice of opening their homes for the neighbors to join them for sundown worship on the Sabbath. The Small Group consist of four to ten members meeting once a week in a home in their territory inviting neighbors and friends. Also the Sabbath School classes may become a small group during the week. The formation of small companies as a basis of Christian effort has been presented to me by One who cannot err. -Christian Service, p. 72. These small groups of fellowship, Bible study and prayer can form the nucleus of new congregations. 4. Radio, Television, Internet, Social Media and Publications Our radio and television programs do a good job of making friends for the Adventist Church. In addition to this, they arouse interest in the message of the church through their presentation of that message on the media as well as by Bible courses and other literature. In addition, connect with people through social media and distributing magazines are powerful means to sow in the hearts the interest the Biblical message. At Church 1. Teaching and Fellowshipping: The Special Bible Class The pastor s Bible class is a special Sabbath School class for inquirers. Names for this class which might have a special appeal to non-Adventists include: inter-faith Bible class and Saturday morning Bible class. If someone other than the pastor is appointed to teach this class, it should ideally be someone gifted in the areas of teaching and hospitality. This class must have an atmosphere of warmth and friendliness if it is to achieve its purpose. Chairs should be arranged in a circle, if at all possible, so there will be a warm feeling of fellowship and an opportunity to become acquainted with the others in the class. 2. Kindness and Friendliness: Make Visitor Want to Return Every church member should be conscious of the fact that as part of the church family he or she will be a factor in encouraging or discouraging the return of visitors. The exercise of the gifts possessed by the individual members should be so directed as to create an atmosphere that will make visitors want to come back. Careful planning of the Sabbath School, Personal Ministries WITNESSING FOR JESUS IN A PRACTICAL WAY, page 7 activities period, and the church service will make every part of these services meaningful to the visitor. We need to safeguard the quality of our services in the following areas: Proper balance between reverence and friendliness . Christ-centered Biblical teaching and preaching. Use of distinct, easily-understood words by all speakers and singers. Appropriate dress and grooming of all participants. Thorough preparation by all participants. Avoidance of the unfamiliar in music and terminology. Christian graces and cultural refinement in both the pastor and the members. Sincere friendliness and personal interest by church members shown to every newcomer, guest, or stranger who comes to Sabbath School or the worship service. A Christlike spirit of unity and an atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm. Neglect or failure in any of these areas can undo hours of faithful soul-winning labor. If this happens, members will become discouraged and will cease their attempts at soul winning. The quality of our church activities must make the visitor want to return! This section is not an attempt to give an in-depth coverage of spiritual gifts. The aim here is twofold: One, to call to your attention the fact that every believer has a gift or gifts that can be developed to make him an effective witness for Christ and, two, to show the function of a few of these gifts in the area of soul winning. The gifts specifically mentioned in the Bible suggest other related gifts which can be used in ministry. Gifts such as consolation, benevolence, letter writing, encouragement, sympathy-and you could add many more. While each of us does not have the same spiritual gifts or talents, we each do have spiritual gifts which, if devoted to the service of the Saviour, will make us fruitful witnesses for Christ. Inspiration says of believers, if they are connected with Christ, if the gifts of the Spirit are theirs, the poorest and most ignorant of His disciples will have a power that will tell upon hearts. God makes them the channel for the outworking of the highest influence in the universe. -Christ s Object Lessons, p. 328. Witnessing By Your Testimony Once you have thought through your personal testimony and fixed it firmly in your mind, you will find opportunity to share it in a great variety of situations. It will be useful in visiting with a seatmate while you travel. There will even be times when you will share your testimony with a neighbor while visiting across the fence. It will, of course, be very useful when visiting the homes of prospects. By the way, that is exactly where most of our prospects are. Most of them will not come to us. We must go to them. Jesus set us an example in visiting the homes of the people. This was an important factor in the soul winning success of the apostles. Behind every door is a soul for whom Christ died. It can become an exciting and satisfying adventure to seek them out, make friends with them, and lead as many as possible to Jesus Christ. The word fort can serve as a memory device on which to structure the first part of any visit when we talk about the prospect s Family, Occupation, and Religious background, and share our Testimony. So remember FORT which stands for: F - Family 0 - Occupation R - Religion T - Testimony WITNESSING FOR JESUS IN A PRACTICAL WAY, page 8 Remember, also, there are exceptions to every rule. In some countries of the world, and in certain communities, it may be inappropriate to discuss family, occupation, and religious matters, especially on a first visit. 1. Personal Testimony Sharing your own personal testimony is an excellent way to build rapport between the prospect and yourself. Remember that the purpose of your testimony is to create a desire in the heart of your prospect for a similar experience of his own! Your personal testimony of what Jesus means to you will likely prove to be the most effective way to make the transition from the building-of-confidence stage of your visit to the presentation of the gospel as described next. Your personal testimony, is the account of what you yourself have experienced of the power of Christ what He has done in your own life. Your testimony might revolve around some special answer to prayer or a particular victory that made Jesus real to you. Inspired counsel suggests, Tell them how you found Jesus, and how blessed you have been since you gained an experience in His service. . . Tell them of the gladness and joy that there is in the Christian life. -Evangelism, p. 486. Before writing out your testimony, you might find it helpful to read Paul s witness as it is recorded in Acts 22. The three essential elements of his testimony are: 1. My life before I became a Christian. 2. How I became a Christian. 3. What Jesus Christ now means in my life. But beware of the danger of dwelling too much on the first part. Also remember, people are not interested in an autobiography. Your purpose is not to exalt yourself, but to exalt Christ . Some point to consider: 1. Don t glamorize sin by telling about its pleasures or how wicked you used to be, or how you got away with it. 2. Avoid expressions that may not be meaningful to a non-Christian, such as, receiving a blessing (does he know what you mean by a blessing?), since I came into the message, or after I accepted the truth. Instead of these expressions, you might say something like, After I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour. 3. Don t be wordy. Make your testimony short and to the point, in three minutes or less. 4. Never speak critically of other churches. 5. Never give a long list of the sacrifices you have had to make since you became a Christian or of the things you have had to give up or of the hardships you have had to face. 6. Be specific. People tend to forget generalities, but remember specifics. 7. Identify with your prospect. Emphasize those areas in your experience that you share in common with the prospect: the loss of a loved one, war, an accident, separation from a mate, loss of a job, moving. The mention of these events may draw you closer to your prospect and arrouse their comments. 8. Emphasize the friendliness you have found in Christ s great family. 9. Always be kind and tactful. Never appear to be self-righteous. 10. Pray that your countenance will radiate Christian assurance, and let your smile speak the language of heaven. As the prospect listens to your testimony the Holy Spirit is at work . WITNESSING FOR JESUS IN A PRACTICAL WAY, page 9 2. Personal Testimony Outline 1. Getting Acquainted and Gaining Confidence a. Family b. Occupation c. Religion d. Testimony 2. Diagnostic Question In your opinion, how does one become a Christian? 3. Gospel Presentation a. The attraction-God is love (1 John 4:8) b. The problem-Sin, separation, death (Rom. 3:23) c. The solution-God s gift-forgiveness and life in Christ (John 3:16; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8,9; 1 John 5:11-13) d. Detachment from sin-Repentance (Rom. 2:4) e. Attachment to Christ-Grow up into Christ (Rev. 3:20) 4. Prayer of Reception 5. Provisions for Growth a. Bible study b. Prayer c. Fellowship d. Witnessing WITNESSING TO GAIN DECISIONS Principles To Keep In Mind: 1. Ask for a decision on the material presented at the end of every study. 2. Encourage your student to put into practice each new duty as it unfolds. Light that is not followed turns to darkness. 3. Do not ask for a major decision until your prospect has sufficient information to enable him to make an intelligent decision. 4. Call for a decision when you see evidence of conviction. Learn to recognize decision signals like the following: What if my husband wouldn t let me tithe? What if I can t get Sabbaths off? What would my neighbors say? Each one of these questions reveals that the person has been contemplating a decision and is already considering the consequences of that decision. This is the time to ask for a decision. 5. Ask for a decision on the basis of a choice between two alternatives: We are planning a baptism on the 14th and one on the 21st. Which would be better for you? Steps to Gaining Decisions for Truth Teach the whole message yourself. Teach with conviction. Gain progressive assent. Secure surrender to Christ first. Visit in the home. Impress the urgency of obedience. WITNESSING FOR JESUS IN A PRACTICAL WAY, page 10 Cite your own experience. Let God s Word answer excuses. Offer decision prayers often. Counsel often with your pastor. Conduct Sabbath vespers. Accompany family to church. The iron bands that hold people back from decision could be classified this way: 1. Temporal interests. a. Fear of losing job. b. Lack of faith to begin tithing. c. Habits such as smoking and drinking. 2. Family ties. a. Opposition from a loved one. b. Fear of dividing the family. 3. Church and social ties. a. Prestige of belonging to popular church. b. Sentimental tie to family church. c. Fear of losing friends. d. Fear of ridicule. e. Opposition of pastor. Here are some decision questions that will be helpful: Is everything clear? Do you know what you should do? What keeps you from doing it? You plan to do it sometime, don t you? Why not do it now? In gaining decisions it is vitally important to get to the bottom of whatever is holding the person back. When you know a person has accepted Christ and believes the doctrines yet still fails to yield, an approach such as this might help: I sense there is something holding you back. Could you share with me what it is? I know you believe what we have studied together but something is troubling you. What is it? Once you discover what the problem is, you will have an opportunity to help find a solution. Answering Excuses With Bible Texts We must be prepared to meet a person s objection or excuse with a Thus says the Lord. Here is a partial list of texts for meeting certain common excuses. 1. I can t leave my church. Rev. 18:4; John 10:26, 27; 12:42, 43; Matt. 7:22, 23. 2. I can t make a living if I keep the Sabbath. Matt. 6:33; Ps. 37:3; Isa. 65:13, 14. 3. I will lose my job if I keep the Sabbath. Matt. 16:25, 26; 1 Tim. 4:8. 4. It is inconvenient to keep the seventh day and follow this doctrine. Matt. 16:24; 10:38. 5. I am too great a sinner. 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 7:25; Isa. 1:18. 6. I am afraid I can t hold out. Jude 24. 7. I can t live up to the truth. 1 Cor. 10: 13; 2 Cor. 12:8, 9; John 1:12. 8. I am not good enough. 2 Cor. 8:12. 9. People would talk about me. John 17:14; Luke 6:22, 23, 26; Prov. 29:25. 10. My friends would ridicule me. John 15:19; Mark 8:34; James 4:4. WITNESSING FOR JESUS IN A PRACTICAL WAY, page 11 11. My husband, wife, father, mother, brothers, and sisters will oppose me. Matt. 10:36, 37; Luke 14: 26, 27. 12. My preacher and my friends advise me against this. 1 Kings 13:1-26; Acts 4:19; 5:29. 13. It will cause trouble and division in my home if I take my stand for this teaching. Luke 12:49-53; 1 Kings 18:17, 18. 14. There is one thing (alcohol, tobacco, etc.) which I cannot give up. Matt. 19:16-22; 6:24; Luke 14:33; Matt. 13:45,46. 15. No, not now. Prov. 27:1; 2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:13; Isa. 55:6; Gen. 6:3. 16. I am waiting for my husband (or wife or a friend) so we can accept it together. Eze. 14:20; 18:20; Rom. 14: 12. 17. I will wait until I have the right kind of feeling. Isa. 48:18; 1 John 2:3. 18. Too late, I have waited too long. Eze. 33:19; John 6:37; Rom. 10:13. 19. I tried once, I am afraid to try again. Dan. 3:17; Rom. 4:21; 2 Tim. 1:12; Jude 24. 20. How may I know that my sins are forgiven? 1 John 1:9; Prov. 28:13. 21. Some things are not yet dear. John 13:7; Acts 1:7. 22. I am not so bad. John 3:18; Rom. 3:23. 23. God is love, He will save me anyway. Luke 13:3; 2 Peter 2:4. 24. There are too many hypocrites in the church. Matt. 7:1; Rom. 14:12. 25. The step will cost me too much. Luke 18:29, 30; 1 Peter 2:24. 26. My job may be at stake. Isa 51:7; Job 13:14, 15; Ps. 119:72, 127. 27. I cannot leave my friends and relatives. Ex. 23:3; Prov. 13:20. 28. I believe it is not necessary to unite with a church. Acts 2:47. 29. I am too old to change my ways of life. Gen. 6:3. 30. I will wait until the Spirit of God convinces me. Matt. 25: 1-13. CONCLUSION As we set out in obedience to the command of Christ, this is what we will discover: 1. Scattered among the general population in every culture are individuals who are just waiting to be talked to about their souls. 2. There are many lonely people in every neighborhood who will respond to Christian friendship. 3. There are many opportunities for medical missionary work, and this includes welfare ministry. 4. Christ is a fact of conscience, as well as a historical person. Even the most irreligious people have their moments of conviction when they can be reached by the gospel. 5. There are those of all faiths who have lost their way and who will respond to a personal invitation to get right with God. Soul-winning puts you in the center of God s activities. Soul winning is taking the hand of your friend with one hand and the hand of Christ with the other and then placing the hand of your friend in the hand of Christ. This being true, feelings of personal failure-or success-should have no place in it. As you do soul-winning work your own faith will grow stronger. Our witnessing will become a way of life that expresses the love between Christ and us.

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