Greetings MOL Family!
It is our prayer that these studies have helped you to realize the value of a soul; even if that soul is your very own! The difference between a ‘good’ work and a finishing work is eternal…
Winning Souls For Jesus
Let’s turn to Daniel 12:3. I want you to see this. Right here in this book of Daniel, that means so much to the remnant people, God has put a picture of soul winning by soul winners that give their lives to His service:
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament. – Daniel 12:3
Do you know who the wise are? Proverbs 11:30:
He that winneth souls is wise. – Proverbs 11:30
Here are the wise ones. Now you see the rest of the verse proves it:
And they that turn many to righteousness will shine as the stars for ever and ever. – Daniel 12:3
Yes, you can be one of God’s stars – not a Hollywood star, up today and down tomorrow; not an astronaut, off to the moon today. If time tarries a few years, 99 people out of a hundred couldn’t tell you the name of a single man that went to the moon. Right? Something else, somebody else will be attracting their attention. But oh, my friends, God’s stars, God’s soul winners, will shine as the stars of Heaven forever and ever.
Oh, what it’s going to mean a million years from now, to have somebody come up and throw their arms around you and say, “You won my soul to Christ.” And another and another. And friends, it won’t be just once. It won’t be just on that trip we take with Jesus through Orion to the New Jerusalem.
Doubtless, many a time on that trip somebody’s going to greet us with joy, recognizing us as the channel that God used to win them. But the thing is this: as those dear people for whom we have labored go from world to world, as they take in, in ever increasing capacity the glories of Heaven and the universe, the more they are happy, the more grateful they’re going to be again and again for those that God used to win them. Do you see? So, in a new way, they are going to come with enthusiasm and say, “Oh, I’m so glad you won my soul to Christ.”
Now, friends, everybody’s going to have some star. There are no starless crowns. That isn’t to discourage you and think, “Oh well, I don’t know of anyone I have ever won. I guess I won’t be there. It’s the other way around. If you’re there, don’t worry, there will be somebody that God used you to win, whether you knew about it or not.” Leave that with God.
My point is, we are told to aim for the crown heavy with stars. Don’t be satisfied to think you will have one or two or three or four. There are people going through today’s lesson, friends, that if they will catch the vision and enter into the experience with Jesus that is involved in this, they can win dozens and scores and hundreds of souls to Jesus before probation closes. That’s the destiny of somebody here. Oh, I hope that somebody will get the message. I hope that somebody will have done with lesser things and throw your life into that program which will give you many stars in your crown – not just some, but many. Aim for the crown heavy with stars.
But it costs. Look here at Luke 5:10-11:
Jesus said unto Simon [Peter], Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. – Luke 5:11
They forsook all, and followed him. – Luke 5:11
Why? Well, they were answering the call to soul winning. This was Peter’s response to that invitation of Jesus. Did it take all? Oh, yes, it did, friends. All through his life, Peter was pouring out all that he had, for God.
It’s true he made some failures. And may I say to you, dear friends, this should encourage everybody. Just because you’ve made some mistakes doesn’t mean you can’t win souls. Peter made several along the way, even after this, didn’t he? But God didn’t throw him out. He kept teaching him, reproving him, disciplining him. And if you mean business, God will do the same for you. But my point is, before Peter got through it took everything. That’s what it’ll take with you if you want to be a mighty soul winner.
Not Unless Done Well
Let me tell you something that happened on August 25, 1950. An Italian fisherman, outside the Golden Gate out in the Pacific Ocean, was making his way home. He’d been out in the ocean catching fish. He had a good catch. His boat was full of fish, nearly $3,000 worth of fish.
He was on his way back to harbor to sell the fish, but proceeding cautiously because there was a fog. And so as he was making his way cautiously, suddenly he noticed in the water around him, struggling men. And as the fog lifted a little and he looked down into the waters, he saw a ship that had been sunk. It was the United States Navy hospital ship, Benevolence, and it had been rammed by another ship in the fog and had just sunk. And these men struggling in the water were the survivors.
As he told the experience afterward, John Nepolli, that fisherman, said, “God said to me, ‘You’ve seen this, now go to work.’” And so, he reached out over the edge of his boat and laid hold of the nearest man and pulled him in. Then he reached out and pulled in another man, and another man. But, pretty soon there was no more room. The boat was not large, and it was filled with boxes of fish. What should he do? Overboard went some boxes of fish and in came some men, some more men.
That kept on, my dear friends, until his last box of fish was in the bottom of the ocean. But before the sun had set that afternoon, he had, personally, pulled out of the water with his own two little arms 70 men. Was it worth it? Well, I can tell you this, friends. If any one of those 70 was your father or your brother, you’d say, “Yes, John Nepolli, it was worth all your work and sacrifice. It was worth the $3,000 worth of fish you threw overboard. It was worth it all just to save my loved one.” Agreed?
But suppose John Nepolli had consulted his own interests. Suppose he had said, “After all, I have to live. I have to feed my family. And these $3,000 worth of fish will pay a lot of bills and keep me going for a while. I’ve pulled in several men to safety. I’d better steam to port, deliver those rescued men, and sell my fish. Suppose he had. And it was your brother, your father, your loved one that was left to perish, would you have said, “Well done” to him?
Soon we’re going to meet the great Saviour of men who gave His life that they might be redeemed, and who is doing His part in the heavenly Sanctuary. And He has left with us the great privilege, the great opportunity of actually rescuing men. Soon we’re going to see Him face to face. Will He say, “Well done”? Ah, my friends, I don’t believe He’ll say “Well done”, unless we’ve done well. What do you say? Do you hear the call of Jesus sounding in your heart?
From henceforth thou shall catch men. – Luke 5:10
Not fish, but men – human souls made in the image of the Divine; the ones that God, in Christ, gave Himself for, that they might be redeemed; the ones for whom Jesus sweat the great drops of blood in the garden. Ah, friends, it’s a wonderful program. What does Jesus say to your heart today? What’s He talking to you about? Does He put His finger on things in your life and say, “Have done with lesser things?” It isn’t just whiskey and cards and dancing and movies that keep people from soul winning, friends. There’re a lot of ordinary things, even things that somebody must do, that have got to go overboard if a man is going to fill the boat with men, instead of fish.
Isn’t this something to pray about? Isn’t this something to seek God about? Soul winning is a science. It’s the greatest of all sciences. It’s an art, the greatest of all arts. And as the servant of the Lord says, if young people would enter this work, by no means discourage them, but first let them learn the trade.
In the common walks of life there is many a man patiently treading the round of daily toil, unconscious that he possesses powers which, if called into action, would raise him to an equality with the world’s most honored men. The touch of a skillful hand is needed to arouse those dormant faculties. – The Desire of Ages, pg. 250
God takes men as they are, and educates them for His service, if they will yield themselves to Him. – The Desire of Ages, pg. 251
It’s a trade, a science, an art. Are you willing to learn? Will you yield?
Until next week – Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
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- Country Living
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.