Our Church’s Bottom Line

Mark 16:15
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature.”

1. Purifies Our Purpose.
The purpose for all we do is established and singular.
Helps us weed out activities that do not contribute to our “bottom line.”

2. Directs Our Decision Making.
We measure every decision by our “bottom line.”

3. Simplifies Our Assessments.
We are able to determine the necessity/effectiveness of what we are doing.

4. Unifies Our Focus.
Everyone focused and working toward the same goal/purpose.

5. Firmly Establishes our Future
Our church will be tomorrow what we are working towards today.

ELEVEN CHURCHES FROM ONE TRACT

A tract freely given – An event freely offered – Salvation freely received
By Terry Jones

Does anyone really read a Gospel tract? Do we need to continue to hand them out? Is it really worth it? YES! One can never know the impact one Gospel tract can have in lives of those who receive them. Let me give you an example.

Not too long ago my wife, Kaye, and I attended a national pastors’ conference in southeast Mexico. We were enjoying the fellowship around the table when I began a conversation with one of the pastors present. Brother Pedro, his wife, Vicki, and several members of his congregation had traveled 16 hours on a bus to attend the conference. As we enjoyed our whole fried fish (head, tail, eyeballs and all) with beans, rice and tortillas, I asked Pastor Pedro to tell me about the time he met the Lord.

“I was 23, a drunkard, an idolater and worldly.” he started. “My wife and I were sitting in the park in the town square. I was drunk. I had spent all my paycheck on liquor. It was the weekend and we had nowhere to go. We wanted to go to the Catholic festival buy we couldn’t afford the food and other activities they offered. While we were in the park, a 12 year old boy handed me a Gospel tract and an invitation to the Baptist church. I read the tract but did not understand what it meant. The invitation was to a Gospel movie and there was to be refreshments afterwards. “We can do that since it’s free, I thought. So we went.”

Pedro and Vicki went to the church and met missionaries Richard and Patty Comer. The church was having a special evangelistic outreach with a meal, a Gospel film and preaching after the film. Not knowing what to expect Pedro and Vicki sat down and listened.

As Richard preached, it seemed to Pedro and Vicki that he knew everything about them and was announcing it to the entire congregation. “How does this North American know the reality of our lives?” Vicki thought. Pedro was convicted of his sin and accepted Jesus as his Savior. Vicki was not convinced. She wanted to see proof. As God changed the life of the drunken idolater what was her husband, she saw her need for salvation. A month later, Vicki came to know the Lord as well.

What a difference the Lord can make in a life. Pedro and Vicki became active in the local church. Three years later they moved to the city of San Cristobal de las Casas in the state of Chiapas and while there Pedro saw his mother saved. After a time as members of the Alpha and Omega Baptist Church, they moved to the community of “Tres-Ceros” and started a church. (That’s one.) From there they moved to a neighboring village and started another work. (That’s two!)

In 1995 they again moved to Tenejapa and started the Bethel Baptist Church, where he was ordained as pastor in 2001. (That’s three!) During his years as pastor, this church has started seven more mission churches in the towns and villages around Chiapas. (That’s ten if you’re still counting.) But it doesn’t stop there. On February 20, 2011, the first service of the eleventh church took place. There were already twelve that had been saved and baptized in the town and they had been waiting to have a church of their own.

God continues to use Brother Pedro in the lives of others. The Bethel Baptist Church, where Pedro is pastor, averages around 300 on Sundays and is in desperate need of a larger building. There are six young men who have surrendered to the call of God on their lives to preach the Gospel.

Eleven churches and counting – all because of a young man handed Pedro a tract. Is it worth it? YES! Think of the fruit that abounds in Heaven because of one simple act of faith. What about the churches who have faithfully supported the Comers? They too have fruit that abounds to their account in Heaven. God continues to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him (2 Chronicles 16:9)

To learn more about the work in Mexico and Central America, contact Rev. Terry Jones, Central America Director, BIMI.

What If We Abandon Soul Winning?

2_men_talking
This is a terrible thought for any church, but what if we actually quit going soul winning, both personally and corporately as a church?  The following are a few things I believe would be true.
  • WE WOULD BE DOING EXACTLY WHAT THE DEVIL WANTS US TO DO.
    (Acts 4:17-18) The Pharisees, operating, no doubt, under the influence of Satan himself, instructed the disciples not to teach or preach any more in the name of Jesus. In the Gospels, our Lord taught that Satan’s desire is to “snatch” the seed of God’s Word away from the unbelievers. If we quit soul winning, we’re doing exactly what Satan wants us to do.
  • PEOPLE WOULD END UP IN HELL.
    (Romans 10:13-15) The Bible is clear, people cannot be saved apart from hearing and understanding the Word of God. If we quit soul winning, some people will not hear and will die unsaved.
  • WE WOULD BE ACTING FOOLISHLY.
    (Proverbs 11:30) God tells us “he that winneth souls is wise.” The implication of this verse is that he that does not win souls is foolish.
  • WE WOULD BE A SINNING AGAINST GOD.
    The Lord has repeatedly instructed us to take the Gospel to every creature. He has commanded us to go and “teach all nations.” If we quit soul winning, whether here at home or around the world, we would be sinning against God.
  • WE WOULD BRING SHAME UPON OURSELVES.
    (1 Corinthians 15:34) “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” How sinful and shameful for Christians and their churches not to share the knowledge of God and His Gospel.
  • WE WOULD BE ABANDONING THE BIBLICAL PATTERN.
    In the Gospels, Jesus and His disciples went every where “preaching the Gospel.” In the book of Acts, the N.T. believers “went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). Again, Psalm 68:11 says, “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.” Apparently there was a “company” of folks that covered the land “publishing” the Word of God.
  • WE COULD BRING SERIOUS SPIRITUAL HARM TO OUR COUNTRY.
    See (Genesis 18:23-33). God promised Abraham that if he found only 10 righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, he would not destroy it. Apparently Lot had not won anyone to a saving knowledge of the Lord, and thus the cities were destroyed. I wonder if this same principle does not apply to our great land. It we abandon soul winning, would that hasten God’s judgment upon our nation?
    A nation with a majority of genuine Christians is far better off than a nation without Christians or with Christians in the minority.
  • THE LORD WOULD HOLD US ACCOUNTABLE.
    (2 Corinthians 5:10-11) God’s Word is clear, all Christians must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ and give an account of our lives and service for the Lord. This was a fearful thought to Paul and thus he persuaded men.
No doubt, there are many other thoughts and passages of Scripture that could be added to this list. I trust that our churches and ourselves as individual Christians will stay at this matter of sharing the Gospel and winning the Lost.

Balanced Obedience In Missions

There is a very real danger a church faces when is it attempting to do all it can to influence the world with the Gospel, and that is getting our obedience “out of balance.”
In our focus on foreign missions, it is easy to begin to neglect our responsibility or take the Gospel to our own, local communities.  Our obedience on one area must not facilitate disobedience in another area.
We get fired up about foreign missions and then neglect our personal soul winning, or we put all our focus on our local & personal soul winning and neglect foreign missions.
We must not allow this to become an “either/or” situation.  Lets get re-committed to our personal, door-to-door soul winning, and lets keep supporting world missions with our prayers and finances.  We must maintain “balanced obedience!”

The Urgency Of Missions

Mark 13:10, “And the gospel must first be published among all nations.”

In 1987, a young child, who became known as “Baby Jessica,” fell 22 feet down into an abandoned well.  Man power and resources from around the world were rushed to Midland, TX to rescue this little toddler.  For two and a half days, thousands focused their efforts and prayer on here well-being.  No expenses were spared, not resources were withheld & because of theses urgent and diligent efforts of so many, her life was spared and today, we are told, she is a happily married mother of her own two small children.

Here is the question that comes to my mind, what if the same effort had been put toward rescuing “Baby Jessica” as the average church puts toward world missions?  Would she be alive today?  Would anyone even know of her plight?

Another question comes to mind, what if the Bible preaching churches would put for the effort, sacrifice and urgency toward world missions that the folks put toward the rescue of this dear child?  Would we still have entire nations unreached with the Gospel?

In Mark 13, our Lord is explaining to His disciples what the world conditions will be prior to His second advent.  He states that there will be worldwide deception, false religions will be rampant, there will be wars, famine, and turmoil throughout the world.

Then in verse 10 He states that, in light of the world’s circumstances, the Gospel must FIRST be preached in all nations.  As we approach the end of the age and as world conditions deteriorate, the worldwide preaching of the Gospel must take greater priority.  More important than our buildings, budgets, and “belly busting” fellowships, is our obedience to the great commission of world evangelization.

We must be urgent about world missions because…

  1. WE MUST BE URGENT ABOUT WORLD MISSIONS BECAUSE OF THE COMMAND OF GOD…

    Along with Mark 13:10, Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:14-15; & Acts 1:8 all have an “urgency” about this final command of our Lord.

    This Command Is A Proclamation.  In other words, it is a command given with omnipotent authority.  This is not a suggestion, but a requirement.  Fellowships, Bible studies, social works, and music programs all have their place, but God has commanded us and requires that we preach the Gospel in all nations.

    This Command Is A Priority. The world “first” here has a two-fold meaning, first in chronology and first in value.  The first thing believers must focus upon when dealing with the unsaved, is preaching the Gospel to them, and the most important thing when dealing with the unsaved is preaching the Gospel to them.

    This Command Is Plain.  There is nothing complicated about our responsibility in this matter.  It is simply to declare the simple Gospel message to every man, woman, and child throughout the entire world.  Wisdom may be needed in the implementation of this endeavor, but the concept is simple.  Every believer can declare to the unsaved how to be saved. Children, uneducated, highly educated, backwoods believers and uptown Christians can tell others the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    This Command Is Compassionate.  It is a message of the Love of God, a love so great that God gave His only begotten Son to die a violent death, to suffer the eternal judgment of all mankind’s sin, then to rise again and offer the gift of eternal salvation to whosoever will receive it by faith.  God loves mankind!

  2. WE MUST BE URGENT ABOUT WORLD MISSIONS BECAUSE OF THE CONDITION OF MAN…

    With Out The Gospel, Man Lives Life Without God!  Some of the saddest words in all of Scripture are found in our Lord’s prayer recorded in John 17:25, “Oh righteous Father, the world hath not known thee.”  The word “know” means to “have a relationship with.”  Much of mankind knows “OF” God, sings “ABOUT” God, talks about God, and even prays TO God, but without the Gospel, man cannot KNOW God!  (Ephesians 2:12, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”)

    With Out The Gospel, Man Spends Eternity Without God!  Luke 16:19-31 gives us a frightening look at what happens to a person when they die “in their sins,” with having trusted Jesus Christ as personal Savior.

    What if the same effort had been put toward rescuing “Baby Jessica” as the average church puts toward world missions? Would she be alive today? Let’s give ourselves fully to taking the Gospel to every unsaved person in our immediate communities, our country and to every nation on this planet!

5 Fatal Assumptions Concerning World Missions & Personal Soul Winning…

  1. “I don’t have the gift of evangelism.”  Taking the Gospel to the unsaved is not a  spiritual gift, but a clear command.  Every Christian has a direct command to take the Gospel to the unsaved.
  2. “God hasn’t called me to the mission field.”  Fact is, every one of us live in the “mission field,” that is, the world.  Whether we live in Central Asia, or Western Maryland, we are in the mission field.  Rather than assuming God has not called us, let’s assume He HAS called us until He makes it clear otherwise.
  3. “There’s nothing I can do to make any significant difference.”  This is simply not true!  A classic illustration is the little boy with a small lunch of fish and bread and how God fed over seven thousand people.  When I give myself and all that I have to the Lord to do with as He sees fit, great and mighty things will happen.  Little certainly is much… when God is in it.
  4. “The world has already been reached.”  This is so obviously untrue, it needs no rebuttal.  Statics tell us there are literally billions of people and entire nations that have no Gospel witness.
  5. “We are living in the last days and people will not receive the Gospel.”  No where does the Bible even remotely suggest that the Gospel will lose any power to save.  There may be different areas in our world where people are more resistant to the Word of God, but we have every reason to believe and be confident that if we’ll faithfully go with the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, we can and will see many saved.  The problem throughout the church age has not been the condition of the world, but the unconcern of the church.  The harvest continues to be great, and the laborers continue to be few!

An Effective Soul Winner

To be a consistent and effective personal soul winner requires a continual effort.  We have found that the most effective soul winners are constantly studying and learning how to be better at this important ministry.
  • An Effective Soul Winner Must Be Assured Of Their Own Salvation. It is very difficult, if not impossible to convince others that they can know for sure that their sins are forgiven and that they are on their way to Heaven if I do not have that assurance.  An assurance of my own salvation gives great confidence in sharing the Gospel with others.
  • An Effective Soul Winner Must Be Convinced Of The urgency Of Man’s Condition.  John 3:18 & 36 (along with many other passages) state clearly that mankind is currently under the condemnation and wrath of God.  Unsaved man will not “some day” be condemn, but is “condemned already.”  The urgency of getting the soul saving Gospel to every man, woman, & child in our community and around the world must grip our hearts if we’re to be effective personal soul winners.
  • An Effective Soul Winner Must Know The Message of the Gospel Thoroughly.   The message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most important truth ever known.  Though a person can be an effective witness for the Lord without having been “trained” in sharing the Gospel (illustration: woman at the well), nevertheless, a consistently effective soul winner must have a thorough, working knowledge of the Gospel. This powerful message must be a life-long study.
  • An Effective Soul Winner Must Be Convinced That People Will Be Saved.  Effective soul winners anticipate results.  Of course, not everyone will be saved, but we must be confident that the Gospel IS the power of God unto salvation and will bear fruit. (Psalm 126:6, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”; Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;”)
  • An Effective Soul Winner Must Be Filled With The Holy Spirit.  Our clever approaches and scripted presentations are not what brings conviction or saves a soul, rather, it is the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.  It is important that we know what we’re talking about and that we have a tactful approach, but it is far more important that we are filled with the Holy Spirit.  As much effort must be put into having the power of the Holy Spirit as there is put into having an effective approach.  (Acts 4:31, “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”; Ephesians 5:18,  “… be filled with the Spirit;”)
  • An Effective Soul Winner Must Be A Fervent Prayer Warrior.  Two actions by the early church in the book of Acts stand out, the preaching of the Gospel and the prayers of the church.  A prayer-less soul winner is an ineffective soul winner.  There was as much praying going on in the NT church as there was preaching, and this must be true for today’s soul winners!  Perhaps this is the cause behind so little results in so much of our efforts.
  • An Effective Soul Winner Must Have Scheduled Times For Personal Soul Winning.  Of course, witnessing and winning souls must be a part of our everyday life, but to be effective and thorough in reaching our communities, there must be an organized and scheduled time for a taking the Gospel into our neighborhoods.  Note: do not neglect the back alleys and apartments over top of downtown businesses.  Look for the “out of the way” dwellings, these are often the homes of folks who are most receptive.
  • An Effective Soul Winner Must Set Challenging, But Reachable Goals.  We share the message and leave the results up to God (1 Corinthians 3:7), but this does not mean we cannot set goals for ourselves.  For instance, I have set a goal to share the Gospel with 5 people a day, in a six day week, that comes to 30 people a week, which equals 120 a month which totals 1440 people a year.  This is a realistic challenge and has a profound effect on quite a number of people.

In our “sin saturated” society, the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is needed now, more than ever. Let’s give ourselves fully to winning souls.