The Joy of Winning a Soul to Christ
by Douglas Hoff
A favorite song asks the question, “Why did my Savior come to earth, And to the humble go? Why did He choose a lowly birth? Because He loved me so!” Love prompted Jesus to leave the heavenly realms to come and live among sinful men. To Zacchaeus he said, “the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10).
Coming to live among men meant giving up much (John 17:5; 2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus came knowing the cross lay before him. In commenting on what motivated him to do this Paul wrote that he “being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8).
The writer of Hebrews encourages Christians to “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). He wrote that Christians should look “unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). How could going to the cross bring joy to Jesus? He looked beyond the cross to the end results! He knew the cross was necessary “in bringing many sons unto glory” (Hebrews ). The scriptures plainly teach that saving a soul from eternal destruction brings joy to God and the angels (Luke 15:7, 10).
God the Father, Jesus and the angels can rejoice over one sinner who repents because that is just one more soul snatched from the fires of hell (Jude 7, 23). Since it is God’s will that everyone should be saved (1 Timothy 2:3, 4; 2 Peter 3:9), he wants everyone to enjoy the blessings of eternity in heaven. Through Christ’s death we can become part of God’s spiritual family (Hebrews , 11).
Spiritually minded people have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:2, 5). Thus, such Christians realize there is great joy in reaching a lost soul with the gospel. Like Jesus they know some things will have to be sacrificed to help lost souls escape the penalty for their sins. However, our sacrifice does not begin to compare to what Jesus forfeited for us. Often, our “sacrifice” will be the loss of some time and perhaps a little money. The effort is well worth it when the soul winner sees his teaching come to fruition. It is difficult to describe how exhilarating it is to see a person repent of his sins and be buried with Jesus in baptism. When the new Christian comes up from the water, many have reason to be happy! The wise writer said it this way: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs ).
Douglas Hoff, preacher
(734) 762-2886 [
Flat Rock, Ml 48134-0012
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