We find ourselves in a season of polling and we can take them for what they are worth. There was a statistic heard recently to bring to your attention that seems to hit very close to the mark. In a recent poll it was stated that the average congregation of the Lord’s church is baptizing eight souls per year. Of those eight, the majority are young people being raised in Godly homes of members of the same congregation. That means that precious few souls are actually being taught the gospel to the point of their obeying the gospel. When it comes to reaching the lost, turn your attention briefly to John 4. What must I do to reach the lost?
1. Have eyes like Jesus. Jesus sat by Jacob’s well in the city of Samaria and was indeed thirsty for a physical drink. However, His focus was never on the physical, was it? His eyes were always on the spiritual and rather than look to the body, was focused most on the soul of each individual encountered. For our Lord, this was natural – He was in fact, Immanuel, after all. However, for the rest of us this is something that we must train ourselves to do. Jesus looked at fields that would be ready to harvest in four months (physically speaking), but the fields (spiritually speaking) were already white for harvest (John 4:35). If we are going to be more than average, we must be training ourselves to look at the world through the eyes of Jesus. As Christians, we must be helping to see that the Bible is studied with more people.
However, having eyes like Jesus involves not only training ourselves to see the lost and helping them study to obey the Lord – but having vision to help others to be able to study with lost souls. Here is a question for your consideration – who have you trained to conduct studies with others? Jesus had conversation after conversation with individuals for the purpose of training His disciples to be able to do this after His work on earth was accomplished. We need to involve others in studies so that they will then be able to study with others. If you have a study going, invite someone to be a part of it with you – focus on training. This is practical and it is important!
2. Have courage like the woman. She went to the well with water, she left without her waterpot. An encounter with Jesus will help eliminate the cares of this world and shift focus! She realized after a short conversation that she was face to face with the Messiah. It was not possible to keep this good news to herself. She didn’t put pressure on herself to make people believe or obey – she simply provided an opportunity for them to “Come and see,” (John 4:29). Too much pressure is placed on the individual and not enough emphasis is placed on the gospel. We are not the power to save, the power is in the gospel (Romans 1:16). We simply need to have the courage to invite someone to study God’s word – to allow them to “come and see” Jesus on each page and give them the choice to respond to His love, grace, and salvation.
3. Have a request like the people. The inspired apostle says that many of the Samaritans of the city would come to believe and then made a request of Jesus – “they urged Him to stay with them,” (John 4:39-42). Have you urged Jesus to stay in your presence? Some in the Bible urged Jesus to leave their region, some in the Bible hated Jesus to the point of having Him leave by nailing Him to the cross. These Samaritans understood they had God in their presence and urged (begged) Him to stay. All spiritual blessings are found IN Christ (Ephesians 1:3). We must be begging Jesus to be in our presence and this is found in our walking in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7).
Earlier this year, we were encouraged by Brother Mike to think simply “Each one reach one.” Each family unit to give serious thought and action to reaching a soul who is lost. Have you given that any more thought? When a congregation of the Lord’s people is full of people with eyes like Jesus, courage like the woman, and begging for Jesus to be with them – statistics will change.
– Adam Orr