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Sabbath Mornings at Ballymacashon – 18th August 2013

17/08/2013

Ballymacashon Congregational Church

Praise: Psalm 84:1-5
Prayer.

Sermon:Soul-Winners!

Text: 2nd Corinthians 6:1-10.

Paul says, don’t make the mistake of rejecting the Gospel, because you have been fed a diet of works-based half-truths by the false preachers who have been visiting Corinth! He pleads with the Corinthians as fellow workers… We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 Cor. 6:1

1. Recognise the Soul Winner’s Strategy! v.1
Paul tells us that as Soul-winners, we are WORKERS TOGETHER with him! Look at the description of a soul-winner here:-

* He is a WORKER! The soul-winner is not a hireling, not a conscript, not an idler nor a boss. The Christian who would win souls must be a WORKER! That is the way that God’s Word always describes us.

We are watchmen! Ezekiel 33:7
We are Fishermen! Matthew 9:19
We are Sowers! Psalm 126:6
We are shepherds!. Acts 20:28

All of these describe the Christian as he works for the lord! Or do they? Do they describe you and me? Could we really be described as CHRISTIAN WORKERS? Now notice something else about the Christian worker…

He is a SPIRITUAL Worker! He works with God! His business is spiritual business, and his weapons are spiritual weapons, for his enemies are spiritual enemies, and his hindrances that he encounters are spiritual hindrances. 2 Cor. 10:4

He is a WORKER – TOGETHER WITH GOD! Now there are many Christian workers who mistakenly believe that they can work on their own. We are not just workers for God, spiritually self-employed! We are workers TOGETHER with God!

He is a worker IN a HURRY! Now notice the message that the Soul-winner will bring…He URGENTLY APPEALS TO SINNERS! (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) The true Christian soul-winner won’t want to wait to tell others. There is urgency about the Christian worker, and an awful frustration, when the work is hindered!

He is worker with a TESTIMONY! The Soul-winner LIVES THE LIFE! Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God.

The Christian message will be of no avail whatsoever, if the messenger is flatly contradicting what he says by what he does.

2. Recognise the Soul-Winner’s Environment! v4-5
Soul winners work in a particular environment. Now often that will be a stressful, sometimes hostile environment, but the soul-winner will not be deterred by that! Look at Paul’s environmental conditions, and to help you, the key word in all these descriptions is the word IN. The conditions Paul was IN:-

It would stretch your patience! in much patience, Paul often had to be very patient with the people whom he was seeking to win for the Lord!

There were afflictions! in afflictions,. He didn’t have an easy time! He suffered from illness from which he didn’t have any relief, even though he sincerely prayed for help from the Lord! That didn’t shake Paul’s faith and trust in the Lord, and it didn’t stop him from telling others about Jesus!

He was often in need! in necessities Sometimes we complain about not having the luxuries of this world. Paul had none of those things – he sometimes didn’t even have the necessities!

He suffered distress! in distresses, Of course he did. Tell others that they are sinners who need Christ, who need to be saved, doesn’t actually endear you to the lost world, whose main ambition is to continue to sin, and to continue to live in this world, and to hope that God will just overlook their sin on judgement day!

He was wrongfully punished! In stripes, in imprisonments Many times thrown into prison – and imprisonment led to beatings and chainings and shackles and praise!

There were riots following his clear biblical teaching! in tumults, Now there’s a lesson there for us. To hear some of our so-called church leaders today preaching, there’s no danger of a riot! They are so anxious not to offend anybody, that they water down the Scriptures, and water down the Christian messages, and water down sin…

He wasn’t on a high salary! in labours, Paul was a tent-maker. He had to support himself, so that he would never be a burden upon them local church! He was never a full-time minister, a professional pastor!

He had to be vigilant! in watchings, He must always watch! Who knows where the next attack might come from! Sometimes it came from the government, sometimes from the Jews, sometimes, as in Corinth, it came from within the church!

He often went hungry! in fastings; He often went hungry!

Now all of these terrible environmental conditions were the lot of the Christian Soul-winner!

3. Recognise the Soul-Winner’s Resources! v.6-8
How will a Christian soul-winner maintain a steady perseverance and work for the Lord under such terrible circumstances? Now if the key word for the Soul-winners environment was ‘in’ then the key-word here is BY! Here is a list of the resources available to the Christian worker:-

* The Resources of a transformed, Christian character! Purity! By pureness There is no piety without purity. As soul-winners – care to keep ourselves unspotted from the world is necessary in order to our acceptance with God. Knowledge! by knowledge. Long-Suffering! by longsuffering, Kindness! by kindness.

* The Heavenly Resources, that God gives to every Christian. God gives the Soul-winner:- The Presence of the Holy Spirit! by the Holy Ghost The Resource of Genuine Love for the Lost! by love unfeigned His Word! By the word of truth, Spiritual Armour! by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, Being real, when others accuse you of being unreal! By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report:

We ought to look also at v8-10, verses that describe the Soul Winner’s Temperament. 2 Cor. 6:8b-10

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