All the forces of evil are arrayed against the gospel penetrating the minds and hearts of sinners. The devil’s strategy has always been to institutionalize the Church and to turn it into a powerless religious system where it has little consciousness of eternity and no zeal for the conversion of lost souls. If the devil can turn the Church into a business that deals mainly with the dollar in mind, or into a charitable organization that is satisfied with humanitarian projects only, or into a social club or an entertainment center, he has succeeded, and he will rear his proud head back with glee for doing so. The Church has been ordained by God to be above all else, a soul-saving organism.
The devil will use division from within the church and persecution from without the church to stop the gospel from spreading. It is obvious from reading through the gospels and the book of Acts that there were revivals, but there were also riots and fierce opposition to the gospel, to the work of evangelism, and the conversion of sinners. Satan will use every strategy in his arsenal to keep Christians from preaching the gospel and to keep sinners from receiving it.
As an example of the latter, I was on the streets one time helping a local church with evangelistic outreach when my team and I were invited into a home. As soon as I began to bear down and preach the gospel to some of the members of that household, distractions began to come. I would say the word ‘hell’ and the landline phone would ring. I would say the name of Jesus and how foolish it was to live without God and the cell phone would ring. Conviction would come and someone would knock on the door or start playing with the dog. When the opportunity to receive Jesus was given, the conversation would move into a natural direction as the devil toyed with people’s minds.
I decided to tell the people what was happening, thus exposing the devil’s devices. That must have shut him up for good because suddenly all the distractions ceased and the presence of God moved in, and you couldn’t hear a pin drop for the next 30 minutes as the people, out of a willing heart, called on the name of the Lord with joy and tears. It was glorious! My team and I didn’t want to engage in any casual conversation after we left the house because of the richness of the presence and the peace of God we had just experienced.
What an impression this made on the sinners who were saved! They didn’t just utter a prayer or make a confession, but they received an impartation. The two members of my team were also deeply impacted. These are the kind of experiences that will make soul winners out of common men. You can’t get this from a textbook. It is not the enticing words of man’s speech but it is the impartation that comes through demonstrations of the Holy Spirit that will eternally and permanently leave its mark on people.
In the light of eternity what are the things in this life that really matter? In comparison to the eternal destiny of the human race, how insignificant are so many of life’s trivialities! There is nothing we can take with us to heaven except people. Jesus’ final message to His disciples still rings true, and all the more as we see the day of His return approaching: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved and he that believes not shall be damned” (Mk 16:15-16).
May the damned be less.
And may the Lord saturate us with an undying zeal for the souls of men.
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The following book features similar themes as the above article.
Thank you, and may God’s richest and best be yours.