In Ezekiel 22, we just heard that great litany of the sins of God's people and all the wickedness and filth and pollution in the land. The princes, the prophets, the priests had all done wickedly. There's no one who was standing up for what was right. At the very end of the chapter, it says in verse 30, "'And I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge and stand in the gap before me for the land that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Therefore, have I poured out mine indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. Their own way have I recompensed upon their heads,' sayeth the Lord God."
Now, when we read these verses, it's clear that if God could have found someone that would have made up the hedge, that would have stood in the gap, then he would not have destroyed them. But because he found none, he destroyed the land. This is one of many, many scriptures in the Bible that teaches how one person can make a difference in a city, in a state, in a nation and that it's not just whatever's going to happen is going to happen no matter what we do. The stupid Calvinist doctrine that just says, "Whatever happens is going to happen. We just sit back and kind of watch it all play out." No. We have the power to change things and to make a difference and we can be the one that is the difference between God's wrath and judgement and God's mercy and delight. We can be the person, like Aaron was, who stands between the dead and the living. It's not just this thing of, "Well, we go through the motions and we live our lives, we go to church, we win a few souls." No. We can actually make a huge difference in the world that we live in today.
I'm not just talking about preachers. I'm not just talking about pastors. Even those who are just a layman in the church can do great things for God and make a big difference. Even those who are ladies. Even young children can be used by God to do great things for God. All throughout the Bible, go to Acts chapter 19. All throughout the Bible, we see great men and women that actually did things that changed the course of history and that changed the course of a nation, whether for good or for evil. A great example of this is obviously the apostle Paul. In Acts chapter 19, the Bible just gives us a few highlights of his ministry.
But it says in Acts 19:10, "And this continued by the space of two years so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks." This is not talking about the continent of Asia, this is talking about what we would know as the modern-day country of Turkey, or sometimes known as Asia minor. But still, this is a great nation. A huge amount of people that all of them heard the word of God through the apostle Paul and the people that he worked with. He wasn't just one man show. It would be Paul with Timothy and Paul with Titus and Paul with Lucas and Demas and Marcus and Aristarchus and the people that he worked with. But you know, he was the leader. They were there because he brought them there. One man, the apostle Paul, was used by God to reach this whole nation with the word. He said they all heard the word of God in those two years.
Now, look if you would at verse 24. It says, "For a certain man," this is in Ephesus, which is in that area of Asia. It says, "For a certain man named Demetrius, a silver smith, which made silver strains for Diana, brought no small gain into the craftsmen, whom he called together with the workman of like occupation and said, 'Sirs, you know that by this craft, we have our wealth.'" Moreover, you see in here that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia this Paul had persuaded and turned away much people saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands. Not only that this art craft is in danger to be set at naught, but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship it. Not only is the Bible telling us, "Hey, everybody in Asia heard the word of God through Paul and the people that he trained, but not only that, even the world, even the ungodly, even the heathen are bearing witness to that." Saying in verse 26 that this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people. And he said almost throughout all Asia. You know God can correct him a few verse earlier and said, "No. It was all Asia." Not almost all Asia, it was throughout all Asia. That just shows the kind of impact that one man can make.
Flip over if you would to Matthew chapter 5. Matthew chapter 5. While you're turning there, let me read for you from Philippians chapter 2 verse 15. It says, "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation among whom ye shine as lights in the world." So he's saying, "You're in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation," like was described in Ezekiel 22, where we started. Where he described all the crookedness and perversity. But he said, "You shine as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, holding forth the word of life." Now, look at Matthew 5:14. It says, "Ye are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick. To give it light and all that are in the house, let your light so shine before man that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in Heaven."
Flip over to 2 Corinthians chapter 4. What's the Bible telling us here? We're the light of the world. The world today is in darkness and we live in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. We are supposed to be shining as the lights in that darkness. It doesn't matter how bad our nation is or you say, "Well, you know our country has just gotten so bad and our culture is so wicked." But the darker it is, the brighter our light can shine. When light meets darkness, light wins. I mean, think about it. If there's darkness and light both in the same place, the light overpowers the darkness and the darkness is gone. Okay. We need to stand up, make up the hedge, stand in the gap, not hide it under a bushel, not be ashamed of the word of God, not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, not be ashamed of Jesus or of his words, but we need to stand tall, shine forth the light of the gospel, and if we will be bold today, we can make a great difference in our world. We can shine the glorious light of the gospel.
Look what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4 verse 3. It says, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost." Again, it's not just a question of, "Well, whatever happens, happens." No. Look. The world is in darkness today. There are people who don't know the gospel. Our world is getting more wicked every single day. Somebody needs to shine the light. There's a big "if" here. "If our gospel be hid." It's up to us to make the decision whether our gospel's going to be hid or not. That's what that "if" is about there. If our gospel be hid, then it will be like it was in Ezekiel where he seeks for a man to stand in the gap, to make a hedge, and he finds none. The gospel is hid there. He says if our gospel be hid, it's hid to them that are lost.
Look. Who suffers? The lost when they don't hear the gospel. But he says, "In whom the God of this world have blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord. Ourselves, your servants, for Jesus' sake. For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in Earth and vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us."
What does the darkness represent? Well, the darkness represents ignorance. Ignorance of the gospel, not knowing the gospel, because he emphasizes there in verse number 6, the knowledge of the glory of God. People just knowing the truth, knowing what the Bible actually says, knowing who God is, knowing who Jesus is, knowing how to be saved. Most people have never really heard a clear presentation of how to be saved, of exactly what they must do to be saved, which is simply to put all of their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior. Darkness also represents wickedness, ungodliness, and perversion, which we've seen come up in a lot of these verses also. We have the solution to both problems. We have the light of the glorious gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone and we also have the light that will shine the light and expose the wickedness and ungodliness and filth for what it is and show people a more excellent way, show people a way to live their life that would be honoring and pleasing to God that will not bring judgement upon them personally and upon our nation as a whole, teaching them how to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.
Now, we have a lot of tools today in these last days that people have not even had in the past, if you think about it. Go, if you would, to Daniel chapter 11. This is one of my favorite scriptures in Daniel chapter 11. But in Daniel chapter 11, this is a scripture that has to do with the end times. If you get the context of Daniel 11, it has to do with the times of the anti-Christ and the tribulation and things like that. It's talking about the very last days. This is not something that's obsolete. This is something that's still coming in the future. This is prophetic of the future today when we read this in Daniel 11:32.
It says, "In such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries, but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits. They that understand among the people shall instruct many, yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil many days." That's talking about the tribulation when a lot of people are going to be in prison, they're going to by fallen by the sword, a lot of God's people are going to be persecuted. But you know what that tells me? That tells me that some of the greatest works for God that have ever been done are yet to be done in the future. It's not all in the past. It's not that we read the Bible and read about all the glory days of the Bible characters and all the great things for God that they did. We read about the apostle Paul and we read about Peter and we read about even the Old Testament saints who did great things for God. Elijah and Elisha and Jeremiah and all these different people. No. God is saying that even in the end times, even all the way to the bitter end with the tribulation and the anti-Christ in power, even at that time, God's people will do great exploits for him. They'll do great things. They will instruct many people.
There's no reason to think that in these last days, it can't be done. People say, "The world's too wicked. We're living in the land of sin in church age," which I don't even believe in that, by the way. "That's why we're all lukewarm." Speak for yourself, because we don't have to be lukewarm. We could be fired up. We could be zealous and we can do great exploits for God and instruct very many people. We can make a big difference in our city, in our state, and even in the nation and even in the world if one person will decide to take it seriously and to decide, "You know what? I'm going to instruct many. I'm going to get the gospel to a lot of people. I'm going to talk to as many people as I can. I'm going to spread the word of God." I mentioned that we have tools that some people didn't have throughout history. One of the things that I thought of, I made a list of things that we have.
How about just cars? I mean, think about it. We have cars. When we finish preaching on a Sunday morning, we can hop in our cars and drive 25 minutes away and go soul winning in a place that, one foot, would take a long time to get there. But we just hop in the car and we can go there. That makes it very possible for Faithful Word Baptist Church to knock every door in the Valley, the Phoenix Valley. Now, we're not there yet. We have a long ways to go, but we've put a massive dent in it. There's no reason why our church, as we continue to go soul-winning, will not eventually shade in the entire map and have knocked every single door. Many doors that are close to us, we've knocked four and five times. Without cars, we'd be knocking them a sixth and a seventh time and driving people nuts. The bottom line is we have the technology of vehicles and cars where we can drive all over the place and we can get there quickly and we can spend time knocking doors and winning souls to Christ.
How about this: We even have Bibles to hand out to people. I mean, throughout history, people didn't have a Bible to just hand somebody. You didn't just go out soul-winning throughout history and everybody went to the Lord just, "Oh, here's a Bible. Here's a New Testament." Back then, printing a Bible was a major undertaking when the printing press was first made, it was expensive for a Bible, very expensive. How about this: What about before the printing press was even invented? You go back to when it was written out by hand. It was hand-written manuscript. You didn't just go and hand out Bibles that took somebody months and months to copy out. You know, you would just be handing out a very small portion of the word of God, if anything. You get your hands on just a small piece of it and it would be valuable. A lot of it had to be memorized and just spoken and you would just have to speak the word of God and just preach the word of God from memory and teach people to memorize verses and chapters. But we can actually hand somebody the entire Bible and they can have all this knowledge and all this wisdom and all this information and potential growth at their fingertips just from being able to hand them a Bible. We're all carrying the full Bible and we go out soul winning.
When we get somebody saved, we can just hand them a Bible or hand them a New Testament. I mean, that makes a big impact, especially if they actually read it. That's why when I win somebody to the Lord, I usually try to talk to them about the importance of Bible reading. I like to stick a bookmark and show them start reading here and here's a plan of how to read it and everything like that. That's a great advantage that we have. Not only that, but obviously, we have the internet where we can put stuff out on the internet, put preaching on the internet, and people all over the world are able to download it and listen to it and hear it. We have things like preaching CDs and DVDs that we can hand out to people and just put all this information in their hands and give them all this teaching. Not only that, but we have foreign language materials where if we want to win people to Christ of a foreign language, people who speak Spanish or people who speak Swahili or whatever, we can just go down to the store and pick up all kinds of books, CDs, tapes, we can go on YouTube and there's all kinds of training on there to learn foreign languages. We can give the gospel to people all over the world.
You know, in the past, it was hard to learn a foreign language. You'd have to go live there or something. A lot of the Bible translators in the time of the middle ages, they struggled to learn Hebrew. You didn't just go buy a Hebrew tape or a Hebrew CD to translate the Old Testament. A lot of times, they just had the New Testament because the Old Testament was inaccessible to them because nobody knows Hebrew, nobody knows how to speak it. We have all these things at our fingertips, all this knowledge.
The Bible also talks about in the book of Daniel how in the last days, knowledge would increase. It says, "Many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase." We have all this knowledge at our fingertips to be able to have an entire Bible, study it, hand them out, learn how to speak foreign languages, give people the gospel from all over the world, get in our car and drive places. We can actually do a lot for God if we put our mind to it, is what I'm saying today. If we got serious about it and said, "You know what, I'm just going to talk to as many people as I can. I'm going to give the gospel to as many people as I can." We could really make a big difference and really let our light shine and put a huge dent in this city for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Honestly, and go through it it Matthew chapter 10.
Honestly, with a church our size, and our church is growing, we have the manpower to knock all the doors. I mean, just stop and think about it. I want you to comprehend this. That we live in a big city. Phoenix has about 4 million people in the surrounding area, you know like a one hour radius or half hour radius, whatever, just the main area of just contiguous civilization. It's a huge amount of people. 4 million people. It's a major US city. In fact, in the city limits of the city of Phoenix itself is about 1.6 million people, which is the sixth largest city in America, of people actually in the city limits. I mean, it's a huge city. But little old Faithful Word Baptist Church has knocked the doors of a huge percentage of that city. I mean, we have knocked it out. Many of the doors, especially in our area, we've knocked four, five, six times. We're still growing and we're still going to keep doing it.
You know what? Just think about the magnitude of saying, "Okay. In 2014, there's a church in Phoenix that's dedicated to knocking all the doors and over the course of 10, 20 years is going to knock every door and most of the doors repeatedly with the gospel of Jesus Christ." Think about it. That means that in Phoenix, you know there's really not an excuse to not be saved. Many, many people will be saved that would not have been saved had the gospel not been clearly brought to them and clearly presented to them at the door.
But think about what if our church just didn't exist. Just stop and think about that. Because I do not think, and there are other soul-winning churches in the Phoenix area, but no one who does the magnitude of soul winning that we do. No one's doing it the way that we do it in the magnitude that we're doing it in Phoenix, Arizona. It's just not happening.
I'm telling you something. There are all kinds of other cities across America that need a church to get the same vision and do the same thing. It's possible. One man out of this congregation, one man who's listening to the sound of my voice right now in this congregation, one man could walk out of here and go start that church that would do that in some other city of 1 million, 2 million, 3 million, 5 million people and be that person that starts that church and says, "You know what? I can't save the whole world. I can't get the gospel to the whole word, but here's a major city where everybody's going to get the gospel. Everybody's going to hear about it." Not everybody's going to receive it. Some people are going to hate that church, but they shall know that a prophet hath been among them. They'll know that there was somebody that stood up for what was right, hated sin, hated sodomites, hated all the filth and inequity, and stood up and loudly proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ by faith alone and got it to every door.
Who is that man? Who is that person that's listening to the sound of my voice right now that would say, "You know what? I'm going to be that man and I'm going to go to that city and I'm going to claim that city as a territory that I will be personally responsible to make sure that every door gets knocked and I'm going to recruit people and I'm going to train people and I'm going to have the church and the services and I'm going to get it done." It's possible. It can be done. But there has to be a man among them that will stand up and say, "You know what? I'm going to stand in that gap."
When you think of the gap, you can look at a map of the United States and think about where all the best soul-winning churches are and then there would be gaps, wouldn't there? You know, there would be gaps. Where you look at it. Who's doing it there? Somebody needs to stand in that gap. There are cities across America where nobody's aggressively doing soul winning, where nobody's preaching hard, nobody's the light shining in the midst of the crooked nation. We need a man to stand up and say, "I'll be that man."
Besides that, even if you're not going to go be that man, but you know what? We do need those guys to do that because we do need the leaders that will go and start a church in other areas. But even just you as a ... You say, "I'm not a preacher. I'm not a pastor." But you know what, even if you would just get serious about soul winning and stay consistent with it week after week, you will win a great multitude of people to Christ if you do it week after week. It's not the Roman candle Christian who gets all excited for six months, but the one who's instant in season, out of season, year after year, decade after decade, you will win hundreds of people to the Lord if you just stay at it. Stay at it. Keep doing it. Keep doing it. By the way, one of the people that you win to the Lord could be the guy who is sent out to that city who has that calling on his life to go do that.
You say, "Well, I'm a lady." Well, you know what? You could win that guy to the Lord out of soul-winning just as well as he could. Ladies are very effective on soul winning. Sometimes ladies can be even more effective than men on soul winning, just because they're nice and people want to talk to them more. Sometimes women have better people skills and they're friendly and they're good at talking to people and they're effective. They can win that guy to the Lord. Or you know, you're a mother, you could raise that guy. You could raise that boy to the Lord and dedicate him under the Lord and basically send him up. I've heard often people mockingly call a certain preacher like these "Momma called" preachers. "Momma called and Poppa said, 'Amen.'" What's wrong with a "Mamma called" preacher? Why doesn't Mom teach her son and say, "Hey, why don't you grow up and be a preacher? Why don't you grow up and pastor a church? Why don't you think about going to some city and evangelizing that city with the gospel of Jesus Christ?"
So what where he got the idea from? Who called me? Sorry, the shekhinah glory of God, which doesn't exist, did not come into my bedroom and light up the room and I heard a voice that told me to go start a church. You know what, the Bible says, "If any man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work." Who cares who put the idea in your head? Mom, Dad, pastor, whoever. You know what, Mom could raise up a great young man and teach him the word of God. He could go out and be that great man who could go out and start that church and stand in the gap and make a difference, but it's not just pastors we need. We need church members that will head up the soul-winning times, that will be the soul-winning leadership, that will be the soul-winning directors, that will go out and organize it, and be on the street and be in the trenches and be on the front lines and get it done. Look. We can do a lot for God as a church that's made up of individuals who are serious about serving God. You are important. You're part of that team and you're part of that plan.
All of us. Don't ever get this attitude that you're expendable, because you're not. I've heard people say, "Well, we're all expendable as Christians. God will do it with or without us." I don't believe that for one second. None of us is expendable. If your gospel's hid, it's hid to the lost. If my gospel's hid, it's hid to the lost. I'm not expendable. I'm not just replaceable, but neither are you. No one is. We're all different. There's no one who's just like me. There's no one who's just like you. God is going to use us all in our own way and if we are not doing it, it's not going to get done. If our gospel's hid, it's hid to them that are lost.
Look at Matthew chapter 10. Did I have you turn there? Matthew chapter 10 says this in verse 26, "Fear them not therefore for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed and hid that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light. What ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul, but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell." God's saying, "Look. You need to preaching the word of God from the housetops."
That's what we need. Our church should not be invisible in our community here. We should be on the housetops. We should be in the highways and hedges. Everybody should know who we are. We should be everywhere. Every time they turn around, somebody's knocking their door. Every time they turn around somebody at work is talking to them about the gospel. Every time they turn around, they're hearing it again and again and again and again. We need to be shouting from the housetop. We need to take our light out from a bushel and let it shine and let the glorious light of the gospel shine in. We can get a great multitude of people saved. Thousands will be saved. Tens of thousands will be saved.
Here's the thing: When you win people to the Lord, hopefully, eventually, they're going to win others to the Lord. You won't even know the full impact of what you've accomplished until you get to Heaven. But we need to stop and realize our personal importance. We need to understand our importance in God's plan. There's so much preaching to de-emphasize us. You know, I understand people maybe their heart's in the right place. They want to give God all the glory. God gets all the glory. Of course, Jesus gets all the glory. Without him, we can do nothing.
I want to be careful that we don't de-emphasize ourselves to the point where we think we don't matter. It's stupid. What do we end up doing? "We don't matter." And then we start acting like our life doesn't matter. No. We need to realize we do matter. God has called us with a holy calling. It's not according to our works, but it's according to his own purpose and grace. He has called us with a holy calling.
I love how we, as Christians, are God's chosen people. We're God's elect. You know what? Think about it. Whenever you hear the word "chosen" in the Bible, a lot of times it will be in regard to military, soldiers. They had certain chosen men that were warriors. In the Old Testament, the word "chosen" was used like that. It's basically like the elite fighting force. The certain chosen men that are with David, that are the best fighters or whatever. That's what we are. We're chosen. We're elect. We are an important part of God's plan and he has committed unto us the ministry of reconciliation, meaning that he is relying upon us to get it done. He's not going to do it without us. He's committed unto us. He's trusting us with it. That's what committed means. He's trusting us to get it done. He's relying on us to get it done.
You know what? You can say all day long without him, we can do nothing. That's true. But you know without us, he can do nothing. You can say that's blasphemous all you want, but it's not blasphemous because you know what, he has to use us to do it because that's what he has said in his word that he would do. He said, "As long as I'm in the world, I'm the light of the world." That's what he said. You know what he says now? You're the light of the world. He says, "As long as I'm in the world, I'm the light of the world." But today, we're the light of the world.
You know what, you can sit there and say, "God will do it all." While you sit around and do nothing, you think God's just going to do it all. That's a false doctrine. You can hide behind all this ultra spiritual, "Oh, you know. We just need to give God all the glory to the point where we just sit around and do nothing because God does it all. It's all God. You're putting the emphasis on man. We're all expendable. It's all about God's plan. God's going ..." No. Look. God has commanded us to do it and he said he's going to use us to do it. Don't de-emphasize us to the point where it's just all God's going to do it all by himself. God is not going to knock these doors. He told you to knock them. It's ridiculous to just say, "God's going to do it."
You know what? God does not appear unto people and give them the gospel. No. He sends us to do it. God himself won people to the Lord when he was walking this Earth as Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ won people to the Lord. But you'll notice that even when Jesus appeared unto Saul on the road to Tarsus, he didn't even win him to the Lord. He didn't even give him the gospel. You know what he said? Go see a guy named Ananias and he'll tell you what you need to do. Ananias gave him the gospel and Ananias won him to Christ. When Cornelius is praying and fasting, did God just show up and just win him to Christ? Did God just show up and give the gospel to Cornelius? Because God just does it all on his own, right? It's all God that does it. No. You know what God said to Cornelius? Go talk to a man named Simon Peter. He'll tell you how to be saved. Cornelius went and Simon Peter had to be obedient to go when this messengers brought him and Simon Peter had to go and give that man the gospel and get him saved.
God uses us. God uses man. God sought for man. He's going to use people. He doesn't just do it by himself. No. He's not going to get the gospel to the Phoenix area without us. Don't get the, "We're expendable. We don't matter." Yes, we do matter. Start living your life like it matters. It will make you look at things differently when you realize, "Hey, I have a job here. I have a role to perform. If I don't get it done, it's not going to get done. It's God's plan for my life and it's people who God wants me to reach and I have to step up to the plate and get it done. If I'm not there, it's just not going to get done." That's the true story, my friend. You can sit there and play all these theological games of "Pastor Henderson's putting on the emphasis on man." You know what? There is an emphasis on man in regard to soul winning because that's who God has committed unto us.
It's a privilege. It's a great honor that God has chosen us to be his vessels that would go to preach the gospel. That God would even commit such an important job unto us is an honor and a privilege that he has made us ambassadors for Christ. That we speak to people in Christ ed, beseeching them to be reconciled to God. That's a pretty big responsibility. The Calvinists, they want to shirk that responsibility. They sure sound spiritual because God gets all the glory. He does everything by himself. He doesn't even need us. We're nothing. We're dirt. We're scum. He does it all himself. That's so reverent of you as the world goes to Hell. That's not what the Bible teaches, my friend. It's a lie.
The true story is that God is giving us a job and he expects us to get it done. If it's hid, it's hid to the lost. He seeks for a man, he doesn't find one, it's destroyed. There are places all over the world today being destroyed today. Messed up places all over the world. Countries all over the world. Cities all over the world where people are starving to death, disease is rampant, warfare is just reeking havoc in the region, and people are suffering and dying. You know what? It's the wrath of God today that allows those things to take place because of people not believing the gospel of Jesus Christ and walking in his ways. He sends punishment like that. Why? Because he sought for a man in those places and nobody stood in the gap. Nobody made that difference.
You know what? Not so in Phoenix, Arizona. We're going to get people saved. We're going to get people the gospel. You know what? People who live in Phoenix, Arizona are fortunate to live in Phoenix, Arizona because at least someday somebody's going to knock their door and give them the gospel, hopefully multiple times and hopefully people that they run into at the store and in their home school groups and circles of friends and wherever, at work. They're going to run into a lot of people that are going to give them the gospel. People are going to knock their doors. It's better than growing up in some place where nobody's doing the soul winning. You know what? We need to make that difference in other communities also.
We need to not drop the ball. Let's not live in the past as a church. We don't want to be like that church in Revelation, Sardis, where it was said that they have a name that they live, but their dead. We don't want to be like a church that had a reputation for going out and knocking a ton of doors, getting a ton of people saved, but it's not happening anymore. We need to be the one that still continues and pushes forward. Our church has been around now for almost nine years. Honestly, it's really not measured in years, it's measured in decades. To really do a great work for God, it takes decades. We need to stay in it for the long haul. Keep doing it.
You know what? You need to decide today that you're going to be apart of it. God is seeking out people like you. He's not looking ... By the way, you don't have to have some special talent or speaking ability. I mean, I'm proof of that. Let me tell you something. You don't have to have a special talent or speaking ability because God said that he doesn't even call many wise, many skillful. He uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. He'll use the humble person who just says, "Here am I, Lord. Send me." Don't sit there and say, "Well, I'm not a good speaker. I'm not talented." There are people in this church that go soul winning and consistently, every week, that are some of the shyest people in this church. They're making a great difference for the Lord Jesus Christ. Isn't that the truth? Some of the shyest people, they're not somebody who's just great people skills, great at just meeting people, but you know what? They're effective and they're doing it every week and they're getting person after person after person saved. God's using them and they're going to have great rewards in Heaven.
You know what? That could be you too. Honestly, anybody can do it. Anybody can be a soul winner. I've seen people stammer and stutter and get people saved. I've seen the shy and those who are awkward easily win people to Christ because of the fact that the spirit of God is who does the work and you just got to get out there and be a chosen vessel that could just be used by God. You don't have to be the coolest person or the best speaker or the best looking or the one who's talented and has all the wit and charm and everything like that. You know what? God just uses everybody. You need to personally decide to be that man or that woman and just say, "You know what? I'm going to be apart of the team. I'm going to make a big difference for the Lord. People's souls are at stake. It's Heaven and Hell that we're talking about. I'm going to get serious about it. I want to be used by God. I'm going to be out there consistently. I'm going to do something big for God. I'm not just going to happen all around me and not be apart of the team."
Honestly, if it were just me by myself, there's no way. I could never knock all the doors on that map, even in my entire lifetime. It's not humanly possible. We can do it as a team. Each of us as individuals can make a huge impact and make a great difference for the Lord by going out soul winning. You know what? It's easy to start soul winning because you just do it as a silent partner. This is how hard it is to go soul winning. You just show up at the soul winning time. Nobody's going to make you do anything. I mean, here's the thing. When we go soul winning, you just show up at the time and you just go along as a silent partner. I mean, the first time I went soul winning, I went with a guy and I just followed him and I just listened. We went out two by two and I just followed him and listened and he talked and did everything. I just watched what he did and I just tried to learn from him. Then, toward the end, I went out with him for a few hours. After a couple hours, I said, "Hey, let me get the next door."
I didn't really know what I was doing, because I'd never been soul winning in my life. I knocked on the next door and I was nervous and kind of stammering and everything. I didn't give anybody the gospel, but I invited them to church, I asked if I could give the gospel. They didn't have time. But you know what? That was just me getting my feet wet. The second time I went soul winning, I didn't say anything. I was just a silent partner. I just followed along and just listened and learned. After a while, you'll want to do the talking. You know what you'll do? You'll go out and say, "I can do this." Pretty soon, you'll be, "Get out of the way. Let me get this door." Pretty soon you'll be fighting over the door. Who gets to talk. I remember back when I started soul winning, you'd kind of getting in front of, "Hey, how's it going ..." Do the talking.
Honestly, a great example of this is Pastor Dave Bursens up in Prescott Valley, Arizona. When he first went soul winning with me, he went with me for months as a silent partner. For months he just went along, didn't say a word, just listened, prayed for the people in his heart, and just listened and learned. We had all the great fellowship talking to each other and going from door to door. The commradery. Then, after a couple months he decided it was the New Year's resolution. It was just the turn of the year. He said, "Starting in the New Year. I'm going to start doing the talking. I want to start talking." I remember the first door that he talked at, he literally ... He was nervous. He was shy. He dropped the Bible. He's giving it away. He drops the Bible, picks it up and everything, and the guy got saved. Teenage boy, he got saved. So what if he dropped his Bible? So what if he was nervous? What's that worth to win that teenage boy to Christ and be saved eternally? Okay. It's not hard to get started.
The hardest part is just getting out and doing it. The hardest part is just showing up and saying, "Okay. I'm here." We'll pair you up with the loud mouth that will do the talking. You don't have to say anything. You just come along and learn. You know, nobody's going to force you. "Okay. You need to start talking. You've been doing this for two weeks. You need to start talking." No. It's in your own time. When you feel like you're ready to start doing the talking, then start doing the talking.
It's honestly, it's just people are afraid to take that first step of just showing up. Honestly, it's not that hard to just walk around with somebody. You know what I mean? You say, "Well, but what's the point if I'm not going to say anything, then why even show up?" Here's the thing: If you show up, let's say we have a whole bunch of people that go soul winning. Like for example, on a typical Sunday or a Wednesday, most of the people that show up for soul winning already know how to do the talking. Like on a typical Wednesday, sometimes everybody already knows how to do the talking or three quarters of the people. Right? Here's the thing: What if we had an equal number of people show up who were new to soul winning, we'd be able to double the soul-winning force. If we have ten people show up for soul winning and they all know how to do the talking, we're going to send them out two by two. That's five teams. Okay. What if we have ten people who know how to do the talking and then ten silent partners show up? Say, "You know, I'm not doing any talking. I'm just here to learn." But you know what? Now we have ten groups going out.
Plus, you ever go to a church and feel like you're not really making friends, you're not really getting plugged in, you're not really in the inner circle, as it were. It's easy to get in the inner circle of Faithful Word Baptist Church. You want to crack in to the clique, to be part of the cool group, all you have to do, seriously, is just show up at soul-winning time. If you show up at the soul-winning time, you get to know people. I mean, one of the best ways to get to know people is to go soul winning with somebody. All that time between doors, you're fellowshipping, you're talking to each other, you're making a friend, and you're getting to know people. You're learning how to do it.
Honestly, it's a way to also just work ... You bond by working together and being on a team with somebody out soul winning. It's a great opportunity. Honestly, we try to make it easy at our church, because not only do we have the long soul winning time on Sunday afternoons, but we've also got the shorter soul winning times during the week. You know, Monday nights with Brother Richard Miller. We've got Wednesdays right before the service at 5:15. We've got other people are going all different days. We've got the Sunday time out in Gilbert. We've got the Sunday over here. We've got people that are going on Thursday nights. We've got all different times, all different places. You can do it. Honestly, God can use you to be a great soul winner.
Plus, when you go out door to door, then you'll have the confidence to carry that over into work and personal life. One thing I thought about is just imagine if we just gave the gospel to everybody that we knew, everybody that we come into contact with. I mean, think about you've heard about the six degrees of separation. You know how we're all connected. And how I know somebody who knows who knows somebody who knows somebody. No one on the planet is no more than six people away from you. Friend of a friend of a friend of a friend or whatever. If we would just give the gospel that we deal with everyday at work, people that we deal with in business or just in our everyday neighborhood, or whatever, we could reach this city with the gospel. Make a huge difference. It doesn't matter if you're man, woman, boy, or girl. You could reach people. You could make a big difference in your circle of friends and in your sphere of influence.
I want you to just think about what I've said tonight and just decide that you're going to stand in the gap. You're going to make up the hedge. You're going to be a person that God uses greatly, not just somebody who just goes to church and kind of goes through the motions, maybe gives the gospel to somebody once in a blue moon, if that. But you decide, "You know what? I really want to do something big for God. I want to be one of those people that Daniel was talking about that would do exploits. I want to be one of the people that God said they would instruct many. I want to be somebody who's given a lot of people Bibles and teaching them and getting them saved. I want to be the one who stands up for what's right and proclaims it from the housetops and is not ashamed of the gospel." Why would you be ashamed of the gospel? Why be ashamed of the Bible?
I mean, think about it. It's so weird that Jesus said, "If you're ashamed of me and my words in this evil and adulterous generation," isn't it the evil and adulterous generation should be ashamed before us? Why are we ashamed to stand up to wickedness? You'd think the wickedness would be embarrassed at us. You'd think that they'd worry about what we think of them. But we're worried about what they think of us? They're living an evil and adulterous life and we care what they think. Why? You know, we just need to care what the Lord thinks and just stand tall and just stand strong on the word of God, on the gospel, on righteousness, and stand against all the garbage that's out there and just be bold. Boldness today. There are men in this room that should think about, "You know what? I need to get serious about thinking about pastoring some day or being that man that would take on a city and conquer that city for the Lord Jesus Christ and for the gospel." Not saying we're going to change the politics. The politicians of that city will always be wicked. The majority is always going to be going to Hell.
But when I say conquer that city for Jesus Christ, I'm saying you go to that city and you say, "Everybody in this city is going to hear the gospel." Hopefully repeatedly and God to said to Ezekiel. He said, "Look. You're going to preach to them and whether they hear or whether they forebear, they will know that a prophet hath been among them. And that all the world may know that Jesus Christ is Lord." That even if they don't accept it, even if they don't believe it, even if they don't change anything about their beliefs or about their life, but just the fact that everybody in that city would know what the truth is. Even they're not saved, everybody would know how to be saved. Even if they don't live a life that's right, at least they would know what is right and they've heard somebody tell them what was right. You need to decide to conquer that city.
Those who that is not the calling, because that's only a minority that are going to go out and do that, but those of us that are going to stay here, we need to decide we're going to conquer Phoenix. The job's not done. Let's conquer Phoenix. Let's conquer Tempe. Let's conquer Chandler. Let's conquer Gilbert. Let's lay claim to it and say, "You know what? Hey, maybe there are people in this world that are not hearing the gospel and they don't have a good church to go to, but our area is not going to be one of them. We're going to conquer our area for the Lord Jesus Christ." Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer.
Father, we thank you so much for your word, Lord. We know that you're seeking today, Lord, just like you were in Ezekiel's day. We know you're seeking for a man. We know you're seeking for a woman. We know you're seeking for a boy or a girl. We know you're seeking for people that you could use to do great things. Lord, we just pray that you would use us. Lord, I pray that every single person in this room would decide that they want to be a person that makes a big difference. One person. One woman, one boy, one girl, can make a huge difference, Lord. I pray that everyone would realize that and that they would not take it lightly or think, "Oh, I'm not that important. I don't really matter that much. I'm expendable. I'm replaceable." Lord, I pray that every person would realize that they are unique and special and that you can use them in a way that you can use no one else and that you can use them to win people unto you that no one else could win.