In verse number 11, the Bible reads, "And it came to pass, a s he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, 'Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.' And he said unto him, 'Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.'"
Now, the reason that I wanted to turn to this scripture, and go over this story is to show you how out of these ten men that were healed by Jesus, they all had a terrible disease of leprosy, their prognosis was very bad, it was something that would kill you, it was something that was very contagious, pretty much just ruined your whole life. These men were completely healed of that horrible disease, and only one of them came back and thanked Jesus and glorified God. The other nine were just happy that they were healed and went on their way, and never even came back to say thank you.
Now, there are a lot of people today who will criticize our soul-winning program. When I say soul-winning, I'm talking about the fact that we go out, and we knock doors, and we give people the gospel, and try to get as many people saved as we can. A lot of people are down on that today. There are a lot of people who will attack it. Really, what it's a case of is, it's a case of people who do nothing, criticizing those who are doing something. People love to sit back and criticize people who are actually doing the real work of the ministry, going out into the highways and hedges, rolling up their sleeves, and getting out there, finding the lost, finding the unsaved, opening a Bible and preaching the gospel to them. What it comes down to in the end is that people don't like soul-winning because it makes them look bad when they're not doing it.
It's convicting. When I first heard about soul-winning, my first thought was, "I need to be out there doing that, because of the fact that it is convicting when you realize that our whole city today is filled with people, right here in Phoenix, Arizona, that are not saved and have never even heard a clear presentation of the gospel, many of which would get saved if someone would take the time to open a Bible and show them how to be saved, and to just sit and think that they're just out there, and the fields are white unto harvest, and we're not going out there and doing it, it's convicting. We'd rather just sometimes not think about it. When we see the people around us going out, knocking doors, getting people saved, we can have one of two reactions to that. Either that's going to inspire us, and we're going to say, "Wow! They're going out and knocking doors and getting people saved! I want to go do that too!" Or we're going to bristle at that, because we don't want to get involved. We don't want to do the work. We'll bristle. In order to reconcile in our mind why we're not out there doing it, we'll try to say, "Well, they're not really doing it right," or, "Well, it's all fake. They're not really getting people saved." Just make excuses for why soul winning doesn't work.
There are a lot of Baptist churches today in Phoenix, Arizona that are independent fundamental Baptist churches, that preach out of a King James Bible, that are right on salvation, that are right on a lot of their doctrine, but there is little or no soul-winning going on, and it's a shame and an embarrassment to the cause of Christ. It's an embarrassment that when we go out soul-winning people think we're Mormons, they think we're Jehovah's Witnesses, because the people who believe the true gospel of Jesus Christ, whose final authority is the Holy Bible, not some book like the Book of Mormon, or some Watchtower magazine, it's a shame that we don't have the reputation for going out there and preaching the gospel to every creature and getting people saved. I'll tell you what. It's not because of churches like ours. It's because of all the dead as a door nail Baptist churches where there's no soul-winning going on, and if you walked into those churches today, and said, "Why isn't there any soul-winning? Why aren't we knocking on any doors? What's the deal? Faithful Word Baptist Church is doing it. Other churches are doing it. Why aren't we doing it?" They'll come up with a lot of lame excuses. What they'll do is they'll start to criticize soul-winning, and say, "That soul-winning, that's not legitimate. Those people aren't really getting saved." They'll find fault with it because they don't want to do the work.
Now, when people attack soul-winning, and find fault with soul winning, the biggest criticism that they'll use to try to say that soul-winning doesn't work is to say, "Well, if all these people are getting saved, where are they all?" We've all heard it before, in a non-soul-winning type church, or around non-soul-winning Christians, "Where are all these people that you're getting saved? If you've got this many people saved, where are they all?"
It's sort of like this question that Jesus asked, here. Of course, Jesus didn't ask it with any ill intent? He never questioned the fact that they've been healed. He just asked the question to point out the fact that only one out of ten even came back to say thank you. He asked this question, "Where are the nine? Here's one guy. They were all cleansed." Jesus makes that clear. They were all healed. Only one came back to say thank you.
The way it works with soul-winning is that a lot of the people that we win to Christ, a lot of the people that get saved, they're not all going to come and thank us. They're not all going to come and become a part of the church and say, "I want to give back." They're not going to. Does that mean that they weren't cleansed? No. That's one of the biggest criticisms that you'll get on soul-winning is, "Where are all these people? If you're getting all these hundreds of people saved, how come they don't all go to your church?"
I'm going to give you this morning a list of 11 reasons why most people, why the vast majority of people who we win to the Lord out soul-winning will not come to church. You have to understand that I'm not saying why they might not come. I'm saying I already expect, I already know, that the vast majority of people that we win to Christ out soul-winning, will never come to church. When you hear these reasons, you will realize how ridiculous this argument against soul-winning is. A lot of these reasons people just haven't thought of. I'm going to go through these 11 reasons, and after you've heard these 11 reasons, you will realize how ridiculous and foolish it is to say that everybody who gets saved out soul-winning should ... If they didn't come to church, they didn't really get saved.
Do you believe in works salvation? It's funny how people claim to believe salvation is by faith alone, but if they don't come and get baptized, they say they're not really saved. Well, why don't you go join the Church of Christ, like your little hero from Duck Dynasty. That long-haired hippie that everybody worships and idolizes, because he's such a great Christian. He believes you have to be baptized to be saved. He's part of the Church of Christ denomination, and let me tell you something, if you believe that only the people who get baptized are saved, maybe you'd be happier down at the Church of Christ. This is a Baptist church, where we believe that "whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have eternal life," and that baptism is not salvation. Baptism is a step of obedience that we should do after we get saved, but you do not have to be baptized to be saved. You just have to believe on Jesus Christ to be saved.
Some people will even object to the term "soul-winning." They'll say, "You guys ... We don't win souls. We don't save anybody. It's Jesus that saves." Hold on a second, what about this verse? "To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." People say, "We don't save anybody. We don't win souls. You are taking pride saying you got someone saved." Well, that's what Paul said. Why can the apostle Paul say it under the inspiration of the holy Ghost. He said, "That I might by all means save some." In Romans 11:14 he said, "If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them." In Jude 22 it says, "And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." 1 Corinthians 7:16 says, "For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?"
You know why people object to that terminology? You know why people don't use it? They don't want to take responsibility for the lost. They want to say, "It's all in God's hands. It's all in Jesus's hands." They want this Calvinist mentality that says whoever's going to get saved is going to get saved anyway. It's not my responsibility. No, it is your responsibility! The Bible says that Jesus Christ has committed unto us the ministry of reconciliation. We are ambassadors for Christ. We beseech you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. It is our job to go out and preach the gospel and win people to Christ and save people, pulling them out of the fire. People who want to shirk that responsibility, they don't like to take the responsibility of saying, "Well it's our job to go out and get people saved." No, that is our job. He committed to us that ministry of reconciliation.
Obviously, we know that it's Jesus Christ who is the savior. Obviously we know that without Jesus Christ no one would be saved. Obviously we know we're saved through his blood. We as human beings still have responsibility to point people to the savior, to preach the gospel. When we say we got someone saved, or we won someone to Christ, what we're saying is we brought them the gospel, and as the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3, we were the minister by whom they believed. We were the one that was the human instrument that God used to pull that person out of the fire.
You see, Jesus Christ is not knocking doors today on Phoenix. Jesus Christ will not knock a single door today. If he did, that would be great. If Jesus would come, and knock everybody's door, and personally give them the gospel, that would be the best gospel presentation anybody could ever get. If it was straight from the mouth of Jesus, think about how fortunate the people were who lived as Jesus walked this earth and actually got to hear Jesus preach and ... People like the woman at the well had Jesus come and just personally give her the gospel. It's not going to happen today, folks. Jesus said that as long as I am in the world, I'm the light of the world, but he's no longer in the world. He's says you're the light of the world. He's committed unto us the ministry of reconciliation. He told us, "As my father had sent me, so send I you," and it is our job, it is our responsibility, and if we fail to warn them, if we fail to preach the gospel, then the Bible says their blood will be required at our hand, because we have failed to do the job that God gave us to do, which is warn the lost, and winning souls to Christ.
People don't like you to bring that up when they're not doing it because it's very convicting. When you're not taking part in the great commission of getting the gospel to every creature, a lot of times you'll just go find a church that has no soul-winning where you can be more comfortable. Where it's not constantly reminding you of the fact that you're doing nothing to get the lost saved.
I could go and preach a whole sermon on soul-winning, and I could just go off on that, and all kinds of scriptures come to mind, but instead, I want to rather focus on this question of where are they all that so many critics of soul-winning will bring up. "If you're getting all these hundreds of people saved, where are they all? Why aren't they coming to church?" Before we get into the 11 reasons, let's go to John 2, and let's just look at a few scriptures just to understand how this is such an unscriptural question to ask, and such an unscriptural claim to make. We could go through Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but for sake of time, we're not going to. I'm just going to show you John and some things in Acts for sake of time. If you want to look this up on your own, you'll find many more examples of this, but I'm just going to give you a few, then we'll get into the 11 reasons.
First of all, I just want to show you that a lot of people got saved through the ministry of John the Baptist, and through the ministry of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was preaching to thousands of people, thousands of people were getting baptized. Jesus got thousands of people saved, preached the gospel to huge multitudes. Many believed on him, many of those were baptized. They had a huge ministry.
Let me just show you just a few verses. Look at John 2:23. It says, "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did." Jesus went to Jerusalem at the feast day. This is when the whole nations comes and gathers in Jerusalem. People are travelling from all over the world. Huge crowds. The Bible says that many of them believed in him. If you flip over to John 4:39, it says, "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did." Verse 41, "And many more believed because of his own word;" Look at chapter 4:1, John 4:1, "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee."
Now, John the Baptist, the Bible says that when he was baptizing, it says, "Then went out to him all of Jerusalem, and Judea, and all the region round about Jordan were baptized of him, and Jordan confessing their sins." Huge multitudes, the Pharisees and the Saduccees, they even went out to hear him preach just to see what all the hype was about. So many people were listening to John the Baptist, so many people were getting saved, so many people were getting baptized. Huge amounts. Then the Bible says that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John. It keeps saying over and over, "Many believed on him, many believed on him." John 11:45, "Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him." John 12:11, "Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus." All throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, it just keeps talking about many people believing, many believed on him, multitudes believed on him, multitudes getting baptized, thousands and thousands of people.
Go to Acts 1. The next book right after John is Acts. All throughout the ministry of John the Baptist, which was a very short ministry, probably only lasted less than a year in its main thrust, and all throughout the ministry of Jesus Christ, which probably lasted three and a half years, so over the course of about four years these guys are preaching the gospel all day long. I mean, these guys are full time. Jesus, his apostles, he had his 12 apostles, they're going out and preaching, they're not fishing. They're not doing carpentry. They've put everything aside. They are full time going throughout the cities, the towns, the villages, preaching the gospel, 365 days they're preaching the gospel. The Sabbath day they're speaking in the synagogue. They're going throughout the week knocking doors, preaching the gospel.
Thousands and thousands and thousands of people are being saved, but look at Acts 1:12. It says, "Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James." There's a run-through of the 11 apostles. Look at verse 14. "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)"
Now, the Bible is clear. That includes the women. That's everybody. That's not just the men. That's not just the apostles. It says that in that early church where they were gathered together, when they were assembled together, and they were going to have this important service where they were deciding who was going to replace Judas Iscariot and be the 12th apostle, that the people that were gathered there were 120 people. These are the same 120 people that in Acts 2, on the day of Pentecost are going to preach the gospel, and the Holy Ghost is going to come upon them, and they're going to speak in foreign languages to all the people that have gathered there from all over the world and see that great group of 3,000 people saved in Acts 2.
Here's my question: If they really had all those thousands of people saved, why are there only 120 people in that church, huh? I think John the Baptist's soul-winning was a fraud. I think Jesus's soul-winning was a fraud. They're just go out to easy believers, and then there's only 120 people in the church, and they claim to have all these tens of thousands of people saved. Is that what you'd say to them? You don't think that they had critics in their day? You don't think they had people pointing at Jesus in that day saying he's a fraud, John the Baptist isn't the real thing, you've got to keep the law of Moses, these people aren't ... If they're not getting circumcised, if they're not keeping the law, if they're not ... Look, it's the same world that we live in today that they lived in 2,000 years ago.
Here's the honest truth. It's a lot easier to believe on Jesus Christ and get saved than it is to join a church, and follow Christ, and be there every week, and get involved, and be a worker for Christ. You see, it's easy to get saved, but it's hard to live the Christian life. 120 people here represent the die-hards. 120 people here represent the people who really loved Christ the most, and they were really serious about serving God, and they were there in that early church, and they stayed with it through thick and thin, but they lost a lot of people along the way. Is it really fair to hold a church today in 2014 to a higher standard than you're going to hold even Jesus and the apostles? I mean, I don't consider myself as great a preacher as John the Baptist. I don't consider myself as great a soul-winner as Jesus Christ, or Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, or any of them. I'll tell you this, people today expect us to have every single person that we win to Christ continue in church. It there were 300 saved, they want to see 300 on Sunday morning. You know that's their mentality. It's not biblical. Is it biblical based on what we just looked at? It makes no sense.
Let's get into the 11 reasons why most people who we win to Christ out soul-winning will not come to church, and the reason why this is important is if you go into soul-winning with the wrong expectation, you're going to get frustrated. If you think that the goal of going out soul-winning is to bring a bunch of people into the church, and that's our main goal, you're going to get frustrated, because most of them aren't going to show up. If you think that the goal is to go out and preach the gospel, if you think the goal is to go out and get people saved, you know what? You're not going to be frustrated, because you're going to succeed at that goal. If that's what you set out to do, you will go out, you will preach the gospel, you will succeed at getting people saved. You need to go into it with the right expectation of going out there and preach the gospel. Here's what's so ridiculous. People that say soul-winning doesn't work, how could it not work. For me to walk up to somebody who's not saved, open my Bible, and start showing them how to be saved. What a horrible thing to do. What a ridiculous thing to do. How else are you going to do it?
Number one, why many people who are saved out soul-winning will not come to church. They don't speak English. That's a pretty good reason not to come to Faithful Word Baptist Church, because of the fact that at Faithful Word Baptist Church, all the services are only in English. Now, I personally, when I go out knocking doors soul-winning, I would estimate that more than half of the people that I win to Christ are Spanish speakers. I speak Spanish well enough to be able to give the gospel to somebody and win somebody to Christ, and just about every single week, this week included, I win somebody to the Lord in Spanish, and I would say that more than half of the people that I win to the Lord, I get them saved in Spanish, not English. Now, is it really fair to say, "I don't think those people really got saved, because they didn't come to church." Why would they come to church where they don't understand anything? I would say that over the whole spectrum of our church, probably about 20% of the people that we win to Christ speak Spanish and no English. More than 50% for me, but only some of our people know Spanish to give the gospel in Spanish. I'd say about one fifth of the people that ...
Is that what the soul-winning critic is thinking of? No. He wants every single one of those people that God saved to come to church, or our soul-winning program is a fraud. A huge percentage of people don't speak English.
Now, I don't want anybody to go to hell just because they don't speak English, so when I'm out soul-winning, and somebody speaks Spanish ... When I first came here, my Spanish was not good enough to get someone saved when I first started the church, but I realized, "Wow, there are a lot of doors where people speak only Spanish. This is pretty important." I took the time to study and learn Spanish, because I figured I'm missing out on a lot of opportunities to get people saved, and I learned Spanish so that I wouldn't have to pass by all those hundreds of doors. That's not going to build the church. That's never going to bring in visitors. So what? It's about loving people. We love the Spanish speaker as much as we love the English speaker. We need to just get as many people saved as we can. If that's in Spanish, great! Is is going to build out church? No, but so what? We love people! Let's get them saved! Let's get them on their way to heaven. Number one, a lot of them don't speak English.
Number two, a lot of the people that we win to Christ are children and teenagers. They don't have a way to ... If you were to ask anybody in our church who knocks on a lot of doors and does a lot of soul-winning, they'll tell you that a lot of the most receptive people that they win to Christ are teenagers. I mean, teenagers are often much more receptive to the gospel. I'll tell you why. You don't have to turn there, but Matthew 18:3 says this, "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Again in Mark 10:15, he says, "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."
The Bible teaches that in order for anybody to be saved at any age, they have to have the mentality of a child. They have to be converted and become as little children to enter the kingdom of God. Why? A little child is used to relying on someone else. Adults grow up, and they want to do everything for themselves, and they're going to make their own way, and that's great in a lot of areas, but let me tell you something. When it comes to salvation, you're not going to do it yourself. You may be a big, strong man in every other area of life, but when it comes to salvation, you've got to humble yourself and say, "God, I can't do this. I am unworthy of going to heaven. I am a sinner." You have to humble yourself, admit that you're a sinner, and that you are doomed to hell, and believe on Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven. It's like a little child reaches up to their parents to pick them up, and they need that parent to feed them and to clothe them and to diaper them and to do everything for them. That child-like faith that is going to fully trust and rely on the parent to provide all their needs.
My children don't lay awake at night wondering how we're going to pay the bills. They don't lie awake at night wondering where the next meal's going to come from because they just fully trust their parents to do it. That carries over very well with the gospel. When we tell them Jesus paid it all; when we tell them it's not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us; when we tell them to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and though shalt be saved, but a lot of older people, they're used to doing everything themselves, they want to pay for themselves, children are pretty good at receiving gifts. You ever try to offer an adult a gift, and they keep turning you down? "No, no, you shouldn't have! No, I don't want this!" When was the last time a kid told you that. Imagine, you walk up to a kid and give them a really huge, expensive gift, they're going ... "No, this is too much. I can't accept this, mom and dad." How many times have adults told you that. "This is too big. I can't take it. You should have." Kids are like, "Cool!"
It's the same way with salvation. "It's free? Cool! Wow, it's a free gift, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ? I'll take it!" That's why a lot of children will be saved. That's why a lot of teenagers will get saved. They're not as corrupted. They have not been brainwashed as much by false religion, or this world system. They haven't yet gotten the mentality that doesn't want to have faith in God. It's easy to get children and teenagers saved, but can you really expect teenagers and children to get themselves to church? They don't have a vehicle. They don't have the decision-making in their home. A lot of children and teenagers will get saved. They don't come to church. That's what a lot of that number represents.
Number three, another reason why a lot of people who get saved through soul-winning will not come to church is that they live too far away, or they have no vehicle or gas money. This is especially true of our church. If you look at that map back there where we shade in the streets that we've knocked on soul-winning, you'll notice that we've shaded in quite a bit of the city. If you actually look at the borders of what we have shaded in, the edges, you'll notice you're looking at a 20 minute drive to get to those borders. Sometimes, in some places, like out on the west side, 30 minutes to get to that border. That means we're doing a lot of soul-winning, and knocking on a lot of doors 30 minutes away. Not everybody can make that one hour round-trip to come to church. I'm sure that if they really wanted to, they could crawl on their knees and get here. If I lived over there, and this were the only church, I'd get up at three in the morning and walk here, and all that, amen. Can you really expect a new believer to be real, just always ready to make that one hour round-trip?
Not only that, but a few hundred of the people each year that we win to the Lord actually get saved through our small town soul-winning program. We have a small town soul-winning program that is inspired by scripture. Go to Acts 8. We try to do this about four times a year. Usually we only succeed at doing it about three times a year, but we go to a small town that's usually about an hour and a half to two and a half hours away. We go out into Arizona to just really remote towns. Usually the towns that we go to have about 2,000 people in them. Sometimes they have as many as 3,000, sometimes as few as 1,500. We go out to these small towns, and we bring a big group, and we spend the whole day there, and our goal is to knock every single door in that town, and just get people the gospel, just get people saved. Then we try to point them to the closest halfway Baptist church that's somewhere in their area. Sometimes there's nothing.
This ministry was inspired by scripture. A lot of times I'd be driving down the road, and I used to drive a lot of my job, and I'd be driving at night, and you ever drive at night and you come up over a hill, and you see a little town, and you'll see all the lights of that town? So many times I'd be driving, I'd see the lights of the town, or sometimes I'd be flying on airplanes, and I'd look down and I'd see all the neighborhoods, and you could see how the streets are all laid out from that bird's eye view, and I remember the thought I just kept thinking. "Who's going to knock these doors? Who's going to get these people the gospel? This little small town, wouldn't it be great to just go in there and just get everybody the gospel? Just give everybody a chance to be saved?" Then after I kept thinking that, I kept reading in my Bible and Jesus's apostles were constantly going to the towns and villages, it would say. It said they went to every town. Every village. Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go to another village." They're going from village to village to village. I thought to myself, this is what God wants us to do. Go to the little towns and villages and just give the gospel. Just preach the gospel to people.
In Mark 6:6, it says, "He went round about the villages, teaching." Look at Acts 8:25. It says, "And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem," these are the apostles. It says, "and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans. And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet." This is, of course, the story about Philip, who had been going around preaching ...
Both Stephen and Philip have been going around to all these towns and villages preaching the gospel to Samaritans. The apostles are going throughout the towns and villages. Well, actually now God leads him specifically to one guy who's driving a chariot through the desert. Philip goes away from the villages, and he goes and joins himself with this one chariot. He runs towards the chariot, and when he gets there, he finds this Ethiopian eunuch reading the book of Isaiah. He asks him the question, "Understandest thou what thou readest?" He said, "How can I, except some man should guide me?" Philip comes up in the chariot, sits down with him, and they read Isaiah together a little bit, and it just so happened that he just happened to be reading at that moment the one scripture in Isaiah that is the most prophetic about Jesus Christ. Obviously God times this. God worked this out to where Philip just happened to show up when he's reading Isaiah 53. He's reading that passage that is so prophetic of Jesus Christ, and Philip starts with that scripture and he goes to other scriptures, and Philip preaches the gospel to this guy, and this guy gets saved. He believes on Jesus Christ, and then after he believes on Jesus Christ, Philip stops the chariot and baptizes him in water by the side of the road.
Now, let's pick up the story there in verse 38. It says, "And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, and the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through," just notice those two words, "passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea."
Here's Philip. He's on a trip. He's going to Caesarea, as he's passing through, he's just giving the gospel to everybody he can. He's preaching the gospel everywhere as he's passing through. He gives the gospel to this Ethiopian guy, gets him saved, baptized him, he's gone. Next village, next town, keep going, preach the gospel. Now, look. This is exactly what is criticized about soul-winning today, yet we see the apostles doing that very thing. We go to these small towns, and we preach the gospel to every creature for the simple reason that if we don't do it, probably no one is going to go to these remote towns and just knock every door and give the gospel. Usually these towns don't even have any Baptist church, or if they do, it's a small Baptist church with no soul winning, and they're not really doing much, it's dead as a door nail. We're doing it because we want people to hear the gospel.
I remember I told a local assistant pastor of an independent fundamental Baptist church in this area. I was talking to the assistant pastor, and I explained to him our small town soul-winning program. "Yeah, it's really cool. We go to these small towns, we knock all these doors, and the church has a great time of fellowship, and we get to see the sights, and we end up getting a bunch of people saved. We'll knock every door in a town of 1500 people, and we'll give them all the gospel, and we get people saved.
You know what he did? He criticized it. Here's what he said. "Oh, yeah. You get these people saved, but then you just leave them there, like sheep with no shepherd." I even heard a Baptist preacher one time compare it to someone who gives birth to a baby and then throws it in a garbage can. He said, "You know, you're giving birth to these people. These people are born again, and you don't disciple them. You're not training them!" He said, "Are you going to send somebody back to that town every week to go disciple them?" You know what I said to him. I said, "You're right. We should have let them all just go to hell them, because if they're not going to get discipled and trained, they might as well just burn in hell, buddy." What kind of bizarre logic is that? If we can't get them saved and teach them everything, then let's just not get them saved.
Philip didn't teach the Ethiopian eunuch much. He taught him the gospel, and then the spirit whisked him away. He's like, "Wait, I was trying to follow up! I was trying to disciple this guy!" He's just gone. It's so ridiculous to say, "Well if I can't do everything for that person, well I'm just not even going to give them the gospel." You're not biblical. You're making stuff up. You're not getting that from the word of God. Jesus and his apostles were constantly just coming into a village, preach the gospel, and then they're begging Jesus to stay. They're begging the apostles to stay. They're like, "Sorry, I got to go. I've got another village to go to. See you." He'd go preach somewhere else. Today, he would be mocked and ridiculed. Do I believe in training people? Yes. Do I believe in discipling people? Yes. Do I believe in baptizing people? Yes. Do I believe in teaching people to observe all things whatsoever Christ had commanded us? Yes, but this church is set up for that purpose, and you know when discipleship takes place at our church? Sunday mornings, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.
Every single person we win to Christ, we invite them to our church. This is where we are. This is where the Bible is being preached, Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. They can get here if they need to, but you know what? I can't sit there and come to their house ten times, because I have other things to do with my life, like getting other people saved, like preaching to the flock here, like taking care of my family, like making a living. This whole attitude that just criticizes soul-winning, it's not based on Biblical principles. It's just based on wanting to criticize the people who are doing something.
Think about it, if our church knocks the doors in four villages per year, in ten years we can do 40 towns. We could put a pretty big dent in small town Arizona. Just our little church here. We can knock doors and win people to Christ all over the city. You know what? I'm not just going to knock doors within a five minute radius of our church. I want to go 30 minutes away. I want to go 45 minutes away. I want to knock every door in Peoria. I want to knock every door in Glendale. I want to knock every door in Avondale. I want to knock every door in Chandler, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Mesa. Let's knock every single door in this whole valley. Let's knock every door in Maricopa County. Let's preach the gospel to every creature. Let's reach four million people of this county with the gospel of Christ, and then let's go to all the forgotten small towns where soul-winning has probably not taken place in the last 100 years. There are people who live and die in those towns. Let's get them the gospel.
Why didn't they come to church? Because they live two and a half hours away! Because they live in Dudeyville. They live in Haden. They live in Winkelman. They live in Miami, and I'm not talking about Florida now. They live in Baghdad, Arizona. They can't make it to church.
Number four, I've got to hurry. Number four, some people are just too shy to come to church where they don't know anybody. I remember in particular there was a lady that I talked to about soul-winning. This lady, I didn't win her to Christ. She had already been saved. She grew up in a Christian home. Her dad was a pastor of a Baptist church. She grew up in a Christian home. She was very used to going to church, and I knocked on her door, and a couple weeks later she came to church and showed up. This is in the very early days of our church. Our church was running about 25 people at this time. Early days. She came up to me. She said, "Yeah, actually, I have to confess to you, I actually came to church last Sunday." She said, "When I got here and I saw the crowds, I chickened out at the last minute." I'm thinking, "The crowds? We have 25 people." She's like, "The crowd, I'm just shy. I got nervous." She said, "I got all the way here. I parked my car. I started to walk in. I chickened out, and I drove home." She said, "This week, I brought someone with me, and that's why I had the boldness to come and visit the church." That's somebody who grew up in church.
I can tell you right now, I am not a shy person. I'm a pretty outgoing person. I'm pretty comfortable meeting people, but I can honestly say that many times I was very nervous when walking into a new church where you've never been. Even to this day I'm a little nervous walking into a new church. It takes a little bit of guts to walk into a church where you don't know anybody. You can't just expect somebody who just got saved yesterday, who has no habit of going to church, no strong convictions about church yet, they just got saved, to always be able to muster up the boldness to show up to church.
I know I've been to some churches where I was embarrassed. You walk into some churches and everybody just looks at you but nobody greets you, nobody says hi to you. You walk in and people are just like ... Look at you. I remember when I was 13, I went to this church that ... It was a big mega-type church. They had about 150 teens at the youth group. I would go to the youth group every week. I went there for a year and a half and no one talked to me. For like a year and a half, two years, no one talked to me. I dreaded it. Every Sunday morning I dreaded walking into that Sunday school class. I'd walk in, and I'd just sit down, and nobody would talk to me. Nobody would acknowledge me. Sometimes the youth leader would come talk to me, but that's kind of like, "Okay, well he's just talking to me because he has to."
I'd come in and sit there, and nobody would talk to me, and I felt so awkward. Then the longer that went by without making friends, it got even more awkward. I hated it. Guess what? I would not have chosen to go to that Sunday school class. I'm only going because my parents are taking me. I would have gone to church. I would have gone to a different church. This church was not friendly. I sat there, and I was so embarrassed. I was so uncomfortable, and all the other teenagers that were there, they all had their friends. They all went to the same high school, they had grown up together and everything, it was really cliquish, and I was just kind of left out in the cold. A lot of people are just embarrassed and shy. I'm not even that shy of a person. Many people are more shy than I am, they just don't come because they're just too shy. They need to know friends before they'll go somewhere.
Number five, I've got to hurry. They might already go to church somewhere else. A lot of people that we win to Christ already go to church. Many of them already go to a Baptist church. The gospel is just not being preached really clearly at that church, so we'll get them saved, and they keep going to church wherever they're going to church. Just because people aren't going to church here doesn't mean they're not going to church. They could be going to church somewhere else.
Number six, they're often recruited to another church by friends or family. I've had this happen to me many times where I will win somebody to Christ, let's say a co-worker or a friend, and as soon as you win them to Christ, all of a sudden, their liberal, non-soul-winning family and friends will just jump on them. All the people who never gave them the gospel, all the people that never got them saved, all of a sudden, now that they are saved, it's like, "You need to come to church! It's so great that you're saved now! Praise the Lord! Come to church with us! Come to our liberal, dead as a door nail church of the first deep freeze that never got you saved.
I remember one guy in particular, I won this guy to the Lord at Round Table Pizza, where I worked as a teenager. This guy got saved, and he ... His mom went to a church, his cousin went to a church, his sister went to a church, and I'm trying to get him to go to church with me after I won him to the Lord, but he's just being taken to all these other churches. It's like that's where his family was, and they're. "Oh, it's so great that you're a Christian now! You can come to church with us!" A lot of times, they get recruited to a different church by friends and family. When their friends and family start to hear that they got saved, they want to jump on that and get them plugged into their church.
A lot of people are just too lazy to come to church. Number seven. We go to a lot of areas, in fact, that are the poor areas. I love soul-winning in the ghetto. I love soul-winning in the areas that are a rougher area, because that's where Jesus and the apostles did a lot of their soul-winning, and a lot of times those people are more receptive to the gospel. Just like Jesus, he was preaching to a lot of publicans and sinners.
Now, I understand that not everybody in the ghetto is a sinful, wicked person, or a lazy person. There are a lot of good people, and a lot of hard working people, and a lot of good, Christian people, and godly people who live in poor areas and are poor. I'm not going to sit there and stereotype and say everybody who lives in that area is a derelict. It's simply not true. Some of the most hardest working, godliest people that I know live in some pretty gnarly areas. I'm not saying that for one second.
Let's face it, a lot of the people in those areas are derelicts. A lot of them are lazy. A lot of them are not working. A lot of them are drinking, or on drugs, or just ... They just have no character. Some people have a lot of character. They get up, they go to work, they work hard, they take care of themselves, they take care of their family. Other people are a little bit more of a deadbeat and a derelict. Can the deadbeat and the derelict get saved? Do the deadbeat and the derelict often get saved? They love freebies. Salvation is the greatest freebie yet. A lot of them, their heart is in the right place. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. They can't even drag their carcass to work let alone church. A lot of people are just lazy. I'm not making excuses for them, but it doesn't mean they're not saved. They don't have the character to go to church.
We take for granted, we're used to going to church all the time, so to us going to church is second nature. Of course we go to church. Of course we go three times a week. Some people, if they come to church once a month they think, "Wow, I'm going to church a lot! I'm going to church constantly!" They go once a month. To us, we look at that, and we're like, "You missed 13 services!" I mean, literally. People who come to Sunday morning only. They miss one Sunday morning. To them, it's like, "Yeah, I just missed one service." They missed a week. Maybe they're sick, or gone, or whatever. Some of us that come three times a week, we're like, "Wow, I haven't seen so and so in a long time." They were only here two weeks ago. People will say, "Where's so and so? I haven't seen them in so long!" It's like, "Well, they were just here two weeks ago." Yeah, but to them it's like six services have gone by. Where are they?
Different people have a different mentality of church. To us, to me, to my family, to the way I grew up, church is three times a week: Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. To some people church is Christmas and Easter. If they're going once a month, they are on fire because they're going once a month. Seriously. Different people have a different mentality.
Number eight, some of the people that we win to the Lord are physically disabled. A lot of shut-ins, a lot of elderly people that can barely even make it to the door. People that are on oxygen, people that are crippled, people that are lame. You know what? We need to get those people saved. You know what, this whole attitude that says, "I don't believe in door to door soul-winning. Let's just bring them into the church to get them saved." You know what they're saying? All crippled people go to hell. All shut-ins go to hell. The elderly go to hell. The cat lady can go to hell. You know the one who never leaves the house?
I have knocked a door out soul-winning where there was a car in the driveway with a car cover over it, and if there was one can of cat food, empty can, there were five billion. Okay, I'm exaggerating. All over the car, it was like this thick of empty cat food containers all over the car, stacked here, stacked there. I mean, just cat food everywhere. Empty cans. How is that woman going to get saved? She doesn't leave the house. It's all ordered online. You know? There are a lot of strange people, a lot of shut-ins, a lot of reclusive people. A lot of people, they come to the door, and they're so white it's like they've never seen the sun. It's like, "Bright light!" Just coming to the door. You know what? We need to get everybody the gospel. We need to love the disabled, love the crazy cat lady, love the elderly that's on oxygen, or that's on dialysis, or that's ill and sick. You get to give the gospel to everybody when you go out knocking doors. A lot of people are just physically disabled. They can't make it to church, but thank God they can make it to heaven. Give them the gospel.
Number nine, some reason ... A big reason why some people won't come to church is because their spouse doesn't want them to come. Either their husband or their wife doesn't want them to come. Now, obviously, I'm not condoning of a lot of these reasons. I don't condone them being to lazy to come to church. I don't condone of saying the drive is too far. I don't condone of saying I'm too shy. You need to just get past that and obey the Lord when he says not to "forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
My sermon is just to preach to you today why most people who we win to Christ are not going to come to church and how foolish it is to criticize soul-winning by saying, "Well, 1,000 people got saved, and there's only 100 people in the church, what's going on?" Here's what's going on. A higher percentage than what was in the book of Acts came! To sit there and say, "These people didn't really get saved, you didn't get 1,000 people saved," and look, do we really ever know how many people did we get saved? Only in heaven will we know for sure.
I promise you that some of the people that I thought I won to the Lord didn't really get saved. Let's just quit doing it. Isn't that ridiculous? I'll tell you this, whenever I'm out knocking doors, I don't count people if I don't think that it's certain that they got saved. Sometimes I'll give somebody the gospel, and they'll receive the whole thing, and I'll pray with them and they'll call upon the name of the Lord and trust Christ as savior, but I'll walk away thinking to myself, "I don't know if that person really got it." Maybe they're a little shaky on it.
You've had that happen, right? A lot of times, you know people got it. It' clear. They've got it. They understand it. They believe it. Other times they're shaky on it. When it doubt, I don't count it. I don't want to just have some inflated number of, "look at all these people we've saved," but a lot of them were doubtful, especially when I'm doing it in Spanish. It's hard for me to read people as well in Spanish as I do in English, so a lot of those, I hope they got saved. Sometimes I'll talk to that person a few weeks later, like I'll be in the same neighborhood, I'll walk up to them. "Hey, we talked a few weeks ago." I'll check with them and they're really solid on it. "Yeah, I know I'm saved." Then sometimes I'll go back and count them.
What I'm saying is a lot of the people that I didn't count probably really got saved and I just didn't count them because I was in doubt. Then there are probably a lot of people that I felt pretty sure about that actually didn't get saved. I can't see their heart. Nobody's number, if we say, "This many people got saved in our small town soul-winning marathon," it's never going to be 100% accurate. Just get over it, would you? So what. We'll find out when we get to heaven. It does ... I do believe that our numbers are pretty accurate. I would say that our numbers are probably 90% accurate, would be my guess, but who cares? The point is we're giving the gospel. We're getting people saved. I guarantee you we're getting hundreds of people saved by going out and spending hours ...
They say, "How does your church get so many people?" Because we go soul-winning like three or four times as much as any Baptist church I've ever been to! We spend three hours, and they spend one hour. We spend four hours, and they spend one hour. I mean, if you spend more time, you're going to get more people saved! We have so many people going soul-winning! We have people who go multiple days in the week. We just do a lot of soul-winning. "Where are they all?" Shy. "Where are they all?" Children and teenagers. "Where are they all?" Speaking Spanish somewhere. Eating a burrito or a taco somewhere. "Where are they all?" They're physically disabled, crippled, can't make it. "Where are they all?" They've been recruited to church by their friends and family. "Where are they all?" They're going to some liberal, dead church because it's closer to their house. That's where they are.
Or their spouse doesn't want them to come. If you're a man, and your spouse is telling you where to come to church, it's time for you to grow a backbone. It's time for you to join the club and become a real man. But sometimes it's the other way around and it's a more difficult situation where sometimes it's the husband who doesn't want his wife to go to church. That does happen sometimes, but a lot of times it's the wife that doesn't want the husband going to church. We all know to obey God rather than men. Now, I'm definitely not one to promote wives being rebellious against their husbands. The Bible does teach that wives should obey their husbands and that children should obey their parents, and that employees should obey their bosses, but let me say this, though. There is a chain of command, and the Bible says in Romans 13, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers," and God is a higher power than your husband. God is a higher power than your parents. God is a higher power than your boss at work. If your boss at work tells you to do something that violates Christ's command, we got to go with the higher power.
Now, I don't think that wives should be rebellious or disrespectful to their husband, but I'll bet you that 99% of the time a wife could talk her husband into letting her go to church. She could be kind and meek and make supplication unto him to allow her to go to church that it wouldn't just come to ... I don't think at the drop of a hat she's just ... "I'm going to church because God said so, and you can just drop dead, or jump in a lake." Obviously, that's not what I'm saying, but I do think that women should go to church, even if their husband doesn't like it. Even if their husband is against them going to church. They need to just try their best to work something out with their husband and come to an agreement with them. Usually we come to an agreement and make something happen, right? In the final analysis, I do believe that you should go to church, whatever your spouse thinks about it. If you're a man, you just go. If you're a wife, obviously it's a more difficult situation, but I do not believe that it's right for a wife to say, "Well, my husband doesn't want me to go to church, so I'm not going to go." What does God want? He's the highest authority in your life, even higher than your husband.
Number ten, why people don't come, because they're offended by something in our church invitation, or offended by something on our website, or they do the dreaded thing and Google the name of our church. Then it's a miracle if anybody shows up. "Where are all these people you won to the Lord?" Well, they Googled our church. Enough said. Anyway, they're offended by something in our church invitation. Our church invitation does not seek to be vague. We try in all the different invitations that we've handed out over the years, we try to be clear and to be bold about what we believe. We want to make sure that people know who we are. We don't want people to show up expecting one thing and getting another. We have not been guilty of false advertising.
The biggest false advertising is these churches who use a lot of stock photos. A lot of single guys show up, "I wanted to meet that girl on the invitation." It's a stock photo. Honestly, there are these stock photos ... You'll see the same stock photo for multiple churches. You're thinking, man, this elderly black couple gets around because they're on every church's invite and I saw this elderly black couple on an ad for a dentist. I saw three churches and on an ad that I'm not even going to mention what it was about. This elderly black couple is just to show, "See, we have black people at our church!" You show up, everybody's as white as snow in that church.
What I'm saying is, a lot of churches they put out these little colorful invites with a bunch of stock photos, "Just look how nice and ... " Then you show up and their pastor's like ... You're like, "What in the world? Where did I go?" At least at our church, people know what they're getting into, because the invitation matches what you find when you get here. The website matches what you find when you get here. You find a [inaudible 00:56:29], fire-breathing, independent, fundamental, soul-winning, King James Bible only, Baptist church. That's what it looks like on the invite. That's what it looks like when you get here. The invitation is ugly, and it's ugly when you ... No, I'm just kidding. We're going to make a better invitation someday, I promise.
I'm just saying, I just had to get that off my chest about stock photos. Stock photos are lame. Who thinks stock photos are lame? Put a real picture of somebody who actually goes to the church! I mean, what? Are they too ugly? I'd rather have an ugly person on the photo that actually comes here than to sit here and just put all these little perfect ... You know, here's the thing, our church has all nationalities. Look around. We have Black, we have Asian, we have Indians, we have every type ... We have Hispanic, we have white. We have all these different nationalities. We have all age groups. We have children. We have teenagers. We have adults. Well, we have almost no elderly. Okay. Anyway, they're all at home on oxygen, won for Christ.
What I'm saying is we have the diversity. These churches, it's like they just want to follow the world's marketing campaign, so they want to just make sure they show one person from each nationality, right? One person from each age group. They show this perfect little family with like one boy and one girl on the beach or whatever. They're just walking down the beach, and it's like Arizona. We don't have a beach. We're in Arizona and you're using a stock photo of this couple with two kids walking down the beach. The perfect family. Everybody is good looking. You know, thank God for real people. Thank God for a pastor with messed up teeth that looks like a real person, and everybody at church is a real person. Not this Joel Osteen, Madison Avenue, Hollywood Baptist, where it's just all about the appearance, all about looking good. It's a [inaudible 00:58:38] sepulcher is what it is. I'm here to tell you that a lot of people don't come to the church because they don't want to go to a fundamentalist church. They want to go to tickle your ears Baptist down the street.
Turn, if you will, I'll finish up with this, turn if you would to Isaiah 30, and this is my 11th point. They consider out church too extreme. As you turn to Isaiah 30, let me give you the quick review. Why will most of the people we win to the Lord not come to church. Number one, a large percentage don't speak English. Number two, they're all older children or teenagers that just don't have a way to get here. Number three, many live too far away, have no vehicle or gas money. Some even live three hours away from a small town soul-winning. Number four, they might be too shy to visit. Doesn't mean they don't believe in Jesus Christ as their savior. Number five, they might already go to church somewhere else. Number six, they might be recruited to a different church by friends or family. Number seven, they might just have no character. They might just be lazy, and they just can't drag themselves to church. Number eight, many are physically disabled. Number nine, maybe their spouse does not want them to come and they give into that pressure. Number ten, they might be offended by something in the church invitation itself or on Google or whatever, church website, whatever. Number 11, they might consider our church to be too extreme.
They say, "That church is really extreme. I'd rather go to something a little more moderate." Look what the Bible says in Isaiah 30:9, "That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits." That is the world that we live in today. People are looking for a smooth type of a church. They're looking for a smooth preacher. They're looking for somebody who's going to tell them what they want to hear. A lot of these pastors are gifted speakers, and they're very smooth, they're good-looking, they're very eloquent, they can tell you illustrations and stories that will bring tears to your eyes, and they can tug on those heart strings, and they can really put on a good show, and this is what people are looking for today.
The Bible says they don't want a prophet of God to tell them what's right. They don't want to hear about soul-winning. They don't want to go knock doors. They don't want to hear about preaching the gospel to your friends and family and loved ones and coworkers. They want to hear about your best life now for you. Your best life now. They want to hear God's not mad at you, and everything is great. God loves you just the way you are, therefor just stay the way you are. They want to hear all this stuff that's smooth, and that sounds good. Go to Jeremiah 6.
That's why they consider a church like ours extreme. Now, I personally can honestly stand here right now and with all honesty and integrity tell you that I do not consider our church to be extreme at all. I do not consider, and I get offended ... When the world labels us as extreme, when outsiders label us as extremist, that doesn't offend me, because I know how weird they are, and the crazy stuff they believe in. You know, I do get offended when people in our church sometimes will insinuate that our church is radical or extreme. What's that supposed to mean? It's not.
This world is extremely wicked. Our nation is becoming extremely perverse and therefore the normal starts to look extreme. We are not radical here. I wish we were. I wish we were more radical. I wish we'd be extreme. Honestly, I feel pretty mediocre right now. I feel pretty average. I feel like our church is just what a Bible-preaching church is supposed to be, where we win souls, we preach the Bible. I don't consider myself the greatest preacher. "I'm such a great man of God, man I'm this generation's Elijah!" I don't think of myself that way at all. I think of myself as just an average preacher, average church, you know why? I compare it to the book of Acts. When you compare our church to the book of Acts, when you compare my preaching to Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, it's humbling. It's humbling for me personally, it's humbling for our church. I don't consider myself, and I don't consider our church to be extreme or radical. I feel that we are just a Bible-believing Baptist church. Just a Bible-preaching Baptist church. That's all we are. Nothing crazy. Nothing wild or radical. The world has gone so far into worldliness or ungodliness that it makes us seem extreme.
Look at Jeremiah 6:16, "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein." They said, "We want smooth preaching. We do not want old-fashioned. Don't give us the old paths. We don't want to walk in them." That is the way the world is. It was that way in Jeremiah's day. It is that way in our day. A lot of people, when they are confronted with an old-fashioner independent fundamental Baptist church, they find it too extreme, and they'd rather go somewhere else. There you have it, folks. 11 reasons why most of the people that we win to the Lord out on soul-winning will not come to our church. Maybe they'll come once. We have visitors every single week. A lot of them come through soul ... I mean, one time on Wednesday night soul-winning, we went out, we had two people saved, and 12 people came to church that same night. "Well, those two really got saved." It's not always going to be that way. Many times it's not going to be that way. Who thinks we should still go soul-winning? Say amen.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer.
"Father, we thank you so much for your word, Lord, and thank you so much for the opportunity to be an ambassador for you. What a privilege to be ministers of the gospel, to have your gospel commended unto us. Help us to be good stewards of the gospel, and good stewards of the ministry of reconciliation. Help us not to shirk that responsibility. Help us to embrace it, and say, "I am responsible for this. It's my job to get these people the gospel in my area and in my family." Help us to embrace it in Jesus's name.