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Soul Saving or Pew Packing?

One of the charges given to Christians is to evangelize and convert other people to

Christ.  Jesus told His apostles, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,

baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching

them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the

end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20).  The apostles did as He said and passed the same

charge on to other faithful Christians (2Tim. 2:2). 


Christians still hold the responsibility of teaching others.  However, we often become

discouraged from this work because of the lack of response that we receive.  So much

effort and time can be spent trying to teach the gospel of Christ, and yet too often no

one is converted.  Meanwhile, we look around and see the denominations flourishing as

their numbers increase such that their buildings can no longer hold their assemblies. 

Why is this so? 


Consider what it means to convert someone.  The word convert means “to turn,” and it

implies turning from one thing to something else.  The object to which a person is

converted is the key to explaining why Christians find such difficulty in teaching others

and why the denominations multiply. 


One who is a Christian is converted to Christ, the truth of His gospel, and nothing more. 

This is all that we have to offer others when we teach them because that is all that God

has offered (Mark 16:15).  That is not to minimize the gospel, for it is the power of God

unto salvation (Rom. 1:16).  One can only be converted from sin when he is converted

to Christ. 


However, there are others who offer something different that is not the gospel.  They

offer food and drink, entertainment and shows, sports, recreation, and social activities. 

They offer things that are usually appropriate when they are in the world, but they have

no place in the church because God did not authorize them.  These things are worldly

and appealing to the senses, thus drawing masses of people, but they have no value in

salvation.  Those who are converted to such things are not converted to Christ and are

therefore still in their sins. 


We must be careful to emphasize Christ and all things pertaining to Him when we are

teaching others.  “There is no other name under heaven that has been given among

men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).  If we convert a person to the local

congregation and that congregation goes astray, then so does that person.  If we

convert a person to a particular preacher and that preacher turns away from the Lord,

then so does that person.  If we convert a person to Christ, then we know that this

person is secure because he is founded on Christ who does not change (Heb. 13:8). 


Therefore, do not be discouraged, but be encouraged.  When we look at our

congregations and see small assemblies and half-filled buildings, we should be filled

with joy, knowing that those who are there are our brethren who are truly converted to

Christ.  They simply want to serve the Lord as He has instructed without the additions

and complications that come from the mind of man.  It is far better to have a small

number who are for Christ than a large number who are for anything else.

Stacey E. Durham



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