The Work of Saving Souls
by Steven Chan
- Jesus chose His 12 disciples so that they could be with Him and He could train them to do the work of saving man. Jesus had earlier said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17 ) in Luke 5:10, Jesus said to them: “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, (Mark 3:14 NKJV). Later on, in Luke 19:10, Jesus said: “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 NKJV). The angels in heaven rejoice over the repentance of even one soul: “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10 NKJV). This shows the importance of the work of saving souls.
- Jesus was very focused on His mission. When the people in one city sought for Him, He told His disciples: “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” (Mark 1:38 NKJV). He would not be distracted.
- His intense and fervent desire to fulfill His mission of saving souls was so strong that He referred to the work as His “food”: Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” (John 4:34-38 NKJV).
- Jesus encouraged His disciples to labor for the food which endures to everlasting life instead of the food which perishes: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:27-29 NKJV)
- After Jesus had shed His blood for the salvation of man, and He had overcome death when He rose from the dead after having been buried for three days, He instructed to: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV). Catching men and making them disciples through obedience to the gospel was the work that all disciples of Christ are commanded to do.
- The apostles and the early Christians continued with the mission of saving souls through Jesus: “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ”. (Acts 5:42 NKJV).
- Even persecutions did not stop the early Christians from preaching the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ: “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word”. (Acts 8:3-4 NKJV)
- Following his conversion, the apostle Paul wrote thus: “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” (I Corinthians 9:16 NKJV). Like Jesus Christ, Paul was totally focused on winning souls. He wrote: “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;…to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some“. (I Corinthians 9:19, 22 NKJV).
- He viewed the work of winning souls as a work that he does together with God. In this work, we are co-workers with God: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase…For we are God’s fellow workers”. (I Corinthians 3:6, 9 NKJV)
- Paul conducted his life in such a manner that many may be saved: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved“. (I Corinthians 10:31-33 NKJV).
We must continue the work that Jesus came to earth to do. Paul exhorts thus: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”. (I Corinthians 15:58 NKJV). We should keep on keeping on in doing the work that God has entrusted to us. We must not stop. We must not be distracted.
We must not grow weary: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart“. (Galatians 6:7-9 NKJV)
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