Is Soul-Winning an Optional Matter for the Christian?

by Steven Chan
06 February 2011

What is soul-winning? In Prov 11:30, the Bible says: “he who wins souls is wise.” In 1 Cor 9:19-23, the apostle Paul wrote thus: “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 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. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”

Is there any doubt as to what soul-winning is all about? The apostle Paul said that he “seeks to the more” – win the Jews, win those under the law, win those without law, win the weak – that I might all means save some!

Wives are exhorted to save their husbands: 1 Cor 7:16: “For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?”1 Peter 3:1-2: “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.”

All brethren are urged to save those who stray from the truth: James 5:19-20: “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”

We must seek to save ourselves too: 1 Tim 4:16: “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Our work as Christians is to do what out Lord came to do: Luke 19:10: “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” It is not an optional matter. Matt 28:18-20: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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.” 1 Cor 9:16: “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!”

Are we obeying the Lord’s command?