By Rick Kirk
In Proverbs 11:30, the Bible tells us that “he who wins souls is wise.” It shows that a part of being wise will include being a soul winner as commanded by Jesus 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” (Matt 28:19-20).
The Holy Book recorded several occasions when the followers of Jesus successfully convinced, converted and baptized souls. After a heart-pricking sermon on the day of Pentecost, Peter and the apostles baptized 3,000 souls (Acts 2:41). Philip was actively reaching out to the Samaritans and even converted and immersed a sorcerer named Simon (Acts 8:9). And Cornelius had called together his relatives and close friends and organized a gospel meeting of sorts when Peter was invited to speak to them (Acts 10:24). All of those present then became the first Gentiles to be added to the kingdom of God.
Today, one of the challenges of evangelism efforts is that many Christians feel they are inadequate, either to invite or to teach and preach like Peter and Philip. The above records had the apostle Peter speaking out publicly to thousands (Acts 2:41). Philip was a deacon and would therefore be well prepared to preach as he did to the Ethiopian Finance Minister of Queen Candace (Acts 8:26-39) as well as the Samaritans (Acts 8:5). However, Cornelius was a man who was a believer in God, but not yet according to the Word. And he had the heart and desire to want his relatives and close friends enjoy the same blessings he will have in Christ. He personally made the effort to arrange for them to listen to the truth expounded by Peter.
There is another account in the Bible of an ordinary, simple and humble person who acted when the Messiah was found. We do not even know her name, but what she did was highly noteworthy, praiseworthy and exemplary. The Samaritan woman had met Jesus at Jacob’s well in Sychar, Samaria. After a short dialogue with the Lord, she realized that she might have found the Messiah whom she had known about through her learning and understanding (John 4:20, 25).
When the conversation was interrupted by the arrival of the disciples of Jesus, she went to the city (John 4:28) and invited the men to “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:29). This unpretentious invitation and question were enough to spark the curiosity and interest of the men who left the city to come to hear from Jesus. “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”
This story of the good work of the woman did not stop here. Her invitation led to men coming out of the city to hear Jesus. They heard the Word directly from the Lord and believed in Him. Having met Jesus personally and believed in Him, the Samaritans urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. (John 4:39-40). After Jesus had stayed with them, the rippling effect of her action was multiplied. We were informed that “And many more believed because of His own word”. (John 4:41).
The Samaritan woman was a person despised by the Jews. Firstly because she is a Samaritan, a race that the Jews regarded as an outcast being of mixed race. Secondly being a woman, the Jews would not have anything to do with a woman. She was also a woman of questionable character. Yet Jesus did not hesitate to speak to her, leading her to be reach out to the people of Sychar. No matter what the social standing, educational level or economic status of our friends or relatives, we can still be useful in reaching out to them.
Through her simple act of an invitation to the men of the city to “come and see”, she became a benefactor of many who believed. The event over two days shows that from the action of one person, many others can get the opportunity to hear the gospel and believe in our Lord Jesus Christ. There is the escalating effect from the modest action of even one person. The next person you talk to about Jesus may have similar growing and multiplying effect. You will never know where your unassuming invitation to anyone can lead to. It could be the start of an explosion of believers. We sow and we water, and God gives the increase.
Only invite! Start inviting now!