By Dr Hank Lindstrom
Every Christian has a ministry given to him by the Lord. In fact, every Christian has the same ministry given to him by the Lord. This does not mean that every Christian will have the same occupation or that he will not have different areas that he may serve. II Corinthians 5:18 tells us that God, “hath given to us (every believer) the ministry of reconciliation (winning the lost to Christ).” Scripture even tells us what to say in order to win men to Christ in II Corinthians 5:19. “To wit (that is to say), that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us (every believer) the word of reconciliation (the gospel message).” Scripture continues, “Now then we (every believer) are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us (II Corinthians 5:20).”
“Therefore seeing we have received this ministry (winning the lost), as we have mercy, we faint not (II Corinthians 4:1).” God wants to use you where you are in your present job to win the lost around you to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. You have a specific ministry that God has given to every believer that is your primary ministry. Mr. Armour, of Armour Meats, was interviewed as to his priorities. He said, “I am a full-time witness for Jesus Christ, and I pack pork on the side to meet expenses.” What a beautiful way to sum up the Christian life. You might be a doctor, lawyer, secretary, housewife, etc., but God wants you to use your opportunities to witness for Jesus Christ.
You might ask, what opportunities does a housewife have? Well, her children, family, neighbors, mailman, paperboy, etc. are all candidates for evangelism. What about areas of Christian service? They are many. You might be a Sunday school teacher in the will of God, but foremost you should be a soul-winner. This is your ministry (II Corinthians 5:18). You may be in the choir, but that does not exempt you from your responsibility as a soul-winner. You might have said, “Lord, show me what to do.” Well, you need not look any further. You may begin immediately. Read again II Corinthians 5:18-20; Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15; & I Thessalonians 2:4
Have you dropped-out of this, your ministry? Or maybe, as I suspect, most Christians are not really aware of their God entrusted responsibility to win souls. You may be a ditch digger, but God wants you to win souls. Christian drop-outs? Are you one? You might argue; you might object, but you cannot avoid the truth. It will come back to haunt you one day at the Judgment Seat of Christ, when Christians will be judged as to how they discharged their responsibilities for degree of reward or loss of reward.
Most Christians are not following Jesus Christ. Are you? Remember, Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men (Matthew 4:19).” If you are not fishing for men, then you are not following Jesus Christ. Decide for yourself to follow Christ, and then seek the lost as Jesus did (Luke 19:10). A lot of what is called Christianity is self-centered rather than Christ-centered. The book of Revelation describes the church of the last days as being luke-warm, self-indulgent and spiritually bankrupt (Revelation 3:16-18). Laodicea (Greek meaning “rights of the people”), the name of the last day church age, implies the emphasis on the Christians’ rights, rather than the Christians responsibilities. In Timothy 4:3-4, God describes how Christians in the last days would heap to themselves teachers to tickle their ears-the exact opposite of the evangelistic spirit as seen by verse 5 of II Timothy, which tells us “to do the work of the evangelist.” Also, “endure afflictions,” the opposite of self-indulgence. A Christ-centered ministry will reach out to the lost (Luke 10:1-2).
Let me quote II Timothy 4:1-2, “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at this appearing of his kingdom: Preach the word, be instant in season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” When Jesus comes at the rapture we will be responsible to this charge to preach the Word.
Scripture gives many reasons why people drop-out of the ministry (soul-winning) given by the Lord to every believer. Matthew 13:21-22 gives us a few reasons. To begin with, the witness may easily offended. How often this happens. Tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, and as the Bible says, “by and by he is offended.” Again showing the spirit of self-centeredness. Secondly, the cares of the world often distract us. So many Christians are so busy with secular activities or sometimes even religious activities so that they have no time for a relationship with the Lord or to win souls to the Lord. These things choke the Word. Again in a spirit of self-indulgence, Matthew 13:22 tells us that this caused persons to become unfruitful. God wants us to produce fruit which is souls won to the Lord (John 4:36). Don’t let these things hinder you. Read Acts 1:8.
To be a soul-winner does not mean that we neglect our other responsibilities to our family, job, or the church. But being a soul-winner is the one ministry common to every believer. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).” Becoming a soul-winner means preparation. Ephesians 6:15 speaks of us preparing ourselves to give out the gospel.
Martin Luther, the great reformer, said that John 3:16 is the Bible in miniature. Just because John 3:16 is familiar, don’t ignore its importance in your ministry. Are you going to be faithful to your responsibility, or are you going to be a Christian drop-out?