Personal Soul Winning

By Evangelist John R. Rice, Th.D.

IV. Shorter Methods to Win Souls With Single Well-Known Passages of Scripture

The above two plans of using the third chapter of John and of using the Scripture verses in Romans to win a soul are thorough, and often that much attention and Scripture is needed. On the other hand, many people are ready to be saved in a shorter time. The main thing is that the worker have a heart that is warm and led by the Spirit of God so that he does not do shallow, superficial work. The sinner should know that he is a sinner who needs forgiveness. He should know that Christ alone can save, and he should definitely trust Christ as Saviour, and then he should be taught to claim the Saviour openly and to know that his sins are forgiven. But the Bible is full of the plan of salvation.

1. When I was a university student, one summer I won sixty-six people using Isaiah 55:6 and 7.

"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he wilt abundantly pardon." You will note that these verses indicate an urgency to settle the matter at once since tomorrow He may not be near. Then verse 7 stresses the fact of sin, the need for an honest repentance, a heart turning away from sin and turning to Christ. The unrighteous man is to give up his own thoughts or plans about how to be. saved and take what God says. And then there is the sweet promise that if he returns to the Lord, He will have mercy on him and will abundantly pardon. There is very sweetly and simply the plan of salvation.

2. Isaiah 53:6 also states the Gospel very simply.

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." It says that all of us have sinned and are lost. It says that the heart of sin is our self-will, our wanting our own way. It says that Jesus Christ has borne all of our sins.

An English preacher had preached in one of the outlying towns and then rushed to the railway station to catch the train back to London. One man deeply convicted of his sins followed the preacher to the station and there said, "I want to get saved. Please tell me how." The last train for London for the night was about to leave. Heavy duties made it imperative for the preacher to go. So he said to the earnest inquirer, "Do you have a Bible?"

"Yes," said the lost man, "but I do not know where to read."

"Turn to Isaiah 53:6. Have you got it?"

"Yes, Isaiah 53:6."

"Then," said the preacher, "come in at the first 'all' and come out at the last 'all' and you will be saved." And he stepped on to the departing train.

What a strange way to be saved, the lost man thought. But he went home, opened his Bible, and discovered that the first word in the verse is "all" -- "All we like sheep have gone astray." "Well, I can come in there, for I have gone astray; I am a sinner," the sinner said to himself.

But then his instructions were to "come out at the last 'all.'" And the last word of the verse. is "all" -- "The Lord hath laid on him [on Jesus] the iniquity of us all." Then the sinner thought, "And I am one of those whose iniquities were laid on Jesus. My sins are paid for! Well, I will come out there, and so I will be saved!"

3. Many a sinner has been saved by the simple Gospel in Numbers 21:5-9.

There is the clear illustration that all are sinners, and the death that comes by sin is illustrated by the fiery serpents. There is the clear picture of Jesus on the cross being counted the serpent, a sinner. And there is the illustration of faith so that every poisoned person who looked at the brazen snake on a pole was healed. So a sinner may be aught to took and live.

4. Thousands have been won to Christ by John 5:24.

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." "He that heareth my word.,.." You can say to the sinner, "You have heard it many times and you are hearing it now, are you not, as we read this?" Of course the sinner will agree to that.

"And believeth on him that sent me .... " So you can say to the sinner, "Do you believe that God loved the world and gave His Son to save sinners? Then are you willing to risk that God and that Saviour today, and turn your case over to Them and rely upon Them?" Then you can show the plain statement that one who thus believes and trusts "hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." And that is a wonderful promise for assurance and certainty.

5. Many have been saved by the story of the publican and the Pharisee who went up into the temple to pray (Luke 18:10-14)

The Pharisee, self-righteous, self-satisfied, was never saved. The poor publican who confessed his sinfulness and asked for mercy was saved and went down to his house justified. And so you might well ask the sinner to bow his head and make this prayer his prayer. You can teach him to pray, "God, be merciful to me a sinner, and save me for Jesus' sake." And then when he has prayed that prayer, you can ask him if he will here and now trust the Lord Jesus to do what He said He would do, and to manifest it either by taking your hand solemnly, or by going with you to tell the pastor or a friend, or by going forward in a public meeting.

Whatever Scriptures you use, there are two or three things that must be involved. The sinner must know that he is a sinner, and wants to turn from sin and be forgiven. Then the sinner must know that God has promised to save those who trust in Christ, and he must be brought to personally trust Christ as his own Saviour.

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