That Others May Know
That Others May Know
You and I are responsible for winning the lost to Jesus. There are people that you are able to influence more than anyone else. They trust you. If you don’t witness to them, who will? Proverbs 24:11-12 says, “If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?”
Here are 3 questions God is asking you:
1. “If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it?” In other words, do you believe that God does not notice when we fail to witness to others?
2. “And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it?” Doesn’t God know what your true intentions are?
3. “And shall not he render to every man according to his works?” Doesn’t He promise to reward us according to the work that we have done for Him?
The first question is easy, and the second question answers the first. God knows when we, for any reason, do not warn sinners of judgment and eternal damnation. The answer to the third question is found in Ezekiel 33:8, “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” As a child of God, it is your responsibility to warn lost sinners. If you don’t, Ezekiel shows us that you will have bloody hands when you stand before God. God gives you the job of making sure that others may know about His gift of salvation.
The title of this booklet is “That Others May Know.” Jesus said in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” In II Corinthians 5:20, the Scripture says that we are “ambassadors in Christ’s stead” and that we are to have a “ministry of reconciliation.” Both of these scriptures are speaking of the same purpose – to bring sinners to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to help bring peace and reconciliation between them and God by being Christ’s ambassador to the world.
To fully understand how you can make sure that others may know about the Gospel, we have divided this lesson into 3 sections. First, “The Plan of Salvation,” will show how you and I are saved. The plan of salvation is the same for every person. Although our personalities are different, the ingredients of salvation never change faith, humility, and repentance. Different circumstances or experiences may come in our lives, yet they will bring us the same turning points in our lives to faith, humility, and repentance. Fully understanding the plan of salvation will help us explain it to others.
Secondly, we will look at the Power of God in the life of the peacemaker or ambassador. An ambassador is an authorized messenger of a sovereign nation, whose job is to speak for his homeland in another country. An ambassador has great power that is given to him by his government. We are ambassadors because we represent God and bring His message of salvation to a lost world, and He gives us the power to represent Him. It is through a close walk with God that He empowers us to be peacemakers and win others to Christ.
Thirdly, we will learn the purpose of our life and how to fulfill it. We’ll also notice the obstacles that we have from the world, the devil, and even our own flesh. We will also see how important this work is and the rewards that Scripture promises to those who win souls to Christ.
Please use this lesson to help you fulfill the purpose God has for your life, to make sure that others know of His saving plan.
The Plan of Salvation
During a revival at the Booneville Correctional Center in Missouri, one of the prisoners asked the question, “What do I tell men who come and ask me, ‘What should I do to be saved?’ ” He had been inviting men to the services, and a fellow prisoner had asked this question. This section discusses the plan of salvation in detail. Next time you are asked this question, you will know what to say and what verses to use.
God always puts everything in order, He is not the author of confusion. He desires all men to be saved. God’s simple plan of salvation is found in these three verses, Matthew 5:3-5. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”
Look first at verse 3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The poor in spirit are those who realize their spiritual poverty. We have no righteousness to offer God. Isaiah 64:6 proclaims our righteousness to be like filthy rags. Yet, still men will try to proclaim their own goodness before God. Jesus taught in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, LORD, LORD, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” You can know or even say that Jesus is Lord and still not be saved. Many religions proclaim Jesus is Lord. Matthew 7:21 tells who will enter the kingdom of heaven, “…He that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Many are trying to get to Heaven by their own good works, but that is not the will of the Father. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” His response to them is, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” For anyone to be saved he must first realize he is “poor in spirit.”
For a sinner to be saved, he must first admit his sinful condition. The key to Romans 3:23 is the word all, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” This verse means that everyone who stands before God in his own righteousness is still a sinner. There comes a time in everyone’s life when we know our actions are disobedient to God, yet we do it anyway. This is because we are sinners. No matter how many good works you do, you cannot change the fact that you have sinned. If we could get saved by doing good works after we sin, then Jesus Christ would not have had to die on the cross for our sins.
Matthew 5:4 leads us to the next step, “Blessed are they that mourn.” Sorrow over our sin leads us to repentance. John the Baptist came preaching, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:1-2) Jesus preached the same message. Matthew 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” God’s message has never changed. The way of salvation is the same for every generation. We must first see ourselves as the sinners that we are, and then we must repent. Repentance is a change of mind and heart that produces a change in action and direction.
What brings repentance in a man’s life? II Corinthians 7:10, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” When God works on a man or woman’s heart regarding their sin, they will begin to be sorrowful over their sin. Working in the prison ministry, I have seen much sorrow and mourning. Recently, a man came to the chapel while I was teaching a class and said that he had just received news that his mother had been murdered. We prayed with him and did all that we could to comfort him. He was in mourning, grieving over his loss. It is that kind of sorrow over our sin that brings repentance. When we grieve over our sin like that man was grieving for his mother, then God brings repentance.
But, we must not forget the last half of II Corinthians 7:10, “…the sorrow of the world worketh death.” I have seen a lot of this kind of sorrow also from prisoners who are not sorry for their sin. They are just simply sorry that they were caught. This sorrow produces what is called “jailhouse religion.” Many get religion when they come to prison, but they are really not sorry for their crime. And, if given the opportunity, they will do it again. That is why so many end up coming back to prison. The sorrow of this kind works death in our lives, but “godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation.” Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Salvation is a gift. You can believe and know you are a sinner and realize the consequences of your sin and still never be saved. A gift must be received before it is any good, and that requires humility. Matthew 5:5 gives the third step, “Blessed are the meek.” Meekness is not weakness; it is the absence of pride. Pride always thinks of self first. Meekness lays all wants, desires, and necessities aside and puts others first. Meek means to be submissive to the divine will, not proud, self-sufficient, or obstinate. In being submissive to God’s will, we are willing to do whatever God requires of us. It is not God’s will for anyone to die in their sins and go to hell. II Peter 3:9 states, “The Lord…is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Romans 10:9-10, & 13 show us how we receive the gift of God. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesu,s and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” To confess means to declare to be the truth. When you declare Jesus as Lord, you are literally saying that He is God. When you believe that He was raised from the dead, it means that He has the power over life and death. Verse 10 continues, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” You can say these things with your mouth, but if you don’t believe them with your heart, you will still be lost. When you believe with your heart, you will humble yourself before God and man and confess with your mouth. Verse 13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The word “shall” declares what will happen. It is a promise from God’s Word to every human being – “for whosoever” means anyone.
We are saved from eternal damnation and everlasting destruction and our self life. It is God’s plan of salvation revealed to us through the Bible. When we are saved, the kingdom of God is ours. We shall be comforted and have an inheritance with Jesus Christ. We are spiritually born into the family of God and become His children.
So we see for salvation there must be faith, repentance, and humility. These are not steps that we take separately, but they happen simultaneously. Let’s compare it to the birth of a child. One second, he is in darkness in his mother’s womb, and he is blind. When he is born, immediately, he is in light and begins to be able to see. When we were lost, we were in the darkness of sin and blinded to spiritual things. But, when we were sorry for our sins against God, and by faith we repented and humbled ourselves before God and man, He immediately saved us. Then, we are reconciled to God by Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
The Power of God
I was saved on January 5, 1980. The pastor that led me to the Lord preached much about witnessing and being a soul winner. I called him and told him that I wanted to be a witness for the Lord, so he started taking me on church visitation. I began to pass out gospel tracts and witness on the job or wherever I was – without any results. Then I read a booklet titled, ‘And They Were Filled With The Holy Ghost,’ by an evangelist named John R. Rice. After reading this literature, I prayed continually for God to fill me with His power that I might be an effective witness for Him. Soon, I began to see people saved. The first person that I led to the Lord was my sister. I was still using the same verses as before, but now God was empowering those words. I was now able to fulfill the purpose for my life not only to witness to the lost, but also to win them to Christ. You can know the plan of salvation and give it to others, but only with the filling of the Holy Ghost will you see results. You can win others to Christ with The Power of God!
After we are saved, the Holy Spirit sealed us, “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” (Ephesians 1:12-13) To be “sealed” means to secure or confirm with the assurance of the sealer. In other words, as the children of God, we are kept by the Holy Spirit. This occurs at the point of salvation. Our salvation is acquired through faith and not by works; we are kept by grace and not by works. If we must be saved by faith, then we must continue in faith. Romans 1:17 explains, “…The just shall live by faith.” After we are saved, we are commanded to be filled by the Spirit of God as in Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”
In Matthew 5:6 we are shown, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” This means that we must first be empty before we can be filled. So, we must be empty of the world, sin, and the flesh if God is going to fill us. “They shall be filled” means that being filled with the Spirit is attainable for each of us. To the believer, Christ promised He would never leave nor forsake us. However, being filled means that He has control of us. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not when you get more of Him; it is when He gets all of you.
First, you must be empty before God will fill you. When you are filled with the Spirit, you have the power to live for Him. This is a wonderful promise given Christians. When we were lost and overwhelmed with temptation to sin, we did not have the power to resist. Guilt and shame are the result of our inability to resist the pleasures of sin. But as Christians, through the power of God, we are no longer taken captive by Satan at his will.
We are to empty ourselves of the world. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” One day everything on this earth is going to be destroyed. The older we get, the more we realize this fact that “things” don’t last.
When I was a young man, I had a desire for a new car. My father tried to talk me out of buying it, but I was headstrong and stubborn. After I got the car, I found out that it was not as good an automobile as they had advertised, and I could not afford the insurance. It almost ruined me financially. The things of this earth always look better than they really are and cost more than we really wanted to pay. It is the same way with our heavenly Father. He warns us about earthly desires. As we set our affections on heavenly things, they bring us joy, peace, and power to live for Christ. Many of God’s children never realize the peace of God because they are too busy chasing after the things of this earth.
We are also to be empty of sin and resist the temptations of the devil. Satan’s mission is to tempt us as he did Adam and Eve. He has come to steal, and to kill and to destroy as described in John 10:10. He does this through the deceitfulness of sin. He steals our purity and innocence. Sin does have pleasure for a season, but the result is death. Romans 6:23a, “The wages of sin is death…” Sin destroys lives. Proverbs 13:15 says that, “…the way of the transgressors is hard.” I have seen many people in prison whose lives have been destroyed because they gave in to temptations. The command is given in I Peter 5:9 to, “…resist and be steadfast in the faith,…”
We must empty ourselves also of our own fleshly desires, wants, and needs. Self must be denied. The needs, wants and desires we have are not necessarily sin, but they cater to self. The selfless life is a life of sacrifice. Christ sacrificed the comforts and company of Heaven, and He put others’ needs before His own when He died on the cross. Living like Christ is to live the crucified life.
Once we are emptied of the world, sin, and the flesh, we are able to be hungry and thirsty. This hunger and thirst can then only be satisfied with righteousness. The promise of Matthew 5:6 is clear “…for they shall be filled.” To be filled with righteousness is to be filled with God’s Spirit. So few people enter into this fullness, but it is God’s desire that we all be filled with His blessed Holy Spirit. Fullness in the Spirit provides God’s comfort and companionship, along with a clear conscience. Your life is no longer empty and useless, but it has purpose, prosperity, and peace.
Our greatest hindrance to being filled with the Holy Spirit is unforgiveness. God has clearly stated many times that those who do not forgive shall not be forgiven. Only the merciful shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
We need God’s mercy and forgiveness every day of our lives. Intentionally or not, each of us has offended someone by word or deed. We have all hurt someone either physically or emotionally. If we care for or love these people, we desire to be forgiven to mend the relationship. I can remember words I spoke in anger – hasty words, lashing out at someone. And I remember seeing the pain that I caused to my loved ones.
It is the same with our relationship with God. We have caused Him great offense when, in anger or discouragement, we say or do something that dishonors Him. Our offenses against Him, compared to what others may do to us, are like a mountain compared to a mole hill. Yet, God is always forgiving toward His children. He gives us mercy. It is not something we deserve or merit, but we get it because of His great love for us. Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
God does not understand why we, who have been forgiven so much, would not forgive others. In Matthew 18:21-35, Peter asked the question, “How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
To illustrate what happens to us if we don’t forgive from the heart, Jesus gives us this parable:
One servant owed his master 10,000 talents, the equivalent to $300,000,000 (three hundred million). In order to pay the debt, the servant’s wife, children, and all that they had were to be sold. The servant asked for patience and humbled himself. His master had compassion. He set the servant free and forgave the debt.
Later, this same servant found a fellow servant who owed him 200 pence, which is approximately $15.00. He took him by the throat and demanded payment. The fellow servant asked for patience just as the first servant had done, but the first servant cast the second into prison. When the master found out what happened, he threw the first servant into prison and turned him over to the tormentor.
In Matthew 18:35, Jesus makes the application, “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
It seems to be the hardest thing to forgive others when they offend us. But, when we do, we are more like Jesus than at any other time in our life. Because “God is love,” this love gives Him the ability to forgive us. The key that opens up the doors of our heart and enables us to forgive others is this same kind of love. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are filled with love.
One time a man did something to my family, and I was having a hard time forgiving him. I knew that it would affect everyone around me if I did not forgive this man. I prayed and asked God to help me, and for months, I struggled within myself. Finally, I asked the Lord in prayer why I could not forgive this man. The Lord directed me to Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” Then my prayer changed to, “Lord, help me love this man.” Since then, we have become close friends. By the grace of God, I have never brought up what he did. If we are going to be filled with righteousness, we need mercy because we still have a sinful nature. God will give me mercy when I forgive others from my heart. Matthew 5:7 says, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” God judges our motives more than our actions. When we do something from our heart, we put our all into it. The prophet Samuel was sent to anoint David as King of Israel. In I Samuel 16:7 it says, “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” God saw something in a young, ruddy shepherd boy that no one else saw. Not only did David become king, but God said that he was a man after His own heart. What was it that God saw in David’s heart? If you examine David’s life, you find a man just like us who made many mistakes. But you will also see a man who was more concerned with what God thought about him than anyone else. That is what it means to have a pure heart.
It is not just about what we do, but why we do it. That’s what counts most with God! Saul was anointed by God to be King over Israel before David, but because of Saul’s disobedience, the kingdom was taken from him and given to David. Your heart produces your actions. When Saul was confronted about his sin, he was worried more about what the people thought about him than God. I Samuel 15:30 says, “Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel…”
David also sinned. We also get to see his heart when he is confronted. David committed adultery and murder. In II Samuel Chapter 12, God sent the prophet Nathan to confront him. In verse 13, David’s response is a simple confession, “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.” David wrote Psalm 51, showing repentance and wanting restoration. He cries for mercy and cleansing, and he acknowledges his sin. In verse 4, we see his heart when he says, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” He accepts his chastisement without complaint because he cares more about God’s name and reputation than his own. That is why God said what He did about David in I Samuel 13:14, “…the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart…”
God still seeks men and women who are after His heart. Psalms 24:3-4 says, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” The pure in heart shall surely see God in everything. They will see His goodness, mercy, kindness, justice, and judgment in and toward the children of men.
In conclusion to studying these three verses, Matthew 5:6-8, we see the power of God on us to resist Satan’s temptations, to shun worldliness, and to deny all our fleshly desires by being filled with His righteousness. Also, to be like Jesus is to be merciful as He is merciful and loving sinners. We must serve Him from a pure heart, desiring only for Him to get glory. It is simply walking with God and being endued with His power in this sin-cursed world.
The Purpose for Our Lives
The focus of this lesson is to bring our testimony to a point that others may know the saving power of Christ. We can fulfill God’s purpose for us to be peacemakers and have the ministry of reconciliation. It is brought together in Romans 5:10, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Dear child of God, God’s purpose for my life and yours is to bring men, women, and children into a right relationship with God. When we study Matthew 5:9-12, it will be plain that this was Jesus’ purpose on earth. Matthew 18:11 says, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” Also, Jesus said in John 20:21, “…as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” He was sent to seek the lost and reconcile them to God.
It is not only our purpose, but also our responsibility to tell others about Christ. As we look at this last part of this lesson, we must realize the consequences of our failure to win people to the Lord. God has said that He will hold us accountable if we do not warn others of the wrath to come. II Corinthians 5:11 says, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…”
Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” This is regarding our testimony to others. In verse 10 it says further that we shall be persecuted for righteousness sake. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Verse 11 continues, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” We will be called the children of God in the midst of our suffering, if we respond as Christ did. Christ said, “…Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
During World War II, there was a man fighting in the Japanese Air Force named Mitsuo Fuchida. Fuchida was the lead bombardier for the Japanese during their attack on Pearl Harbor. He was wounded at the Battle of Midway, and later sent 1500 men to their death as the commander of a Kamikaze squadron. When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Fuchida was there the next day with nine other men to investigate the ruins of the city. It was a sight he would never forget.
Images of the horror and destruction of war stayed with Fuchida long after the war was over. He began to realize that if man did not learn to live at peace with each other, modern warfare would surely bring an end to all mankind. This became his goal; the search for peace was his quest. God was beginning a work in Fuchida’s heart.
As Fuchida was passing through a train station one day, a man named DeShazer handed him a Gospel tract containing a personal testimony. As an airman flying on the Doolittle bombing raid early in the war, DeShazer was shot down over China and held as a Japanese prisoner of war. For a short three weeks in that POW camp, DeShazer was given a Bible. He got saved while reading that Bible and began to see his Japanese captors in a different light. God helped him to see their lost condition and gave him love and concern for the soul of the Japanese. He promised God that he would return to Japan as a missionary if God would allow him to survive the war. Now, after the war, DeShazer was doing everything he could to tell his former enemy about the love of God.
Fuchida was astounded by this tract. Could this be the kind of peace he sought? Was this the peace for mankind that he was looking for? He began to search through the train station to find the man that had given him the tract. DeShazer was nowhere to be found, but the truth of Christ had been planted in his heart as a seed is planted in fertile ground.
Though the war was over, Fuchida’s bitterness against Americans continued to rage within his heart. He knew how his people had treated American prisoners of war, and he could only assume that Americans had treated their prisoners the same way. He was extremely surprised one day to see a friend returning from one of those American POW camps. He was even more surprised to find out that his friend had been treated humanely. But the biggest surprise came from a story the friend told.
The friend spoke of a young lady named Peggy Covell who had visited regularly within the POW camp after the war. Peggy’s parents had been missionaries to Japan, and had fled to the Philippines when the war started. The Covells had been caught by the Japanese, tried as spies, and beheaded. Peggy was bitter at first, then realized it was her job to continue in the love that her parents had for the Japanese. So, she explained, that was why she came every day to minister to her enemy.
Once again, Fuchida was intrigued by such a story. How could there be such peace within a person to show such love to their enemies? He began to further investigate the story of the Covells and a Filipino source told him that, while they were being executed, the Covells had prayed. This astonishing concept was considered. What would a person pray who was preparing to die at the hand of their enemy? He searched and asked, but could never find out what the Covells had prayed, until September of 1948, while he was reading Luke 23:33-34. “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
Fuchida looked up from his reading. Now he knew what the Covells had prayed at their execution; it was clear. It was also clear that he had found the secret to the peace for which he had searched. At that moment, all alone, he bowed his head and trusted Christ as his Savior.
The first time Mitsuo Fuchida gave his testimony to his countrymen over 500 were saved. He went all over the world giving his testimony even to America. There is no way knowing how many trusted Christ because of his ministry. It was a result of those missionaries who were persecuted for righteousness, reviled and lied about. If we live godly, we shall suffer persecution. But it is how we react to that persecution that will determine whether others will call us the children of God.
This story may be hard to understand without an eternal perspective. Many times, we are distracted by the things of this life and forget the life to come. DeShazer was saved while he was a prisoner of the Japanese. After he was saved, he loved these people. He did not love their actions toward him, but in realizing his eternal destiny, he also realized their eternal destiny. Because of the compassion that Jesus had for him and his walk with God, DeShazer had a love for his captors that overcame the injustices he had suffered.
DeShazer’s military service as an airman gave him influence with Mitsuo Fuchida who was also an aviator. Because you are a prisoner, you may have influence with other prisoners that will not listen to anyone else. The hardships DeShazer suffered at the hands of his captors were used by God for God’s glory. Likewise, the hardships you suffer can be used for the glory of God.
The forgiveness of Peggy Covell whose parents had been executed by the Japanese was something that Fuchida could not explain away. Romans 2:3-4 says, “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” It was because of Peggy Covell’s goodness toward the Japanese prisoners that Fuchida desired the goodness of God.
Finally, the missionaries who were beheaded by Japanese soldiers prayed for these soldiers at the point of their death. The Covells never met Fuchida in this life, but he was saved because of their testimony long after their death. Because of that, hundreds of people were saved all over the world. Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” This is the only way to overcome the forces of evil. To be like Christ is to be willing to sacrifice for others, even if it means our own death.
Our purpose in this life is to be like Christ. If we are like Him, we will seek what He seeks. Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” We should rejoice when persecution comes and we are reviled and all manner of evil is falsely said against us. We are promised by our Lord that we shall have a great reward in Heaven. In Matthew 5:9 it says, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” God wants to bless you. Will you be a peacemaker and win others to Christ?
Matthew 5:11-12 says, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Our Lord tells us of the obstacles, in a general way, that we will face as witnesses for Him. Our three enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil are behind the persecution, reviling, and lies that are told about us. We must realize these are necessary for us to be soulwinners. Fuchida was saved because of the testimony of Peggy Covell. She could have allowed herself to be bitter against the Japanese over the execution of her parents, but she did not allow her flesh to control her emotions. DeShazer, who was starved and tortured by the Japanese as a prisoner of war, did not seek revenge as the world leads us to do. He loved his enemies and prayed for them. Just as Satan tried to destroy Jesus on the cross at Calvary, he also tried to destroy Peggy’s parents, the Covells. They were beheaded by the very people they loved and ministered to, but God gave them the victory through their testimony.
Satan is the mortal enemy of mankind and will do anything in his power to keep men from being saved. He will cause distractions to draw you or the person being witnessed to away from the truth of the word of God. He will bring doubt about the truth of God’s Word, just as he did with Eve in the Garden of Eden. He will tempt Christians to sin and lose their testimony. He will try to bring fear in the minds of those who are trying to witness to others. He does not care how he stops you, as long as he can. I Peter 5:8-10 commands and assures us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
Caring for the things of this world will choke our spiritual growth just as weeds do plants in a garden. Everything in this world is temporary. When the things of this world become the most important to us, they become sin. When we set our affections on things of the world, they become an idol to us and separate us from God. There will be many sad Christians at the judgment when they see that all they labored for was earthly and have no eternal rewards. Jesus said in Colossians 3:2, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Even our own flesh is an obstacle because the flesh fights against the Spirit. The works of the flesh are mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
When we became a child of God, our sinful flesh did not change. We are still capable of all the sins of the flesh, but now we have the power in us to win this battle through the Spirit of God. We must bring our flesh into submission to the Spirit of God if we are ever going to win others to Christ. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Through this verse, we see that submission is accomplished by daily walking with the Holy Spirit of God.
We have accomplished much in this lesson. We have seen the importance of truly understanding the plan of salvation, and how our understanding will enable us to share with others. Secondly, we looked at how important it is to have the power of God on our lives for us to truly see lost souls come to Christ. Finally, we viewed how winning souls is indeed the purpose of every Christian, despite the obstacles that may come our way. So, what is the next step? Go fulfill your purpose! Prayerfully take your Bible and the tear-out section included at the back of this lesson, and go tell someone about Christ. Remember, it is only through us as Christians That Others May Know the Gospel of Christ!
There are many scriptures that you can use to give the plan of salvation to lost people. This is one of the simplest and most effective. Our prayer for you is that you will take these verses and use them to fulfill the purpose that God has for you.
1. Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Everyone is a sinner. The glory of God is that Jesus never sinned even though he was tempted with everything that we are tempted with. When we were tempted, each of us gave in and sinned. “For all have sinned…” Jesus never did.
2. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death;…”
What we have earned for our sin is death. This death is the second death at the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20:14-15 & 21:8. It is what we deserve for our sin against God.
3. God does not desire to send anyone to Hell.
Romans 6:23, “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” A gift must be received before it will be of any value.
4. How to receive the gift of salvation:
Romans 10:9-10, 13, “…That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” You must acknowledge that Jesus is God because the scripture calls him Lord, and says that he was dead, buried and arose from the dead. You must believe this with your heart. Then, call upon him to save you.
Just take God at His Word and pray…
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I have sinned, and I am sorry for what I have done. I repent and turn to you with all my heart. Please save me. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
5. Eternal life is the promise that God makes in the Bible to all who trust Jesus as their Savior, and that he will never leave us.
Hebrews 13:5, “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” I John 5:11, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
When you lead someone to the Lord, please let us know by sending us their name and address, so we can help them to grow in the Lord by enrolling them in the Discipleship Institute. Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Charles Alexander was a song leader for many famous evangelists. In the early 20th century, he is credited for coming up with the pocket New Testaments for witnessing to the lost. He once said, “if you ain’t fishin’, you ain’t following.”
Please, be a fisherman for the glory of God. You and your families are in our prayers.