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Are all Christians commanded to go soul-wining?


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I am wondering what the consensus is here about the importance of soul-winning.  Do you believe that all Christians are commanded to do it?  Either way, please explain your conviction with Scripture.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Brother Stafford

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I do not think of soul winning as a "commandment". It is something that should be dear to the heart of every Christian and practiced whenever the opportunity arises.

Not to be contentious Swath, but the scripture you provided was not given to individuals, but to the church as an institution. It is the great commission, the marching orders for His church. If a Christian chooses to take it literally and personally there is nothing wrong with his doing that. But strictly speaking and following this scripture strictly would almost be an impossibility for an individual to accomplish. no one person can go into all the world. The correct context for this verse is to His church.

I like to think of soul winning more in this context: "1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"

Context is a major part of rightly dividing scripture. Submitted respectfully, not trying to be contentious.

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30 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

I do not think of soul winning as a "commandment". It is something that should be dear to the heart of every Christian and practiced whenever the opportunity arises.

Not to be contentious Swath, but the scripture you provided was not given to individuals, but to the church as an institution. It is the great commission, the marching orders for His church. If a Christian chooses to take it literally and personally there is nothing wrong with his doing that. But strictly speaking and following this scripture strictly would almost be an impossibility for an individual to accomplish. no one person can go into all the world. The correct context for this verse is to His church.

I like to think of soul winning more in this context: "1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"

Context is a major part of rightly dividing scripture. Submitted respectfully, not trying to be contentious.

Agreed, Jim. I believe soulwinning is something we should all have a part in, but there are some that seem to have a gift for it-some also are better with soulwinning at work, or out, street preaching, etc. We have kind of painted ourselves into a corner, thinking that soulwinning=door knocking, 5 minutes of witnessing and a quick prayer and SHAZAM! Saved! Some people can take months, even years, to convince. Sometimes a relationship needs to be built up. I have two twim brothers, 25, in our church who are saved after about a year dealing with their father at work, who finally decided to come visit the church with the family, and after about 6 months, the brothers both got convicted and were saved. In our area, door knocking only seems to serve to remind people we're here and available for them, or to hit new residents. Otherwise personal work seems to have the best results.

Currently helpong out a lady at the job who is going through some rough times-she came to service for the first time last Sunday. She has a history in church, claims to be saved but very backslidden. If the Spirit gets ahold of her, we can start on her family, too.  

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Go "Ye"... That's means you ALL.

its given to the church...but the church is made up of individuals.

i think you would have a hard

time justifying before the judgment seat of Christ why you didn't go out and share the Gospel..

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2 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

Agreed, Jim. I believe soulwinning is something we should all have a part in, but there are some that seem to have a gift for it-some also are better with soulwinning at work, or out, street preaching, etc. We have kind of painted ourselves into a corner, thinking that soulwinning=door knocking, 5 minutes of witnessing and a quick prayer and SHAZAM! Saved! Some people can take months, even years, to convince. Sometimes a relationship needs to be built up. I have two twim brothers, 25, in our church who are saved after about a year dealing with their father at work, who finally decided to come visit the church with the family, and after about 6 months, the brothers both got convicted and were saved. In our area, door knocking only seems to serve to remind people we're here and available for them, or to hit new residents. Otherwise personal work seems to have the best results.

This. Yes, we are all to be sharing the gospel and seeking to see people saved. No, we will not all do that the same way. Were Christians in Communist Russia in disobedience because they could not share the gospel door-to-door?

"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. 1 Corinthians 12:4-10

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To answer the question...yes...absolutely! 

However, it seems to have become a litmus test proving whether one is truly following the Lord. There are many other commands that are found throughout scripture; however, there has been a movement that teaches that as long as you're out soul winning, nothing else really matters...in other words..."soul winning" will cover a multitude of sins.

The Christian life involves so much more than soul winning. That doesn't take away from the importance of it by any means. Part of that same command is to teach them to observe ALL things whatsoever Christ has commanded us, but that gets neglected...without any repercussion. It seems that as long as we win souls, that's good enough. We win them, and it seems that the only instruction stressed afterward is that now they should win souls too. I can't tell you how many times I've seen "soul winning" used as an end-all and a gavel in arguments online. 

Now, let me again stress that I believe we are to be soul winners, and anyone who is against it is wrong in my opinion.

 

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1 hour ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

Go "Ye"... That's means you ALL.

its given to the church...but the church is made up of individuals.

i think you would have a hard

time justifying before the judgment seat of Christ why you didn't go out and share the Gospel..

Jordan, I did not say we should not share the Gospel as individuals.  I very plainly said this: "I do not think of soul winning as a "commandment". It is something that should be dear to the heart of every Christian and practiced whenever the opportunity arises."  I simply said that the Scripture that Swath provided was given to the church as the great commission.

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6 hours ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

Go "Ye"... That's means you ALL.

its given to the church...but the church is made up of individuals.

i think you would have a hard

time justifying before the judgment seat of Christ why you didn't go out and share the Gospel..

Is every individual also to baptise?

I don't know of anyone here who says individuals should not "Go",  and of course churches are made up of individuals,  but Jim is EXACTLY right in his statement.

Let me ask you a question - we have a lady in our church who can walk no more than about 30 meters at a time - is she sinning by not "go" ing?

As Salyan pointed out people are given different ministries.

This lady does all sorts of things to help the ministry of our church, but doorknocking, street preaching etc is not something she is able to do.

What will her situation at the judgement seat?

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3 hours ago, DaveW said:

Is every individual also to baptise?

I don't know of anyone here who says individuals should not "Go",  and of course churches are made up of individuals,  but Jim is EXACTLY right in his statement.

Let me ask you a question - we have a lady in our church who can walk no more than about 30 meters at a time - is she sinning by not "go" ing?

As Salyan pointed out people are given different ministries.

This lady does all sorts of things to help the ministry of our church, but doorknocking, street preaching etc is not something she is able to do.

What will her situation at the judgement seat?

Common sense says she is fine. But let's be honest, how many could be going but don't out of laziness or selfishness? 

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"16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:16-20

"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." - Luke 24-47

 

When the Lord tells his own to do something, it is a command and not optional.  When the Lord instituted the great commission, he gave it to the church, to the founding members (The 11 Apostles) of the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem, it is a command to the church as an institution and to each saved person.  There is even a pattern to follow.  Start with those in one's home, then with family and friends and so on, widening their sphere which might include a missions trip at least once in their life.

Baptism is not optional, it is a command.  When I ask or instruct my children to do something, that is a command and not optional either. 

The Ruckmanites and those others who do not believe that Jesus started his church on the shores of Galilee may have trouble here if they believe that the great commission was given to the church and not individuals because in their mind, the church didn't yet exist in Matthew 28.

No, the Lord spoke to each of them and gave them the command to "GO"!

 

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Yes, all who are born again through faith in Christ are responsible for the ministry and word of the gospel toward the lost world.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 God's Word speaks concerning those who are born again in Christ, saying, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  Then in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 God's Word reveals the responsibility that the Lord our God has entrusted unto all who are born again in Christ, saying, "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God."

ALL born again believers have been entrusted by God with "the ministry of reconciliation," the ministry of the gospel.  ALL born again believers have been entrusted by God with "the word of reconciliation," the word of the gospel.  ALL born again believers have been called by God as "ambassadors for Christ," as witnesses unto Him.  ALL born again believers have been called by God as the very mouthpieces of God, as though God Himself did beseech the lost world by and through us.  ALL born again believers have been called by God to plead (pray) for lost souls to be saved through faith in Christ, and to do so in the stead of Christ Himself.

______________________________________________

On the other hand, upon what grammatical or contextual grounds may we claim that the "great commission" is a "church commission"?  In not one of the "great commission" passages (that is -- Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-20; Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:4-8) is the "church" directly mentioned within the immediate context of those passages.

By the way, I myself do hold that the "church" began in embryonic form BEFORE the day of Pentecost.  Therefore, I am asking this question, not as a question against the existence of the "church," but as a question for precision in our Bible study.

 

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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On 9/1/2016 at 2:54 AM, swathdiver said:

It doesn't matter what we think.  What matters is, what saith the Lord?

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16:15

Yes? And when one says that he was talking to the Jews here and not gentiles?

When does that thoughtline stop?

Is there ever a real explanation when people who believe the gospels were only for the Jews?

When we have a question anout other subjects we get the 'history' from some about how the Lord was only talking to Jewish believers.

Where are you now peeps?

Just curious. I know most probably don't believe that when it comes to the great commission.

Just pointing out - some think the gospels were only for the Jews - when it was to ALL who will believe - but when it comes to subjects like the great commission, they keep silent.

I think everyone should focus on telling others about Jesus Christ and his great salvation - but in their own ministerial way in which the Lord has blessed and placed them.

Not just door to door - but heart to ears.

Edited by Genevanpreacher
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On September 2, 2016 at 10:42 AM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Yes, all who are born again through faith in Christ are responsible for the ministry and word of the gospel toward the lost world.

On the other hand, upon what grammatical or contextual grounds may we claim that the "great commission" is a "church commission"?  In not one of the "great commission" passages (that is -- Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-20; Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:4-8) is the "church" directly mentioned within the immediate context of those passages.

Tell me if I am understanding you correctly.  Are you saying that the great commission was given to individuals, but not to "the church?"  If so, what does that look like in a practical sense?  Would our churches tell us to share the Gospel on our own time, as it were, but not do any collective soul-winning as a church function?  I am just wanting to understand your position correctly.

Edited by Brother Stafford
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41 minutes ago, Brother Stafford said:

Tell me if I am understanding you correctly.  Are you saying that the great commission was given to individuals, but not to "the church?"  If so, what does that look like in a practical sense?  Would our churches tell us to share the Gospel on our own time, as it were, but not do any collective soul-winning as a church function?  I am just wanting to understand your position correctly.

Brother Stafford,

With my posting above, I was simply asking a question for the sake of precision in Bible study.  I was not actually presenting my position thereof.  The question concerns whether or not it is Biblically, contextually legitimate to call the "great commission" a "church commission" if in fact the "church" is not directly referenced in the context. 

That question would lead us further to note that in the immediate contexts for the Biblical recording of the "great commission," it was definitely delivered by our Lord unto the eleven apostles (excluding Judas), yet that it was also intended to extend "even unto the end of the world" as per Matthew 28:20.  So then, the "great commission" could not simply have been for the eleven apostles alone, and none else, since they would die before "the end of the world."  As such, we would conclude that the "great commission" was delivered unto the eleven apostles as a representative group; and we would be brought to ask what grouping they represented in relation to the "great commission." 

Option #1: Were they representative of church leadership, such that the "great commission" is a church leadership commission? 

Option #2: Were they representative of believers in general, such that the "great commission" is a believer's commission? 

Option #3: Were they representative of a church body, such that the "great commission" is a church commission?

The first place that I would look for Biblical evidence as to an answer would be within the immediate context of the "great commission" passages -- Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-20; Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:4-8.  As for myself, I am unable to discern anything in these contexts that might help to answer the question.  (Note: If others are able to discern something, I would be interested in their thoughts on the matter.)  Thus I would broaden my search with comparing Scripture to Scripture, considering specifically other New Testament passages concerning the responsibility of gospel ministry. 

Even so, this search leads me to 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.  To me this passage appears quite clearly to indicate that the responsibility of gospel ministry is not simply for church leadership, but is universally for all believers, that is -- for all who are regenerated by faith in Christ as "new creatures" in Christ.  Thus I would remove option #1 from my consideration.  To me this passage also appears to indicate that the responsibility of gospel ministry is for all believers from the very moment that they become "new creatures" in Christ.  As such, I believe that this passage would provide evidence for option #2 (over option #3) above; and thus I would hold that the "great commission" is a believer's commission.

So then, how would we then apply the "great commission" as a believer's commission in a practical manner?  First, all believer's must recognize their individual responsibility before the Lord to minister the gospel unto the lost world.  Second, all believer's should carry a burden for all individual souls ("every creature"), for all ethnic groups ("all nations"), for the gospel to spread throughout all the world ("all the world"), and for the gospel to spread outward from their own location ("in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth").  Third, all believer's must recognize the importance of the Lord's church in relation to the "great commission;" for into what are new converts to be baptized and through what are new converts to be taught all of the things which the Lord has commanded us?  According to the whole of New Testament doctrine, it seems clear to me that they are to be baptized into the Lord's church and are to be taught through the Lord's church ministry.  Thus in my position I hold that the "great commission" is a believer's commission unto gospel ministry; but I do not wholly separate it from every believer's responsibility to be involved with church ministry.

I pray that this "long" explanation (which is common for me to do) was helpful for your understanding, and not confusing.  If you have any further questions (or even argumentations), I am willing to engage with them.

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