John 1:35-42 THE TRAITS OF A SUCCESSFUL SOUL WINNER
Intro: I read again this week the wonderful story about Ed Kimball, a
Sunday schoolteacher. He won a young fellow to the Lord and got that one stirred up. The
new convert got the secret of the Lords power upon his life. He became the
well-known D. L. Moody.
The story says that after evangelizing America, D. L. Moody started on
England. There in England Frederick B. Meyer heard his message. One of the illustrations
that Moody used did not at first stir Brother Meyer. Then one of his Sunday school
teachers came to him and said, "Brother Meyer, the illustration that that preacher
gave in our church the other day stirred my girls so much that there has been a lot of
weeping, confession and testimony. We are sure that the Holy Spirit has come among us; and
we have had an experience in our class that you wont believe!"
F. B. Meyer was so affected by the testimony of that teacher and those
girls that he got off by himself, and soon it began to grip him in the same manner. His
ministry began to open up and spread, and as it did, he was invited to come to America.
He came and went to Furman University to preach. One young fellow in
the student body had decided to quit the ministry and go back to a secular job. But the
message by F. B. Meyer was given with such fervor and flame that the young fellow stepped
out, came forward and renewed his vow to his calling. He became the great R. G. Lee.
Then F. B. Meyer went on to preach at another location. In that service
a young fellow caught fire and began to evangelize. His meetings spread out all over the
areas of New England and the mid-Atlantic coast, until they were bulging at the seams. J.
Wilbur Chapman, set on fire of God through the preaching of F. B. Meyer, began to stir up
the whole northeastern coast.
Then, because of Chapmans preaching, he was invited to speak at a
certain place. His ministry was changing, and he needed someone to move in on those
citywide crusades that he was holding. Someone said, "The man you want is the young
convert, Billy Sunday."
Billy Sunday, influenced by J. Wilbur Chapman, got into the ministry
and went to Charlotte, North Carolina. There a group of laymen got so inspired and so
stirred up that they organized a committee to invite other evangelists back. One invited
was Mordecai Ham from Louisville, Kentucky. He preached in a meeting, and Billy Graham got
saved. Billy Graham became a renowned evangelist around the worldall because Edward
Kimballone nobodywon one other nobody and started a series of dominoes falling
that ended up with millions saved in Moodys ministry, hundreds of thousands in
Meyers ministry, hundreds of thousands more in Chapmans ministry, hundreds of
thousands more in Lees ministry, and hundreds of thousands more in Grahams
ministry. All because one fellow won one soul to Christ!
It is certainly possible to change the world via the avenue of simply
sharing your faith and inviting another human being to come to Jesus.
All of you folks are here today because you have a little of Edward
Kimball in you. You feel led of the Lord to witnesses for Him and His glory. As a result,
the Lord has placed you in a tremendous position. A position in which you will have the
opportunity and the privilege of sharing your faith with men and women who need Jesus as
their personal Savior.
You all want to do well, but perhaps some are anxious and unsure of
themselves this morning. Thats why I am here today. I want to be an encouragement to
you and show you that you can be a witness for the Lord. We are going to look into this
passage today and see a few principles that can help you be a witness for Jesus Christ.
These principles show us The Traits Of A Successful Soul Winner.
Ill. The Context of these verses. To my mind, the best place to learn
about anything is from someone who is successful in that thing. From these verses, it
seems that Andrew can be called a success. Therefore, lets examine these verses, and
ourselves, and see whether or not we possess the traits which mark the successful soul
winner. If you find that you do, then rejoice! For God is going to use you mightily! If
you find that you lack some of the things you need, then remember that the storehouse is
open today and God is generously equipping His saints to be successful in the labor He has
called them into.
Who knows? The next D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday, J. Wilbur Chapman or
Billy Graham may be waiting on you to tell them about Jesus. Do you have what it takes?
Successful Soul Winners Have:
I. v. 37, 40 A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST
A. There Is A Commitment In Salvation (John 3:3, 7) (I John
5:12)Before anyone can witness, they must know what they are talking about! You have to be
saved before you can share!
B. There Is A Confidence In Salvation (v. 41) (Ill. 2 Pet. 2:10; 2
Cor. 13:5) The prospective soul winner must have his/her salvation nailed down. When there
is a lack of confidence in ones own salvation, there will be a lack of power in
ones witness. (Ill. It is possible to know for sure 1 John 5:13; 5:1)
C. There Is A Clear Testimony Of Salvation (. 41)The prospective
soul winner must think his own salvation experience through in detail. Only then can he
tell others what has happened in his life. (Ill. Your most powerful illustration of
salvation is you own personal experience with Jesus Christ.) (Ill. Andrew was able to
share with Peter what he had already experienced of Jesus Christ.) (Ill. The Demoniac in
Mark 5:20) (Ill. I am glad you folk are saved, but I cant testify of your
experience. I can tell you, however, what Jesus did for me!)
II. v. 41 THEIR PRIORITIES IN ORDER
A. They See The Sinners Condition (This is what we call a
"burden for the lost") (Ill. Andrew was burdened for Simon Peter!)
1. His Present State (Eph. 2:1-3; Eph. 2:12) (Ill. If this
doesnt move our hearts, then we are made of stone and have forgotten where the Lord
brought us from! Isa. 51:1)
2. His Prophesied State (Ill. Luke 16"19-31; Psa. 9:17) The
soul winner knows that men are headed to an eternity apart from God, 2 Thes. 1:8-9, and he
is moved by this knowledge. He has a desire to snatch men from the jaws of destruction.
(Ill. The Gospel has the power to do just this!)
B. They Sense The Urgency Of Their Need
1. The soul winner knows that the night is coming in which no man can work, John 9:4.
2. He knows that life is just a vapor and that men are perishing without the promise of
another minute, James 4:14; Pro. 27:1.
3. He knows that the window of grace will close with the return of Jesus in the rapture
2 Thes. 2:11.
4. The soul winner knows what the lost sinner has no inkling of, he knows he is lost
from God, Hell bound and hopeless, apart from the salvation that can only be found in
C. They Seize Every Opportunity The soul winner looks for the open
door of opportunity wherever it may appear. Sometimes even nudging open a door that is
only cracked a little. However, if the Lord is not at work, then the soul winner is
wasting his time! (Ill. John 6:44; John 6:65) This thought raises some questions:
1. Doesnt God love everyone? Yes He does, but they
cannot be saved at the time of their choosing.
2. Cant anyone just call on the Name of the Lord and be
saved? Yes, but only when the Lord is drawing them unto Himself.
Generally speaking, if the Lord is not drawing, there will be no interest in what the soul
winner is saying, no evidence of conviction and no desire to make a profession.
3. What does the soul winner do? He is sensitive to the Lord and His
leadership. He watches the person he is witnessing to and he seeks to sense what the Lord
is doing in the conversation. Remember, not every contact is a time of reaping! It may be
a time of sowing seed orwatering, but that is just as important in the eternal picture.
Our duty is to Go
III. v. 41b A PROPER VIEW OF CHRIST
A. His Person The soul winner knows who Jesus is. The soul
winner knows He is the Son of God, (Ill. Simon Peter Matt. 16:16). You dont
have to be a theologian nor must you be able to quote all the relevant Christological
passages, but you must be aware of who it is that you are representing. (Ill. This is what
separates us from the cults! They are all wrong on the Person of Jesus.)
(Ill. Illiterate men in Texas. He couldnt read, but he got himself a pocket full
of tracts and went out to the highway and started hitchhiking. When someone picked him up,
he would ask them to read the tract to him and then he would tell them what Jesus had done
for Him. He would try to lead that person to Jesus. When he finished witnessing to that
individual, he would get out and hitch a ride back the other way. Again, asking the person
to read him the tract and telling them about Jesus. In his first year, this illiterate man
had won 168 people to the Lord. He wasnt a theologian, but he knew who Jesus was!)
B. His Performance The soul winner needs to know what Jesus did.
We need some basic things nailed down in our hearts! We need to be comfortable talking
1. His Birth Virgin born, Isa. 7:14, and sinless, 1 Pet. 2:22
2. His Life Sinless, 2 Cor. 5:21ans impeccable.
3. His Death On a cross, dying a horrible death for sinners, Isa.
52:14; Rev. 5:9 (Ill. sfazw Butchered,
slaughtered). (Ill. Never be afraid to proclaim the saving power of His Blood Heb.
9:22; 1 Pet. 1:18-19) (Ill. Many are, but its still the Blood that saves from sin!)
4. His Resurrection Matt. 28:1-6 Remember a dead Savior
saves no one! Thank God He lives!
5. His Ascension Acts 1:9-11 Remember that even now, Jesus
is at the Fathers right hand interceding and watching out for His children
Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34.
6. His Return This is the blessed hope of the believer and
something worthy to be shared with the lost and dying. The same Jesus who died, was buried
and rose again is returning to receive His people unto Himself, (Ill. John 14:1-3; 1 Thes.
4:16-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-52).
7. You have to know who He is before you will be able to share Himwith another. It
doesnt require a degree, but it does demand prayer and study of His Word.
C. His Power The soul winner knows that Jesus has the power to
save all who will call upon Him by faith! (Ill. John 14:6; Acts 4:12; John 1:12) (Heb.
7:25 He is able to save! Able = "dunamai"
It means to have power residing in ones self or ones resources. It is
explosive power! Jesus possesses the power to dynamically save the lost sinner. He is
able!) Ill. Eph. 3:20 He can save you, or your contact, better than you think He
D. His Promise The soul winner needs to know that Jesus is not
only able to save, but that He is willing as well! He doesnt have to be coerced into
loving and saving the sinner, He stands always ready to receive all who will come to Him
by faith John 6:37; John 7:37; Rev. 22:17)
IV. v. 42 A PASSION FOR POINTING MEN TO JESUS
(Ill. Praying Hyde Prayed for souls and God honored his request. He had a true
burning passion to bring men to Jesus. Do you?)
A. He Alone Is Our Message
1. The Woman at the Well John 4:28-30
2. John the Baptist John 1:29
3. The Blind Man John 9:11, 25
4. Philip and the Eunuch Acts 8:35
5. Anything else is a message of death Pro. 16:25.
B. He Alone Is Our Mission We are to bring men to Jesus. Not to
our denomination, to our church, to ourselves or our way of thinking. When we go into His
fields, we are to remember that He must have the preeminence, Col. 1:18. If He is lifted
up, men will be drawn unto Him John 12:32.
C. He Alone Is Our Master Matthew 28:18-20 sheds some very
important light on this matter of witnessing and soul winning.
(Matt 28:18-20 - And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto
me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 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.)
Notice three very important facts from this passage:
1. He Will Go With Us v. 20 (Heb. 13:5)
2. He Will Guide Us v. 20 (John 16:13)
3. He Will Gift Us v. 18 (Matt. 10:19; John 16:13-15)
Conc: Are you a successful soul winner? You cant judge that by
the number of notches on your gun. Success in soul winning comes from doing exactly what
Jesus said to do. Go
Tell! If you are doing this, then you are
successful. The harvest is the Lords business, (Matt. 9:36-38 But when he saw the
multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered
abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly
is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,
that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.), our business is to
go into the field and tell others about Him. If you have examined yourself today and have
found that you are lacking in some areas as a witness, then I invite you to bring that
need before Jesus right now. He can make it right and use you as a successful soul winner.