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                                      SOULS ARE AT STAKE!

We all have loved ones that are lost. We also know that any of us including the lost can leave this world at any time. The question is, what are we doing about it? Here are three things that need to be present in our lives.

1. We need to have a true heart felt burden for lost souls.
2. We need to let our light shine so that we can be an example to others.
3. We need to witness to others when we get the chance.

1. Burden For Lost Souls

Do we truly have a burden for lost souls? When is the last time that we prayed so hard for lost souls that tears ran down our cheek? How much time do we spend in our “prayer closet” praying for the lost? If a sinner is going to go to hell let’s make sure that they have to jump over our prayers to get there. Let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.?

There is no such thing as compassion for a lost soul that does not cause great sorrow in the heart. It is painful to bear a lost person on your heart and to stand between them and the fires of hell. Almost no one preaches about a literal Hell, where the lost will be tormented for eternity. Neither do we weep over those on the way to that horrible place. God has ordained that every born again saint never forget from what he was saved.

Apostle Jude said:  Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
(Jude 1:22-23). When we see souls on their way to hell we should do everything we can to pull them out of the fire. It is an awesome reality that the business of soul winning is on our shoulders. Unless we understand that we are responsible for warning and praying for the unsaved before our God, nothing will change. Untold millions will spend eternity in hell because nobody will weep for their souls.

“Pulling them out of the fire” has got to be one of the greatest statements ever voiced by the Holy Ghost to Christ’s church. We, the Spirit-filled saints of Almighty God, have been shown that we are the gate watchers of hell. We can pull souls away from the fire through prayer and warnings. No, we cannot decide for them, but we can guarantee that they will hear the call and invitation from the Holy Spirit.

2. Letting Our Light Shine

Mat 5:14 
"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Mat 5:15 
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its
                stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

Mat 5:16 
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good
               deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


What does Jesus mean by light?
Jesus also calls Himself "the light of the world." John calls Him "the life that is the light of men," "the light that shines in the darkness" (John 1:4-5). The light in us is His light, the Holy Spirit within us. The apostle Paul speaks of "the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:4). We have that light shining through our lives if our actions reflect the nature of Christ-His love, compassion, and forgiveness. His light shines through our attitudes, words, and deeds. When people see that our lives have been changed so that we have Jesus' values and see the power of God at work in us, they will agree that we do have a great Savior. When they see redeemed people, they are more inclined to believe that we have a Redeemer. The Christ like life is the platform on which individual testimony becomes convincing.

What does it mean to shine?
Philippians 2:14-16 says:  Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus is called “the true light, which gives light to everyone” (John 1:9). Throughout the New Testament, the followers of Jesus are called to be lights in the darkness. So, what does it mean to shine? It means:

• Be Separate from the world. We live in a dark world, full of evil, lies, hate, compromise, and confusion. But God’s Word tells us to “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12).

• Putting yourself out there. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others” (Matthew 5:16). He explained that no one lights a lamp just to hide it under a basket. A lamp is meant to be placed on a stand to give light to everything around it. Whether you’re timid or outgoing, you’re called to be a light to the people around you. That’s only possible if you’re taking time to interact with people and cultivate relationships.

• Always pointing back to the light source. When Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others,” that wasn’t the whole sentence. He went on to give the reason why it’s important to shine: “so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Our goal should never be to bring recognition to ourselves, but to bring glory to God. There’s a fine line between being a light and putting on a show to get attention. It’s a matter of the heart.

So how exactly do we shine?
Do not be conformed to this world … -Romans 12:2, ESV
Here are 4 practical tips:

• Be careful what you say. The Bible calls the tongue “a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). That’s pretty serious. And that’s how we should take our speech-seriously. As part of Christ’s body, filled with his righteousness and holiness, we must not use foul or abusive language. Such speech is worthless. Not only should our speech be kept clean and truthful, but we should also speak words that are good and helpful, words of encouragement. We must be sensitive to the situation and the needs of anyone with whom we converse, and we must be wise in choosing our words, for even good words, unless used appropriately, can be destructive instead of useful. God can work through our words to help others and bring his grace to them.

• Consider your entertainment. Whether you realize it or not, you are being watched. Where do you go for fun? What shows or movies do you watch? What kind of music do you listen to? Would you go to the same places, watch the same things or listen to the same music if Jesus were sitting next to you? Or would you be embarrassed? It might sound silly, but asking those questions is a good way to keep yourself in check, whether you’re alone or with others.

• Use social media wisely. People are watching what you post, whether they interact with your posts or not. Think about the things you’ve posted recently-articles, comments, photos and so on. Could they be seen as prideful? Self-centered? Rude? What’s your motive? To put others down or make them jealous? Hopefully not. Aim to make informed, respectful posts that represent the One you claim as Lord.

• Think of others. Consider other people’s needs and help meet them. Encourage instead of criticize. Be patient. If you hear gossip, distance yourself from it or change the subject. When you encounter a difficult person, remember that they were made and are loved by God. Above all, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31).

3. Witnessing To Others

Here are some of scriptures to keep in mind.

Col 4:5  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
Col 4:6  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may
              know how to answer everyone.

2Co 5:20  We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal
                 through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.


Christian Witnessing - We're Merely Called to Share
Christian witnessing is merely sharing our heartfelt faith in Christ - what He's personally done to change our individual lives! We're not called to argue or debate anyone into heaven. We're merely called to share! As in the courtroom, we're called to be a witness for the Gospel, not the lawyer, judge or jury… Leave that up to God! We’re to share the gospel and leave the convicting up to the Holy Spirit.
Here are a few suggestions that might help you to lead others to Christ:

1. Live a consistent Christian life. You never know who is watching you.

2. Pray that the Holy Spirit will give you the words to speak to anyone that you witness to.

3. Be a good listener. You don’t always have to be the one talking. Listen to their questions and
    answer with kindness and understanding. Maybe they are having problems that they need
    someone to talk to about. This could open up an opportunity to tell them what Jesus has
    brought you through.

4. Be humble but bold in God’s word and avoid preachiness. Don’t keep going on and on like
    some dried up sermon and bore them to death. Know when to stop.

5.  Stay Calm.  Regardless of what they say don’t get mad or frustrated.  Just stay calm and
     keep your cool.  The more calm you are, the more confident you look, and the more
    persuasive you sound.

6.  Let them walk away if they want. When it seems like they’re finished with the conversation,
     their eyes are wandering, they’re changing the subject, or looking for an exit, let them go.
     They are not listening anymore so don’t press the issue.  You have given them more to
     think about, but don’t press them if they aren’t ready.  We can’t pressure the work of the
     Holy Spirit in their lives.  Ultimately, it’s God job to persuade them, you’re the messenger
     God is using.  Be conscious of when it’s time to stop.

Summary

Our number one priority must be our own relationship with God and soul winning must be our second priority over everything else. We really need to get down to business and start doing some sincere and heart felt prayer for those that are lost. What do we focus on? Do we focus on our own needs and wants or do we focus on God and the needs of others? Remember we stand between the lost and hell so what are we doing about it?

We must live holy lives if we want to win others to God. Sometimes we need to take a good look at ourselves. Can people tell that we’re a Christian without us telling them? Do we really let our light shine? We have loved ones headed into a lake of fire for all eternity. What are we doing about it? Do we pray for them from the depths of our heart? Have we invited them to church lately? When was the last time we witnessed to them? Thousands are dying lost every day. We need to get down to business because SOULS ARE AT STAKE!