Question: "How can I gain a passion for winning souls?"
Answer: Winning souls is, essentially, the process of evangelizing or witnessing, which is simply communicating the message of salvation to unbelievers. Jesus Christ told His followers they should be His witnesses to “the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8) and to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), which is the essence of winning souls. As our Father in heaven does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9), all Christians should be eager to heed this call and have a passion for winning souls.
Witnessing, however, is less about what we do for the Lord as it is about what He does through us, and this requires a surrendered heart filled with the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the same Holy Spirit who empowered Christ while He was ministering on earth can empower us as well. First, however, we need to understand our role in building the body of Christ. As the apostle Paul explained to those in Corinth, we are God’s servants who work in unity with one another to produce a harvest. One will plow the soil, another may plant the seed, and another laborer will water it, but only God can make that seed grow (1 Corinthians 3:7). Thus, even though we each may have individual roles, we nonetheless have a unified purpose of winning others to Christ, for which everyone will receive his own reward according to his own labor (1 Corinthians 3:8).
But how can we gain a passion for spreading this good news and winning others to Christ in these difficult days when there are so many who oppose our work every step of the way? It starts by having Jesus Christ front and center in our own lives. Indeed, our passion for winning souls will increase as our passion for Christ Himself and our walk with Him becomes stronger. Two of the best ways to strengthen our Christian walk are to read His Word daily and to pray continually. When we fill our hearts and minds with Christ, we can’t help but to have a passion for sharing Him with others.
The most enthusiastic laborers are those who have a heart that is on fire for Christ, and this should actually be easy when we consider the magnitude of what our sinless Savior did for us at Calvary. His willing acceptance of death on our behalf cured us from our terminal disease (sin) and saved us from an unfathomable eternity in Hell. Yet we know what happens to those who die apart from Christ. And this hopeless eternity apart from God, let alone in the fiery darkness of inextinguishable hellfire, should motivate us to win as many people to Christ as possible, especially when we consider the brevity of life that the apostle James aptly calls “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14). Once we cross the eternal horizon, there is no going back and the time for winning souls will be over. Thus, not only is the harvest great and the workers few, but, on top of this, our time is very limited.
In these challenging times we certainly don’t have to look far to see many in despair, and yet even in the midst of this chaos, Christians can find solace in God’s Word. If a Christian finds himself in one of life’s trials, for example, he knows our sovereign Lord either put him there or is allowing him to be there. Either way, the Christian can make sense of this turmoil by realizing God has a purpose for our trial for we know that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28). Further, if life occasionally doesn’t make sense to us, that’s okay for we know to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and to not rely on our understanding of a situation (Prov. 3:5-6). Enduring life’s hardships that inevitably come our way is a lot easier when we know that God is in control.
Our lost brothers and sisters can find this same comfort when they put their faith in Christ. However, as Paul explained to the Romans: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news’” (Romans 10:15). The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, and which guards our hearts during these difficult times (Philippians 4:7), can guard theirs too, once they let Him in.
There can be no better calling than working on behalf of the One who died so that we may live. Jesus said “you are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14), and His command was that we obey Him and that we love each other as He loved us. Clearly, then, our love for Him is best exemplified when we passionately and tirelessly work to share His love with others.