(2 Corinthians 5:18-21)

 Every Believer is responsible for winning souls for Christ. It is the thing closest to the heart of God (2 Pet. 3:9). In witnessing, we must make the gospel clear! The Person and work of Jesus Christ is the issue!

 1. The Contact For Soul Winning – 1 Thessalonians 1:5-2:20

1 Thessalonians  2:1 – Paul’s entrance had been:

   “For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain.”

     1) It had been aggressive and powerful.

     2) It had been short … only three weeks.

     3) It had been fruitful … Many had been saved under his ministry.

Many followed Paul’s example of evangelism (cf., 1 Thess.   1:5-10).


2. The Communication Of Soul Winning – 1 Thessalonians 2:2-12

In 1 Thessalonians 2:2a – Paul communicated the Gospel of God.

   “…Were bold in our God”- This was even after “…they were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi”       (cf., Acts 16:19 ff).

 1 Thessalonians 2:2b – Paul communicated the Gospel of God in spite of opposition.

   “…With much contention” – The Greek word used here is agooni. It is the word from which we get our English word “agony” – a word used in the Grecian games referring to a contest of strife, combat, and the effort for victory (cf., 1 Cor. 9:24-27).

1 Thessalonians 2:3 – Paul communicated the pure, unadulterated Gospel of God.

   “…For our exhortation” – Paul’s method of attracting converts to the gospel was: 

   “…Not of deceit” – Paul did not attempt to appeal to the flesh and then sneak up on them with the Gospel.

   “…Nor of uncleanness” – The pagan philosophers’ teachings led to a life of licentiousness and corruption.

   “…Nor in guile” – Not by trickery (1 Pet. 2:1, 22).

 1 Thessalonians 2:4a – Paul communicated the Gospel of God as though it were a sacred trust.

   “…Allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel” – Paul had such a sense of the truth, reality, and importance of the gospel, and of his responsibility, that it kept him from anything that would cheapen it (cf. 1 Tim. 1:11-12).

   “…Even so we speak”– Paul’s methods must match his message. We would not serve a seven-course gourmet meal to our guests on a tin plate.

   Illustration: : David’s method of moving the Ark of God was inappropriate (2 Sam. 6:1-19).

1 Thessalonians 2:4b – Paul communicated the Gospel of God because it pleased God.

    “…Not as pleasing men” – Paul preached to men what they needed not what they wanted.

   “…Which trieth our hearts” – It is God and God alone to Whom we are accountable (cf., 1 Cor. 9:16-17).

 1 Thessalonians 2:5-6 – Paul communicated the gospel free from ulterior motives.

   “…For neither at any time used we flattering words”- Paul did not praise them for their beauty, wealth, talent, or accomplishments, in order to soften the painful truths about their guilt and danger.

   “…Nor a cloak of covetousness” – Paul did not put on a pretense or appearance of piety for the sake of promoting the schemes of covetousness. Warning! Many pretend great zeal for religion, in order to seek someone’s wealth.

   “…Nor of men sought we glory”– Paul did not seek fame or advantage over people.

   “…When we might have been burdensome” – Paul could have used his authority as an Apostle but chose, rather, to work with his own hands.

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 – Paul communicated the gospel out of love for people.

   “…But we were gentle among you” – Because Paul loved people, he chose to use the most kind and gentle methods to win them to Christ. Paul was like a nurse.

   “…Not the gospel of God only” – Paul was so strongly attached to them that he would have been willing to lay down his life for them.

 1 Thessalonians 2:9 – Paul communicated the gospel sacrificially.

   “…Ye remember, brethren, our labour” – Paul was a tentmaker (Acts 20:34; 1 Cor. 4:12).

   “…We preached unto you the Gospel of God”  – Paul was not a money-hungry preacher.

 1 Thessalonians 2:10 – Paul communicated the gospel with holiness of life.

   “…Holily and justly and unblameably”- Every soul winner should so live as to be able to appeal to all who have had an opportunity of knowing him, as witnesses that he was consistent and faithful.

 1 Thessalonians 2:11 – Paul communicated the gospel with love and authority.

   “…Exhorted and comforted and charged” – Gospel instruction was given with a fatherly tenderness and love.

 1 Thessalonians 2:12 – Paul communicated the gospel with the aim of conversion.

    “…That ye would walk worthy of God” – Paul wants the converts to be experientially converted.


3. The Consummation Of Soul-Winning Labor

1 Thessalonians 2:13 – Paul’s audience received the authority of the Word of God and applied it to their lives.

   “…Having received the Word of hearing from us, you welcomed it as of God, not as a word of men, but as it is, truly the Word of God, which also works in you, the ones believing.”

1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 – Paul’s converts had a testimony for Christ even amid tribulation.

   “…Brothers, you became imitators of the assemblies of God being in Judea in Christ Jesus, because you also suffered these things by your own fellow countrymen, as they did also by the Jews.”


4. The Compensation Of Soul-Winning Labor

1 Thessalonians 2:17-18 – Soul winning is the basis for our Christian fellowship.

   “…Satan hindered us” – Satan is the great obstacle to both soul winning and fellowship.

     1) Satan desires to keep ministers from churches. Without the preaching and presence of a pastor to instruct and encourage, he can slay a church.

     2) Satan has a fierce hatred of the preaching of the gospel.

     3) Satan always hates Christian fellowship. It is his policy to keep Christians apart. He delights in anything which can divide saints from one another. He attaches far more importance to godly fellowship than we do. Since unity is our strength, he does his best to promote separation that they might miss the strength that flows from Christian communion.

1 Thessalonians 2: 19 – Soul winning is the basis for future reward.

   “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of glorying? Are not even you, before our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?”

 1 Thessalonians 2:20 – Soul winning is the basis for present joy.

   “For you are our glory and joy.”