Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. (Acts 8:1-4)
Spreading The Word
One of the key ingredients to successful evangelism is the united efforts of every Christian to sow the seed. When Saul began persecuting the church it tells us “they” were scattered and “they” were teaching the word to lost souls. The church of the New Testament did not grow because of the efforts of a few but the work of the many. They understood through the efforts of everyone doing their part the church would turn the world upside down.
In Paris a bridge is nearly collapsing because of over 700,000 padlocks are attached to its railings. The weight of the locks is not because of the first couple that placed the padlock on the bridge. It was the efforts of all those that followed that combined in their passion for romance that now endangers the bridge. One of the metal grilles has already fallen into the Seine River. There is a lesson in what can be done when there is unity of purpose. Imagine how much the local congregation would grow if one person brought one person to Christ this year. Just one. Not many, not a few, not the whole world – just one. Got that number. Now take 25 people in the local congregation who decide to bring one person to Christ this year – only one. Did you go get your calculator? You will need it in a minute.
Write down the number of folk in the local congregation you are a part of. Divide it by three. No. Divine it by four. The hope is that 25% of a congregation will be serious about saving souls. Now do the math. If one person brought one person per year to Christ where would you be in one / five / ten / 20 years? Are you sitting down now? You might need a drink of water.
I know that math is not the formula for saving lost souls. Numbers do mean something or the Lord would not have told us how many people obeyed the gospel in the book of Acts. What this means is the power to convince people what should be done in the local work of God. We have gone too long complacent with the status quo of how things are without any serious desire to grow the church through evangelism. Just think what ONE can do when ALL are doing the work like the ONE!!!
We are not trying to take down a bridge in Paris. We are trying to take down the world! It is possible to do so much more than we are doing. Time is running out. Let’s be busy about the ONE this year and give God the glory for the harvest of souls.
The world will not be Christianized but should be evangelized. (Vance Havner)