TEXT: 2 Kings 5:1-4; John 1:40-49
The students will be able to explain why soul-winning is so important and list several ways in which they can reach out to others to win them for Christ.
Naaman was a picture of the natural man enjoying the highest and best. “But he was a leper,” vividly illustrates sin. The testimony of the captive Israelite maid was effective, and Naaman went to the King of Israel for healing, with “ten talents of silver, and six thousand shekels of gold,” probably $75,000 or more.
John the Baptist’s testimony of Jesus’ Messiahship resulted in Andrew’s conversion. Andrew’s testimony in turn won Simon, whose name Jesus changed to Cephas, the Aramaic word for “stone.” John translated the word into Greek as “petros” (or Peter) which also means “rock” or “stone.” Philip, who was of Bethsaida, was called on the Lake of Galilee near Capernaum. He testified of the Messiah and won Nathanael, of Cana near Nazareth. Nathanael was an Israelite in whom was “no guile,” which means he did not possess the wily traits Jacob had before he was renamed Israel.
Every discovery of the Gospel of the Son of God produces benevolence, and leads those to whom it is made to communicate it to others. Those who find Jesus, find in Him a treasure of wisdom and knowledge through which they may not only become rich themselves, but be instruments in the hand of God for the enriching of others. These disciples, having tasted the good word of Christ, were not willing to eat their bread alone, but invited others to partake with them. Thus, the knowledge of Christ became diffused: one invited another to come and see. Jesus received all, the number of disciples was increased, and the attentive hearers were innumerable. Every man who has been brought to an acquaintance with God should endeavor to bring at least another with him; and his first attention should be fixed upon those of his own household.
Throughout the years, men have pondered the most profitable activity in which to engage themselves. Myriad have been the goals which they have set for themselves as the ultimate or highest possible degree of usefulness while on earth. But without doubt, the highest calling and occupation ever to thrill and hold the heart of any man is the call of God to the winning of souls for the Kingdom of Heaven. Not only does this unique call contain the greatest of earthly joys, but it also is inherent with the promise of eternal reward.
- In today’s lesson we are studying three persons as examples for witnessing. Identify the person which best fits each statement.
Having love and concern for the person’s enemies.
Having found the Messiah, he did not let the day pass until he had brought his brother to Christ.
This person brought one of his best friends to the Messiah.
Response: The three statements should be answered with the names: Naaman’s maid, Andrew, and Philip. Use these answers to lead the class into a discussion bringing out the fact that the people with whom they associate—family members, friends, schoolmates, and job associates—are the logical persons to whom they should pass on the Good News of Christ’s plan of redemption. The better a person knows a Christian, the more he should be aware of the Christian’s relationship with God.
- Identify the person to whom Christ ministered, who in turn spread the Good News throughout a whole city and saw many of the people believe on Him. See John 4. Note two or three reasons why this person was so successful in getting the people to come, see, and hear Jesus.
Response: The woman of Samaria was convicted, convinced, and converted. She had found the Fountain of Living Waters, and did not hesitate to enthusiastically let others know of this. They were moved to come and see for themselves. Discuss with the class that because Jesus was willing to witness to this woman on a one-to-one basis, though she was one of a despised nation as far as the Jews were concerned, she responded to His love and became a new person. After that, there was nothing more important to her than letting others know what Christ had done for her. We should be as eager as she was to pass on the Good News of salvation.
- What do you think was most influential in achieving the startling multiplication of members in the Early Church? See Acts 4:31; 8:4. In what way are all Christians to be “preachers of righteousness”? See Mark 16:15.
Response: After the disciples received the Holy Ghost, they went everywhere telling the story of Jesus. All Christians are commissioned to witness of Christ’s redeeming grace; hence we become “preachers of righteousness.” Compare the opportunities of witnessing to the unsaved inside the church sanctuary with the opportunities of witnessing to the unsaved outside the church. Ask your class how the contacts made outside the church might possibly be brought to the church. An exchange of ideas should bring out that a real interest and concern for the needs and problems of the people they contact, gives them greater opportunity to influence the lives of those with whom they associate.
- When you think about speaking of Christ, how do you react? Circle one of the sentences given below or write one of your own.
I find it difficult to speak of such a personal matter.
I do not speak about Christ unless someone asks me.
I find it easy to talk to friends about Christ, but not to people I don’t know.
I find it easy to talk to strangers about Christ, but not to close friends.
I often find myself talking to people about Christ, and I am thrilled when I have that privilege.
Response: The students may be reluctant to divulge how they marked this question. However, there is merit in encouraging the students to be bold in talking to their friends and acquaintances about Christ. If a friend is not saved, his conviction and conversion would be eternally rewarding.
- In your opinion, how would the Apostle Peter have answered question 4 above? Why? See Acts 4:20.
Response: No doubt Peter would have answered the question with the last statement. The Upper Room experience had filled the disciples’ hearts with fire, enthusiasm, and zeal. Facing the rulers, elders, and scribes gave him opportunity to speak in behalf of Christ. Ask your class what the name of our church, Apostolic Faith, means. Conclude that the name means “the faith of the Apostles.” Ideally, this means that each of us who carries that name should be filled with the Holy Ghost, as the Apostles were, so that we cannot help but speak about what we have seen and heard regarding the Gospel.
- Why is it so very important to witness for Jesus and win others to Him? See 2 Corinthians 5:20. Why is the Gospel vital to every person we meet from the standpoint of eternity? See Romans 6:23.
Response: God has ordained that the saved people should be His messengers. The Gospel is vital in that there is no other way by which one can enter Heaven. Discuss with the class that eternal matters are of utmost importance, that every person they meet is going to live forever. The Bible lets us know there are only two possibilities—Heaven or Hell! If they consider what this means, they will do everything possible to see their acquaintances and contacts converted. Christ loved us enough to give His life. They should love their fellowmen enough to tell them of Jesus’ saving grace.
- Why is the Gospel important right here and now to every person we meet in the daily affairs of life? See 1 John 1:9 and Romans 8:1.
Response: Looking at the Scriptures given, we see God’s forgiveness of sins with the resulting deliverance from guilt. Ask your class to recount the daily benefits of serving God, which include deliverance from sin and freedom to do what is right. The saved person serves a new Master who brings about a change in lifestyle. As a result of the change in the inner man, love replaces hate, friendship grows instead of jealousy and envy, and clean living as opposed to the damaging of body and soul through riotous living. Furthermore, the saved one experiences a new inner peace and tranquility that is maintained in times of trouble because it is founded in the love of God. No doubt, there are many other benefits that your students can add to this list.
- What reward do those reap who witness for Christ? See Revelation 12:11 and Daniel 12:3. What happens to those who fail in this endeavor? See Mark 8:38.
Response: The rewards of those who witness for Christ include overcoming the devil, being wise, and shining as the stars forever. Those who are ashamed of Jesus in this life will not be recognized by Him in the world to come. The lesson can be brought to a successful conclusion by engaging the class in a summarization of the importance of witnessing for Christ. Review with them different ways in which they can reach out to others to win them for Christ. If they are Christians, God has saved them from a very real, eternal Hell. In addition, He has made them a part of His family, with the hope of eternal life with Christ hereafter. The love of Jesus generates a genuine love and concern for others. How could they selfishly fail to pass it on?
Arrange a set of dominoes, on end and back-to-back, in a long line. (Leave about a half-inch space between each one.) Push the first one so it causes the rest to fall down. Use this to illustrate the far-reaching effects of one person telling another about the Lord.
Draw or cut from construction paper: two candles, a hilltop, and a bushel basket. Use these to illustrate what a Christian should do—let your light shine, or hide it?
Bring several objects to class that would be associated with activities appropriate to the age-level you teach. (For example: baseball bat, fishing pole, textbook, Big Mac container, CD, curling iron, swimsuit.) Have your students discuss how an opportunity to witness might come up while the activity suggested by the object is in progress. Think this through ahead of time so you have some ideas on each subject to get the discussion going. For instance, the baseball bat might suggest a situation where one boy tells another that he can play ball for forty-five minutes but then he’ll have to leave to get ready for church.
Bring a light switch cover for each of your students. Allow them to decorate the cover with designs and the words, “Let Your Light Shine.” Use model paint, decals, and stickers.
Give each of your students a large piece of paper. Supply colored marking pens and have them design a poster witnessing to the power of God. Display the posters around your class area.