When you read the Acts of the Apostles and the epistles of Paul, you see that the bulk of the preaching of the gospel was done by the men that God called to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. In Paul’s epistles, you don’t see much instruction to the saints on “soul winning.” He gives us a lot of instruction on growing in Christ, loving one another, walking in the Spirit, and so forth. He gives us a lot of practical instruction on how to live the Christian life and how to get along with each other while we’re living here, waiting on Jesus. But he doesn’t say very much about soul winning.
So, when it comes to your participation in the gospel, what, specifically, does Paul say you should be doing? If you haven’t been called to preach what is your part? We’ll consider what Paul wrote in chronological order. Your part in the gospel is this:
Do good unto all men – Gal 6:8-10 – in the context of sowing to the Spirit Paul wrote, “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men…” When you do good unto men for the sake of the gospel, you make it easier to reach them. Befriend your neighbors, help your co-workers, and look for opportunities to do good things for others that might open the door to the gospel. My friend, Johnny Melton, has led many people to the Lord. He often creates the opportunity to witness by being good to them.
Walk as children of light – Eph 5:8-12 – reprove the unfruitful works of darkness. Phil 2:15-16. You can’t be ashamed to stand against the works of darkness “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation.” They must know that God views what they are doing as abominable. And they must know that he will judge them for it. This will cause some to seek reconciliation with God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our living in light is contrasted to their living in darkness, just as the children of Israel had light in Egypt when all the rest were in darkness.
Always be prepared to preach the gospel – Eph 6:15 – Paul exhorted us to put on the whole armor of God. Having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace is part of being properly armed. Thus, you must be prepared to preach the gospel every time you walk out the door. If you are prepared to preach the gospel, if you have tracts and New Testaments ready, the Lord will set up opportunities for you to preach. Some days, you will be intentionally seeking souls to whom to preach, as when we go to a neighborhood, or to the port, or to the seawall. Other days, you will meet someone along the way in the ordinary course of the day.
Support the preachers of the gospel – there are many people in the ministry full-time. You can support them financially by giving to missions [Phil 4:15-17; Phil 1:5-7]. You can support them prayerfully by praying for them regularly [Col 4:2-4].
Know how to answer every man – Col 4:6 – “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” You ought to know the answers well enough that you can give them with the confident assurance that you are absolutely right. Be gracious but be direct. Don’t be rude yet don’t sugar coat the truth, either.
Keep a good public testimony – 1 Thes 1:7-10 – your testimony is as much a part of preaching the gospel as your preaching is. When your life changes, the word gets out. When you keep a good testimony, others can’t legitimately say there are a lot of hypocrites in this church. Like Peter said, “they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ,” [1 Pet 3:16].
Endure the suffering of unbelievers – 2 Thes 1:4-10 – when Jesus returns there will be many who have not obeyed the “gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” According to Paul, they “trouble you” with “persecutions and tribulations that ye (must) endure.” They cause you to suffer for the kingdom of God. Despite their attempts to stop you, keep doing the things God has given you to do. Don’t be intimidated by them or afraid of them. Instead, trust the Lord [Ps 56:3, 11].
Conclusion: if you are one of those “that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” you can be saved today if you will trust the Lord Jesus Christ to save you. You will know God and you will escape the “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.” Instead, he will come for you when he comes for the rest of us at the rapture. And you will spend eternity with him rather than with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire.