READING: PSALM 51
"He that winneth souls is wise."
[*] The cordless radio mike, is a great invention, only a few years ago, you were in danger of doing yourself an injury with the lead of a tie-mike.
The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike, and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform, jerking the mike cord as he went. Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again. After several circles and jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered, “If he gets loose, will he hurt us?”
[*] In Psalm 51:13, God promises David that he would be a soulwinner, bringing sinners to salvation!
[a] There are times when as individuals, and as a corps, we go through all the right motions, we say all the right things; people have a highly exalted opinion of us; and yet, nothing of any spiritual worth happens in spite of all the hard work!
[b] There is the tendency in some Christians to think, that if they say and do all the right things, then spiritual results must ensue.
[c] Often there can be a lot of beating of heads against the wall, wondering why it doesn’t work!
[d] In Psalm 51, God promises David spiritual results, but gives certain QUALIFICATIONS the soulwinner must possess.
[e] As I prepared this, the dictionary in my word processor didn’t recognise ‘soulwinner’ and made the suggestion that possibly I meant ‘swinger’ or even ‘swindler’!
[f] Thinking about some of the revelations about American TV evangelists, perhaps it's no wonder!
[g] But let us look at some of the qualifications which God gives, if we are truly to be soulwinners for Him.
[a] God had come dramatically and powerfully to David through the prophet Nathan, and shown him that God knew all about his SECRET SIN, firstly of ADULTERY WITH BATHSHEBA, and then ARRANGING THE MURDER OF URIAH, HER HUSBAND, so that David could have her for himself!
[b] After Nathan’s visit, David was a broken man! He was under deep conviction of his sin!
[c] But right at the beginning of this Psalm, in verse 1, he recognises, that even in the face of his great sin, God is a LOVING, KIND and MERCIFUL God!
One Who is ABLE to TAKE AWAY the stain of his sin! (2-5)
One Who can make him PURE again, and TAKE AWAY THE FEELING OF GUILT!
[d] But he also acknowledges in these verses, that for that to happen, there has to be an admission of his guilt - a facing up to his misdeeds - and true sorrow, regret and repentance for the sin.
[e] Let us remember, that prior to this, David had been the equivalent of a Christian today - in fact he was stated to be a man after God’s Own heart!
[*] David belonged to the Lord!
A certain little girl, when asked her name, would reply, “I’m Mr. Sugarbrown’s daughter.” Her mother told her this was wrong, she must say, “I’m Jane Sugarbrown.”
The Vicar spoke to her in Sunday School, and said, “Aren’t you Mr. Sugarbrown’s daughter?”
She replied, “I thought I was, but mother says I’m not.”
[f] So we’re not speaking about the common or garden sinner, who never knew the Lord! YET THIS TRUE REPENTANCE AND REGRET, WAS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO PUT HIM ON A RIGHT FOOTING ONCE MORE WITH THE LORD!
[g] Make no mistake, there is a great need in the heart of the transgressing Christian, for repentance before God!
[a] In verse 7, David speaks about being ‘PURGED WITH HYSSOP’, or as some other translations would put it, cleansed through the sprinkled blood - because remember, at the time of the Passover of the ‘angel of death’, the protection for each family was the application of the blood of the sacrifice, applied to the doorposts and lintel of the door - and the application was made with hyssop!
[*] This is just a mere shadow, of what it means for us to be cleansed through the blood of the greatest sacrifice of all, the Lamb of God, Who shed His blood on Calvary’s cross, so many years after David uttered these words.
John tells us in 1 John 1:7,
“The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from ALL sin.”
John the Baptist proclaimed, in John 1:29,
“Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”
[b] David goes on to say, in Psalm 51, that the blood would make the heart ‘WHITER THAN THE SNOW’!
The prophet Isaiah says, in 1:18, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow!”
[c] Because of the way in which snow crystals reflect ultra-violet light, nothing, when contrasted, seems to have the same gleaming white purity! Even the washing washed with the latest improved, stain- digesting ‘Wizzo’, looks drab in comparison!
[d] I realise, that when he spoke, David was speaking about the sacrificial blood of an animal - and that of course fades into insignificance in comparison with the cleansing properties of the once for all Sacrifice of the LAMB OF GOD, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!
[e] Sometimes the devil will come to Christians, and remind them of the vileness of their past sin, and put the doubt in their minds, that sin so great could never be forgiven!
[f] Think about the words of Isaiah, “Though your sins be AS SCARLET, they shall be AS WHITE AS SNOW!”
SCARLET sin, is ‘DOUBLE DYED’!
Yet says the prophet, “It shall be AS WHITE AS SNOW!”
That’s the picture of your soul and mine, after God has forgiven and cleansed from sin! NEVER TO BE REMEMBERED ANY MORE!
[a] Let me backtrack for a moment, to verse 6, and say that, whatever else, we MUST BE HONEST WITH GOD! We cannot fool Him!
[b] There are those who put on a great act, but God is never fooled -
“Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
[c] As I mentioned last week, my wife and I have often come across those who are not what they seem - often the Lord has revealed to us, that there is something very seriously wrong in their heart and life, whilst on the surface, all seemed to be well.
[d] There are some other times, when we’ve been quite well fooled - for a while!
But let me remind you that the Lord says, “I the Lord search the HEART.” (Jer 17:10)
[e] God does not look at what the rest of us see this morning, and the impression we give one another, that all is well -
HE LOOKS INTO OUR HEARTS, AND HE KNOWS THOSE HEARTS THAT HARBOUR SIN AND ARE FAR FROM HIM!
HE KNOWS THE HEARTS OF THOSE THAT MAKE A MERE PRETENCE OF WORSHIP!
HE KNOWS IN EACH ONE, THE MOTIVATION THAT BRINGS US HERE THIS MORNING!
HE KNOWS THE HEARTS OF THOSE WHO CANNOT BE BOTHERED ATTENDING A PLACE OF WORSHIP, BECAUSE HE DOESN’T MEAN ENOUGH TO THEM, FOR THEM TO MAKE THE EFFORT!
The new officer had been in the corps about 8 months, and was shaking hands with those coming out of the meeting. He grabbed a young man by the hand and pulled him aside. The officer said to him, “You need to join the Army of the Lord!” The young man replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Lieutenant.” The officer questioned, “How come I haven't seen you except at Christmas and Easter?” He whispered back, “I’m in the secret service.”
HE KNOWS EACH IMITATION CHRISTIAN, ACTING OUT THE PART!
[f] Indeed, He looks into every one of our hearts at this moment, as if we’re made of glass to His eyes - there is nothing hidden from His gaze.
[a] Right at the beginning, I said that we would be looking at the qualifications for soulwinning!
[b] There must be no room for sin in the Christian’s heart, because it will destroy all that the Lord would want to do, in and through us!
Even the old skeletons in the cupboard from years ago, must be dealt with!
[c] There is nothing in our lives that the Lord CANNOT DEAL WITH!
HIS FORGIVENESS AND CLEANSING IS COMPLETE AND THOROUGH!
[d] The Lord knows you and me, much better than we know ourselves - our hearts are open to His view! He can meet our every need, both seen and unseen - if we allow Him to.
[e] Has He spoken to you just now, and shown you there is something in your life, that is stopping you being a soulwinner?
WHY NOT LET HIM DEAL WITH IT JUST NOW?
also if required, 27 in Happiness & Harmony