Pastoral Exhortation

Let Us Be A Soul-Winning Church

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 28 July 2013

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Achurch’s God-given mission on earth is to preach the Gospel of Christ that sinners may be saved and brought to the church for their spiritual growth. A church that is not committed to doing the Gospel work has no right to exist, and it shall soon weaken and die.

Preaching Christ is particularly important to the church that seeks true biblical growth. All its members must be engaged in the soul-winning ministry because it is the work that the Head of the church, the Lord Jesus, has given them to do. Jesus defined His work as “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Then, He told His disciples that “as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). Hence all faithful church members, who go about doing the will of their Saviour and Lord, must be mindful to do the work of soul-winning, which Christ has given to them to fulfil.

The apostle Paul is a fine example to all of us in the work of the Gospel. While writing to Timothy, he wrote about how he had dedicated himself to be a soul winner for the Lord – “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10). Then he urged Timothy, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).

Evangelism must be a primary purpose of the local church and one of the major reasons for which it exists. God’s work in this day and age centres on the local church, and God’s concern has always been to reach out in love to a lost and dying world with the good news of eternal life. Evangelism should be at the top of the list of our church’s ministries. All our leaders and members must be involved in modelling evangelism. Evangelism is not an option for the local church; it is a command.

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Biblical Characteristics that Our Church Should Possess

  1. A devotion to God’s Word over all kinds of human intellectualism, philosophies and traditions. Read Matthew 15:2-3, 6; Mark 7:8-9, 13; Colossians 2:8.
  2. A devotion to preach every doctrine of the Bible even though it displeases the hearers. Read Acts 20:27; Titus 2:15.
  3. A careful attitude to keep human preferences out of worship and ministry in order to keep to the biblical model for a church. Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-3; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 2 Timothy 4:3-5.
  4. A commitment to guide the people in God’s truth through sound and well-prepared sermons and Bible studies. Read 2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 20:27- 32; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6.
  5. A commitment to keep sins away from the congregation by applying church discipline on members who live in sin unrepentantly or spread unbiblical doctrines. Read Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15.
  6. A commitment to be separated from teachers, churches and organisations which teach false doctrines. Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Romans 16:17, 18.
  7. A devotion to God in prayer. Special seasons of prayer will be held regularly in a God-focused church. Read Acts 2:42; 1 Timothy 2:1, 8.
  8. A zeal towards preaching the Gospel near and far for the salvation of sinners. Read Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 10:15.
  9. A commitment to love and care for one another. Read 1 Peter 3:8; 1 John 3:17-18; Galatians 6:10.
  10. A blessed hope and an eager waiting for the return of the Lord Jesus. Read 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; 2 Peter 3:12-15; Titus 2:13.
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Updates

Dear Pastor,

Greetings!

We thank the Lord for our 9th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service last Sunday. It was held in the same venue at Diplomat Hotel so as to be able to accommodate a bigger number of people. Praise God as it was well attended by our families, relatives and friends of Gethsemane BPC (Cebu) who came to rejoice with us, and also to witness the baptism of the 10 catechumen and 1 transfer of membership. Praise God also for His provision for the Thanksgiving Dinner that followed thereafter.

This coming Sunday will be Bogo’s turn. A good number of brethren (50 over people) from Cebu will be joining me there to encourage the church and also our brother Elder Eli as he will be installed as the missionary in charge. We have rented one bus to ferry us to Bogo shortly after the morning service here in Cebu (service in Bogo will be in the afternoon at 4.30 pm).

Thank you very much for praying for us.

Respectfully,
Rev Reggor Galarpe

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A Note of Gratitude

23rd July 2013

Dear Pastor Koshy,

Greetings in the blessed name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

With gratitude in my heart, I can say with Paul, “For what thanks can we render to God again for you” (1 Thessalonians 3:9) because of the new issue of magazine received from the Bible Witness Media Ministry (BWMM).

I am joyous and thankful to the Lord because your ministry is constantly supplying one of the things which is lacking in our ministries.

I have been empowered again through these magazines to teach, preach and effectively pastor the congregation placed under my care. Therefore, my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for the articles in the magazines. As much as I have always been blessed to receive that which is needful in our ministry, I do not forget to thank our Lord and pray for your ministry which has provided an avenue of resources to me. Thank you and may our good Lord in His mercy and grace strengthen you and all the contributors of the articles as well as the staff.

Rev Albert Ben Kainesie
Pastor, First Presbyterian Church
Freetown, Sierra Leone