SOUP, SOAP AND SALVATION
by Charles (Chuck) Robey
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When the Salvation Army Christian Church first started out, someone coined the famous motto, "Soup, Soap and Salvation".
In fact, Iíve heard many a people expound on this famous motto. Not only does it say what the Army believes, but it gives the right order in which to do it. First (soup) they look after a personís immediate physical needs. Then (soap) as they restore a person's dignity and get them back into society. Then finally, they share the gospel with them and hope theyíll accept God's plan of salvation. In other words, it's hard to get a person saved, when they are down-and-out and hungry.
Christian Organizations, like the Salvation Army, do a wonderful job, witnessing for our Lord. However, when's the last time we, who name the name of Christ, have gone out into the highways and hedges and compelled the people to come in.
"And the lord said to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."(Luke 14:22)
Is this parable not a prime example of the free grace and mercy of God shining in the gospel of Christ? (John 14:15-24). And, are we not compelled to present the gospel to everyone alike, regardless of the person's social standing or background?
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature". (Mark 16:15)
Now, let me ask. Has the Christian church become too complacent, within today's political society? Oh, I know we all probably give generously to the various missions that we support. But, what about our neighbors down the street, to whom we give a wave on Sunday morning, as we go trucking off to church in our Sunday best. Do we ever talk to them about the goodness of God? Do we ever ask if they have any eternal plans, for the future? Do we ever share God's eternal plan for their lives?
Well, I must confess. I'm guilty of the above, on all counts. But, that doesn't make it any better. I know it's hard sometimes to approach people. Especially those whom we don't know much about. However, we must always remember we don't enter the fight against sin alone.
"Nothing can ever separate us from God's love, Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love". (Romans 8:38)
So, how should we go about witnessing to those around us? We should first make a friend or be a friend, for the sake of knowing them for who they are and knowing their needs. Then, we should be authentic or a real genuine person, not a fake, and live our lives in faithfulness to God. And above all, we should always show genuine love and friendship, for those around us.
Remember the old clichi, "You are the only Bible some folks will ever read".
And most importantly, as Christians we have two powerful tools at our disposal, God's word and God's gospel..
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)
When we know that the Word of God will accomplish what God wants, and that the gospel has power to save, then we know that in witnessing we are using these two powerful tools. The Word of God is the Bible. The Gospel of God is His revelation of redemption.
Sometimes, it's very easy to get discouraged, when we witness and nothing visually happens. We must keep in mind that we may never see results, this side of heaven. However, this does not give us a free ticket to give up on mankind.
Remember, we witness; God saves. We plant the seeds; God waters. His gospel is powerful and it's Him who brings about His salvation. And, you will always witness in power when you witness with the Word of God.
"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edge sword, and piercing as far as the divisions of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart'. (Hebrews 4:12)
So, let us pray that God will not only give us the opportunity and the courage to talk to those around us but will also provide the right words to say.
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