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Must we win souls to be saved?

Submitted: 11/11/2005
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Question: My pastor says that once a person is baptized, our job is to bring people to Christ. He says that God wants us to produce fruits or else he will cut us off. If a Christian never brings a person to Christ, is he or she still saved?

Answer: Salvation is based on the blood of Jesus Christ, which we receive through our new birth experience (John 3:5; Acts 2:38). Once we are saved, there is nothing more that we must to in order to get saved. We do not need to work for our salvation. Having said that, there is a great lesson to be learned from the incident when Jesus cursed the fruitless fig tree. The Bible says, 'Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, 'Let no fruit grow on you ever again.' Immediately the fig tree withered away' (Matthew 21:18-19).

This story shows us the problem we face if we fail to fulfill our purpose in Jesus Christ. Just as a fig tree exists for the purpose of bearing figs, we have been saved for the purpose of bearing spiritual fruit (see John 15:1-16). If we fail to fulfill our purpose, Jesus will not receive us into eternal life. Like the fig tree, we will be cursed.

What we need to understand, however, is that our job is to stay connected to the source of life and allow the Lord to direct our steps. The issue is not doing whatever you can to win someone to the Lord so you can stay out of hell; it is to live your life in submission to the Spirit of God. When we allow the Spirit to direct us, we WILL be fruitful. Jesus put it this way, 'I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit' (John 15:5). So instead of feeling pressured to bear fruit, just focus on abiding in Jesus. He will then bring forth the fruit in its season.