Sunday night in Dominica I preached from Luke 15 about the parables of the lost things--a sheep, a coin, and a son. During the invitation song a sister who had been out of the church at least 4 years came forward to be restored, for which we thank God. In the closing announcements the brother talked about how we all know these parables, but yet there were new points taught that evening.
One of the points we cannot forget, yet often do is that the Gospel is God's power to save. Since this is true several points follow from it:
1) If the gospel is God's power to save, then recreation is not. Whether eating or playing, recreation will NEVER save a single soul--only the Gospel can do that.
2) If the gospel is God's power to save then it doesn't depend totally on me. This is not to minimize the importance of each Christian reaching out to everyone they come into contact with, but rather the point is "I" don't have to win them. If the gospel will not win them, then I can't. This takes a great deal of pressure off of us. I've taught quite a few who have been converted but taught the same thing to others and they were not converted. What's the difference? It wasn't the teacher or the teaching, but rather the heart of the student. If a person is seeking truth, when shown it they will accept it. If a person is NOT seeking truth, the will not accept it even when they see it. Our job is to spread the gospel; God will do the rest.
3) If the gospel is God's power to save and we withhold it from the lost we are condemning them to eternal torment--what a responsibility we have to get the word out.