The Soul Winner

The Soul Winner

January 27th, 1974 @ 10:50 AM

Proverbs 11-30

A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness. When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth. The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead. An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered. When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace. A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure. A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches. The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh. The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward. As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death. They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight. Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath. There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it. He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him. He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner. Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn. A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them. The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand. A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised. He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread. A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding. The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit. The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble. A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame. He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy. There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness. The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them. The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious. In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death. A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke. A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence. He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame. Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner. There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches. The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke. The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out. Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase. Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard. Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly. A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health. Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured. The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil. He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed. A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment. He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want. Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him. In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them. Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies. A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit. Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour. The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy. The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness. The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself. The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated. The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous. The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends. He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he. Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good. In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury. The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly. A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies. In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince. He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor. The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death. Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known. Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. The king's favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent. In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble. The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness. Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die. Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men? A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise. A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness. All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife. The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother. Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly. Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath. The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow. The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words. He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live. The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things. The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat. The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right. A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment. A just weight and balance are the LORD'S: all the weights of the bag are his work. It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness. Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right. The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it. In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain. How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he. The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him. An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass. The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD. Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife. A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren. The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts. A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue. Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished. Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince. A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth. He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool. An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him. Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly. Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house. The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with. He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD. Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it? A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend. He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction. He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief. He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment. Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth. A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him. Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity. He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself. When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach. The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook. It is not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment. A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster. The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit. Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility. He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear? The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge. A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him. The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty. A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle. A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly. A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool. Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth. The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD. Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour. A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape. Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts. All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him. He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good. A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish. Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes. The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression. The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass. A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping. House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD. Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger. He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die. He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again. Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar. The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil. A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge. He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach. Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge. An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity. Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul. It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling. The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing. Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out. Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes. Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD. Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them. Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread. It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth. There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman. Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel. Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war. He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips. Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness. An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed. Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee. Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good. Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way? It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry. A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them. The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly. Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy. The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head. The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly. The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin. The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want. The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death. The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment. The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right. It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes. When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge. The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness. Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath. It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich. The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright. It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman. There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up. He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour. A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof. Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath. The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not. The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind? A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly. A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way. There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail. He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease. He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend. The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor. The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets. The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want. Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips. That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee? Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul. Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee? Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat. Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words. Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless: For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee. Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things. Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off. Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice. My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men. Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again. Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief. Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety. Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate. He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person. The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men. If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works? My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off. Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked; For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out. My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both? These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer. Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house. Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips. Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work. I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man. These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out. It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable. Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness. Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen. Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear. As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters. Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain. By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone. Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it. Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee. A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow. Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint. As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart. If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee. The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue. It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house. As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring. It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory. He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool. As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back. Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage. The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools. As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool. As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools. The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors. As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets. As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed. The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth. The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason. He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport? Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him. A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin. Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both. Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy? Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place. Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel. Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off. My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished. Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman. He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him. A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself. Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured. As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man. Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise. Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him. Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens. The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged. A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food. They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things. Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich. Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father. He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession. The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out. When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden. He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people. The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days. A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him. Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once. He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough. A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress. He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him. He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue. Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer. He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase. He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance. The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it. A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet. In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice. The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it. Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath. If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest. The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul. A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked. The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes. The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever. The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall. Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer. Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him. He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length. An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not. The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. Many seek the ruler's favour; but every man's judgment cometh from the LORD. An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked. The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal, Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy. Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell? Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty. There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough. The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid. Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness. For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat; For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress. There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces. There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up. If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth. Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.
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THE SOUL WINNER

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Proverbs 11:30

1-27-74     10:50 a.m.

 

 

On the radio, on television you are worshiping with us in the First Baptist Church in Dallas.  And this is the pastor bringing the message entitled The Soul Winner.  It is an exposition of a beautiful verse – one of the most beautiful in the Book of Proverbs – it is an exposition of a beautiful verse in the Book of Proverbs, chapter 11, verse 30, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise" [Proverbs 11:30].

Let me take it as the American Revised Version of 1901 will write it – they just change one little thing in it – but they change it because of the form of Hebrew poetry.  When we think of poetry, we think of words that rhyme but when the Hebrew author wrote poetry, he wrote it in parallel form and their poetry lay in parallelism.  So to make it parallel it would read like this: "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; And he that is wise winneth souls," ASV.  "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; And he that is wise draweth souls." A marvelously beautiful thought;

 

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. . ." [Proverbs 11:30].

 

The first Psalm says of a God-blessed man, a Christian man, "He is like a tree planted by the rivers of water . . . His leaf shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" [Psalm 1:3].  In the twenty-second chapter of the Apocalypse, the [second] verse, the inspired seer John says, "By the river of life was there the tree of life and it bare twelve manner of fruits, its fruit in its season each month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the people" [Revelation 22:2]. 

Could you think of a more magnificent tribute that inspiration could lay at the feet as a trophy to the good man, the Christian man, the believing man?  The fruit of his life is a tree of life.  Even the shadow of it is cooling, and soothing, and refreshing, healing, life-giving; the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life." 

Then the parallel, "and he that winneth souls is wise."  "He that is wise winneth souls" [Proverbs 11:30].  You see, the primary meaning of the text apparently is that the life of the believer wins; it draws.  It is like the burning bush at Horeb, ablaze with the glory of God.  You could not but look at it, it just draws and takes in to itself [Exodus 3:1-3].  So this inspired writer says about a godly man, a Christian man, a believing man; he draws souls to the Lord.  He just does; just by being himself. 

I sometimes think of that like the sun.  The sun does not rise in the morning and with a mailed fist beat on the door and say, "Get up!  Go to work!"  The sun rises in the morning so without sound, it just rises and shines of itself.  It silvers the window pane; it will softly play on a baby’s cheek.  It will flood the house with glory; it will seek out every accessible nook and corner; it will enlighten the whole world, and the flowers lift up their faces to see it.  Did you ever notice a sunflower in the morning?  The sunflower will face the rising orb in the east, and follow it all through the day, and when the sun sets, the sunflower will be facing the west; all day long, just following the course of that burning orb.  The sun draws to itself; it just does.  It just shines and the whole world is awakened.  Now he says that the man of God is like that.  He that is wise, he that is a believer, he who is a child of God, draws souls, takes souls, wins souls; he just does [Proverbs 11:30]. 

I remember when I was in school, one of the fellows in the school was very critical.  It’s so easy for a college student to be that way – critical of the Lord, critical of the Bible, critical of the church, critical of the services, critical of the people – just critical!  He liked to talk that way, as though he were an agnostic or an infidel. 

Well, a little band of us, a little group of us, a little handful of us, went to a revival meeting in a little humble church, a little church.  And I happened to be seated by that skeptic.  And it was one of those services that night where the Lord just blessed the appeal and families were saved and put together in the Lord.  And after the invitation was done, why, we stood there; just a row of us students stood there and watched.  And there were wives who were rejoicing with their husbands, and fathers and mothers who were rejoicing with their children, just as you’ve seen once in a while when the Spirit of God is moving.  And that skeptic seated next to me, just looking at it, turned and said to me, "You know," and this was his expression, "there is something about the Christian faith that just rises up and strikes you in the face." 

What he meant was that, however the skeptic may ridicule it, and depreciate it, there is something about just the shining of the Christian life, the moving of the Spirit of God, that is undeniable.  You can’t help but see it and notice it.  And that is the passage here, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that is wise" – the believer in God – "winneth souls" [Proverbs 11:30].  He draws them to himself. 

Now the verse is posited on a presupposition: namely, that souls need winning and can be won.  "He that is wise winneth souls."  It is not that they’re impossible, or that the human heart is made out of iron, or that the will is always obstreperous and incorrigible, no!  No, the human heart is still capable of being moved and the Holy Spirit is able to change it; souls can be won. 

Now, when we look at that word win, "He that is wise winneth souls," we use that word in many areas of life.  Sometimes we will use it to refer to courting, to lovemaking: the boy wins the heart and hand of the girl.  We will use that word win militarily: a general wins a battle.  We will use it legally sometimes: a lawyer will win his case in court.  We will use it sometimes to refer to good fortune: here is a man who wins a prize.  Sometimes we use the word athletically: they win the game. 

Now, when you look at that the way we use the word win, winning, you’ll find two things about it in the list I have employed.  One: in lovemaking, in courting; winning the heart, the soul, the love of somebody; that is, it is not done by coercion, or by force, or by mandate.  You can coerce the human body; you can pound it, you can put it in jail, you can incarcerate it behind bars with stone walls, but a man’s spirit, his heart, is always free.  It cannot be coerced.  It has to be won persuasively, charmingly, beautifully.  And when I think of that, I so often think of it in terms of say, our children.  I think the church ought to be, of all places of the world, attractive, and fascinating, and especially for children. 

Oh, I have the deepest hesitancy, to think about the church as being so lugubrious, so melancholy, so drab, so dull and uninteresting, and the father and mother makes the child go.  Doesn’t want to go; "I’d rather do anything else but to go!"  So the child is coerced in going, force is used, "As long as you live here in this house you have to go to church!"  Well, I suppose; but, would to God, that the whole turn and frame of the service, of the Sunday school, of the Training Union, of the missionary organization, of all of it – that it could be so turned that the child would say, "I want to go!  Get up, Mother and Dad, let’s go!" or "Hurry up, let’s go!  I like to go." 

 That is wonderful!  I also love to think of the services in God’s house like that.  They are charming; they are alluring; they are fascinating; they are appealing; they tug at your soul.  It is persuasive; it is something we love to do.  When it isn’t that way, I hurt in my heart. 

There was a couple, of a fine family – there was a couple who came to church here to visit us; and they never came back.  And when inquiry was made why they did not return, the man said, "We don’t like to go, we don’t like the preacher.  He preaches too loud and he presents the gospel too vehemently, and we don’t like him." 

Well, I would give anything in the world to be able to present the gospel message in the most attractive and fascinating way in the earth.  And when I don’t do it that way, and when the response is just the opposite of that way, I feel so sad, and so blue, and sometimes discouraged.  For the services of God ought to reflect the glory of the Lord.  Like that beautiful chorus that the choir sang:

 

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed

And all flesh shall see it together. 

Just like the sun in its strength, the glory of God.

[from Isaiah 40:5]

 

Oh, that I could do that!  That it would be marvelous, wonderful, exalting, meaningful; when I don’t, I am so deeply saddened in disappointment.  So it is with that word "win."   It applies to its persuasiveness; the appeal that is made to the heart. 

It has another use in that series that I mentioned: militarily, a man wins a battle, or an athlete wins the contest, or a lawyer wins his suit at court; that is behind the appeal that is made, the drive of it, the thrust of it, you have the feeling of a striving, a planning.  And that’s always true.  Judge Williams, no man ever adventitiously won a contested suit at court; he has to think about it.  He has to plan for it.  There is the judge on the bench; there is the jury; the whole set up of the process of jurisprudence.  And the man must think, and he must plan. 

So it is with any kind of a game, you just don’t go out there and accidentally win it.  It’s something that you strive for, and sometimes agonize for, prepare for.  The whole gamut of that word "win," however you apply it, is like that.  Well, that’s the way it also means here; to win souls in wisdom, in the directive knowledge of God, there must be preparation, and planning, and stated dedication toward it. 

And that leads me to my next avowal of the text.  This means, I would think, by divine inspiration, that our great mandate and assignment is this: winning souls,  bringing the lost to Jesus.  That is what we are for; that is what we are do.  This is the great primary fundamental dynamic mandate for God’s people; winning the lost, winning people to Christ.  This is our first goal.  Now we may have many others incidentally, but they are yet incidental; they’re not dynamically, primarily the heart of the church.  Take our own church, for example.  I love the church giving itself to a multitudinous facet of programming, and enlisting the families and the people.

That was one of the funniest things last night that they had here.  Everybody paid a dollar to get in to see the staff make fools of themselves.  Well, that’s all right, that’s all right; you’re going to be a fool for Christ’s sake [1 Corinthians 4:10].  It’s something Paul said he would like to do.  But you see, last night there was something in it that I think ought always be of the church.  What they did was to support a mission appeal, to support a soul-winning appeal in Thailand, with the sweet missionary couple who belong to our congregation.  Now, I like that. 

Whatever we’re doing in our recreational program, ultimately it has as its chief and greatest end to introduce somebody to Jesus.  Even our business administration is that; our men in the church, our people in the church, have great confidence in our business office.  And they turn over to the business office in the course of a year over five million dollars, in this one church, because of a confidence they have in it.  I love that.  We have a fine administrative business procedure here in the church. 

And yet I like to think, and I think not unjustly or incorrectly so – I like to think that the entire effort of the business office is also that.  We’re using it to win people to Christ.  It was a delight to my heart when the personnel committee brought to me Mr. John Shank, the one they chose to be our business administrator, and said to me, "Pastor, he’s an ordained minister."  Why, I just love that.  Here is a man working in the house of God; he presides over the business administration of our church, but he’s an ordained minister.  He’s a man of God on whom an ordaining presbytery has placed its hands of consecration and separation.

I like that!  Kind of reminds me of the wonderful, glorious messianic prophecy in the fourteenth chapter of Zechariah, where describing the house of the Lord, it says even the pots and the pans have written on them "Holiness unto the Lord" [Zechariah 14:21].  Isn’t that just great?  All of it, all of it is dedicated to the winning of souls, everything that we do. 

I want to point out to you something that happens to a church when it turns aside from that great heavenly mandate.  It is easy for a church to turn aside from it and give itself to something else.  And when it loses that seeking note, that evangelistic appeal, there is one of two things that will happen to the church. 

Number one: when the church turns aside from its great commission to win people to Christ, it can do one of two things.  One: it can turn worldly.  It doesn’t win the world, but the world wins it.  Worldliness is a spirit.  Many times the minister in the pulpit will point out this as being worldly, and that as being worldly, and this is being worldly, and this is being worldly, and that’s correct.  This, that, and the other, they are worldly things, worldly habits, worldly practices, but this is not actually what it is.  This is just an outside token; it is just a showing forth of the heart, of the spirit, of the inside.  For worldliness is a spirit and it can get in us, it can get in a whole church!  Our goals can be wrong; our visions can be wrong; our programming and planning can be wrong; it can be worldly, it can be of this world – not of heaven, not of God – but of the world! 

I sometimes think of some of the churches that boast of certain things about themselves.  You have to be careful about that.  Oh, sometimes it’s of the flesh, sometimes it’s of the prideful spirit, it’s not of God!  You got to be careful; a church can be worldly in many, many areas of its life.  And the people can get worldly.  Our whole interests are just out there, they are down here; they’re not up there, we haven’t set our affection upon things above, but upon things down here.  When we turn aside from soul-winning, our great evangelistic mandate from heaven, a church can become worldly!  Just it belongs down here, is down here; no difference ultimately between it and a country club.  It’s just like joining a club to join the church.  That’s one thing that can happen to it. 

Here’s another thing that can happen to it.  When a church turns aside from its great, first, heavenly mandate to win souls to Christ, it can become, on the other side of the spectrum – it can become coldly orthodox.  The minister, the congregation, the official board and family, they believe every syllable of the faith; can recite every part of the creed just as judiciously correct in all of their sibilants as though a seraph from heaven were repeating what God has revealed to us; but at the same time, without love, without moving, without persuasiveness. 

I remember some time, a long time ago, we had a young woman who stayed in our home; she was helping us with our little girl.  And as a member, somewhat, of the family – living there at the house, working there at the house – why, she’d go to church where she pleased.  So she went to such-and-such church, and upon a Sunday at the noon meal, I asked her about the services at the church.  And as I talked to her about it, I asked her, "Does your pastor ever give an invitation?"  She said, "No.  No."  Well, I said, "What do you do when you go to church?  And what do you listen to, and what does the pastor preach when he stands in the pulpit to preach?"  And she said, "Well, he preaches prophecy, and we’re interested in prophecy, and we love to listen to prophecy."  Well, I said, "That is wonderful, that is glorious.  So much of the Bible is the sovereign will of God revealed in human history and in human life.  But," I said, "when he gets through preaching prophecy, then what does he do?"  She said, "We have the benediction."  I said, "He never gives an appeal?" 

"No, he never extends an invitation." 

You know what I thought?  I thought that is exactly, exactly like an insurance man.  And he goes to a family, and he says to the father in the home, "Here is your wife and these are your darling children, and you have a mortgage on the house.  If an accident was to overwhelm you and you were taken away, what would happen to the home?  What would happen to the house and the mortgage, what would happen to your wife, what would happen to your children?  You need insurance to protect them."  And all he needs to do is just to say it, and it is its own apology, its own defense.  So, he says it.  Then he describes how beautiful the insurance policy is; what fine paper it’s written on; something about the illustrious company and other things about the business of insurance, and then leaves, and never gives an appeal for the man to do something to insure himself against the loss of the house, and the widowing of his wife, and the orphaning of his children.  Why, when I say that, you say, "Pastor, that is unimaginable!  That is unthinkable!  There is no man in his judgment of good sense that would do that!  The purpose of the insurance man is, ‘You need this!  Now sign this dotted line here.  Now, this is the first payment here.  Now you insure yourself against these exigencies.’" 

That is what it is! That is exactly the pulpit preacher and a minister of Christ; stand in the pulpit and preach the gospel, and present the Word, and never make an appeal – it is unthinkable!  For that is ultimately what it’s all about.  Could I use these kids’ words? "That’s where the action" – wait a minute – "That’s where the action is at!"  That’s it.  That’s it!

Many people will say to me about the coming of Brother Jimmy Draper, "We supposed that he has come to stand by the pastor and to relieve him of the many of the onerous burdens and details of the work, and to give length of days to him; that’s why the coming the associate, Brother Draper."

 And I would say, "Yes, that’s right, he’s come to stand by my side, and to work with me and with our staff." 

But there is something else, an over, and above, and beyond: he’s also come to guide us into a tremendous outreach, the implementing of our heavenly assignment to guide our people into a soul-winning program; something we can get our hands on, something we can actually do.  And oh, how that is needed!  Not just to say it, not just even to publicize it, or advertise it, or put it in language and words, but to do something to reach people for Christ. 

Judge Williams, I read a court case in England, and it was one of the most interesting you could ever read.  What happened was, a long time ago there was a ship that foundered on the rocks on the English shore, and it went down, and everybody on the ship was drowned, everybody was lost.  But the bizarre facet to the story was that happened within two hundred yards of a life saving station on the shore.  So the captain of the life saving station was haled before court for the neglect of duty.  And he was on the witness stand, and the prosecuting attorney was interrogating him and asking him questions.  All right, judge, here are the questions.  They went like this.

The lawyer said, the prosecuting attorney said to the captain of that life saving station on the shore, "Did you see that ship out there pounded against the rocks, sinking, and its people drowning?" 

And he said, "Yes, I was there.  I saw it." 

And the lawyer said, "Well, did you send out a boat to rescue them?" 

And the captain said, "No, the surf was too high." 

The interrogator said, "Sir, did you shoot out a line to try to reach those struggling passengers?" 

And the captain said, "No, I felt it was too far." 

The interrogator said, "Well, did you seek to establish a breeches buoy in order to rescue those drowning passengers?" 

And the captain replied, "No, sir, I felt it was too difficult to try." 

And after one question after another, the lawyer in exasperation said, "Well, tell me and this court, under high heaven, what did you do to try to save those drowning passengers?"

Now you listen to his reply.  The captain of the life saving station replied, he said, "Sir, I did everything I could to help them through the speaking trumpet." 

Now, in our language we would call that "through the megaphone."  Standing on the shore, within two hundred yards of a ship going down with all its passengers, he tried to help with a speaking trumpet, a megaphone.  Why, if the little boat of rescue had been flattened, I think he still should have launched it.  If the line had been too short, he still should have flung it out!  When I read that, I thought of us.  What we need, what we need is to do, to try, to attempt; not just the use of a speaking trumpet.  This is our heavenly assignment. 

May I close?  "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life;  And he that is wise winneth souls" [Proverbs 11:30].  There is a wisdom in the godly man that is of God Himself.  The wisdom of the Lord, winning souls; there is a blessing in it that is incomparable. 

Let me take just one little incident.  When we came to Dallas, soon thirty years ago, I asked one of the deacons here, one of the men on the pulpit committee, I asked, "Who is the dentist that Dr. Truett used, to whom he went?"

I take care of my teeth.  I have good teeth.  I inherited them from my father.  My father was an unusual man if there ever was one.  He never went to a doctor in his life. He never was in the hospital in his life.  And when he died at seventy-six years of age, he had all of his teeth sound in his head, and he never went to a dentist in his life.  Now, isn’t that something?  Well, I inherited my good teeth from my father, but not his inane ways, such as not going to a doctor or such as not going to a dentist.  I go to the dentist regularly, and that’s what you ought to do regularly.

So the deacon said, "Dr. Truett’s dentist is Dr. Snowden."  So I called the good doctor and made an appointment with him.  And went up there and sat down in the chair, and he began to talk to me about Dr. Truett.  And as he talked to me, he broke down and cried.  When he gained his composure, he apologized to me.  He said, "You must forgive me.  I did not mean to weep."  But he said, "Dr. Truett taught me the way of life, and I loved him dearly."  I saw Mamie Snowden, his sweet wife, the widow, he has been dead almost twenty-eight years now – I saw Mamie Snowden after the service this morning at 8:15, and I said, "Mamie, did you know that?"  She said, "Yes, I knew that." 

That is one of the sweet little vignettes in my memory of the great pastor.  I was so surprised, going to see the doctor, and he break down and weep. "You see," he says, "he taught me the way of life, and I loved him dearly."  Isn’t that a commentary on the beauty and glory of the passage?  "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; And he that is wise winneth souls" [Proverbs 11:30]. 

It is exactly as the apostle Paul wrote in the second chapter of 1 Thessalonians, "What is our hope?  What is our joy?  What is our crown of rejoicing?  Is it not even you at the presence of the coming of the Lord?" [1 Thessalonians 2:19]  Paul said, "In that great and consummating day, our crown of gladness and rejoicing will be you Thessalonians, whom I have won to the blessed, blessed Jesus."  "He that is wise winneth souls" [Proverbs 11:30]. 

O God in heaven, in mercy and goodness bless our people, our staff, and this pastor, as we give ourselves to that persuasive appeal, come, come, come!"

In this moment we stand to sing our hymn.  While we sing it, in the balcony round, you; on this lower floor, you; down a stairway, down one of these aisles, "Here I come, pastor, I have made a decision in my heart. He has won my heart.  I have given my heart away.  I have given it to God, and I’m coming this morning, openly, publicly, to avow that faith in the wonderful Jesus."

Or putting your life with us in the church; as the Spirit of Christ shall press the appeal to your heart, make it now.  Come now.  Do it now, on the first note of the first stanza, "Here I am, pastor, here I come."  Do it now, while we stand and while we sing.