Casual Christians, Worthless Witnessing and Corrupt Calvinism: A Bad Recipe For Soul Winning

by Missionary Bill

Casual Christians

During the early part of my new life in Christ I referred to Soul Winning as Witnessing. I should have called it, “Hey, if you happen to come my way and catch me on a good day I might tell you about being saved if I can remember some Bible verses and think you’re worthy.” Well, I really wasn’t that bad, but I use that example because it describes about ninety-nine per cent of all the other Christians I have ever met in my lifetime. I had an extreme zeal to help people find Jesus. The problem was that I was always being discouraged from doing that.

I was saved thanks to a hot and aggressive youth ministry. After I started to try and transition to a church home, things cooled off...alot...and my first attempt left me cold. All of a sudden I found myself in the midst of people that all had different Bible translations, were more about spiritual growth in the Word than anything else, and loved to sit around and listen to pretty sermons. Alter calls were few and far between and there wasn’t much interest in getting people in the door to get saved.

The spiritual growth part wasn’t really working because most of the church members didn’t act very spiritual with young people smirking and making out in the back pews, while older folks slept in the front. This was a classic case of a church filled with people that lived up to the adage of ‘...many are called, but few are chosen’ and in that congregation one could easily see that many were cold and a few were frozen.

It took me a long time to find a church home because most of the churches I visited were just like that one. The pastors and people had good intentions, but you know the old saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions. Now don’t get me wrong. I was not looking for a church with some preacher who ran around the alter spouting hell and brimstone sermons, but I wanted to attend a church where bringing people to Jesus was as important to everyone else as it was to me.

Corrupt Calvinism

One of the first lessons I learned as a new Christian was that casual Christians cannot win souls. At least that was my experience. As I learned more about the Bible and the differing views Christians had concerning its teachings, it became obvious why so many Christians seemed to be disinterested in aggressive soul winning. They had been infected with Calvinism. This view of Salvation teaches that God elected or preordained certain people to be saved and that only those he selected would ever come to Jesus.

It amazes me that people are unable to understand the simple teaching concerning election. I have even heard well-known TV preachers and evangelists tell their audiences that they really don’t understand exactly how the whole ‘election’ thing works, but that they should witness and win souls anyway. What? Really? Let’s take a look at this issue. The five points of Calvinism are as follows:

1. Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)

2.Unconditional Election

3.Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)

4. Irresistible Grace

5. Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

These were created by John Calvin (1509-1535), a Theologian from France. Note that he was obviously not a member of the early church. He was a Protestant Reformation Theologian. Let’s start there. Like many of his time Calvin was protesting against the abuses, extremes and extra-Biblical teachings of the Catholic Church. Therefore, his teachings were more about clarifying theological positions that were incorrect to begin with, than about expounding on Scripture.

At the time of Calvin there were Christians around that had never stopped believing in and teaching God’s Word as they did in the days of the early church. Some were being rightly or wrongly called things like ‘Anabaptists’ which meant people that re-baptized, because of their correct Biblical view against infant baptism and the idea that only people who had already accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior should be baptized.

Although known by various titles (correctly or incorrectly), these were not people that came out of the reformation movement contrary to popular opinion. Many had never been a part of the Catholic Church or believed in things like Infant Baptism and Apostolic Succession. Either way, Catholics and Reformers alike persecuted these people! That shows that Reformers certainly did not fully understand how to properly interpret Scripture. Let’s go back to Calvin’s view of the Jews.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” 2 Timothy 2:15-16 (KJV)

Did John Calvin rightly divide the word of truth? If so, how could he come to the conclusion that God was done with the Jews, that they were a rejected people that needed Jesus as much as anyone else. He was right on an individual basis. No one can be saved or go to Heaven unless they accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. However, as a people and Spiritual nation, God still has plans for the Jews as stated in Romans 11:25-27 (KJV):

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

Calvin makes the very mistake that Paul warns against in Romans. He gets caught up in the conceited idea that the Gentiles have replaced the Jews. He takes the alleged Catholic position that Jews were rejected by God and that the Church (earthly and universal), made up primarily of Gentiles willing to obey Him, has replaced the Jews as God’s people.

The Bible refutes this teaching by pointing out that the Jews were always God’s choice for representing him to the pagan nations, but having failed to obey him, God chose to reach out to others who would accept and obey his Word. That doesn’t mean he is done with Israel and, in fact, Gentiles are described as being adopted into God’s family. However, the real problem with Calvin’s teaching surrounds a general misunderstanding and misinterpretation of Ephesians 1:4-6 (KJV):

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

The idea of predestination permeates and is at the very heart of Calvinism. This verse appears to indicate that God chose certain people to be saved before they were even born and that only those people can be called to Salvation. But is that the whole story? Let’s look at 1 Peter 1:1-2 (KJV):

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

Here the election process is clarified by the addition of the word ‘foreknowledge.’ God knew who would seek him out before the world was created. This doesn’t mean that he chose certain people to go to Hell and others to be with him in Heaven. He simply knew and acted on that knowledge by calling them out through the Holy Spirit. We do not have that knowledge and are expected to share the Gospel with everyone.

Churches that follow Calvin’s teachings sit around with their doors open just waiting for the ‘elect’ of God to walk in. Because of ‘Irresistible Grace’ the way he interprets it, they don’t need alter calls or soul winning problems, just lots of patience. But is this what the Bible teaches? If this what Jesus taught?

“Then said he (Jesus) unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” Luke 14-16-24 (KJV)

The Apostle Paul made it clear that people were not simply called out to Salvation through some exclusively spiritual process. It took more. This is made clear in Romans 10:17 (KJV):

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Like so many other ideas that came along after the time of the Apostles and the early church, Calvinism is an attempt to marry false teaching with the Bible. It was never designed as a freestanding interpretation of Scripture, but rather a way to make peace between the various factions that wanted to retain some of the false teachings found in Catholicism and clarify them. The Reformation was all about what was wrong with Catholicism, not about seeking the truth as it is found in the Bible.

Many churches believe things like Calvinism because some professor taught their pastor the views of Reformation Theologians, instead of how to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Teachers like that are far more interesting in exploring and extolling the ‘positive attributes’ of various theological positions and Bible versions than they are in sinner conversations.

If Bible College students spent as much time in the Word and putting that Word to work in their lives as they did studying the views of others and learning about corrupted Bible translations, Christian churches would be filled with people. Instead, the people they could have reached sit home watching TV preachers and evangelists who are more interested in their donations than their souls.

Worthless Witnessing: Head Knowledge verses Heart Knowledge

There are many churches that encourage their members to‘witness’ to or share their testimony with the unsaved. The problem is that they have not taken the time to find out if their members are even saved. I cannot tell you how many times I have visited churches or attended meetings where people have told me, “Well, I have always loved God... I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know that he was a part of my life...” when I asked them if they knew for sure that they were going to Heaven when they died.

Lots of people know about God and profess to believe in him. That doesn’t mean they are saved. Why? Because knowing and believing is not the same as accepting. They might have a head knowledge about God, but they have never actually accepted Him into their heart. The Bible tells us in James 2:19-20 (KJV): “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

Devils believe, but are not on their way to Heaven. They believe, but have rejected the authority of God. The ‘works’ being referred to in that verse indicates that true faith requires and produces action on the part of people. The first action is for someone to accept Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior at a specific time in their lives. I remember exactly when I accepted Jesus as my Savior, do you? I did it during a youth meeting in 1972. The Bible tells us how to take the step beyond mere belief and accept Jesus Christ in their heart in Romans 10:8-10 (KJV):

“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Salvation is the free gift of God as pointed out in John 3:16 (KJV):

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

That fact is reinforced in Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV):

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

You cannot work your way to Heaven or lose your Salvation once you receive it. However, we must remember that faith produces action. After you accept Jesus, your faith will compel you to tell others about Him. That is an awesome responsibility that too many Christians do not take seriously enough.

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in...”

Inviting people to church is not enough. When is the last time you brought a visitor to church? Did you offer them a ride? Did you sit with them to be sure they were comfortable and introduce them to your pastor?

Sharing your testimony or witnessing to them is not enough. You need to make sure that they understand the Gospel, how they can accept Jesus and the consequences of rejecting Him. I am not saying that we need to shove the Gospel down a person’s throat, but if the door is open to share it with them we should to it properly.

I use the Roman Road as a Soul Winning Tool and suggest it to others:

The Roman Road: A Biblical Highway That Leads To A Personal Relationship with God

The ROMAN ROAD is a tried and true method of explaining why people need a Savior and how they can accept Jesus Christ and be sure of Heaven as soon as they do. This method of soul winning is superior to most others in that it allows the Soul Winner to simply explain SIN'S PRESENCE, SIN'S PENALTY and SIN'S PAYMENT by following an easy path through, basically, one Book of the New Testament (the Book of Romans, King James Version), with just a brief stop in just a few others (optional).

There are various versions of THE ROMAN ROAD, so I will present to you the one that has been most successful for me and many other Soul Winners that I know. It's simple, easy to memorize, quick and can easily be underlined in your Bible. Begin by making a note somewhere in the front of your Bible. Write down the first verse of the Roman Road which is Romans 3:10. This will give you an easy starting point until you become familiar with the Roman Road.

Underline each verse of The Roman Road in your Bible. Make sure it is a full size Bible and I highly recommend that it be a large print type for easy reading and presentation. After each verse, carefully write in the next verse. For example (Romans 3;10 is the starting point, Romans 3:23 is next)

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

It doesn't take long to show a sinner the way of salvation using the Roman Road, so it's really convenient for almost any occasion and works well in most any environment. The key is to keep in mind that most people you speak to know little or no Scripture, and they are unlikely to stand still or be patient enough for some long, drawn out or over-dramatic presentation. You have to catch their interest and keep it. The Roman Road does that for you.

STEP ONE: Begin your presentation with this provocative question:


Try to obtain their answer with a simple YES or NO . If they say YES, ask them how they know. Most will say they are doing their best to live a good life, go to church or help others. Some will simply say they don't believe in Heaven or Hell and try to shut you down immediately. If that happens, try to get them to listen to what you have to say by offering up the idea that they might be wrong or ask them if they would give you a chance to hear your side of the story.

If they say NO, they do not know for sure about Heaven, explain that you can show them how they can know for sure about Heaven and that you can do it right from God's Word. Then get right into the next step.

STEP TWO: Turn to Romans 3:10

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Everyone is a sinner, even those who try to "be good" or "do good works". Most people would not argue with that fact and that is made even more clear in the next step.

STEP THREE: Turn to Romans 3:23

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Even those trying to be good are told, in no uncertain terms, that their efforts are in vain. God has already judged the actions of all humans and found them to be sinful.

STEP FOUR: Turn to Romans 5:12

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Adam was the first man and his sin in the Garden of Eden caused every person that followed to be born with a sinful nature. That means that no matter how hard we try, we are going to do things that are wrong at one time or another. STEP FIVE: Turn to Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Concentrate on the first part of that verse for this Step)

There is a wage, or payment for sin and that is PHYSICAL DEATH. We know this because Adam eventually grew old and died and so have people born after him ever since. But a lot of people do not know that there is also another kind of death included in that wage for sin.

STEP SIX: Turn to Revelation 20:14

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

The wage for sins is not just physical death, but also spiritual death in Hell. Hell is a place of eternal regret and torment. No one in their right mind would want to go there. Fortunately, God has provided an escape from that terror.

STEP SEVEN: Turn to Romans 6:23 again.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Concentrate on the second part of that verse for this Step)

God offers us the gift of Salvation. He sent his son, Jesus Christ, to the Earth to die on the cross for our sins. Because it is a gift, there is NOTHING we can do to earn it. It's FREE.

STEP EIGHT: Turn to Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

These verses make it crystal clear that NO ONE can earn Salvation. No one can work or buy their way to Heaven and no person can claim that they got to Heaven because they were better than someone else. Christ already paid the penalty for our SINS - past, present and future. It's a GIFT, and like any other gift, all we need do to have it is to ACCEPT IT and the Bible clearly tells us how to do that.

STEP NINE: Turn to Romans 10:9-10, 13

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

All we need do to accept God's FREE GIFT of Salvation through Jesus Christ is to ask for it. According to verse 13, anyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord will be saved (no matter how good or bad they believe they are). According to verses 9 and 10, all we have to do to accept the GIFT of Salvation is to believe in our heart that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that God raised Him from the dead and to confess that belief with our mouth to God. We can do that by praying a simple prayer. Ask the person you're speaking to if they would like to do that right now. Offer to pray along with them. Provide them with the words, if necessary.


Dear God, I admit that I am a Sinner. I now believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins and was raised from the dead. I accept your gift of Salvation and ask that Jesus save me from Hell right now. Thank you, Lord.

STEP TEN: Turn to II Corinthians 5:17 if they have prayed a prayer to accept the Lord: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Explain the BASICS of their NEW LIFE to them and lend a hand:

The Bible clearly teaches that once we accept Jesus as our Savior, we begin a new life in Christ. Because we are still not perfect and will continue to make mistakes from time to time, God is always ready to forgive us when we do sin as long as we express regret at making bad choices and ask for His forgiveness through prayer. Those sins will not send us to Hell, but God (like any Father who cares about their child) will punish us here on Earth in order to make us aware that we have done something that can cause trouble for us unless we ask for His forgiveness. God will also send the Holy Spirit to dwell in those who accept Jesus as their Savior.

He will help to keep us on the right path and open up the Scriptures so we can understand them. A good place to start reading the Bible is in the New Testament Gospel according to Luke. At the same time, it's wise to begin a daily prayer life and speak to God at least once or twice a day. He is ready, willing and able to answer our prayers and help us live a happy and fulfilling life.

Offer to help new Christians by inviting them to your church, studying the Bible with them and even praying with (and for) them. It's easy for new Believers to fall away unless we take the time to mentor them and make sure they get the help and fellowship they need to get started in the right direction. Part of getting New Believers headed in the right direction is to be ready to answer their questions and offer to study the bible with them at their own pace. You should also make it clear that they should consider the following steps as part of their new walk with God:

-Get baptized (water baptism by immersion) as taught in the Word.

-Tell others about your new faith in Christ.

-Get in the habit of praying and Bible study by praying and reading some portion of Scripture each day.

-Fellowship with other life-minded Believers.

-Find a Bible-believing local church to attend and ,eventually, join it.

A FINAL WORD ABOUT THE ROMAN ROAD: The key to using the Roman Road is to keep it simple. Let the Lord convict the heart of the Sinner and allow the Word of God to do most of your talking for you. Remember, you are there just to provide enlightenment when it comes to the meaning of the Scriptures. You do not need to provide long theological explanations, just short statements of fact so that the person that you're speaking with can understand what they are reading. ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT THEY READ ALONG WITH YOU as you go through the Roman Road. I sincerely pray that God will bless your efforts and hope that you, in turn, will pray for me. Thank you.

Worthless Witnessing: You Cannot Reach The World By Imitating Them

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (KJV)

During the days when Paul preached oxen were used in many ways. One was to pull loads. To accomplish this task, their were usually paired up and connected by a yoke. The yoke was a wooden beam which connected the two animals to each other so they could get the job done. If the yoke was not properly connected, one animal would be working against rather than with the other. That would be unproductive and fail to accomplish the task.

The Bible’s warning about being ‘unequally’ yoked uses the yoke as an excellent example of the difference between Christians and the unsaved. The two are not compatible and mixing them is like mixing water and oil. This is made even more clear when God his Christians to “...come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” God expects Christians to separate themselves from unsaved people. Why?

Years ago a preacher was visited by a Christian woman that wanted to marry an unsaved man. She inquired of the preacher and he told her this was not acceptable. When she asked him why, he invited her to take part in a simple illustration. He told her to stand up on top of his desk and reach her hand out to him. He stood in front of the desk and extended his hand to her.

The preacher told the woman she would represent a Believer, and that he would represent an Unbeliever. He then grabbed her extended hand and told her to pull him up on top of the desk. He would not help and all the effort would be hers alone. He was stocky and she could just not do it. He then told her to get ready because he was going to pull her back down from the desk without any effort on her part. The stocky preacher easily pulled her back down to the floor.

The point was obvious and well made. Unsaved people will find it easy to influence Christians with the ways, things and lifestyles of the world, but Christians will find it harder to try and convert someone who has already deliberately chosen to reject the Savior. The two are just not compatible.

It always amazes me at how Christians feel that they must imitate the ways of the world to win the lost to Jesus. Lets look at some things that the Apostle Peter tells us about unsaved people, their worldly ways how they have the ability to corrupt Christians in 2 Peter 2:13-22 (KJV):

“...Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”

The Bible tells us that Christians are ‘peculiar’ or unique people in 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV):

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

Why would a unique people try to win the lost by offering them what they already have? I am not against creative evangelism techniques as long as they do not mimic the world. I do not think that we have to dress like, sound like or act like the unsaved to reach them. We can know about and understand the things that interest them and use the knowledge of those things to win the Lost, but we do not have to take part in them. The Apostle Paul tells us that he often used this method to reach people:

“For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (KJV)

Paul also tells us that knowing about and understanding the ways of the lost doesn’t mean that he took part in the things they did that might present a bad testimony to the unsaved:

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” I Corinthians 9:24-27 (KJV)

When you offer a lost person the Gospel, you are offering them the Living Word Of God in the Person of Jesus Christ. This is an awesome and solemn responsibility that should be taken lightly or diluted by false teachings like Calvinism. God has given you your marching orders and you should every effort to obey them.

“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5 (KJV)