Soul Winning Among Poor Children

Soul winning never ceases to bring blessings. A soul won many years ago will give dividends for eternity.
Not long ago I was preaching in a city in Florida and exhorting the people to go out into the highways and hedges and bring in the poor as well as the rich. I spoke especially about little children and the importance of reaching those for whom no one else cares. After the service a pastor introduced himself to me and then turned to introduce his lovely wife. As l shook her hand she said, “I think you know me. I was a member of your little country church near Marshall, Texas, many years ago.” Immediately I remembered that she had lived in a little country house and that I had gotten up early one Sunday, driven several miles, and brought a group of little children to Sunday school. She was one of those children. I hadn’t seen her for years, but now she is the wife of a successful pastor.
A few weeks ago I was in Dallas, Texas. After the service a fine young student at Dallas Seminary approached me. When he was five years old I had been to his home soul winning, and often I had driven a couple of miles to take him to Sunday school. He reminded me that he is now a preacher and a student at Dallas Seminary.
One day as a kid country preacher I was out soul winning, came upon a farmhouse, and won several to Christ. A little cotton-haired girl spoke to me as I left and said, “Brother Hyles, you are not going to forget me, are you?” Little did I know that she wanted to be saved, too. She was saved, and years later to my delight I found she was a student at Tennessee Temple College. She then was employed as a faculty member and shortly after was killed in a car accident.
Not long ago I met a young lady who is a graduate of Bob Jones University and now is teaching school. My mind wandered back to the day when I went into her modest home to help her poor family. The family was saved, and though very poor, the young lady had a desire to go off to college.
Now she is teaching in a Christian school.
Yes, there are many other stories like the one above, and in ten or fifteen years I hope to be able to write similar experiences about those I won last week or those I will win today.

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Winning The Best Man

A church the size of ours has many weddings. I have conducted as many as three in one day.
If there are unsaved people at a wedding rehearsal, I close the rehearsal with a brief explanation of the plan of salvation, explaining to the wedding party that the home is a Christian institution. Then I give a simple appeal for the unsaved to receive Christ. This is done in a way that embarrasses no one.
Recently I followed this procedure at a wedding rehearsal. The next day, following the wedding ceremony, I walked out of the auditorium to get a breath of fresh air. The best man, whom I did not know, followed me to present me with a thank-you note and a monetary gift from the newlyweds. When I told him to give it to the bride and groom as a wedding gift (as I do not accept such gifts from church members), he was moved with emotion.
Then he said, “Ah

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He Couldn

He was a Mormon but had never been saved. It was on our regular visitation night when I first met him, and in a few minutes he was led to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Soon after, I won his brother to the Saviour. They were both rough-and-tough bricklayers but became tremendous soul winners.
I nicknamed him “Bear” because he walked like a bear and was a massive physical specimen. Though he could not spell the word “Jesus,” he has in these fourteen years since he has been saved won hundreds and hundreds to the Saviour.
One Sunday we ate in his home. He and his wife were so proud of their house because it was lovely and new. I noticed, however, that one bedroom closet door had scratches all over it. I inquired as to why that one door was so marred with scratches. Bear wouldn’t tell me, but his wife told me the reason.
Before Bear got saved he went hunting every weekend. He would put a scratch on the stock of his rifle every time he killed an animal. He asked his wife if he could use the closet door for his soul-winning “stock.” He would place a scratch on the door for every soul he had won that year. I counted 167 scratches on the door.
One day Bear picked up a hitchhiker and tried to tell him about Jesus only to find the hitchhiker was deaf. He resorted to showing the man a Gospel tract only to find that the man could not read. Bear stopped the car, got out, got on his knees, made the form of a cross, pointed to Heaven, pointed to his heart, bowed his head, and formed his hands beneath his chin in a prayer position. The man got the idea, fell to his knees and began to weep. He pointed to Heaven and to his heart, assuring Bear that he had been saved.
The man who couldn’t even spell “Jesus” now knows Him, and for these many years has led hundreds to know Him too. He is still active in his church and in personal soul winning.

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The Brothers Who Won Each Other

“Would you go with me to see my brother tonight?” These words were spoken at 11 p.m. They were spoken to me by one of the men in our church. We were at a Sunday school class party.
“This is a strange hour for you to have such a request, Ken,” I replied, “but if you say so, I will go.”
It was nearly midnight when Ken and I drove up to Randall’s house. On the way Ken warned me to be ready for anything. “He may curse you out or throw you out,” were his words of warning. Randall did neither of these but heard the message of life through Christ. Ken was somewhat surprised, for Randall was a drunkard and a wicked man; but the Holy Spirit was working.
About 1 o’clock in the morning Ken, Randall, and I knelt to pray, and Randall received Christ into his heart. He woke his wife and children and told them about his salvation as Ken and I laughed and cried together. What an experience! What a thrill! What an investment! The next Sunday Randall came forward for baptism and membership in the First Baptist Church.
“Would you go with me to see my brother today?” These words were spoken to me by Randall, one of the deacons in our church. Yes, this is the same Randall mentioned above. He is now a soul-winning deacon. However, Ken drifted away from God and Randall got concerned about him. Randall and I went together to Ken’s apartment and told Ken of a loving God Who is willing to forgive and restore. Once again the three of us got on our knees, and Ken was marvelously reclaimed for Christ. Now Ken is back with us, and the two brothers are serving God together.
Like Andrew and Peter, like Moses and Aaron, like John and Charles Wesley these men are living testimonies of a brother’s concern for his brother and of Christ’s power to save families. Ken’s children have been saved, and all of Randall’s family has been saved.

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A Lawyer Got Saved

A few years ago a leading attorney from our area started visiting our services with his family. In a few weeks his family transferred their membership to our church. The attorney, who also serves on the staff of the prosecutor in the city of Gary, Indiana, continued coming to all of our public services.
During an invitation on a Sunday morning I witnessed to him. He replied, “I don’t believe in that stuff. I only come because my family comes.” All evidence showed that he was an atheist. We worked, visited, prayed, witnessed, and pleaded; but not only did he show no interest in salvation, he also showed no evidence of a belief in God.
During our SWORD OF THE LORD Conference in Cedar Lake, Indiana, that summer, Charles Hand, one of my Assistant Pastors, claimed this attorney for Jesus. He took his Bible, opened to Psalm 37:4, and wrote the attorney’s name beside the verse. He did the same thing with John 14:13 and John 15:7. He continued going through the Bible, claiming God’s promises, and writing the attorney’s name.
Within two months I looked over one Sunday night, and there stood the lawyer in the altar. To be quite honest, I was surprised; but Charles Hand wasn’t. He had taken God up on His Word. Why don’t all of us do the same thing?
Many of us almost shouted when this attorney was saved. Over 2,000 people were saved at our church this particular year, but none brought any more joy than this attorney.

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we busted Every Bottle Of That Case Of Beer

These words were spoken at two o’clock early one Sunday morning. The Hyles household was fast asleep. The phone rang, and as usual, we did not know quite what to do. I woke up with a start, and all I knew was that I heard a bell ringing. I pushed in the alarm button and eliminated one possibility. By that time, I realized that it was not the “ding-dong” of the door bell. By process of elimination I deducted it must be the telephone. I jumped up and answered it, and the aforementioned words were the ones that greeted my ears.
“You got to me in that funeral yesterday afternoon,” he said. “You got to all of us.”
The day before I had conducted funeral services for a little three-month-old baby. As I spoke, I saw the parents with their seven remaining children weeping before me. A handful of friends and relatives had gathered in the small chapel as I reminded them of the grace of God and of the blessed truth that they could see the baby again if they made preparation. I witnessed to a few of them, and two or three indicated that they were receiving Christ as Saviour.
They had planned a meal after the funeral for their family and friends. Prior to the funeral they had purchased a case of beer for refreshment, but they then made their decision for Christ. So they opened the case of beer, broke every bottle, and had the young man to call me at two o’clock in the morning to tell me of the decision.
Then in the Sunday morning service when the invitation was given, twelve people walked the aisle professing faith in Christ as a result of the funeral service, and each of them in his own words said about what the man said on the phone: “You got to me in the funeral.”
What a wonderful story-and yet how tragic it is that a little three-month-old baby by her death has won more souls to Christ than millions of Christians have won by their lives.

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A Living Room Revival

Not long ago one of my deacons joined me for an afternoon of soul-winning visitation. We had an exceptionally good afternoon, and as I recall, we won six or seven people to Jesus Christ. It was one of those days when sincerity seemed to be on the face of every convert.
During the process of the afternoon, we went to visit my mother’s next-door neighbor. There was a warm and friendly reception. Shortly after I arrived in the home, the wife and teenage daughter excused themselves, leaving only the husband, my soul-winning partner, and me in the room. I did not know until later that the wife and daughter had gone to the back bedroom to pray that God would save the husband.
In about thirty minutes this man in his forties was sweetly converted. I asked him to go back and tell his wife, and it was then that we found the wife and daughter were praying for his salvation. He told his wife he had just been saved, and then Heaven came down. There was hugging, crying, laughing, loving, rejoicing, and almost shouting, all at the same time.
The next Sunday morning he walked the aisle in the First Baptist Church of Hammond and was baptized. A few days later I went by to see how he was doing. His wife said that he had been such a good husband through the years that she wondered how salvation could change him. This was answered, however, when she found him up early one morning. She went to the living room and saw him on his knees in private devotion and prayer.
Recently upon returning home from preaching in Indianapolis, Indiana, I called the office to talk to my secretary about some business. She informed me that the day before I arrived home the aforementioned man had suffered a heart attack, was rushed to the hospital, and soon passed away. Today he is in Heaven; yesterday he was on earth. Today he is with Christ; yesterday he prepared to be with Christ today. Hence, he has joined the hundreds of others that I have sent to Heaven.

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One Shouted, Another Frowned

A number of years ago I went out one night to attempt to win some people to Christ. My partner that night was unable to go, and I was tempted not to go, but I went out alone. I went to a certain house, knocked on the door, and a fellow came to the door. He had several children, and as I recall, he had one little boy who had a birthmark near his eye. I told him about Christ and we knelt to pray. While he was praying he really got happy! He began to shout and praise the Lord and jump up and down. “Glory to God,” he said. He ran out on the porch and clapped his hands. He picked his wife up and hugged her. He hugged and kissed the children and cried and praised the Lord.
It looked like an old-fashioned Methodist camp meeting. What a wonderful time we had! “Boy,” l said, “that fellow really has a dose of old-fashioned Christianity.”
I drove across town to another address. I looked at the prospect card and decided to make the visit. I walked in and the fellow did not ask me to have a seat. I stood up and leaned against the door. I asked him if he wanted to be saved. He was very stern and abrupt in his answer, but he said, “Yes.”
I asked him if I could tell him how to be saved.
He said, “Yes.”
Finally I sat down, but he never did. He continued to stand, leaning against the door. Not a kind word did he say. He continued to be very abrupt in his answers. I talked to him a while longer and finally I said, “Can I pray?”
He said, “Yeah, you can,” but still he was very cool.
So I prayed and then I said, “Now you pray.” You never heard a colder prayer in your life. (If I had been God, I wouldn’t have listened to it!) Then I said, “Listen, did you mean that prayer?”
He looked at me and said, “Yeah, I did.” He had not a tear, not an emotion, not even a kindness, a smile, or a grin-no courtesy at all. I kept prodding and trying to fund out if he really meant it. I said, “Were you saved?” Without emotion he told me he was.
I left saying, “Well, at least I got one tonight. That first fellow surely got saved. He was really happy. I’m glad I got to win him, but that last fellow-I wouldn’t give a nickel for his salvation.”
The first fellow came to church and got baptized. In less than two weeks he got mad, quit, and never came back. He took his children out, and as far as I know, never went to church anymore.
The fellow who was abrupt was baptized soon and started winning souls to Christ. He became a deacon, and the last report I heard he was Chairman of the deacons in that church. I do not know how many people that man won to Christ. He and his partner would go out every week and win many to Jesus Christ.
I remember one time he was out soul winning. He won a soul to Christ, and afterwards asked the person, “Do you have any questions about it?”
“Yes, I have one question.”
“Well, what is it? Just ask me anything.”
“Can I ask anything?”
“Yes, you can.”
“Why is it you have one brown shoe and one black shoe on?” The soul winner had dressed in the dark and had put on one brown shoe and one black shoe! What a soul winner! What a Christian!
Recently while I was preaching in Texas, he came to hear me. He was still on the battlefield for God, still busy for Christ. You see, it pays just to keep going, for you never know which one will be the one that is going to be saved.

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One Shouted, Another Frowned

When our daughter, Becky, was ill for several months I got to thinking about doctors whom I have seen saved.
In a revival meeting in East Texas one time a leading doctor in the town was converted.
Then in Garland, Texas, where I pastored for nearly seven years, we had a medical doctor come forward to receive Christ. The interesting thing is that we had a chiropractor deacon, and it was he who was called on to do personal work with the medical doctor. I found myself chuckling during the invitation as I realized that a chiropractor was leading an M.D. to Christ. (Boy, that is the wolf and the lamb lying down together, isn’t it?)
Then one day here in Hammond a medical doctor came to be saved. He knelt beside the pulpit to receive Christ, and as he did, a skid-row drunk knelt on the other side. I chuckled as I praised the Lord, for the altar is one place where the ground is level.
This doctor had a little daughter who literally fell in love with our church. Soon the family moved to Champaign, Illinois, and they tried to find a satisfactory church. The parents seemed fully satisfied, but the little girl could not be happy.
Now in those days our deacons sat on the front rows in our church, and the little girl was very impressed by this. The parents asked her why she was not pleased with the church in their new town. She replied that she liked First Baptist Church, Hammond, better because the pastor stood behind the pulpit and the “demons” sat on the front row!
Thank God that at First Baptist we have no “demons”-it is a godly Board of Deacons.
Whether one is a doctor or a fallen man on skid row, the need is the Gospel.

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He Made The Baptistry

In a former pastorate we were busily engaged in a building program. There was some problem about the installation of the baptistry, so one day I walked over and talked with the men who were doing the work, and we discussed the problems involved.
One of the fellows (the main one) asked me what it was they were installing and for what it was to be used. I explained to him the meaning of baptism and found him to be very interested. I then took time to remind him of the question the eunuch asked Philip: “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” (Acts 8:36) I reminded him of Philip’s answer: “‘If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” (Acts 8:37).
In other words, I told him that one had to be saved before he could be baptized. I proceeded to tell him the plan of salvation, and to my delight he expressed a desire to be saved.
He knelt in the uncompleted baptistry and there received Christ as Saviour. The strange thing was, however, that he refused to get baptized after he got saved though he did seem to be sincere in his salvation.
Weeks passed. The Dedication Day came for the new building. To my surprise, down the aisle came the man who installed the baptistry. He was now ready to profess his faith in Christ as Saviour and requested that he be the first person to be baptized in the baptistry he had installed.
It was a wonderful thrill for the people as they watched the first convert being baptized in the new baptistry and found him to be the man who installed the baptistry.

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