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As we build unity of the church, let’s keep the saving of souls at the forefront…It’s all about souls.

Jan Paron/October 18, 2012

 “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:41 NKJV).

Recently, I spoke with a friend who brought up the significance of soul. He mentioned, “Remember how you taught about church growth from Acts 2:42-46? Well, the Lord told me that soul is important. It’s all about souls.”  Yes, souls.

So then, what is the soul? Unlike the human body that holds impermanent duration; the soul claims permanent length void of time limitations. Within the body the soul seats “feelings, desires, affections and aversions.”[1] For those saved, their soul lives beyond its earthly form with everlasting life. It’s about souls, saving souls – souls from all “the nations” (Matt 28:19 NKJV).[2]

Lighthouse Church of All Nations, 2012

Do think broadly about “all nations” (28:19). On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit outpoured and filled the disciples. Through this infilling they began to speak in other tongues that multitudes understood in their own language (Acts 2:6). Then, Peter, led by the Holy Spirit, stood and addressed the gathered in Jerusalem with the Gospel message. So vast was the represented geographical area from the gathered that some regions extended beyond the Roman Empire. From east to west people travelled from Parthia, Media, Elam, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Judea, Egypt, Libya (belonging to Cyrene), Crete, Rome (both Jews and Proselytes), Pamphylia, Asia, Phrygia, Pontus and Cappadocia (2:9-11). A modern-day map equivalency shows outer limits as Iran (east), Turkey (north), Italy (west) and Egypt/Libya (south).

During the initial establishment of the church, these same souls went house-to-house in the apostles’ doctrine, prayer, fellowship and the breaking of bread. They were diverse in background, but one accord in Christ.  Still unified, the same also came together every day in the temple. “And the Lord added to the  church daily those who were being saved” (2:42, 46, 47 KJV; cf. 2:4). Later, these same returned to their homes, spreading the Gospel.

These souls represented a broad segment of the population.  You can surmise from their places of residence that each had unique cultural practices, languages and geographical distinctive that characterized their background. Yet, they were unified in Christ. The oneness of this diverse assembly in practice resulted in the Lord using them to add more souls to the church who would be saved (John 17:22; 2 Cor 3:18). The number of souls continued to increase.

Jesus prayed for these souls in John 17:20-23.  They represented the beginning of other souls to follow who would believe in Jesus through the teachings of the apostles (17:20).  It’s all about souls, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10 ESV) — the lost are souls who would otherwise perish.  Today’s believers carry out the apostles’ teachings to save lost souls and unify them as one in Christ – to reconcile them with God and each other in fellowship. In oneness, believers become conduit for the reaching of other souls. By keeping  the principles of oneness, the Body as a diverse and unified whole, opens opportunity for the Lord to work through us and add to the church “daily those who were being saved” and Christ to grow His church (Acts 2:47 NKJV).

To ponder…

  • Did your impression of Acts 2:2:42-46 change after thinking about the importance of souls?

[1] Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer’s  Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishing), 677.

[2] Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer’s  Greek-English Lexicon, 168.  (Gr. ἔθνη)

Thayer, Joseph H. Thayer’s  Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishing.