The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.Proverbs 11:30
This is not the only time I raised the importance of understanding Scripture by the entire context, from which passages are written. It has already become a repetitious bane among fools, of liking to move in circles around doing the same thing over and over again; arbitrarily plucking verses from the Bible and implying conclusions without regards to the context of the entire passage itself. The Jews are even more stringent and rigorous, to the point that they see Christians as misguided, in the way they read the Holy Scripture.
The typical Christian church often uses Proverbs 11:30 like gunpowder, to fire their motivation and to bring churchgoers into agreement that promoting church membership is wise to do. However, Proverbs chapter 11, does not speak an inch about bringing people to our local churches. Rather, it speaks about doing what is right, and that winning people into agreeing to do what is right, is wise. That’s what chapter 11 is about.
This chapter speaks clearly of what delights God. That God takes delight in the integrity of those who does what is right, and He warns of destruction of the unfaithful, due to their perversion of the truth (Proverbs 11:3). Instead of crowds congregating in one location on Sundays, it is the process of turning a person from without knowledge to become knowledgeable, from foolishness to wisdom, and from unrighteousness to righteousness, that these are things God finds pleasure in.
Chapter 11 has nothing to do with persuading people to accept Christ or encouraging anyone to be converted in the context of his state of religion or belief, or counting how many people you can invite to your church next Sunday. The Bible said nothing about this. Rather, it is about defining and drawing the fine lines between what is good and what is bad, and understanding the context of what leads to righteousness.
Thus, winning souls for God, is about rebuking, educating and training people to follow God in His righteous ways. False churches not only fail to do this, but they perverse the meaning of winning souls for Christ, as conducting church activities to attract people to them. Winning souls is a Holy persuasive authority, that states the fact it is wise to train people in righteousness, and to prepare them for heaven. Winning souls is not about organizing once a week meeting sessions for extroverts to gather.
A false preacher can only do as much as claiming so-and-so has already accepted Christ, and therefore is saved. Their church-going believers could declare their allegiance to Christ day and night, but it holds no value to God, if they remain in conduct that is void of righteousness. Hence, they go to church too just to salve their own conscience that they are saved, but in reality their lives show nothing in likeness to Christ, they bear no fruits of the Spirit, and in the day of wrath, they are not delivered from death.
Proverbs Chapter 11 is indeed a powerful summary of what righteousness does to a person, and likewise what foolishness do to us as well. The chapter itself starts with a stark warning against dishonesty. Precisely. Righteousness is in the exact opposite of dishonesty, and doing what is honest and just always bring delight to the Lord. So, before you talk about winning souls for Christ, first and foremost righteously get the facts right, what is meant by winning souls.
False preachers and false believers are not going up against those who chose to do what is right, but they are battling God and His Scripture, replacing His wisdom with their own theories, on what Christian living should be like, according to their own idiocy and lack of discernment. It is not man or people, but the Holy Scripture itself that is exposing their perversion of the truth.
Herein below is Proverbs Chapter 11 in its full context, in which I have highlighted pertinent verses in bold.
- Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight.
- When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.
- The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.
- Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.
- The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
- The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.
- When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, and the hope of the unjust perishes.
- The righteous is delivered from trouble, and it comes to the wicked instead.
- The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.
- When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; and when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.
- By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
- He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace.
- A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.
- Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
- He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, but one who hates being surety is secure.
- A gracious woman retains honor, but ruthless men retain riches.
- The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.
- The wicked man does deceptive work, but he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.
- As righteousness leads to life, so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.
- Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord, but the blameless in their ways are His delight.
- Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; but the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.
- As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
- The desire of the righteous is only good, but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
- There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty.
- The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.
- The people will curse him who withholds grain, but blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
- He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, but trouble will come to him who seeks evil.
- He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.
- He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
- The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
- If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner.