Music is Not a Ministry

1st Corinthians 9:16, “...woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”

       Music is NOT a ministry. It may be part of a ministry; but music is NOT a ministry unless it centers around Soul Winning. Nothing is truly a ministry for God unless it centers around the preaching of the Gospel, i.e., trying to get souls saved through the redeeming power of the Gospel by faith in Christ Jesus.

I'm tired of musicians, singers, and entertainers claiming that their entire work and passion in life is doing something that never shares the Gospel with lost sinners. You sorry rascal, you need to get your heart right with God and start soul-winning like God commanded all believers (Luke 8:15; Proverb 11:30). 1st Corinthians 9:16 warns all believers, “...woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”

Nearly all charitable organizations today do not even mention the precious name of Jesus by which men are saved (Acts 4:10-12). So-called “ministries” abound by the hundreds-of-thousands worldwide; but nearly all fail to go soul-winning. The Bible mentions soul-winning in Proverb 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” I want to be wise in God's eyes. God says a person is wise for sharing the Gospel with lost sinners. This means you are a fool if you don't try to win souls. 2nd Corinthians 5:11 evidences this truth, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men...”

The Word of God teaches that most people are fools; yet they profess to be wise in their own ignorance and conceit. Romans 1:22, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” You're not wise because you claim to be wise. What does God have to say about you? That is what is important. God calls the soul-winner “wise.”

As a musician I could selfishly spend my whole life pursuing music; but at what expense? Nine times out of ten when I plan to work on my steel guitar playing, I work on my ministry instead. Is there not a cause? I figure I'll have plenty of time in eternity to work on playing my steel guitar better. There are literally hundreds of songs which I wish I could spend time with. There are numerous steel guitar tunings that I wish I could spend much more time with. I have steel guitar courses that I bought over a year ago, still sitting unopened in the packages, because I have given my life to this ministry for Jesus Christ (which is my privilege to do so). There's just not enough time in life for us and God, so we must choose whom we are going to serve. I choose to lose my life for Jesus' sake and the Gospel's.

Living for Music is a Shallow Goal in Life

There's not a prettier music this side of Heaven than steel guitar, especially Hawaiian music; but I am grieved when I hear musicians talk about dedicating their lives to playing and promoting the steel guitar. That is a very shallow goal in life. My goal is to please God (Revelation 4:11). Faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is what causes us to do everything that we do for God. By faith we go soul-winning. By faith we depart from sin. By faith we pray, search the Scriptures, and live for God. By faith we work diligently in a ministry to preach the Gospel.

Faith is not passive, not a mere spectator on the sidelines. That is optimism at best, which is NOT faith. Faith is dynamic, obedient, making things happen, getting off our blessed assurance and doing something for God. Faith is giving up my steel guitar time to work on my ministry instead. Faith is choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Faith is keeping-on when all hope seems gone. Faith is working on my ministry when my neck is hurting horribly.

I would be ashamed if one day in Heaven all I had to show for my life was promoting a musical instrument and praising a bunch of other musicians who never did anything but play music. Romans 10:15 calls the “feet” of the soul-winner beautiful; yet I know men who all but worship famous musicians simply because they can pick some strings on a guitar. Big deal. You have the wrong priorities in life friend if music is your life.

At a large music convention years ago, I saw a man sit at the feet of a famous steel guitar player in front of thousands of people, studying the player's feet—every detail, every nuance, every movement of the feet while he pushed the pedals on his steel guitar. I saw that and couldn't help but feel sad that he was far more interested in studying the feet of a musician than most Christians are about studying the feet (techniques) of great soul-winners. Romans 10:15, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Few believers are interested in winning souls. It was the same in Bible times. The Apostle Paul said that no one cared about the things of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:21). Soul-winning webpages are fortunate to have a few hundred visitors per year; but Harry Potter websites get hundreds-of-millions of visitors per month. God cares about winning souls, and so should you if you have an honest and good heart (Luke 8:15).

Soul-winning is not just for preachers, it is for every born-again believer (Proverb 11:30; Luke 8:14-15; 2nd Corinthians 5:11). Music is NOT a ministry unless you're trying to win souls. There's something very wrong with a professed Christian who dedicates their life to playing a musical instrument without ever trying to win souls to Jesus Christ. So many people live for shallow things—a hobby, a pet, a car or boat, clothing, a musical instrument, et cetera.


Let me's ok to have a music ministry, just make sure that preaching the Gospel is your primary focus. If the pastor of the church only wants you to be involved with music and nothing else, then you are still required and obligated by God to win souls. We ought to be soul-conscious all the time, in all conversations, in all situations. Are you soul-conscious? Are you soul-winning minded?

Pastor Dwight L. Moody said that the only true happy life is to live for the salvation of souls...

Happiness is to know the Savior,
Living a life within His favor;
Having a change in my behavior,
Happiness is the Lord.

Being Soul conscious Believers

Amen! All of your musical achievements and dozens of albums recorded over the decades means NOTHING if you never reached anybody for Jesus Christ. I realize that there are many great musicians in churches today, who have found their spot so-to-speak to fit it; but are you a soul-winner? I triple-dog dare you to go to ANY Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) singer's website and show me how to be saved. Good luck, because you WON'T find any. Our churches are saturated with musicians—bass players, guitar players, piano players, drum players, steel guitar players, and they all work together as a ministry team in most churches; but they don't preach the Gospel. No one goes door-to-door soulwinning in any of these churches ministries. A shallow sermonette is given at best, and no one is warned about the fires of Hell for all Christ-rejecters.

Music is NOT a ministry. It may be part of a ministry; but music is NOT a ministry unless it centers around Soul Winning. Nothing is truly a ministry for God unless it centers around the preaching of the Gospel, i.e., trying to get souls saved through the redeeming power of the Gospel by faith in Christ Jesus. Music is a blessing from the Lord, if it's done appropriately and in a spirit of soul-winning. Those who dedicate their entire lives to music, but fail to share the good news of Christ crucified and risen, will be judged in eternity for their sin of not winning souls (2nd Corinthians 5:10-11). Tears will flow.

What will all your beautiful music matter 100 years from now when you're in eternity and never led even one person to the Lord. The more famous and influential that a singer or musician is, the more likely that their fans will listen to what they have to say. There are literally thousands of so-called Christian singers, bands, and groups in the world; but none of them are soul-winners. They make all sorts of lame excuses, claiming not to be ministers and saying that God led them only into music. There is not one command in all the Bible to make music for other people. The Bible tells us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord (Psalm 100:1). The Bible doesn't say to sell albums, sell concert tickets, and make money off of religious music. CCM is a multi-billion dollar industry today. It is tragic and apostate. All they care about is making a buck and leading people into the Devil's ecumenical movement (one-world religion).

In sharp contrast, the Biblical Gospel is offensive to the world, teaching that apart from the name of Jesus Christ there is absolutely no other way into Heaven (Acts 4:10-12; John 10:1,9; 14:6). Music is a shallow goal in life if it's not centered around winning sinners to Jesus Christ.

I'm just tired of hearing people dedicate their life to a musical instrument; while the world is dying in their sins and going to Hell. I'm tired of hearing men say that the purpose of their organization is to promote the gospel of the steel guitar. What a horrible thing to say. I'm tired of watching men sit at the feet of famous musicians, all but worshipping them; while The Great Commission is brushed off as too religious, not fun, and only something that ministers are supposed to do. What a sad testimony concerning America's spiritual condition today. Every believer ought to be excited and challenged to share the good news of Jesus Christ crucified and risen for our sins. The precious blood of Jesus Christ washes our sins away (1st John 1:7). Only the precious literal blood of Jesus which He applied to the mercy seat in Heaven can wash our sins away (Hebrews 9:12,22-24; 1st Peter 1:18-19). Yet, people spend their lives promoting music, singers, musical instruments, hobbies, and the shallowest of pursuits. What will it matter in 100-years?

It is a matter of faith. Your level of faith is evidenced by how much you do for the Lord Jesus Christ to get people saved. Your love for the Lord is also evidenced by the way you live. Most people are religious phonies. I knew a very famous musician, who recorded the hymn, What A Friend We Have in Jesus, curse in God's name in casual conversation. Another man recorded the hymn Amazing Grace, while featuring a woman in a mini-skirt on his next instrumental album cover. This is the lukewarm lifestyle that God hates with a passion, half on and half off. Our faith in God is evidenced by the words we speak and the life we live. America is plagued with whoremongering singers and musicians, who will all be held accountable by God for their wickedness on Judgment Day. Those who indulge in sin do NOT fear God; but they will... they will.

Where do you stand? Are you genuinely saved, i.e., born-again? Are you living for God? Are you obeying the Scriptures as a believer, departing from sin and trying to please the Lord? No one can completely live above sin, but we certainly should desire and attempt with the Lord's help to do so. Are you a playboy musician? God hates that kind of sinful living. God didn't save anyone to continue living in sin. Eternal life is the free gift of God and has nothing to do with our desire to give up sin. A changed life is the FRUIT (result) of genuine repentance; and NOT a part of the ROOT of saving-faith. Salvation is a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). Albeit, as born-again believers God commands us to depart from sin and live for the Lord, because we now belong to Him, bought with a price (which is Christ's blood). Many entertainers profess to know Christ; but hardly any of them preach the Gospel to their fans or show forth the righteousness of Christ through their lives. It is sad and tragic. I encourage you to become the real thing.

Music is NOT a ministry. It may be part of a ministry; but music is NOT a ministry unless it centers around Soul Winning. Nothing is truly a ministry for God unless it centers around the preaching of the Gospel, i.e., trying to get souls saved through the redeeming power of the Gospel by faith in Christ Jesus. END

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The Sevenfold Sin of Those Who Do Not Win Souls (video by Dr. John R. Rice)

1st Corinthians 9:16, “...woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”

The Imputed Righteousness Of Jesus Christ

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(an excellent MP3 sermon by Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold)

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,
and that obey not THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
—2nd Thessalonians 1:8

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