Lesson 4 – Reaching Out to Our Neighbor

////Lesson 4 – Reaching Out to Our Neighbor
Lesson 4 – Reaching Out to Our Neighbor2016-11-27T17:37:07+00:00

Sabbath, October 22, 2005

INTRODUCTION

“To every one who becomes a partaker of His grace, the Lord appoints a work for others. Individually we are to stand in our lot and place, saying, ‘Here I am; send me.’ Isaiah 6:8. Upon the minister of the word, the missionary nurse, the Christian physician, the individual Christian, whether he be merchant or farmer, professional man or mechanic,–the responsibility rests upon all. It is our work to reveal to men the gospel of their salvation. Every enterprise in which we engage should be a means to this end.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 148.

OBJECTIVES

• To determine who is our neighbor and to witness to them.
• To discover ways to unlock and soften the hearts of sinners.
• To discover and develop the gift of hospitality.

OUR NEIGHBORS

1. What urgent command is given by God to His followers so they can find those who are separated from Him?
Luke 14:21-23
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.

“The world is perishing for want of the gospel. There is a famine for the word of God. There are few who preach the word unmixed with human tradition. Though men have the Bible in their hands, they do not receive the blessing that God has placed in it for them. The Lord calls upon His servants to carry His message to the people. The word of everlasting life must be given to those who are perishing in their sins.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 228, 229.

2. Missionary work should begin in the family. From that circle of positive influence, where does it extend to?
Luke 10:31-37
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

“This question Christ answered in the parable of the good Samaritan. He showed that our neighbor does not mean merely one of the church or faith to which we belong. It has no reference to race, color, or class distinction. Our neighbor is every person who needs our help. Our neighbor is every soul who is wounded and bruised by the adversary. Our neighbor is every one who is the property of God.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 376.

“Wherever a church is established, all the members should engage actively in missionary work. They should visit every family in the neighborhood and know their spiritual condition. If professed Christians had engaged in this work from the time when their names were first placed on the church books, there would not now be such widespread unbelief, such depths of iniquity, such unparalleled wickedness, as is seen in the world at the present time. If every church member had sought to enlighten others, thousands upon thousands would today stand with God’s commandment-keeping people.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 296.

LABORS OF LOVE AND GRACE

3. Those who are employed in secular lines of work generally have limited time for neighborhood evangelism. What particular times (days) would be favorable for them to engage in missionary work?
Acts 16:13
And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.

“It will not be possible for all to give their whole time to the work, because of the labor they must do to earn their daily living. Yet these have their holidays and times that they can devote to Christian work, and do good in this way if they cannot give much of their means.” –Welfare Ministry, p. 76.

“According to the fourth commandment the Sabbath was dedicated to rest and religious worship. All secular employment was to be suspended, but works of mercy and benevolence were in accordance with the purpose of the Lord. They were not to be limited to time or place. To relieve the afflicted, to comfort the sorrowing, is a labor of love that does honor to God’s holy day.” –Welfare Ministry, p. 77.

4. Who will give the laborer the appropriate words to speak to his neighbor?
Mark 13:11
But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

“The truth should be presented with divine tact, gentleness, and tenderness. It should come from a heart that has been softened and made sympathetic….
Let our words be gentle as we seek to win souls. God will be wisdom to him who seeks for wisdom from a divine source. We are to seek opportunities on every hand, we are to watch unto prayer, and be ready always to give a reason for the hope that is in us, with meekness and fear. Lest we shall impress unfavorably one soul for whom Christ died we should keep our hearts uplifted to God, so that when the opportunity presents itself, we may have the right words to speak at the right time. If you thus undertake work for God, the Spirit of God will be your helper. The Holy Spirit will apply the word spoken in love for the soul. The truth will have quickening power when spoken under the influence of the grace of Christ.” –Lift Him Up, p. 211.

5. What is one of the best gospel themes that will awaken and convict lost sinners of their need of repentance?
John 1:29
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

KEYS AND TOOLS OF EVANGELISM

6. What are the keys that will unlock and soften the heart to accept the gospel?
1 John 4:12
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
2 Peter 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

“Earnest, persevering effort must be made for the salvation of those in whose hearts an interest is awakened. Many can be reached only through acts of disinterested kindness. Their physical wants must first be relieved. As they see evidence of our unselfish love, it will be easier for them to believe in the love of Christ…Eloquence, knowledge of truth, rare talents, mingled with love, are all precious endowments. But ability alone, the choicest talents alone, cannot take the place of love.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 84.

7. What important elements contribute to successful house visitations?
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

“Go to your neighbors one by one, and come close to them till their hearts are warmed by your unselfish interest and love. Sympathize with them, pray for them, watch for opportunities to do them good, and as you can, gather a few together and open the Word of God to their darkened minds.” –Christian Service, p. 116.

HOSPITALITY–A PRIVILEGE AND A BLESSING

8. What effective method of labor will bring rich rewards and blessings?
1 Peter 4:9
Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

“Even among those who profess to be Christians, true hospitality is little exercised. Among our own people the opportunity of showing hospitality is not regarded as it should be, as a privilege and blessing. There is altogether too little sociability, too little of a disposition to make room for two or three more at the family board without embarrassment or parade. Some plead that ‘it is too much trouble.’ It would not be if you would say, ‘We have made no special preparation, but you are welcome to what we have.’ By the unexpected guest a welcome is appreciated far more than is the most elaborate preparation.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol.6, p. 343.

“Unwise economy and artificial customs often prevent the exercise of hospitality where it is needed and would be a blessing. The regular supply of food for our tables should be such that the unexpected guest can be made welcome without burdening the housewife to make extra preparation.” –The Ministry of Healing, pp. 322, 323.

9. What special Helper will accompany you as you enter into homes to unfold precious gems of truth?
Psalms 34:7
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
John 14:16, 17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

“Church members are to do evangelistic work in the homes of their neighbors who have not yet received full evidence of the truth for this time. The presentation of the truth in love and sympathy, from house to house, is in harmony with the instruction that Christ gave to His disciples when He sent them out on their first missionary tour. By songs of praise to God, by humble, heartfelt prayers, by a simple presentation of Bible truth in the family circle, many will be reached. The divine workers will be present to send conviction to hearts. ‘I am with you always’ is His promise. With the assurance of the abiding presence of such a Helper, we may labor with hope and faith and courage…” –Welfare Ministry, p. 70.

PERSONAL REFLECTION

• Does your next-door neighbor know that you are a Christian?
• When was the last time you visited your neighbor and unfolded God’s love to him?

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