Sabbath, November 26, 2005
“All over the world men and women are looking wistfully to heaven. Prayers and tears and inquiries go up from souls longing for light, for grace, for the Holy Spirit. Many are on the verge of the kingdom, waiting only to be gathered in.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 109.
“This work is to be a determined work. The lost sheep are all through the country where you are. You are to seek and to save that which is lost. They know not how to recover themselves.” –Evangelism, p. 462.
• To learn about and to use both the old and the new methods of sharing God’s Word with others.
• To pray that the Holy Spirit will impress God’s people to engage in more direct distribution of our gospel-filled literature to the world.
• To preach the gospel in public meetings.
• To pray that there will be a revival among God’s people in conducting Bible studies.
OLD AND NEW WAYS OF LABOR
1. Why was Jesus, our example, so successful as a soul-winner?
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
“From Christ’s methods of labor we may learn many valuable lessons. He did not follow merely one method; in various ways he sought to gain the attention of the multitude; and then he proclaimed to them the truths of the gospel.” –Evangelism, p. 123.
“There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 143.
2. Are the old methods of missionary work to be abandoned entirely for more modern methods?
Matthew 13:52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
“There must be no fixed rules; our work is a progressive work, and there must be room left for methods to be improved upon. But under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, unity must and will be preserved. –The Review and Herald, July 23, 1895.
“Means will be devised to reach hearts. Some of the methods used in this work will be different from the methods used in the work in the past; but let no one, because of this, block the way by criticism.” –The Review and Herald, September 30, 1902.
“Men are needed who pray to God for wisdom, and who, under the guidance of God, can put new life into the old methods of labor and can invent new plans and new methods of awakening the interest of church members and reaching the men and women of the world.” –Evangelism, p. 105.
3. How does a light bearer for Jesus determine which methods to use in his personal missionary work?
Matthew 25:14, 15 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Ephesians 4:11, 12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
“Let not one man feel that his gift alone is sufficient for the work of God; that he alone can carry through a series of meetings, and give perfection to the work. His methods may be good, and yet varied gifts are essential; one man’s mind is not to mold and fashion the work according to his special ideas. In order for the work to be built up strong and symmetrical, there is need of varied gifts and different agencies, all under the Lord’s direction; He will instruct the workers according to their several ability. Co-operation and unity are essential to a harmonious whole, each laborer doing his God-given work, filling his appropriate position, and supplying the deficiency of another. One worker left to labor alone is in danger of thinking that his talent is sufficient to make a complete whole.” –Evangelism, p.104.
4. What specific branch of missionary work has produced satisfactory results in the past and should again be used in our times?
Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Acts 18:24-26 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
2 Timothy 3:16, 17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
“A revival in Bible study is needed throughout the world. Attention is to be called, not to the assertions of men, but to the Word of God. As this is done, a mighty work will be wrought. When God declared that His Word should not return unto Him void, He meant all that He said. The gospel is to be preached to all nations. The Bible is to be opened to the people. A knowledge of God is the highest education, and it will cover the earth with its wonderful truth as the waters cover the sea.” –Evangelism, p. 456.
“The plan of holding Bible readings was a heaven-born idea. There are many, both men and women, who can engage in this branch of missionary labor. Workers may thus be developed who will become mighty men of God. By this means the Word of God has been given to thousands; and the workers are brought into personal contact with people of all nations and tongues.” –Gospel Workers, p.339.
5. Besides the one-to-one audience with sinners, what other outstanding method was used by Jesus to reach the unsaved?
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
“We should make efforts to call together large congregations to hear the words of the gospel minister. And those who preach the Word of the Lord should speak the truth. They should bring their hearers, as it were, to the foot of Sinai, to listen to the words spoken by God amid scenes of awful grandeur.” –Evangelism, p. 119.
“A well-balanced work can be carried on best in the cities when a Bible school for the training of workers is in progress while public meetings are being held. Connected with this training school or city mission should be experienced laborers of deep spiritual understanding, who can give the Bible workers daily instruction, and who can also unite wholeheartedly in the general public effort. And as men and women are converted to the truth, those standing at the head of the mission should, with much prayer, show these new converts how to experience the power of the truth in their hearts. Such a mission, if conducted by those who know how to manage wisely, will be a light shining in a dark place.” –Gospel Workers, pp. 364, 365.
PUBLIC MEETINGS AND HOME VISITATIONS
6. During and after an evangelistic campaign, what should be given to all interested visitors?
2 Timothy 4:2, first part Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season…
“It is planned that Elder W. W. Simpson shall begin a series of meetings in Oakland within a very few weeks. With him should be associated a strong force of house-to-house workers. Bible readings should be held in the homes of the people, and our literature should be circulated. Truth, precious truth from the Word of God, is to be presented, both in public and in house-to-house visitation. We have a message that is to prepare a people to stand amid the perils of the last days, and in proclaiming this message we need many men and women filled with the Holy Spirit and with a knowledge of God’s Word.” –The Review and Herald, October 4, 1906.
“The great object of our publications is to exalt God, to call men’s attention to the living truths of His word. God calls upon us to lift up, not our own standard, not the standard of this world, but His standard of truth.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 151.
7. What labor was the apostle Paul involved in that is still good for God’s people to engage in?
Acts 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
“If there is one work more important than another, it is that of getting our publications before the public, thus leading them to search the Scriptures. Missionary work–introducing our publications into families, conversing, and praying with and for them–is a good work and one which will educate men and women to do pastoral labor.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 390.
“When church members realize the importance of the circulation of our literature, they will devote more time to this work. Papers, tracts, and books will be placed in the homes of the people, to preach the gospel in their several lines. . . . The church must give her attention to the canvassing work. This is one way in which she is to shine in the world. Then will she go forth ‘fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.’ ” –Colporteur Ministry, p. 7.
INSTRUCTING THE CHILDREN AND YOUTH
8. Are there other ways of witnessing that can give satisfaction and joy to God’s servants?
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
“Then to those who are accepted as teachers in our schools is opened a field for labor and cultivation, for the sowing of the seed and for the harvesting of the ripening grain. What can give greater satisfaction than to be laborers together with God in educating and training the children and youth to love God and keep His commandments? Lead the children whom you are instructing in the day school and the Sabbath school to Jesus. What can give you greater joy than to see children and youth following Christ, the great Shepherd, who calls, and the sheep and lambs hear His voice and follow Him?” –Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 271.
9. To achieve good and far-reaching results by using varied missionary methods, on whom should the laborer depend totally?
Psalms 37: 3, 4 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
“Christ is our only hope. We may look to Him, for He is our Saviour. We may take Him at His word, and make Him our dependence. He knows just the help we need, and we can safely put our trust in Him. If we depend on merely human wisdom to guide us, we shall find ourselves on the losing side. But we may come direct to the Lord Jesus, for He has said: ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’ ” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 486.
• With what methods of labor do you feel comfortable and satisfied when working with your neighbors?
• What blessings have you experienced as you shared the gospel truth through Bible studies?