Sabbath, December 31, 2011
“The evangelization of the world is the work that God has given to those who go forth in His name. They are to be co-laborers with Christ, revealing to those ready to perish His tender, pitying love. God calls for thousands to work for Him, not by preaching to those who know the truth, going over and over the same ground, but by warning those who have never heard the last message of mercy. Work with a heart filled with an earnest longing for souls. Do medical missionary work. Thus you will gain access to the hearts of the people. The way will be prepared for more decided proclamation of the truth. You will find that relieving their physical suffering gives an opportunity to minister to their spiritual needs.” –A Call to Medical Evangelism, p. 7.
1. On another occasion, how many disciples did the Lord send out to preach the gospel and prepare the way for Him? What was their mission, and what opposition would they meet?
Luke 10:1-3 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
“As He had sent out the twelve, so He ‘appointed seventy others, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself was about to come.’ Luke 10:1, R.V. These disciples had been for some time with Him, in training for their work. When the twelve were sent out on their first separate mission, other disciples accompanied Jesus in His journey through Galilee. Thus they had the privilege of intimate association with Him, and direct personal instruction. Now this larger number also were to go forth on a separate mission.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 488.
“The world is to be warned, and no soul should rest satisfied with a superficial knowledge of truth. You know not to what responsibility you may be called. You know not where you may be called upon to give your witness of truth. Many will have to stand in the legislative courts; some will have to stand before kings and before the learned of the earth, to answer for their faith. Those who have only a superficial understanding of truth will not be able clearly to expound the Scriptures, and give definite reasons for their faith. They will become confused, and will not be workmen that need not to be ashamed. Let no one imagine that he has no need to study, because he is not to preach in the sacred desk. You know not what God may require of you.” –Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 217.
Instructions for evangelism
2. What was unusual about their preparations for the mission? Who would provide their sustenance? Why were they instructed to avoid common greetings?
Luke 10:4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.
Luke 10:7, 8 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you.
Luke 9:3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.
Matthew 10:10, last part … For the workman is worthy of his meat.
“‘My brother, you have not taken a course to encourage men to give themselves to the ministry. Instead of bringing the expense of the work down to a low figure, it is your duty to bring the minds of the people to understand that “the laborer is worthy of his hire.”
“‘There is important work to be done aside from that of preaching. Had this been done, as God designed it should be, there would have been many more laborers in the field than there now are. And had the ministers done their duty in educating every member, whether rich or poor, to give as God has prospered him, there would be a full treasury from which to pay the honest debts to the workers; and this would greatly advance missionary work in all their borders.’” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 375.
“Nothing must be allowed to divert their minds from their great work, or in any way excite opposition and close the door for further labor…. They were not to waste time in needless salutations, or in going from house to house for entertainment…. They were to enter the dwelling with the beautiful salutation, ‘Peace be to this house.’ Luke 10:5. That home would be blessed by their prayers, their songs of praise, and the opening of the Scriptures in the family circle.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 351, 352.
3. What special blessings were contained in the greetings expressed when they entered a home?
Luke 10:5, 6 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.
“All over the field of Christ’s labor there were souls awakened to their need, and hungering and thirsting for the truth. The time had come to send the tidings of His love to these longing hearts. To all these the disciples were to go as His representatives. The believers would thus be led to look upon them as divinely appointed teachers, and when the Saviour should be taken from them they would not be left without instructors.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 351.
4. What work of mercy were they to carry out? What was special about the message they were to preach?
Luke 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
Luke 9:2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
“When Christ sent out the twelve disciples on their first missionary tour, He bade them, ‘As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.’ Matthew 10:7, 8.
“To the Seventy sent forth later He said: ‘Into whatsoever city ye enter,… heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.’ Luke 10:8, 9. The presence and power of Christ was with them, ‘and the Seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name.’ Verse 17.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 139.
5. What was to be their approach toward people who were not interested in or were opposed to their message? How serious was the invitation they were extending?
Luke 10:10-16 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
“In sending out the seventy, Jesus bade them, as He had bidden the twelve, not to urge their presence where they were unwelcome. ‘Into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not,’ He said, ‘go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.’ They were not to do this from motives of resentment or through wounded dignity, but to show how grievous a thing it is to refuse the Lord’s message or His messengers. To reject the Lord’s servants is to reject Christ Himself.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 489.
6. What excellent results did they experience in carrying out their holy mission? What did Jesus see in this?
Luke 10:17, 18 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
“The scenes of the past and the future were presented to the mind of Jesus. He beheld Lucifer as he was first cast out from the heavenly places. He looked forward to the scenes of His own agony, when before all the worlds the character of the deceiver should be unveiled. He heard the cry, ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30), announcing that the redemption of the lost race was forever made certain, that heaven was made eternally secure against the accusations, the deceptions, the pretensions, that Satan would instigate.
“Beyond the cross of Calvary, with its agony and shame, Jesus looked forward to the great final day, when the prince of the power of the air will meet his destruction in the earth so long marred by his rebellion. Jesus beheld the work of evil forever ended, and the peace of God filling heaven and earth.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 490.
7. How great was the power they received? But what were they to regard as their greatest joy?
Luke 10:19, 20 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
“The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy’s power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. When temptations and trials come, do not wait to adjust all the difficulties, but look to Jesus, your helper….
“The rainbow of promise encircling the throne on high is an everlasting testimony that ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16. It testifies to the universe that God will never forsake His people in their struggle with evil. It is an assurance to us of strength and protection as long as the throne itself shall endure….
“Rejoice not in the possession of power, lest you lose sight of your dependence upon God…. The less you cherish self, the more distinct and full will be your comprehension of the excellence of your Saviour. The more closely you connect yourself with the source of light and power, the greater light will be shed upon you, and the greater power will be yours to work for God.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 490, 493.
“The True Witness says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.’ Revelation 3:20. Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God or through His messengers is a knock at the door of the heart. It is the voice of Jesus asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, the disposition to open becomes weaker. The impressions of the Holy Spirit if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of life, and of the great eternity beyond. Our condemnation in the judgment will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning what is truth.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 489,490.
For additional study
• Matthew 10:1-42
• Mark 16:15-18
“The Lord will give you success in this work, for the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, when it is interwoven with the practical life, when it is lived and practiced. The union of Christlike work for the body and Christlike work for the soul is the true interpretation of the gospel.” –(An Appeal for the Medical Missionary College, pp. 14, 15) A Call to Medical Evangelism, p. 7.