Ways of Gaining Decisions

The Bible instructor is as definitely called of God to teach the Scriptures as is the minister.

By OLIVE C. DAVIES, Bible Instructor, South England Conference

The Bible instructor is as definitely called of God to teach the Scriptures as is the minister. She should therefore feel just as responsible as the minister in bringing people to a decision for the truth. This should be her aim with every person with whom she is study­ing the Scriptures. She is conscious of this great responsibility. Many of the decisions gained in evangelistic efforts are the results of her faithful, patient, untiring ministry. The Bible instructor receives her greatest thrill when she sees those with whom she has been laboring make their decision and 'give witness of their profession of faith by baptism.

Very few are easy to win. There are those simple, trusting people, of course, who very gladly accept whatever they hear from the word, but these are few. How often have I prayed, "Help me the slow of heart to move by some clear, winning word of love," and how true are the words of the hymn, "How hardly souls are wooed and won !"

One thing must never be forgotten. The Bible instructor should keep constantly in mind the fact that it takes more than human wisdom to win a soul. It means pleading with God for souls, just as we plead with souls for God. In these eventful, trying days, this great work is going to call for much prayer, so that more souls will be won. The Scripture says, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Notice that the promise is to bring in the sheaves as well as to sow the seed.

Perseverance and thorough teaching are defi­nite essentials in the winning of souls. The Bible instructor should not give up too soon. She must be persistent, and by patience and love must encourage her readers to make their decision. The messenger of the Lord has written that the truth must be brought to the heart and conscience of each soul. Some do not grasp facts as readily as others. Because some grasp only half a point of truth, thorough teach­ing is very necessary. The Bible instructor should make sure that each point of truth is understood.

One very great help in gaining a decision is to get readers to study their Bibles in their homes. Leave a list of texts on the points of truth presented, so that they may review the subjects themselves. I have found that those who study the Bible in this way will more readily decide for the whole truth.

The Bible instructor should not wait too long before asking for a decision. As each test­ing truth is presented, she should not hesitate to ask, "Is it clear to you ?" or "Do you believe it?" or "What are you going to do about this?" or "Will you accept this truth?"

As there are many different types of people, so there are also various ways of bringing them to a decision. Some will decide because of the great love of Jesus. Others have to be shown the sterner ways of God, to help them to decide.

I was greatly interested in reading that one of our Bible instructors in America found it neces­sary with certain readers to point out what the "wrath of God" means. Paul said that he had become "all things to all men," that he "might by all means save some." The Bible instructor must follow his example.

There are some studies that will prove espe­cially helpful in gaining decisions : (1) Walk­ing in the Light. (2) The Woman of Samaria. (3) God's Love for Man. (4) The Test on Mount Carmel. There may be certain reasons which cause an individual to be hesitant in deciding. Here are some of these reasons and how to deal with them.

1. Fear of the family is very common. This is a case where the Bible instructor must stimu­late courage, for Christ must have first place in the life. He is calling out His witnesses so as to help the other members of the family to follow the example of the one making the decision.

2. Nervousness due to poor health. This is where the experience of others can be recited, showing their faith in obeying God's commands, and then assuring the soul in the balance that He will keep everyone safe from harm.

3. Some hesitate because they see the serious­ness of the decision. They fear they may fail in living out the truth. It will help them to see that baptism is the beginning of their new life, and that as Jesus now walks with them, He will give them the necessary strength and power to be true and faithful under all conditions.

Whatever the problem or difficulty, the Bible instructor should show her readers definitely that God is greater than all their perplexities, and that He will care for them and theirs if by faith they will accept His revealed truth. In this way the instructor gains confidence and wins souls for Christ. Her constant prayer should be :

"0 teach me, Lord, that I may teach

The precious things

Thou dost impart,

And wing my words that they may reach T

he hidden depths of many a heart:"

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By OLIVE C. DAVIES, Bible Instructor, South England Conference

February 1943

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