Work Among African Natives

The challenge of a world task.

By W. H. ANDERSON, Pioneer Missionary to South Africa

In conducting evangelistic efforts among the heathen peoples in Africa, I followed the plan of assigning homes for visitation by each one of the workers rendering assistance in the effort. These homes were visited each day, and a Bible lesson given to the people. It was a rare thing to be refused entrance into a native home, and not often did anyone refuse to listen to instruction.

The instruction given began with a lesson point­ing out from the Bible the familiar fact that every soul brought into this world is a sinner; that he is dead in trespasses and sins, and without hope in the world. Many scriptures were used to prove this.

In the second lesson we pointed out the impos­sibility of a man's saving himself. We showed that a lost sheep cannot find his way home; that the leopard cannot change his spots, or the Ethi-. opian his skin; that no one can bring a clean thing out of an unclean; that there is absolutely no power in us to cleanse ourselves or to save our­selves ; that we are all under the sentence of eternal death, and helpless.

Then we showed them the one remedy, the one hope, the one help—that Jesus came into this world to seek and to save those that are lost ; that His name was called Jesus because He saved the people from their sins. Some people want to be saved in sin. It is the work of Jesus to save from sin. "There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Jesus is our only hope. He is our one helper—the Son of God. He is mighty to save.

Following this lesson, we took up the promises of God to help us in every emergency. God has given us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we may become partakers of the divine nature. He has promised to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. He has promised to place beneath us His everlasting arms. God has promised us that "the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them."

These precious promises, with many more con­tained in the Scriptures, were then taught to the people, showing them the abundance of help, the mighty power, and the complete deliverance from the power of Satan through Christ.

After all these principles were Made clear, we then gave them the invitation to come: "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come." "The Spirit and the bride say, Come," and whosoever will let him come. The in­vitation is to all. Christ tasted death—death for every man. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should be saved by Him.

Then we studied with them the first step in get­ting rid of sin. He that covereth his sin shall not prosper, but whosoever confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall find mercy. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins," and then a step beyond that, "to cleanse us from all un­righteousness." Our sins He removes as far from us as the east is from the west. He casts them into the depths of the sea. He blots them out of His book, and He will remember them against us no more forever. And God has promised to do this for everyone who will come to Him. Whoso­ever cometh to Him, He will in no wise cast out. The invitation is to all. And no one will be re­fused admittance who complies with the condi­tions.

Then we showed the kind of man God created in the beginning. Man was made in the image of God and after His likeness. Christ came to re­store that image in us. As Adam was a son of God, so as many as receive Him, God promises again that they shall be called the sons of God.

And so we started with man—lost, degraded, ruined, hopeless, with the sentence of eternal death as the only thing he can look forward to. Then we showed that Christ restores in him all that was lost by Adam's transgression; that Christ restores to him all that was lost by sin—light for darkness, righteousness for sin', the image of God instead of likeness of Satan, and finally an abundant entrance into the kingdom of God, where there will be no more Satan and no more sin. For the former things are passed away forever.

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By W. H. ANDERSON, Pioneer Missionary to South Africa

July 1946

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