Decision for Christ and His message today is the ultimate goal of all our personal work and Bible study. Young workers in training for the ministry have been advised to learn to use properly the scythe for the mowing of the gospel crop. To change the figure, techniques in the use of the large dragnet in evangelism should be mastered. (Evangelism, pp. 442, 443.) Another illustration used by the Lord's messenger is the gathering of the ripe berries. (Ibid., pp. 293, 294.) Seminar students will learn much from these illustrations, and should be able to apply the lessons they teach to their personal efforts in winning converts.
While on one hand we have been cautioned not to begin mowing until the gospel grain has reached maturity, we are also warned to recognize the psychological moment of decision. To pass this stage without action for Christ merely complicates the prospect for clear-cut victory in the final acceptance of all light. Our "truth," as we understand it, is recognized progressively. Link by link the chain of evidence is forged into a decision to enlist on the side of Christ. Every visit, and each Bible reading, should be an intelligent attempt to lead the soul logically and definitely across the line.
With evidence comes conviction. A complete change of heart and life now indicates that the interested soul may look forward to baptism. There is no forcing of the blossom, for the new life within is unfolding its own beauty. The fruit is evident, yet the gospel worker must discern the hour when baptism is timely.
The moment of decision is a deep experience with God. Often it brings great conflict, if not persecution. The buffeted soul must lean on Christian strength for fortitude. This hour is the great challenge to the worker's own spirituality. Attaining decision is more than demonstrating techniques in gospel salesmanship; it requires the real God-power ! Every new opportunity for decision should find the truly consecrated Bible teacher more humble about his own ability. Every worker learns more about the mastery of the decision art through experience, but, humanly speaking, there seems to be no degree of blissful assurance of success.
Contrariwise,. every added experience is another anguish of soul to see a new soul born into the kingdom of God.
The success of a worker's ability to get souls across the line may be measured by the number of converts who have entered the church by baptism, but the better measuring rod, we are wisely discovering, is the number who remain in the faith, and who develop into Christian leaders and eventually world overcomers. We must not minimize the fact that we are living in a shallow age, and too often souls joyfully accept our convincing principles of truth only to demonstrate later that they have not been sanctified by the truth itself. Every worker is responsible to lead new believers into a heart fellowship with Christ. The depth of the Bible instructor's own experience in this respect often determines how deeply his converts have been planted in our message. It is a solemn work, dear seminar students, but it affords the supreme opportunity to become under God the instrument to bring decisions for eternity.
Decision Techniques in Soul Winning
STUDY HELPS: John 4; Evangelism, section 9.
I. What solemn fact faces every evangelist in the preaching of God's present-day message? Evangelism, pp. 279, 280, 283.
2. What God-ordained techniques may be used by the evangelist in gaining decisions for Christ in the public meeting? Pp. 280, 283-285, 296-301.
3. Discover five personal-work principles applicable to gaining decision for truth. Pp. 292-295, 285.
4. What basic experience must influence all decision to walk in new light ? Pp. 286-292.
5. In what spirit must the gospel worker meet prejudice and opposition? Pp. 301-306.
6. What should every worker know about binding off an interest? Pp. 321-328.
FOR MEDITATION AND PRAYER
1. Because decision for truth is difficult to attain, what personal convictions of divine help must influence our ministry ?
2. Having been warned of weakness. in our methods of evangelism, we should guard what particular points ' of cautions? Pp. 319-321, 326-333.
1. In your observance of an evangelist seeking public decisions for Christ, what pointers for success have you discovered?
2. In what ways have you been building your series of Bible studies for the final decision of all truth?
DOCTRINAL TOPICS FOR MONTH
(Presented by seminar members)
1. Truth's Present-Day Controversy. (Rev. 12.)
2. What is the Mark of the Beast?
3. God's Charter for a New World Order. (Rev. 22:14.)
4. Fleeing a Coming World Dictatorship. (Rev. 18 :4.)
L. C. K.