W. H. BRANSON: President General Conference
Many of our most successful conference, union, and division presidents were formerly active evangelists. This is quite natural, for city evangelism requires and develops varied talents. An evangelist must be able to work harmoniously with other workers. He must have self-reliance and ingenuity. He must use good judgment in handling finance and inspire liberality on the part of church members and the public. He must have organizing ability and must possess, more than anything else, an all-consuming sense of responsibility for the unsaved. These are the very requirements for a successful conference administrator.
However, there are some administrators who take the attitude that once a man is elected to an office he must henceforth confine himself to giving good advice to others, and thus lose personal touch with the most important work in the Advent Movement.
As a young president in a small conference in the Southland, I found that the conference finances would not permit the bringing in of an evangelist, so I decided to arrange my work with the idea of spending at least eight weeks each year in conducting an evangelistic series in the city that seemed to need it most.
I found that I could usually take care of my conference correspondence and sermon preparation in the morning, visit interested families in the afternoon, and preach at night. By conducting an intensive effort five or six nights a week it was possible to have a number ready for baptism by the end of the eight weeks. Usually plans were made for Sunday night meetings to continue in a hall or church to follow up the interest and prepare still others for church membership. Since then we have learned that today the ordinary city effort should continue sixteen to twenty weeks in order to ensure the best results.
Of course a conference president's time is taken up with a multitude of important duties every day in the year. But the same can be said of a busy city pastor. His work is never done, yet we encourage all pastors to allot definite periods for specific evangelism. If a president will only recommend to his committee that he be allowed to arrange the time to hold an effort, and plan well in advance, it can be done. And what an inspiration it is to all the other workers in the conference!
I found it more difficult as a union and di vision president to arrange times when I could be actively engaged in evangelism. Yet I felt that I must keep in practice and receive the personal satisfaction and thrill that can come only as an evangelist has the high privilege of leading lost men and women to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Great joy has come to my heart since the last General Conference session. A number of conference executives here in America and abroad in the various divisions have been personally holding evangelistic meetings. Everyone may not be an evangelist, but let those presidents who were formerly successful evangelists lead the way and teach younger men the art by demonstration, and a great blessing will accrue to the conference, to the entire working force, and to the leader himself. May God give us the ability and desire to continue to win men personally until Jesus comes.
Weightier Matters of the Message
DON HIATT SPILLMAN: North Pacific Union Conference Evangelist
Do any of us need to be convinced that a conference president has many and varied demands made upon his time? He is expected to foster all lines of denominational endeavor, such as the Sabbath school, Ingathering, the Dorcas work, religious liberty, et cetera. However, in his varied activities the conference executive must never forget that the one supreme purpose for which all these are organized is that souls may be won to this message and to the kingdom of God. If he fails to recognize this, then his work may easily become just another "job," patterned perilously close to secular work.
The leader should know at least as much about the plans of attacking the enemy forces as do those under him. It is very difficult for a man to inspire a group of workers to go all out in, say, the Ingathering work, if they know he gives his Minute Man goal out of his own pocket rather than approach non-Adventists, as he is asking others to do. Again, it is difficult for a leader to exhort his workers to faithful Sabbath school attendance and the regular giving of offerings if they know he is not regular in his own attendance and offerings. Equally true, it seems to me, is the thought that it would be rather difficult for a minister to give of his best in evangelistic leadership to a field if his only experience in evangelism dated back twenty or thirty years. Conditions then were considerably different.
I believe any local conference executive can arrange his work in such a manner that he can, occasionally, at least, engage in some form of active evangelism. And to do this each year would be better. Perhaps with some it might be a six-week effort or a longer campaign in which he, if qualified, will do the speaking, with the assistance of other workers who will help with the music and the personal work. If he is musical, he may lead the music for one of his evangelists, should such an opportunity present itself.
In one of John Osborn's evangelistic meetings in the city of Seattle, meetings were held three nights each week for more than twenty weeks. I took part by leading the music for him, con ducting the choir, and assisting in the personal work. In spite of the duties that were mine as president of the Washington Conference, with its sixty-three churches and almost six thousand members, there were only two nights I was forced to miss because of other pressing duties. We were also privileged to hold an eight-week effort in White Center, a suburb of Seattle; to conduct a ten-week tabernacle effort in the city of Everett; and to preach three weeks in a tabernacle in Auburn, besides speaking many times for our evangelists, either one night a week or for a week's spearhead meetings.
I mention these experiences not to boast, for probably I should have done much more, but simply to show that a conference executive would help himself and his workers a great deal if he planned such a program. It would certainly keep him informed on the best methods of conducting public evangelism. Again, it makes his workers feel that he is indeed one of them, and this inspires them to greater effort.
May I be pardoned, brethren, for a paraphrase that comes to my mind as I sense the urgency of just such an endeavor: "Woe unto you, conference executives, presidents, and departmental secretaries; for ye attend board meetings, committee meetings, Spring and Fall Councils; ye eat Dorcas dinners, attend Sabbath school rallies, and yet ye have omitted the weightier matters of the message: evangelism and personal soul winning. These ought ye to have done and not to leave the other undone."
If the fact that God has given to our men varied ministerial gifts is admitted, would not my suggested program for our conference leadership soon bring a new soul-winning zeal to all our fields? And if more of our leaders would join our younger workers especially, in demonstrating successful evangelism, our waiting laity would certainly rally for a triumphant finishing of God's work everywhere.
Now, brethren, shall we turn to an emphasis on these "weightier matters" of the message?
Keep the Evangelistic Blade Sharp
REUBEN H. NIGHTINGALE: President, Florida Conference
As a denomination we have before us the goal of doubling our membership in the immediate future. If every conference president and departmental secretary would conduct at least one full-time evangelistic campaign each year, or several of shorter duration, it would be a great help in reaching this goal. In other words, if all those who are now doing indirect evangelism through office routine and promotion or through administration, were to take some time for direct evangelism, it would do much to quicken the evangelistic fervor in the whole conference.
The example of the leaders in this would "provoke to good works" the pastors who think they are too busy to engage in evangelism or even to conduct Sunday night meetings.
Not only will such a program mean additional souls won to the church, but there is another personal feature that is vital. To preach the Word, to see souls take their stand for Christ and His message, does for one something that cannot be substituted by the baptismal reports from the field. Committee meetings, however pleasant; reports, however good; and all the other multitudinous affairs that come to a conference president for decision or promotion, can leave the religious experience as dry as the hills of Gilboa, unless watered with a certain amount of direct soul-winning evangelistic activity.
No doubt another reason why executives do not engage in evangelism of some kind is that they are afraid of failure. And what would the men in the field think if the conference president held meetings and did not get results? This excuse surely will not relieve us of our responsibility. Furthermore, God has promised, "My word . . . shall not return unto me void." Isa. 55:11. "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Ps. 126:6.
Of course evangelism is hard work, and after all, being president of a conference is a twenty- four-hour job. Then how shall he do it? He has to be available to the field, take care of a heavy correspondence, and promote the various phases of the work. Consequently, during the time when he engages in evangelism the executive must by careful planning keep much of his regular work at a minimum, and care only for the essentials. Certain times of the year lend themselves best to evangelism, and these may vary in different conferences.
Last spring the three pastors in the Orlando area asked me to join with them in an evangelistic campaign and do the speaking. We pitched a large tent (60 feet by 140 feet) on a prominent corner. (See August MINISTRY for picture of tent.) March to June are the best months for evangelism in Florida. Then a very good class of people will attend tent meetings. The meetings ran for eleven weeks and should have continued several weeks longer, but camp meeting interfered. The attendance was most excellent all through the meetings and the offerings cared for all the running expenses, including advertising and literature, and lumber and materials for the platform, bookstand, and a large outdoor sign. Since the start of these meetings, the ministers H. V. Reed, W. L. Mazart, and D. P. Herbert have received nearly ninety new members into church fellow ship by baptism and on profession of faith.
It would be difficult to conduct a meeting of this length at any distance from the office, but this year I am planning to conduct a number of shorter evangelistic revivals and spearhead meetings up to two weeks' duration in other parts of the conference.
As conference presidents we need to keep the evangelistic blade sharp by preaching the Word.
How an Executive Can Do Evangelism
THEODORE CARCICH: President, Washington Conference
Public evangelism is a full- time assignment. Conference administration is a round- the-clock task. How can a conference executive find time away from conference, church, academy, college, and sanitarium board meetings to engage in public meetings? How can he find time to read his voluminous mail and write letters, reports, statements, and bulletins, and still find time to prepare effective sermons for the public meetings? How can he find time to listen to the daily callers to his office, including ministers, departmental secretaries, church delegations, sorrowing folks, disgruntled brethren all needing counsel and advice and still find time to visit the interest developed at the public meetings?
Timing is of prime importance in an executive's evangelistic program. His meetings cannot conflict with camp meeting, Fall Council, and other important gatherings that he is expected to attend. My experience has taught me that from January to April is an ideal time for an executive to engage in public evangelism. He can take his choice of conducting Sunday night meetings over a three-month period, or conducting a series of short spearhead efforts .in various parts of the conference. I personally prefer the former. The reason for this is that it gives me time to attend the various board meetings during the week.
Another important item is to have your topic sequence and sermons all prepared before the meetings begin. During the week one can always find some time to go over the sermon and adjust it to meet any development not anticipated at the time the sermon was prepared. This saves time and the possibility of being embarrassed by an unprepared sermon. It also gives the president time to read the deluge of mail daily swamping his desk.
If possible, the executive should conduct his meetings in an area where some other ministers can assist in following up the interest. The laity of the churches involved should be organized to distribute handbills and literature and to call on the interested people. If some of the conference office staff are joining the executive in the effort, then the home missionary secretary should take the responsibility of organizing the churches and church members for the endeavor. The Missionary Volunteer secretary could organize the youth for ushering and for the music. The conference treasurer could assist in the preparation of advertising and take care of all the finances. The Book and Bible House manager would naturally prepare the bookstand and assist in the public sale of literature. Once a week these men and the church members who assist in the visiting could meet with the speaker to consolidate and harmonize their work.
Yes, an executive can do evangelism, but never at the expense of his conference administration. It can be done by careful timing, planning, and organizing of time, work, and men.
The Prayer List in Evangelism
W. H. BARRINGHAM: Pastor-Evangelist, Chesapeake Conference
Our metropolitan prayer list, now over 120 feet in length, has a unique and important place in the series of evangelistic meetings being held in Baltimore, Maryland, by M. K. Eckenroth. The use of such a prayer list has proved to be advantageous in many ways:
1. It demonstrates to people that we are firm believers in prayer.
2. It gives God an opportunity to do great things in behalf of His people.
3. It affords a wonderful opportunity for getting favorable publicity in newspapers, et cetera.
4. It opens the way to enter homes and to pray with people about their problems.
Not only did our Baltimore prayer list help in these four ways, but there were other advantages also. I shall explain the mechanics of the prayer list and invite our fellow evangelists to try it in their own evangelistic meetings.
On the opening night of the series the evangelist takes a few minutes to explain the value of prayer. He then places in the hands of each person in the audience a prayer request card. This may be a part of the evening program. The evangelist stresses the fact that all names will be kept in strictest confidence.
As the requests come in they are placed on sheets of paper about four inches wide and eleven inches long. Then the sheets are glued together to make a continuous roll. At the next meeting, time is allowed to unroll the long prayer list so that everyone can see it. Instruction should be given to those who unroll the list to handle it very carefully and to regard it as a sacred trust. Then, with the list spread before the people, and just before an earnest and fervent prayer is offered, it is well to comment that we fully realize this list represents some body's heartaches, tears, griefs, and cares. We found it very effective to remain after the ear nest prayer with heads bowed while our singing evangelist, Wylie Fowler, sang very quietly and reverently, "For You We Are Praying."
In presenting such a prayer list to an audience, we should guard against giving the impression of showing off our piety; otherwise such a demonstration has an adverse effect. Also, in the multiplicity of plans at the workers' meeting this spreading out of the list before the Lord must not become merely a form, or it will tend to harm the workers' experience. There should be sincere prayer growing out of a true prayer experience by those associated together in evangelism. These people should be fastened on our hearts even as the breastplate of the Old Testament priest. Then at the close of the interest the checking of names for those who have become members of the church might well terminate in a praise meeting on the Sabbath.
When we remember that "from the secret place of prayer came the power that shook the world in the Great Reformation" (The Great Controversy, p. 210), surely we too will be able to shake the towns and cities we labor in if we will use to good advantage the key that un locks heaven's storehouse.
Christ the Metropolis of the Scriptures
A young man had been preaching in the presence of a venerable divine, and after he had done, he went to the old minister and said------
"What do you think of my sermon?"
"A very poor sermon, indeed," said he.
"A poor sermon?" said the young man,
"it took me a long time to study it."
"Aye, no doubt of it."
"Why, did you not think my explanation of the text a very good one?"
"Oh, yes," said the old preacher,
"very good, indeed."
"Well, then, why do you say it is a poor sermon? Didn't you think the metaphors were appropriate, and the arguments conclusive?"
"Yes, they were very good, so far as that goes; but still, it was a very poor sermon."
"Will you tell me why you think it was a poor sermon?"
"Because," said he, "there was no Christ in it."
"Well," said the young man, "Christ was not in the text; we are not preaching Christ always; we must preach what is in the text."
So the old man said: "Don't you know, young man, that from every town and every village and every little hamlet in England, wherever it may be, there is a road to London?"
"Yes," said the young man.
"Ah!" said the old divine, "and from every text in Scripture there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures that is, Christ. And, my dear brother, your business is, when you get a text, to say: 'Now, what is the road to Christ?' and then preach a sermon running along the road to the great metropolis Christ. And," said he, "I have not yet found a text that hasn't a road to Christ in it. If I should, I would make one. I would go over hedge and ditch, but I would get at my Master, for the sermon cannot do any good unless there is a savor of Christ in it." Signs of the Times, May 4, 1888. p. 260.
'Survival Through Faith" Rallies
By: George E. Vandeman
By now practically every worker in the North American Division will be aware of the evangelistic crusade known as the Survival Through Faith rally campaign. The plan, which embraces the coverage of every town and city of over five thousand inhabitants throughout North America, was conceived a few weeks prior to the last Autumn Council. Ever since the Cleveland meeting, plans have been maturing to implement the program.
It is believed that there are millions of men and women throughout the North American Division who have had some favorable contact with the Advent message, whether through reading the Signs of the Times and our other prophetic journals, hearing the Voice of Prophecy and our local broadcasts, or seeing the Faith for Today telecast. Also multiplied thousands have been influenced by personal contact with our believers through the years by active missionary endeavor.
We believe this mighty army comprises our greatest potential field of evangelistic endeavor. Recognizing that we are not at present cultivating a tithe of this tremendous field of opportunity, and that the outbreak of another world war might quickly make this contact and follow- up work well-nigh impossible, it was decided that during the spring of 1952 a concerted effort should be put forth to contact these thousands and bring them into the church.
The laity of the Advent Movement is waiting for its leadership to move forward in aggressive plans with large and clear vision, embracing such noble objectives as this tremendous surge of evangelistic endeavor involves.
The plan of organization is simply this: Each of the sixty-one conferences has chosen a local organizer, in many instances the president or the home missionary secretary, who will plan with the districts and coordinate the rallies in his territory. The ten union conferences have selected a union-wide organizer, and at the General Conference office a planning committee has been functioning for several months. This committee, under the leadership of L. K. Dickson, comprises several officers, a business manager, and several general organizers.
The central planning committee has pre pared a manual explaining in detail the objectives and suggestive plans. It has provided standardized printing items, lithographed in color in such quantities that the price per thousand to the local field is but a fraction of local costs. These pieces include:
1. Church Information Blank.—A card used by the membership to record the names and addresses of all contacts, relatives, former S.D.A.'s, interested patients (of our doctors and nurses), Ingathering donors, colporteur interests, Bible study contacts, etc.
2. Lithographed Letter.—To be mailed to all names gathered on above information cards (local interest) and to all Voice of Prophecy, Faith for Today, Signs of the Times, These Times, Life and Health, Liberty, Listen, .etc., interests in each locality. This letter is a direct invitation to the meeting.
3. Card Announcement.—A 4x6 1/2" card advertisement attractively illustrated and available at low cost in two colors provides for the "handbill" needs as well as being a means of distributing the Voice of Prophecy and Faith for Today logs. This log appears on the reverse side and is broken down into union area coverage.
4. Newspaper Mats.—Supplied in two sizes, 2 col. x 6" and 3 col. x 9". These carry the same dignified layout as the card announcement.
5. Song Sheet and Request Card.—This combination song sheet and request stub eliminates the need of providing large quantities of songbooks for these mass meetings, and is a simple way to gather in formation, secure enrollments for Bible courses, and discover the hearer's desire for personal visits.
6. A New Message-filled Booklet. Written by Carlyle B. Haynes and entitled Survival Through Faith, it is supplied through the Book and Bible House and will be given to all who attend the rally.
The city rally program is providing an interesting experiment in denominational identity. Crowds ranging from one thousand in Fremont, Nebraska (14,000 population), to twenty-five hundred in the larger cities have recorded, at least in the early returns, a definite interest in Adventism. All advertising material tactfully identifies our church affiliation. When Winston- Salem, North Carolina, reports a 70 per cent non-Adventist attendance, some will no doubt be tempted to explain this early success in a prejudiced Southern city by "in spite of," whereas others will think in terms like "because of." Whatever the reaction may be, we are all grateful that the day has arrived when we can advertise ourselves as the people of prophecy. If we are to influence the masses, they surely will need to feel the impact of this prophetic movement.
Financially the rally plan is 75 per cent to 80 per cent self-supporting, as reported in the early returns.
H. M. S. Richards and the Voice of Prophecy group, W. A. Fagal and the Faith for Today cast, General, Union, and local speakers are preparing now to support this gigantic under taking. During the month of January the Voice of Prophecy group conducted thirteen rallies and traveled nearly seven thousand miles to complete this tour in addition to their heavy duties.
Great things are in store for us as we move into the opening providences of this glorious hour.
Illustrating Righteousness by Faith
RAYMOND H. LIBBY: Pastor-Evangelist, Northern California Conference
What must I do to be saved?" is the greatest question that the soul winner is privileged to answer. And the greatest answer that he ever can give has always been, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." But in spite of the multiplied sermons on righteousness by faith, the average layman seems as beclouded as was Jesus' questioner, Nicodemus, on this same point of salvation. When men grasp the simplicity of becoming justified and sanctified, and when they lay hold on these experiences, then they have salvation.
This cornerstone of the gospel needs to be illustrated so clearly that even a child can grasp its meaning. The three pictures in their successive order illustrate in five steps how men are justified. From the top step in illustration No. 2, to the gates of the city is the pathway that explains the meaning of sanctification.
The device should be constructed of movable parts. Remember that a device built up before your audience, as you explain each consecutive step, is probably the most effective way of illustrating the points of truth to be taught. Begin this lesson with illustration No. 1, by showing five blank steps. Then show the pathway from the steps to the gates of the city. No lettering should, at first, appear anywhere on the device. Curiosity will be aroused by placing a large question mark on a card at the top step.
A poster of proportionate size displaying nothing more than a skull should be placed below the first step, "conviction," and out in front of it. The evangelist, with Bible in hand, makes it clear that all are born in sin and are condemned to die. Read the Word, and let it stir the heart as you indicate the lost estate of the human family. Now place a figure of a man in black down below the first step, in the mire of sin and despair. Perhaps you will wish to contrast his fatal estate with the reward of the righteous. To do this, you could display a "crown of life" above the wall of the city. Unconsciously the mind grasps the fact, even though you have not said so, that there is a heaven to win and a hell to shun. The audience is now asking itself, "What are the necessary steps from death to life?" You can help each hearer to think of that figure as representing himself.
Step by Step to Christ
As you read such texts as John 3:16, Matthew 1:21, and Acts 4:12, place the separate letters of the word "J E S U S" on the ends of the several steps illustration No. 2—keeping in mind the gospel reference to Jacob's ladder as symbolizing the saving Christ. He is "the way, the truth, and the life." Hearts are asking themselves, "What must I DO?" The answer reveals, not works, but faith. Works serve only to defeat justification. John 16:8 and similar texts teach the place of the Holy Spirit as He comes to the sinful heart to begin His work of grace. As you explain the text, place the title "conviction" on the riser of step one. Show how the Spirit convicts hearts. Now with your hand lift the dark figure out of the pit and place him on the conviction step. Your hand represents the power of God reaching down to lift up the sinner. Illustrations from your soul- winning experiences or your own life will show how God works in different ways to convict sinners. Use them here to strengthen this blessed truth.
The figure now faces step two. He has discovered his lost, helpless condition. He has caught a glimpse of the crown of life. As Psalms 51 is examined, David's contrite heart is brought to light. Godly sorrow is at work under the power of the Holy Spirit. Label step two "contrition." Explain the contrast between worldly and godly sorrow, reviewing quickly their evidences in the lives of Kings Saul and David. Show that no life record is too black, no sin too crimson, for God to forgive, if we will but find godly sorrow for it in our hearts as a result of the Spirit's wooing. Now lift the dark sinner a step higher into "contrition." Man does not lift himself; it is the power of the Saviour's love. John 12:32 will come to mind in this connection as we teach salvation by "faith alone."
Step three brings to us a vital experience that needs to be stressed. It is the admission of one's lost condition. Confession is a twofold experience: First, "I am a sinner. I am hopelessly lost." Second, "I must have Jesus. He alone is my deliverance." Let the Bible tell it, brother preacher, for "the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." 1 John 1:9 reveals one phase of confession; Romans 10:9 explains the second part. No man is justified unless both apply in his heart and life. Here is the surrender of the rebellious will. The heart (mind) at enmity against God now ceases to struggle against the Spirit's work in its behalf. It admits its helplessness and appeals to Christ as its only salvation. Label this step "confession" and lift the black figure a step higher into the grace of God. Time your action to your message carefully. Draw again from evangelistic experiences to seal the lesson in each heart.
Step four might be termed the "miracle step," if one can be more miraculous than another. God has lifted the sinner thus far out of the depths. Will he stop here in the work of grace? Teach men that he "that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Acts 3:19 will explain how conversion follows repentance; so, "conversion" is the step after "confession." Label the step on the device and lift the dark character higher as you tell how conversion comes to men. The Bible is replete with illustrations. How about your own conversion? Paul told and retold his conversion story with telling power, and its ap peal was always new it came from firsthand experience.
When a man has been led by the Holy Spirit through these four phases of spiritual change in his justification, he is then ready for the final step in his transfer from death unto life. Step, five is the completion of the "born again" experience. The baptism of the Spirit completes the grace of justification in these five steps. This fifth step involves water, baptism, an outward ceremony, as a public testimony of the cleansing effected within the heart by the blood of Jesus Christ. Explain that this step is the "adoption into the family of God" ceremony. This step signifies the spiritual union between the Creator and the re-created. Label the step "baptism" as you lift the figure onto the top step.
He now loses the black robe of sin and despair and becomes white, washed from all sin, justified. On this step a cross is placed, indicating that here the redeemed one takes up his cross and follows his Lord. Romans 8:14 will show how all this work comes as a result of the Spirit's work in bringing man through Jesus Christ into the family of God.
Growth in Grace
But is a man ready for heaven at baptism? Many denominations stop just here and teach that justification completes the redemption story on this earth. Justification is not the end of the Christian way; it is the birth of the new creature. True, man is in God's family and shares its privileges. But God wants the babe in Christ to grow in grace. Here is where sanctification begins the work of a lifetime. 2 Peter 1:5-8 makes it plain that faith begins this sanctifying work. With the faith of Jesus the new man must add the fruits of the Spirit to his renewed character. In illustration No. 2 the steps of the Christ way of obedience are portrayed. These steps climax at the gates of God with the greatest step of all "love." Place each of these steps, one at a time, on the "obedience road," and move the Christian forward as he grows up. Each step is worthy of consideration, since it reveals the divine nature. (Ex. 34:5-7; Matt. 5:48.)
In illustration No. 1 the gates are closed; in No. 2 and No. 3 they are open. Do not open them in your demonstration until you have answered the question, "How can we enter the gates of the city?" The answer of Matthew 19:17 (last part) and of Revelation 22:14 involves obedience to the commandments. On the gates we placed the law of God. Those gates open to the obedience of love, not of fear. John 14:15-17 teaches obedience by love. "Love is the fulfilling of the law." Do not destroy the purity of righteousness by faith at this point of the study by missing love as the divine element in this faith experience. The sinner justified by grace is also sanctified by grace. Let us stress the second half of grace as emphatically as we do the first. It is the love of the truth in the sanctified heart that fulfills the law of God. Man keeps the commandments, not to be justified or sanctified or saved, but because he is justified and sanctified.
Illustration No. 3 beautifully portrays Christ, the sinner's friend, the Sanctifier as well as the Redeemer, reaching out His hands to welcome the overcomer. This is the climaxing scene of this practical demonstration on true conversion. It keeps our message in the gospel setting and exalts Jesus.
This whole demonstration of an abstract subject can become a series of thrilling steps back to God. I spent seven nights on its vital doc trines. Each night the attentive audience was held in suspense till the next step was explained at the next study. Don't let the device become the master. With the Bible in hand, teach the doctrine of righteousness by faith, using the device to illustrate. Instead of making the Bible teach the device, use the device to teach the Bible.
Why not begin an evangelistic series on righteousness by faith? If evangelists of other faiths can grip souls with their messages on the saving grace of Christ, should Adventist preachers be one whit behind them? Why not reveal Christ first, and then when He is implanted in men's hearts give them the other doctrines afterward? Was it not so in the apostolic evangelism? When men grasp this very heart of the third angel's message first of all as a personal experience, then and only then can we "go forth to proclaim the Sabbath more fully" as the seal of God in such trans formed characters. There is no genuine Sabbathkeeping without it. Righteousness by faith is our message 'for today. Why not try reversing our usual method of evangelistic procedure and make first things first?