Why Men Come

Why do men seek Christ?

R.R. Figuhr is an associate editor

Nicodemus came to Jesus because he wanted to talk with someone who had been sent by God and who was on in­timate terms with God, a safe spiritual guide. Though the Pharisees were well educated and were considered spiritual leaders, he turned from them to this humble Galilean, with the words, "We know that thou art a teacher come from God." He had confidence in Jesus. Though it was humbling to do so, Nicodemus sought out the Master to talk with Him about religion, the field in which Nicodemus himself was sup­posed to be eminently qualified. Even though he came by night, it took real effort on his part to come. This proud intellectual experienced a heart hunger that cold facts and formalism had never satisfied. What he needed was warm as­surance. In this he was much like the rich young man of Matthew 19 who, with all of his wealth and works and profession of religion, had not obtained that for which every soul longs—peace and assurance.

It is doubtful that heavy advertising would have drawn either of these two men to Jesus with their penetrating questions. Others might have responded to a public campaign, might have come out of curiosity to hear something new. But Nicodemus and the rich young ruler might not have been among them. Nicodemus came because he was convinced, in spite of all criticism to the contrary, that here was some­one on intimate terms with God, someone who was a safe spiritual guide. Believing this, he overcame all his prejudice so that he might speak with this one.

This fact should stir us as workers. The out­standing impression that our lives and ministry give, must be that we are, first of all, men come from God, and that we are in constant touch with Him. All our actions, our lives, even to the smallest details, must convince people of this. It is no compliment to a preacher to have it said of him, "He is an able preacher but I want no dealings with him." It is not success when the preacher gives the impression that the things he says are good and true but that he himself is far out of line with his preaching. Nor is it helpful to have the reputation of be­ing a humorist—a funny, frivolous man. No one comes to such preachers with their burdens of heart. Men like that are not sought out for spiritual guidance. Such a man may enjoy a certain popularity, but he does not have the deep confidence of the people that he is a man "come from God." "I will talk with Him," Nicodemus said in his heart, "because He is a teacher come from God." How fortunate for himself and the early church that he did!

Theodore Roosevelt, in conversation with a friend, urged him to attend church. The friend demurred, saying that the preaching was not much, the sermons did not impress him greatly. The ex-President replied, "You may not hear a great sermon, but you will probably hear a good man." Few of us will ever be known as great preachers, but all of us should be known as good men, men come from God.

The finest and most enduring remark that can be made about a preacher is that he is a good man. Sermons, eloquent and powerful, are soon forgotten. About all people ever re­member is that the sermons were wonderful, but in what way they seldom recall. The mem­ory of a good life lives on. It is not forgotten. Abel was such a representative for God, and the record says of him, "He being dead yet speaketh." May our lives also continue to speak of intimate relationship with God and faithful­ness to our charge long after we have been transferred to other assignments or, if that be our lot, laid away to rest briefly until the resur­rection hour.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

R.R. Figuhr is an associate editor

August 1956

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Faithfulness in the Closing Work

Address given at General Conference morning worship dur­ing the 1956 Spring Council.

How Do We Pray?

From the editor's desk, we ask how we are to pray to our Father above.

Significant Contacts by Seminary Faculty Members

From the recent Conference on Marriage and the Family.

The Pulse of the Church

How to Improve Attendance at Prayer Meeting.

Ministering to the Sick and Bereaved

This material was presented at a regular meeting of the Yakima Valley Chapter of CME Alumni, Sunnyside, Wash­ington.—EDITORS.

Characteristics of the Pastor-Counselor

The pastor-counselor will never make any counselee feel that the problem he wishes to discuss is too trivial for his attention.

General Semantics and the Pastor

Part II of why pastors should study words.

New Roadside Church Sign

The new Seventh-day Adventist roadside sign now being made available to all our churches had its beginning at the Ministerial Council in San Francisco in 1954. The council's recommendation has resulted in this simple but effective marker.

The Foundation of the Adventist Faith

Do we ground our beliefs in revelation or experience?

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - IIW-VBS 2024 (160x600)