THE evangelist had given me an assignment:
"At 170 Oak Street there is a woman who wants to know more about the Bible." He had told someone else, "There is a woman for whom there is no hope." I found this out later.
At the house I found a woman in her thirties who, seeing God as a cruel Master, had become very rebellious toward Him. "Why does He allow children and animals to suffer, not to mention people, who are bad enough to deserve it? I have been sick so much that I don't remember having a happy day in my life. I wish I had never been born." These and similar words came out in a torrent.
It hurts me to hear anyone talk about our kind Creator in that way. I showed her from the book of Job that it is not God who causes suffering, but that it is His enemy who then leads many to put the blame on God.
As she talked I thought of the demoniac in the synagogue at Capernaum. "When the man tried to appeal to Jesus for help, the evil spirit put words into his mouth, and he cried out in an agony of fear."— The Desire of Ages, p. 255.
"Wouldn't you like to give your heart to the Saviour?" I asked gently. Her angry egotism deflated like a toy balloon just punctured. Not waiting for her to answer, I continued.
"There are only two things you need to know and one thing you need to do to be saved, born again, regenerated, or whatever you wish to call it. It is life's greatest experience. Would you like to have me tell you what they are?"
"The first thing we need to know is that we are sinners. Will you read this, please? [Rom. 3:10, 23.] If we do not realize that we are sinners and acknowledge it, we haven't taken the first step toward heaven. As sinners, what do we deserve? Please read. Romans 6:23, first part."
" 'For the wages of sin is death.' "
"Do you think that means the first death to which we are all subject or the second death?"
"Well, the second death, I'd say."
"You are right. But the rest of the verse shows that God loves us so much that He made a plan whereby we might escape that second death. Will you read about it, please?"
" 'The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.' "
"It shows a blueprint, doesn't it? And we can see that plan centers in Jesus. As sinners we cannot save ourselves from punishment and death. So we need a Saviour, don't we?"
"Then you know one of the two essentials. The second is that Jesus is just that Saviour. Let us read Isaiah 53:6 'The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.'
Your sins and mine have all been laid on Jesus. That is why God can so freely for give us when we confess and forsake our sins. Will you read 1 John 1:9?"
" 'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' "
"Isn't that a wonderful bargain? And will you read Isaiah 53:5?"
She read it.
"He was bruised for our iniquities, wasn't He? He was wounded for our transgressions. He took the punishment that we deserve for our sins; and if we let Him, He will heal us of our sinning with His stripes, won't He? Don't you love Him for doing that for you?"
"Then you know all you need to know to be born again. And there is only one thing to do. Let us read John 1:12. He will give you power, or the right, to be a daughter of God, if you will receive Him as your own personal Saviour. Will you do it?. "Now? Let us kneel and you tell Him so.
She did. In ten minutes the once-rebellious soul had surrendered her life and heart to the Saviour, gladly, sincerely.
As she was in that city on a short visit to her mother, I gave her a study every two days, covering all the essential points of doctrine. At the second visit God gave me another unexpected idea. I asked her, "Wouldn't you like to be baptized and get right with God?"
Her face lighted up. "Oh!" she said, wonderingly, "before I left home I had a secret desire to be baptized and get right with God. But I didn't tell a soul."
Her jewelry and make-up came off. All craving for cigarettes disappeared. She gave up her dearly loved unclean foods. She joyfully accepted the hope of the soon-coming Saviour and the Adventist interpretation of the prophecies. She began paying tithe and giving out literature and correspondence applications. She was baptized before she left for home—a redeemed soul. She is still a rejoicing Christian and has now won her husband. In a letter she wrote: "I waited all my life to meet you!" I realized she was not waiting for me, but for someone to introduce her to her Saviour.
Waiting for Someone
"There are many who are reading the Scriptures who cannot understand their true import. All over the world men and women are looking wistfully to heaven. Prayers and tears and inquiries go up from souls longing for light, for grace, for the Holy Spirit. Many are on the verge of the kingdom, waiting only to be gathered in." —The Acts of the Apostles, p. 109.
I started out to find these wistful people by going from door to door with our books. I always found some who were glad to study the Bible systematically. Seventeen were doing this when I received a wholly unexpected call from the Oregon Conference. I felt I could not leave these interests, but arrangements were made for me to continue with them three days a week and assist an evangelist the other three days in another town.
One night I felt I must have a deeper infilling of God's Spirit. I searched my Bible on my knees, praying as I searched. Suddenly this message spoke to my heart from the Word, "Thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, ... to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:76-79).
I felt wholly incapable of fulfilling this command and unworthy of such a trust. Later, however, I was to realize that this is to be the work of all in the remnant church. To everyone comes our Saviour's call to labor in His harvest field. What joy there must be in heaven when one responds, "Here am I, Lord, send me."