How, Where, and When to Appeal for a Favorable Decision

WE DO well to contemplate frequently how much Jesus accomplished in a short ministry of three and one-half years. He plowed a furrow for good across the world which far exceeds all that the great philosophers, teachers, and leaders of all ages did put together. Why? Because He knew how and where to strike in all that He said and did.

WE DO well to contemplate frequently how much Jesus accomplished in a short ministry of three and one-half years. He plowed a furrow for good across the world which far exceeds all that the great philosophers, teachers, and leaders of all ages did put together. Why? Because He knew how and where to strike in all that He said and did.

Success is sure when you follow His methods. "It is those workers who follow the methods that Christ followed who will win souls for their hire." Gospel Workers, p. 468. Christ says, "Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men" (Mark 1:17). When we follow His methods and are imbued by His Spirit, then we will know how and when to strike for results. It is self-evident that in a personal inter view with an interested person, the worker who knows how and where and when to focus for decision has the most favorable prospect of leading this person into a full surrender and baptism. The same holds good for securing decisions in evangelistic preaching.

There are two places in connection with the use of the Truth for Today Bible lessons that help the minister to discover in the public meetings how and where and when to strike for decision. These are: At the next meeting after the lesson on the Sabbath truth has been distributed, at the meeting where the sixteenth lesson is to be distributed.

Let us notice some of the steps that lead up to the first of these, in connection with the awarding of the gift books. At the opening meeting the receptionists hand to every person a Book Award Card as he enters the auditorium.

This card has seven squares along the bottom with a hole drilled in the first square. The receptionists punch a hole in the remaining squares at the successive meetings that the holder attends. At the seventh meeting all who have the seven squares punched are asked to stand. The ushers quickly hand them the appointed gift book. Those who do not stand are assured that the same book will be given to them at the Bible counter as soon as they have all seven squares punched. We like to use for this first gift book

Good News for Modern Man. These are obtainable from the American Bible Society at three for one dollar plus 10 percent handling charge. What a bargain it is at that price!

The second gift book is given to each when they have filled in the answers on five lessons. The third when they have completed eight lessons. The fourth when they have completed all sixteen lessons.

The little book Helps to Bible Study fits in well as the second gift book. We use The Great Day of Judgment for the third, and Your Bible and You or the paperback Bible Readings for the Home Circle for the fourth gift book.

It is good not to use all sixteen lessons during the reaping campaign. In this case the pastor presents the remaining lessons at the rate of one or two a week in the follow-up meetings after the evangelist has preached his last sermon. We choose for the fourth gift book the most expensive one.

This helps to keep the people coming to the follow-up meetings and makes it easier for the pastor to follow up the interest. It helps to conserve and increase the results from the reaping campaign. This is a valuable feature of this method.

The Sabbath truth is presented under the title "The Sign of Your Saviour." This presents the Sabbath in a Christ-centered, righteousness-by-faith setting. Everyone who has accepted Christ as his personal Saviour should keep the Sabbath of Christ as Heaven's appointed sign in his life that Christ is his Saviour and Creator.

At the next meeting after the Sabbath truth has been presented, the minister reads the correct completed sentences under My Bible Says on the Sabbath truth lesson. The people watch their copy to see if their answers are correct.

Then score sheet No. 1 is distributed to each person. The filling out of this score sheet determines who will be handed the second gift book at this next meeting after the Sabbath truth has been set forth. (A copy of this appears to the right.)

When I use the lessons in a reaping campaign, lessons 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 have been distributed. When we come to the next meeting after they have heard the Sabbath truth, everyone who has filled in the answers on these five lessons is requested to check the first square. If a person has not received some of these lessons that have been distributed, he circles the respective numbers of those lessons. This enables us to know which lessons we must supply to him to make his list complete to date.

Those who are determined to fill in the answers for all the lessons are asked to check the second square on the sheet. Then all are asked to fill in their name and address.

Next, those who have filled in the blank lines on the five lessons that have been distributed are asked to stand. The ushers hand them the second premium book. Those who did not stand are told that this same book will be given to them at the Bible counter when they have completed the five lessons.

Then the people are directed to look at the bottom of the sheet. "I am determined by the grace of God to keep the seventh-day Sabbath of the Lord Jesus Christ." Then comes the appeal for decision.

"Think now of what your Bible says. 'The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work.' Since you love Jesus, you want to keep His Sabbath, and do what He asks you to do.

"His call in Ezekiel 20:20 is, 'Hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign be tween me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.' This is not a call from any man, nor from the Adventist Church, but from your Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are determined to respond to His call, and from hence forth keep His seventh-day Sabbath, please place a check mark in this square at the bottom of the sheet."

Then their attention is directed to the first square under their name and we say: "If you want to be remembered in prayer that God will help you to obey His truth, then check this square.

"We are aware that in some cases the keeping of this true Sabbath will involve problems and some questions. If the keeping of the seventh day presents a problem on which you want God to help you, then check the second square. If you have a question regarding this matter of the Sabbath, then write your question in the blank space."

Then after allowing two or three minutes for the writing of questions, the sheets are collected and brought to the minister. He offers a special prayer. He asks the Lord to help each one who wants to obey the truth. He prays for those who are facing a problem in keeping the Sabbath. He asks God to make a way for them through these problems.

Then he proceeds with the study appointed for this night. In the short reaping campaign we choose for this meeting Bible temperance under the title "How to Live Better and Longer."

The next morning the workers gather to tabulate the results. The pertinent in formation that was secured from the non- Adventists is recorded on the file cards bearing their name. Then the workers proceed to contact these people in their homes.

Shows How to Focus in the Personal Work

The filled-in score sheets show the worker how to focus his personal work for the next few days. Help is extended to those who are facing a problem. Answers are sup plied to the written questions. Those who marked for decision are fortified in this decision. This information from the interested person supplies the needed guidance in how to proceed for his decision. This is of strategic importance in winning him to obey the Lord. Notice also that the filling in of the score sheet is connected with the distribution of the second gift book. This is a tactful way of securing their participation in supplying the in formation concerning the Sabbath truth.

In the short reaping campaign we find it helpful to follow Bible temperance with God's symbol of the true way in religion the pure woman of Revelation 12. The emphasis is placed on identifying the remnant of the true church. Then follow at the next meeting with God's symbol of the false way in religion the impure woman of Revelation 17. The people see what Babylon is and how God is calling His people out of her. Thus the stage is set to secure decisions for corning out of the world and Babylon into Christ's remnant.

 


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August 1970

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