JUST what does it take to win a soul to Jesus Christ in the sophisticated seventies?
Let us pause, look at ourselves, and make a mental video tape (if not an actual one!) of our last evangelistic presentations. As we pause, watch, and listen, may God give us grace to ask a few honest questions.
1. Are we hearing, seeing, and feeling the concerns of the community?
Social power, sanctified by the grace of Christ, must be improved in winning souls to the Saviour. Let the world see that we are not selfishly absorbed in our own interests, but that we desire others to share our blessings and privileges. The Desire of Ages, p. 152.
2. Is our method the soft yet solemn, penetrating yet dignified, presentation of the way of salvation used by Jesus?
Christ spoke with such solemn dignity, and both look and tone expressed such earnest love, that Nicodemus [even a man of highest socio-economic status] was not offended as he realized his humiliating condition. Ibid., p. 173.
3. Does our preaching evidence an up lifted Saviour, revealed through an open Bible, in the hands of one surrendered to Jesus, so that every aspect of our work declares, "God forbid that I should glory"?
Those who are true to their calling as messengers for God will not seek honor for themselves. Love for self will be swallowed up in love for Christ. Ibid., p. 179.
4. Is the technique used for attracting interest and attendance free from gimmicks, trinkets, and cheap side-show give away methods, so that the gospel is the great drawing power that leads all men to the cross?
He who tastes of the love of Christ will continually long for more; but he seeks for nothing else. The riches, honors, and pleasures of the world do not attract him. The constant cry of his heart is, More of Thee. And He who reveals to the soul its necessity is waiting to satisfy its hunger and thirst. Every human resource and dependence will fail. The cisterns will be emptied, the pools become dry; but our Redeemer is an inexhaustible fountain.— Ibid., p. 187.
5. Do I truly understand and have I thoroughly experienced the power of the gospel that appeals to all men of all ages?
As witnesses for Christ, we are to tell what we know, what we ourselves have seen and felt. If we have been following Jesus step by step, we shall have something right to the point to tell concerning the way in which He has led us.—Ibid., p. 340.
6. Am I following Christ's example in health evangelism, ministering to man's total needs?
During His ministry Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick than to preaching. . . . The followers of Christ are to labor as He did. We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the suffering and afflicted.—Ibid., p. 350.
7. Do I sense my personal responsibility to be a soul winner now, with total reliance upon God's power to make my faithful service fruitful?
In our work for God there is danger of relying too largely upon what man with his talents and ability can do. Thus we lose sight of the one Master Worker. Too often the worker for Christ fails to realize his personal responsibility. He is in danger of shifting his burden upon organizations, instead of relying upon Him who is the source of all strength. It is a great mistake to trust in human wisdom or numbers in the work of God. Successful work for Christ depends not so much on numbers or talent as upon pureness of purpose, the true simplicity of earnest, dependent faith.— Ibid., p. 370.
8. Is my personal life so planned that I might through proper diet, exercise, rest, and temperate living strive for that wholeness embodied in Jesus, my Example in all things?
His body was strong and healthy. And throughout His lifetime He lived in conformity to nature's laws. Physically as well as spiritually, He was an example of what God designed all humanity to be through obedience to His laws.—Ibid., pp. 50, 51.