Chapter 12—Bible Evangelism
A Heaven-born Idea
The plan of holding Bible readings was a heaven-born idea. There are many, both men and women, who can engage in this branch of missionary labor. Workers may thus be developed who will become mighty men of God. By this means the Word of God has been given to thousands; and the workers are brought into personal contact with people of all nations and tongues. The Bible is brought into families, and its sacred truths come home to the conscience. Men are entreated to read, examine, and judge for themselves, and they must abide the responsibility of receiving or rejecting the divine enlightenment. God will not permit this precious work for Him to go unrewarded. He will crown with success every humble effort made in His name.—Gospel Workers, 192.Our work has been marked out for us by our heavenly Father. We are to take our Bibles, and go forth to warn the world. We are to be God's helping hands in saving souls,—channels through which His love is day by day to flow to the perishing.—Testimonies for the Church 9:150.
The Definite Call
Many will be called into the field to labor from house to house, giving Bible readings, and praying with those who are interested.—Testimonies for the Church 9:172.Many workers are to act their part, doing house-to-house work, and giving Bible readings in families.—Testimonies for the Church 9:141.Consecrated women should engage in Bible work from house to house.—Testimonies for the Church 9:120, 121.If we follow in Christ's footsteps, we must come close to those who need our ministry. We must open the Bible to the understanding, present the claims of God's law, read the promises to the hesitating, arouse the careless, strengthen the weak.—Gospel Workers, 336.In the experience of Philip and the Ethiopian is presented the work to which the Lord calls His people. The Ethiopian represents a large class who need missionaries like Philip, missionaries who will hear the voice of God, and go where He sends them. There are those in the world who are reading the Scriptures, but who cannot understand their import. The men and women who have a knowledge of God are needed to explain the word to these souls.—Testimonies for the Church 8:58, 59.Among the members of our churches there should be more house-to-house labor, in giving Bible readings.—Testimonies for the Church 9:127.Let the workers go from house to house, opening the Bible to the people.—Testimonies for the Church 9:123.In many States there are settlements of industrious, well-to-do farmers, who have never had the truth for this time. Such places should be worked. Let our lay members take up this line of service. By lending or selling books, by distributing papers, and by holding Bible readings, our lay members could do much in their own neighborhoods. Filled with love for souls, they could proclaim the message with such power that many would be converted.—Testimonies for the Church 9:35.
Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families, and opening before them the Word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest.—Testimonies for the Church 9:126.Two Bible workers were seated in a family. With the open Bible before them, they presented the Lord Jesus Christ as the sin-pardoning Saviour. Earnest prayer was offered to God, and hearts were softened and subdued by the influence of the Spirit of God. Their prayers were uttered with freshness and power. As the Word of God was explained, I saw that a soft, radiant light illumined the Scriptures, and I said softly, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled.”—Testimonies for the Church 9:35.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, 109.
Preparation for the Work
The followers of Jesus are not meeting the mind and will of God, if they are content to remain in ignorance of His Word. All should become Bible students. Christ commanded His followers, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” Peter exhorts us, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”—Testimonies for the Church 2:633, 634.Those who are truly converted must become more and more intelligent in their understanding of the Scriptures, that they may be able to speak words of light and salvation to those who are in darkness and perishing in their sins.—Testimonies for the Church 9:121.We are to give the last warning of God to men, and what should be our earnestness in studying the Bible, and our zeal in spreading the light! Let every soul who has received the divine illumination seek to impart it. Let the workers go from house to house, opening the Bible to the people, circulating the publications, telling others of the light that has blessed their own souls.—Gospel Workers, 353.A well-balanced work can be carried on best when a training school for Bible workers is in progress. While the public meetings are being held, connected with this training school or city mission should be experienced laborers of deep spiritual understanding, who can give the Bible workers daily instruction, and who can also unite wholeheartedly in the general public effort being put forth.—Testimonies for the Church 9:111.
Secret of Success
Bring earnestness and fervency into your prayers, and into your Bible readings, and into your preaching, that you may leave the impression that the sacred truths you are presenting to others are to you a living reality. Whatever you do for Jesus, seek with all your powers to do it with earnestness. Never feel that you have attained to the highest point, and can therefore rise no higher.... Set your mind to task, that you may present the truth in a manner to interest them. Seize the most interesting portions of Scripture that you can bring before them, come right to the point, and seek to fasten their attention, and instruct them in the ways of the Lord.—The Review and Herald, July 26, 1887.A great work can be done by presenting to the people the Bible just as it reads. Carry the Word of God to every man's door, urge its plain statements upon every man's conscience, repeat to all the Saviour's command, “Search the Scriptures.” Admonish them to take the Bible as it is, to implore divine enlightenment, and then, when the light shines, to gladly accept each precious ray, and fearlessly abide the consequences.—Testimonies for the Church 5:388.
A Joyous Work
It is a joyous work to open the Scriptures to others.—Testimonies for the Church 9:118.Open the Scriptures to some one that is in darkness, and you will not complain of weariness and lack of interest in the cause of truth. Your heart will be awakened to an anxiety for souls, and joy in the evidences of the faith will fill your heart, and you will know that “he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”—The Review and Herald, March 13, 1888.