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Evangelism

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    Christ the Center of the Message

    Jesus Christ the Great Center of Attraction—The third angel's message calls for the presentation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and this truth must be brought before the world; but the great Center of attraction, Jesus Christ, must not be left out of the third angel's message....Ev 184.3

    The sinner must ever look toward Calvary; and with the simple faith of a little child, he must rest in the merits of Christ, accepting His righteousness and believing in His mercy. Laborers in the cause of truth should present the righteousness of Christ.—The Review and Herald, March 20, 1894.Ev 185.1

    Lift Up Christ—Christ crucified, Christ risen, Christ ascended into the heavens, Christ coming again, should so soften, gladden, and fill the mind of the minister that he will present these truths to the people in love and deep earnestness. The minister will then be lost sight of, and Jesus will be made manifest.Ev 185.2

    Lift up Jesus, you that teach the people, lift Him up in sermon, in song, in prayer. Let all your powers be directed to pointing souls, confused, bewildered, lost, to “the Lamb of God.” Lift Him up, the risen Saviour, and say to all who hear, Come to Him who “hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us.” Let the science of salvation be the burden of every sermon, the theme of every song. Let it be poured forth in every supplication. Bring nothing into your preaching to supplement Christ, the wisdom and power of God. Hold forth the word of life, presenting Jesus as the hope of the penitent and the stronghold of every believer. Reveal the way of peace to the troubled and the despondent, and show forth the grace and completeness of the Saviour.—Gospel Workers, 159, 160 (1915).Ev 185.3

    In Every Discourse—More people than we think are longing to find the way to Christ. Those who preach the last message of mercy should bear in mind that Christ is to be exalted as the sinner's refuge. Some ministers think that it is not necessary to preach repentance and faith; they take it for granted that their hearers are acquainted with the gospel, and that matters of a different nature must be presented in order to hold their attention. But many people are sadly ignorant in regard to the plan of salvation; they need more instruction upon this all-important subject than upon any other.Ev 185.4

    Theoretical discourses are essential, that people may see the chain of truth, link after link, uniting in a perfect whole; but no discourse should ever be preached without presenting Christ and Him crucified as the foundation of the gospel. Ministers would reach more hearts if they would dwell more upon practical godliness.—Gospel Workers, 158, 159 (1915).Ev 186.1

    Preaching Christ From Experience—It should be the burden of every messenger to set forth the fullness of Christ. When the free gift of Christ's righteousness is not presented, the discourses are dry and spiritless; the sheep and the lambs are not fed. Said Paul, “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” There is marrow and fatness in the gospel. Jesus is the living center of everything. Put Christ into every sermon. Let the preciousness, mercy, and glory of Jesus Christ be dwelt upon until Christ is formed within, the hope of glory....Ev 186.2

    Let us gather together that which our own experience has revealed to us of the preciousness of Christ, and present it to others as a precious gem that sparkles and shines. Thus will the sinner be attracted to Him who is represented as the Chief among ten thousand and the One altogether lovely. The cross of Calvary is a pledge to us of everlasting life. Faith in Christ means everything to the sincere believer. The merits of Jesus blot out transgressions, and clothe us with the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven. The crown of life is presented before us as the honor to be given at the end of the conflict. These precious truths are to be set forth in living characters.—The Review and Herald, March 19, 1895.Ev 186.3

    The Themes for Our Discourses—These are our themes—Christ crucified for our sins, Christ risen from the dead, Christ our intercessor before God; and closely connected with these is the office work of the Holy Spirit, the representative of Christ, sent forth with divine power and gifts for men.—Letter 86, 1895.Ev 187.1

    His pre-existence, [See also pp. 613-617, “Misrepresentations of the Godhead.”] His coming the second time in glory and power, His personal dignity, His holy law uplifted, are the themes that have been dwelt upon with simplicity and power.—Letter 83, 1895.Ev 187.2

    Affirmative Message—Bear with a certain voice an affirmative message. Lift Him up, the Man of Calvary, higher and still higher. There is power in the exaltation of the cross of Christ....Ev 187.3

    Christ is to be preached, not controversially, but affirmatively. Take your stand without controversy. Let not your words at any time be uncertain. The Word of the living God is to be the foundation of our faith. Gather up the strongest affirmative statements regarding the atonement made by Christ for the sins of the world. Show the necessity for this atonement and tell men and women that they may be saved if they will repent and return to their loyalty to God's law. Gather all the affirmatives and proofs that make the gospel the glad tidings of salvation to all who receive and believe on Christ as a personal Saviour.—Letter 65, 1905.Ev 187.4

    Sermon Like the Offering of Cain—Many of our ministers have merely sermonized, presenting subjects in an argumentative way, and scarcely mentioning the saving power of the Redeemer. Their testimony was destitute of the saving blood of Christ. Their offering resembled the offering of Cain. He brought to the Lord the fruit of the ground, which in itself was acceptable in God's sight. Very good indeed was the fruit; but the virtue of the offering—the blood of the slain lamb, representing the blood of Christ—was lacking. So it is with Christless sermons. By them men are not pricked to the heart; they are not led to inquire, What must I do to be saved? Of all professing Christians, Seventh-day Adventists should be foremost in uplifting Christ before the world.—Gospel Workers, 156 (1915).Ev 187.5

    In a Clear, Simple Manner—Ministers need to have a more clear, simple manner in presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. Their own minds need to comprehend the great plan of salvation more fully. Then they can carry the minds of the hearers away from earthly things to the spiritual and eternal. There are many who want to know what they must do to be saved. They want a plain and clear explanation of the steps requisite in conversion, and there should not a sermon be given unless a portion of that discourse is to especially make plain the way that sinners may come to Christ and be saved. They should point them to Christ, as did John and with touching simplicity, their hearts aglow with the love of Christ, say, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” Strong and earnest appeals should be made to the sinner to repent and be converted.—The Review and Herald, February 22, 1887.Ev 188.1

    The Truth as It Is in Jesus—Teach the simple lessons given by Christ. Tell the story of His life of self-denial and sacrifice, His humiliation and death, His resurrection and ascension, His intercession for sinners in the courts above. In every congregation there are souls upon whom the Spirit of the Lord is moving. Help them to understand what is truth; break the bread of life to them; call their attention to vital questions.Ev 188.2

    Many voices are advocating error; let your voice advocate truth. Present subjects that will be as green pastures to the sheep of God's fold. Do not lead your hearers into waste tracts, where they will be no nearer the fountain of living water than they were before hearing you. Present the truth as it is in Jesus, making plain the requirements of the law and the gospel. Present Christ, the way, the truth, and the life, and tell of His power to save all who come to Him. The Captain of our salvation is interceding for His people, not as a petitioner to move the Father to compassion, but as a conqueror, who claims the trophies of His victory. He is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by Him. Make this fact very plain.Ev 189.1

    Unless ministers are guarded, they will hide the truth under human ornamentation. Let no minister suppose that he can convert souls by eloquent sermons. Those who teach others should plead with God to imbue them with His Spirit, and enable them to lift up Christ as the sinner's only hope. Flowery speeches, pleasing tales, or inappropriate anecdotes do not convict the sinner. Men listen to such words as they would to a pleasant song. The message that the sinner should hear is, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”—Gospel Workers, 154, 155 (1915).Ev 189.2

    Christ's Love Uplifted—In order to break down the barriers of prejudice and impenitence, the love of Christ must have a part in every discourse. Make men to know how much Jesus loves them, and what evidences He has given them of His love. What love can equal that which God has manifested for man, by the death of Christ on the cross? When the heart is filled with the love of Jesus, this can be presented to the people, and it will affect hearts.—Letter 48, 1886.Ev 189.3

    The Cross Foundation of Every Discourse—The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light that streams from the cross of Calvary. I present before you the great, grand monument of mercy and regeneration, salvation and redemption—the Son of God uplifted on the cross. This is to be the foundation of every discourse given by our ministers.—Gospel Workers, 315 (1915).Ev 190.1

    Christ and His Righteousness—Christ and His righteousness—let this be our platform, the very life of our faith.—The Review and Herald, August 31, 1905.Ev 190.2

    The Third Angel's Message in Verity—Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel's message, and I have answered, “It is the third angel's message in verity.”—The Review and Herald, April 1, 1890.Ev 190.3

    It Presents an Uplifted Saviour—This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.Ev 190.4

    The uplifted Saviour is to appear in His efficacious work as the Lamb slain, sitting upon the throne, to dispense the priceless covenant blessings, the benefits He died to purchase for every soul who should believe on Him. John could not express that love in words; it was too deep, too broad; he calls upon the human family to behold it. Christ is pleading for the church in the heavenly courts above, pleading for those for whom He paid the redemption price of His own lifeblood. Centuries, ages, can never diminish the efficacy of this atoning sacrifice. The message of the gospel of His grace was to be given to the church in clear and distinct lines, that the world should no longer say that Seventh-day Adventists talk the law, the law, but do not teach or believe Christ.Ev 191.1

    The efficacy of the blood of Christ was to be presented to the people with freshness and power, that their faith might lay hold upon its merits....Ev 191.2

    For years the church has been looking to man, and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 91-93 (1896).Ev 191.3

    Christ vs. Penance—When the third angel's message is preached as it should be, power attends its proclamation, and it becomes an abiding influence. It must be attended with divine power, or it will accomplish nothing....Ev 191.4

    Penances, mortifications of the flesh, constant confession of sin, without sincere repentance; fasts, festivals, and outward observances, unaccompanied by true devotion—all these are of no value whatever. The sacrifice of Christ is sufficient; He made a whole, efficacious offering to God; and human effort without the merit of Christ, is worthless....Ev 192.1

    The plan of salvation is not understood to be that through which divine power is brought to man in order that his human effort may be wholly successful....Ev 192.2

    Without the transforming process which can come alone through divine power, the original propensities to sin are left in the heart in all their strength, to forge new chains, to impose a slavery that can never be broken by human power.—The Review and Herald, August 19, 1890.Ev 192.3

    A Present-Truth Message—We thank the Lord with all the heart that we have precious light to present before the people, and we rejoice that we have a message for this time which is present truth. The tidings that Christ is our righteousness has brought relief to many, many souls, and God says to His people, “Go forward.”—The Review and Herald, July 23, 1889.Ev 192.4

    A Message for the Churches and New Fields—Ministers are to present Christ in His fullness both in the churches and in new fields, that the hearers may have an intelligent faith. The people must be instructed that Christ is unto them salvation and righteousness. It is Satan's studied purpose to keep souls from believing in Christ as their only hope; for the blood of Christ that cleanseth from all sin is efficacious in behalf of those only who believe in its merit.—Gospel Workers, 162 (1915).Ev 192.5

    Some Listening to the Last Sermon—God would draw minds from the conviction of logic to a conviction deeper, purer, and more glorious. Often human logic has nearly quenched the light that God would have shine forth in clear rays to convince men that the Lord of nature is worthy of all praise and glory, because He is the Creator of all things.Ev 193.1

    Some ministers err in making their sermons wholly argumentative. There are those who listen to the theory of the truth, and are impressed with the evidences brought out; then, if Christ is presented as the Saviour of the world, the seed sown may spring up and bear fruit to the glory of God. But often the cross of Calvary is not presented before the people. Some may be listening to the last sermon they will ever hear, and the golden opportunity lost, is lost forever. If in connection with the theory of the truth, Christ and His redeeming love had been proclaimed, these might have been won to His side.—Gospel Workers, 157, 158 (1915).Ev 193.2

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