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Evangelism

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    Responsibility of Spiritual Laymen to New Converts

    Church Patiently to Help New Converts—Those who have newly come to the faith should be patiently and tenderly dealt with, and it is the duty of the older members of the church to devise ways and means to provide help and sympathy and instruction for those who have conscientiously withdrawn from other churches for the truth's sake, and thus cut themselves off from the pastoral labor to which they have been accustomed. The church has a special responsibility laid upon her to attend to these souls who have followed the first rays of light they have received; and if the members of the church neglect this duty, they will be unfaithful to the trust that God has given them.—The Review and Herald, April 28, 1896.Ev 351.1

    Watchful Attention and Encouragement—After individuals have been converted to the truth, they need to be looked after. The zeal of many ministers seems to fail as soon as a measure of success attends their efforts. They do not realize that these newly converted ones need nursing,—watchful attention, help, and encouragement. These should not be left alone, a prey to Satan's most powerful temptations; they need to be educated in regard to their duties, to be kindly dealt with, to be led along, and to be visited and prayed with. These souls need the meat apportioned to every man in due season.Ev 351.2

    No wonder that some become discouraged, linger by the way, and are left for wolves to devour. Satan is upon the track of all. He sends his agents forth to gather back to his ranks the souls he has lost. There should be more fathers and mothers to take these babes in the truth to their hearts, and to encourage them and pray for them, that their faith be not confused.Ev 351.3

    Preaching is a small part of the work to be done for the salvation of souls. God's Spirit convicts sinners of the truth, and He places them in the arms of the church. The ministers may do their part, but they can never perform the work that the church should do. God requires His church to nurse those who are young in faith and experience, to go to them, not for the purpose of gossiping with them, but to pray, to speak unto them words that are “like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”Ev 352.1

    We all need to study character and manner that we may know how to deal judiciously with different minds, that we may use our best endeavors to help them to a correct understanding of the Word of God, and to a true Christian life. We should read the Bible with them, and draw their minds away from temporal things to their eternal interests. It is the duty of God's children to be missionaries for Him, to become acquainted with those who need help. If one is staggering under temptation, his case should be taken up carefully and managed wisely; for his eternal interest is at stake, and the words and acts of those laboring for him may be a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death.—Testimonies For The Church 4:68, 69 (1876).Ev 352.2

    The Guardianship Plan—In Christ we are all members of one family. God is our Father, and He expects us to take an interest in the members of His household, not a casual interest, but a decided, continual interest. As branches of the parent vine, we derive nourishment from the same source, and by willing obedience, we become one with Christ.Ev 352.3

    If one member of Christ's household falls into temptation, the other members are to look after him with kindly interest, seeking to arrest the feet that are straying into false paths, and win him to a pure, holy life. This service God requires from every member of His church.... The members of the Lord's family are to be wise and watchful, doing all in their power to save their weaker brethren from Satan's concealed nets.Ev 353.1

    This is home missionary work, and it is as helpful to those who do it as to those for whom it is done. The kindly interest we manifest in the home circle, the words of sympathy we speak to our brothers and sisters, fit us to work for the members of the Lord's household, with whom, if we remain loyal to Christ, we shall live through eternal ages. “Be thou faithful unto death,” Christ says, “and I will give thee a crown of life.” Then how carefully should the members of the Lord's family guard their brethren and sisters! Make yourself their friend. If they are poor and in need of food and clothing, minister to their temporal as well as their spiritual wants. Thus you will be a double blessing to them.—Manuscript 63, 1898.Ev 353.2

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