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5. The Future of Adventist Evangelism

Jim Howard
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  • June 10, 2018
    6:00 PM
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Father in heaven we're grateful for this time we can spend together we pray that the Spirit of God would be given to us for understanding or insight or discernment and for this we peace that only comes when we're in the presence of. So we ask your blessing now arouse our heart to want to serve you more faithfully and more fully but we ask it in Jesus name. All right so the future of Adventism the Bible or culture and we've talked over the course of this. Seminar about how culture from both worldly culture to Christian culture has affected and has tried to make inroads into the thinking of 7th Day Adventists and we talked about the future of admin is Biblical interpretation and how we have to be careful to use time honored methods of interpretation the same method that we used to come to the truth about the Sabbath and the State of the dead and salvation needs to be applied to everything that we do or else we get into trouble we talk about the future of the Adventist bew of the everlasting Gospel and how in our history we have experiences where the Christian culture and its desire to brand Adventism sometimes as some sort of cult. And the great reproach that comes from having to bear that has caused administering history to try to you know reach out a friendly hand and there's no problem with a friendly hand as long as it doesn't let go of the principles of Adventism which at times we have done to some degree or another and so we we talked about the need to make sure we understand that. Justification our title to heaven and sanctification our fitness for heaven are never separated because the 2 are both gained through only one means face the if you have faith then you have justification and you have the process of sanctification and if you don't have faith and you don't have either and so it's important that we maintain those 2 together and understand that as 7th Day Adventists we have always understood that Christ's work in the heavenly sanctuary has led us to the need for the development of character and preparation for what's happening and what's coming at the end of time and this is what the 10 virgins is all about is making sure that we are in the process of developing character that wrestling with God in the Holy Spirit in the development of character is what is going to be needed and what we won't have if we're like the 5 foolish. Virgins So we talk about that and then about how one of the means by which God works to develop character is through the expression of biblical Adventist lifestyle these different things that we do that seem to be a little distinct from us much of Christianity have as their primary purpose the development of a Christian character. And though we talk about things like ties. Or what's the purpose of private to a great degree it is the development of honesty and integrity in an individual and routes out selfishness or the same with could be spoken of offerings which which speaks of benevolence and giving because God is a giver He gave His only begotten Son we talk about humility and Christian modesty being connected to each other and humility is a character trait that God is wanting to develop we talk about the need for purity and how purity is connected to what we do with the world and trying to avoid things that would bring our minds into the gutter all of these things that relate to our advantage lifestyle are not just friends things but they're things that are directly connected to the development of a character that we are preparing to meet Jesus in the cloud then we talked yesterday about Adventists identity and as I understand it Pastor Mark walked through some of those foundational Daniel 814 the birth upon which the 7th Avenue search was built and then showing him how that connected with Revelation 10 and the 3 angels messages and I'm going to talk a little bit about that in one segment here today as well but ultimately the 7th heaven is church is not just a denomination per se are very history are very rise is traced in Scripture we are prophetically. Outlined as you walk through Daniel and Revelation you can see the great disappointment right in Revelation you can see the final message that it's been trusted to us right there in Revelation I mean it's incredible and we're going to talk this a little bit I'm attack on one point on that a little bit later today we're going to talk about Adventist evangelism which should look like this. Now you think that this is this cute logo that's what you think you think is the cute logo that we've been using here in Michigan and now you know being expressed through the General Conference ABCL person honestly department just to kind of you know explain things what have you no no no no this is actually has a purpose of maintaining a holistic view of evangelism that is under attack within the 7th Avenues church and you're going to see as we go through what I'm going to share with you today which are many. Evangelism myth that the way to dispel these myths is to embrace wholeheartedly what this is saying about Adventist a mandolin you know what this is saying perhaps I should tell you. This is the process of what it takes to make a disciple of Christ now let me be clear about something the Great Commission is to make disciples now you know that maybe don't but the 7th Avenue search is always put in to the very heart of our policy into the heart of the church manual itself that our focal point and our 1st priority is Evangelist outreach it's right there's always been there if you look in the church manual where it talks about the work of the church board right there at the top every church board should begin its 1st agenda item should have to do with the evangelist ic territory in reaching the territory of the church did you know that incredible whether or not we do it or not is another question but we have built that way it's fascinating to me though that in recent years there has been a. I don't say there's been a the thinking that our focus on a vandalism has the track did from the importance of discipleship our focus on evangelism as detracted from the importance on discipleship now the moment I say that it begins to already define things in your head because when you contrast evangelism and discipleship which to me are the same thing but when you contrast them then you start think to yourself OK evangelism must be talking about public evangelism and baptizing and getting numbers and discipleship must be talking about the time to mentor people and that sort of thing here's what has happened in the church manual if you look now at it from this last G. session if you look at the great emphasis placed on the work of the board and what have you there's been some shifting around it's not bad necessarily but it's made a strong emphasis on discipleship you see discipleship listed many many times in fact the very 1st item on the on the work of the board is different now and it focuses more in discipleship what I'm fine with that as long as we are clear on what we mean when we say discipleship if this is discipleship then I'm cool I'm good with that but if we are referring discipleship to only the nurturing of church members then I'm not nurturing church members is a part of making disciples but it is not making disciples and what this does is keeps us from getting confused because this is not just the discipleship by the way you will find that in the Bible not that as a bad thing but it means that we have to define it and unfortunately there are some people who define it different from others. And so the idea of discipleship sometimes people like OK what does that mean that's talking about you know after baptism we do certain things and we certainly use that to mean that as well but keep in mind that making disciples starts well before baptism and continues after baptism so the Great Commission is to go and make disciples and Baptism is a part of that but then there's continuation beyond that so what we have here is the process of making disciples which I would equate to evangelism So when someone says you know we need not focus so much on evangelism a focus more on discipleship you know something's amiss like they're thinking that discipleship is not the same as a bit either they think evangelism doesn't include the process of training someone after they're baptized or they think the discipleship does not include the process of leaving them with the bad side and both of those would be wrong are you following me. Well the 3 of you are and that's why all I need really the rest of you just get the tape and listen over and over and over OK so this little guy with a nice clean paved paved. Plowed field is talking about preparing the soil OK And when we talk about preparing It's all we're talking about the heart remember this parable that Jesus gave of the Sower or went forth to sow right and when he so to seed what happened to it some damage it then went about their places of the seed went by the wayside stony ground. That's the wayside thorns good soil OK Now when speaking about the seed Jesus said the seed is. The Word of God the soil then is referring to the heart so this is talking about preparing the heart to receive the Word of God which happens through friendship and service and you know it happens by showing people that you care about them right and there's lots of ways that we do that in the 7th Avenue Church and there should be lots of ways that we do that personally with people OK that is where compassionate service comes in that's where meeting people's needs comes in that's where ministering to people's physical needs like health ministry comes in right all of those things are related to preparing the soil which makes them an important phase of evangelism Well I just call it an important phase of evangelism OK then comes planting the seed what we said a seed was the Word of God So how do you plant the Word of God give me some example now you're saying Bible studies but I'm going to make you hold off on that let's literature with the saying OK I would think of things like sharing your testimonies let's think of planting the seed as the initial the initial meeting of the word OK so this could happen through you have a conversation about you know you know you've got a friend at work but suddenly you start turning it spiritual and you start to talk about God You start to talk about your church experience you start to talk about your beginning to plant spiritual seeds OK or you share a bit of your testimony with someone now you're beginning to plan spiritual seeds or you give someone a piece of literature or a D.V.D. a spiritual D.V.D. to watch now you're planting seeds this is planting. And when you're planting you're kind of testing the soil to see if it was you know prepared enough and if there's going to be some growth so if that seed begins to cause growth what does that look like it looks good. And then does what how do you know it looks good like what does it look like interest that you said what does interest look like they ask questions they ask for something more or they just seem to want to talk about it when you see that you know that the seed has found some good soil and then you now have to cultivate that interest right because once it starts to grow you gotta pull the weeds you've got to make sure it's getting enough water and sunlight and all that and that takes time right at the time to grow it's like slow and you're watching and caring for the whole time you know what that is that's cultivating and that happens through ongoing Bible study because you've got to keep feeding them the word in order for them to continue to grow right and as you feed in the word they learn more and they continue to grow they receive they wrestle you help lead them to things and decide on things and they continue to grow and grow and grow just like the growth process itself is the longest part of Agriculture the Bible study process is the longest part of the disciple making process it's not ploughing under. No no I mean they use the word cultivate in different ways but in this particular case we're talking about the growth nurturing the growth of the plant so then there comes a point with a Bible study where you know have you ever seen those people who does a series of bombs that he's And then they all that was great I'd like to do another one. And then they say that was great I'd like to do another one and you're like is this person ever going to come to church I mean are they ever going to make a decision some point they need to be called to a decision to keep the Sabbath to follow after you know whatever area of practical instruction the Bible is giving them and alternately to make that decision to be baptized and become fully in harmony with the End Time message of God His and trusted and ready to do the next part of the process this represents the harvesting of decisions for Christ and including the ultimate decision of baptism after someone is baptized the harvest needs to be preserved now that's tricky because in order to preserve the harvest you have to train that person to get involved in making other disciples the whole idea of discipleship or making disciples is that you're making someone who makes someone else when Jesus does mentored his disciples What was he trying to do he was trying to develop them so that they will do the same things that he did that's the whole idea he'll make you fishers of men so just like the fish them he's going to train them how to fish others and that's what discipleship is all about so this part has to do with training now as they're doing that they're going to become further grounded in the church they need to be integrated into the social life of the church they need to build friends they need to have that connection all that is part of that process but this is where they transition from being merely consumers to becoming producers and unless you make them a producer then evangelism has not done its job because our job is to make disciples and disciples labor for other souls that's what it looks like. So this is the process of making disciples This is the cycle of Angeles I'm right and if we would just you know hang on to that we would be just by now you just hold on to those thoughts because now I'm going to talk to you about myth of Adventist evangelism Are you ready for this myth number one is that prophecy meetings like we normally do when we talk about public evangelism are not Christ centered they're not Christ centered now I need to talk to you about this a little bit I'm going to try to not get too deep on this one or else I will have time to cover everything else but we have a growing problem in terms of how we understand what it means to be Christ centered there are many people whose concept of being Christ centered. Would rule out Christ himself for instance when you think about sermons the greatest preacher that I have ever encountered would be the Lord Jesus Himself and there's one particular sermon that we always talk about in back of the book called DOS and then a blessing that that's all about this sermon and it's been recaptured under the title of the greatest sermon ever preached and if you go you can look and read that sermon for yourself beginning in Matthew Chapter 5 The Sermon on the Mount Now if anyone is going to give a Christ centered sermon is going to be Christ but have you read that thing. Well. It's smoke and men he's talking about if your righteousness does not exceed the righteous of the scribes and the Pharisees you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven and you heard it said You shall not commit adultery but I say to you that if you would look at a woman to lust after in your heart you've already committed adultery and you've heard it said a man I mean this blaze and if you read it and it makes me question the idea that some people have a boy what it means to be grace filled and Christ centered now I'm not. By any means suggesting that there doesn't need to be a very clear tact and loving approach to everything we do but I think that we need to just take a step back and evaluate for a minute this concept of what we're talking about when we say Christ centered Let's talk for a moment about our prophecy meetings when we do a series of prophecy meetings where do we usually start give me a couple of the 1st topics and we then go to is a common one and so if someone says I'm in Daniel to day that's just what I'm trying to say Daniel 2 that's not Christ centered that's not just focusing on Grace in the gospel it's right away trying to scare them about you know some big metal men and whatever let me tell you something Daniel too has a distinct purpose of introducing Christ to people. Out is that well when you go through Daniel Chapter 2 and you show someone the different symbols and then reveal to them that those symbols reveal actual things that would have happened later in history to us but later in terms of their relation to when the prophecy was given and they see how history ended up working itself out just like the prophecy said Babylon Mido Persia Greece Rome and it all looks pretty on target and then you describe the did dividing of Rome shown by the the feet of iron and clay in the toes right there is something that happens to a person they begin to have some measure of company in the Bible that they didn't realize the Bible said all that they didn't realize the Bible predicted all of that now this is the beautiful thing about the Bible there is no other sacred writing like the Bible the Bible is full of prophetic. You know predictions prophecies not just predictions that for sure but when we're talking about this it is talking about things that were predicted and we today can look back and show the incredible accuracy of that Bible prophecy when that happened as someone is listening something happens in the mind where they begin to have confidence grow in the Bible when their confidence begins to grow in the Bible whether you whatever you think you know about now sitting there today I'm telling you that when you're talking to somebody who's fresh and new and is learning these things for the 1st time they already associate the Bible with God. So when you are showing them the truthfulness and the accuracy of the Bible and showing them the Bible's ability to predict something before it happened there by revealing the supernatural nature of the Bible they begin to believe in a supernatural God and suddenly the stories of Jesus and Jesus loves you and Jesus died for you and all those things they've heard over and over and over begin to have a different impact on their mind in other words they're not just thinking about Daniel 2 they're not just thinking about history class they're thinking about Christ they're thinking about God they're thinking about the fact that he can read every seeker of their soul just like he predicted everything as it would happen and they're suddenly beginning to get excited this thing is real heaven is real there's a heaven again and a hell of a show on and it found I find this happens all the time you'll be going through a series of prophecy meetings and this is doing a Tuesday to scratch in the surface and you start going into Daniel Chapter 7 and showing the characteristics of the anti-christ showing how the you know the leopard has 4 heads and Greece was divided into 4 region I mean it's like incredible the accuracy of it and when they see more and more the accuracy of Bible prophecy they are more and more drawn out to believe this whole Christianity stuff the whole package you understand what I'm saying and suddenly in my question and answer box I start hearing questions that have nothing to do with the metal man instead you know I did such and such and will God forgive me you know what does it mean that the Holy Spirit that you can grieve the Holy Spirit why are they asking me those questions that has nothing to do with Bible prophesy. Why I'm asking those questions because they have come face to face with the divine Christ rather than says what I'm telling you is our prophetic message has the impact of revealing the divinity of God the faithfulness of God The truth will miss of the Bible and causes people to reckon with their own souls and had that experience like Peter did on the shore with Jesus where they sat there together and Jesus had to look at him and say Peter do you love me more than the yes or no that they have to reckon with these things in their life this personal one on one with God they that they didn't know for sure that they needed to do until they realized that everything in here was true and now if all of those things are true so are the steps to salvation so as confession that was my need to repent it's all true this is the beauty this is the beauty of our message and our prophecy meetings are actually you know I sort of feel like the apostle Paul when you know he was writing some things in the book of Romans and he said do we make void then the law through faith you know do we avoid Christ through prophecy meaning certainly not on the contrary on the contrary this is actually perfectly calculated to introduce people to Christ that's what the reality is check out this statement from selective messages book to 87 the truth of this time is broad and it's outlines far reaching embrace thing many doctrines but these doctrines are not detached items which mean little they are united by golden threads forming a complete whole with Christ as the Living Center you know and I believe I don't believe that we have to make the Christ the center of our teaching. I don't think we have to make Christ the center of our doctrine he is the center you have to try to get him out of there that's the reality of it and you can do it you know you can be so dry and so void of realizing the meaning of our message that use you know stripped out any you know. Merciful offer to salvation from the from the message but that's not how it is Christ is the living center of every one of our doctrines and they form a complete whole. I'm in the middle of working with some folks here in Michigan and writing a book called The Bible that hymn book and we have a chapter in there called Christ the center and we dealt with this issue. That speaks much about the fact that Ellen White said that our ministers the foundation of every discourse given by our ministers should be the cross of Christ what some people want to do is take the cross of Christ and make it the subject of every discourse but she didn't say that Christ and the sacrifice of Christ would be the subject of every discourse she said would be the foundation of every discord you know that she didn't mean subject because have you ever read her servant I mean look at him gone and found some L. white sermons and read him she preaches on all manner of subject. But what the what the see mean by having that as the foundation of every discourse wishing mean is that we are soul winners. Teachers and preachers have at heart a desire to see the salvation of every person and when you speak no matter what your topic your end goal is to see someone connected to Christ and to turn from sin and to offer them the salvation that Christ is holding out this has to be in every servant a message to turn from sin and turn to Christ and this is what it means to have it at the foundation but it's not the same as having as a subject we don't need to make every slide have pictures of Jesus to make sure we say Jesus in every other sentence that's not what it's talking about the idea that we have to do that actually detracts from crying and it makes him less meaningful we have to be a little bit wiser than that and I believe that. If you were to take a look at any of our doctrines you would find that Christ is right there what we did was we we wrote a paragraph on each doctrine I want you to think of something that we preach in our band illicit meeting a topic we preach and give me a topic that you think does not have Christ at the center of it going to see if we have a paragraph on it and we can work. That does not have crisis. I don't know that we wrote about helping with the. Little down. We have there it is. As are all wise Creator Jesus gave not only the moral law but also the physical laws of health to provide for our happiness he gave us the best food for optimum health and immune system to fight sickness muscles that thrive with exercise and fresh air and sunshine to keep the body functioning well he also warned us of the destructive nature of addictive mind altering drugs such as alcohol throughout his earthly ministry Jesus healed the sick and diseased providing relief to the suffering in proving that he cares about our physical mental and spiritual hell to overcome sinful health destroying habits and form good habits in diet and exercise we must force form a close bond with Christ the mighty healer who alone can give power and self control as the fruit of his Spirit works in our lives we can do all things through Christ who gives a strange. I mean if you're going to have any change in health you're going to have Christ at the center you know to be able to do it all right anybody else I'm just curious if there's another one that you've struggled with like I have Christ in the center of that hey if we're not struggling with it why do I hear it so much. I mean I hear it all the time I'm just wondering is there another Oh and these unit. You're already thinking of how a crisis center. The love of Christ is expressed not only in His mercy toward sinners but in his justice in dealing with sin this justice has been misrepresented However by those who teach that he will torture the wicked throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity Yes he will one day execute justice on evil and sin but the fires of hell will not burn forever they will devour the wicked and bring them to ashes we can be spared from experiencing this lake of fire or 2nd death only because Jesus Christ suffered for us share with your study interest his fervent appeal as I live says the Lord God I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that the wicked turn from his way and live turn turn from your evil ways for why should you die house of Israel. Merciful offer of salvation Babylon. BABYLON ever get down to it Babylon spiritual Babylon as symbolized in Revelation is called the mother of harlots it refers not only to the medieval church but also to the great body of Protestant churches that still cling to un-Biblical beliefs and traditions the adultery by which Babylon is characterized is an illusion to the churches unfaithfulness to Christ when error and doctoral confusion is promoted as truth it is Christ who has rejected one favor with the world is gained through compromise compromise it is Christ who is for Satan and yet infinite love will not be silence the voice of Christ can still be heard in the halls of Babylon mercifully pleading for those he loves come out of her my people those who know his voice will hear him and will take their stand with Christ and His word right is there any you got one OK this last one and then I got to go and yes did you go back to the old OK so that's not a typical topic an evangelist meeting but I'll give you a man of the doubt yes yes right so. Let me just say I give everyone a suggestion read the Old Testament don't avoid it you many people avoid it because they don't know how to reconcile it with their concept of of justice and what have you but when you read it read patriarchs and prophet and prophets and King with it. You will find that just about every case of a confusing judgment that God gave in the Old Testament time there is a statement or paragraph that beautifully puts it in its proper context so that you understand you see our problem is we often think think we are more merciful than God I don't mean to Under saying naturally we read and go I would have done it differently you know but we know that's not true we know that God is more merciful but the thing we don't know is what God knows we don't know the end from the beginning we don't know what would happen in eternity if this didn't have we don't know any of that so our best effort is just to try to reconcile some of those things with our understanding and these reading it in this way will help you'll begin to find it in some cases God had to bring swift judgment at a particular point in time because this person was perhaps beyond the ability of help while as there were many masses that could have been influenced if that hadn't happened for instance when Cain was allowed to continue and God would not allow him to be killed you remember that the influence was the daughters of Cain eventual Emain gold with the sons of Seth and you have this wickedness grow until the flood came. It totally took out the influence totally took out almost an entire humanity and now you can see why there had to be uncertain times swift judgment upon great groups of God's people or else that thing would have spoiled the whole batch you understand I mean we still look at it and we just don't see the larger picture but we need to understand that God does OK death Christ alone has immortality and only those who receive Him can have the hope of eternal life the dead are not currently in heaven but are asleep in Christ awaiting the resurrection explain to your study interest the love and care of Jesus for those who have died and how he gave us the reason for his soon return that where I am there you may be also he will not assign this errand of love to anyone else where the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven to resurrect his faithful followers the risen Christ alone has the keys to death and the grave encourage you study interest to take hope in his promise I and the resurrection and the life he who believes in me though he may die he shall live. All right Miss number 2 people won't come out for 3 to 4 weeks. Why am I calling that a myth because people will come out for 3 or 4 weeks and because the whole thing is a. How do I want to say it's not taking in the whole picture like I had I can think of one particular circumstance where a group decided we're not going to do it we're going to do it for 9 nights from now on or 8 nights or 10 nights or whatever because people are not going to come out beyond a week or so and so we're not going to do the longer versions of endless meetings. My particular thought that you're going to see throughout this presentation is that there are many people who will not come past that so if they won't what do do you. Well you study with them later. Will Are there some who will yes so what if you do it only 8 nights then you get the same people coming at night but now you've got a study with all of them and some of them would have kept coming so the only reason that we don't go the longer period is because it's easier for us I was as the only reason but in to a great degree that's the reason we don't want to extend it longer the truth is you're always going to have some who are not going to want to go for that period but you're always going to have some who are so it's far as I'm concerned and this is what actually happens for those of you who have done evangelists meeting and you've seen it happen in the numbers trickle down trickle down you get down to those 15 or 20 at the end right or depending on the size of your church those 3 or 4 and then you get through 3 weeks or 3 and a half weeks or whatever it is and I keep on going because the people who are still coming at that point would keep going you know until Jesus comes just about and you just keep going and keep providing something for and we have follow up meetings do it a little fewer nights a week and we just keep going and keep going until they're ready to be baptized I mean what happens is we weary because you know it's a lot and what have you but the truth is there's no benefit There's no plus side to shortening it the same people who wouldn't come will you can work with any other case after the 8 nights are over but what extending it a little bit does is provide you an opportunity to keep people coming who will keep coming so there's no downside what's the downside if you give me one I mean like a down side there's not really a downside OK good I'm glad Ignace more work for us that's not a downside Nesta's you know that's not a downside of Angeles sickly that's a downside person yes. Oh so you're making my point Amen Sister Come on up and stand by me. OK how about this one prophecy meetings use scare tactics how that well some people feel the pictures of beasts or what have you is going to air people into coming or what have you let me let you in on something if people are scared of the symbols that are actually used in the Book of Revelation they're already likes they're scared by those symbols then the reality is you have not added anything to them but what we do let me be clear is we dispel people's fears we bring them into the meeting and show them that's not a real beast that's talking about a nation or kingdom Oh God right I remember someone who struggled to come with to one of my Vangelis meetings in on away because they were scared husband was there but she wouldn't come for about a week he finally convinced her to come and actually came she was like oh this is such a blessing I can't believe I was so afraid of Revelation we actually dispel people's fears about revelations that year and I said the next time someone says we're fear mongering or scaring people what do you tell them we actually oh you weren't listening you said you were listening when you were we dispel people's fears right that's what we do we show them what the Bible really means it's not talking about these beasts being literal bees it's talking about something very very different prophecy meetings don't reach young people. I'm there was a recent survey done I'm a show you a little bit down in Southern I thought it was brought some excellent information out in the survey it talked about our IT surveyed 663 people and they were all millennial day millennial is meeting from the age of 18 to 34 and of those 6963 that was surveyed 20 of them actually enter the church through an evangelist experience what is that number one tell you about the millennial in the church where they coming from most of them from families so they have grown up Adventist and they are these are 94 percent of the those surveyed were Adventists So these are not millennia old out in the community is there are avenues Millennial. What do the lineal think of having a fellow commander than the average overall impression of evidence evangelistic meetings was neutral it's from one to 5 you know is the ranking and 3.37 was the mean or the average meant millennial they're not very likely to invite a friend of Angelus in meetings to point to was from one to 5 where they landed on that whether or not they would invite a friend. That means standard deviation it has to do with. The lowest and highest in with the top 3 descriptors of the messages preached at avenues of meetings are Biblical Gospel centered and interesting was really fascinating you know they don't wanna many of them invite people to it but they think they're Biblical Gospel centered and interesting that they were little funny. Which of these descriptors are accurate of the messages being preached at that man's evidence means that that meeting the prophecy number 14.31 out of 5 biblical The thing that pretty fascinating. These are admittedly. How to millennial perceive anti-Christ the anti-Christ is the false religious system of the Catholic Church 2 out of 3 believe that has 2 out of 3 sentences. But if I said 2 out of 3 Evidence love Jesus would you be happy about all praise or that the majority that's great. Now we want Adventists alike believe central components of adding to the remember that our message is the 3 angels message is right remember the 3rd angel is song about the warning not to receive them are going to be the kind of like I have to agree on who the beast is to know what the mark the beast is nor to give that warning right they were all together so 2 out of 3 didn't feel real good to me especially when they gave us a high ranking on the fact that their biblical you know what that tells me that tells me what we already know about many times when we have people who come in who are in the church but have not got to that point where they own it for themselves you know like I remember being. A. Young 20 something and just before I had my conversion experience. I my parents left the administers when I was younger and so I still claim to be a Christian but I really didn't know anything about the Bible like I didn't know anything about the Bible what it said whatever and I didn't know anything about religious Christian groups really so when people asked me what kind of Christian I was I thought Methodist I'd never stepped foot into a Methodist church I don't. I just thought that was like the average. Sort of you know what I'm talking about you understand that many admin is young people think just like that oh yeah it's Biblical but no anti-Christ of God They don't know what they're speaking of you understand. For this reason let me just be clear about this for this reason we must be very careful about changing trajectory on ad been outed vandalism what have you from surveys you understand because we kind of have been told what we're supposed to preach we were we were kind of given that and we are not really at liberty to take a poll and decide whether or not we want to do that or not so we have to be cautious now we I'm all for Surveys I think this is a very valuable survey because it gives us insight and we can know how to approach things but we have to be careful not to make more out of it then maybe we should because we have to be thinking about the situation and the type of setting and the type of place in a person's life they might be when they're taking the survey for instance I often heard of. Another situation where a group decided they would gather a group together from the church and decide what kind of events and they want to do and they all agreed anything but 20 nights of a bunch of slides you know anything but that and I was somebody told me Yeah we did a focus group and we decided that we were going to do something different because we did and I said who is in your focus group where those Adventists are and they were all Atmos. Adventists are the worst people at about it. I'm serious because most of them have never done it they've sat in it they watched it they've criticized it but they've never actually been soul winners they've never had the process of taking someone through of walking through Daniel with someone walking through it up trying to bring them to decisions they don't really recognize or understand the process and so they're quick to just kind of what we did this what we did this and they hate things that we've been doing because they're tired of it now they could see oh it's one of your days in their head and your eyes roll back in their head with boredom but then you ask him oh Billy is so bored we're going to bring him up here let him explain it to you tonight and suddenly Billy would step up and realize that his boredom is not from his superior knowledge right and this is so they got to get their hair that has to do with our hearts and we are reaching people who are reached differently than maybe how we may feel about it as Adventists and so I immediately told them that's the wrong person to do the focus group with there's a reason if you send out a handbill for instance an advertisement that advertises the exact same thing that any other local church would in terms of you know the steps of salvation or something like that you will get lower attendance then advertising something that their churches are not able to explain you're saying I'm saying that they're that's why we do that is they're interested in it and because it is perfectly calculated to grip the heart I wonder if my brother has the quote ready to answer the I'm ready this is it this. He does oh you got it Michael so I when I got up here I said Oh man I meant to put this in my slides and I didn't get my slides in time can you have this ready I want you to hear this quote that Pastor Howard is going to read to you right now because. Yeah I had the quote ready I just know if you ever stop talking OK here we go I'm. Just teasing him OK this is a drama. This is from manuscript releases volume 19 page 41 it says the light that Christ revealed that's when your yes the light the Christ revealed to his servant the prophet you'll see in a minute she's talking about John the Revelator is for us in His revelation are given the 3 Angels' messages and a description of the angel that was to come down from heaven with great power lightning the earth with his glory in it our warnings against the wickedness that would exist in the last days and against the mark of the beast we are not only to read and understand this message but to proclaim it with no uncertain sound to the world by presenting these things revealed to John we shall be able to stir the people old among your that by presenting these things we shall be able to what was the word stir the people see that's what we want we want to be have a message that actually because this day and age that's the difficulty how do you stir people out of the incredible lethargy that exists in this culture I mean it's incredible but our message the one that God gave is not ours he gave it in Revelation 14 he showed that that was the message that has to go to the world before Jesus comes that message actually is calculated to stir people and to arouse an interest but there is some something more to it OK a keeper. The usual subjects on which the ministers of nearly all other denominations dwell will not move them oh did you catch that you didn't catch it. The ministers of all the nominations is up generally the subjects of the ministers about nominations dwell on will not stir the people so what are we doing if we say you know what let's do a different message that's you know going to be a little different for the Saints you know and make sure that we have a message that makes us not look quite so alarmist and let's do that and yet that very thing is what she says will not move the people and that's why she gives this incredible warning at the end go ahead Pastor Mark we must proclaim our God given message to them the world is to be warned by the proclamation of this message if we blanket it if we hide our light under a bushel if we so circumscribe ourselves that we cannot reach the people we're answerable to God for our failure to warn the world Wow. Manuscript releases 19 what they 4141 that's the only way to find it to credible so we have a message that's able to stir the people that's the good news right and so we need to make sure that the message of the 3 and drills and the context of our prophetic message is always there even when we're talking about things such as the Sabbath I mean L.-Y. even says you separate the Sabbath from the 3 angles messages and the Sabbath loses its power. You separate it from from the endtime nature that the final test for humanity what have you it loses its power it no longer stirs the people as it would when connected with the 3 angels credible OK I'm going to skip past this and I'll go here another myth Matthew 25 is our hero away I don't want to go it probably means don't reach young people let me say something about that one more thing it is very true that advertising into the community with flyers is not bringing a bunch of young people to our meeting OK it's not yet but let's be clear right there is not it's not like that's different from other way to get them to our meetings is through personal labor letting our young people minister to young people and encouraging it because here's the thing it's not that the message preached at the prophecy meeting does not reach young people I have had many young people at my meetings and it reaches young people it's getting them to the meeting that is the challenge so the idea that prosody don't reach young people is ridiculous like now we're going to give a different message to the young people no no we're going to create a different thing than some of the avenues we want to make sure they understand it because it's powerful I mean do we believe that the message powerful or not that's the thing that bothers me I'll cut right to the chase and then the bothers me is that our efforts at evangelism always seem to be stealing from the message. When the message is the thing that has the power to reach the people if your method starts taking the message out of the picture this is not so hot when maybe different formats and ways to share the message that's fine but the message itself is the only thing that has the power to stir the people including young people but we do need to do a better job of enlisting our young people to reach out personally to bring other young people into settings where the Word of God is perfect now Matthew 25 is true vandalism you know in Matthew 25 where it taught where Jesus. Talks about how when we visit in prison we visit him when we feed someone who's hungry we feed him etc And it is a direct connection with the judgment in that and so many people believe that the Matthew 25 picture of a Christian is true vandalism it's not it's true Christianity but it's not evangelism yours I'm saying I mean there are a lot of things that we do as Christians that yes they have as their purpose I mean you might call it the part of the 1st phase of vandalism if you are ministering to someone but ultimately this is not the sum total of evangelism and never could be because of vandalism is about reaching some with the Gospel in the Gospel comes from the Word of God and you can have you know just from Matthew 25 evangelism and this is one of the greatest issues that we're dealing with right now Christ method some people will say is ministering to physical needs you remember that statement where L M I says Christ method alone is able to recharge a success will bring us success in reaching the people. And then she talks about how we need to sympathize with people we need to mingle with people we need to sympathize with them and then alternately win their confidence and bid them follow me and so I remember being in a place where. Evangelism in terms of public events and what have you was greatly discouraged but this quote of Christ method alone was continually trumpeted because the ideas that Christ method alone is talking about ministering to people's needs and that's what true evangelism is remember the growth cycle I showed you the very beginning so what is ministering to people's needs Yes but give it to me and what is sort of preparation it is a phase of evangelism this is what's happening you guys people are taking one phase of evangelism calling it evangelism and substituting the rest of the phrases and that's a big big problem I mean here in North America we have a wonderful ministry where the division is focusing on compassionate service that's fantastic as long as you see compassion service as a what was it a base of Angelus and but if you see it as evangelism if you see Christ method as ministering to people's needs and that is evangelism then you are going to fall far short of growing your church why would someone want to do that I'll tell you a couple reasons one reason is because there is a there is not much of a criticism when you're helping people when you're ministering to people's needs there's no one who's going to argue with that it just expresses love right and we should but sharing the message makes us a little crazy. You know having to explain things about what's going to happen at the end of time and the mark of the beast and what have you that puts you in the Sabbath that makes you different and highlights our differences and it's challenging for people that's the truth is that for many people they don't like the idea of highlighting those differences and therefore they focus on the 1st phase of Angela's them and call that the most important part and actually the sum total of evangelism but that is not the sum total of Angela I want to show you this quote from Christ's method you know that Christ method alone quote that's not the only place you talk about Christ method of as 123 from Christ methods of labor we may learn many valuable lesson he did not follow merely one method in various ways he sought to do what OK what part of the evangelism process is gaining the attention it's the very 1st part right which we refer to as preparing the soil OK right that's so how many ways are there to prepare the soil give me some health message OK literature might get into planting the for club which is partially health ministry give me some personal ways that you are community service making friends with people moaning your neighbor's lawn. Women in the driver's seat oh as somebody remembers that program faster Bill women in the driver's seat where you teach women how to change their oil and whatever and one of these or relationship building things to get their attention OK various different ways you know you some of our campus group goes on to a campground they'll set up a couch and have free massages or whatever it is all sorts of. Various ways to gain attention a multitude and then a proclaim to them the truth of the gospel. It others say in various ways he sought to gain the attention of the multitude and then in various ways he sought to lead them to heaven now once he got their attention which happens in you know the avenue to someone's interest there's a 1000 avenues to people's interest but once you get the interest the method is essentially always the same they need to hear the gospel right so when we talk about Christ method let's be clear the heart of evangelism is the gospel write this gospel gospel shall be preached in all the world and then the end will come it doesn't say you know people's needs we minister to across the world and then the end will come no that is how we reach the heart so that they're open to the Gospel see but the heart of a vandalism is the gospel of you know how I know that because 1st Peter 123 when my very favorite verses and all the Bible if you are you know if you've been lazy this whole time just sitting there watching me you're nodding off several of you let's look at 1st Peter 123 1st Peter 123 go ahead and look at it in your own Bible that's what I want I want you to look at 1st Peter 123 and I want somebody to tell me as you read in that passage I want somebody to tell me how someone is born into the kingdom of God Well as I say we are born have been born again not of corruptible seeing incorruptible through the Word of God It lives in abides wherever rather sisters the entrance into the kingdom of God The born again experience happens when the creative power of the word opens up the mind and somebody has an encounter with Jesus Christ their savior that's out happens. You can reach people's hearts and gain their confidence through your own personal loving ministry but you're not trying to connect them to yourself you're trying to connect them to Christ and so administering angels It has always had at its heart the preaching of the message because the message is how people are born again how they receive a new heart from Christ and we can't ever leave it off this is why I recently read somebody said I'm sorry I have 4 minutes oh I have lots of time who's ARE YOU DO YOU HAVE A 330 you know. He's next so I have plenty of time and. We grow thirds George's through kindness that's what somebody I recently read said that they had a new church plant and they were growing and I have you and the way they were growing was through intentional acts of kindness brothers and sisters you don't grow any church through intentional acts of kindness you might make lots of friends through international kindness you might open people up to sharing the truth through intentional acts of kindness and I'm all for intentional acts of kindness but let me tell you something nobody ever grew a church with intentional acts of kindness unless they baptized them without knowing the Gospel you understand I mean they might get a little more attendance but they're not going to grow the church actually grow the church until they surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ and accept him as personal Savior and are willing to follow the truth this this is. I mean to even say it it's like we grew through intentional acts of kindness maybe they did study the Bible with them afterward maybe not I don't know but the whole emphasis they're trying to do is that this is the focus that the message the message just gets buried down here somewhere like it's you know almost selfish for us to try to share our view with other people like they have to think like we do in order to be real Christians. This is the real problem at the end of time people need to believe the truth or they're at risk of losing their salvation those even who are with the Lord buyers are too expensive and ineffective I'm going to deal with this by just saying no they're not. I'll add one more thought we're dealing with percentages here OK. I knew every year there was sent out flyers that I would get my one for 1000 and I for one was absolutely thrilled to get 40 interest people say oh I'm not going to do flyers you that's OK well where are your interests how are you finding your interest they don't have interest so we're not going to spend the money because it seems like a lot of money for so few people if you have a better way of finding people who are with Lee looking toward heaven than a cheaper way to do it but if you don't and you do nothing you're accountable to God we've got to do whatever we know to do and this work still works it works all the time it may not work as well as we wish it worked and for I was very grateful when we did a lot of elation I did a lot of Internet advertising and I got great results from that so we'll keep doing Internet advertising as it as we can but rather that this is whatever we have to do to get interest we need to do because that's what we're called to do now people believe that outreach causes us to neglect nurture I want to make sure you understand something it is possible for people to be so focused on baptism that after people are baptized they just leave people and they just keep doing whatever that's an actual problem in the church having said that the idea that evangelising outreach needs to be tapered back in order to focus on nurture is crazy and the reason is because the way that you nervous or some want to keep them in the church is by getting them engaged and if it was a gallery if you're not taking time to do that then that's problematic. And the White says in Christian service page 69 let ministers teach church members that in order to grow in spirituality they must carry the burden of the Lord laid upon the burden of living souls and truth in order to grow in spirituality that's nurture right you're nurturing people you're helping them to grow in order for them to grow they must carry the burden of leading souls into the truth we've got to get our new people involved and all our church members involved in eventual sick outreach that is the heart the best aspect of nurture not the only one but a very very important one some people say we should do personal ministry and to stop doing public ministry you know I say that because personal is very effective in fact I would go so far as to say that I would rather we do personal ministry. Just personal ministry than just public ministry L.-Y. actually says as much she says if we could have but one part done let it be the individual labor of entering into homes and sharing people the themes of redemption personal Bible study personal ministry however if you want to ask me how you really do it you follow this divine counsel there is a page 313 when both are combined she's talking about extensive meetings like public big public meeting and personal effort with the blessing of God a more perfect and thorough work maybe rot the what's the best avenue both whenever you hear people talking about evangelism they've got their ideas what and always ends up happening is either or either or public events with them compassionate service personal public flyers no flyers I always say both both both I mean what are we doing it there's there's something underneath it all that we need to be evaluating these are phases of the same process and they are all essential. Some people say of angels about just getting numbers let me tell you there is a problem that we have with not preparing people for baptism because we want numbers and the White says great care should be exercised in accepting members into the church for Satan has his specious devices there which he purpose is to crowd false brother into the church through whom he can more he can work more successfully to weaken the Cause of God you know that the devil is trying to crowd false brethren into the church so those people say let's baptize but that's not good evangelism we need to make sure that they feel good about their decision and they are in harmony with the 7th Avenue Church and then it's a win win for both sides and what our goal should be is not just numbers and it never has been those who say it's just numbers they don't like when we talk about numbers but you know how many were baptized in Acts chapter 2 that they added How many added We know that somebody counted it right I mean brothers and sisters it's not wrong to count Jesus said were to go and baptized we need to get as many as possible in other words do we have to minimize the importance of baptism to maximize the importance of discipleship after baptism I mean I don't understand it we've got to do it all and never minimize one in order to highlight another there's usually a a hidden motive behind that you're going to be very careful. Some people just say witnessing is not my spiritual gift groups and services that the Lord calls for pardon souls who are joys in the light to make known that through others every disciple of Christ is called to be a fisher of men go through the list of spiritual gifts and you will not find witnessing in them because witnessing is something that God calls on everyone to do we may do it slightly differently we may have different modes and methods but we have to find an outlet for leading souls into the truth that's what God has placed on every one of us our evangelism is information based instead of relationship based This is somebody who doesn't do it Angela them I mean have you ever given a Bible study I mean the people you give a Bible study to are like tied to you for life I mean you're talking about such a close bond that nothing else could be he will say Oh I do random acts of kindness and build relations as well I do intentional Bible studies once a week and when you do that and you spend an hour with something everybody every week there's nothing that communicates love quite like the sacrifice of a person's time I can't tell you how many people said wow I can't believe you're doing this for me I'm like no you don't get it I really like this guy thing like Oh. I just can't believe you take all this time around or whatever I mean expresses love like nothing else you want to build relationships do it and it was a good Bible study that someone go to Vangelis a meeting sit next to someone night after night after night you build a relationship this whole idea of information versus relationship is a way to try to get rid of the information because many people here is the bottom line do not believe in our message anymore they're embarrassed by our message they're a shame to about the idea of the remnant there are shamed about the Spirit of Prophecy their same devout Christian advent of the lifestyle and because of it they want to tone it all down and instead focus on compassion rather than sisters you can focus on compassion and give our message and God help us if we don't do both. And finally evangelism advertising uses bait and switch let me just finish on this thought in I'm not going to go to the 6th I'm just going to share it to you from memory because I'm out of time in Daniel Chapter 8 The Bible says that there would be a sinister power that would cast truth down to the ground. During the Middle Ages and right after saying that this sinister power power would cast truth out of the ground a question is asked how long will the vision be and then it describes this vision of the 2300 days and especially the last part where there's all this stuff going on by this sinister power including the casting through down the ground swell and then the answer comes 122003 100 days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed so the truth is cast to the ground and it would begin to be restored at the end of the $2300.00 days when is the end of the 20th days 844 What are the troops that were cast to the ground well during the Dark Ages you had this idea of you know Saint praying to saints and everything and so you have this idea of the the immortality of the soul you have Purgatory and wrong ideas of an ever burning hell you have the idea of the priesthood and you know praying to a priest instead of to God you have this counter-Reformation idea of a secret rapture these are all errors that we correct in our evangelist meeting right so when the Bible says that the truth will be cast of the ground but it would begin to be restored in $844.00 What began what rose up in 844 the 7th Avenue search began its berthing and this church was raised up for the very purpose of casting down air and restoring the truth. This is why in the 3 Angels' messages right after the 1st angels message and it comes with a 2nd that Babylon is fallen is fallen what battle at the great system of error and confusion how is Babylon falling because the truth is being restored rather than sisters when we preach about death in evangelist meeting we are preaching prophecy because we're fulfilling prophecy before their eyes when we advertise prophecy and then preach about death or hell or anything like that that may have been or even the priesthood of Christ if we talk about any of that we are actually restoring the truth that was lost during the Dark Ages in fulfillment of Daniel 814 that said under torture there are days then jealous actually because we are not only not bait and switch ing we're actually fulfilling prophecy when we preach that the problem is our friends don't understand what prophecy is they think it's talking about the Middle East and the your prey's river and all this stuff so they feel like that's not it but our doctrines are actually being preached as a fulfillment of Bible prophecy and this is why we can never say we're bait and switch the minutes get to a quiz for you that I'm going to go back here you see that if you just believe that a lot will be answered compassion service does not replace sharing it through public evangelism is important but it's not the only thing discipleship after baptism is vital right when you understand this you understand is actually overthrowing a lot of false ideas about evangelism that are being cast around and 7 pm Eastern though by the grace of God Let's go Michigan and let's do it the advent of evangelism way. I haven't but maybe there's something new starting All right let's pray Father in heaven thank you so much for the time we've had together we pray that as we consider how to reach the world that we will always remember the simple principles you've given us in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy Help us Lord not to throw the baby out with the bathwater not to do compassionate service or public evangelism not to do personal or public not to poke some baptisms or what happens after back with help us to do all of it by the grace of God to our best ability and by your grace really brainy Jesus in this media was brought to you by audio from a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more sermon Please Visit W W W dot audio Verse dot org.


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