Section 9—Clinching the Interest

Preaching for the Final Decision

By Simple Lessons—Not Eloquence—He who in his preaching makes eloquence his highest aim, causes the people to forget the truth that is mingled with his oratory. When the emotion has passed away, it will be found that the Word of God has not been fastened upon the mind, nor have the hearers gained in understanding. They may speak in terms of admiration of the minister's eloquence, but they are not brought any nearer to the point of decision. They speak of the sermon as they would of a play, and of the minister as they would of an actor. They may come again to listen to the same kind of discourse, but they will go away unimpressed and unfed. Ev 279.1

It is not flowery discourses that are needed, not a flood of words without meaning. Our ministers are to preach in a way that will help people to grasp vital truth.—Gospel Workers, 153, 154 (1915). Ev 279.2

Undecided Souls in Every Meeting—There are souls in every congregation who are hesitating, almost persuaded to be wholly for God. The decision is being made for time and for eternity; but it is too often the case that the minister has not the spirit and power of the message of truth in his own heart, hence no direct appeals are made to those souls that are trembling in the balance. The result is that impressions are not deepened upon the hearts of the convicted ones; and they leave the meeting feeling less inclined to accept the service of Christ than when they came. They decide to wait for a more favorable opportunity; but it never comes.—Testimonies For The Church 4:447 (1880). Ev 279.3

Some Listening to Their Last Sermon—Some may be listening to the last sermon they will ever hear, and some will never again be so situated that they can have the chain of truth brought before them, and a practical application made of it to their hearts. That golden opportunity lost, is lost forever. Had Christ and His redeeming love been exalted in connection with the theory of truth, it might have balanced them on His side.—Testimonies For The Church 4:394 (1880). Ev 280.1

An Appeal in Every Sermon—With an unction of the Holy Spirit upon him, giving him a burden for souls, he will not dismiss a congregation without presenting before them Jesus Christ, the sinner's only refuge, making earnest appeals that will reach their hearts. He should feel that he may never meet these hearers again until the great day of God.—Testimonies For The Church 4:316 (1879). Ev 280.2

In every discourse fervent appeals should be made to the people to forsake their sins and turn to Christ.—Testimonies For The Church 4:396 (1880). Ev 280.3

Call for Decisions—At our camp meetings there are far too few revival efforts made. There is too little seeking of the Lord. Revival services should be carried from the beginning to the close of the meeting. The most determined efforts should be made to arouse the people. Let all see that you are in earnest because you have a wonderful message from heaven. Tell them that the Lord is coming in judgment, and that neither kings nor rulers, wealth nor influence, will avail to ward off the judgments soon to fall. At the close of every meeting, decisions should be called for.—Testimonies For The Church 6:64, 65 (1900). Ev 280.4

Sabbath Truth Boldly Proclaimed—It is at this time that the true Sabbath must be brought before the people both by pen and by voice. As the fourth commandment of the Decalogue and those who observe it are ignored and despised, the faithful few know that it is the time not to hide their face but to exalt the law of Jehovah by unfurling the banner on which is inscribed the message of the third angel, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.... Ev 281.1

The truth must not be hid, it must not be denied or disguised, but fully avowed, and boldly proclaimed.—Letter 3, 1890. Ev 281.2

Two Extremes Affecting Decision—There are two extremes to be avoided, one is the shunning to declare the whole counsel of God, and running into the spirit of revivalists in this age of crying, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace,” and weaving into the labors an element which moves the feelings and leaves the heart unchanged.... Ev 281.3

The second extreme is to be always hammering at the people and in a harsh un-Christlike manner talking in a way that they think you are provoked.—Letter 43, 1886. Ev 281.4

Minister's Presentation May Mar Decision—In the past the work of Brother _____ has been represented to me in figures. It has seemed as if he was holding out to the people a vessel filled with most beautiful fruit, but that while offering this fruit to them, his attitude and manner were such that no one wanted any. Thus it has too often been with the spiritual truths that he offers to the people. In his presentation of these truths, a spirit sometimes crops out that is not heaven born. Words are sometimes spoken, reproofs given, with a drive, a vim, that causes the people to turn away from the beautiful truths that he has for them. Ev 281.5

I have seen Brother _____ when the melting Spirit of God was upon him. His love for the truth was genuine, and not something that he merely claimed to possess. He had cultivated and cherished this love, and it is still within his heart. But our brother has a very poor way of manifesting the compassion, the tenderness, the lovable spirit of Christ.... He is in need of the holy oil that is poured out of the golden pipes into the hearts of men. This oil is to fill his heart, and when he receives it, the Spirit of God will be upon him.—Manuscript 120, 1902. Ev 282.1

Rejection of Light Serious—When conviction is disregarded, when evidence is rejected, men are forced to take a position of active opposition and stubborn resistance.—Manuscript 13, 1892. Ev 282.2

An Earnest Work for Souls—Work for the salvation of souls as though you knew by sight that you were in full view of the whole universe of heaven. Every angel in glory is interested in the work being done for the salvation of souls. We are not awake as we should be. All the angelic host are our helpers. “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.” O cannot we then work with courage and faith. “In that day it will be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.” Only have faith. Pray and believe, and ye shall see the salvation of God.—Letter 126, 1896. Ev 282.3