Methods of Clinching Decisions

Christ Spoke Directly to His Hearers—Even the crowd that so often thronged His steps was not to Christ an indiscriminate mass of human beings. He spoke directly to every mind and appealed to every heart. He watched the faces of His hearers, marked the lighting up of the countenance, the quick, responsive glance, which told that truth had reached the soul; and there vibrated in His heart the answering chord of sympathetic joy.—Education, 231 (1903). Ev 295.2

He Watched the Changing Countenance—Jesus watched with deep earnestness the changing countenances of His hearers. The faces that expressed interest and pleasure, gave Him great satisfaction. As the arrows of truth pierced to the soul, breaking through the barriers of selfishness, and working contrition, and finally gratitude, the Saviour was made glad. When His eye swept over the throng of listeners, and He recognized among them the faces He had before seen, His countenance lighted up with joy. He saw in them hopeful subjects for His kingdom. When the truth, plainly spoken, touched some cherished idol, He marked the change of countenance, the cold, forbidding look, which told that the light was unwelcome. When He saw men refuse the message of peace, His heart was pierced to the very depths.—The Desire of Ages, 254, 255 (1898). Ev 295.3

Preaching for Decision—Cultivate earnestness and positiveness in addressing the people. Your subject matter may be excellent, and just what the people need, but you would do well to mingle a positiveness with persuasive entreaties.... Ev 296.1

Present the plain “Thus saith the Lord” with authority, and exalt the wisdom of God in the written Word. Bring the people to a decision; keep the voice of the Bible ever before them. Tell them you speak that which you do know, and testify that which is truth, because God has spoken it. Let your preaching be short and right to the point, and then at the proper time call for a decision. Do not present the truth in a formal manner, but let the heart be vitalized by the Spirit of God, and let your words be spoken with such certainty that those who hear may know that the truth is a reality to you.—Letter 8, 1895. Ev 296.2

Do Not Miss the Mark—Do not encourage the presentation of Scripture in any way to encourage vainglory in the one who shall open the Word to others. The work for this time is to bring students and workers to the place where they will deal with subjects in a serious, solemn, plain manner, that there may be no time uselessly employed in this great work. Do not miss the mark. Time is too short to reveal all that might be opened up to view; eternity will be required to know the length and breadth, the depth and height of the Scriptures. There are truths of more importance to some souls than others. Skill is needed in educating in Scriptural lines.—Manuscript 153, 1898. Ev 296.3

Continual Advancement—We must not think, “Well, we have all the truth, we understand the main pillars of our faith, and we may rest on this knowledge.” The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light. Ev 296.4

A brother asked, “Sister White, do you think we must understand the truth for ourselves? Why can we not take the truths that others have gathered together, and believe them because they have investigated the subjects, and then we shall be free to go on without the taxing of the powers of the mind in the investigation of all these subjects? Do you not think that these men who have brought out the truth in the past were inspired of God?” Ev 297.1

I dare not say they were not led of God, for Christ leads into all truth; but when it comes to inspiration in the fullest sense of the word, I answer, No.... Ev 297.2

We must have living faith in our hearts, and reach out for larger knowledge and more advanced light.—The Review and Herald, March 25, 1890. Ev 297.3

Make a Charge Against the Enemy—We are living in a perilous time, and we need that grace that will make us valiant in fight, turning to flight the armies of the aliens. Dear brother, you need more faith, more boldness and decision in your labors. You need more push and less timidity.... Our warfare is aggressive. Your efforts are too tame; you need more force in your labor, else you will be disappointed in its results. There are times when you must make a charge against the enemy. You must study methods and ways to reach the people. Go right to them and talk with them.... Let the people understand that you have a message that means life, eternal life to them if they accept it. If any subject should enthuse the soul it is the proclamation of the last message of mercy to a perishing world. But if they reject this message it will be to them a savor of death unto death. Therefore there is need to work diligently, lest your labors be in vain. O that you would realize this, and that you would urge the truth upon the conscience with the power of God. Give force to your words and make the truth appear essential to their educated minds.—Letter 8, 1895. Ev 297.4

Aggressiveness Necessary—Caution is needed; but while some of the workers are guarded and make haste slowly, if there are not united with them in the work those who see the necessity of being aggressive, very much will be lost; opportunities will pass, and the opening providence of God will not be discerned. Ev 298.1

When persons who are under conviction are not brought to make a decision at the earliest period possible, there is danger that the conviction will gradually wear away.... Ev 298.2

Frequently, when a congregation is at the very point when the heart is prepared for the Sabbath question, it is delayed through fear of the consequences. This has been done, and the result has not been good. God has made us depositaries of sacred truth; we have a message, a saving message, which we are commanded to give to the world, and which is pregnant with eternal results. To us as a people has been committed light that must illuminate the world.—Letter 31, 1892. Ev 298.3

Spirit's Power for Victory—Talk to souls in peril, and get them to behold Jesus upon the cross, dying to make it possible for Him to pardon. Talk to the sinner with your own heart overflowing with the tender, pitying love of Christ. Let there be deep earnestness, but not a harsh, loud note should be heard in the voice of one who is trying to win the soul to look and live. First have your own soul consecrated to God. As you look upon our Intercessor in heaven, let your heart be broken. Then, softened and subdued, you can address repenting sinners as one who realizes the power of redeeming love. Pray with these souls, by faith laying them at the foot of the cross; carry their minds up with your mind, and fix the eye of faith where you look, upon Jesus, the Sin Bearer. Get them to look away from their poor sinful selves to the Saviour, and the victory is won.... Ev 298.4

The inworking ministry of the Holy Spirit is our great need. The Spirit is all divine in its agency and demonstration. God wants you to have the gracious spiritual endowment; then you will work with a power that you were never conscious of before. Love and faith and hope will be an abiding presence. You can go forth in faith, believing that the Holy Spirit accompanies you.—Letter 77, 1895. Ev 299.1

The Holy Spirit Impresses Truth—It is the Holy Spirit that makes the truth impressive. Keep practical truth ever before the people.—Testimonies For The Church 6:57 (1900). Ev 299.2

Decision Influenced by Our Words and Deportment—When I saw this congregation yesterday, I thought, The decisions are to come after this meeting and during the meeting. There will be some that will take their position forever under the black banner of the powers of darkness; there are some that will take their position under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel. Our words, our deportment, how we present the truth, may balance minds for or against the truth; and we want in every discourse, whether it is doctrinal or not, we want that Jesus Christ should be presented distinctly, as John declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” Ev 299.3

Every expression that you have ever been in the habit of making, people and ministers, that is sharp or cutting, every practice of thrusting upon the people the very strongest positions, that they are no more prepared to receive than a baby to receive strong meat, must be put aside. There must be a leading along, Christ must be woven into everything that is argumentative as the warp and the woof of the garment. Christ, Christ, Christ is to be in it everywhere, and my heart feels the need of Christ, as I have, seems to me, never felt it more sensibly. Ev 299.4

Here are an ignorant people; they do not know anything about the truth; they have been educated by the ministers that this is so and that is so. When the Word of God is explained to the people, when it is presented in its purity, and they see what the Word of God says, what are they going to do? There are very few that will take their position on that Word. But I tell you, be very careful how you handle the Word, because that Word is to make the decisions with the people. Let the Word cut, and not your words. But when they make their decision, what will it be?—Manuscript 42, 1894. Ev 300.1

A Delayed Harvest—The priests were convinced of the divine power of the Saviour.... Many hearts were moved that for a time made no sign. During the Saviour's life, His mission seemed to call forth little response of love from the priests and teachers; but after His ascension “a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”—The Desire of Ages, 266 (1898). Ev 300.2

Leave Listeners Approachable—Why was it that Christ went out by the seaside, and into the mountains? He was to give the word of life to the people. They did not see it just that minute. A good many do not see it now, to take their position, but these things are influencing their lives; and when the message goes with a loud voice, they will be ready for it. They will not hesitate long; they will come out and take their position.—Manuscript 19b, 1890. Ev 300.3