Evangelism/Reaching Men of Means and Influence
Give the Call to Leaders in Business and Government—The call to be given “in the highways,” is to be proclaimed to all who have an active part in the world’s work, to the teachers and leaders of the people. (p.555) Those who bear heavy responsibilities in public life, physicians and teachers, lawyers and judges, public officers and businessmen, should be given a clear, distinct message.—Testimonies For The Church 6:78 (1900).
Seek Out the Influential—Those who belong to the higher ranks of society are to be sought out with tender affection and brotherly regard. Men in business life, in high positions of trust, men with large inventive faculties and scientific insight, men of genius, teachers of the gospel whose minds have not been called to the special truths for this time,—these should be the first to hear the call.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 230 (1900).
We talk and write much of the neglected poor: should not some attention be given also to the neglected rich? Many look upon this class as hopeless, and they do little to open the eyes of those who, blinded and dazed by the power of Satan, have lost eternity out of their reckoning. Thousands of wealthy men have gone to their graves unwarned, because they have been judged by appearance, and passed by as hopeless subjects. But, indifferent as they may appear, I have been shown that most of this class are soul burdened. There are thousands of rich men who are starving for spiritual food. Many in official life feel their need of something which they have not. Few among them go to church; for they feel that they receive no benefit. The teaching they hear does not touch the soul. Shall we make no personal effort in their behalf?—Testimonies For The Church 6:78 (1900).
Workers of Intelligence to Reach Higher Classes—There has not been the effort made that should have been made to reach the higher classes. While we are to preach the gospel to the poor, we are also to present it in its most attractive light to those who have ability (p.556) and talent, and make far more wise, determined, God-fearing efforts than have hitherto been made, to win them to the truth.
But in order to do this all the workers will have to keep themselves up to a high level of intelligence. They cannot do this work and sink down to a low, common level, feeling that it does not much matter how they labor or what they say, since they are working for the poor and ignorant classes. They will have to sharpen up, and be armed and equipped in order to present the truth intelligently and to reach the higher classes. Their minds must rise higher, and show greater strength and clearness....
One reason why efforts have not heretofore been made for the higher classes as I have presented before you, is a lack of faith and real courage in God.—Manuscript 14, 1887.
With a Hook Properly Baited—The intelligent, the refined, are altogether too much passed by. The hook is not baited to catch this class, and ways and methods are not prayerfully devised to reach them with truth that is able to make them wise unto salvation. Most generally the fashionable, the wealthy, the proud, understand by experience that happiness is not to be secured by the amount of money that they possess, or by costly edifices, and ornamental furniture and pictures. They want something they have not. But this class are attracted toward each other, and it is hard to find access to them; and because of this many are perishing in their sins who long for something that will give them rest and peace and quietude of mind. They need Jesus, the light of righteousness.
There is a certain round of labor performed in a certain way that leaves a large class untouched....
The rich left alone without any effort to save them (p.557) become shut up more and more to their own ideas. Their own train of thoughts and associations lose eternity out of their reckoning. They grow more proud and selfish, hardhearted and unimpressible, suspicious that every one wants to get money, while the poor are envious of the rich, who need pity rather than to be envied. Bring these all under the power of saving truth, and the work of the upbuilding of the kingdom of God will go forward with much greater success.—Manuscript 66, 1894.
Charmed by Scripture Truth—Men in high positions of trust in the world will be charmed by a plain, straightforward, Scriptural statement of truth.—Letter 111, 1904
Avoid Sharp Arguments—Great men, learned men, can be reached better by the simplicity of a godly life than by all the sharp arguments that may be poured upon them. Good impressions will be given when religion is full of vitality which will give life and progress. Where the precious seed of truth finds lodgment in the heart, through the workings of the Spirit of Christ the receiver will discover the sinfulness of human passions, vanities, ignorance. All these must be cleansed from the soul temple and the grace of God become an abiding principle. Then all the principles of truth bloom in the garden of God—humility, meekness, patience, and love.—Letter 6b, 1890.
Present Truth in Figures and Parables—The truth is to be presented in various ways. Some in the higher walks of life will grasp it as it is presented in figures and parables.—Medical Ministry, 318 (1905).
Drawn by the Simplicity of the Gospel—Even the great men are more easily drawn by the simplicity of the gospel than by any effort made in human power. (p.558) We need more of God and far less of self. God will work through the weakest human agent who is charged with His Spirit.—Letter 72, 1899.
The Talent of Intellect and Means—We are to do special work for those who are in high positions of trust. The Lord calls upon those to whom He has entrusted His goods, to use in His service their talents of intellect and of means. Some will be impressed by the Holy Spirit to invest the Lord’s means in a way that will advance His work. They will fulfill His purpose, by helping to create centers of influence in our large cities. Our workers should represent before these men a plain statement of our needs. Let them know what we need in order to help the poor and needy and to establish the work on a firm basis.—Medical Ministry, 329 (1900).
Work for Men Like Cornelius—From the case of Cornelius we may learn a lesson that we would do well to understand. The God of heaven sends His messengers to this earth to set in operation a train of circumstances which will bring Peter into connection with Cornelius, that Cornelius may learn the truth. Through angel ministration Peter is brought into cooperation with the inquiring souls who have all things in readiness to hear the truth and receive advanced light....
The conversion of Cornelius and his household was only the first fruits of a harvest to be gathered in from the world. From this household a widespread work of grace was carried on in a heathen city.—Letter 17, 1900.
There needs to be a waking up among God’s people, that His work may be carried forward with power. We need the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We need to understand that God will add to the ranks (p.559) of His people men of ability and influence, who are to act their part in warning the world. All in the world are not lawless and sinful. God has many thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. There are God-fearing men in the fallen churches. If this were not so, we should not be given the message to bear, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.... Come out of her, My people.”
The gospel is to be proclaimed in our cities. Men of learning and influence are to hear the message. Not only white men but colored men of ability are to accept the faith. These are to work for their own people, and they are to be supported in doing the work the Lord desires to have done.
Much more prayer, much more Christlikeness, much more conformity to God’s will, is to be brought into God’s work. Outward show, an extravagant outlay of means, will not accomplish the work to be done. Many are gasping for a breath of life from heaven. They will recognize the gospel when it is brought to them in the way that God designs it to be brought.
Into the busy world, filled with the din of commerce and the altercation of trade, where men were trying selfishly to get all they could for self, Christ came; and above the confusion, His voice, like the trump of God, was heard: “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Christ points men to the nobler world, which they have lost out of their reckoning, and declares that the only city that will endure is the city whose builder and maker is God. He shows them the threshold of heaven, flushed with God’s living glory, and assures them that the heavenly treasures are for those who overcome. He calls upon them to strive with (p.560) sanctified ambition to secure the immortal inheritance. He urges them to lay up their treasure beside the throne of God. Then, instead of taxing themselves almost beyond endurance to gain earthly riches, they will work with all the powers of body and mind for Christ. By using their talent of means to win souls to Him, they will be doing a work of more importance than any other work in the world.
There are among the monied men of the world those who will heed the message of warning: “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”—Letter 51, 1902.
Kings and Governors Must Hear—The light is to be brought before kings and before the great men of the earth, although they may receive it in the same manner in which Pharaoh received the testimony of the servants of the Lord, and asked, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice?”
Kings, governors, and great men will hear of you through the reports of those who are at enmity with you, and your faith and character will be misrepresented before them. But those who are falsely accused will have an opportunity to appear in the presence of their accusers to answer for themselves. They will have the privilege of bringing the light before those who are called the great men of the earth, and if you have studied the Bible, if you are ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear, your enemies (p.561) will not be able to gainsay your wisdom.—The Review and Herald, April 26, 1892.
Warning National Leaders—The rulers of the nations need to plant their feet upon the platform of eternal truth. They should not be allowed, because of ignorance, to build their houses on the sand. These men are not to be worshiped as gods. They are accountable to God for their course of action. To Him they must answer if they become a savor of death unto death to those who are under their jurisdiction.—Letter 187, 1903.
The Dangers of Prosperity—In the history of men we learn how dangerous is prosperity. It is not the men who have lost their money and their property who are in the greatest danger, but those who have obtained a fortune and are placed in a high position. These need careful, earnest labor. Adversity may depress, but prosperity elevates to presumption.
Prayers are often requested for men and women in affliction, and this is as it should be; but the most earnest prayers should be solicited for those who are placed in a prosperous position. These men are in the greatest danger of losing the soul. In the valley of humiliation we can walk securely, while we reverence God and make Him our trust. On the lofty pinnacle, where praise is heard, where our wisdom and greatness are extolled, we need a special power, a special arm to sustain us.
This is the light in which we should regard those not of our faith. The men who are exalted and praised need greater help in the simplicity of Christ than they receive. They need more earnest, persevering prayer, that they may be saved from destruction.—Letter 72, 1899.