Marvelous Stories of Evangelism
Marvelous Stories of Evangelism
The duty of taking the Three Angels' Messages to the whole world rests upon us as Historic Seventh-day Adventists. Evan Sadler has had many years of experience as a street evangelist and has been doing what many more of us should be doingósharing our faith with others. "We are living in a most solemn time. Important responsibilities are resting upon us. . . Angels of God are preparing ears to hear, and hearts to receive the message of warning. And in our very midst honest souls are living who have never yet heard the reasons of our faith. People are perishing for want of knowledge. Not one-hundredth part is being done that might be done to give the third angelís message to the world." Review and Herald, October 22, 1914.
May these stories encourage you in your walk with the Lord and embolden you to be a mighty witness for Him. The Editors
The Priest that Wept
I had a priest weep once. In 1982 I was staying with a former Catholic couple who are now Seventh-day Adventists, because I had knocked on their dooróat that time I only knew five Bible texts! And now the Sabbath was about to come in, and the phone rang. When I answered, my friend Jimmy said, "Iím in the mental institution, Iíve had a nervous breakdown. Would you come and see me?" I said certainly.
We prayed together before I went that I might help this man. When I arrived Jimmy said, "Iíll tell you, Evan, Iím a bit upset. You tell me that the Catholic church has changed the ten commandments and then we go to the priests and they tell us that youíre a heretic!"
But I said, "They didnít tell you that they didnít change it did they?"
His answer was, "I wish that there was a priest here and you and he could sort this thing out." I prayed, "Lord, I pray that you would open Jimmyís eyes."
I was there about half an hour talking to this friend in the big lounge, and who do you think walked in the door? It was a priest! Jimmy and I had been talking things over and I had my Bible out, and after this priest walked around and talked to everybody, he came and sat down next to us. He was an old Irishman, 73 years old. He said, "And what would you be doing boys?"
Jimmy said, "Oh, father. Weíre just looking at the Bible."
"Yes, sir," I said, "Weíre just reading the Bible."
The priest said, "Oh, thatís wonderful! Itís the rock and the pillar of the faith."
I replied, "Itís the rock and pillar of my faith, sir."
He said, "Well, what else would you be talking about?"
I said, "Well, sir, weíre talking about deception."
He said, "Oh, yes? Why would you be talking about that?"
I said, "Well, it says in Matthew 24:37 that as it was in the days of Noah so it would be in the days of the coming of the Son of man. Doesnít it say that?"
He answered, "Itís true, itís there!"
I said, "Do you think, sir, that the world will be deceived by things that look good or by things that look bad?"
He said, "Well, the way you put it, it seems theyíll be deceived by the things that look good."
I said, "Thatís right! How many were saved out of the flood?"
He said, "Well, the way you put it, it was four men and four women."
I said, "Thatís right! And what about all the rest of the people that perished, did they think they were right or did they think they were wrong?"
He said, "Well, the way you put it, they must have thought they were right."
I said, "Thatís right! Come down awhile till Jesus was killedówho was right at that time?"
He said, "Well, the way you put it, it must of been only Him."
I said, "Thatís right! What about the major church at the time?"
He said, "Well, they must have been wrongóthe way you put it."
I said, "Does this mean that Jesus was right and the whole of Israel was wrong?"
He said, "Thatís right." And I said, "Now letís come down to about the sixteenth century."
He said, "Wait a minute! What are you getting at?" Because he had been set up all the way, hadnít he? Iíd laid the ground, and I wasnít trying to be funny. God wanted that man in heaven. But you can rest assured, friends, that anyone that will be there is going to have to go on Godís terms.
So he said, "Well, what are you getting at?"
"What Iím getting at, sir, is that the Catholic church has changed the ten commandments."
He said, "Now, we-we-we-weíve never done that! Weíve not done that. Weíve only adjusted them!"
I said, "You have changed them. Iíve got the proof."
He said, "Well, we only adjusted them in the fourth century, but weíve never changed them."
I said, "Jimmy, you rang me up and asked me to pray for you that you might see; because the priests told you one thing and I told you something else and you were confused and didnít know what to believe. And here, by the grace of God, a priest has come along and sat down here and heís told us that theyíve never changed the ten commandments, theyíve only adjusted them. Isnít that double-Dutch?"
Jimmy blinked and said, "Yeah."
I told the priest, which was only my duty, "I can tell you when they changed them, why they changed them, from what they changed them, to what they changed them."
He wept. He said, "Iíve given me whole life to the church."
I said, "Brother, itís time you gave the rest of your life to Jesus; because bricks and mortar can never save you."
A friend and I were on the street one night giving out tracts outside a university in New Zealand. My friend gave a tract to a student outside a McDonalds restaurant and who came along but the professor. A student had met him on the street and had said, "Look at this sacrilege! These people donít believe in evolution."
Terrible isnít it? "These people donít believe in evolution." How sad!
He found my friend, and he said, "Did you give this tract out?"
My friend said, "Yes, I did sir, but my friend Evan up the road, heís responsible for giving the tract out."
The professor said, "My name is Professor ĎWhatever-His-Name-Is.í Iím qualified to tell you youíre wrong."
My friend said, "How come?"
He said, "Because I have a Ph.D."
My friend said, "Oh my! Is that right? You have a Ph.D.? Whoa!"
The professor said, "Yes." He didnít realize my friend was taking the Mickey out of him.
My friend said, "Wow! I canít argue with that." The professor grinned a bit. And then my friend said, "But I have a video at home, and itís pro-Christianity, and it destroys evolution, and it was made by a man with two Ph.Ds. So your own argument is destroyed!"
So the professorís head dropped and his tongue came out in exhaustion, because God will make fools out of the wise.
One day I was at the airport in Los Angeles and I had said a prayer that the Lord would protect me. I never take airplane flights for granted, I pray for protection. I also prayed that I might be able to talk to somebody on the plane who might be interested in salvation. We were in the air about 15 minutes. I had my old Bible open reading from Peter. I was sitting by the isle and a man was sitting by the window. He said to me, "I see youíve been reading your Bible."
I said, "Yeah! Thatís the only real thing you can count on in this world."
He said, "My name is Dr. ĎSuch-and-Suchí from Spokane Presbyterian College and Iíve just been holding an evangelical campaign down in Brazil and Iím heading home. . ." He said, during the course of the conversation, that the ten commandments had been nailed to the cross.
I said to him, "The only thing you can count on is the Bible, and thereís only one other thing you can count on sir."
He said, "Whatís that?"
I said, "Throughout history, theologians have always been on the wrong side."
And he said, "Thatís a bit tuff isnít it?"
I said, "Thatís history friend. You tell me when the theologians have been right. At the time of the crucifixion of Christ? At the time of the Babylonian captivity? At the time of the flood? You show to me in history when the theologians have been right. Theyíve never been right, the dead sure thing is that theyíve been wrong. Do you believe thereís going to be a judgment or not?"
He said, "Well, I think so."
I said, "The Bible says there is going to be a judgment. Who do you think God will hold responsible for all the wickedness in the world in the day of judgment?"
He said, "I donít know, you tell me."
I said, "People like you. People like you who have said that the ten commandments were nailed to the cross. My Bible says that babes and fools will understand this truth, so Iím qualified to talk to you about this issue. You correct me if Iím wrong because I donít want to be deluded and I donít want to lose eternal life and I donít want to deceive other people. I thought from what Iím seeing in the world that if ever the world needed the ten commandments itís today, not tomorrow. I thought that Christians kept the ten commandments and heathens didnít. And I thought Christians kept them not to be saved, thatís legalism. They keep them because they are saved. They donít keep them in their own power, thatís not acceptable to God; they keep them through the power of the risen Christ in them."
He couldnít fault that reasoning. But then I showed him the time of Moses. He grinned and said to me, "One thing, sir, if the ten commandments still stand, I want you to show me where every single one of them is in the New Testament." He looked at me with a dead serious look on his face because he knew that he had just trapped meóI could see that little grin behind his serious face. He wasnít a professor for nothing, because he had been dealing with "legalists" for a long time.
"But you know," I said to him, "thatís an unfair question, sir. And itís a difficult question, because you know that not one in 10,000 could answer that."
He said, "Probably not one in 100,000."
I said, "But you only asked me that question to make your case right and my case wrong. If I could prove to you where every single one of them were in the New Testament, what would that do to your case?" He had not thought about that. He had only asked the question to destroy our case as Adventists and he didnít know that I was an Adventist yet.
I said, "Iíll show you where every single one of the ten commandments are in the New Testament." And I showed him Matthew 4:10: "Then saith Jesus unto him . . . it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." He blinked. I showed him 1 John 5:21: "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed." 1 Timothy 6:1. "For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all His works. And in this place again, If thy shall enter into My rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: again, He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as is said, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would He not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His." Hebrews 4:4Ė10. "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day." Matthew 24:20. "I was in the Spirit on the Lordís day." Revelation 1:10. "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath." Mark 2:27, 28. "Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Romans 13:9. "Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Matthew 19:18, 19. Thereís all your ten commandments.
He was visibly shocked. I didnít tell him why I knew those ten commandments. Two weeks before I left New Zealand, George Burnside posted me a letter. In it was a copy of all the ten commandments in the New Testament. I had said to myself, "Iím going to memorize everyone of those texts, because some day someoneís going to ask me to show them where they are." Within two weeks it happened.
Then I said, "Well, friend, you asked me that to destroy my case; but your case is now destroyed."
He said, "Iím going to have to start keeping them and teaching them."
I said, "Donít worry if you lose your $100,000 a year salary and your three cars and your big flashy house and your status in your community. Jesus said in Luke that the foxes have holes, the birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
I believe God answered my prayer and sat me there next to that man. Then he looked at me and said, "Youíre a Seventh-day Adventist arenít you?"
I said, "Well, I never used to be; I used to be a Presbyterian, the same as you. But I found that we were sitting closer to Rome than Iíd thought when I was a boy."
And he said to me, "You know, I want to come fishing in New Zealand sometime."
I said, "Certainly. Friend, this battle is for real. Alot of people are going to be lost."
He was visibly shaken. He said, "You know I went to college with Billy Graham, heís a friend of mine."
I said, "Wow, is that right? I went to college with Jesus Christ, heís a friend of mine."
I read to him 1 Corinthians 11, which says all these things happened for an example to us. I asked him this question, "When Moses brought Israel out of Egypt by the miracle of the Red Sea opening, God had thrown back to the Egyptians their false worship. Have you read of the Seven Last Plagues?"
He said, "Well I know a bit about them."
"Ah, is that right? Do you know where they are found?"
He said, "Well, theyíre in the book of Revelation."
I said, "Thatís right, do you know which chapter."
He said, "No, not off hand."
I said, "Iím going to read them to you in Revelation 16."
I read him the first three plagues and he said, "What are you getting at?"
I said, "Well, God threw back in the faces of the Egyptians their false worship with the plagues. In the same way, when Jesus brings spiritual Israel out of spiritual Egypt, He throws back in their faces their false worship by the seven last plagues." I read the 4th plague to him and he blinked a bit.
I said, "Iíve given you enough facts that you can work out why God threw back the sun in their faces in the fourth plague." This man happened to be a member of the Lordís Day Alliance.
I said, "As Seventh-day Adventists, we have reservations about that organization. Why is the fourth plague to be the heating of the sun? And why, under the fifth plague, will darkness fall upon the seat of the beast?"
And so we talked . . .
We have the responsibility of taking the Three Angels' Messages to the entire world so that those who are still in Babylon can come out from the midst of her. The seven last plagues are judgments that are poured out against those who make up Babylon (see Revelation 18:4).
We need to earnestly pray that we will be among those who will give the Loud Cry Message that will prepare a people to stand before a holy God without a Mediator.
May 1996 Table of Contents