I am happy to report that there is a simple, inexpensive and effective method of working for the salvation of those who have never heard our message. This simple and effective method is one Dr. Ralph Larson suggested, and is available to all. I call it “Tracts Work.”
“How the angels must feel as they see the end approaching, and see so many of those entrusted with the last message of mercy huddling together, attending meetings for the sake of benefit to their own souls, and feeling dissatisfied if there is not much preaching, while they have little burden and are doing little for the salvation of others. All who are indeed united to Christ by living faith will be partakers of the divine nature. They will be constantly receiving from Him spiritual life, and they cannot be silent.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 443.
“As the disciples, filled with the power of the Spirit, went forth to proclaim the gospel, so God’s servants are to go forth today. Filled with an unselfish desire to give the message of mercy to those who are in the darkness of error and unbelief, we are to take up the Lord’s work. He gives us our part to do in cooperation with Him, and He will also move on the hearts of unbelievers to carry forward His work in the regions beyond. Already many are receiving the Holy Spirit, and no longer will the way be blocked by listless indifference.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 32,33
Using this method of work, I now have nine non-Adventists involved in weekly Bible studies. I have also found that two hours a week, dedicated to passing out literature, will result, on an average, of one person a month inviting themselves to the Bible studies. During the course of the first five weeks I probably spent about $20.00 on materials to hand out.
“The testing truth for this time is not the fabrication of any human mind. It is from God. It is genuine philosophy to those who appropriate it. Christ became incarnate in order that we, through belief of the truth, might be sanctified and redeemed. Let those who hold the truth in righteousness arouse and go forth, shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, to proclaim the truth to those who know it not. Let them make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 211,212
“There is a much greater work devolving upon the individual members of the church than they realize. They are not awake to the claims of God. The time has come when every means would be devised that can aid in preparing a people to stand in the day of God. We must be wide-awake, refusing to let precious opportunities pass unimproved. We must do all that we possibly can to win souls to love God and keep His commandments. Jesus requires this of those who know the truth. Is His demand unreasonable? Have we not the life of Christ as our example? Do we not owe the Saviour a debt of love, of earnest, unselfish labor for the salvation of those for whom He gave His life?” Testimonies, vol. 8, 244
“The lay members of our churches can accomplish a work which, as yet, they have scarcely begun. None should move into new places merely for the sake of worldly advantage; but where there is an opening to obtain a livelihood, let families that are well grounded in the truth enter one or two families in a place to work as missionaries. They should feel a love for souls, a burden of labor for them, and should make it a study how to bring them into the truth. They can distribute our publications, hold meetings in their homes, become acquainted with their neighbors, and invite them to come to these meetings. Thus they can let their light shine in good works.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 245
Here’s how to get the word out, bring souls into the truth, minimize the amount of time required to accomplish all this, and spend very little money.
We have developed a series of tri-fold tracts, on various Bible themes, ranging from salvation by grace to the mark of the beast. By the way, you don’t even have to use our tracts for this technique to work. Just pick out twenty houses and knock on each door. Present the tract saying very simply, “Hi. I’ve brought you something good to read. Hope you enjoy it.” Then leave and go on to the next door. Keep a small notebook with a list of each address in it and a record of which tracts or materials you’ve left at each door.
Now go back to each house one week later with a second tract. It has been our experience, that to be most effective, it is best to be regular, calling at the same time each week. This time just say, “I’m still giving out tracts. Would you like another?” If and when you get a rejection say “Thank you.” (And mean it, they just cut down your workload by one house.) Strike a line through that address and add one more house to your list (starting over with tract #1).
As is obvious, you’ve now spent very little time at each house and nothing you’ve said can possibly be considered pushy. It is only the truth-filled messages in the tracts that will convict hearts and cause people to open up to you. All you do is faithfully show up every week and offer another tract.
As the people see that you are presenting nothing harmful or scary in your literature and that everything is based solidly on the Bible, your reputation will grow in the minds of those who are seeking the truth. In addition, you are not spending time in unpleasant confrontations with people who do not want your message.
“Why has the history of the work of the disciples, as they labored with holy zeal, animated and vitalized by the Holy Spirit, been recorded, if it is not that from this record the Lord’s people today are to gain an inspiration to work earnestly for Him? What the Lord did for His people in that time, it is just as essential, and more so, that He do for His people today. All that the apostles did, every church member today is to do. And we are to work with as much more fervor, to be accompanied by the Holy Spirit in as much greater measure, as the increase of wickedness demands a more decided call to repentance.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 33
As the weeks of receiving these tracts go by, hearts will be touched by the Word of God and worked on by His Holy Spirit. You may expect that someone will ask you a question about something that has touched their heart. When they do, just say, “May I show you the answer from the Bible?” At that point you have been invited into their home and have started Bible studies with them. It’s that simple.
“The conversion of souls to God is the greatest, the noblest work in which human beings can have a part. In this work are revealed God’s power, His holiness, His forbearance, and His unbounded love. Every true conversion glorifies Him and causes the angels to break forth into singing.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 52
“Every church should labor for the perishing within its own borders and for those outside its borders. The members are to shine as living stones in the temple of God, reflecting heavenly light. No random, haphazard, desultory work is to be done. To get fast hold of souls ready to perish means more than praying for a drunkard and then, because he weeps and confesses the pollution of his soul, declaring him saved. Over and over again the battle must be fought. Testimonies, vol. 8, 196
My experience in this tract work has convinced me that anyone can do this and bring people to the truth. After about two weeks of passing out tracts, a couple stopped me on the street near their home and asked me to begin regular Bible studies with them in their home. There were five non-Adventists in our study there last week. One of those in attendance for the second time was a young woman who had tried to commit suicide a month before and had been totally opposed to Christianity. Now she eagerly looks forward to each week’s study. Two weeks ago she set the topic for the next week’s lesson by asking, “Would you show us what was nailed to the cross?” Last week, another newcomer set the topic for this week’s lesson by asking if I would explain the “wheat and the tares.” As always I answer in the affirmative. This is, after all, the easiest way to teach the truth. I have one whole week to bone up on any given subject and I have the Spirit of Prophecy to use for my guideline!
“The third angel’s message, embracing the messages of the first and second angels, is the message for this time. We are to raise aloft the banner on which is inscribed: ‘The commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ The world is soon to meet the great Lawgiver over His broken law. This is not the time to put out of sight the great issues before us. God calls upon His people to magnify the law and make it honorable.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 197
Two weeks ago as I was having a newsletter printed at the local printer, the manager, a talkative, type, found out I was a Seventh-day Adventist. He commented on the fact that we attend church on Saturday and asked me why. Now that’s an open invitation. On our next meeting I presented the Bible as the sole rule of faith and my reasons for believing it to be the Word of God. He was surprised to learn that the Bible was written by men “who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” and then would not let me leave until he had raised the questions of what constitutes the Mark of the Beast, and what really happens when you die! I trust that there will be more meetings with this man.
“Many are deceived as to their true condition before God. They congratulate themselves upon the wrong acts which they do not commit, and forget to enumerate the good and noble deeds which God requires of them, but which they have neglected to perform. It is not enough that they are trees in the garden of God. They are to answer His expectation by bearing fruit. He holds them accountable for their failure to accomplish all the good which they could have done, through His grace strengthening them. In the books of heaven they are registered as cumberers of the ground. Yet the case of even this class is not utterly hopeless. With those who have slighted God’s mercy and abused His grace, the heart of long-suffering love yet pleads. ‘Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly,…redeeming the time, because the days are evil.’ Ephesians 5:14-16.” The Great Controversy, 601, 602
It is now one of my greatest joys to knock on the door of a house on East 3rd Street. Every time I go there now the woman lights up and tells me how much she enjoyed the previous tract and how she has been looking forward to the next one. If you would like to share in my joy, I will make our tracts available to you and personalize them with your name or the name and address of your ministry. Just send me the exact way you want the name and address to appear on the tracts and I will send you a set of masters (six are currently available) that you can use to make your own tracts as you need them on a copying machine. I do ask that, with your request for these materials, you include a donation to cover my expenses.