Few Adventists object to the idea of tract work, while the prospect of actually knocking on the door of a stranger’s house fills them with fear. The most commonly voiced fear is that they do not feel that they know their Bible well enough to be able to give a Bible study. While this is understandable, it does not correctly reflect the reality of the situation. Simply stated, most Adventists have little appreciation of how much of their Bible they really do know, at least relative to the average population. A little reflection, however, will reveal how great an advantage we really do have when presenting the truth to others.
A direct and simple approach is to, first of all, simply ask what subject your prospective student would like to study. Having them pick the subject will virtually guarantee that they will be eagerly anticipating the Bible study. It also makes a very excellent reason for us to say, “I have some good material on that subject at home. Let’s get together next Tuesday evening after I have had a chance to organize the study for you.” You will now have at least a week to gather up all of the necessary information on the subject.
Second, almost all Adventists have a Bible concordance. This places us far ahead of the vast majority of all non-Adventists who have never even heard of such a book.
Third, most Adventists have some form of access to the seven volume set of Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentaries. Every verse in the Bible is expertly exegized there, and volume 7A is inspired exegesis.
Fourth, we all either have or have access to an extensive collection of Spirit of Prophecy books, in addition to the three volume set of indexes. By way of example, in the single volume of Christ’s Objects Lessons alone we have the definitively inspired commentary on each of Jesus’ parables. And remember, you do not have to tell the Bible student that you borrowed the material from Mrs. White! All your student wants from you is to know what is the truth is that is in the Bible. He does not care who taught you.
While these are all advantages that are working for you in presenting the truth to others, there is one more advantage which is, perhaps, of more value than all of the rest. Let me share a short story to illustrate what I am talking about.
A lady on my tract route once surprised me with the question, “My son was born out of wedlock. The Jehovah’s Witnesses tell me that he can never go to heaven. Is that true?”
I gave her the only answer I ever give to any non-Adventist about theology, “May I show you from the Bible?” This answer virtually guarantees that I am going to be invited into the home to open the Word of God.
As I went to get my Bible, my thoughts were racing. I did not have any idea what verse I might use that would deal with the salvation of illegitimate children. But we do not enter into the conflict alone. Heavenly intelligences guide our every step when we are seeking to carry the message to a perishing world.
The only reference that came to mind was the eighteenth chapter of Ezekiel. I remembered that it spoke about salvation being lost by the righteous man who turned away from righteousness and gained by the wicked man who turned away from wickedness. I was confident that I could reason my way to the truth from those statements. For some peculiar reason, however, my mind was blocked to Revelation 20:13, a favorite text of mine, which clearly states that we are judged by our own works. Opening my Bible to Ezekiel 18, verse 20 seemed to just leap off of the page at me. I cannot explain, in physical terms, why my attention was drawn to it other than by divine influence.
I was not at all familiar with the text, but on faith I read aloud the first sentence of that verse. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” I thought, all right, I can reason my way to the truth with that alone. But when I read the next sentence, I was stunned. “The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.”
I do not believe that we ever finished reading all of that verse. The lady was overjoyed! Her whole face just lit up to see the plain statement that her young son was not condemned because of her sin. She profusely expressed her thanks for the relief she felt.
I never knew that such a statement about illegitimate children even existed in the Bible and yet, when the need arose, I had gone directly to the text.
Brothers and sisters, when we go to fight the battles of the Lord, we do not go into the conflict unarmed, neither do we go alone.