Recent reading has inspired me to explore how we as Seventh-day Adventists should be approaching our most sacred work of soul winning and fishing for men and women. The concern for this subject is valid because of the overwhelming amount of competition we experience for the minds of men in this modern world.
Take a look around if you can wrestle yourself from your nearly implanted electronic crutch of choice and ask yourself if the distinct Adventist message crosses your periphery. The third angel’s message otherwise known as the loud cry often seems to be shouting into the wind. True Christians or God-fearers have always been in the minority and yet their is cause for concern.
The last warning to the world seems to increasingly fall on deaf ears and this creates a plethora of remedies for our lack of effectiveness. How should we deal with the lack of receptivity to what we believe is humanity’s last warning? For some the problem lies in the fact that we are more often than not “dry as the hills of Gilboa.” For others the lack of receptivity creates a desire to insulate themselves even further from the mounting rejection.
Certainly there are lackluster expositors of truth. Certainly there are loveless Adventists that do not lift up the matchless charms or our Savior. But is this the only reason for lack of reception. What can we glean from scripture. Jesus states in Matthew 24 that “most people’s love will grow cold.” He also says to His Father “”I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:14
So is all this simply pessimism? Is the point of this diatribe to direct people to burrow completely out of sight and wile away the moments waiting for their salvation to draw near? Certainly not, we have treasures in these earthen vessels and we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. But in our conviction to preach it from the mountain tops we must realize that less and less will respond from the valleys.
Our duty is not to change what we have been given in sheer desperation. We are not to recreate the everlasting gospel. We are to hold fast, stand fast to what we know is true. A beloved writer said it this way:
The greatest want of the world is the want of men,–men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.-Ellen White from the book Education, p. 57.