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Title: How to bring men to Christ
Author: Torrey, R. A. (Reuben Archer)
Language: English
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------------------------------------------------------------------------



                       HOW TO BRING MEN TO CHRIST

                                   BY

                              R. A. TORREY

                _Superintendent Chicago Bible Institute_


                                CHICAGO:

               THE BIBLE INSTITUTE COLPORTAGE ASSOCIATION

                           250 LA SALLE AVE.

                 Eastern Depot:  East Northfield, Mass.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                 _JUST PUBLISHED. By the same Author._

             =Vest Pocket Companion for Christian Workers.=

    The best texts for personal work. Classified for practical use,
    printed in full, and arranged for ready reference.

    From Mr. Torrey’s preface:

    “There is medicine in the Bible for every sin–sick soul, but
    every soul does not need the same medicine. This book attempts
    to arrange the remedies according to the maladies.”

    120 pages, bound in Russia leather in vest pocket size, price 25
    cents.

               _Fleming H. Revell Company, Publishers_,
            NEW YORK.          CHICAGO.            TORONTO.



         Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1893
                      BY FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY
     In the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington D. C.



                         _By the same Author._

        =Ten Reasons Why I Believe the Bible is the Word   =.15=
          of God. 16mo., paper=


    “Masterful.”―_Indiana Baptist._

    “Of sterling excellence.”―_Christian at Work._

    “Thoughtful, helpful and timely.”―_Golden Rule._

    “It gives in clear and comprehensive style a cogent argument for
    the complete inspiration and absolute authority of the Bible.
    Because of its terseness and freedom from technical expressions
    it will form a useful compendium of information for Christian
    workers.”―_Messiah’s Herald._

                _Fleming H. Revell Company, Publishers._

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                                PREFACE


This book is written because it seems to be needed. The author has been
repeatedly requested by Ministers, Y. M. C. A. Secretaries, Christian
Workers, and his own students to put into a permanent and convenient
shape the substance of what he has said at Conventions, Summer Schools
and in the class–room on personal work. The time has come to yield to
these requests. Never before in the history of the Church were there so
many who desire to win others to Christ. The good work done by the Young
People’s Society of Christian Endeavor is in no other direction so
evident as in the many thousands of young people in this land who to–day
are on fire with a desire to win souls. But while they desire to do this
work, many do not know how. This little book aims to tell them. There
are several well–known and valuable manuals of texts to be used with
inquirers, but this book is intended not only to point out passages to
be used but to show how to use them, illustrating this use by cases from
actual experience. It is hoped that from a careful study of these pages
any earnest Christian can learn how to do efficient work in bringing
others to the Saviour.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                               CONTENTS.


                                PREFACE.

 CHAPTER.                                                          PAGE.

    I. THE GENERAL CONDITIONS OF SUCCESS IN BRINGING MEN TO CHRIST     7

   II. HOW TO BEGIN                                                   14

  III. DEALING WITH THE INDIFFERENT OR CARELESS                       20

   IV. DEALING WITH THOSE WHO ARE ANXIOUS TO BE SAVED BUT DO NOT      29
         KNOW HOW

    V. DEALING WITH THOSE WHO ARE ANXIOUS TO BE SAVED AND KNOW        36
         HOW, BUT WHO HAVE DIFFICULTIES

   VI. DEALING WITH THOSE WHO ENTERTAIN FALSE HOPES                   50

  VII. DEALING WITH THOSE WHO LACK ASSURANCE, AND BACK–SLIDERS        57

 VIII. DEALING WITH PROFESSED SKEPTICS AND INFIDELS                   65

   IX. DEALING WITH THE COMPLAINING                                   77

    X. DEALING WITH THOSE WHO WISH TO PUT OFF DECISION UNTIL SOME     83
         OTHER TIME

   XI. DEALING WITH THE WILLFUL AND THE DELUDED                       87

  XII. SOME HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS                                     94

 XIII. THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT                                104

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                       HOW TO BRING MEN TO CHRIST



                               CHAPTER I.

      THE GENERAL CONDITIONS OF SUCCESS IN BRINGING MEN TO CHRIST


There are certain general conditions, the fulfilment of which is
absolutely essential to real success in bringing men to Christ. These
conditions, fortunately, are few and simple and such as any one can
meet.


1. _The one who would have real success in bringing others to Christ
must himself be_ A THOROUGHLY CONVERTED PERSON. Jesus said to Peter,
“When thou art _converted_ strengthen thy brethren.” He was in no
position to help his brethren until he himself, after his cowardly
denial, had turned again to his Lord with his whole heart. If we would
bring others to Christ we must turn away from all sin, and worldliness
and selfishness with our whole heart, yielding to Jesus the absolute
lordship over our thoughts, purposes and actions. If there is any
direction in which we are seeking to have our own way and not letting
Him have His own way in our lives, our power will be crippled and men
lost that we might have saved. The application of this principle to the
numerous questions that come up in the life of every young Christian as
to whether he should do this or that, each individual can settle for
himself if Christ’s honor and not his own pleasure is upper–most in his
mind and if he looks honestly to God to guide him.


2. _The one who would have real success in bringing others to Christ
must have a_ LOVE FOR SOULS, _i. e._ _a longing for the salvation of the
lost_. If we have no love for souls, our efforts will be mechanical and
powerless. We may know how to approach men and what to say to them, but
there will be no power in what we say and it will not touch the heart.
But if like Paul we have “great heaviness and unceasing pain in our
hearts” for the unsaved, there will be an earnestness in our tone and
manner that will impress the most careless. Furthermore if we have a
love for souls we will be on the constant watch for opportunities to
speak with the unsaved and will find opportunities on the street, in the
store, in the home, on the cars and everywhere that would otherwise have
entirely escaped our notice.

But how is one to get a love for souls? This question is easily
answered. First of all, a love for souls like every other grace of
Christian character, is the work of the Holy Spirit. If then we are
conscious that we do not have that love for souls that we should have,
the first thing to do is to go to God and humbly confess this lack in
our lives and ask Him by His Holy Spirit to supply that which we so
sorely need, and expect Him to do it (1 Jno. v. 14, 15; Phil. iv. 19).
In the second place Jesus Christ had an intense love for souls (Matt.
xxiii. 37; Luke xix. 10), and intimate and constant companionship with
Him will impart to our lives this grace which was so prominent in His.
In the third place feelings are the outcome of thoughts. If we desire
any given feeling in our lives we should dwell upon the thoughts which
are adapted to produce that feeling. If any saved person will dwell long
enough upon the peril and wretchedness of any man out of Christ and the
worth of his soul in God’s sight as seen in the death of God’s Son to
save him, a feeling of intense desire for that man’s salvation is almost
certain to follow. In the fourth place, reflection upon our own ruined
and unhappy condition without Christ and the great sacrifice that Christ
made to save us, is sure to fill our hearts with a desire to bring
others to the Saviour we have found.


3. _The one who would have real success in bringing men to Christ must
have a_ WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF THE BIBLE. The Word of God is the sword of
the Spirit (Eph. vi. 17). It is the instrument God uses to convict of
sin, to reveal Christ and to regenerate men. If we would work together
with God, the Bible is the instrument upon which we must rely and which
we must use in bringing men to Christ. We must know how to use the Bible
so as (1) to show men their need of a Saviour, (2) to show them Jesus as
the Saviour they need, (3) to show them how to make this Saviour their
own Saviour, (4) to meet the difficulties that stand in the way of their
accepting Christ. A large part of the following pages will be devoted to
imparting this knowledge.


4. _The one who would have real success in bringing men to Christ must_
PRAY MUCH. Solid work in soul winning must be accompanied by prayer at
every step. (1). We must pray God to lead us to the right persons to
approach. God does not intend that we speak to every one we meet. If we
try to do it, we will waste much valuable time in speaking to those whom
we cannot help, that we might have used in speaking to those to whom we
could have done much good. God alone knows the one to whom He intends us
to speak, and we must ask Him to point him out to us, and, expect Him to
do it. (Acts viii. 29). (2). We must pray God to show us just what to
say to those to whom He leads us. After all our study of the passages to
be used in dealing with the various classes of men, we shall need God’s
guidance in each specific case. Every experienced worker will testify to
the many instances in which God has led them to use some text of
Scripture that they would not otherwise have used but which proved to be
just the one needed. (3). We must pray God to give power to that which
He has given us to say. We need not only a message from God but power
from God to send the message home. Most workers have to learn this
lesson by humiliating experiences. They sit down beside an unsaved man
and reason and plead and bring forth texts from the word of God, but the
man does not accept Christ. At last it dawns upon them that they are
trying to convert the man in their own strength and then they lift an
humble and earnest prayer to God for his strength, and God hears and in
a short time this “very difficult case” has settled the matter and is
rejoicing in Christ. (4). We must pray God to carry on the work after
our work has come to an end. After having done that which seems to have
been our whole duty in any given instance, whatever may have been the
apparent issue of our work, whether successful or unsuccessful, we
should definitely commit the case to God in prayer. If there is anything
the average worker in this hurrying age needs to have impressed upon
him, it is the necessity of more prayer. By praying more we will not
work any less and we will accomplish vastly more.


5. _The one who would have real success in bringing men to Christ must
be_ “BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY GHOST.” “Ye shall receive power after that
the Holy Ghost, is come upon you,” said Jesus to his disciples after
having given them the great commission to go out and bring men to
Himself. The supreme condition of soul winning power is the same to–day:
“after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” A later chapter will be
given to a study of what “the Baptism of the Holy Ghost” is and how any
Christian can obtain it.



                              CHAPTER II.

                              HOW TO BEGIN


When God has led us to think that He wishes us to make an effort to lead
some given individual to Christ, the first question that confronts us
is, “How shall I begin?” If the person has gone into an inquiry room, or
remained to an after–meeting, or even if they are merely present at
prayer–meeting, Sunday–school or other ordinary service of the church,
it is comparatively easy. You can then ask him if he is a Christian, or
if he would not like to be a Christian, or why he is not a Christian or
some other direct and simple question that will lead inevitably to a
conversation along this line. But if the person is one in whom you have
become interested outside the religious meeting and who is perhaps an
entire stranger, it does not at first sight appear so simple, and yet it
is not so very difficult. The person can be engaged in conversation on
some general topic or on something suggested by passing events, and soon
brought around to the great subject. Christ’s conversation with the
woman of Samaria in the 4th chapter of John is a very instructive
illustration of this. Oftentimes even in dealing with entire strangers
it is well to broach the subject at once and ask them if they are
Christians or if they are saved or some similar question. If this is
done courteously and earnestly it will frequently set even careless
people to thinking and result in their conversion. It is astonishing how
often one who undertakes this work in humble dependence upon God and
under His direction, finds the way prepared and how seldom he receives
any rebuff. One day the writer met a man on one of the most crowded
streets of Chicago. As I passed him the impulse came to speak to him
about the Saviour. Stopping a moment and asking God to show me if the
impulse was from Him, I turned around and followed the man. I overtook
him in the middle of the street, laid my hand upon his shoulder and
said: “My friend, are you a Christian?” He started and said: “That’s a
strange question to ask a man.” I said, “I know it, and I do not ask
that question of every stranger, but God put it into my heart to ask it
of you.” He then told me that his cousin was a minister and had been
urging this very matter upon him, that he himself was a graduate of
Amherst college, but had been ruined by drink. After further
conversation we separated but later the man accepted Christ as his
Saviour.

It is often best to win a person’s confidence and affection before
broaching the subject. It is well to select some one and then lay your
plans to win him to Christ. Cultivate his acquaintance, show him many
attentions and perform many acts of kindness great and small and at last
when the fitting moment arrives take up the great question. An old and
thorough going infidel in Chicago was in this way won to Christ by a
young woman, who found him sick and alone. She called day after day and
showed him many kindnesses and as the consumption fastened itself more
firmly upon him she spoke to him of the Saviour and had the joy of
seeing him accept Christ.

A wisely chosen tract placed in the hand of the one with whom you wish
to speak will often lead easily and naturally to the subject. One day I
was riding on a train and praying that God would use me to lead some one
to His Son. A young lady, daughter of a minister, with whom I had had
some conversation on this subject came in with a friend and took the
seat immediately in front of me. I took out a little bundle of tracts
and selected one that seemed adapted for the purpose and handed it to
her and asked her to read it. As she read, I prayed. When she had
finished, I leaned over and asked her what she thought about it. She was
deeply moved and I asked her if she would not accept Christ right there.
Her difficulties were soon met and answered and she accepted Christ. As
she left the train she thanked me very heartily for what I had done for
her.

You will often meet some one whose face tells the story of unhappiness
or discontent: in such a case it is easy to ask the person if he is
happy and when he answers “no” you can say, “I can tell you of one who
will make you happy if you will only take Him.” Skill in beginning a
conversation will come with practice. One may be rather awkward about it
at first but as we go on we will acquire facility.

When the subject is once opened the first thing to find out is where the
person with whom you are dealing stands; then you will know how to
wisely treat his case. In the chapters immediately following this all
the classes of men one is likely to meet will be given, and the first
point to be ascertained is to which class any given individual belongs.
But how can we find out to which class any person belongs? First. By
asking him questions. Such questions as “Are you a Christian?” “Are you
saved?” “Do you know that your sins are forgiven?” “Have you eternal
life?” “Are you confessing Christ openly before the world?” “Are you a
friend of Jesus?” “Have you been born again?” One may answer these
questions untruthfully, either through ignorance or a desire to mislead
you. Nevertheless, their answers and the manner of them will show you a
great deal about their real state. Second. By watching his face. A man’s
face will often reveal that which his words try to conceal. Any one who
cultivates the study of the faces of those with whom he deals will soon
be able to tell in many instances the exact state of those with whom
they are dealing irrespective of anything they may say. Third. By the
Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit if we only look to Him to do it will often
flash into our minds a view of the man’s position, and just the
scripture he needs.

When we have learned where the person with whom we are dealing stands,
the next thing to do is to lead him as directly as we can to accept
Jesus Christ, as his personal Savior and Master. We must always bear in
mind that the primary purpose of our work, is not to get persons to join
the church or to give up their bad habits or to do anything else than
this, to accept Jesus Christ, as their Saviour—the one who bore their
sins in his own body on the tree and through whom they can have
immediate and entire forgiveness,—and as their Master to whom they
surrender absolutely the guidance of their thoughts, feelings, purposes
and actions. Having led any one to thus accept Christ the next step will
be to show him from God’s word that he has forgiveness of sins and
eternal life. Acts x. 43; xiii. 39; Jno. iii. 36; v. 24, will answer for
this purpose. The next step will be to show him how to make a success of
the Christian life upon which he has entered. How to do this will be
told later. Each person is to be led to accept Christ through a use of
the word of God. In the chapters that immediately follow this we will
try to show what specific portions of the word to use in given cases and
how to use them.



                              CHAPTER III.

                DEALING WITH THE INDIFFERENT OR CARELESS


One of the classes of men most frequently met with, is The Indifferent,
or Careless. There are several ways of dealing with them. One is to show
them their need of a Saviour. A good verse to use for this purpose is
Romans iii. 23. Get the person with whom you are dealing to read the
verse, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Then
say to him: “Who have sinned?” “All.” “Who does that include?” and keep
up the questioning until he says, “It includes me.” Then ask him what it
is that he has done, and keep at it until he comes out plainly and says:
“I have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” This is likely to
make him feel his need of a Saviour. Another good verse to use is Isaiah
liii. 6. After the verse has been read, ask him who it is that has gone
astray and by a series of questions bring him to the point where he will
say, “I have gone astray.” Then ask him what kind of a sheep one is that
has “gone astray” and hold him to it until he says “a lost sheep.” “What
are you then?” “Lost.” Then ask him what the Lord has done with his sin,
and hold him to that point until he sees the truth of the verse, that
God has laid his sin on Jesus Christ. Now, he is in a position for you
to put to him the direct question: “Will you accept this Saviour upon
whom the Lord has laid your sin?” Still another verse to use is Psalms
cxxx. 3. When the verse has been read, ask him, “If the Lord marked
iniquities could you stand?” In dealing with this class of men I use
Matthew xxii. 37, 38 more frequently than any other passage of
Scripture. Before having the person read the verse, it is well to ask
him, “Do you know that you have committed the greatest sin that a man
can commit?” In all probability he will answer, “No, I have not.” Then
ask him what he thinks the greatest sin a man can commit. When he has
answered, say to him, Now let us see what God considers the greatest
sin. Read the verses and ask him, “What is the first and greatest of the
commandments?” Then ask him, “What then is the greatest sin?” He will
soon answer that the violation of the first and greatest of the
commandments must be the greatest sin. Ask him if he has kept that
commandment and when he confesses, as sooner or later he must, that he
has not, ask him of what he is guilty in the sight of God, and hold him
to that point until he admits that he is guilty of committing the
greatest sin that a man can commit. An illustration from life may help
to make the use of this verse clear. I was dealing with a very bright
young man who evidently had no deep sense of sin nor of his need of a
Saviour. In fact when I asked if he was a Christian he said promptly
that he always had been; but there was something in his manner that
showed that he had no clear understanding of what it meant to be a
Christian. I then asked if he had been born again and he did not even
understand what I was talking about. I next asked if he knew he had
committed the greatest sin that a man could possibly commit and he at
once answered, “No, I never did in my life.” I asked what he considered
the greatest sin, and he replied “murder.” I took my Bible and opened it
to Matthew xxii. 37, 38, and asked him to read the verses, which he did.
I then asked him, “If this is the first and greatest commandment, what
must be the greatest sin?” He answered, “I suppose the breaking of that
commandment.” I then asked if he had always kept that commandment, if he
had always loved God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all
his mind. If he had always put God first in everything. He replied that
he had not. I then asked him, “Of what then are you guilty?” The Spirit
of God carried the text home and with the greatest earnestness he
replied, “I have committed the greatest sin that a man can commit, but I
never saw it before in my life.” Another verse that can be used with
effect is John viii. 34. After the man has read the verse, “Whosoever
committeth sin is the servant of sin,” ask him “what is one who commits
sin?” Then ask him if he commits sin. Then put to him the direct
question, “What are you then,” and hold him to it until he says “the
servant of sin.” Then ask him if he does not desire to be delivered from
that awful bondage. Hold him to this point until he sees his need of
Jesus Christ as a Deliverer from the slavery of sin. The Holy Spirit has
used Isaiah lvii. 21 to the salvation of many men who have been
indifferent to the claims of the Gospel. After the verse, “There is no
peace saith my God to the wicked,” has been read slowly, thoughtfully,
and earnestly, ask him who it is that says this. Then ask him if it is
true; then ask him if it is true in his case. “Have you peace?” One
night a careless young man was going out of one of our tents in Chicago
and as he passed by me I took him by the hand and said to him, “You need
the Saviour.” He wanted to know why I thought so. I replied, “Because
you have no peace.” He said, “Yes I have.” “No you have not.” He then
asked me how I knew that. I told him God said so and quoted the above
passage. He tried to laugh it off and say the verse was not true in his
case. Then he became angry and went out of the tent in a rage, but the
next night I saw him kneeling with one of our workers in prayer and when
he arose from his knees, the worker came over and said he wished to
speak with me. As I approached him he held out his hand and said, “I
wanted to beg your pardon for what I said last night; what you said was
true, I didn’t have peace.” I asked him if he had now accepted the
Saviour. He said he had.

Galatians iii. 10 is a verse which we very frequently use in our work in
dealing with the Indifferent. After the one with whom you are dealing
has read the verse, “For as many as are of the works of the law are
under the curse; for it is written cursed is every one that continueth
not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them”
ask him the question, “What is every one that continueth not in all
things which are written in the book of the law to do them?” When he
answers, “Cursed,” ask him if he has continued in all things which are
written in the book of the law to do them and when he replies, “No, I
have not,” put to him the direct question, “What are you then?” and hold
him to that point until he says, “I am under the curse.” In very many
cases the inquirer will be ready at once to be led to the thirteenth
verse of the same chapter which shows how he may be saved from that
curse under which he rests. Romans vi. 23 can often be used with good
effect. “For the wages of sin is death.” Ask “what are the wages of
sin?” Then, “who earns those wages?” Then, “Are you a sinner?” “What
wages then have you earned?” “Do you wish to take your wages?” John iii.
36 is a verse which can be used in a similar way. Ask the question,
“Upon whom is it that the wrath of God abides?” Then, “Do you believe on
the Son?” “What then abides upon you?” Then put the decisive question,
“Are you willing to go away with the wrath of God abiding upon you?”
2 Thes. i. 7‒9, and John viii. 24; Rev. xx. 15; xxi. 8; xiv. 10‒11, set
forth in a most impressive way the awful consequences of sin. If these
verses are used they should be read with the deepest earnestness and
solemnity and dwelt upon until the person with whom you are dealing
realizes their terrible import.

There is another way to arouse a man from his indifference, and that is
by showing what Jesus has done for him. I have found Isaiah liii. 5‒6
more effectual for this purpose than any other passage in the Bible. An
incident from life will illustrate its use. A lady had asked prayers for
her daughter, a young woman about twenty years of age. At the close of
the services I stepped up to the daughter and asked her if she would not
accept Jesus Christ as her Saviour at once. She stamped her foot in
anger and said, “My mother should have known better than to do that; she
knows it will only make me worse.” I asked her if she would not sit down
for a few minutes and as soon as we were seated I opened my Bible to
this passage and began to read, “But he was wounded for our
transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of
our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like
sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the
Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” I made no comment upon
the verses whatever, but the Spirit of God carried them home and tears
began to roll down the cheeks of the young woman. She did not come out
as a Christian that night but did shortly afterward. It is well in using
these verses, whenever it is possible, to get the inquirer to change the
pronoun from the plural to the singular. “He was wounded for _my_
transgressions; he was bruised for _my_ iniquities, etc.” John iii. 16
can be used in a similar way. I was talking one night to one who was
apparently most indifferent and hardened. She told me the story of her
sin, with seemingly very little sense of shame, and when I urged her to
accept Christ, she simply refused. I put a Bible in her hands and asked
her to read this verse. She began to read, “God so loved the world that
He gave His only begotten Son,” and before she had finished reading the
verse she had broken into tears, softened by the thought of God’s
wondrous love to her. First Peter ii. 24 is a verse of similar
character. Ask the inquirer whose sins they were that Jesus bore in his
own body on the tree, and hold him to it until he says, “My sins.”
1 Peter i. 18‒19; Luke xxii. 44; Matt. xxvii. 46, are useful as bringing
out in detail what Christ has suffered for us.

There is still another way to arouse indifferent persons, and that is by
showing them that the one damning sin is that of which they themselves
are guilty—the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ. Heb. x. 28‒29 is very
effective for this purpose. John xvi. 9; iii. 18, 19, 20, and Acts ii.
36 can also be used.

Oftentimes you will meet one who is not willing to sit down and let you
deal with him in this deliberate way. In that case the only thing to do
is to look up to God for guidance and power and give him some pointed
verse in great earnestness, such for example as Heb. x. 28‒29; Romans
vi. 23; John iii. 36; Isaiah lvii. 21, and leave it for the Spirit of
God to carry the truth home to his heart. A passing shot of this kind
has often resulted in the salvation of a soul. The passages given above
can be wisely used with one who is not altogether indifferent or
careless but who has not a sufficiently deep sense of sin and need to be
ready to accept the Gospel.



                              CHAPTER IV.

   DEALING WITH THOSE WHO ARE ANXIOUS TO BE SAVED BUT DO NOT KNOW HOW


There is a very large class of persons who are anxious to be saved but
simply do not know how. It is not difficult to lead this class of
persons to Christ. Perhaps no other passage in the Bible is more used
for this purpose than Isaiah liii. 6. It makes the way of salvation very
plain. Read the first part of the verse to the inquirer, “All we like
sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way.” Then
ask, “Is that true of you,” and when he has thought it over and said
“yes,” then say to him, “Now let us see what God has done with your
sins,” and read the remainder of the verse, “And the Lord hath laid on
him the iniquity of us all.” “What then is it necessary for you to do to
be saved?” Very soon he can be led to see that all that it is necessary
for him to do is to accept the sin bearer whom God has provided. Some
years ago I noticed in a meeting a white–haired man who did not stand up
with the Christians. At the close of the service I walked down to him
and said, “Are you not a Christian?” He said he was not. I was sure he
was interested, so I put to him the direct question, “Would you become a
Christian to–night if I would show you the way?” and he replied that he
would. We sat down together and I opened my Bible to Isaiah liii. 6 and
read the first part of the verse, “All we like sheep have gone astray,
we have turned every one to his own way.” I then said to him, “Is that
true of you?” and he answered “yes.” “Now,” I said, “let us read the
rest of the verse, ‘And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us
all.’” “What has the Lord done,” I said, “with your sins?” He thought a
moment and said “he has laid them on Christ.” “What then” I said “is all
that you have to do to be saved?” and he replied quite promptly, “Accept
him.” “Well,” I said, “will you accept him to–night?” He said, “I will.”
“Let us then kneel down and tell God so.” We knelt down and I led in
prayer and he followed in a very simple way telling God that he was a
sinner but that he believed that He had laid his sins upon Jesus Christ,
and asking God for Christ’s sake to forgive his sins. When he had
finished I asked him if he thought God had heard his prayer and that his
sins were forgiven, and he said “yes.” I then asked him if he would
begin to lead a Christian life at once, set up the family altar and
openly confess Christ before the world, and he replied that he would.
Some months after I met his pastor and made inquiries about him and
found that he had gone to his home in a distant village, set up the
family altar and united with the church together with his son, the only
remaining member of the family out of Christ. Apparently all that this
man was waiting for was for some one to make the way of salvation plain
to him. I sometimes put it this way in using this verse: “There are two
things which a man needs to know and one thing he needs to do in order
to be saved. What he needs to _know_ is, first, that he is a lost sinner
and this verse tells him that; second, that Christ is an all–sufficient
Saviour and this verse tells him that. What he needs to _do_ is simply
to accept this all–sufficient Saviour whom God has provided.” John i. 12
brings out this thought very clearly, “As many as _received him_ to them
gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on
his name.” After the verse has been read you can ask the one with whom
you are dealing, “To whom is it that God gives the power to become the
sons of God?” “As many as receive him.” What must you then do to become
a son of God? “Receive him.” Well, will you receive him as your Saviour
and as your master now? Isaiah lv. 7; Acts xvi. 31; John iii. 16 and
iii. 36 are all useful in making the way of salvation plain. John iii.
14 compared with Numbers xxi. 8 and the following verses, can often be
used with good effect. When they are used you should lead the inquirer
to see just what the serpent–bitten Israelite had to do to be saved—that
he had simply to look at the brazen serpent lifted up upon the pole—then
show him that the sin–bitten man has to do simply the same thing—look at
Christ lifted up on the Cross for his sins. Romans i. 16 is another
excellent verse to use. It makes the way of salvation very clear. You
can ask the inquirer whom it is, according to his verse, that the Gospel
saves, and he will see that it is “every one that believeth.” Then ask
him, “What then is all that is necessary for one to do in order to be
saved,” and he will see that it is simply to believe. Then ask him
“believe what,” and the answer is “the Gospel.” The next question that
naturally arises is, what is the Gospel? This is answered by 1 Cor. xv.;
1‒4. These verses show what the Gospel is, “that Christ died for our
sins according to the Scriptures; that he was buried and that he rose
the third day according to the scriptures” and this is what he must
believe in order to be saved. He must believe from his heart that Christ
died for his sins and that he rose again. Then ask the inquirer, “do you
believe that Christ died for your sins? do you believe that he rose
again?” If he says that he does, ask him if he will make this a heart
faith and get down and ask God for Christ’s sake, to forgive his sins
and believe he does it because he says so, and then trust in the living
Saviour to save him day by day from the power of sin. Romans x. 9–10
also makes the way of salvation clear to many minds where other verses
fail. Romans x. 13 makes it, if possible, more simple still. This shows
that all that a man has to do to be saved is to “call upon the name of
the Lord.” You can ask the inquirer “Are you ready now and here to get
down and call upon the name of the Lord for salvation and to believe
that God saves you because he says he will?” The way of salvation can be
made plain by the use of Exodus xii. 7, 13, 23. These verses show that
it was the blood that made the Israelites safe and just so it is to–day
the blood that makes us safe, and when God sees the blood he passes over
us. The only thing for us to do is to get behind the blood. Then show
the inquirer that the way to be behind the blood is by simple faith in
Jesus Christ. Luke xviii. 10–14 is exceedingly useful in showing what a
man may have and yet be lost (the Pharisee) and what a man may lack and
yet be saved (the Publican) and that all that a man has to do to be
saved is simply to do as the Publican did, that is take the sinner’s
place and cry to God for mercy and then he will go down to his house
justified. This passage can be used in the following manner to make the
meaning more clear. Ask the inquirer, “Which one of these two (the
Pharisee or the Publican) went down to his house justified?” Then ask
him, “What did the Publican do that the Pharisee did not do, that
brought him the forgiveness of his sins while the Pharisee went out of
the Temple unforgiven?” When he studies the passage he will soon see
that what the Publican did was simply to take the sinner’s place before
God and cry for mercy and that as soon as he did this he was “justified”
or forgiven. Then you can ask him, “What is all that it is necessary for
you to do to find forgiveness?” Then ask him, “Will you do it now and
here?” and when he has done so ask him if he believes God’s word and if
he is going down to his house justified. What saving faith is, is
beautifully illustrated by Luke vii. 48–50. The fiftieth verse tells us
that this woman had saving faith. Now ask the inquirer, “What was the
faith she had,” and show him that her faith was simply such faith that
Jesus could and would forgive her sins, that she came to him to do it.
This is saving faith. Galatians iii. 10–13 also makes the way of
salvation very simple. The tenth verse shows the sinner’s position
before accepting Christ—“under the curse.” The thirteenth verse shows
what Christ has done—has been made a curse for us. What the sinner had
to do is, evidently, simply to accept Christ.



                               CHAPTER V.

      DEALING WITH THOSE WHO ARE ANXIOUS TO BE SAVED AND KNOW HOW,
                       BUT WHO HAVE DIFFICULTIES


A very large number of persons whom we try to lead to Christ, we will
find are really anxious to be saved and know how, but are confronted
with difficulties which they deem insurmountable.


1. One of the difficulties is, “_I am too great a sinner_.” 1 Tim. i. 15
meets this fully. One Sunday morning a man who had led a wild and
wandering life and who had recently lost $35,000 and been separated from
his wife, said to me in response to my question, why he was not
Christian, “I am too great a sinner to be saved.” I turned at once to
1 Tim. i. 15. “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am
chief.” He quickly replied, “well, I am the chief of sinners.” “Well,” I
said, “that verse means you then.” He replied, “It is a precious
promise.” I said, “Will you accept it now?” and he said, “I will.” Then
I said, “Let us kneel down and tell God so,” and we knelt down and he
confessed to God his sins, and asked God for Christ’s sake to forgive
him his sins. I asked him if he had really accepted Christ and he said
he had. I asked him if he really believed that he was saved and he said
he did. He took an early opportunity of confessing Christ. He left the
city in a short time but I was able to follow him. He became a most
active Christian, working at his business day times but engaged in some
form of Christian work every night in the week. He was reunited to his
wife and adopted a little child out of an orphan asylum and had a happy
Christian home. Luke xix. 10 is also a very useful passage to use in
dealing with this class of men; especially useful when a man says, “I am
lost.” You can say, “I have a passage intended expressly for you. If you
really mean what you say, you are just the man Jesus is seeking. ‘For
the Son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost.’” Romans v.
6‒8 is a very effective passage. I stopped a man one night as he was
hurrying out of a meeting. Laying my hand on his shoulder I said “Did
you not hold your hand up to–night for prayers?” He said “yes.” I said,
“Why then are you hurrying away? Do you know God loves you?” He replied,
“You do not know who you are talking to.” “I do not care who I am
talking to but I know God loves you.” He said: “I am the meanest thief
in Minneapolis.” I said “If you are the meanest thief in Minneapolis,
then I know God loves you,” and I opened my Bible to Romans v. 8. “But
God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners
Christ died for us.” “Now,” I said, “If you are the meanest thief in
Minneapolis, you are a sinner, and this verse tells that God loves
sinners.” The man broke down and going into another room with me told me
his story. He was just out of confinement for crime; had started out
that very night to commit what he said would have been one of the most
daring burglaries ever committed in the city of Minneapolis; with his
two companions in crime he was passing a corner where he happened to
hear an open–air meeting going on and stopped a few minutes to hear and
in spite of the protests and oaths of his companions stayed through the
meeting and went with us to the Mission. After telling me his story we
kneeled in prayer. Through tears he cried to God for mercy, having been
led by God’s precious promise to believe that God loved a sinner even as
vile as he. Matt. ix. 12, 13; Romans x. 13 (Emphasize “whosoever”); John
iii. 16 (Emphasize the “whosoever”); Isaiah i. 18; 1 John iv. 14; John
ii. 1‒2; Isaiah xliv. 22; Isaiah xliii. 25 are also useful passages in
dealing with this class of men. Isaiah i. 18 and Ps. li. 14 are
especially useful in dealing with men who have committed murder. Never
tell any one that his sins are not great. It is well sometimes to say to
these men, “Yes, your sins are great, greater than you think, but they
have all been settled” and show them Isaiah liii. 6; 1 Peter ii. 24. A
woman once came to me in great agitation. After many ineffectual
attempts she was at last able to unburden her heart. Fourteen years
before she had killed a man and had borne the memory of the act upon her
conscience until it had almost driven her crazy. When she told the story
to another Christian and myself, we turned to Isaiah liii. 6. After
reading the verse very carefully to her, I asked her what the Lord had
done with her sin. After a few moments’ deep and anxious thought she
said, “He has laid it on Christ,” I took a book in my hand. “Now,” I
said “let my right hand represent you, and my left hand Christ, and this
book your sin.” I laid the book upon my right hand and I said: “Where is
your sin now?” She said “On me.” “Now,” I said, “what has God done with
it?” She said “Laid it on Christ,” and I laid the book over on the other
hand. “Where is your sin now?” I asked. It was long before she could
summon courage to answer, and then with a desperate effort she said, “On
Christ.” I said, “then is it on you any longer?” Slowly the light came
into her face and she burst out with a cry, “No, it is on Him, it is on
Christ.” John i. 29; Acts x. 43; Heb. vii. 25, are also helpful texts in
dealing with this class of men.


2. Another difficulty we frequently meet with, is “_I can’t hold out_,”
or “_I am afraid of failure_.” 1 Peter i. 5 is useful in showing that we
are not to keep ourselves but are “kept by the power of God.” John x.
28, 29 shows that the safety of the one who accepts Christ does not
depend upon his “holding out” but upon the keeping power of the Father
and the Son. 2 Tim. i. 12 shows that it is Christ’s business and not
ours to keep that which is entrusted to him and that he is able to do
it. Isaiah xli. 10, 13 are also helpful. Jude 24 shows that whether we
can keep from falling or not, Christ is able to keep us from falling.
2 Chron. xxxii. 7, 8; Romans xiv. 4; 2 Thes. iii. 3, are also good texts
to use. 1 Cor. x. 13 is especially useful when one is afraid that some
great temptation will overtake him and he will fall.


3. Another difficulty very similar to the preceding one, is “_I am too
weak_.” With such a person, use 2 Cor. xii. 9, 10. Ask him “where is it
that Christ’s strength is made perfect?” When he answers “in weakness,”
tell him “then the weaker you are in your own strength the better.”
Philippians iv. 13 shows that however weak we may be, we can do all
things through Christ which strengtheneth us. 1 Cor. x. 13 will show
that God knows all about our weakness and will not permit us to be
tempted above our strength.


4. “_I cannot give up my evil ways or bad habits._” Gal. vi. 7, 8, will
show them that they must give them up or perish. Philippians iv. 13 will
show them that they can give them up in Christ’s strength. It is an
excellent plan to point the one who fears that he cannot give up his bad
habits, to Christ, as a risen Saviour, 1 Cor. xv. 3, 4. A man once came
to me and said: “I come to you to know if there is any way I can get
power to overcome my evil habits.” He told me his story; he had been
converted in childhood but had come to Chicago, fallen in with evil
companions and gone down, and now could not break away from his sins. I
said to him: “You know only half the gospel, the gospel of a crucified
Saviour. Through trusting in the crucified Saviour you found pardon. But
Jesus Christ is also a risen Saviour, 1 Cor. xv. 4, ‘All power is given
unto Him,’ Matt. xxviii. 18. He has power to give you victory over your
evil habits. Do you believe that?” He said, “yes.” “You trusted,” I
continued, “in the crucified Christ and found pardon, did you not?”
“Yes,” he replied. “Now,” I said, “will you trust the risen Christ to
save you from the power of your sins?” “Yes, I will.” “Let us kneel down
then, and tell him so.” We knelt and talked it all over with the
Saviour. When he arose his very countenance was changed. “I am so glad I
came,” he said. Some time after I received a letter from him telling me
how he found constant victory through trusting in the _risen_ Christ.


5. “_I will be persecuted if I become a Christian._” Never tell any one
that he will not be persecuted, but show him from such passages as
2 Tim. ii. 12; 2 Tim. iii. 12; Matt. v. 10, 11, 12; Mark viii. 35; Acts
xiv. 22, that persecution is the only path to Glory. Show them from
Romans viii. 18 that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy
to be compared with the Glory which shall be revealed in us. Show them
from Acts v. 41; 1 Peter ii. 20, 21, that it is a privilege to be
persecuted for Christ’s sake. Heb. xii. 2, 3 is useful in showing them
where to look for victory in persecution.


6. “_It will hurt my business_,” or “_I can’t be a Christian in my
present business_.” Point such an one to Mark viii. 36. This will show
him that it is better to lose his business than to lose his soul. After
this thought has been sufficiently impressed upon his mind, show him
Matt. vi. 32, 33 which contains God’s promise that if we put God and His
kingdom first, that He will provide for all our real temporal needs.
Matt. xvi. 24‒27; Luke xii. 16‒21; xvi. 24‒26 are also very effective
passages to use with this class.


7. “_Too much to give up._” Mark viii. 36 will show them that they had
better give up everything than to lose their soul. Philippians iii. 7,
8; Ps. xvi. 11 will show them that what they give up is nothing compared
with what they get. Ps. lxxxiv. 11; Romans viii. 32 will show them that
God will not ask them to give up any good thing; in other words, that
the only things God asks them to give up are the things that are hurting
them. A young woman once refused to come to the Saviour saying, “There
is too much to give up.” “Do you think God loves you?” I answered.
“Certainly.” “How much do you think he loves you?” She thought a moment
and answered, “Enough to give his son to die for me.” “Do you think, if
God loved you enough to give his son to die for you, he will ask you to
give up anything it is for your good to keep?” “No.” “Do you wish to
keep anything that it is not for your good to keep?” “No.” “Then you had
better come to Christ at once.” And she did. 1 John ii. 17; Luke xii.
16‒21 will show them how worthless are the things which they are trying
to keep.


8. “_The Christian life is too hard._” Say to the inquirer, “Let me show
you from God’s word that you are mistaken about the Christian life being
hard.” Then turn him to Matt. xi. 30; Prov. iii. 17; Ps. xvi. 11; 1 John
v. 3, and show him that a Christian life is not hard but exceedingly
pleasant. Then turn him to Prov. xiii. 15, and show him that it is the
sinner’s life that is hard.


9. “_I am afraid of my ungodly companions_;” or “_I will lose my friends
if I take Christ_.” Prov. xxix. 25 will show them the consequence of
yielding to the fear of man and the security of the one who trusts in
the Lord. Prov. xiii. 20 will show them the result of holding on to
their companions, and Ps. i. 1 will show the blessedness of giving up
evil companions. 1 John i. 3 shows how much better companionship one
gets than he loses by coming to Christ.


10. “_My heart is too hard._” Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27, will show them that
though their hearts are hard as stone, that will make no difference
because God will give them a new heart.


11. “_I have no feeling._” Ask the inquirer what kind of feeling he
thinks he must have before he comes to Christ. If it is the peace of
which Christians speak, show him from Gal. v. 22; Eph. i. 13; Acts v.
32; 1 Peter i. 8; Matt. x. 32, that this feeling is the result of
accepting Christ and confessing Him, and that he cannot expect it until
he accepts and confesses Christ. If the feeling which he thinks he must
have is the feeling that he is a sinner, then show him by Is. lv. 7 that
it is _not the feeling_ that we are sinners that God demands, _but a
turning away_ from sin. Or, from Acts xvi. 31; John i. 12; that God does
not ask us to feel that we are sinners but to confess that we are
sinners and trust in Christ as a Saviour. Is. lv. 1; Rev. xxii. 17, will
show the inquirer that all the feeling he needs is a desire for
salvation.

It is often times well, however, with this class of inquirers to show
them the passages for “The Indifferent” until they do feel that they are
sinners.


12. “_I am seeking Christ, but cannot find Him._”

Jer. xxix. 13, shows that when we seek him with the whole heart we shall
find him. Speaking with a woman one evening in an after–meeting she said
to me, “I have been seeking Christ two years and cannot find Him.” I
replied, “I can tell you when you will find him.” She looked at me in
surprise and I turned to Jer. xxix. 13, and read “And ye shall seek me,
and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” “There,”
I said, “that shows you when you will find Christ. You will find him
when you search for him with all your heart. Have you done that?” After
a little thought she answered “No.” “Well, then,” I said, “let us kneel
right down here now.” She did this and in a few moments she was
rejoicing in Christ. You can point one who has this difficulty to Luke
xv. 1‒10; xix. 10. These passages show that Jesus is seeking the sinner
and you can say, “if you are really seeking Christ it will not take a
seeking Saviour and a seeking sinner very long to find each other.”


13. “_I cannot believe._”

In most cases where one says this the real difficulty which lies back of
their inability to believe is unwillingness to forsake sin. John v. 44,
is a good passage to use with such a one, or Is. lv. 7. In the use of
the latter passage, hold the man’s attention to the fact that all God
asks of him is that he turn away from sin and turn to Him.


14. “_God won’t receive me_,” or “_I have sinned away the day of
grace_,” or “_I am afraid I have committed the unpardonable sin_.”

The people who honestly say this, are as a rule about the most difficult
class to deal with of any that you will meet. John vi. 37, is the great
text to use with them for it shows that Jesus will receive any one who
will come to him. Hold him continually to that point, “Him that cometh
to me I will in no wise cast out” and if they keep saying “He won’t
receive me” repeat the text, looking to the Spirit of God to carry the
truth home. Many an utterly despondent soul has found light and peace
through this verse in God’s word. Rev. xxii. 17, is also useful as it
shows that any one who will can have the water of life freely. Is. lv.
1, shows that any one who desires salvation can have it. Is. i. 18,
shows that no matter how great a man’s sins may be still here is pardon.
Acts x. 43, and John iii. 16, that “_whosoever_” will believe upon
Christ will find pardon and eternal life. Romans x. 13, shows that any
one, no matter who or what he is, who will “call upon the name of the
Lord shall be saved.” It is well sometimes to turn to Heb. vi. 4‒6, and
Matt. xii. 31‒32, and show the inquirer just what the unpardonable sin
is and what its results are. Matt. xii. 31, 32, shows that it is
blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and put it squarely to him, “have you
ever blasphemed against the Holy Ghost?” Heb. vi. 4‒6, shows that the
difficulty is not in God’s unwillingness to forgive, but in the man’s
unwillingness to repent and that any one who is concerned about his
salvation evidently has not committed the unpardonable sin nor sinned
away his day of grace. A little instruction along this line is often
times all that is needed.


15. “_It is too late._”

When an inquirer says this, it is often times well to use 2 Cor. vi. 2,
and tell him that God says, it is just the time. Luke xxiii. 39‒43, is
useful as showing that even at the last hour Jesus will hearken to the
sinner’s cry. 2 Peter iii. 9, will show that His will is that none
should perish, but that He is delaying the judgment that He may save as
many as will come. Deut. iv. 30, 31, is an especially helpful passage as
it says “Even in the latter days” if thou turn to the Lord he will be
merciful. Is. i. 18, and Rev. xxii. 17, can alone be used here.



                              CHAPTER VI.

              DEALING WITH THOSE WHO ENTERTAIN FALSE HOPES


1. Among those who entertain false hopes, perhaps the largest class are
_those who expect to be saved by their righteous lives_. These persons
are easily known by such sayings as these, “I am doing the best I can.”
“I do more good than evil.” “I am not a great sinner.” “I have never
done anything very bad.” Gal. iii. 10, is an excellent passage to use,
for it shows that all those who are trusting in their works are under
the curse of the law and that there is no hope on the ground of the law
for any one who does not “continue in all things which are written in
the book of the law to do them.” James ii. 10 is also useful. Gal. ii.
16, and Romans iii. 19, 20 are very effective by showing that by the
deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in God’s sight. Matt.
v. 20—All these passages show the kind of righteousness God demands and
that no man’s righteousness comes up to God’s standard, and that if a
man wishes to be saved he must find some other means of salvation than
by his own deeds. It is sometimes well in using these passages to say to
the inquirer: “You do not understand the kind of righteousness that God
demands or you would not talk as you do. Now let us turn to His word and
see what kind of righteousness it is that God demands.” There is another
way of dealing with this class, by the use of such passages as Luke xvi.
15; Rom. ii. 16; 1 Sam. xvi. 7. These passages show that God looks at
the heart. Hold the inquirer right to that point. Every man when brought
face to face with that, must tremble because he knows that whatever his
outward life may be, his heart will not stand the scrutiny of God’s eye.
No matter how selfrighteous a man is, we need not be discouraged for
somewhere in the depths of every man’s heart is the consciousness of sin
and all we have to do is to work away until we touch that point. Every
man’s conscience is on our side. Matt. xxii. 37, 38 can be used when a
man says “I am doing the best I can, or doing more good than evil.” Say
to him, “You are greatly mistaken about that; so far from doing more
good than evil, do you know that you have broken the first and greatest
of God’s laws?” Then show him the passage. Heb. xi. 6, John vi. 29, show
that the one thing that God demands is faith and that without that it is
impossible to please God, and John xvi. 9, shows that unbelief in Christ
is the greatest sin. John iii. 36, shows that the question of eternal
life depends solely upon a man’s accepting or rejecting Jesus Christ,
and Heb. x. 28, 29, that the sin which brings the heaviest punishment is
that of treading under foot the Son of God. Before using this latter
passage, it would be well to say, “You think you are very good, but do
you know that you are committing the most awful sin in God’s sight which
a man can commit?” If he replies, “No,” then say “Well let me show you
from God’s word that you are;” then turn to this passage and read it
with great solemnity and earnestness.


2. Another class of those who entertain false hopes, are _those who
think_ “_God is too good to damn anyone_.”

When any one says this, you can reply, “We know nothing of God’s
goodness but what we learn from the Bible, and we must go to that book
to find out the character of God’s goodness. Let us turn to Romans ii.
2, 4, 5.” Having read the verses, you can say something like this, “Now,
my friend, you see that the purpose of God’s goodness is to lead you to
repentance, not to encourage you in sin and when we trample upon his
goodness, then we are treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath and
revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” John viii. 21, 24 and iii.
36, will show the man that however good God may be that he will reject
all who reject His Son. Still another way to deal with these men is by
showing them from John v. 40; 2 Peter iii. 9‒11 or Ezek. xxxiii. 11,
that it is not so much God who damns men as men who damn themselves in
spite of God’s goodness because they will not come to Christ and accept
the life freely offered. You can say “God is not willing that any should
perish and he offers life freely to you, but there is one difficulty in
the way. Let us turn to John v. 40, and see what the difficulty is.”
Then read the passage: “Ye will not come to me that ye might have life,”
and say, “My friend here is the difficulty, you won’t come; life is
freely offered to you but if you will not accept it, you must perish.”
2 Peter ii. 4‒6, 9; Luke xiii. 3, show how the “good” God deals with
persons who persist in sin. Sometimes this last passage can be
effectively used in this way: “You say God is too good to damn any one.
Now let us see what God Himself says in his word.” Then turn to the
passage and read, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Repeat the passage over and over again until it has been driven home.


3. A third class of those who entertain false hopes, are _those who say
“I am trying to be a Christian.”_ John i. 12, will show them that it is
not “trying” to be a Christian or “trying” to live a better life or
“trying” to do anything that God asks of us, but simply to receive Jesus
Christ, who did it all, and you can ask the inquirer, “will you now stop
your trying and simply receive Jesus as Saviour?” Acts xvi. 31, shows
that God does not ask us to _try_ what we can do but _trust_ Jesus and
what He has done and will do. Romans iii. 23‒25, shows that we are not
to be justified by trying to do, “but freely by His grace, through the
redemption that is in Christ Jesus” on the simple condition of faith.


4. Still another class of those who entertain false hopes are _those who
say_, “_I feel I am going to Heaven_,” or “_I feel I am saved_.” Show
them from John iii. 36 that it is not a question of what they feel but
what God says, and what God says distinctly in his word is that, “He
that believeth not on the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God
abideth on him.” One afternoon I was talking with a lady who a few weeks
before had lost her only child. At the time of the child’s death she had
been deeply interested, but her serious impressions had largely left
her. I put to her the question, “Do you not wish to go where your little
one has gone?” She replied at once “I expect to.” “What makes you think
you will?” I said. She replied, “I feel so, I feel that I will go to
heaven when I die.” I then asked her, if there was anything she could
point to in the word of God which gave her a reason for believing that
she was going to heaven when she died. “No,” she said, “there is not.”
Then she turned and questioned me, saying, “Do you expect to go to
heaven when you die?” “Yes,” I replied, “I know I shall.” “How do you
know it?” she said. “Have you any word from God for it?” “Yes,” I
answered and turned her to John iii. 36. She was thus led to see the
difference between a faith that rested upon her feelings and a faith
that rested upon the word of God.

Luke xviii. 9‒14, can also be used in the following way; you can say
“there was a man in the Bible who felt he was all right, but was all
wrong. Let me read you about him.” Then read about the Pharisee who was
so sure that he was all right, but who was all the time an unforgiven
sinner; and make the inquirer see how untrustworthy our feelings are and
what the ground of assurance is, viz: God’s word. Prov. xiv. 12 can also
be used as showing that “there is a way which seemeth right unto a man
but the end thereof are the ways of death.”


5. The last class of those who entertain false hopes, are _those who say
they are saved though they are leading sinful lives_. In the case of
many forms of sin, a good passage to use is 1 Cor. vi. 9‒10. 1 John ii.
29 will also in many cases sweep away this false hope. 1 John v. 4‒5 is
useful as showing that one who is really born of God overcomes the world
and the fact that they are living in sin and are not overcoming the
world is evidence that they have not been born of God.



                              CHAPTER VII.

      DEALING WITH THOSE WHO LACK ASSURANCE AND WITH BACK–SLIDERS


I. THOSE WHO LACK ASSURANCE.

Those who lack assurance may be divided into two classes.


1. _Those who lack assurance because of ignorance._ 1 John v. 13, will
show all such that we may know that we have eternal life. Often times
when you ask people if they know they are saved, or if they know their
sins are forgiven, or if they know they have eternal life, they will
reply, “Why no one knows that.” You can say to them, “Yes the Bible says
that all who believe may know it,” and then show them 1 John v. 13. John
i. 12 shows that Christ gives to as many as receive Him, power to become
the Sons of God. A good way to use this verse is to ask the inquirer
questions regarding it. “What does every one who receives Him receive
power to become?” The inquirer if he is attentively looking at the verse
will answer, “A son of God.” Then ask the next question, “Have you
received Him?” If he replies “Yes,” then ask him, “What are you then?”
It will probably be necessary to go over it several times but at last
the inquirer will see it and say “I am a son of God.” John iii. 36 can
be used in a similar way. Ask the inquirer “who do these verses say has
everlasting life?” “He that believeth on the Son.” “Do you believe on
the Son?” “What have you then?” In a little while he will see it and say
“Everlasting life.” Then have him say over and over again “I have
everlasting life,” and have him kneel down and thank God for giving him
everlasting life. One night I found a young man upon his knees at the
close of the service in great distress. I showed him from the Bible how
Jesus Christ had borne his sins and asked him if he would accept Christ
as his Saviour; he said he would; but he seemed to get no light and went
out of the meeting in deep distress. The next night he was there again,
professing to have accepted Christ but with no assurance that his sins
were forgiven. I tried to show him from God’s word what God said of
those who accepted the Saviour, but the light did not come. Finally he
rose to leave the meeting. I had just shown him from John iii. 36 that
God said that “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” As
he turned to leave me, he said, “Will you pray for me?” I said “Yes.” He
walked a little way down the aisle and I called to him and said, “Do you
believe I will pray for you?” He turned with a look of astonishment and
replied, “Yes, of course.” “Why do you think I will pray for you?” I
then asked. “Because you said so,” he replied. I said “Isn’t God’s word
as good as mine?” He saw it at once, that while he had been willing to
believe my word, he had not been willing to believe God’s word, and he
received assurance on the spot and knew that he had everlasting life.
John v. 24 and 1 John v. 12 can be used in a similar way.

Acts xiii. 39 is very useful in dealing with this class of persons. Ask
the inquirer: “What does this verse say that all who believe are?”
“Justified.” Then ask him, “Do you believe?” “What are you then?” It
will probably take two or three times going over it before he sees it
and when he answers “I am justified,” tell him to thank God for
justifying him and confess Christ, and see to it that he does so. Many
inquirers of this class stumble over the fact that they have not the
witness of the Holy Spirit. Show them from 1 John v. 10 that the witness
of the word to their acceptance is sufficient, and that, if they believe
not this witness of God in His word, they make Him a liar. Show them
further from Eph. i. 13, that it is after we believe the testimony of
the word that we are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” The
natural order in assurance is this: First, assurance of our
justification, _resting on the “Word of God.”_ Second, public confession
of Christ, “with the mouth,” Romans x. 10. Third, the witness of the
Holy Spirit. The trouble with many is that they wish to invert this
order and have the witness of the Holy Spirit before they confess Christ
with the mouth. From Matt. x. 32, 33, we learn that when we confess
Christ before men, then He confesses us before the Father. We cannot
reasonably expect the witness of the Spirit from the Father until we are
confessed before the Father. So confession of Christ logically precedes
the witness of the Spirit.

It is very important in using these texts to make clear what saving
faith is; because many may say that they believe when they do not, in
the sense of these texts, and so get a false assurance and entertain
false hopes and never find deliverance. There is a great deal of
careless dealing with those who lack assurance. Workers are so anxious
to have inquirers come out clearly that they urge them on to assurance
when they have no right to have assurance of salvation as they have not
really accepted Christ.

John i. 12, and 2 Tim. i. 12, make very clear what believing
is—receiving Jesus or committing to Jesus. Romans x. 10, will serve a
similar purpose by showing that it “is _with the heart_ man believeth
unto righteousness.”


2. _Those who lack assurance because of sin._ The trouble with those who
lack assurance is, often, that there is some sin or questionable
practice which they ought to confess and give up. John viii. 12; Is. lv.
7; Prov. xxviii. 13; Ps. xxxii. 1‒5, are useful passages in dealing with
this class of men, for they show that it is when sin is confessed and
forsaken and we follow Christ, that we receive pardon, light and
assurance. Often times it is well when one lacks assurance to put the
question squarely to him: “Do you know of any sin on to which you are
holding or anything in your life which your conscience troubles you
about?”


II. BACK–SLIDERS. There are two classes of back–sliders and they should
be dealt with in different ways.


1. _Careless back–sliders; those who have no great desire to come back
to the Saviour._ With such persons use Jer. ii. 5, drive the question
right home, “What iniquity have you found in the Lord?” Show them the
base ingratitude and folly of forsaking such a Saviour and Friend. Very
likely they have wandered away because of unkind treatment by professed
Christians, but hold them right to the point of how _the Lord_ treated
them and how they are now treating Him. Use also Jer. ii. 13, and show
them what they have forsaken and for what. Have them read the verse and
ask them, “is not that verse true? When you forsook the Lord did you not
forsake the ‘fountain of living waters’ and turn to ‘broken cisterns
that can hold no water?’” Illustrate the text by showing how foolish it
would be to turn from a fountain of pure living water to broken cisterns
or muddy pools. God has greatly honored this verse in bringing
back–sliders back to himself. Use Jer. ii. 19. When they have read it
ask them whether they have not found it “an evil thing and bitter”
having forsaken the Lord their God. Prov. xiv. 14; 1 Kings xi. 9, and
Luke xv. 13‒17, can often times be used with effect with an impenitent
back–slider, showing him the result of his wandering. I have a friend
who always uses Amos. iv. 11, 12, and often times with good results.


2. _Back–sliders who are sick of their wanderings and sin and desire to
come back to the Lord._ These are perhaps as easy a class to deal with
as we ever find. Jer. iii. 12, 13, and 22, will show them how ready the
Lord is to receive them back and that all he asks of them is that they
acknowledge their sin and return to him. Hos. xiv. 1‒4, is full of
tender invitation to penitent back–sliders and also shows the way back
to God. Is. xliii. 22, 24, 25, and Is. xliv. 20‒22; Jer. xxix. 11‒13;
Deut. iv. 28‒31; 2 Chron. vii. 14; 1 John i. 9; ii. 1‒2, set forth God’s
unfailing love for the back–slider and His willingness to receive him
back. Mark xvi. 7; 2 Chron. xv. 4; xxxiii. 1‒9, 12, 13, give
illustrations of great back–sliders who returned to the Lord and how
lovingly He received them, 1 John i. 9; Jer. iii. 12‒13; 2 Chron. xv.
12, 15; vii. 14, show just what steps the back–slider must take to come
back to the Lord and be restored to his favor, viz: humble himself,
confess his sins and turn from his sin. Luke xv. 11‒24, is perhaps the
most useful passage of all in dealing with a back–slider who wishes to
return for it has both the steps which the back–slider must take and the
kind of reception he will receive.

When a back–slider has returned he should always be given instructions
as to how to live so as not to back–slide again. The instruction to be
given will be found in Chapter xii. sec. 15.



                             CHAPTER VIII.

              DEALING WITH PROFESSED SKEPTICS AND INFIDELS


There are various classes of Sceptics and the same methods of dealing
will not answer for all.


1. _Skeptics who are mere triflers._ With such use 1 Cor. i. 18. If a
man says the Bible is foolishness to him, you can say “Yes, that is just
what the Bible itself says.” He will probably be surprised at this reply
and then you can show him 1 Cor. i. 18; “the preaching of the cross is
to them that perish foolishness.” Then you can say to him, “You see that
the Bible says that it is foolishness to some—them that _perish_—and the
reason it is foolishness to you is because you are perishing.” 1 Cor.
ii. 14, can be used in a similar way. A worker was one night dealing
with a man who said to him when he was trying to persuade him to come to
Christ, “all that you are saying is foolishness to me.” The worker
quickly replied, “Yes, that is just what the Bible says.” The man looked
at him in astonishment and said: “What?” “You said all that I have been
saying to you was foolishness to you, and that is just what the Bible
says.” The man was more astonished then than ever and the worker turned
him to 1 Cor. ii. 14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of
the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he
know them because they are spiritually discerned.” The man said “I never
saw that before; I never thought of it in that light before.” 2 Cor. iv.
3, 4, is very useful in showing the trifler that he is lost and that his
skepticism arises from the fact that the “god of this world hath blinded
his mind.” 2 Thes. ii. 10‒12, is useful in showing the origin of
skepticism, “because they received not the love of the truth” and the
consequences of skepticism—delusion and damnation. John viii. 21, 24, is
also very searching in dealing with this class of skeptics, showing the
terrible consequences of unbelief. John v. 44; iii. 18, 19, 20 expose
the origin of scepticism. Ps. xiv. 1, is useful in some cases though one
needs to be guarded in its use, using it only when it can be done with
earnestness and tenderness. 2 Thes. i. 7, 8 can also be used with good
results.


2. _Serious minded skeptics._ There is a large class of men and women in
our day who are really desirous of knowing the truth but who are in an
utter fog of skepticism. John vii. 17 is a very helpful passage in
dealing with such. It shows the way out of skepticism to faith. Get the
skeptic to act along the line of that verse. Put to him the question,
“Will you surrender your will to God and promise to search honestly and
earnestly to find out what God’s will is that you may do it, to ask God
to show you whether you need a Saviour and whether Jesus is a Divine
Saviour, the Son of God; and will you promise that, if God will show you
that Jesus is the Son of God, to accept Him as your Saviour and confess
Him before the world?” Have him make his promise definite, by putting it
down in black and white. If you get him to do this, his skepticism will
soon take wings.

One evening at the close of a service I asked a gentleman why he was not
a Christian. He replied: “I will tell you. I do not talk much about it;
for I am not proud of it as some are, but I am a skeptic. I have lain
awake nights thinking about this matter.” “Do you believe there is a
God?” “Yes, I never gave up my faith that there was a God.” “Well, if
there is a God you ought to obey him. Will you to–night take your stand
upon the will of God to follow it wherever it carries you even if it
carries you over the Niagara Falls?” “I try to do as near right as I
know how.” “That is not what I asked; will you take your stand on the
will of God to follow it wherever it carries you?” “I have never put it
that way.” “Will you put it that way to–night?” “I will.” “Do you
believe God answers prayer?” “I don’t know; I am afraid not.” “You don’t
know that he does not?” “No.” “Well, here is a possible clue to the
truth, will you follow it, will you ask God to show you whether Jesus is
His Son; and what your duty concerning him is?” “I will.” Not long after
that the man came into a meeting with a new look in his face. He arose
and said: “I was all in a mist. I believed nothing.” Then he told us
what he had done. He had done just as he promised. “And now,” he
continued, “my doubts are all gone. I don’t know where they have gone
but they are gone.” If the skeptic will not act in this way you can
“stop his mouth” by showing him that he is not an honest skeptic and
that the trouble with him is not his skepticism but his sin. If the man
does not believe there is a God, you can begin one step further back.
Ask him if he believes there is an absolute difference between right and
wrong (if he does not he is a mere trifler). If he says he does, ask him
if he will take his stand upon the right and follow it wherever it
carries him. He may try to put you off by saying “What is right?” or
that he is doing the right as nearly as he knows how. Get him to promise
that he will take his stand upon the right, whatever he may find it to
be and follow it whatever the consequence may be. Then show him that if
he is honest in this promise, he will try to find out what the right is.
Next say to him, “You do not know whether God answers prayer or not. I
know He does, and you will admit that here is a possible clue to
knowledge. If you are honest in your desire to know the truth, you will
follow this possible clue. You can get down and at least pray, ‘O my
God, if there be a God, teach me thy will and I will do it. Show me
whether Jesus is thy son or not. If you show that he is, I will accept
Him as my Saviour and confess Him before the world.’” Then tell the man
to begin reading the Gospel of John, reading slowly and thoughtfully,
only a few verses at a time, asking God for light each time before
reading and promising God that he will follow the light as fast as He
makes it clear. If the man will follow this rational course, it will
result in every case in the skeptic coming out into the clear light of
faith in the Bible, as the word of God, and Jesus Christ as the Son of
God. If the man is not an honest skeptic, this course of treatment will
reveal the fact and then you can show him that the difficulty is not
with his skepticism but with his rebellious heart.

If the man says that he does not know whether there is an absolute
difference between right and wrong, then you can set it down at once
that he is bad and turn upon him kindly and earnestly and say to him,
“My friend, there is something wrong in your life; no man that is living
right doubts that there is a difference between right and wrong. Now you
probably know what is wrong and the trouble is not with your skepticism,
but with your sin.” One afternoon after I had given out an invitation
for any skeptic or any one else who wished to talk with me, to remain
after the meeting, a young man with whom I had dealt some months before
stayed. I asked him what his trouble was. He replied, “The same trouble
that I told you in the spring, I cannot believe that there is a God.” I
asked him if he had done as I had advised him to do in our former
conversation; if he had taken his stand upon the right to follow it
wherever it carried him. He replied that he did not know that there was
any difference between right and wrong. “I do not know that there is
such a thing as right.” I looked him right in the eyes and said, “Is
there some sin your life?”

He said “Yes.” I said “what is it?” He replied, “The same that I told
you last spring.” I said, “You promised to give it up, have you given it
up?” He said “No, I have not.” “Well,” I said, “there is the difficulty,
not with your skepticism. Give up that sin and your skepticism will take
care of itself.” In some confusion he replied, “I guess that is the
trouble.”


3. _Those who doubt the existence of God._

The passages under 1 and 2 can also be used with this class and
generally it is wise to use them before those given under this head.
There are however, three passages that are often times effective with
this specific class of skeptics. Ps. xiv. 1; before using this passage
you can say to the man, “Let me read you from God’s own word what he
says about those who deny his existence.” Often times it is well to
leave the passage to do its own work. Sometimes, however, it is wise to
dwell a little upon it. Call the man’s attention to the fact that it is
“in his heart” that the fool says “there is no God.” He does not believe
there is a God because he does not wish to. You can add that the folly
of saying in one’s heart that there is no God is seen in two points;
first, there is a God and it is folly to say there is not one, and
second, the doctrine that there is not a God always brings misery and
wretchedness. Put it right to the man, and ask him if he ever knew a
happy atheist. Ps. xix. 1, 2; Romans i. 19‒22, are also effective
passages.


4. _Those who doubt that the Bible is the word of God._

Romans iii. 3, 4, is useful in showing that questioning the fact does
not alter the fact. Matt. xxiv. 35, is often used by the Spirit to carry
to the heart of the skeptic the certainty and immutability of God’s
word. Mark vii. 13; Matt. v. 18; John x. 35; Luke xxiv. 27, 44, are
useful as giving Christ’s testimony that the Old Testament is the Word
of God. They are especially helpful in dealing with those who say that
they accept the authority of Christ but not that of the Old Testament,
for in them Christ sets His seal to the Old Testament Scriptures and
they show conclusively that if we accept His authority we must accept
that of the Old Testament also. Along the same line John xiv. 26, and
xvi. 12, 13, are useful as containing Christ’s indorsement of the New
Testament.

1 Thes. ii. 13, can be used with good effect to meet the statement which
is often made, that Paul nowhere claims that his teaching is the word of
God. 2 Peter i. 21, John viii. 47; Luke xvi. 30, 31, can also be used in
dealing with this class. 2 John v. 10, is very effective in showing the
guilt of those who believe not the record that God has given. Before
using this last passage you can say, “You doubt, do you, that the Bible
is the Word of God? Now let us see what God says about those that
believe not His testimony;” then turn them to the passage and have them
read it.


5. _Those who doubt a future existence._

1 Cor. xv. 35‒36; Jno. v. 28‒29; Dan. xii. 2.


6. _Those who doubt the doctrine of future punishment, or the conscious,
endless suffering of the lost._ Rev. xxi. 8, defines what “death” means
when used in the scriptures Rev. xvii. 8, compared with Rev. xix. 20,
shows what perdition or destruction means in the scriptures. Rev. xix.
20, compared with Rev. xx. 10 shows that “the lake of fire” is not a
place where those consigned to it cease to exist, for we find in the
latter passage the beast and false prophet are still there at the end of
a thousand years and that they, so far from being annihilated or losing
conscious existence are tormented night and day forever and ever. Rev.
xiii. 7‒8 show that those who are subjected to the terrible retribution
here described are those whose names are not written in the Book of
Life. Matt. x. 28 shows that there is destruction for the soul apart
from the destruction of the body. Luke xii. 5, shows that after one is
killed and is of course dead, there is a punishment in “hell.” Mark iii.
28‒29 (R. V.) shows that there is such a thing as eternal sin. Luke xvi.
23‒26, shows that the condition of the wicked dead is one of conscious
torment. Mark xiv. 21, shows that the retribution visited upon the
wicked is of so stern a character that it would be better for him upon
whom it is visited if he had never been born.

2 Peter ii. 4; Jude 6, show that hell is not a place where the
inhabitants cease to exist, but where they are reserved alive, for the
purpose of God. Heb. x. 28‒29, show that while the punishment of
transgression of the Mosaic law was death, that sorer punishment awaits
those who have “trodden under foot the Son of God.” Matt. xxv. 41 gives
further light upon the subject. It shows that the wicked go to the same
place with the Beast and False Prophet and the Devil mentioned in Rev.
xix. 20, and xx. 10, and share the same endless, conscious torment.


7. _Those who doubt the divinity of Christ._

a. In Acts x. 36; 1 Cor. ii. 8, compare Ps. xxiv. 8‒10; Heb. i. 8; John
xx. 28; Rom. ix. 5; Rev. i. 17, compare Is. xliv. 6, we find several
divine titles applied to Christ, the same titles being applied to Christ
in the New Testament that are applied to Jehovah in the old.

b. In Heb. i. 10, 3, we find divine offices attributed to Christ.

c. In John v. 22‒23, compare Rev. v. 13; Heb. i. 6; Phil. ii. 10, we
find it taught that Jesus Christ should be worshiped as God.

d. In John v. 22‒23 we find Jesus claiming the same honor as his Father,
and either He was Divine or the most blasphemous impostor that ever
lived. Drive it home that the one who denies Christ’s Divinity puts Him
in the place of a blasphemous imposter. Mark xiv. 61, 62, can be used in
a similar way.

e. 1 Jno. ii. 22, 23, compared with 1 Jno. v. 1, 5, shows that the one
who denies the Divinity of Christ, no matter who he may be, is a liar
and an antichrist. 1 Jno. v. 10‒12, shows that he who does not believe
that Jesus is divine makes God a liar, “Because he believeth not the
record that God gave of His Son.” Heb. x. 28‒29, shows the folly, guilt
and punishment of rejecting Christ as the Son of God. John viii. 24,
shows beyond a question that no one who does not believe in the Divinity
of Jesus Christ will be saved. Jno. xx. 31, shows that we have life
through believing that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God.

(Note. It is best as a rule before taking up specific difficulties to
deal with the inquirer with the passage under the head of “Skeptics who
are triflers,” or those under “Serious minded skeptics.”)

Often times there is no need to take up specific questions as for
example about future punishment until the inquirer has first settled the
matter whether he will accept Christ as his Saviour.



                              CHAPTER IX.

                      DEALING WITH THE COMPLAINING


1. THOSE WHO COMPLAIN OF GOD.

Many that you wish to lead to Christ will say something to the effect
that God is unjust and cruel, Job. xl. 2, and Romans ix. 20, are very
pointed passages to use with inquirers of this class and need no
comment. It might be well to preface the reading of the passages with
some remark like this; “Do you know of how enormous a sin you are guilty
in accusing God of being unjust and cruel? Let me read what God says
about it in His Word.” Then read the passages. Romans xi. 33 will serve
to show the complaining that the reason God’s ways seem unjust and cruel
is because they are so deep and unsearchable; and that the trouble is
not with God’s ways but the limitation of their understanding. Heb. xii.
5, 7, 10, 11 are especially useful in cases where the inquirer complains
because of his own misfortunes or sorrows. Is. lv. 8‒9 will often times
prove helpful. Not infrequently you will meet with one who will say that
“God is unjust to create men and then damn them.” Turn such an one to
Ezek. xxxiii. 11. This passage meets this complaint by showing that God
has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desires their welfare
and that the wicked bring damnation upon themselves by their stubborn
refusal to repent. 1 Tim. ii. 3‒4, shows that God, so far from creating
man to damn him, desires that all men be saved. 2 Peter iii. 9, teaches
that God is not willing that any should perish and is delaying His
purposes in order that all may come to repentance. John v. 40, and Matt.
xxiii. 37, show that the whole cause of man’s damnation is his own
willful and persistent refusal to come to Christ. John iii. 36, and iii.
16, are also helpful in many cases.


2. THOSE WHO COMPLAIN OF THE BIBLE. Men will often times say, “The Bible
is contradictory and absurd;” or “the Bible seems foolish to me.” Two
classes of passages can be used in dealing with such inquirers.

a. 1 Cor. i. 18; ii. 14; 2 Cor. iv. 3‒4; Dan. xii. 10; Rom. xi. 33, 34
and in extreme cases 2 Thes. ii. 10, 11, 12.

b. Jno. vii. 17; Ps. xxv. 14; Matt. xi. 25, (see remarks under Serious
Minded Skeptics and Skeptics who are Triflers.) Sometimes the best thing
to do with a man who says the Bible is full of contradictions, is to
hand him your Bible and ask him to show you one. In most cases he will
not attempt to do it; as people who complain about the Bible, as a rule
know nothing about its contents. One day a man was brought to me to deal
with and when I asked him why he was not a Christian he replied, “The
Bible is full of contradictions.” I at once asked him to show me one.
“Oh!” he said, “it’s full of them.” I said, “If it is full of them you
ought to be able to show me one.” He said, “Well, there is one in
Psalms.” I said, “Show it to me.” He commenced looking in the back of
the New Testament for the book of Psalms. I said, “You are not looking
in the right part of the Bible for Psalms. Let me find it for you.” I
found him the book of Psalms and handed it to him. After fumbling around
he said, “I could find it, if I had my own Bible here.” “Well,” I said,
“Will you bring your Bible to–night?” He promised he would and agreed to
meet me at a certain place in the church. The appointed hour came, but
he did not. Some months afterwards in another series of meetings in the
same church one of the workers stopped me and said, “Here’s a man I wish
you would deal with; he is a skeptic.” I looked at him and recognized
him as the same man. “Oh!” I said, “you are the man that lied to me
here;” and with much confusion he admitted that he was, but he was still
playing his old game of saying that the Bible was full of
contradictions. In nine cases out of ten, men who say this, know nothing
about the Bible, and when you ask them to show you a contradiction in
the Bible they are filled with confusion.


3. THOSE WHO COMPLAIN OF GOD’S WAY OF SALVATION.

A great many men will say, “I do not see why God could not save men in
some other way than by the death of His son.” Is. lv. 8, 9, Romans xi.
33 are useful in dealing with such. I have used Romans ix. 20 with
effect with men of this sort. A young student said to me one night, when
I asked why he was not a Christian, that he did not see why it was
necessary for Christ to die for him; why God did not save him in some
other way. I opened my Bible and read to him Romans ix. 20, and put the
question right to him, “Who art thou that repliest against God?” and
then said to him, “Do you realize what you are doing, that you are
condemning God?” The young man very much confused said “I did not mean
to do that.” “Well,” I said; “that is what you are doing.” “If that is
so,” he replied, “I will take it back.” A good way to do with such men
is to show them by the use of passages given under the chapter “Dealing
with the Indifferent” that they are lost sinners. When any one is led to
see this, God’s way of salvation will approve itself as just the thing.


4. THOSE WHO COMPLAIN OF CHRISTIANS. Very frequently when we try to
persuade men to accept Christ as their Saviour, they reply; “_There are
too many hypocrites in church_.” Romans xiv. 4 and 12, especially the
latter verse, are exceedingly effective in dealing with such.

Romans ii. 1, and Matt. vii. 1‒5, are also excellent. Jno. xxi. 21, 22
is useful in showing the objector that he is solely responsible for his
own relation to Christ and that what others do is none of his affairs.
Sometimes the inquirer will _complain of the way Christian people have
treated him_. In such a case turn the attention of the inquirer from the
way in which Christian people have treated him to the way in which God
has treated him. For this purpose use Jer. ii. 5; Is. liii. 5; Romans v.
6‒8. Then ask him if the fact that Christians have treated him badly is
any excuse for his treatment of a Heavenly Father who has treated him so
well. One night turning to an aged man I asked him if he was a
Christian. He replied that he was not, that he was a back–slider. I
asked him why he back–slid. He replied that Christian people had treated
him badly. I opened my Bible and read Jer. ii. 5, to him, “Thus saith
the Lord, what iniquity have your fathers found in _me_, that they are
gone far from _me_, and have walked after vanity and are become vain?” I
said, “Did you find any iniquity in God? Did God not use you well?” With
a good deal of feeling the man admitted that God had not treated him
badly and I held him right to this point of God’s treatment of him, and
not man’s treatment, and his treatment of God. Matt. xviii. 23‒35; Eph.
iv. 30‒32; Matt. vi. 14‒15, are also useful as showing the absolute
necessity of our forgiving men.



                               CHAPTER X.

DEALING WITH THOSE WHO WISH TO PUT OFF A DECISION UNTIL SOME OTHER TIME


1. There are several classes of those who wish to put off a decision.
One of the largest is composed of _those who say “I want to wait,” or
“Not to–night,” or “I will think about it,” or “I will come to–morrow
night_,” or some such thing. Use Is. lv. 6. The inquirer having read the
passage, ask him when it is that he is to seek the Lord, and when he
answers “While he may be found,” ask him when that is and then drive it
home. Ask him if he is sure that he can find Him to–morrow if he does
not seek Him to–day. Or you can use Prov. xxix. 1. It is well after he
has read this verse to ask the one with whom you are dealing what
becomes of the one who “being often reproved hardeneth his neck” and
when he answers “He shall be destroyed,” ask him how he shall be
destroyed, and when he answers “Suddenly,” ask him if he is willing to
run the risk. Or you can use Matt. xxv. 10‒12. Ask him who it was that
went into the marriage? and when he answers “They that were ready” ask
him if he is ready. Then ask him what happened after those who were
ready went in. Then ask him where “those who were not ready” were. Then
put it to him, “Are you willing to be on the out–side?” Or you can use
Luke xii. 19, 20. Ask the inquirer for how long a time this man thought
he had made provision. Then ask him: “If God should call you to–night
would you be ready?” Matt. xxiv. 44, is especially effective in dealing
with those who say “I am not ready.” 1 Kings xviii. 21, can be used with
good effect. An excellent way to use this verse is by asking the person
whether he would be willing to wait a year and not have an opportunity
under any circumstances, no matter what came up, of accepting Christ.
When he answers, “No, I might die within a year,” ask him if he would be
willing to wait a month. Then bring it down to a week and finally to a
day, and ask him if he would like God and the Holy Spirit and all
Christians to leave him alone for a day and he not have an opportunity,
under any circumstances of accepting Christ? Almost any thoughtful
person will say, “No.” Then tell him that if that is the case he had
better accept Christ at once. Dr. Chalmers was the first one to use this
method and it has been followed by many others with great success. Prov.
xxvii. 1; James iv. 13, 14; Job. xxxvi. 18; Luke xiii. 24‒28; xii. 19,
20; John viii. 21; xii. 35; vii. 33‒34, can also be used with this
class.


2. Those who say “_I must get fixed in business first, then I will
become a Christian_,” or “_I must do something else first._” Matt. vi.
33, is the great passage to use in such cases; for it shows that we must
seek the kingdom of God first.


3. Those who say “_I am waiting God’s time_.” If one says this, ask him
if he will accept Christ in God’s time if you will show him when God’s
time is. Then turn to 2 Cor. vi. 2, or Heb. iii. 15.


4. Those who say “_I am too young_,” or “_I want to wait until I am
older_.” Ecc. xii. 1, is an all–sufficient answer to such. Matt. xix.
14, and xviii. 3, are also good passages to use as they show that youth
is the best time to come to Christ and that all must become children,
even if they are old, before they can enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
It is often times wise in dealing with persons who wish to put off a
decision until some time in the future to use the passages given for
“The Indifferent,” until such a deep impression is made of their need of
Christ that they will not be willing to postpone accepting Christ.

In dealing with those under “1” above, it is best to use only one
passage and drive that home by constant repetition. One night I was
dealing with a man who was quite interested but who kept saying “I
cannot decide to–night.” I quoted Prov. xxix. 1. To every answer he made
I would come back to this passage. I must have repeated it a great many
times in the course of the talk until the man was made to feel not only
his need of Christ but the danger of delaying and the necessity of a
prompt decision. He tried to get away from the passage but I held him to
this one point. The passage lingered with him and it was emphasized by
the providence of God; for that very night he was assaulted and quite
seriously injured, and he came the next night with his head bandaged and
accepted Christ. The pounding which he received from his assailant would
probably have done him little good if the text of scripture had not been
pounded into his mind.



                              CHAPTER XI.

                DEALING WITH THE WILLFUL AND THE DELUDED


1. THE WILLFUL

There are several varieties of the Willful. There are those for example
who say “_I do not wish you to talk to me_.” In such a case it is
usually best to give some pointed passage of scripture and let it talk
for itself and then leave the person alone to reflect upon it. Romans
vi. 23; Heb. x. 28, 29; Heb. xii. 25; Mark xvi. 16; Prov. xxix. 1, and
Prov. i. 24‒33, are passages which are good for this purpose.

Then there are those who say “_I cannot forgive_.” Matt. vi. 15 and
xviii. 23‒35, are good to use as showing that they must forgive or be
lost. Phil. iv. 13, and Ezek. xxxvi. 26, will show them how they can
forgive. There are a great many people who are kept from Christ by an
_unforgiving_ spirit. Some times this difficulty can be removed by
getting the person to kneel in prayer and ask God to take away their
unforgiving spirit. I once reasoned a long time with an inquirer who was
under deep conviction, but was held back from accepting Christ by a
hatred in her heart toward some one who had wronged her. She kept
insisting that she could not forgive. Finally I said, “let us get down
and tell God about this matter.” To this she consented and scarcely had
we knelt when she burst into a flood of tears, and the difficulty was
removed and she accepted Christ immediately.

There are those again who say “_I love the world too much_.” Mark viii.
36, is the great text to use with this class. Luke xiv. 33, will show
the absolute necessity that the world be given up. Luke xii. 16‒20;
1 Jno. ii. 15, 16, 17, will show the folly of holding on to the world
and Ps. lxxxiv. 11, Romans viii. 32, will show that the Lord will hold
back no good thing from them.

There are those who say “_I cannot acknowledge a wrong that I have
done_.” Prov. xxviii. 13, will show the wretchedness and woe that is
sure to follow unless the wrong is acknowledged. Others will say “_I do
not want to make a public confession_.” Romans x. 10; Matt. x. 32, 33,
will show that God will accept nothing else. Mark viii. 38; Jno. xii.
42, 43, and Prov. xxix. 25, will show the peril of not making it. There
are those who say “_I want to have my own way_.” Is. lv. 8‒9, will show
how much better God’s way is, and Prov. xiv. 12, shows the consequences
of having our own way. Finally there are those who say “_I neither
accept Christ nor reject Him_.” Matt. xii. 30, will show that they must
do one or the other. This verse has been used to the conviction of a
great many.


2. THE DELUDED

_a._ Under this head come the _Roman Catholics_. A good way to deal with
a Roman Catholic is to show him the necessity of the new birth and what
the new birth is. Jno. iii. 3, 5, 7, shows the necessity of the new
birth. What the new birth is, is shown in Ezek. xxxvi. 25‒27; 2 Cor. v.
17; 2 Peter i. 4. Many Roman Catholics understand the new birth to mean
baptism, but it can be easily shown them that the language used does not
fit baptism. Further than this, in 1 Cor. iv. 15, Paul says to the
Corinthian Christians he had begotten them again through the gospel. If
the new birth meant baptism he must have baptized them, but in 1 Cor. i.
14, he declares he had not baptized them. Acts viii. 13, 21, 23, shows
that a man may be baptized, and yet his heart not be “right in the sight
of God” so he has “neither part nor lot in this matter.” It is well to
take a step further and show the inquirer what the evidences of the new
birth are. 1 Jno. ii. 29; iii. 9, 14‒17; v. 1, 4, give the Biblical
evidences of the new birth. The next question that will arise is “How to
be born again.” This question is answered in Jno. i. 12; 1 Peter i. 23;
Jas. i. 18.

Acts iii. 19, is a good text to use with Roman Catholics as it shows the
necessity of repentance and conversion. What repentance is, will be
shown by Is. lv. 7; Jonah iii. 10. Still another way of dealing with
Roman Catholics is by showing them that it is the believer’s privilege
to know that he has eternal life. Roman Catholics almost always lack
assurance. They do not know that they are forgiven, but hope to be
forgiven some day. If you can show them that we may _know_ that we are
forgiven and that we have eternal life, it will awaken in a great many
of them a desire for this assurance. 1 John v. 13, shows that it is the
believer’s privilege to know. Acts xiii. 38, 39; x. 43, John iii. 36,
are very useful in leading them into this assurance. Still another way
of dealing with them (but it is not best to use it until you have
already made some progress with them) is to show them the advantage of
Bible study. Good texts for this purpose are John v. 39; 1 Peter ii. 1,
2; 2 Tim. iii. 13‒17; Jas i. 21, 22; Ps. i. 1, 2; Josh. i. 8; Mark vii.
7, 8, 13; Matt. xxii. 29. These texts, excepting the one in 1 Peter ii.
1, 2, are all practically the same in the “Douay” or Roman Catholic
Bible as they are in the Protestant Bible and it is well oftentimes in
dealing with a Catholic to use the Catholic Bible.

Still another way of dealing with a Roman Catholic is to use the same
method that you would in dealing with an impenitent sinner—that is to
awaken a sense that he is a sinner and needs Christ. For this purpose
use Matt. xxii. 37, 38; Gal. iii. 10, 13; Is. liii. 6.

Many people think that there is no use of talking with Roman Catholics,
that they cannot be brought to Christ. This is a great mistake. Many of
them are longing for something they do not find in the Roman Catholic
church, and, if you can show them from the word of God how to find it,
they come along very easily and they make very earnest Christians. Do
not attack the Roman Catholic church. Give them the truth, and the
errors in time will take care of themselves. Often times our attacks
only expose our ignorance.

There is one point at which we always have the advantage in dealing with
a Roman Catholic; that is that there is peace and power in Christianity
as we know it that there is not in Christianity as they know it, and
they appreciate the difference.


_b._ _Jews._ The best way to deal with a Jew is to show him that his own
Bible points to Christ. The most helpful passages to use are Is. liii.;
Dan. ix. 26; Zech. xii. 10. There are also useful passages in the New
Testament; the whole book of Hebrews, especially the ninth and tenth
chapters and the seventh chapter, 25th to 28th verses, and the whole
Gospel of Matthew. A great many Jews to–day are inquiring into the
claims of Jesus of Nazareth, and are open to approach upon this subject.
The great difficulty in the way of the Jew coming out as a Christian is
the terrific persecution which he must endure if he does. This
difficulty can be met by the passages already given under the head of
“Those Who are Afraid of Persecution.”

(Note. There are a number of good tracts for Jews which can be had from
the Mildmay Mission to the Jews, 79 Mildmay Road, London.)


_c._ _Spiritualists._ Lev. xix. 31; xx. 6; Deut. xviii. 10‒12; 2 Kings
xxi. 1, 2, 6; 1 Chron. x. 13; Is. viii. 19, 20; 1 John iv. 1‒3; 2 Thes.
ii. 9‒12, are passages to be used with this class.

In dealing with all classes of deluded people it is well to begin by
using Jno. vii. 17, and bring them to a place where they heartily desire
to know the truth. There is no hope of bringing a man out of his
delusion, unless he desires to know the truth.



                              CHAPTER XII.

                       SOME HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS


There are a few general suggestions to be made that will prove helpful
to the worker.


1. _As a rule choose persons to deal with of your own sex and about your
own age._ There are exceptions to this rule. One should be always
looking to the Holy Spirit for his guidance as to whom to approach, and
He may lead us to one of the opposite sex, but unless there is clear
guidance in the matter, it is quite commonly agreed among those who have
had large experience in Christian work that men do, on the whole, most
satisfactory work with men, and women with women. Especially is this
true of the young. Many unfortunate complications oftentimes arise when
young men try to lead young women to Christ or vice versa. Of course, an
elderly motherly woman may do excellent work with a young man or boy,
and an elderly, fatherly man may do good work with a young woman or
girl. It is not wise ordinarily for a young and inexperienced person to
approach one very much older and maturer and wiser than themselves on
this subject.


2. _Whenever it is possible, get the person with whom you are dealing
alone._ No one likes to open his heart freely to another on this most
personal and sacred of all subjects when there are others present. Many
will from pride defend themselves in a false position when several are
present, who would fully admit their error or sin or need, if they were
alone with you. As a rule it is far better for a single worker to deal
with a single unconverted person, than for several workers to deal with
a single inquirer or for a single worker to deal with several inquirers
at once. If you have several to deal with take them one by one. Workers
often find that when they have made no headway while talking to several
at once, by taking individuals off by themselves they soon succeed in
leading them one by one to Christ.


3. _Let your reliance be wholly in the Spirit of God and the Word of
God._


4. _Do not content yourself with merely reading passages from the
Bible—much less in merely quoting them, but have the one with whom you
are dealing read them himself that the truth may find entrance into the
heart through the eye as well as the ear._


5. _It is ofttimes well to use but a single passage of scripture, drive
that home and clinch it_ so that the one with whom you have been dealing
cannot forget it, but will hear it ringing in his memory long after you
have ceased talking. Dr. Ichabod Spencer once in dealing with a young
man who had many difficulties kept continually quoting the passage “now
is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation.” The young man
tried to get Dr. Spencer on to something else, but over and over again
he rang out the words. The next day the young man returned rejoicing in
Christ and thanking the doctor that he had “hammered” him with that
text. The words kept ringing in his ears during the night and he could
not rest until he had settled the matter by accepting Christ. It is a
good thing when a person can point to some definite verse in the word of
God and say “I know on the authority of that verse that my sins are
forgiven and I am a child of God.” There are times, however when a
powerful effect is produced by a piling up of passages along some line
until the mind is convinced and the heart conquered.


6. _Always hold the person with whom you are dealing to the main point
of accepting Christ._ If he wishes to discuss the claims of various
denominations, or the question of baptism, or theories of future
punishment or any other question other than the central one of his need
of a Saviour and Christ the Saviour he needs; tell him that those
questions are proper to take up in their right place and time, but the
time to settle them is after he has settled the first and fundamental
question of accepting or rejecting Christ. Many a case has been lost by
an inexperienced worker allowing himself to be involved in a discussion
of some side issue which it is utter folly to discuss with an
unregenerated person.


7. _Be courteous._ Many well–meaning but indiscreet Christians by their
rudeness and impertinence repel those whom they would win to Christ. It
is quite possible to be at once perfectly frank and perfectly courteous.
You can point out to men their awful sin and need without insulting
them. Your words may be very searching, while your manner is very gentle
and winning. Indeed, the more gentle and winning our manner is, the
deeper our words will go, for they will not stir up the opposition of
those with whom we deal. Some zealous workers approach those with whom
they wish to deal in such a manner that the latter at once assume the
defensive and clothe themselves with an armor that it is impossible to
penetrate.


8. _Be dead in earnest._ Only the earnest man can make the unsaved man
feel the truth of God’s word. It is well to let the passages that we
would use with others first sink into our own souls. I know of a very
successful worker who for a long time used the one passage, “prepare to
meet thy God,” with every one with whom she dealt, but that passage had
taken such complete possession of her heart and mind that she used it
with tremendous effect. A few passages that have mastered us are better
than many passages that we have mastered from some text book.

The reader of this book is advised to ponder, upon his knees, such of
the passages suggested in it as he decides to use until he himself feels
their power. We read of Paul that he “ceased not to warn every one night
and day, with tears.” (Acts xx. 31.) Genuine earnestness will go farther
than any skill learned in a training class or from the study of such a
book as this.


9. _Never lose your temper when trying to_ _lead a soul to Christ._ Some
persons are purposely exasperating, but even such may be won, by
patience, forbearance and gentleness.

They certainly cannot be won if you lose your temper. Nothing delights
them more, or gives them more comfort in their sins. The more extremely
irritating they are in their words and actions the more impressed they
will be if you return insults with kindness. Often times the one who has
been most insufferable will come back in penitence. One of the most
insulting men I ever met afterwards became one of the most patient,
persistent and effective of workers.


10. _Never have a heated argument with one whom you would lead to
Christ._ This always comes from the flesh and not from the spirit. (Gal.
v. 20, 22, 23.) It arises from pride and unwillingness to let the other
person get the best of you in argument. Refuse to argue. If the one with
whom you are talking has mistaken notions that must be removed before he
can be led to Christ quietly and pleasantly show him their error. If the
error is not essential refuse to discuss it and hold the person to the
main question.


11. _Never interrupt any one else who is dealing with a soul._ You may
think he is not doing it in the wisest way, but if you can do it any
better, bide your time and you will have the opportunity. Many an
unskilled worker has had some one at the very point of decision when
some meddler has broken in and upset the whole work. On the other hand,
do not let others, if you can help it, interrupt you. Just a little word
plainly but courteously spoken will usually prevent it.


12. _Don’t be in a hurry._ One of the great faults of Christian work
to–day is haste. We are too anxious for immediate results and so do
superficial work. It is very noticeable how many of those with whom
Christ dealt came out slowly. Nicodemus, Joseph, Peter and even
Paul—though the final step in his case seems very sudden—are cases in
point. It was three days even after the personal appearance of Jesus to
Paul on the way to Damascus before the latter came out into the light
and openly confessed Christ. (Acts xxii. 16.) One man with whom slow but
thorough work has been done, and who at last has been brought out
clearly for Christ, is better than a dozen with whom hasty work has been
done, who think they have accepted Christ when in reality they have not.
It is often a wise policy to plant a truth in a man’s heart and leave it
to work. The seed on rocky ground springs up quickly but withers as
quickly.


13. _Whenever it is possible and wise, get the person with whom you are
dealing on his knees before God._ It is wonderful how many difficulties
disappear in prayer, and how readily stubborn people yield when they are
brought into the very presence of God himself. I remember talking with a
young woman, in an inquiry room, for perhaps two hours and making no
apparent headway; but, when at last we knelt in prayer, in less than
five minutes she was rejoicing in her Saviour.


14. _Whenever you seem to fail in any given case go home and pray over
it and study it to see why you failed._ If you have been at a loss as to
what scripture to use, study that portion of this book that describes
the different classes we meet and how to deal with them and see where
this case belongs and how you ought to have treated it. Then go back if
you can and try again. In any case you will be better prepared next
time. The greatest success in this work comes through many apparent
defeats. It will be well to frequently study these hints and suggestions
to see if your failures come through neglect of them.


15. _Before parting from the one who has_ _accepted Christ, be sure to
give him definite instructions as to how to succeed in the Christian
life._ The following are points that should be always insisted upon.
(a.) Confess Christ with the mouth before men every opportunity you get.
Rom. x. 9, 10; Matt. x. 32, 33. (b.) Be baptized and partake regularly
of the Lord’s supper. Acts ii. 38, 42; Luke xxii. 19; 1 Cor. xi. 24‒26.
(c.) Study the Word of God daily. 1 Pet. ii. 2; Acts xx. 32; 2 Tim. iii.
13‒17; Acts xvii. 11. (d.) Pray daily, often and in every time of
temptation. Luke xi. 9‒13; xxii. 40; 1 Thes. v. 17. (e.) Put away out of
your life every sin, even the smallest, and everything you have doubts
about, and obey every word of Christ 1 Jno. i. 6, 7; Rom. xiv. 23; Jno.
xiv. 23. (f.) Seek the society of Christians. Eph. iv. 12‒16; Acts ii.
42, 47; Heb. x. 24, 25. (g.) Go to work for Christ. Matt. xxv. 14‒29.
(h.) When you fall into sin don’t be discouraged, but confess it at
once, believe it is forgiven because God says so and get up and go on.
1 Jno. i. 9; Phil. iii. 13‒14. It would be well to give these
instructions in some permanent form to the one whom you have led to
Christ. You can write them out or get a little tract called the
“Christian Life Card” published by Jno. C. Collins, Bureau of Supplies,
New Haven, Conn. This contains them and some other matter.


16. _When you have led any one to Christ, follow him up and help him in
the development of his Christian life._ Many are led to Christ and then
neglected and get on very poorly. This is a great mistake. The work of
following up those who are converted is as important as the work of
leading them to Christ, and as a rule no one can do it so well as the
person whom God used in their conversion.



                             CHAPTER XIII.

                     THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT


There is one condition of success in bringing men to Christ that is of
such cardinal importance, and so little understood, that it demands a
separate chapter. I refer to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Acts i.
5; Luke xxiv. 49 (comp. Acts i. 8), and Acts ii. 4, we have three
expressions; “baptized with the Holy Spirit,” “endured with power from
on high” and “filled with the Holy Spirit.” By a careful comparison of
these and related passages we will find that these various expressions
refer to one and the same experience. This experience we shall see as we
proceed in the study of this subject is an absolutely necessary
condition of acceptable and effective service for Christ.


1. WHAT IS THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

1. _It is a definite and distinct operation of the Holy Spirit of which
one may know whether it has been wrought in him or not._ This is evident
from the fact that Jesus bade His disciples tarry in Jerusalem until
they had received this enduement, (Luke xxiv. 49, comp. Acts i. 8), and
if it was not a definite and distinct operation of which they might know
whether they had received it or not, of course, they would not know when
this command of Christ had been complied with and when they were ready
to begin their witnessing.


2. _It is an operation of The Holy Spirit separate from His regenerating
work._ This appears from Acts i. 5, where the disciples are told “ye
shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.” But from
Jno. xv. 3; xiii. 10 we learn that the disciples were already
regenerated. It appears also from Acts viii. 15, 16 where we are told of
certain who had already believed and were baptized with water, but upon
whom the Holy Spirit had not yet fallen. The same thing is shown by Acts
xix. 1‒6, where we are told of certain who were disciples, but who had
not received the Holy Spirit since they believed. _One may then be
regenerated by the Holy Spirit without being baptized with the Holy
Spirit. Such an one is saved but he is not yet fitted for service._
Every believer has the Holy Spirit, Rom. viii. 9, but not every believer
has the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, (Acts viii. 12‒16; xix. 1‒2). We
shall see very soon that every believer may have the baptism of the Holy
Spirit.


3. _The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is always connected with testimony or
service_, (see 1 Cor. xii. 4‒13; Acts i. 5‒8; Luke xxiv. 49; Acts ii. 4;
iv. 8, 31; vii. 55; ix. 17, 20; x. 45‒46; xix. 6.) The Baptism of the
Holy Spirit has no direct reference to cleansing from sin. This is an
important point to bear in mind for many reasons. There is a line of
teaching on this subject that leads men to expect that if they receive
the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the old carnal nature will be
eradicated. There is not a line of scripture to support this position.
As said above, and as any one can learn for himself if he will examine
all the passages in which the baptism of the Holy Spirit is mentioned,
it is always connected with testimony and service. It is indeed
accompanied with a great moral and spiritual uplifting and pre–supposes,
as we shall see, an entire surrender of the will to Christ, but its
primary and immediate purpose is fitting for service. We will get a more
definite idea of what the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is, if we consider
its manifestations and results as stated in the Bible. (a.) Let us look
first at the passage that goes most into detail on this subject, 1 Cor.
xii. 4‒13. We see at once that _the manifestations or results of the
Baptism of the Holy Spirit are not precisely the same in all persons_.
For example, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit will not make every one who
receives it a successful evangelist or teacher. Some quite different
gift may be imparted. This fact is often overlooked and much
disappointment and doubt are the result. The manifestations or results
vary with the lines of service to which God has called different
individuals. One receives the gift of an evangelist, another of a
teacher, another of government, another of a helper, another of a
mother, (1 Cor. xii. 28‒31; Eph. iv. 8, 11.) (b.) 1 Cor. xii. 7, 11.
_There will be some gift in every case._ Not the same gift but some
gift, of an evangelist, or a pastor, or of a teacher or some other. (c.)
1 Cor. xii. 11. _The Holy Spirit is Himself the one who decides what the
gift or gifts shall be which he will impart to each individual._ It is
not for us to select some place of service and then ask the Holy Spirit
to qualify us for that service, nor for us to select some gift, and then
ask the Spirit to impart to us that gift. It is for us to put ourselves
entirely at the disposal of the Holy Spirit to send us where “He will,”
into what line of service “He will” (Acts xiii. 2,) and to impart what
gift “He will.” He is absolutely sovereign and our rightful position is
that of absolute and unconditional surrender to Him. This is where many
fail of a blessing and meet with disappointment. I know a most sincere
and self–sacrificing man who gave up a lucrative business and took up
the work of an evangelist. He had heard of the Baptism of the Holy
Spirit; and had been led to suppose that, if he received it, it would
qualify him for the work of an evangelist. The man came more than four
thousand miles to this country, but the work did not open to him. He was
in much perplexity and doubt until he was led to see that it was not for
him to select the work of an evangelist, as good as that work was, and
then expect the Holy Spirit to qualify him for this self–chosen work. He
gave himself up to be sent into whatever work the Spirit might will.
Into the work in which he was sent the power of the Spirit came upon him
and he received this very gift of an evangelist which he had coveted.
(d.) Acts i. 5, 8. _The Baptism of the Holy Spirit always imparts power
for service, the services to which God calls us._ In a certain city was
an uneducated boy who was led to Christ. In his very lowly occupation he
began witnessing for Jesus. He went on from step to step in Christ’s
work. My attention was called to him by a gentleman who was interested
in him, and who said he would like to have me meet him. The gentleman
brought him to Chicago, and I invited him one night to speak in one of
our tents. It was in an exceedingly hard neighborhood. Into the same
tent an organized mob once came to break up the meeting. It was a
difficult audience to hold. The young man began in what appeared to me
to be a very commonplace way, and I was afraid I had made a mistake in
asking him to speak, but I prayed and watched the audience. There was
nothing remarkable in his address as he went on—excepting the bad
grammar. But I noticed that all the people were listening. They
continued to listen to the end. When I asked if there was any one who
wished to accept Christ, people rose in different parts of the tent to
signify that they did. Thinking it all over, I told the facts to a man
who had known the speaker before. “It is just so wherever he goes” was
the reply. What was the explanation? This uneducated boy had received
the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and had received power. One night at the
close of an address on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, a minister came
to me on the platform and said: “I need this power, won’t you pray for
me?” “Let us kneel right down here now,” I replied, and we did. A few
weeks after I met a gentleman who had been standing by. “Do you
remember,” he said “the minister with whom you prayed at New Britain. He
went back to his church; his church is packed Sunday evenings, a large
part of the audience are young men and he is having conversions right
along.” He had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and “power.” (e.)
Acts iv. 29‒31. _The Baptism of the Holy Spirit always imparts boldness
in testimony and service._ Peter is a notable example of this. Contrast
Peter in Acts iv. 8‒12 with Peter in Mark xiv. 66‒72. Perhaps some one
who reads this book has a great desire to speak to others and win them
to Christ, but an insuperable timidity stands in the way. If you will
only get the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, all that will be overcome.

We are now in a position to define the baptism of the Holy Spirit. _The
Baptism of the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit of God falling upon the
believer, taking possession of his faculties, imparting to him gifts not
naturally his own, but which qualify him for the service to which God
has called him._


2. THE NECESSITY OF THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AS A PREPARATION FOR
CHRISTIAN WORK.

(1.) _In Luke xxiv. 49. Jesus bade the apostles to tarry in Jerusalem
until they were “endued with power from on high.”_ These men had been
appointed to be witnesses of the life, death and resurrection of Christ.
(Luke xxiv. 45‒48. Acts; i. 22; x. 39‒41.) They had received what would
seem to be a splendid and sufficient training for this work. For more
than three years they had been to school to the best of teachers, Jesus
Himself. They had been eye witnesses of his miracles, death, burial,
resurrection and ascension. But there was still one thing needed. And
this need was of such vital importance that Jesus would not permit them
to enter upon their appointed work until that need had been met. That
need was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. If the apostles with their
unparalleled fitting for service, were not permitted to enter that
service until all their other training had been supplemented by the
Baptism of the Holy Spirit, what daring presumption it is for any of us
with our inferior training to dare to do it. But this is not all, _even
Jesus Himself did not enter upon his ministry until specially anointed
with the Holy Spirit and with power_. (Acts x. 38, comp. Luke iii. 22
and iv. 1, 14). _This baptism is an absolutely essential preparation for
Christian work._ It is either ignorance of the plain requirements of
God’s word or the most daring presumption on our part when we try to do
work for Christ until we know we have been Baptized with the Holy
Spirit.


(2.) _It is the privilege of every believer to be baptized with the Holy
Spirit._ This appears from Acts ii. 39, R. V. “To you is the promise and
to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord
our God shall call unto him.” The context, the use of the word “promise”
in this and the preceding chapter (ch. i. 4; ii. 16, 33.) and the use of
the expression “gift of the Holy Spirit” throughout the book, all prove
conclusively that “the promise” of this verse means the promise of the
Baptism of the Holy Spirit; and the verse tells us that this promise is
for all in all ages of the church’s history whom God shall call unto
him, _i. e._ for every believer. If we have not this baptism it is our
own fault. It is for us and we are responsible before God for all the
work we might have done, and all the souls we might have won if we were
so baptized, and we are guilty to the extent that the work is not done
and the souls not won.


3. HOW CAN WE OBTAIN THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

We now come to the practical question: how can we obtain this Baptism of
the Holy Spirit which is such an absolute necessity in our work for
Christ? Fortunately the answer to this question is very plainly stated
in the Bible.


(1) “Repent ye and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus
Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of
the Holy Spirit” (Acts ii. 38 R. V.) _The first step toward obtaining
this Baptism is repentance._ Repentance means “a change of mind,” a
change of mind about sin, about God, and in this case especially (as the
context shows) a change of mind about Christ. A real change of mind such
as leads to action—to our turning away from all sin, our turning to God,
our turning away from rejecting Jesus Christ to accepting Him. _The
second step is the confession of our renunciation of sin and acceptance
of Jesus Christ in God’s appointed way by baptism in the name of Jesus
Christ._ The Baptism with the Holy Spirit in at least one instance (Acts
x. 44‒48) preceded the baptism with water but this was manifestly an
exceptional case and God says “repent ye and be baptized every one of
you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye
shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” (Acts ii. 38, R. V.)


(2) “The Holy Spirit whom God hath given to them that obey him.” (Acts
v. 32). _The condition of the gift of the Holy Ghost here stated is that
we “obey Him.”_ Obedience means more than the mere performance of some
of the things that God bids us do. It means the entire surrender of our
wills, ourselves and all we have, to Him. It means that we come to Him
and say from the heart, “here I am, I am thine, thou hast bought me with
a price, I acknowledge thine ownership. Take me, do with me what thou
wilt, send me where thou wilt, use me as Thou wilt.” This entire
yielding of ourselves to God is the condition of our receiving the
Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and it is at this point that many fail of
this blessing. At the close of a convention a gentleman hurried to the
platform and said there was a lady in great distress who wished to speak
with me. It was an hour before I could get to her, but I found her still
in great mental suffering in the intensity of her desire for the Baptism
of the Holy Spirit. Others had talked to her but it had seemed to do no
good. I sat down behind her and said, “Is your will wholly surrendered?”
She did not know. “You wish to be a Christian worker do you not?” “Yes.”
“Are you willing to go back to Baltimore and be a servant girl if it is
God’s will?” “No!” “You will never receive this blessing until your own
will is wholly laid down.” “I can’t lay it down.” “Would you like to
have God lay it down for you?” “Yes.” “Well, let us ask Him to do it.”
We did, he heard the prayer, the will was laid down, the Baptism of the
Holy Spirit was received and she went from the church rejoicing.

Obedience means also the doing in all matters great and small, the will
of God as revealed in His Word or by His Spirit. Any refusal to do what
God bids us do, any conscious doing of what he bids us not do, even in
very little matters, is sufficient to shut us out of this blessing. If
there is anything no matter how little, that comes up before us to
trouble us as we pray over this matter, we should set it right with God
at once. Mr. Finney tells of one who, in great agony prayed for days for
the Baptism of the Holy Spirit but received no answer. At last as she
was praying one night she put her hand to her head and took off some
little adornment that always came up before her when she prayed and cast
it from her. Immediately she received the long desired blessing. It
seemed a very little thing but it was a matter of controversy with God
and hindered the blessing.


(3.) “How much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to
them that ask Him.” (Luke xi. 13.)

(a.) There must be definite prayer for this Baptism. It is often said
that the Holy Spirit is already here and that every believer has the
Spirit and so we ought not to pray for the Holy Spirit. This argument
overlooks the distinction between having the Holy Spirit and having this
specific operation of the Holy Spirit. (see 1. 2.) It also contradicts
the plain teaching of God’s word that He gives “the Holy Spirit to them
that ask Him.” It is furthermore shown to be fallacious by the fact that
the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts was constantly given
in connection with and in answer to prayer. (Acts i. 14; ii. 1‒4; iv.
31; viii. 15,17.)

(b.) Prayer implies desire. There is no real prayer for the Baptism of
the Spirit unless there is _a deep desire for it_. As long as a man
thinks he can get along somehow without this blessing, he is not likely
to get it; but when a man reaches the place where he feels he must have
this no matter what it costs, he is far on the way toward receiving it.
Many a minister of the gospel and other worker has been brought to a
place where he has felt he could not go on with his ministry without
this gift and then the gift has soon followed and the character of his
work has been entirely transformed.

(c.) _The prayer to be effectual must be in faith (Mark xi. 24)._ James
says in regard to the prayer for wisdom, “Let him ask in faith, nothing
wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of sea driven with the
wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive
anything of the Lord.” (Jas. i. 6, 7.) The same principle, of course,
holds in regard to the prayer for the Holy Spirit. It is at this very
point that many miss the blessing. How to approach God in faith is
clearly taught by 1 Jno. v. 14, 15. “This is the confidence that we have
in Him, that, if we ask anything according to his will He heareth us,
and if we know that he hear us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have
the petitions that we desired of him.” When we ask Him for the Baptism
of the Holy Spirit we know that we have asked something according to His
will for it is definitely promised in His word. Therefore we know that
“He heareth us; and if we know that He hear us we know that we have the
petition” which we have asked of him. As soon then as I am sure I have
met the conditions stated above of the gift of the Holy Spirit, and
asked it of God I have a right to count this blessing mine—the prayer is
heard and I have the petition I asked of him—and get up and enter into
my work assured that in my work will be seen the Spirit’s power. “But,”
some one will say, “shall we expect no manifestations?” Yes, but where?
In service. When I know on the authority of God’s word that my prayer is
heard, I have the right to enter upon any service to which He calls me
and confidently expect the manifestation of the Spirit’s power in that
service. It is a mistake to wait or look for, as so many do, the
manifestation in electric shocks or peculiar emotional experiences. They
may and often do accompany the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. But the Bible
clearly teaches us (i Cor. xii. 4‒11) that the place to look for
manifestations, is in service and the most important, reliable and
scriptural manifestations are found in our work. “Must we not wait,” it
may be asked, “until we know that we have received the baptism of the
Holy Spirit?” Most assuredly, but how are we to know? The same way in
which we know we are saved, _by the testimony of God’s word_. When I
know I have met the conditions and have asked this gift which is
“according to his will” I know by God’s word (1 Jno. v. 14, 15.) that my
prayer is heard, and that I have the petition I desired of him. I have a
right to arise with no other evidence than the all–sufficient evidence
of God’s word, and enter into the service to which God calls me. “Did
not the early disciples wait ten days?” it may again be asked. Yes, and
the reason why is clearly given in Acts ii. 1.—“When the day of
Pentecost was fully come.” In the O. T. types the day of Pentecost had
been appointed as the day in God’s economy for the first giving of the
Holy Spirit and the offering of the first–fruits (the church) and so the
Holy Spirit could not be given until that day. (Lev. xxiii. 9‒17.) But
after the Spirit was once given we find no protracted period of waiting
on the part of those who sought this blessing. (Acts iv. 31; viii. 15,
17; ix. 17, 20; xix. 6.) Men are obliged to wait to–day, but it is only
because they have not met the conditions, or do not believe and claim
the blessing simply on the Word of God. The moment we meet the
conditions and claim the blessing it is ours. (Mark xi. 24 R.V.) Any
child of God may lay down this book, meet the conditions, ask the
blessing, claim it and have it. In a Students’ Summer School at Lake
Geneva after a talk by F. B. Meyer on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, a
student remained to talk with me. He said he had heard of this before
and had been seeking it for months but could not get it. I found his
will was not surrendered, but that was soon settled. Then I said, “Let
us kneel down and ask God for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” He did
so. Was that petition “according to his will?” I asked. “Yes.” “Was the
prayer heard?” After some hesitation, “It must have been.” “Have you
what you asked of Him?” “I don’t feel it.” I read 1 Jno. v. 15 from the
Bible that lay open before us: “If we know that he hears us, whatsoever
we ask, we know that _we have_ the petition we desired of him.” “Was the
prayer heard?” “Yes.” “Have you what you asked?” “I must have; for God
says so.” We arose and soon separated. Going back to the school in a few
days I met the young man again. His face was now all aglow and he knew
he had received what at first he took upon the bare word of God.


4. THE REPETITION OF THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

One thing more needs to be said before we leave this subject. _The
Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience that needs frequent
repeating._ This appears from a comparison of Acts ii. 4—where Peter
with others was filled with the Holy Spirit—with Acts iv. 8.—where Peter
was filled again,—and with Acts iv. 31 where Peter with others was
filled yet again. A new filling is needed and should be sought for each
new emergency of Christian service. There are many who once knew
experimentally what the Baptism of the Holy Spirit meant who are trying
to work to–day in the power of that old experience and are working
without God. They need and must have a new Baptism before God can use
them.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



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                          Transcriber’s Notes


    Printed       Corrected    Page
 comprhensive   comprehensive     2 gives in clear and comprehensive
 iuformatiou    information       2 information for Christian workers
 Backsliders    Back–sliders      5 ASSURANCE, AND BACK–SLIDERS
 very           every             9 every other grace of
 sorely, need   sorely need,      9 sorely need, and expect Him
 1.             I                 9 (1 Jno. v. 14, 15;
 Christ,        Christ           10 bringing men to Christ
 need           need,            10 need, (3) to show them
 Saviour        Saviour,         10 Saviour, (4) to meet the
 “All”.         “All.”           20 sinned?” “All.” “Who
 gone           “gone            21 “gone astray” and hold
 sin.           sin?             22 the greatest sin?
 Galations      Galatians        24 Galatians iii. 10 is a verse
 wages.         wages?           25 to take your wages?
 then           than             26 for this purpose than
 God.           God?             32 the sons of God?
 Chirst         Christ           32 at Christ lifted up
 1.             i.               32 Romans i. 16 is another excellent
 Gospel.        Gospel?          33 what is the Gospel?
 will.          will?            33 he says he will?
 Galations      Galatians        35 Galatians iii. 10‒13 also
 of,            of               35 makes the way of salvation
 God”           God              36 confessed to God his sins
 lost,”         lost.’”          37 that which was lost.’”
 moments        moments’         39 a few moments’ deep
 Now            Now,             39 “Now,” I said
 sin.           sin.”            40 your sin.” I laid
 longer er      longer           40 on you any longer
 Chr.           Chron.           41 falling. 2 Chron. xxxii. 7, 8
 “yes”.         “yes.”           42 He said, “yes.”
 not.           not?             42 did you not?
 came           came,            42 so glad I came,
 kingdom,       kingdom          43 put God and His kingdom
 righr          right            46 let us kneel right down
 umerciful      merciful         49 he will be merciful
 WITN           WITH             50 DEALING WITH THOSE WHO
 “No”,          “No,”            52 replies, “No,” then
 repentence     repentance       53 repentance, not to encourage
 “Yes”,         “Yes,”           55 “Yes,” I replied
 How            “How             55 “How do you know
 assurance, is  assurance is,    56 ground of assurance is,
 Backsliders    Back–sliders     57 ASSURANCE AND WITH BACK–SLIDERS
 Him?           Him?”            58 “Have you received Him?”
 “Justified”.   “Justified.”     59 “Justified.” Then ask him
 mouth”.        mouth,”          60 “with the mouth,”
 backslider     back–slider      64 back–slider who wishes to
 16             15               64 in Chapter xii. sec. 15.
 him.           him,             69 Next say to him,
 world.”        world.’”         69 Him before the world.’”
 thoughfully    thoughtfully     69 slowly and thoughtfully
 your,          your             70 but with your sin
 “hell”.        “hell.”          74 punishment in “hell.”
 6              7.               75 7. _Those who doubt_
 skeptics       Skeptics         76 Skeptics who are triflers
 god            God              77 COMPLAIN OF GOD.
 well.          well?            82 not use you well?
 to–night.      to–night,        83 or “Not to–night,”
 in.”           in.              84 went in. Then ask
 Christian.     Christian,       85 _become a Christian_,
 _or_           or               85 _am too young_,” or
 all sufficient all–sufficient   85 all–sufficient answer to
 repetiton      repetition       86 home by constant repetition
 sayng          saying           86 but who kept saying
 1.                              87 There are several
 repentence     repentance       90 the necessity of repentance
 as as          as               96 through the eye as
 Spirit”,       Spirit,”        104 with the Holy Spirit,”
 Spirit,        Spirit.         104 Holy Spirit.” By
 i. e.          _i. e._         112 _i. e._ for every believer
 (3)            3.              113 3. HOW CAN WE
 Spirit.        Spirit?         113 THE HOLY SPIRIT?
 Spirit         Spirit”         113 of the Holy Spirit”
 him”.          him.”           114 that obey him.”
 said           said,           115 behind her and said,
 down,          down.           115 can’t lay it down.
 you.           you?            115 down for you?
 24.            24.)            117 _faith (Mark xi. 24)._
 wisdom.        wisdom,         117 prayer for wisdom,
 Spirit.        Spirit?         119 of the Holy Spirit?
 asked,         asked.          119 again be asked.
 thiug          thing           121 One thing more needs
 Tho            The             123 =_The Life and Light_=
 jesse          Jesse           125 By Jesse Page.
 2mo            12mo            125 Illustrated.   12mo, cloth.
 A’ Kempis.     A. Kempis’      126 with Thomas A. Kempis’
 believer s     believer’s      126 is the believer’s highest happiness
                ―               126 sale.”―_The N. Y. Evangelist._


On Page 85, “I must do something else first.” has been italicized for
consistency.

On Page 116, started a new paragraph at “(a.) There must be”.

Punctuation for chapter headings has been regularized. Missing periods
have been added to the chapter number. Periods have been removed from
chapter titles and centered section headings.

The font style for headings of a given level have been made consistent.

Biblical references have been regularized to the form: [num] name
chapter. verse, where [num] is an optional arabic numeral, chapter is a
lower–case roman numeral, and verse is an arabic numeral. For example,
2 Cor. ix. 8 and 1 Jno. iii. 23‒24.

Missing periods after Biblical book abbreviations have been silently
added. Additionally, some superfluous periods and commas following
Biblical references have been removed.

Some missing punctuation has been silently added.

Some hyphenation inconsistencies have been retained.





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