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    Institutional Evangelism

    Established to Promote the Gospel Message—To preach the gospel means much more than many realize. It is a broad, far-reaching work. Our sanitariums have been presented to me as most efficient mediums for the promotion of the gospel message.—Manuscript 5, 1908.Ev 536.2

    To Bring Health to the Soul—Some will be attracted by one phase of the gospel, and some by another. We are instructed by our Lord to work in such a way that all classes will be reached. The message must go to the whole world. Our sanitariums are to help to make up the number of God's people. We are not to establish a few mammoth institutions; for thus it would be impossible to give the patients the messages that will bring health to the soul. Small sanitariums are to be established in many places.—Medical Ministry, 327 (1905).Ev 536.3

    To Make the Gospel Attractive—Those who are connected with our sanitariums are to be educators. By pleasant words and kindly deeds they are to make the gospel attractive. As followers of Christ, they should seek to make the most favorable impression of the religion they profess, and to inspire noble thoughts. Some will be affected by their influence for time and for eternity.Ev 537.1

    In the work of helping others, we may gain most precious victories. We should devote ourselves with untiring zeal, with earnest fidelity, with self-denial, and with patience, to the work of helping those who need to develop. Kind, encouraging words will do wonders. There are many who, if a constant, cheerful effort is put forth in their behalf, without faultfinding or chiding, will show themselves susceptible of improvement. The less we criticize others, the greater will be our influence over them for good. To many, frequent, positive admonitions will do more harm than good. Let Christlike kindness be enjoined upon all.—Medical Ministry, 208, 209 (1905).Ev 537.2

    The Great Objective—The conversion of souls is the one great object to be sought for in our medical institutions. It is for this that these institutions are established. The sick and the afflicted, coming to our sanitariums, are brought within reach of the gospel workers laboring there. Oh, what precious opportunities are thus offered to sow the seeds of truth.—Letter 213, 1902.Ev 537.3

    Presenting the Message Judiciously—Let the spiritual atmosphere of these institutions be such that men and women who are brought to the sanitariums to receive treatment for their bodily ills shall learn the lesson that their diseased souls need healing....Ev 537.4

    Simple, earnest talks may be given in the parlors, pointing the sufferers to their only hope for the salvation of the soul. These religious meetings should be short and right to the point, and they will prove a blessing to the hearers. The word of Him who founded the world in six days, and on the seventh “rested and was refreshed,” should be effectively brought before the mind....Ev 538.1

    Publications containing the precious truths of the gospel should be in the rooms of the patients, or where they can have easy access to them. There should be a library in every sanitarium, and it should be supplied with books containing the light of the gospel. Judicious plans should be laid that the patients may have constant access to reading matter that contains the light of present truth....Ev 538.2

    Let our sanitariums become what they should be—homes where healing is ministered to sin-sick souls. And this will be done when the workers have a living connection with the Great Healer.—Manuscript 5, 1908.Ev 538.3

    Workers Who Can Give Spiritual Help—In our sanitariums, of all places in the world, we need soundly converted physicians and wise workers—men and women who will not urge their peculiar ideas upon the sick, but who will present the truths of the Word of God in a way that will bring comfort and encouragement and blessing to the patients. This is the work for which our sanitariums are established—to correctly represent the truths of the Word of God and to lead the minds of men and women to Christ.Ev 538.4

    Let the religious services held each day be short but educational in character. Present the Bible and its Author, the God of heaven and earth, and Christ the Son, the great gift of God to the world. Tell the patients how the Saviour came to the earth to reveal the love of God for men. Present before them His great sacrifice in thus coming here to live and die. Let it be known that through faith in Christ every sinful human being may become a partaker of the divine nature, and learn to co-operate with God in the work of salvation.—Medical Ministry, 208 (1909).Ev 538.5

    Removing Prejudice—The instruction given to the patients in our sanitariums is not to be presented in the form of laws that must be obeyed. The word was spoken: “Everything that can be done is to be done to bring the sick and afflicted to the way of truth and righteousness. Medical missionary work is one means of doing this. We do not know how much prejudice is removed as people are brought in contact with true medical missionary workers. As physicians and nurses strive to do for the suffering the work that Christ did when He was upon this earth, the truth for this time will find access to minds and hearts”....Ev 539.1

    The evening seasons of worship at our sanitariums should be conducted in a way that will give opportunity for the asking of questions.—Letter 213, 1902.Ev 539.2

    Doctrinal Questions—The sanitarium parlor, where are gathered a promiscuous crowd of patients, is not the place to talk upon doctrinal subjects. Let our consistent lives win confidence and awaken a desire to know why we believe as we do. Then invite those who inquire to attend the Sabbath meetings.—Manuscript 53, 1899.Ev 539.3

    A Wise Restraint—You have an important work to do in the sanitariums. In your work for the patients, do not allow them to receive an impression that you are intensely anxious for them to understand and to accept our faith. It is natural that there should be an intense fervency to this end. But often a wise restraint is necessary. In some cases the words that might seem appropriate would do grave injury, and close a door that might have opened wider.Ev 539.4

    Manifest tender love, and exercise judicious forbearance. If you see a good opportunity to make a sharp point in argument, it is better often to forbear. Do not on all occasions present the strongest proofs you know; for this would arouse a suspicion that you were trying merely to convert your hearer to the Seventh-day Adventist faith.Ev 540.1

    The simple Word of God has great power to convince of the truth. Let the Word speak and do its work. Let there be wise restraint in evangelistic effort. Do not force the presentation of a testing point. Wait till inquiries are made. Let your example teach. Let the words and works show that you believe the words of the living Teacher.—Letter 308, 1906.Ev 540.2

    A Tactful Approach—The living truth of God is to be made known in our medical institutions. This does not mean that the doctor or any of the workers are to introduce the truth to everyone. That is not the way to do. The truth can be presented without doing this. The nurses and workers are not to go to the patients, saying, We believe in the third angel's message. That is not their work, unless the patients desire to hear, unless their objections have been removed, and their hearts have been softened.Ev 540.3

    Act so that the patients will see that Seventh-day Adventists are a people who have common sense. Act so that they will feel that the institution is a restful place. Bible truth is to be presented, but special points of the truth are not to be brought out before all the patients. If they ask you questions, give them the reasons of your faith. In this way light will shine forth.Ev 540.4

    Patients may be asked to attend our meeting, and there they will hear the truth, knowing at the same time that it is not pressed upon them. Then when they leave the sanitarium and hear people saying, I do not want to go there to be made a Seventh-day Adventist, they will tell them that the workers at the sanitarium press the truth upon no one.Ev 541.1

    It will be impossible to keep patients from inquiring in regard to our faith. There are those who hunger and thirst for truth, and such ones will find it. That is why we want our institution established at once.—Manuscript 111, 1899.Ev 541.2

    The Witness of a Consistent Christian Life—These sacred truths, believed and practiced, are not to be carried in any coercive manner, but in the spirit of the Master. The Holy Spirit will reach noble minds and the better spirit of men. In all our sanitariums there should be men who understand the doctrine of truth and who can present it by pen and voice. They will be brought in contact with men of no mean minds, and they should plead with them as they would plead with an only son. It should be our aim, saith the Lord, not to put in responsible positions of trust men who are not fitted by experience, men who do not take deep views of Bible truth.Ev 541.3

    Many suppose that appearance and style and pretense are to do a great work in reaching the higher classes. But this is an error. These persons can read these things. Appearance has something, yes, much to do with the impressions made upon minds, but the appearance must be after a godly sort. Let it be seen that the workers are bound up with God and heaven. There should be no striving for recognition by worldly men in order to give character and influence to the work in these last days. Consistency is a jewel. Our faith, our dress, and our deportment must be in harmony with the character of our work, the presentation of the most solemn message ever given to the world.Ev 541.4

    Our work is to win men to belief of the truth, win by preaching and by example also, by living godly lives. The truth in all its bearings is to be acted, showing the consistency of faith with practice. The value of our faith will be shown by its fruit. The Lord can and will impress men by our intense earnestness. Our dress, our deportment, our conversation and the depth of a growing experience in spiritual lines, all are to show that the great principles of truth we are handling are a reality to us. Thus the truth is to be made impressive as a great whole and command the intellect. Truth, Bible truth, is to become the authority for the conscience and the love and life of the soul.—Letter 121, 1900.Ev 542.1

    Not Words, but Deeds—In regard to making known our faith no decided effort should be made to conceal it, and no unwise efforts put forth to make it prominent. Persons will come to the sanitarium who are in a favorable condition to be impressed by the truth. If they ask questions in regard to our faith, it would be proper to state what we believe, in a clear, simple manner. Indwelling godliness imparts a power to the conduct of the true believer that gives him an influence for the right.Ev 542.2

    But in this matter we should act with discretion. There are conscientious persons who think it their duty to talk freely upon points of faith on which there is a difference of opinion, in a manner which arouses the combativeness of those with whom they converse. One such premature, injudicious effort may close the ears of one who otherwise would have heard patiently, but who will now influence others unfavorably. Thus spring up the roots of bitterness, whereby many are defiled. Through the indiscretion of one, the ears and hearts of many may be closed to the truth.Ev 542.3

    It is a fact that is known to all that the zealous religionists of the different sects have cultivated and manifested very little candor in their estimation of those who differ with them on religious subjects. Those of this class expect to meet the same unreasonable spirit among Seventh-day Adventists, and then put on their armor, prepared to resist anything that will reflect on their peculiar views.Ev 543.1

    In times past some in the sanitarium have felt it their duty to introduce the Sabbath question in all places. They have urged it upon the patients with earnestness and persistency. To such the angels of God would say, Not words, but deeds. The daily life tells much more than any number of words. A uniform cheerfulness, tender kindness, Christian benevolence, patience, and love will melt away prejudice, and open the heart to the reception of the truth. Few understand the power of these precious influences.—Manuscript 53, 1899.Ev 543.2

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