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Viewpoint from Mike Clarry for the 9th March 2012 

Member and Elder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
Burnt Lane, Gorleston


Evangelism, the honoured privilege of telling someone else of the love of Jesus Christ and through the shedding of His blood at Calvary, salvation is free to all who accept Him!
Twenty-four years ago, two young brothers living on a farm in South Africa, were given the task of burning a snake their dad had just kCHURCH SOCIAL 2009 021illed. This is common practice in South Africa. If you bury a dead snake, it secretes a smell that attracts its mate, thus by burning it, you indirectly discourage its mate.
The younger boy, aged eleven ran to get the can of petrol and the older, aged thirteen, ran to get the matches! Moments later they met behind the farm shed, near the tractors and implements, there they curled the dead snake on a sheet of tin, poured petrol over the reptile, stepped back and threw a burning match onto the tin! Whoosh! The petrol burst into flames – all was going well and seemed safe until, the younger brother decided that the snake needed to be burnt ‘some more’! So, without knowing the consequences or how volatile petrol really is, he stepped forward to pour some more petrol onto the burning snake!
The flame was enormous; the heat was intense! The boy now totally engulfed by this giant flame stood stunned. Eyes wide open, all he could see was orange/red, all he could feel was intense heat! The image of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace of Daniel 3 comes to mind.
Suddenly, as fast as the flame had exploded, hands reached into the flames, locked around the young boy and pulled him out of the mini inferno!
We are living in a spiritually dying world and evangelism should be the foremost desire of every Christian serving the Lord wholeheartedly; it has now reached a point of urgency! Just as one would instinctively react in an emergency to save someone’s life, so we should be reacting now and bring people to Christ! An inspired writer wrote:
“Brethren and sisters, we must take into consideration the fact that we are on missionary soil as labourers together with God (...) We should now feel the responsibility of labouring with intense earnestness to impart to others the light we have received. We cannot be too much in earnest. Souls are very precious in His sight. It was for this world that Christ wept in agony; for this world He was crucified. He desires to see those who have had great light flashing that light upon the pathway of their fellow-men. One soul is of more value to heaven than a whole world of property, houses, lands, or money.” (Australasian Union Conference Record, October 15, 1898, A Stirring Appeal)
Evangelism can be carried out in many ways, namely: public speaking, handing out literature, group studies, interactive activities, making friends with your neighbours, health screening programs, feeding the homelesDove rights, etc. The list can get quite long.
However, for some people, the thought of sharing their faith with someone, can be frightening or as daunting as jumping into a fire! This is a reality that many upfront people find difficult to understand, nevertheless for the not so upfront person, this can be a real problem that is most discouraging, and could even eventually lead to the individual in wanting to ‘give up’!
One of the most effect ways of evangelism is good old brotherly/sisterly love. Actually when closely examined, you’ll notice that all forms of evangelism spring from the foundation of having love for someone else! This love comes from Jesus who lives in you. Some of the greatest evangelists in our churches today, are those true, faithful and loyal members whose lives are a living testimony; they show nothing but love to people. All effective evangelism must start with the love of Christ in your heart.
The testimony I told is true; I was the young boy. My brother, who had been standing a few metres away at the time, instinctively jumped into the flames and pulled me out to safety , simply – because he loved me – not a hair on my head was burnt, I didn’t even smell of smoke, sounds familiar doesn’t it? Absolutely nothing happened to me. A miracle took place that day; I believe The Lord saved me and He did it through the love my brother had for me.
Evangelism not only takes place at planned events, and through church leaders and prominent speakers; it can take place anywhere, anytime and under any circumstance. All it requires is a willing, dedicated and consecrated heart – God does the rest!
Paul Juby (Guest) 16/03/2012 08:24
Mike - your have been truly blessed. And your writing on Evangelism is to be commended. People like you are worth knowing. God bless you and your Church