09/12/09: The Time is Now!
Time is coming to a close for this world, and very soon we shall see the King in His glory seated upon His throne and coming in power to gather His faithful ones who have made a covenant with Him by sacrifice.
When this time comes our money will be worthless. God wants us to invest our funds in the bank of Heaven where rust and moth will not corrupt. If we don’t use God’s money wisely, it will be thrown to the moles and the bats just before Jesus comes in power. Isaiah 2:20. The best way to invest in the bank of Heaven is through winning souls.
Our time to do evangelism is now, while we have a little time of peace in our troubled world. If we do not take advantage of the peace we now enjoy, we will have to work under terrible pressure. “The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity, she will have to do in a terrible crisis, under most discouraging, forbidding, circumstances. The warnings that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld must be given under the fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith. And at that time the superficial, conservative class, whose influence has steadily retarded the progress of the work, will renounce the faith, and take their stand with its avowed enemies, toward whom their sympathies have long been tending.” Christian Service, 158.
The Historic Message Church has completed another evangelistic meeting in the Portland area. This was our church’s seventh major evangelistic series in this city of nearly two million people. We are systematically trying to cover the entire metro area of Portland/Vancouver. Gresham, Oregon, was the target city for the Unsealing Revelation Bible Prophecy Seminar evangelistic meetings for 2009.
A part of our ground work was visiting many of the people who had come to our previous meetings and those who had returned a card requesting the book The Great Controversy. The most important activity in which we engaged was prayer and fasting for the Holy Spirit to come into each heart in our church and that He would work in a mighty way in the hearts of those who would be coming to the meetings.
Since we’ve held several similar meetings in the Portland area to this date and knew the percentage of people that have come in the past from the number of fliers that were mailed out, we had chosen a venue that could seat about 50 people classroom style. In previous meetings we mailed between 60,000 and 100,000 fliers and have had 30-70 people attend the first weekend of the meetings, and then the numbers would dwindle from there.
At these meetings we mailed out about 31,000 fliers to the Gresham area and were expecting about 20-30 attendees based on previous meetings but we are always hoping for more. So we expected to have enough seating for church members and the attendees.
The day to start the meetings arrived, and I was there early to make sure that the hotel had set up the room correctly and to have the audio and video ready by the time the first people started to arrive. Most of the past meetings that I have conducted, there are one or two persons that come an hour early and watch you set up. This was the case with these meetings, except we had many people that decided to come early. About 45 minutes before the meeting started, every chair was filled and the church members had to give their seats to the new people. We had a problem on our hands, but it was a good problem. We started to pull chairs out of the closets and set them up wherever we could find space to put them. Soon all 80 chairs had been taken out of the closet and were filled, and we still had people at the door waiting to come in and find a seat. There were many who stood outside the room for awhile but never made it in because the door was blocked with people. There was standing room only throughout the room shortly after I began to preach. Unfortunately, two people even left because there were no available seats. “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.” Ecclesiastics 11:6. I want to give thanks to the Lord and prais-e Him for how He worked that night. I had never seen anything like it.
The next day we made arraignments with the hotel to set up the room theater style, which would give us about 70 chairs. This was the maximum the room would hold, according to the fire marshal. The next day started out like the first night. Many people started to come about an hour early, and every chair was filled about 30 minutes before the start of the meeting. I believe that we exceeded the fire code the first two weeks of the meetings.
It is amazing how the Lord prepares people ahead of time to receive the truth. There was a lady that attended our meetings who received a flier that had been pinned up in grocery store or was lying around somewhere. She came faithfully every night and always brought 3-5 young people with her to the meetings. After the first weekend of the seminar, I went to visit her to see if she had any questions about what we had been studying. She said that she did not have any questions about the lectures but said, “I have questions about the Sabbath.” At this time I had not spoken about the Sabbath in the meetings but told her that I would be studying the Sabbath in a few days. She told me that she had received the book National Sunday Law outside the Luis Palau meeting, in Portland, a few months before the meetings and read the book and became convicted that she and her family should be keeping the Sabbath but didn’t know where to go. She came all the way through the meetings, accepting all the truth that was presented and is now keeping God’s seventh-day Sabbath and is continuing to study the present truth with me. Our church, along with Adventists from other local churches, passed out thousands of pieces of literature at the Luis Palau event. What a bless¬ing it is to see seed planting bearing fruit and to watch how God guides His children.
We also had a couple that came faithfully every night to the meetings, who God had prepared to accept the truth many years prior to the seminar. They had been in and out of the churches seeking to find the truth but never found it. The husband told me after one of the lectures that one of the churches they were attending turned him away from the Bible and he stopped studying the Bible for a while. A couple of years before the meetings, they started attending the Salvation Army church in Portland, which led them back into studying the Bible. As they studied the Bible they started to wonder why the churches were keeping Sunday as a day worship instead of the Sabbath. They would attend church and hear the pastor speak about persons going to Heaven when they died, and he wondered why this was different than what he had discovered that the Bible teaches about death. As they studied they had many questions. They were so thankful they came to the meetings and heard the truth from God‘s word. They now attend our church and our learning more about the Adventist message. We praise the Lord for those who are now attending church and our weekly Bible study. Several have requested baptism and are studying in preparation for this. The Lord truly blessed our humble efforts to cooperate with Him, and I give all the praise to Him. Please pray for these dear souls, that they will be in the kingdom!
By Pastor Mike Bauler, Historic Message Church, PO Box 130, Colton, OR 97017. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org