Preaching to the Choir in Antipolo

June 1 2014 / ShareHim in Philippines - Manila, May. 2 - May. 17 '14 #626
by Elfriede Volk

Personal Testimony of Elfriede Volk.

With a mass baptism of 1,075 people Sabbath afternoon, it was fitting that the evening’s topic was baptism, followed by an appeal. But when I made the appeal, there was no response.
“How many of you are already baptized and members of the Adventist church?” I asked, changing my tactic. Every hand went up. I was speechless.
“If you have made a commitment to Christ, then why haven’t you invited your friends, your neighbors, your relatives? It is not enough to be baptized with water. Jesus told Nicodemus that we must be born of water AND the Spirit, and the baptism by the Spirit is more important. Without it, Jesus said, we cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
I then told of Jim, a pastor friend whose wife left him. When the ministerial director came to see him, he asked, “Jim, do you know Jesus?”
“Of course I know Jesus,” Jim raged. “I’m a pastor. I’ve been preaching Him for 20 years.”
“That’s not what I asked,” the director replied. “Do you know Him personally?”
That’s when Jim fell to his knees, sobbing, and was converted.
“I don’t care who you are, how long you have been a member of this church or what position you hold, if you do not have the same passion for souls that Jesus has, you are not truly converted,” I concluded.
A young man just finishing his term with the 1,000 Missionary Movement usually came along when my driver took me back to the hotel, and carried my bags for me. Mark was always joking and laughing, but that night he was very quiet. Finally he turned to me and asked, “Is it a sin to doubt?”
“No,” I said. “Thomas doubted. Rather than reprimanding him, Jesus let him have the very proof he needed. There was also a man who asked Jesus to heal his son. Jesus replied that all things were possible if he believed. ‘Lord, I believe,’ the man cried. ‘Help Thou mine unbelief.’ If we exercise the little faith we have, God will honor that and increase it.”
For the next 15 minutes the only sound was the hum of the motor and the sound of sobbing.
The next night the appeal was for those who wanted to surrender their hearts completely to God. Mark was the first one on his feet and in the aisle before I even finished. The levity that had characterized him was gone. He was a new man.
Perhaps Mark was the reason why I had to preach to the choir that night. On all other nights guests were in attendance. The following Friday six people were baptized at my site, with others joining the mass baptism the next day. Still others were preparing for baptism.
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