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Medical Missionary Work and the Final Crisis


by: Samantha Edwards


Our latest Gospel-Medical Missionary Field School brought us to Cleveland, OH where my husband and I labored with the Maranatha Seventh-day Adventist Church to equip 23 precious souls to do the work of a medical evangelist. We were joyed with the fact that this church has decided to use their facilities to not only train their members, but also the surrounding churches. This medical missionary work is truly appointed of God and it is exciting to see so many interested in working as Christ worked! 


We are told “We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work.” {7T 62}. How are they going to do it? How will each one be trained for such service? Inspiration does not leave us wondering. Notice,


Every church member should be engaged in some line of service for the Master. Some cannot do so much as others, but everyone should do his utmost to roll back the tide of disease and distress that is sweeping over our world. Many would be willing to work if they were taught how to begin. They need to be instructed and encouraged.  {CME 17.5}  


Every church should be a training school for Christian workers. Its members should be taught how to give Bible readings, how to conduct and teach Sabbath-school classes, how best to help the poor and to care for the sick, how to work for the unconverted. There should be schools of health, cooking schools, and classes in various lines of Christian help work. {MH 149.2}  


Consequently, if every church were a training school for Christian workers, then every church member can have opportunity to become gospel medical missionaries! Oh my friends, it is a beautiful plan, yea more— it is an inspired plan.  We were blessed to have followed this wonderful counsel as we know it would be a means of preparing those “who shall be able to teach others also” God’s beautiful plan of healthful living!


Our one-week (8-day) intensive training began with giving discourses on the purpose of the medical missionary work, that it is “largely a spiritual work” {CH 540}; how its “object is to point sin-sick men and women to the Man of Calvary, who taketh away the sin of the world” {MH 144.1}. Our great textbook was the Bible, the word of God and the inspired classic, The Ministry of Healing which we are told “contains the wisdom of the Great Physician” {9T 71}. These two powerhouses gave us a solid foundation on the great import of this work.


We also took a full day to cover, “How to study the Bible” as well as give practical instruction on how to “give Bible readings” and how to answer difficult Bible texts and how to defend our doctrinal positions biblically. This aspect of the training proved to be a wonderful blessing as there were so many that, although have been church members for so many years, never really understood how to study the Bible. The prophet to the remnant tells us,


“I have been shown that many who profess to have a knowledge of present truth know not what they believe. They do not understand the evidences of their faith. They have no just appreciation of the work for the present time. When the time of trial shall come, there are men now preaching to others who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason. Until thus tested they knew not their great ignorance. And there are many in the church who  take it for granted that they understand what they believe; but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. When separated from those of like faith and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth. Certain it is that there has been among us a departure from the living God and a turning to men, putting human in place of divine wisdom. {5T 707.2}  


I pray God that none of us shall find ourself in this woeful position! Let us “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” [2 Tim 2:15]. We must now, while we have opportunity, store up in our minds all the treasures of God’s holy word!


We also dwelt heavily on the role of the medical missionary work in preparation for the final crisis. For this we looked at:


As religious aggression subverts the liberties of our nation, those who would stand for freedom of conscience will be placed in unfavorable positions. For their own sake, they should, while they have opportunity, become intelligent in regard to disease, its causes, prevention, and cure. And those who do this will find a field of labor anywhere. There will be suffering ones, plenty of them, who will need help, not only among those of our own faith, but largely among those who know not the truth.  {CH 506.1}  


You see, having this understanding is not optional if we intend on being faithful and true until the end. If you have not yet learned how to address disease, know its cause, prevention and cure, you are sadly setting yourself up to receive of the mark of the beast. This is by no means attempting to alarm you, but we must know the serious realities of a neglect of this knowledge. Further, any attempts we make to do “evangelism” would not be as effective as it should if we are not combining both the medical missionary work with the gospel.


Medical missionary work is in no case to be divorced from the gospel ministry. The Lord has specified that the two shall be as closely connected as the arm is with the body. Without this union neither part of the work is complete. The medical missionary work is the gospel in illustration.  {CH 524.2}  

 

I have tried to carry forward the medical missionary work and the gospel. These two are united, and should never be separated, because Christ did not separate them. {GCB, April 8, 1901 par. 20}


To see the magnitude of this separation, we are told, 


I want to tell you that when the gospel ministers and the medical missionary workers are not united, there is placed on our churches the worst evil that can be placed there. {MM 241}


How can we stay this tide of evil?


Get the young men and women in the churches to work. Combine medical missionary work with the proclamation of the third angel's message. Make regular, organized efforts to lift the church members out of the dead level in which they have been for years. Send out into the churches workers who will live the principles of health reform. Let those be sent who can see the necessity of self-denial in appetite, or they will be a snare to the church. See if the breath of life will not then come into our churches. {6T 267}


The solution, as plainly stated, is simple— combine the medical missionary work with the proclamation of the gospel. Why don’t we take God at His word and work the works of Him who sent us while it is day, the night cometh when no man can work. [John 9:4]



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