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Pastoral Ministries, Chapter 38:  
Former Members,  Inactive Members
  Wise efforts should be made to prevent straying and to bring back those who have strayed.-- Here were the cases of several who had backslidden, who had been in darkness, and who had strayed from the fold. But especially was the case of Brother A prominent. All the efforts were not made which should have been made in wisdom to prevent his straying from the fold; and after he had strayed, diligent efforts were not put forth to bring him back. There was more gossiping over his case than sincere sorrow for him. All these things kept him from the fold and caused his heart to be separated farther and farther from his brethren, making his rescue still more difficult. How different was this course from that pursued by the shepherd in the parable, when in pursuit of the lost sheep. The whole ninety and nine were left in the wilderness to care for themselves, exposed to dangers; yet the lone sheep, separated from the flock, was in greater danger, and to secure the one, the ninety and nine were left.-- 2T 218. {PaM 219.1} 
Many who have strayed will come back. -- When the storm of persecution really breaks upon us, the true sheep will hear the true Shepherd's voice. Self-denying efforts will be put forth to save the lost, and many who have strayed from the fold will come back to follow the great Shepherd. The people of God will draw together, and present to the enemy a united front.-- 6T 401. {PaM 219.2} 
Find Them
Some ministers, surrounded by backsliders, feel no burden for their souls. -- Some ministers who profess to be called of God have the blood of souls on their garments. They are surrounded with backsliders and sinners, and yet feel no burden for their souls; they manifest an indifference in regard to their salvation. Some are so nearly asleep that they seem to have no sense of the work of a gospel minister. They do not consider that as spiritual physicians they are required to have skill in administering to souls diseased with sin. The work of warning sinners, of weeping over them and pleading with them, has been neglected until many souls are past all cure. Some have died in their sins, and will in the judgment confront with reproaches of their guilt those who might have saved them, but who did not. Unfaithful ministers, what a retribution awaits you! -- 2T 506. {PaM 219.3} 
Hunt up the backsliders with the message of mercy. -- God will work mightily with His ministers when their hearts are filled with love for the poor lost sheep of the house of Israel. Hunt up the backsliders, those who once knew what religion was, and give them the message of mercy .-- CH 533. {PaM 220.1} 
A straying sheep fills the shepherd with grief and anxiety. -- The shepherd who discovers that one of his sheep is missing, does not look carelessly upon the flock that is safely housed, and say, "I have ninety and nine, and it will cost me too much trouble to go in search of the straying one. Let him come back, and I will open the door of the sheepfold, and let him in." No; no sooner does the sheep go astray than the shepherd is filled with grief and anxiety. He counts and recounts the flock. When he is sure that one sheep is lost, he slumbers not. He leaves the ninety and nine within the fold; and goes in search of the straying sheep. The darker and more tempestuous the night, and the more perilous the way, the greater is the shepherd's anxiety, and the more earnest his search. He makes every effort to find that one lost sheep.-- COL 187, 188. {PaM 220.2} 
A good shepherd will leave the 99 and seek the lost sheep. -- If there is a backslider, the shepherd knows how to present the truth in such a manner that the soul will be convicted. He will leave the ninety and nine, and seek the lost sheep. But if the shepherd does not visit his flock, he knows not their condition, he knows not what truths to set before them, nor what is appropriate to their case. And more than this, as the preacher manifests so little interest in the souls under his charge, he cannot set an example to the flock to have an interest and love and watch-care for souls. -- Appeal and Suggestions to Conference Officers (Ph 2)18. {PaM 220.3} 
Win Them
In the parables of the lost sheep and lost piece of silver, Jesus illustrated heaven's attitude toward the backslidden.--They should be carefully and tenderly led and educated as pupils in school. Many have to unlearn theories which have been ingrafted into their lives. As they become convinced that they have been in error concerning Bible subjects, they are thrown into perplexity and doubt. They need the tenderest sympathy and the most judicious help; they should be carefully instructed; and should be prayed for and prayed with, watched and guarded with the kindest solicitude. Those who have fallen under temptation and have backslidden from God, need help. This class is represented in the lessons of Christ by the lost sheep. The shepherd left the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and hunted for the one lost sheep until he found it; he then returned with rejoicing, bearing it on his shoulder. Also by the illustration of the woman who searched for the lost piece of silver until she found it, and called together her neighbors to rejoice with her that the lost was found. The connection of heavenly angels with the Christian's work is here brought clearly to light. There is more joy in the presence of the angels in heaven over one sinner that repents than over ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance. There is joy with the Father and with Christ. All heaven is interested in the salvation of man. He who is instrumental in saving a soul is at liberty to rejoice; for angels of God have witnessed his efforts with the most intense interest, and rejoice with him in his success.-- 4T 263, 264. {PaM 220.4} 
Let the love of Christ constrain you to feel compassion toward the backslidden. -- Let not the ministers of the cross of our dear Saviour forget their experience in these things, but ever bear in mind they are but men liable to err, of like passions with their brethren; and if they help their brethren, they must be persevering in their efforts to do them good, having their hearts filled with pity and love. They must come to the hearts of their brethren, and help them where they are weak and need help the most. Those who labor in word and doctrine should break their own hard, proud, unbelieving hearts, if they would witness the same in their brethren. Christ has done all for us because we were helpless, bound in chains of darkness, sin, and despair, and because we could do nothing for ourselves. It is through the exercise of faith, hope, and love, that we come nearer and nearer to the standard of perfect holiness. Our brethren feel the same pitying need of help that we have felt. We should not burden them with unnecessary censure, but let the love of Christ constrain us to be very compassionate and tender, that we can weep over the erring and those who have backslidden from God. The soul is of infinite value. The worth of the soul can be estimated only by the price paid to ransom it. Calvary! Calvary! Calvary! will explain the true value of the soul.-- 3T 187, 188. {PaM 221.1} 
Backsliders may rise up against ministers who deal with them faithfully.--Some are so cold and backslidden that they do not realize that they are setting their affections on earthly treasure, which is soon to be swept away forever. The love of the world is binding them about, like a thick garment; and unless they change their course, they will not know how precious it is to practice self-denial for Christ's sake. All our idols, our love of the world, must be expelled from the heart. There are ministers and faithful friends who see the danger that surrounds these self-bound souls, and who faithfully present to them the error of their course, but instead of taking admonitions in the spirit in which they are given, and profiting thereby, those reproved rise up against the ones who deal with them faithfully. O that they might arouse from their spiritual lethargy, and now acquaint themselves with God! The world is blinding their eyes from seeing him who is invisible. They are unable to discern the most precious things that are of eternal interest, but view the truth of God in so dim a light that it seems of little value to them. -- RH Oct. 31, 1893. {PaM 221.2} 

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