“Ye are the light of the world,” said Christ to His disciples. Matthew 5:14. I feel deeply over the inactivity and lack of faith and piety of our workers in our missions. God has entrusted to us great light, and our works do not correspond to that light. Satan is intensely active in these last days, doing his work of destroying souls and making attractive the road that leads to death. He prepares his agents, wheels them into line, and sets them to work to deceive and destroy. Men who are not on the side of God are on the enemy’s side. They are bold and defiant. Many deny the existence of God. There are knots of infidels binding in bundles ready to burn. They strengthen the hands of one another in their wickedness. They take counsel of their own hearts that are impressed by the originator of all evil. They assemble in council to devote their God-given powers to devise means to uproot the knowledge and reverence of God out of the human heart. They are plotting the suppression of the truth and put all their plans to work to increase darkness, disobedience, and error.
But watch them, how earnest they are, all so zealously devoted to doing their master’s work for evil. Where are the zealous Calebs and Joshuas who have another spirit, on the side of truth and right in our missions, to press back moral darkness, to let a steady light be reflected to our world? Shall those who believe sacred, solemn truth be slothful, indolent, inactive?
Infidels have boasted, “If I believe the things that you profess to believe, I would not take the matter so coolly as you do; I would not cease my efforts. I would take special pains to let everyone know this doctrine. I would not hold my peace night or day. I would devote all my powers, that my works should be in accordance with my faith. I would make it the main purpose of my life to repress sin.”
We are professed Christians, but many are far from being Bible Christians. They do not sanctify themselves as Christ did, that those with whom they associate may be sanctified. The truth must be in the soul, transforming the life and character, controlling the life, the thoughts, the words, the deportment. The Spirit of God helpeth our infirmities. The truth in the soul will be seen in the circumspect life. Levity of conduct, undue familiarity will not exist.
If every one who claims to be a child of God would cherish the spirit of kindness and love, without base thoughts and undue attention, and devote his God-given powers to spreading the truth, in seeking to save souls, what a bright, steady light would shine forth to the world! If we believe that Christ alone can save souls by His matchless grace, how earnest would every one be to hold up Christ, to be much in prayer as Christ was, and by living faith ask much in His name, that he may receive and be willing to spend and be spent to win souls to Christ. Let all who profess to be Christians open the door of their hearts to His Spirit and to His grace; then the peace of Christ will so rule in their hearts and be revealed in their characters that there will be no discord, no strife, no emulation, no biting and devouring one another, no seeking for the supremacy. The great and earnest effort will be to live the life of Christ. We are to represent His spirit of mercy and give no occasion for anyone to follow our example in doing evil.
Jesus was courteous, benevolent. He was obedient to all of His Father’s commandments implicitly and without questioning convenience or any selfish interest. It is enough for us to know that God has spoken; and when we know His will, as revealed in His Word, we are to obey.
The world’s Redeemer is speaking to us; let us hear what He says: “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14. Then those who see the claims of God in His Word and do not obey, but excuse their negligence or wilful disregard of God’s requirements, testify by their course of action that they are not embraced in the blessed promise on condition of obedience. They are not the ones who will have a right to the tree of life, but are with the wilful transgressors of the law of God to whom Jesus says, “Depart, ye workers of iniquity.” Matthew 7:23. Sin is the transgression of the law, and no sinner shall enter the portals of bliss. No sinner will have a right to the tree of life and enter into the gates of the city 4LtMs 1.1885101500 – 4LtMs, Ms 15, 1885, par. 7
The conditions of obtaining eternal life are specified so plainly in the Word of God that the real sincere seeker for truth who chooses Christ as his portion need not make a mistake and walk in the course of error and disobedience and think he is in the holy path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. His commandments are not grievous, not a yoke of bondage, as Satan tried to make Eve believe they were. The deceptive story which Satan started in Eden—that God’s law restricts their liberty and is a yoke of bondage—is repeated again and again by the self-deceived, by the transgressors of God’s law. Jesus says, “Blessed are they that do His commandments.” Revelation 22:14. We have an individual responsibility.
Satan is at work with all his powers to bind into bundles those whom he has deluded, to destroy them. He is represented—by One who knows—as our adversary the devil, walking about seeking whom he may devour. He is represented as working with intensity just prior to the close of probation, working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. He even works miracles in the sight of men, and the statement is made that if it were possible, he would, through his deceptions and miracle-working power, deceive the very elect. Then is it not of the greatest consequence that we keep awake and, through searching the Scriptures and earnest, constant prayer, take hold of the strength of the Mighty Helper, that in our behalf He shall raise up for us a standard against the enemy?
We are to move cautiously, yet firmly, and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. While the largest number are yielding to the fascinating influences that Satan will throw around them, while his wily deceptions will lead men to think that it shall be well with the sinner—that God is too merciful to be just and to punish iniquity—those whom God has made the repositories of His law should make no compromise with the wily deceiver and his servants who do his will. They should maintain their integrity at any cost to themselves. The world and the true church will never harmonize. They will ever be at variance, for they have two masters. One is opposed in every way to the other; therefore if there is harmony, it must be by the followers of Christ surrendering of principle to meet the world’s standard. This many professed Christians have done, but we have yet to learn that there is any concord between Christ and Belial.
Every soul who will be saved in Christ’s kingdom must comply with the conditions. “Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18. We have a personal work, an individual responsibility, a personal account to render; and it is our own salvation we must secure, for it is a matter of individual concern. Would we have the crown of life?—then we will receive it as conquerors. None others will have it. Unless we do our individual work, it will remain undone. The piety and obedience of others will not save us or be doing our work. Their efforts will never be registered against our names as ours. Every man, woman, and child will be rewarded as their works have been.
God has left to every one of us our work—not the temporal labor as planting, sowing, reaping, and gathering in the harvest, but to build up His kingdom, to bring souls to the knowledge of the truth, and to regard this as our first and highest duty. God has claims upon us. He has endowed us with capabilities and given us opportunities, if we will see them and improve them. These obligations to God none but ourselves individually can meet. The delinquencies of others, the sins of leading men, of those who corrupt their ways before the Lord, will be no excuse for any one to follow their example, because Christ is lifted up as the only true Pattern—faultless, pure, uncorrupted. Those who disregard their obligations to God and live in sin may have an influence over some minds to lower the standard, but this will be no excuse for others.
There are transgressors of God’s law who are open, who boast of their disregard of the laws of Jehovah. There are others who are hypocritical, who say, “The temple of God are we,” yet defile that temple with impurity, unholy desires, worldly ambition, corrupt thoughts. Upon these will Satan exercise his deceptions and succeed. If one man lowers the standard in his own life and influence, others are inclined to do as wickedly as he has done. He will have to meet his work in the judgment, and the one who yielded to temptation will be held responsible for yielding to Satan’s suggestion through his agents.
There are those who associate together to do evil and seem to think in this they lose their individual responsibility. But God holds them accountable for every act performed that has the slightest tendency to counteract the work of Christ; whether they are united with many or with the few, the sin is the same. We are individually responsible. We ourselves should be our concern. Are we in all our words and actions building up the kingdom of Christ, or are we tearing down? Christ says to each one of us, “Follow Me.” Then let us be found followers of Jesus Christ. Be earnest, be vigilant to seize every opportunity to work for the Master.
Through evil as well as good report, let there be efforts made by every laborer in the vineyard of the Lord to encourage and educate the indolent, those who lift no responsibilities. Teach them they must work to strengthen the church. A working church will be a living church. The do-nothings are those who block the wheels of progress. They are not building up, but their influence is tearing down. Let efforts be made to train up young converts to work with an eye single to the glory of God. Urge those who feel at ease to do something to show earnest, zealous effort in advancing light. Then Jesus will come into our midst and will be to us a tower of strength. The church will grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, and every true, earnest, unselfish worker will hear the “Well done” from the lips of the Master. Matthew 25:21. There is no mistake made. To those who have well done will the words be spoken, and to no other 4LtMs, Ms 15, 1885, par. 8 – 4LtMs, Ms 15, 1885, par. 15