While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22. What a wonderful promise this is, for we know that God’s promises are sure and that His hand is over all. We know that nature is not going to fail us, and that things are going to go on much the same. If we plant and harvest, God will bless us, but we sometimes fall into the snare of which Peter speaks in 11 Peter 3:4: “Since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.” Often, however, we pass over the first part of the statement in Genesis that says, “while the earth remaineth.” That very statement should tell us something.
The world is in turmoil. Statesmen are afraid to tell the truth for fear they will not get into office. People are afraid to speak out against homosexuality for fear of losing influence in the community. All the while, Satan is gaining more and more control of the human race.
The signs spoken of in the Bible, which are predicted to transpire before the Lord’s return, are in the land. Revelation is being fulfilled to the very letter. In fact, the signs of the end of time are happening so quickly that we hardly realize that the great controversy is being fought right in our midst.
What is most baffling and difficult to understand is what is happening in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I dare not try to list all the apostasies that are occurring, but I will mention a few, such as sending a medallion to the Pope, selling out the medical institutions to Catholic organizations, and attending their ecumenical meetings.
What is happening within the historic Seventh-day Adventist movement is even more astounding. When we should be loving one another and upholding each other, what are we doing? We are trying to seek out one another’s faults, dispute the differences in each other’s understanding regarding the Bible and coming events, and criticize each other when something is not just like we would do it—either reading the “wrong” version of the Bible or worshiping in the wrong place or eating the wrong food. Are we really getting ready to meet Jesus, or are we stalling His coming by our self-propelled ideas and discontents—when the world needs to have the Gospel and learn that Jesus is coming soon?
Lessons From the Past
It would be beneficial to contemplate what the Spirit of Prophecy says about the children of Israel: “The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ.” Review and Herald, February 18, 1890. Ellen White also wrote that, “Satan’s snares are laid for us as verily as they were laid for the children of Israel just prior to their entrance into the land of Canaan. We are repeating the history of that people.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 160.
When we remember what happened to the children of Israel while they were out in the wilderness, it should cause us to do some serious thinking. Most of them died out there and never reached the Promised Land. When Jesus was born, very few even knew His birth had occurred.
Even at the Door
We are living in the day when we should know that the coming of the Lord is near, even at the door. We should be able to give, with humility and the fear of the Lord, to every man who asks us, a reason for the hope that we have. (See 1 Peter 3:15.) Do we know our Bibles that well? Are we really giving the world the message that Jesus is coming again? In our innermost souls, do we really know what we believe, and are we acting upon that belief?
We have all heard and have probably even repeated many times the words “Get ready, get ready, get ready.” Some day the time will come when we are no longer getting ready—we will have to be ready. How soon that day will be no human being knows, but we do know that it will come as a sudden surprise to those who are not ready to meet their Redeemer. There is no time to lose, if we are going to be saved in the kingdom of heaven. This world is on its final countdown.
Sunday laws are imminent. Men’s hearts are growing so hard that life and death have no sacredness. The morals of people are even lower than the instinct of animals. Homosexuality has circled the earth until the whole world is like Sodom and Gomorrah, which reminds us what Jesus said, in Luke 17:28, 29: “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all.”
The Spirit of Prophecy is full of instruction for God’s people who are living in these last days of earth’s history. We need to read, study, meditate, and devour this timely instruction. We labor and spend money trying to prolong this mortal life, which is as the grass that fades away in the sunshine, but for our eternal, immortal life, we fail to spend time or money to obtain it. Oh, how sad it would be to hear Jesus say, “I never knew you; depart from me.” Matthew 7:23.
“I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of ‘refreshing’ and the ‘latter rain’ to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God. Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, and who are willing to believe that their condition is far better than it really is, will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building. But there will be no time then to do it and no Mediator to plead their cause before the Father. Before this time the awfully solemn declaration has gone forth, ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ [Revelation 22:11.] I saw that none could share the ‘refreshing’ unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. We should, therefore, be drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord and be earnestly seeking that preparation necessary to enable us to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. Let all remember that God is holy and that none but holy beings can ever dwell in His presence.” Early Writings, 71.
I must ask, Are we really in earnest about shaping our lives to fit into the heavenly environment, or are we satisfied with our present condition, too busy to worry about eternity? The day will come when things are finalized, and we will either be in heaven or hell. We are told by the pen of inspiration that we should keep before us the fact that there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. (Review and Herald, January 7, 1902.)
No one will enter the pearly gates with cherished sins in his or her heart, and we have been faithfully warned to spend time praying and agonizing with the Lord to overcome. Jesus told Peter to pray, but he went to sleep and consequently denied His Lord. We must ask ourselves, Are we asleep, or are we praying for divine assistance?
We must keep in mind that we have only one probation, and that is now, while we are on this earth. Time passes by very quickly. We have not one moment to lose. “We have but one probation in which to form character, and our destiny depends upon the manner of character we form. Those who on earth have formed characters that through the grace of Christ bear the heavenly mould, will be ripened through the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit for the eternal reward. They become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. It is a realization of the fact that our characters are Christlike, that calls forth the song of praise and thanksgiving to God and to the Lamb. Those who appreciate the goodness, mercy, and love of Christ, and by beholding him become changed into his image, will be partakers of eternal life. The attributes of their character are like those of Christ, and they cannot fail of the rest that remains for the people of God.” The Signs of the Times, July 31, 1893.
Ruth Grosboll is an employee of Steps to Life. A retired, registered nurse, she worked for many years with her husband in the mission field. She may be contacted by e-mail at: email@example.com or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.