September 2, 2007 – September 8, 2007
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15.
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 818-828.
“Christ said to his disciples, ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.’ [Mark 16:15, 16.]
“The field is the world, and we know what this saying comprehends better than did the apostles who received from the lips of Christ the commission to preach the gospel to all the world. The whole world is a vast missionary field, and yet we who have long been established in the truth, should be encouraged with the thought that fields which were once difficult of access, are now easily entered. Every church in our land should seek for the revival of the missionary spirit. They should seek for steady growth in zeal and activity. All should pray that the indifference which has caused both men and means to be withheld from the work, may be banished, and that Christ may abide in the soul. For our sake he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.” The Home Missionary, April 1, 1895.
1 What did Jesus say must go to the world before the end of time? Matthew 24:14. For what purpose is the gospel proclaimed to the world?
note: “A revival in Bible study is needed throughout the world. Attention is to be called, not to the assertions of men, but to the Word of God. As this is done, a mighty work will be wrought. When God declared that His Word should not return unto Him void, He meant all that He said. The gospel is to be preached to all nations. The Bible is to be opened to the people. A knowledge of God is the highest education, and it will cover the earth with its wonderful truth as the waters cover the sea.” Evangelism, 456.
2 What did Jesus say of the condition of the world in the last days that will show that it will be impossible for it to be converted? Luke 17:26-30.
note: “We have the history of the antediluvians, and of the cities of the plain, whose course of conduct degenerated from lightness and frivolity to debasing sins that called down the wrath of God in a most dreadful destruction, in order to rid the earth of the curse of their contaminating influence. Inclination and passion bore sway over reason. Self was their god, and the knowledge of the Most High was nearly obliterated through the selfish indulgence of corrupt passions. . . .
“They [the inhabitants of the Noachian world] worshipped selfish indulgence, eating, drinking, merry-making, and resorted to acts of violence and crime if their desires and passions were interfered with.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1090.
3 When the Lord comes, what two classes will He find in the earth? Isaiah 25:9; Revelation 6:15, 16. Could this be so if all the world were converted before He comes? Could they be converted before He comes? Revelation 22:11, 12.
note: “When the work of the investigative judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. Christ in the Revelation, looking forward to that time, declares: ‘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. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.’ Revelation 22:11, 12.” The Great Controversy, 490, 491.
“The righteous and the wicked will still be living upon the earth in their mortal state men will be planting and building, eating and drinking, all unconscious that the final, irrevocable decision has been pronounced in the sanctuary above. . . . Silently, unnoticed as the midnight thief, will come the decisive hour which marks the fixing of every man’s destiny, the final withdrawal of mercy’s offer to guilty men.” Ibid., 491.
4 What is the gospel commission? Mark 16:15. For what does God hold His servants responsible?
note: “We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the suffering and afflicted. We are to minister to the despairing, and to inspire hope in the hopeless.
“The love of Christ, manifested in unselfish ministry, will be more effective in reforming the evildoer than will the sword or the court of justice. These are necessary to strike terror to the lawbreaker, but the loving missionary can do more than this. Often the heart that hardens under reproof will melt under the love of Christ.
“The missionary can not only relieve physical maladies, but he can lead the sinner to the Great Physician, who can cleanse the soul from the leprosy of sin. Through His servants, God designs that the sick, the unfortunate, and those possessed of evil spirits shall hear His voice. Through His human agencies He desires to be a comforter such as the world knows not.” The Ministry of Healing, 106.
5 Who only will be saved? Mark 16:16.
note: “Those who are one with Christ will love souls for whom he died. Jesus has identified his interest with that of suffering humanity, and he has made manifest at what value he estimates the soul, in that he left the honor and glory of heaven, and for our sake became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich. He clothed his divinity with humanity, and came to the sin-cursed world to endure insult, reproach, mockery, rejection, and crucifixion, in order to bring to lost humanity the gift of salvation. The rich, the poor, the high, the low, were all included in the ample provision made on Calvary; for he died that all who believe on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. In his last instruction to his disciples, he opened to his followers the part they should act in bringing to men the glad tidings of his infinite love. He said, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.’ [Mark 16:15, 16.] Then what are we, who have been most highly favored of heaven, doing to accomplish the work that has been given into our hands? What are we doing to bring to others the light, that they also may have life eternal? What are we doing to save our fellow-men?” The Medical Missionary, August 1, 1892.
6 Does God compel everyone who hears to believe? Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 22:17; Matthew 22:14.
note: “Christ sharply reproved the men of His time because they had not learned from nature the spiritual lessons which they might have learned. All things, animate and inanimate, express to man the knowledge of God. The same divine mind that is working upon the things of nature is speaking to the minds and hearts of men, and creating an inexpressible craving for something they have not. The things of the world cannot satisfy their longing. To all these thirsting souls the divine message is addressed: [Revelation 22:17 quoted].
“The Spirit of God is continually impressing the minds of men to seek for those things which alone will give peace and rest the higher, holier joys of heaven. Christ, the Lord of life and glory, gave His life to redeem man from Satan’s power. Our Saviour is constantly at work, through influences seen and unseen, to attract the minds of men from the unsatisfying pleasures of this life to the priceless treasure which may be theirs in the immortal future.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 580.
7 Will the majority of the world believe on Christ? Matthew 7:13, 14.
note: “There is only one path that leads from darkness upward to the light until it touches the throne of God, the path of faith. This path is not dark and uncertain; it is not the way of finite minds, not a path made by human hands, in which toll is exacted from every traveler. Entrance to it cannot be gained by works of penance.
“The way that God has provided is so complete, so perfect, that man cannot, by any works that he can do, add to its perfection. It is broad enough to receive the most hardened sinner, if he truly repents, and yet so narrow that in it sin can find no place. This is the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in.” Gospel Workers, 160.
8 From whence will the redeemed of the Lord come? Revelation 7:9.
note: “All classes, all nations and kindreds and people and tongues will stand before the throne of God and the Lamb with their spotless robes and jeweled crowns. Said the angel, These are they that have come up through great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white, while the lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, the self-indulgent and disobedient, have lost both worlds. They have neither the things of this life nor the immortal life.
“That triumphant throng, with songs of victory and with crowns and harps, have trodden in the fiery furnace of earthly affliction when it was heated and intensely hot. From destitution, from hunger and torture, they come, from deep self-denial and bitter disappointments. Look upon them now as conquerors, no longer poor, no longer in sorrow, in affliction and hatred of all men for Christ’s sake. Behold their heavenly garments, white and shining, richer than any kingly robe. Look by faith upon their jeweled crowns; never did such a diadem deck the brow of any earthly monarch.” In Heavenly Places, 371.
9 What is the gospel of the kingdom? With what must it be connected? 11 Timothy 4:1, 2. See also Matthew 24:14; Mark 1:15.
note: “Summoning Timothy before the bar of God, Paul bids him preach the word, not the sayings and customs of men; to be ready to witness for God whenever opportunity should present itself, before large congregations and private circles, by the way and at the fireside, to friends and to enemies, whether in safety or exposed to hardship and peril, reproach and loss.
“Fearing that Timothy’s mild, yielding disposition might lead him to shun an essential part of his work, Paul exhorted him to be faithful in reproving sin, and even to rebuke with sharpness those who were guilty of gross evils. . . .
“To hate and reprove sin, and at the same time to show pity and tenderness for the sinner, is a difficult achievement. The more earnest our own efforts to attain to holiness of heart and life, the more acute will be our perception of sin, and the more decided our disapproval of it. We must guard against undue severity toward the wrong-doer; but we must also be careful not to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. There is need of showing Christlike patience and love for the erring one, but there is also danger of showing so great toleration for his error that he will look upon himself as undeserving of reproof, and will reject it as uncalled for and unjust.” Gospel Workers, 30, 31.
10 What are the people of God admonished to do when they see the signs that indicate the coming of the Lord near? 11 Peter 3:11, 12.
note: “Many who profess to be looking for the speedy coming of Christ are becoming conformed to this world and seek more earnestly the applause of those around them than the approbation of God. They are cold and formal, like the nominal churches from which they but a short time since separated. The words addressed to the Laodicean church describe their present condition perfectly. (See Revelation 3:14-20.) . . .
“The time has come when a large portion of those who once rejoiced and shouted aloud for joy in view of the immediate coming of the Lord, are on the ground of the churches and the world who once derided them for believing that Jesus was coming, and circulated all manner of falsehoods to raise prejudice against them and destroy their influence. Now, if any one longs after the living God, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and God gives him to feel His power, and satisfies his longing soul by shedding abroad His love in his heart, and if he glorifies God by praising Him, he is, by these professed believers in the soon coming of the Lord, often considered deluded, and charged with being mesmerized or having some wicked spirit.
“Many of these professed Christians dress, talk, and act like the world, and the only thing by which they may be known is their profession. Though they profess to be looking for Christ, their conversation is not in heaven, but on worldly things. [11 Peter 3:11, 12; 1 John 3:3 quoted.] But it is evident that many who bear the name of Adventist study more to decorate their bodies and to appear well in the eyes of the world than they do to learn from the Word of God how they may be approved of Him.” Early Writings, 107, 108.