Every nation in the world has an account with God. An account is not only kept of the moral character of individuals but God keeps account of the collective moral character of entire nations. “With unerring accuracy the Infinite One still keeps account with the nations. While His mercy is tendered, with calls to repentance, this account remains open.” Prophets and Kings, 364. Is that account still open today? You can read in Daniel 5 that the account of Babylon suddenly closed. Since that night, Babylon has never been a country again.
Could the accounts of other nations be closing today? The rest of that short paragraph says, “While His mercy is tendered, with calls to repentance, this account remains open; but when the figures …” Notice the words “the figures.” Remember what Daniel told Belshazzar: God has numbered your kingdom, finished it (Daniel 5:26)! “When the figures reach a certain amount which God has fixed …” Here we see that there is a “fixed amount” that has to do with moral character for whole nations.
God has abundantly blessed the United States of America more than any other nation on the face of this earth. The people who first came here were fleeing from the religious persecution in Europe and other places and came here to this land to find religious liberty. This country used to be known as a Protestant nation, the bulwark of Protestantism for the whole world, even as late as World War II. When the Puritans first came and settled here, they lived by Christian principles and it was possible to live in one of those New England towns for a whole year without hearing of anybody getting robbed.
Once, Babylon was the greatest nation on the earth, but when their moral character was lost, they also lost God’s blessing. This nation once had a good moral character and enjoyed the blessing of God because of those people who lived here. Most people in the United States today are ignorant of this country’s heritage and do not comprehend the source of its prosperity which, in the past, came directly from the blessing of God. It was not because Americans are the smartest people in the world, or because of a certain form of government. It was simply the blessing of God as a result of the moral character of the people who lived here.
In Testimonies, vol. 5, 45, it says: “As the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy be a sign to us that the limit of God’s forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation’s iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never to return.” The account then will be closed and all the other nations are going to follow the example of the United States. The word of God says, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him [the beast] whose names have not been written in the Book of Life.” Revelation 13:8.
Right now the account is still open and people can be saved. Though they be living for the devil now, they can still turn around when they hear the gospel. But once that account is closed, it will be too late to be saved. Just like with Belshazzar, a time will come when the whole nation and also the people will be weighed in the balances.
Soon, we will be told that, “The account is closed. Divine patience ceases. There is no more pleading of mercy in their behalf.” Ibid., 208. But right now there is still an opportunity to accept the mercy that God has extended. We need to be inviting people with whom we deal to take advantage of the mercy presently being offered. We are told in Patriarchs and Prophets, 165: “You who are slighting the offers of mercy, think of the long array of figures accumulating against you in the books of heaven; for there is a record kept. …” The weighing process is the same as what is called in other texts the Final Judgment. When you have been weighed, then you have been judged. “There is a record kept of the impieties of nations, or families, of individuals.” Ibid., 166.
God keeps a record “of the impieties of nations, of families, or individuals. God may bear long while the account goes on, and calls to repentance and offers of pardon [mercy] may be given; yet a time will come when the account will be full; when the soul’s decision has been made; when by his own choice man’s destiny has been fixed. Then the signal will be given for judgment to be executed.” Ibid.
While the account is open, anybody can turn around and accept the invitation of mercy; however, the account cannot be kept open forever. Jesus cannot return until the account is closed and the weighing process—the numbering process—has been accomplished.
God is weighing character. He is weighing the motives that give character to what you say and what you do. God knows the answer, but He keeps a record so it can be evident. There are many people who do a lot of good things, but for selfish reasons.
If you have things on your record that you would rather not meet in the Day of Judgment, you need to repent and say, “Lord, I want to be forgiven.” Then, the bad part of your record will be covered up by the blood of Christ. You will be forgiven and transformed into the likeness of Jesus as you receive the Holy Spirit into your life and the sin on your page removed.
God keeps records especially with Christians in churches. In Testimonies, vol. 8, 247, it says, “In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist Church is to be weighed.” Not just an individual, not just a family—a whole church is going to be weighed in the balance.
When Belshazzar got weighed, it was all over. The result of you being weighed in the balance is that you will either receive eternal life or eternal death. “In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had.” Ibid. This was a testimony written especially to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I have no question in my mind that every church is going to be weighed. The Roman Catholic Church will be weighed; the Methodist and the Baptist churches will be weighed. Every church will be weighed and we are not excluded. The Seventh-day Adventist church is also going to be weighed.
Belshazzar was not ignorant of the God of heaven. He knew the story of the three Hebrews who refused to bow to the golden idol and that they had been delivered from the fiery furnace. Belshazzar knew that his grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, had been judged by God as unworthy to be king over the nation of Babylon and had gone insane spending seven years out in the field eating grass like an ox before he came to his senses and repented. Those who are saved will meet Nebuchadnezzar in the Kingdom of Heaven because it is stated in the last part of Daniel 4 that he later repented and became a follower of God.
Belshazzar was weighed in a different measure than Tiglat Pleaser, an Assyrian king who had lived 200 years before. Belshazzar had information and knew things that Tiglat Pleaser had never known. He knew about the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace and he also knew about the experience of Nebuchadnezzar. He had spiritual light that Tiglat Pleaser never had so he was more accountable and weighed on a different basis and judged on the knowledge that he had.
As Seventh-day Adventists we have had more light than the people in the other churches due to the gift of the Spirit of Prophecy. All have the Bible, but they do not have the special messages sent by the Holy Spirit to God’s remnant people to show explicitly how to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ.
I personally consider the Spirit of Prophecy to be one of the most wonderful blessings that God has given to His remnant people. We have detailed instructions of our part to prepare and be ready for Jesus to come. For example, there are many people in other churches who are ignorant of the difference between clean and unclean food. The instruction is in the Bible, but we also have the Spirit of Prophecy where it is spelled out very clearly, the instruction not to be eating unclean food. Unfortunately, there are some Adventists who do eat ham today, but when our character is weighed, if an Adventist is eating ham, they will be judged differently on the additional information available to them on health, than a Roman Catholic who is eating ham ignorantly. Those having more light and rejecting it will be in a worse position than those having less light and living up to all the light they have.
The more light you have, the more responsibility you have to live up to that light. Jesus was very clear about this. In Luke 12:47, 48 it says: “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed; of him they will ask the more.”
There are some who avoid programs or prophecy seminars deciding, “I’m not going to that because I don’t want to know and that way I won’t be held accountable.” Do you know what is written down on their page in the Kingdom of Heaven? This person had an opportunity to hear the truth. When you refuse to hear the truth, you have refused the Lord, Who is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).
We, as Adventists, have received much truth through the Spirit of Prophecy to get us back to living by every word that is written in the Bible so that we will be ready for Jesus to come. The church that is ready for Jesus to come has to be without spot or wrinkle or blemish or any such thing (Ephesians 5:26, 27; Revelation 19). The same thing is stated in different words in many places in the Bible. There is going to be a group of people without spot, without wrinkle and without blemish on their moral character. This is impossible unless the grace of God works a miracle in your life and with your cooperation. The Spirit of Prophecy was given in order that we would know how to cooperate so that in the judgment when we are weighed, we will weigh out all right. We are told: “The Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had.” Last Day Events, 59. Just like the Jews, we have had more privileges and more advantages than any other church. “If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence, ‘Found wanting’ [Daniel 5:27]. By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 247.
Moral character is to be weighed. For this reason, Jesus said to Nicodemus that unless you are born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5), there is no chance for you to be in the Kingdom of Heaven. Unless the heart (the spirit) is recreated by the Holy Spirit there is no chance of being in the Kingdom of Heaven.
When Jesus was asked by the father whose son was possessed of a devil if there was anything He could do, Jesus said, “Listen, it is not whether I can do something; it is if you can believe.” God can only change our character if we will cooperate. In the book, Education, 262, it says, “Success in any line demands a definite aim.”
You must believe that God can work this miracle out in your life, and then aim for that. God is going to work a miracle and get you to where you are aiming, but if you are not aiming for perfection, God cannot get you beyond where you aim. Paul said, “The One who has begun a good work in you will finish it” (Philippians 1:6). The Person who began a good work in you, He will finish it.
Has God begun a good work in you? I like the way I heard one preacher explain it. He said, “God doesn’t make junk!” God does not start something and then leave it half done. I do not know how it is with you, but sometimes when I am half through with a project it is usually a big mess. God does not start something and then in the middle just walk away from it. If God has begun a good work in you, you do not need to be afraid that you are going to fail in reaching perfection. You can say, “Lord, You have begun a good work in me and You have promised that You are going to finish what You have started and I am going to cooperate.” It will happen!
Read this encouraging statement found in February 10, 1888, The Signs of the Times. Ellen White said: “Now let us seek Christ for ourselves, and find him precious to our souls. Let us minister to our brethren both in and out of the church. It is our privilege to be constantly strengthening those around us, and shedding an influence that will bless and elevate. Do not sow the seeds of envy, strife, and doubt. Let your conversation be holy before God. Seek in every way that you may grow up into a fit temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. You must be living stones, reflecting and emitting the light of Heaven. The truth of God has quarried you out of the world to be squared and hewed and fitted for the heavenly building. The robe of your character must be washed till it is spotless, in the fountain opened for all uncleanness. Your moral worth will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, and if you are found wanting, you will be at an eternal loss. All the coarseness, all the roughness must be removed from your character before Jesus comes; for when he comes, the preparation for every soul is ended. If you have not laid aside your envy, your jealousies, your hatred one against another, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God. You would only carry the same disposition with you; but there will be nothing of this character in the world to come. Nothing will exist there but love and joy and harmony. Some will have brighter crowns than others, but there will be no jealous thoughts in any heart among the redeemed. Each one will be perfectly satisfied, for all will be rewarded according to their work.”
Heaven is a place worth striving for, a place worth going to. It is a place where people are infinitely happy all the time. But, before anybody is allowed in, they must be weighed. When I was a boy and went to the physician’s office I would be weighed before the examination. God is weighing your moral character every day. He totals up the numbers on your moral character daily.
When somebody is trying to lose weight, they often get on the scale two or three times a day to see if there is any progress. God wants to see if you and I are making progress. There is a standard to reach to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and you cannot enter there unless you weigh in right.
There is coming a time for a final weighing in for everybody who is to be saved. There are many statements here about this weighing process. In Testimonies, vol. 5, 83, it says: “The church cannot measure herself by the world nor by the opinion of men nor by what she once was. Her faith and her position in the world as they now are must be compared with what they would have been if her course had been continually onward and upward. The church will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. If her moral character and spiritual state do not correspond with the benefits and blessings God has conferred upon her, she will be found wanting.” That applies to all churches. God is in the weighing process; the judgment is going on and if you are going to be taken to heaven, you have to weigh in at the right moral weight.
God knows where you need to be in order to be admitted. I don’t want anybody to be deceived. Although the standard is perfect, that perfection is not exactly the same for everybody. Perfection always involves being obedient to the Ten Commandments, but different people have different capacities. God knows all about what your capacities are and He does not expect from you something that you are not capable of. God is not a hard taskmaster, but He does know where you need to weigh in.
In the physical world, health charts are used to measure acceptable levels of health, taking into consideration the person’s body type and frame size to evaluate their optimal weight. God has something like that, only infinitely more complex. He knows where each person needs to be able to weigh in so that they have that perfection that is required to go to heaven.
It is necessary to aim at where God is telling you. Say, “Lord, I want every rebuke I can get; I want every correction I can get; I want everything You have for me so I’ll be ready.” The Lord will send you the information. When a person searches for truth, God makes sure they find it. One man looking for truth while driving his car one day turned on the radio and he heard Joe Crews speaking. He said, “Well, that is the truth. I want to check into that.” He ended up becoming a Seventh-day Adventist as a result of his search. The same is true after you come into the church. If you desire perfection, God will see to it and complete that work that He has begun, but don’t expect God to arrange for you to get there if you are not aiming for it.
Heaven is a good place; we have to be there, but first we have to weigh in! All of the coarseness, all of the roughness and all of our undesirable traits of character must be removed in order for us to go there.
Aim high and ask the Lord for His help.
Pastor John Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at: (316) 788-5559.