Inspiration – The Present Crisis

The faith and patience of those who have waited long, have been sorely tried. “Hope deferred has made the heart sick;” and the cry has come up before God, “Lord, how long?” But now the signs are fulfilling—nation rising against nation, startling calamities by land and by sea, famine, pestilence, fearful storms, sweeping floods, and great conflagrations. All these testify that we are approaching the grand consummation. The cry going up to God from the waiting ones, will not be in vain. The response will come, “It is done.”…

The crisis is now upon us. The battle is to be waged between the Christianity of the Bible and the Christianity of human tradition. Is there not a criminal neglect in our present sleepy condition? There must be a decided advance movement among us. We must show to the world that we recognize, in the events that are now taking place in connection with the National Reform movement, the fulfillment of prophecy. …

The National Reform movement, that the world and the church have linked hands to bring about, will manifest the same oppression, haughtiness, arrogance, and intolerance which have prevailed in past ages. …

This nation has been highly favored of God. It has been the great center of religious light and liberty. O, do not sleep now, and in your inactivity feel that you are doing the will of God! The experience of God’s commandment-keeping people now should correspond with the events that are crowding upon us.

It should be the business of all the righteous in the land, as they see signs of the approach of peril, to arouse to action, and not sit in calm expectation of ruin, comforting themselves with the belief that this work must go on, because prophecy has foretold it, and that the Lord will shelter his people in the day of trial. Effectual, fervent prayers should be ascending to Heaven, that this calamity may be deferred; for we are not ready to meet it.

Every passing hour now is one of activity in the heavenly courts, to make ready a people upon the earth to act a part in the great scenes that are soon to open upon us. These transient moments, that seem of so little value to us, are weighty with eternal interests. They are molding the destiny of souls for everlasting life or everlasting death. The words we utter today in the ears of the people, the works we are doing, the spirit of the message we are bearing, will be to human souls the savor of life unto life or of death unto death. We must be washing our robes of character in the blood of the Lamb. If we would be saints above, we must first be saints below.

We have lost much time in inaction, because we have not realized the time in which we are living. This we deplore, and would humble our souls before God, pleading with him for pardon for sleeping at our post of duty, and allowing the enemy to gain the advantage over us. Many have chosen to do nothing, when they should have been diligent to repulse the enemy. Let your services now be dedicated to God. Gird on the armor for vigorous work, saying, “Here am I, Lord, send me.”

It is essential that we be much in prayer to God, that his voice and his power may be manifested in behalf of his people, and that the angels may hold the four winds until the truth is more fully proclaimed, and the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. God is not pleased with the attitude of his people. Satan is taking the world captive, and the sentinels for God and the truth are letting him do it. “Watch then, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” [I Corinthinians 16:13]. Arouse, and come to the front. Be stanch to defend your religious liberty.

Many of our people are registered in the books of heaven as slothful servants. They have buried their talents of money and capability in the world, and the work they should have done has been left undone. Some to whom the Lord has intrusted means, have been ease-lovers, and have not done their duty in the fear and love of God. Many have left the smaller churches, to unite with larger ones, where they carry no burden of responsibility, and are only in the way. Such lose their spirituality and vital force, because they do comparatively nothing for the truth. What account will these have to give to the Master when he shall say, “Give account of thy stewardship”?

We are not ready for this great issue to which the enforcement of the Sunday law will bring us. Let the members of our churches become missionaries for the Master; let them not linger in ease and indifference; but let them go forth to work for God. Their spiritual muscles have been nearly palsied with inaction. Go without the camp, bearing the reproach for Christ and the truth. Work today in the Lord’s vineyard. Go out into the highways and hedges, and stir up the people to investigate the truth. Woe to all who profess to walk in the light, yet who are at ease in Zion. They absorb the God-given rays of righteousness, but do not diffuse the light to others. The parable of the faithless servant who hid his Lord’s money, condemns them, and they are classed among those who refuse to be co-laborers with Jesus Christ, selfishly caring for their own ease, and leaving those for whom Christ has died, to perish without the knowledge of the truth which God has graciously given to them. Those who have been the receivers of spiritual light, may become the receptacles of darkness, to whom the words of Christ are applicable, “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! [Matthew 6:23] …

Every true child of God should now be inquiring, “What wouldst thou have me to do? Brethren, for Christ’s sake, do something, and do it now. Satanic influences are all around us, to be met and resisted. The tares are mingled with the wheat, error with truth, coldness with zeal, darkness with light. There must be a returning to our first love. We must battle nobly with tribulation and danger, in the midst of trials, tests, and provings of God. We must be rich in faith and good works. The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to those who have been made the repository of rich truth. This church is distinguished in prophecy by its great profession of advanced light; yet it was filled with spiritual pride and lukewarmness in religion. They had a religious theory, but were greatly lacking in moral power and holiness. They are pronounced wretched, poor, blind, and naked. O that our people would realize the danger, and heed the counsel of the True Witness, “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed; … and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see” [Revelation 3:18].

Will we now, who have such great light, make some sacrifice for Jesus, who for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich? We must arouse, and through piety and earnest work for the Master, partake of his spirit of love for souls, of faith in God, that he may work with us, by us, and through us.

Excerpts from The Review and Herald, January 1, 1889.