It is an eternal law of Jehovah that he who accepts the truth that the world needs is to make it his first work to proclaim this truth. But who is there that makes the burden of perishing sinners his own? As I look upon the professed people of God, and see their unwillingness to serve Him, my heart is filled with a pain that I cannot express. How few are heart to heart with God in His solemn, closing work. There are thousands to be warned, yet how few consecrate themselves wholly to the work, willing to be or to do anything if only they may win souls to Christ. Jesus died to save the world. In humility, in lowliness, in unselfishness, He worked and is working for sinners. But many of those who ought to co-operate with Him are self-sufficient and indifferent.
Among God’s people today there is a fearful lack of the sympathy that should be felt for souls unsaved. We talk of Christian missions. The sound of our voices is heard; but we do not feel Christ’s tender heart-longing for those outside the fold. And unless our hearts beat in union with the heart of Christ, how can we understand the sacredness and importance of the work to which we are called by the words, “Watch for…souls, as they that must give account.” Hebrews 13:17.
God is waiting for men and women to awake to their responsibilities. He is waiting for them to link themselves with Him. Let them mark the signal of advance, and no longer be laggards in working out the will of the Lord.
Do we realize how large a number in the world are watching our movements? From quarters where we least expect will come voices urging us forward in the work of giving to the world the last message of mercy. Ministers and people, wake up! Be quick to recognize and seize every opportunity and advantage offered in the turning of the wheel of providence. God and Christ and the heavenly angels are working with intense activity to hold in check the fierceness of Satan’s wrath, that God’s plans may not be thwarted. God lives and reigns. He is conducting the affairs of the universe. Let His soldiers move forward to victory. Let there be perfect unity in their ranks. Let them press the battle to the gates. As a mighty Conqueror, the Lord will work for them.
Let the gospel message ring through our churches, summoning them to universal action. Let the members of the church have increased faith, gaining zeal from their unseen, heavenly allies, from a knowledge of their exhaustless resources, from the greatness of the enterprise in which they are engaged, and from the power of their Leader. Those who place themselves under God’s control, to be led and guided by Him, will catch the steady tread of the events ordained by Him to take place. Inspired with the Spirit of Him who gave His life for the life of the world, they will no longer stand still in impotency, pointing to what they cannot do. Putting on the armor of heaven, they will go forth to the warfare, willing to do and dare for God, knowing that His omnipotence will supply their need.
God’s servants are to make use of every resource for enlarging His kingdom. The apostle Paul declares that it is “good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth,’ that ‘supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men” 1 Timothy 2:3, 4, 1. And James says, “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:20. Every believer is pledged to unite with his brethren in giving the invitation, “Come; for all things are now ready.” Luke 14:17. Each is to encourage the others in doing whole-hearted work. Earnest invitations will be given by a living church. Thirsty souls will be led to the water of life.
The apostles carried a weight of responsibility to enlarge their sphere of labor, to proclaim the gospel in the regions beyond. From their example we learn that there are to be no idlers in the Lord’s vineyard. His servants are constantly to enlarge the circle of their efforts. Constantly they are to do more, never less. The Lord’s work is to widen and broaden until it encircles the world.
After making a missionary tour, Paul and Barnabas retraced their steps, visiting the churches they had raised up, and selecting men to unite with them in the work. Thus God’s servants are to labor today, selecting and training worthy young men as co-laborers. God help us to sanctify ourselves, that by our example others may be sanctified, enabled to do successful work in winning souls to Christ.
We are nearing the close of this earth’s history; soon we shall stand before the great white throne. Soon your time for work will be forever past. Watch for opportunities to speak a word in season to those with whom you come in contact. Do not wait to become acquainted before you offer them the priceless treasures of truth. Go to work, and ways will open before you.
At the day of judgment there comes to the lost a full realization of the meaning of the sacrifice made on Calvary. They see what they have lost by refusing to be loyal. They think of the high, pure association it was their privilege to gain. But it is too late. The last call has been made. The wail is heard, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jeremiah 8:20.
Upon us rests the weighty responsibility of warning the world of its coming doom. From every direction, from far and near, are coming calls for help. God calls upon His church to arise, and clothe herself with power. Immortal crowns are to be won; the kingdom of heaven is to be gained; the world, perishing in ignorance, is to be enlightened.
The world will be convinced, not by what the pulpit teaches, but by what the church lives. The minister in the desk announces the theory of the gospel; the practical piety of the church demonstrates its power.
Enfeebled and defective, needing constantly to be warned and counseled, the church is nevertheless the object of Christ’s supreme regard. He is making experiments of grace on human hearts, and is effecting such transformations of character that angels are amazed, and express their joy in songs of praise. They rejoice to think that sinful, erring human beings can be so transformed.
As the Third Angel’s Message swells into a loud cry, great power and glory will attend its proclamation. The faces of God’s people will shine with the light of heaven.
The Lord will fit men and women—yes, and children, as he did Samuel—for His work, making them His messengers. He who never slumbers nor sleeps watches over each worker, choosing His sphere of labor. All heaven is watching the warfare which, under apparently discouraging circumstances, God’s servants are carrying on. New conquests are being achieved, new honors won, as the Lord’s servants, rallying round the banner of their Redeemer, go forth to fight the good fight of faith. All the heavenly angels are at the service of the humble, believing people of God, and as the Lord’s army of workers here below sing their songs of praise, the choir above join with them in thanksgiving, ascribing praise to God and to His Son.
Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness, and relies wholly on the merits of the Saviour. God would send every angel in heaven to the aid of such a one, rather than allow him to be overcome.
The battle-cry is sounding along the line. Let every soldier of the cross push to the front, not in self-sufficiency, but in meekness and lowliness, and with firm faith in God. Your work, my work, will not cease with this life. For a little while we may rest in the grave, but, when the call comes, we shall, in the kingdom of God, take up our work once more.
—Review and Herald, January 20, 1903.