Called From the Plow

Brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, I want to place before you the urgency of the hour in which we are living. Time has almost run out, and we are now to be urgently going about our Father’s business. We are living in a time when the Lord Himself, as He did when on earth, “will call men from the plow and from other occupations to give the last note of warning to perishing souls.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 170

Satan knows his time is very short, and he is actively seeking to deceive the whole world, but especially the elect. God’s last day messenger tells us: “I saw that the remnant were not prepared for what is coming upon the earth. Stupidity, like lethargy, seemed to hang upon the minds of most of those who profess to believe that we are having the last message. My accompanying angel cried out with awful solemnity, ‘Get ready! Get ready! Get ready! For the fierce anger of the Lord is soon to come. His wrath is to be poured out, unmixed with mercy, and ye are not ready. Rend the heart, and not the garment. A great work must be done for the remnant.’” Early Writings, 119

Do we understand what it means to be ready, having put on the whole armor of God? Do we know by experience what it means to be a laborer with Christ?

Christ, when calling His first disciples, said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” These common men straightway left their nets and followed Jesus. If we are truly living for Jesus every day, we will be willing to leave all for Him. Or, have we become caught up in the things of this life?

If we are not earnest and sincere about our salvation and the salvation of others, if we have not made Christ and the vindication of God’s character first in our lives, can we really say that we want to see Jesus return? Christ tells us: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

The things of this earth will very soon pass away. We need to focus all of our energy and attention on proclaiming the three angels’ messages.

Our present situation finds a close parallel in the experience of Israel at the Jordan River. “And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.” Joshua 3:13. Today we are standing on the very edge of the Jordan, and the promised land is just before us.

Just as the soles of the priest’s feet had to be placed in the water for the water to part, opening to them an entrance into the promised land, so we cannot stand back and fail to exercise faith in God while expecting to have Jesus receive us into His kingdom at His return. We must go forward in faith, with strong, unyielding determination to finish the gospel commission.

Speaking of the Laodicean church, Christ said, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:16. It is time to become hot. We are in the final reformation and the only difference between this reformation and those that have preceded it is that heaven is in sight, and we are soon going home. It only remains for us to step by faith into the Jordan, as it were, putting all of our energies into finishing the work that the Lord has placed before us to do.

“Those who are truly converted are called to do a work that requires money and consecration. The obligation that binds us to place our names on the church roll holds us responsible to work for God to the utmost of our ability. He calls for undivided service, for the entire devotion of heart, soul, mind, and strength. Christ has brought us into church capacity that He may engage and engross all our capabilities in devoted service for the salvation of souls. Anything short of this is opposition to the work.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 447

Have we contemplated the cost that our precious Saviour paid that we might have eternal life? If we are truly converted, will we not be willing to lay all on the altar, giving Him our undivided service? When we do this, everything we have, soul, mind, strength, and finances will then be put unreservedly into the finishing of this work.

“There are only two places in the universe were we can deposit our treasures—in God’s storehouse or in Satan’s, and all that is not devoted to God’s service is counted on Satan’s side and goes to strengthen his cause….

“He whose life consists in ever receiving and never giving, soon loses the blessing. If truth does not flow forth from him to others, he loses his capacity to receive. We must impart the goods of heaven if we desire fresh blessings….And if men, and women as well, will become channels of blessing to other souls, the Lord will keep the channels supplied.” Ibid. 448, 449

There is a special need at this time to present the message that God has given to us in clear, sharp lines, putting it before the people in such a way as to leave no doubt in the hearer’s mind as to what God requires of them.

“The truth must be published far more extensively than it yet has been. It must be defined in clear, sharp lines before the people….

“‘Those who do not arouse will be passed by, and God will move upon men who will respond to His call, and carry His work forward and upward.’” The Home Missionary, February 1, 1890

“All who will be saved must cooperate with the agencies of heaven to arouse the inhabitants of the earth to the solemn truths for this time.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 140

In this work, however, we are not called to work alone. The angelic host is waiting for you and me to arouse to the call to become laborers together with them. “All heaven, if I may use the expression, is impatiently waiting for men to cooperate with the divine agencies in working for the salvation of souls.” General Conference Daily Bulletin, January 28, 1893

“The Lord has given his church a special work of personal service to do. God could have sent angels to work for the reformation of man, but he did not do this. Humanity must touch humanity….

“Christ’s commission is to be received and acted upon. We are to go forth in faith, with earnest prayer for the promise of One who has said, ‘Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’ With the promise of such companionship, we are guilty of great unbelief and disobedience if we refuse to take up the cross of self-denial and self-sacrifice….

“As we communicate the light that has found entrance to our souls, the Holy Spirit gives increased light, and our hearts are filled with the precious joy of the Lord….

“We have a crucified, risen Saviour to present to the people. All who have come to Jesus for pardon have found Him ever ready to take their sins, and to impute His righteousness to them. He who has come to Christ, and has been truly converted, will have a longing to save the souls that are out of Christ. He who loves God supremely and his neighbor as himself cannot rest content with doing nothing….

“God will use humble men as His instruments. Even though they have but one talent, if they trade upon it, it will increase. The great fault in the church is that the work of saving souls is so limited that the advancement of the kingdom of God is slow. A backslidden church is the sure result of a selfish church,—a church that does not use her talents in cooperating with Jesus to restore the image of God in men. We are to minister to every creature. A responsibility is laid upon us to work for all,—our friends, our acquaintances, those who are bound up with the world and alienated from God. The apparently amiable and agreeable are to come into the sphere of our labors. The truth is for them as much as for us, and we must say, ‘Come.’” Review and Herald, April 26, 1898

Do we long for heaven? Do we really want to go home to be where Jesus is? Jesus tells us that when this gospel of the kingdom is preached to all the world, the end will come. (See Matthew 24:14.) There is no time to be lukewarm Laodiceans.

“The solemn, sacred message of warning must be proclaimed in the most difficult fields and in the most sinful cities, in every place where the light of the great threefold gospel message has not yet dawned. Every one is to hear the last call to the marriage supper of the Lamb. From town to town, from city to city, from country to country, the message of present truth is to be proclaimed, not with outward display, but in the power of the Spirit.” Maranatha, 261

We are about to enter upon a time when we will have to work to proclaim the gospel under much less favorable circumstances. “The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in a terrible crisis under most discouraging, forbidding circumstances. The warning that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld must be given under the fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 463. Perhaps, as the Waldenses did, we will find that we are only able to spread the truth by concealing the Scriptures and truth filled pamphlets in our clothing. We do know however, that eventually we will only be able to keep and share what we have stored in our minds.

The crisis is right upon us. We must now, by the Holy Spirit’s power, proclaim the truth contained in the first, second, and third angel’s messages. We must go to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, bringing light to the darkness of every corner of the earth.

“Our watchword is to be, Onward, ever onward! Angles of heaven will go before us to prepare the way. Our burden for the regions beyond can never be laid down till the whole earth is lightened with the glory of the Lord.” Maranatha, 261

If we are Christians, it will be the desire of our life and our delight to work with Christ for the saving of souls. Sadly, however, “There are those who for a lifetime have professed to be acquainted with Christ, yet who have never made a personal effort to bring even one soul to the Saviour….

“There are many who need the ministration of loving Christian hearts. Many have gone down to ruin who might have been saved, if their neighbors, common men and women, had put forth personal effort for them. Many are waiting to be personally addressed. In the very family, the neighborhood, the town where we live, there is work for us to do as missionaries for Christ. If we are Christians, this work will be our delight.” Desire of Ages, 141. Let us not be mere professors of historic Adventism, but by your fruits my we proclaim that we are workers with Christ.

These are exciting, yet solemn times in which we live. It is exciting to know that we will soon be able to look up and see Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven with all of the holy angels. Our hearts thrill with the thought that we are about to walk with Jesus in the promised land. But before we will be prepared for this great event, there is a solemn and great work before us—the giving of the three angels’ messages to a dying world. And beyond that, a time of trouble such as never was.

Are you tired of this world? Do you really want to go home where Jesus is? Then let us move as a mighty army, with Jesus as our Captain, to finish giving the gospel message, loudly proclaiming and boldly standing under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. I challenge you today to put the sole of your feet in the Jordan. Let us possess that promised land. Let us, with Joshua, boldly proclaim, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

We have this promise: “A true missionary spirit will be imparted to those who seek earnestly to know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent.” Medical Ministry, 321

“Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10

The End