As I hear of the terrible calamities that from week to week are taking place, I ask myself: What do these things mean? The most awful disasters are following one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of seemingly disorganized, unregulated forces, but in them God’s purpose may be read. They are one of the means by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.
The coming of Christ is nearer than when we first believed. The great controversy is nearing its end. The judgments of God are in the land. They speak in solemn warning, saying: “Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 24:44.
But there are many, many in our churches who know little of the real meaning of the truth for this time. I appeal to them not to disregard the fulfilling of the signs of the times, which says so plainly that the end is near. Oh, how many who have not sought their souls’ salvation will soon make the bitter lamentation: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved”! [Jeremiah 820.]
We are living in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The hours of probation are fast passing. We have no time—not a moment—to lose. Let us not be found sleeping on guard. Let no one say in his heart or by his works: “My Lord delayeth His coming.” Let the message of Christ’s soon return sound forth in earnest words of warning. Let us persuade men and women everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come. Let us arouse them to immediate preparation, for we little know what is before us. Let ministers and lay members go forth into the ripening fields to tell the unconcerned and indifferent to seek the Lord while He may be found. The workers will find their harvest wherever they proclaim the forgotten truths of the Bible. They will find those who will accept the truth and will devote their lives to winning souls to Christ.
The Lord is soon to come, and we must be prepared to meet Him in peace. Let us be determined to do all in our power to impart light to those around us. We are not to be sad, but cheerful, and we are to keep the Lord Jesus ever before us. He is soon coming, and we must be ready and waiting for His appearing. Oh, how glorious it will be to see Him and be welcomed as His redeemed ones! Long have we waited, but our hope is not to grow dim. If we can but see the King in His beauty we shall be forever blessed. I feel as if I must cry aloud: “Homeward bound!” We are nearing the time when Christ will come in power and great glory to take His ransomed ones to their eternal home.
“And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:9.
“Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.” Isaiah 62:10–12.
In the great closing work we shall meet with perplexities that we know not how to deal with; but let us not forget that the three great powers of heaven are working, that a divine hand is on the wheel, and that God will bring His promises to pass. He will gather from the world a people who will serve Him in righteousness.
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1–3.
Long have we waited for our Saviour’s return. But nonetheless sure is the promise. Soon we shall be in our promised home. There Jesus will lead us beside the living stream flowing from the throne of God and will explain to us the dark providences through which on this earth He brought us in order to perfect our characters. There we shall behold with undimmed vision the beauties of Eden restored. Casting at the feet of the Redeemer the crowns that He has placed on our heads, and touching our golden harps, we shall fill all heaven with praise to Him that sitteth on the throne.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 252–254.
A Call to Service
“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” [John 4:35, 36.]
True indeed are these words. Everywhere there are hearts crying out for the living God. The Lord has his representatives in all the churches, who have faithfully walked in all the light that has shone upon their pathway. They hunger to know more of the ways and works of God. All over the world, men and women are looking wistfully to heaven. Prayers and tears and inquiries go up from souls longing for light, for grace, for the Holy Spirit. Many are on the very verge of the kingdom, waiting to be gathered in. These demand the service of those to whom God has entrusted his truth.
And those also who are dead in trespasses and sins demand our service. The man who is wholly absorbed in his countingroom, the man who finds pleasure at the gaming table, the man who loves to indulge perverted appetite, the frequenter of the theater and the ball-room, put eternity out of their reckoning. They are not in the procession that is moving heavenward, but are led by the great apostate, and if they continue in this path, they will with him be destroyed. All around us are souls perishing in their sins. Every year thousands upon thousands are dying without God and without hope of eternal life. The plagues and judgments of God are in the earth, and souls are going to ruin because the light of truth has not been flashed upon their pathway.
The heart of God is moved. Souls are very precious in his sight. It was for this world that Christ wept in agony; for this world that he was crucified. God gave his only begotten Son to save sinners, and he desires us to love others as he loved us. He desires those who have a knowledge of the truth to impart this knowledge to their fellow men.
Now is the time for the last warning to be given. There is a special power in the presentation of truth at the present time.
The proclamation of the third angel’s message is our work. We are to present the truth in regard to the Sabbath of the Lord. God’s memorial of creation has been torn down and in its place there stands a false sabbath. Satan has led men to declare that this is the true Sabbath, and in the belief of this delusion millions are passing into eternity. But among many of those who ought to cooperate with him, there is a fearful lack of sympathy for souls unsaved. Unless our hearts beat in union with the heart of Christ, how can we understand the sacredness and importance of the admonition to “watch for souls as they that must give an account”? [Hebrews 13:17.] We talk of Christian missions. The sound of our voices is heard; but do we feel Christ’s tender heart-longing for souls?
Who can sympathize with Christ in his distress and anguish, as with quivering lips he exclaimed, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not”? [Matthew 23:37.] Who can say with Jeremiah, “Oh that mine head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people”? [Jeremiah 9:1.]
We are living in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. Prophecy is rapidly fulfilling. The hours of probation are fast passing. We have no time—not a moment—to lose. Let us not be found sleeping on guard. Let no one say in his heart or by his works, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” Let the message of Christ’s soon return sound forth in earnest words of warning. Let us persuade men and women everywhere to repent, and flee from the wrath to come. Let us arouse them to immediate preparation; for we little know what is before us. The Watchman, November 5, 1907.
Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Mrs. White was appointed by God as a special messenger to draw the world’s attention to the Holy Scriptures and help prepare people for Christ’s second advent.