Monday, December 29, 2014

Where they will come as little as possible in contact with our churches

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The most grievous sin of idolatry exists in the church. Anything that interposes between the Christian and the whole hearted service to God, takes the form of an idol, and the most grievous sin of idolatry is idolatry itself. The testimonies of God’s word are plain and clear in regard to the snares of the devil. But these are not only church members on the devil’s ground, but those who are opening the Scriptures to others, practice evil, and defile soul and body. They are guilty before God because they are unholy. Were the church living by faith and had they the oil of grace in their vessels with their lamps, the guilty repose would end. Those who believe the sacred, elevating truths for this time, they cannot sleep over them...

Is this exclusively addressed to the few individuals who have been ordained to the ministry? No; but to every Christian young or old, rich or poor. If Christ has forgiven them of their sins, if the truth has made them free, have they not a work to do for the Master? If they are Christians, they will present the truth to others. They will not consider that all they have to do is to serve themselves, live to please and glorify themselves.

Sins of a grave character are in our borders, and unless there is an awakening such as we have not seen for some time which will convict and convert professed Sabbath keepers, they will die in their sins; and the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah will be light in comparison with those who have had great light and precious opportunities, but have been worldly minded, corrupt in thoughts and practices, and have not purified their souls by obeying the truth. 

Now we see need of workers in the opening fields before us, but where are the men who can be trusted, men who have been year by year growing into a better knowledge of God and his ways, and the movings of his providence? I want to sound in the ears of these sleepy, half paralyzed souls the words spoken to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” There is need to ask God with all the heart, to elevate the standard. The commonness, the cheapness of conversation reveal the measure of spirituality of the members of the church. Now, those who have lived years in this same experience know not God nor Jesus Christ whom he hath sent; and should such go forth as representatives of Jesus Christ? These men will never give the right mold to other minds. They have not grown up to the full stature of men and women in Jesus Christ. They simply live the name of Christian, but are not fitted for the work of God, and never will be until they are born again, and learn their A.B.C.’s in the religion of Jesus Christ. There is hope in one direction. Take the young men and women and place them where they will come as little as possible in contact with our churches, that the low grade of piety which is current in this day shall not leaven their ideas of what it means to be a Christian. The worshippers of God are in need of transforming grace to subordinate the world to religion. In the place of making the temporal interest first, exhausting soul, body, and spirit to secure temporal advantages, Jesus points us to the heavenly treasure, and tells us not to lay up our treasure in earth which will perish, but to lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven which will not perish, for where our treasure is there will our heart be also. Jesus would have all that profess to believe in him deal in the currency of heaven, handling those things upon which God has stamped his image and superscription. These he presents before us of infinite value. We see the need of a deep and thorough work in our churches; but the Lord alone can by his Holy Spirit make the hearts that are as steel, soft and sympathetic, and true to the service of Christ. We are far behind because the churches have folded their hands in a peace and safety attitude, and are at ease in Zion, doing almost nothing when the living zeal should be in their hearts as never before. Satan is stirring the powers from beneath to make one last desperate effort to convert the world to his own principles. He has his plans laid with Satanic subtlety, and destruction cometh suddenly while these that have the light, the warnings that such a crisis is before us are almost unmoved...

Those who quibble over the authenticity of the Scriptures, and question the authenticity of Revelation will not be influenced. Their hearts are not sound. They are not at enmity with Satan. The heart is the treasure house of sin. Not being expelled, it is hidden until an hour of opportunity, and then is revealed and springs into action. The first work is with the heart. Truth, the love of Jesus must supply the vacuum, Saith Christ, Make the tree good and the fruit will be good.... 

We must as a people rise up from our formality. We must enter the straight gate. Satan has placed his active agents all along the passage to dispute the way of every soul. Christ has encouraged his followers not to be intimidated, but to press, urge your way through. Strive to enter in at the straight gate, “For many I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, but shall not be able.” Darling cherished idols will have to be given up, the sins that have been indulged in, even if it comes as close as the plucking out of the right eye, or cutting off the right arm. Arouse! Force your way through the very armies of hell that oppose your passage.

The Paulson Collection of Ellen G. White Letters, pp.343,345.

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