The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, vol. 73
The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Vol. 73
February 11, 1896
“Who Cannot Be Saved?” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 73, 6, p. 88.
THE Chaldeans in the time of Abraham were idolaters. Abraham’s own father served “other gods than the Lord.” Joshua 24:14, 15. Thus Abraham was born and grew up among idolatrous influences; yet from the midst of this idolatry, and in spite of all these idolatrous influences, Abraham found the one true God, and worshiped him, and was recognized by the Lord as his friend. ARSH February 11, 1896, page 88.1
This demonstrates that every other person, though he be born of idolatrous parents, and grow up amidst idolatrous influences, can also find the one true God. Abraham is a witness to all the world that all the heathen can find God, and worship him truly and be accepted of him. Every one who seeks God truly will find him truly. For to every one who calls, God answers; every one who feels after him, finds him (Acts 17:27); and to every one who finds God’s existence, he reveals his character. ARSH February 11, 1896, page 88.2
It is written: “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” It is intended that the first of these questions shall be answered by “yes.” It is only by its being answered “yes” that there can be any place for the second question. It would be meaningless to ask, “Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” if he cannot be found out at all. Therefore to the question, “Canst thou by searching find out God?” every man must answer, “Yes”; for even “the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” who do not search and find him out. ARSH February 11, 1896, page 88.3
The second question must be answered by “no” as certainly as the first one must be answered by “yes.” No man can, even by searching, find out the Almighty to perfection, because man himself is sadly imperfect, and imperfection attaches also to all that is before him; but God does not leave mankind here: he reveals himself in his perfection, and gives eternal life to all who will receive it, that they may spend eternity in finding out God in all his glorious perfection. ARSH February 11, 1896, page 88.4
Thus it is true that every one who will find God’s existence, to him God will reveal his character. So it was with Abraham. So it was with Cornelius; to him who had found out God’s existence, the Lord even sent an angel to tell him where to send for a man to make known to him God’s character. So also it was with the Greeks of Athens, so overwhelmingly sunken in idolatry—“art,” it is called now. They had idolized, had made gods of, all things that they could imagine, till they were brought at last to the contemplation of something of which they did not know what to think or to imagine, and therefore they set up an altar, and inscribed upon it, “To the Unknown God.” And even to this faint call the Lord answered. Though they had discovered but a faint glimmer of his existence, even to this he gladly responded; and his apostle stood before them in their highest official place, and said to them all, “The Unknown God, ... him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; ... he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.” ARSH February 11, 1896, page 88.5
Thus it is to all men everywhere and in all ages. They that seek him, they that even feelafter him, find him. And so easy is it to find him; so quickly does he respond to the feeblest call; so fully does he reveal himself upon the faintest glimmer that is recognized of his existence, that when his wondrous work is finished, there is found standing before his throne, ascribing to him their salvation, a great multitude that no man could number; and this vast host is composed of people “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” These who are there “out of” every kindred and tongue and people and nation, are living and eternal witnesses that every one of every kindred and tongue and people and nation, who is not there, might just as well be there as these. The fact that one individual is there, of any single kindred or tongue or people or nations that was ever on the earth, is indisputable evidence that all the individuals of every kindred and tongue and people and nation could just as certainly and just as easily be there, as that this one is there; and the fact that one is there demonstrates that all the other are without excuse for not being there. ARSH February 11, 1896, page 88.6
O, it is not hard to find the Lord! for he is not far form every one of us; he is so near that but to feel after him is to find him. It is not hard to be saved; for “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God.” By doubts, and queries, and unbelief generally, people make it hard to be saved; but in the Lord’s way it is not hard. “My yoke is easy.” Take it upon you. ARSH February 11, 1896, page 88.7
Abraham is evidence that every heathen can find the Lord. Abraham, and that great multitude out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation, and even Jesus Christ himself,—the second Adam,—are all witnesses that God saves human beings—whosoever puts his trust in Him, whosoever is “willing” to be saved—with the salvation of the Lord. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Who can refuse? ARSH February 11, 1896, page 88.8
A. T. J.