Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers


How to Deal with the Erring

Our Saviour said: “Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh! ... Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” TM 351.1

“I came not,” said Christ, “to call the righteous [you who feel no need of repentance], but sinners to repentance.” Those who are laborers together with God will work in Christ's lines. There is many a poor soul who is misunderstood, unappreciated, full of distress and agony—a lost, straying sheep. His mind is beclouded, he cannot find God, and almost hopeless unbelief takes possession of him. Yet he has an intense, longing desire for pardon and peace. TM 351.2

As this picture is opened before you, the inquiry may be made, Are there no Christians to whom such a one can go for relief? This question God answers: “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” A cold, hardhearted Pharisaism has taken possession of many of the professed followers of Christ, and the love of Jesus is dead. TM 351.3

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.” Here the problem is solved. The persons here described have had light that would have prompted them to altogether different works, if they had followed the light and had strengthened the things that remained that were ready to die. The light which was glowing in their own hearts when Jesus spoke to their souls, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” they might have kept alive by helping those who needed help. TM 352.1

The work to be done is plainly specified: “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” Many have heard and received the word of life, and have been strongly moved by the truth, but have allowed their souls to become cold, their faith dim, through self-righteousness, self-importance, and pride in the possession of a knowledge of truth which they fail to practice. The truth which is not put in practice, loses its power. The heart is closed to its divine influence, and those who should be workers for Christ are idle, and souls whom they might help are left in discouragement and darkness and despair. TM 352.2