Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 38, 1886

Sermon/Whom Are We Following?

St. Germain, Italy

November 11, 1886

This manuscript is published in entirety in 5MR 256-262.

November 11, 1886

(Sermon at St. Germain, 7:30 p.m.)

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 1

Here Christ has said, “My sheep hear My voice, ... and they follow Me.” [Verse 27.] We have the fact presented that no one could pluck them out of His hand. “Whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Matthew 7:24, 25. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 2

Now it is very important that we should search the Scriptures ourselves, for we are enjoined to give a reason of the hope that is within us with meekness and fear. What saith the Scriptures? for they are our chart and guide to heaven. It is not safe for us to follow any man unless his word is in harmony with the Scriptures. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 3

What saith our Redeemer? for we want to know what to do. The answer comes to walk in the light as it is unfolded to us. Our Saviour has made an infinite sacrifice for us that we may regain that which was lost by Adam. Christ offered Himself a substitute for man. He left His happy position in heaven, and laid off His royal robes, His crown, and dignity, and for our sakes became poor. He did not come to mingle with the great or to appear in splendor, but He associated Himself with the poor, to lift them up from their low estate; and for all this love He was despised and rejected of men. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 4

He says, “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” Isaiah 5:4. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 5

He has set us an example in order that we may know how to walk in conformity with His will. Christ is a true Shepherd. His example, if followed, will lead us aright. How precious was His gentle spirit. He was meek and lowly in heart. No jealousy, no envy, no iniquity was found in Him. He passed over the same ground where Adam fell, thus showing us that it is possible for man to overcome. Those who follow Christ will be obedient; they will not trample on one of God’s holy precepts. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 6

It is very important to know whom we are following. There are precious victories for us to gain. “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24. But how apt men are to shrink from the reproach that the truth will bring and then be led to disobey the requirements of God. There have been those in the past who have suffered for the truth’s sake. It was to them dearer than life, and men lost their lives to gain eternal life. It will not be surprising if we have to suffer, if we are tried. When these trials come, it may be on account of temporal things, but we must not allow the things of this life to govern us. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. If we are sanctified through the truth, then we shall let nothing come between us and our duty to God. “What is a man profited, if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26. There are many who exchange their souls for this life. But what is a man profited if he should gain this world? for he cannot have this world and the one to come. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 7

When the Son of man comes from heaven with all His glory, He will then reward every man according to his works. Here we are pointed to the future life. We have a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. Paul says, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” 1 Corinthians 15:19. We want to think of the future home where there is no disappointment, no sin, no enemy, no outburst of passion. And all of this will be realized by those who will follow the true Shepherd and obey the commandments of God. Although Satan is at war with the followers of Christ, the true Shepherd will not allow any one to pluck them out of His hand. Every soul that comes in sincerity will find help. Our heavenly Father tells us to ask, and if we ask we shall receive. He knows that we are deformed by sin. He knows our weakness. He knows that Satan is striving to control the passions of men; and He has sent Christ to break every yoke, to set before man an example, and it is for us to copy the perfect Pattern, for heaven is worth everything. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 8

Wherever we look we see deformity caused by sin, and we all need a Saviour, one who will save to the uttermost. But we must do our part to work out our own salvation. I am so glad that I have a Saviour, one who can help me. God did not send angels to this world to save man, but His own Son, who suffered and was tempted on all points like as we are, and He knows how to succor all that are tempted and tried. This is done that we may have salvation. What more could have been done than has been done? This should evidence to us that God has great love for the human race, therefore in return He demands obedience from our hands. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 9

The young man came to Christ and asked, “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” The answer was, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:16, 17. The same answer was given to the lawyer, and the lawyer told Him that the law told him to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” And Christ said unto him, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” Luke 10:27, 28. So you have the whole duty laid down, and that is to keep the commandments if you expect to have eternal life. What was lost through Adam by disobedience must be brought back by obedience. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 10

You may ask, What is the value of one soul? I will point you to Calvary. The precious Saviour placed an estimate upon man, and He became poor that we may be elevated. With His divine arm He came to lift us up, and this was done by the sacrifice of His own life. He knew that man could not overcome in his own strength, and He left the courts of heaven that we might be reconciled to the Father. Oh, what matchless love! Well may John exclaim, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” 1 John 3:1. It is sin that caused this great sacrifice to be made, and now God claims from us loyalty and to walk in the light of His perfect rule and standard in order that we might be brought back to our Eden home. Christ is the true Shepherd and leader, and if we do not follow Him by doing as He did, then we are none of His. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 11

We want heaven and its joy. We want to put away sin, and it is our privilege to ask, “What is sin?” The Bible gives the definition: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. The law of God is the rule of our life, and by it our characters will be measured. It is the work of Satan to keep you from forming a right character that will meet the perfect standard. I desire that you should have a heaven of bliss, and the great gift will be bestowed on those that obey. Our precious Saviour has provided everything for us, and we should remember Jesus and follow Him. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 12

How does Christ look upon those who claim to be His followers, who are engaged in strife and contention? He wants us to be like Him. We must become acquainted with our Saviour and grow up step by step, and thus attain to immortal life. What efforts would men put forth to honor a worldly emperor or king? If they were going to appear before such, they would make every preparation to appear before him aright. Then how particular we should be who are expecting to meet the King of kings! 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 13

The command is, “Come out from among them, ... and I will receive you, ... and ye shall be My sons and daughters.” 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18. What greater honor could be conferred upon mortal man? This life is filled with anguish and sorrow, but the promise is eternal life, a life without sorrow. This is a precious boon, and how earnest we should be to enter heaven! God has given us a moral standard and we need not make any mistake, for the rule is laid down, and it is here that we must fit up for eternal life. And it is only through obedience that we obtain it. But we have this to encourage us, that Jesus knows our weakness and He will assist us to gain heaven, and we must believe the truth and remember that we are taken into the workshop to be fitted to join the heavenly family and to connect with the heavenly choir. Then let all sin be put away, and let us bring heaven into our lives. If we let Christ rule in our hearts we shall have a heaven below, and thus be fitted up for heaven above. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 14

Oh, what matchless charm there is in Jesus! And to dwell with Him and stand around His throne, having all the stains of sin washed away in the blood of Christ, to dwell with Him for ever and ever, is surely worth striving for. Angels will attend us here and help us to walk aright, and keep us from the evil. We need to love one another as Christ loved us and be a blessing to all around us. Christ has told us that if we are followers of Him He will lead us to the fountains of living waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes. “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.” Revelation 7:16. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 15

I have chosen Christ as my portion, and I want to share with Him in His sufferings and be partaker with Him in His joy. If we remain close to our Redeemer, He has promised that no one shall pluck us out of His hand. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 16

I present to you eternal life. Will you have it? If so, here is the condition and blessing: “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14. May God help you to enter is my prayer. 4LtMs, Ms 38, 1886, par. 17