Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Ms 79, 1886

Sermon/At Orebro, Sweden

Orebro, Sweden

June 24, 1886

Portions of this manuscript are published in HP 331.

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:3. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 1

The work of every one who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ is presented before us in these words. Not one of us is excused from doing that which God has given us to do. God has not given us reasoning powers, and ability, and intellect to be used exclusively for worldly matters. He desires that we should use these precious talents to His glory. Although God is our supreme Ruler, He has given man the privilege of being a co-laborer with Christ; as soon as the truth of God finds an entrance into our hearts, it is our duty to give the precious truth to others. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 2

If our neighbors were perishing for bread, we would be thought very uncharitable if we did not supply their wants. There are those among us who have never had the Word of God brought to their minds or understanding; they are perishing for want of the Bread of Life, and is it not in us an expression of great selfishness when we keep these sacred truths to ourselves and do not give to those who are famishing? 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 3

Our heavenly Father gives the rain, the dew, and the sunshine from heaven to refresh the flowers and to cause vegetation to spring up and flourish. But man has a part to act, to prepare the soil and to put the seeds into the ground in order to have a harvest. If he had folded his arms and said, “I will let things take their course. I have nothing to do. God will give the harvest. He will give the sunshine and the rain from heaven, and I will take my ease,” what kind of a harvest would come? Man must co-operate with God, and act his part in preparing the soil and in sowing the seed, and God will give the increase. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 4

Our heavenly Father has not sent angels from heaven to preach salvation to men. He has opened to us the precious truths of His Word and implanted the truth in our hearts, that we may give it to those who are in darkness. If we have indeed tasted of the precious gifts of God in His promises, we are to impart this knowledge to others. Every individual that is connected with the Source of light and truth is to gather the divine rays of light from heaven and scatter them upon the pathway of others. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 5

We are individually to work as though a great responsibility rested upon us. We are to manifest untiring energy and tact and zeal in this work and take the burden, feeling the peril in which our neighbors and friends are placed. We are to work as Christ worked. We are to present the truth as it is in Jesus, that the blood of souls shall not be upon our garments. At the same time we are to feel entire dependence and trust in God, for we know we cannot do anything without His grace and power to help. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 6

A Paul may plant, and an Apollos water, but God alone can give the increase. Then we are indeed to go forward to the work, weeping, sowing the precious seeds of truth, and trusting in God to give the increase. Every one who claims to be a disciple of Christ, who tarries at home with the family, has a work to do as a home missionary. He must keep his own soul in the light and love of God and help to build up the church. All are to be faithful sentinels. While ministers are called to open the Word of God to others, the individual members are to work, and as the church is kept a working church, it will be a living church. Another’s indifference or carelessness will not excuse your neglect. You should open the door of your heart, that Jesus can take possession of the soul and perform His will and work through you. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 7

The greatest power will be felt in the church where there are well-ordered and well-disciplined families. The children should be educated from their very childhood to love the things of eternal life. This life is but for a moment; it passeth away, and we want a firm hold of the future, immortal life. When we set up the standard of righteousness in home religion, angels of God will minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation; and as you go to the house of God to worship Him, you bring angels of God into that house. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 8

Every one who has the Word of God as a living flame burning upon the altar of his heart can present the truth as it is in Jesus by precept and example. A living church is one that would have a saving influence upon the world. Every member should feel that he must make every effort in his power to build up the church of Christ, and as all work according to the light God has given them, then the ability that is devoted to this work of winning souls to Christ will continually increase. We must each one do our work, sowing the truth in meekness and humility, and then have faith that God will do His part. But what account will we have to render to the God of heaven when we surround the great white throne, for the opportunities and privileges He has given us here, which we have not appreciated and improved? We do not want to make any mistakes in regard to our duty to our fellow men which God requires of us. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 9

Christ left the mansions in heaven and came to our world to be an example for us to imitate, and He was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory; but He exchanged His crown of glory in the kingdom of heaven for a crown of thorns on this earth. He stepped down from the royal throne, clothed His divinity with humanity, and accepted His life of self-denial and self-sacrifice. For our sakes He bore insult and shame and mockery. And did His own nation open their hands and hearts to receive Him in His work? No. God had given them the best gift that heaven held, and yet they did not appreciate it. The Son of God had to go from city to city because those whom He came to save sought to take His life. Was it because He was a criminal? No; there was no fault in Him. It was because He taught the truth from heaven. The truth was clothed with the beauty and brightness of heaven’s light, but they would not receive it. He came into this world to be the light of the world, yet that light was not accepted by those He came to save. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 10

Jesus says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:1, 2. What a privilege is this, to be brought into relationship with Christ! If we exhibit the piety and righteousness of Christ, we need not expect to be in any greater favor with the world than was Christ. We need the Holy Spirit from heaven to come into our hearts, that we can see Christ as He is and comprehend His great love wherewith He has loved us; then we shall love one another as Christ has loved us. From His own lips came these words, “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 11

We are not to grasp in the arms of fellowship those only who profess to believe just as we do, who accept our views of truth. We are to have a burden for perishing souls who are out of Christ. Our message is to the world. Our work is to save the lost for whom Christ has died. If our Saviour met with disappointments, we should not be discouraged if we meet with disappointments. Why was it the world did not know Christ? It was because He brought meekness, purity, and virtue into the world, and the world understood it not. Men could not harmonize with this purity. And those who are connected with Christ in His work of self-sacrifice and self-denial will not be known by the world. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 12

Must we, then, leave the world in darkness to perish? No; we must be a living channel of light to the world. If we abide in Jesus, all heaven is at our command; the power from on high will work with the laborer in his efforts to win souls. Jesus will not leave His people with this great responsibility resting upon them and not give them divine aid. The reason why there is not spirituality and light in the church is [that] we do not have the spirit of labor. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 13

We should take the Scripture and search the pages of the Word of God and understand it for ourselves. We should bring God’s Word into our daily life and character, and have that burning, living faith in our hearts that we shall seek to save those around us, who are perishing in sin and iniquity. Everywhere we go, we see souls who need light and truth. They are the purchase of the blood of the Son of God. What are we doing for them? Are we seeking to open their understanding that they may accept Jesus in the truth and in the Word He sends them? To the minister also will He say in that day, What have you done for Me? 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 14

Brethren, have you that earnestness of soul for those out of Christ that you cannot rest without working for them and doing your utmost for their salvation? How careful should you be in your family to keep the family altar erected! Take your children in the arms of your faith to Jesus, and teach them that He is the very best Friend that it is possible for them to have. Teach them that they can go to this precious Saviour with all their trials and sorrows, and He will sympathize with them. Do not present before them our heavenly Father as a God of tyranny, but as a God of love; and thus educate your children that they will want to be children of God and followers of Jesus Christ. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 15

If any of you succeed in your efforts and win one soul for Jesus, that soul, endowed with the Spirit of God, will seek to enlighten others; and if they are the means of converting one soul, that soul will go to work to save other souls, and thus the work will go on and you can never know the result of your influence until the judgment is set and the books are opened. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 16

Since I have been here in this place, I have seen youth, for whom Christ has died, reeling through the streets because intoxicated with drink; and I have thought, Is there not an arm that can be stretched out to save these youth from perdition? Have those who claim to be Christians given them up as hopeless? Let us work with all the ability that God has given us, that we may save fallen men, perishing for the truth. Jesus has done everything for man’s rescue that a God could do in working out the plan of salvation for the fallen race. Those who profess the name of Christ will so closely connect with Jesus and His might and power that they can co-operate with Christ in this great work of saving souls. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 17

There are some here in our conference who contemplate giving themselves to the missionary work. I wish there were one hundred instead of two or three. God will accept the strength of the youth if they will only consecrate themselves to His service. And what a work is this that they are doing in saving souls to Jesus for time and for eternity! Many are sowing to the flesh in the indulgences of appetite and gratification of their base passions, but a time will come when they must reap the harvest they have sown. Those who consecrate their lives to the service of Jesus Christ who gave Himself for them will reap life everlasting. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 18

Jesus invites the youth to come to Him just as they are. He says, “My son, give Me thy heart.” [Proverbs 23:26.] The precious Saviour will take and wash away our stains in His own blood and fit us for the mansions in glory. Many seem to think that Jesus is a great way off, but our Saviour is very nigh to those who call upon His name. If our heavenly Father made so great a sacrifice as to give His dearly beloved Son that fallen man might be saved, what will He not do for those who will come to Him? How much more will He not with Him freely give us all things? He hears the prayer of the contrite and repentant soul. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 19

That God that was with Joseph in Egypt and with Daniel in Babylon will help all those who come to Him to form a perfect character. “Come,” the Word of God says, “come now, and let us reason together. ... though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” [Isaiah 1:18.] Come, then, and let us enlist under the banner of Prince Emmanuel, leaving the black banner to the prince of darkness. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 20

All that Christ has given me belongs to Him, and I will give it to His service. He has given me in trust all the qualifications I possess. I will improve them to His glory. Let us be earnest and persevering in our work for Christ, for the precious reward that Daniel saw in vision is to be given to those who are Christ’s. Why not take hold of this work understandingly? Cut loose from the things of earth, and let the attention be directed heavenward. Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price, even with the precious blood of the Son of God. And what are many of us doing for God? He calls you as servants to enlist in His army to work for Him, to fight manfully the battles of the Lord. You want to put all the ability and tact you possess into whatever department of this work you are engaged. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 21

You can represent Christ as did Joseph and Daniel. They did an excellent work in character building, and now the work is before you to form a character for eternal life. Put away sin and iniquity, and let the love of Jesus into your souls. Christ says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man will hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him and he with Me.” [Revelation 3:20.] You hear His tread before the door, waiting for you to respond to His knock. He has invited His entrance into your heart. Will you let Him in? He is the heavenly Guest, and you cannot close the door against Him without ruin to yourself. May your hearts go out in earnest prayer that Christ will take possession of your souls, and He will do it. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 22

It is your duty to gather all the knowledge of Christ that you can obtain, that you may impart that knowledge to others. Come to Him in meekness and humility, and open before them the Scriptures. It is the voice of God to them. It may seem very strange to them, and there may be very few who will listen to the voice of mercy. But what did God say to Elijah? His mournful complaint was, “They have torn down thine altars, slain the prophets, and I alone am left and they seek my life.” [1 Kings 19:10, 14.] God said to Elijah, “I have seven thousand who have never yet bowed the knee to Baal.” [Verse 18.] And there may be those all around you in this city that are living up to the best light they have. The Lord has given us light and truth, that we may work for those in darkness. Do your work with fidelity, and trust the rest with God. Believe that the Lord will save the souls of your fellow men around you, and the faith that you will exercise will be the greatest help to yourself and an honor to the God of heaven. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 23

I am so thankful that we have a Saviour. I am so glad that we have a Mediator who is pleading our individual cases before the Father today. And while all heaven is interested in our salvation, let us be interested for ourselves. Let us be forming such characters that we may be fitted for the society of heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. All the thoughts and energies that are devoted in cheerful, willing service to our heavenly Father and in heavenly pursuits will live. They will not be written in sand and left here to perish. Everything in earth is diverting our attention away from heaven. But will we seek for glory, honor, immortality? May God help this dear congregation that they may have an eternal weight of glory in the kingdom of heaven. 4LtMs, Ms 79, 1886, par. 24