Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)

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Ms 103, 1900

“Compel Them to Come In.”

NP

April 20, 1900 [typed]

See Ms 19, 1899. Previously unpublished.

“When thou makest a dinner or a supper,” Christ said, “call not thy rich friends, nor thy brethren, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind; and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; but thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 1

“And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto them, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” [Luke 14:12-15.] 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 2

In answer to this, Christ gave the parable of the supper. The feast is prepared, and the lord sends his servants to the guests he had invited, saying, “Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” [Verses 17-20.] 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 3

The second invitation was given to the poor and needy. “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city,” the master said, “and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” [Verses 21-24.] 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 4

“Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled; for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. The new wine mourneth, the wine languisheth, all the merry-hearted do sigh. The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the heart ceaseth. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of confusion is broken down; every house is shut up, that no man may come in.” [Isaiah 24:1-10.] 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 5

Here is described a class to be labored for. Many of them were once in possession of wealth. Some are highly educated, but the pollutions of the world, strong drink, indulgence in the lusts of flesh, have brought them to the lowest depths. They are still, thank God, prisoners of hope; for among those sunken in the lowest depths of degradation the Lord sees those who cannot restore themselves. They may hear the call, but their ears are too dull to take in its meaning; their eyes are too blind to see anything good in store for them. They are dead in trespasses and sins. They are to be laid hold of, and compelled to come in. 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 6

Medical missionary workers are fulfilling this phase of God’s work. Poor outcasts are admitted to places prepared for them. They are taken to bath-rooms, washed, and dressed in clean clothing. Their hunger is satisfied; and then the gospel is preached to them, simply and earnestly. They are told that Christ, the Son of God, is their Restorer. Those who were homeless and hopeless are encouraged to believe that Jesus will receive them. They are invited to sign the temperance pledge, and the hope is held before them that Christ, the great Missionary, will relieve their suffering bodies and restore to soundness the abused intellect. 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 7

Some grasp quickly at the hope presented; others not so readily. Let the workers remember that the invitation is to be given to all. Practical work is to be done. “Compel them to come in.” [Luke 14:23.] Earnest work must be done in laying hold of the poor souls who have scarcely enough sense left to know whether they have souls to be saved. They have lost their sense of eternal realities. Then let the workers act as Christ would were he in their place. 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 8

Some say, Where are you going to take me? They realize their great degradation. I am not fit to be helped, they say. Leave me alone. But because of this, the workers must not desist. By ministering to these poor souls they are to hear the voice of prayer in their behalf. By your kindness compel them to come. You can see clearly the end which you desire them to reach; but they cannot see what you see. They cannot hear Christ’s call; but you hear it, and you must act in his stead. Christ’s great love must be your law, impelling or compelling, as the case demands. You must hold fast to those you are trying to help, else victory will never be yours. Only as you lead them to look upon the Saviour langing on the cross, will they make the kingdom of heaven their choice. 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 9

When they do this, the goal of your endeavor is reached; for Christ’s righteousness goes before you, and they are clothed with the wedding garment. They have decided to make an effort to live for Christ, but their will-power is weakened, and they must be closely and carefully guarded by those who watch for souls as they that must give an account. Be sure that they have work to do. They have lost their manhood, and this they must win back. Their hereditary tendencies must be closely watched and guarded against. Evil and good, within and without, keep up a constant struggle for the supremacy. Few know the over-mastering power of appetite and the fury of the collision between habits of self-indulgence and the determination to be temperate in all things. 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 10

Let us remember that ministering angels stand beside every true-hearted son and daughter of God. You do not work alone. Christ is the Restorer. Those who work for the suffering and needy, under the supervision of Christ, will see great results. But all workers must learn constantly in the school of Christ. They must use faithfully the talents God has given them. They will grow in grace and in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 11

Let no selfishness mingle with the service done for fallen humanity. The Lord calls for faithful workers. The fascinating witcheries of evil present themselves in disguise. Each worker must be wide awake to the power of Satan as he seeks to rescue men from deadly evils. He must be sure that he is a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Let all who work for those sunken in degradation keep mind and heart in the love of God. Let them stay their minds upon a divine presence, which is always beside them, ever looking on with pitying tenderness. Let them think of a Father’s heart ever grieved over sin, of a Father’s hand stretched out still, of a Father’s voice saying, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” “I will make a man more precious than gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” [Isaiah 27:5; 13:12.] 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 12

The whole world is to hear the gospel invitation. Those who have fallen through sin to the very lowest depths are not to be excluded. They are to hear the invitation, “Come, for all things are now ready.” [Luke 14:17.] They are to be brought to where the light of truth shines forth. They will think when they hear the invitation that they are not fit to be seen in such company. The Lord says, “Compel them to come in.” [Verse 23.] Listen to no excuses. Make them come as they are. “Ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference; and others save with fire, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever.” [Jude 20-25.] 15LtMs, Ms 103, 1900, par. 13