From Trials to Triumph


A Tragic Change Comes Into the Early Church

John realized that brotherly love was waning in the church. “Beloved, let us love one another,” he writes, “for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the expiation of our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” TT 288.3

“Any one who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” TT 288.4

It is not the opposition of the world that most endangers the church. It is the evil cherished in the hearts of believers that works their most grievous disaster, and most surely retards God's cause. There is no surer way of weakening spirituality than by cherishing envy, fault-finding, and evil-surmising. The strongest witness that God has sent His Son into the world is the existence of harmony and union among people of varied dispositions who form His church. But in order to bear this witness, their characters must be conformed to Christ's character, and their wills to His will. TT 288.5

In the church today, many who profess to love the Saviour do not love one another. Unbelievers are watching to see if the faith of professed Christians is exerting a sanctifying influence on their lives. Let not Christians make it possible for the enemy to say, These people hate one another. Very close and tender should be the tie that binds together all the children of the same heavenly Father. TT 289.1

Divine love calls upon us to manifest the same compassion that Christ manifested. The true Christian will not willingly permit a soul in peril and need to go unwarned, uncared for. He will not hold himself aloof, leaving the erring to plunge farther into unhappiness and discouragement. TT 289.2

Those who have never experienced the tender love of Christ cannot lead others to the fountain of life. Christ's love in the heart leads men to reveal Him in conversation, in a pitiful spirit, in uplifting lives. In heaven the fitness of Christian workers is measured by their ability to love as Christ loved. TT 289.3

“Let us not love in word or speech,” the apostle writes, “but in deed and in truth.” Completeness of character is attained when the impulse to help others springs constantly from within. It is this love that makes the believer “a savor of life unto life” and enables God to bless his work. 2 Corinthians 2:16. TT 289.4