From Here to Forever


Chapter 41—The Earth in Ruins

When the voice of God turns the captivity of His people, there is a terrible awakening of those who have lost all in the great conflict of life. Blinded by Satan's deceptions the rich prided themselves on their superiority to those less favored. But they had neglected to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, deal justly, and love mercy. Now they are stripped of all that made them great and are left destitute. They look with terror upon the destruction of their idols. They have sold their souls for earthly enjoyments and have not become rich toward God. Their lives are a failure, their pleasures turned to gall. The gain of a lifetime is swept away in a moment. The rich bemoan the destruction of their grand houses, the scattering of their gold and silver, and the fear that they themselves are to perish with their idols. The wicked lament that the result is what it is, but they do not repent of their wickedness. HF 395.1

The minister who has sacrificed truth to gain the favor of men now discerns the influence of his teachings. Every line written, every word uttered that led men to rest in a refuge of falsehood has been scattering seed; and now he beholds the harvest. Saith the Lord: “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! ... Behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings.” “With lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.” Jeremiah 23:1, 2; Ezekiel 13:22. HF 395.2

Ministers and people see that they have rebelled against the Author of all righteous law. Setting aside the divine precepts gave rise to thousands of springs of iniquity, until the earth became one vast sink of corruption. No language can express the longing which the disloyal feel for that which they have lost forever—eternal life. HF 396.1

The people accuse one another of having led them to destruction, but all unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the unfaithful pastors who prophesied “smooth things” (Isaiah 30:10), who led their hearers to make void the law of God and persecute those who would keep it holy. “We are lost!” they cry, “and you are the cause.” The hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction. Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed. HF 396.2

The Son of God and heavenly messengers have been in conflict with the evil one to warn, enlighten, and save the children of men. Now all have made their decisions; the wicked have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God. The controversy is not alone with Satan, but with men. “The Lord hath a controversy with the nations.” Jeremiah 25:31. HF 396.3