Fundamentals of Christian Education


Chapter 30—The Best Education and Its Purpose

The best education that can be given to children and youth is that which bears the closest relation to the future, immortal life. This kind of education should be given by godly parents, by devoted teachers, and by the church, to the end that the youth in turn may become zealous missionaries for either home or foreign fields. They are to be earnestly instructed in the truths of the Bible, that they may become pillars in the church, champions for truth, rooted and grounded in the faith. They are to know whereof they believe, and to have such an experience in divine things that they will never become betrayers of sacred trusts. FE 231.1

The youth should be educated by precept and example that they are to be agents for God, messengers of mercy, ready for every good word and work, that they are to be blessings to those who are ready to perish. We are in great need of educated ability, and the talents intrusted to our youth should be consecrated to the service of God, and employed in His work. There should be men and women who are qualified to work in the churches and to train our young people for special lines of work, that souls may be brought to see Jesus. The schools established by us should have in view this object, and not be after the order of the denominational schools established by other churches, or after the order of worldly seminaries and colleges. They are to be of an altogether higher order, where no phase of infidelity shall be originated, or countenanced. The students are to be educated in practical Christianity, and the Bible must be regarded as the highest, the most important textbook. FE 231.2

There is a great demand in all parts of the world for Christian teachers and for medical missionaries. In all parts of the field both at home and abroad, are open doors for those who can do good to body and soul, presenting the precious light of truth. The past neglect in this direction must not be perpetuated. Great light has shone upon our pathway in some directions more than others, and yet our advance along these very lines has been far behind the light we have had. Many of our most promising young men and women have offered their best ability at the shrine of idols, and have given themselves as a sacrifice to the prince of evil. O that the youth in our schools, one and all, might yield to the precious strivings of the Spirit of the Lord, that they might know the indications of His providence, and wait upon God, that they might know and do His will! In this way they would open the door of the heart to Jesus. FE 231.3

In surrendering ourselves to God, we reap great advantages; for if we have weaknesses of character, as we all have, we unite ourselves to One who is mighty to save. Our ignorance will be united to infinite wisdom, our frailty to enduring might, and, like Jacob, we may each become a prince with God. Connected with the Lord God of Israel, we shall have power from above which will enable us to be overcomers; and by the impartation of divine love, we shall find access to the hearts of men. We shall have fastened our trembling grasp upon the throne of the Infinite, and shall say, “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” The assurance is given that He will bless us and make us a blessing; and this is our light, our joy, our triumph. When the youth understand what it is to have the favor and love of God in the heart, they will begin to realize the value of their blood-bought privileges, and will consecrate their ability to God, and strive with all their God-given powers to increase their talents to use in the Master's service. FE 232.1

The only safety for our youth in this age of sin and crime is to have a living connection with God. They must learn how to seek God, that they may be filled with His Holy Spirit, and act as though they realized that the whole host of heaven was looking upon them with interested solicitude, ready to minister unto them in danger and in time of need. The youth should be barricaded by warning and instruction against temptation. They should be taught what are the encouragements held out to them in the word of God. They should have delineated before them the peril of taking a step into the by-paths of evil. They should be educated to revere the counsels of God in His sacred oracles. They should be so instructed that they will set their resolution against evil, and determine that they will not enter into any path where they could not expect Jesus to accompany them, and His blessing to abide upon them. They should be taught practical, daily religion that will sanctify them in every relation of life, in their homes, in business, in the church, in society. They must be so educated that they will realize that it is a perilous thing to trifle with their privileges, but that God expects them reverently and earnestly to seek daily for His blessing. The blessing of God is a precious gift, and it is to be counted of such worth that it will not be surrendered at any cost. The blessing of God maketh rich, and it addeth no sorrow. FE 232.2

My heart is stirred to its depths as I read of the prostitution of noble powers to the service of Satan. In governmental departments, in positions of high responsibility, in official trusts, men are tempted by the evil one; and corruption and crime, embezzlements, robberies, and extortions are the result. There are terrible sinks of corruption, pouring out upon our world poisonous influences that corrupt the community. In every place Satan has set his traps that he may catch men of education, of good natural endowments, men who are capable of becoming laborers together with God, companions of angels, inhabitants of heaven, that he may bind them to his car as his slaves. And yet Jesus has ransomed them from the bondage of the enemy, and they refuse to be at liberty, and will not become the sons of God, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ to an immortal inheritance. They live as though the earth, money, position, houses, and lands were the main objects of their creation. Through the tender mercy of God their life is prolonged; but is it not a pitiable sight to see men of high ability living on so low a plane? FE 233.1

The ransom has been paid, and it is possible for all to come to God, and through a life of obedience to attain unto everlasting life. Then how sad it is that men turn from the immortal inheritance, and live for the gratification of pride, for selfishness and display, and through submission to the rule of Satan, lose the blessing which they might have both in this life and in the life to come. They might enter into the palaces of heaven, and associate on terms of freedom and equality with Christ and heavenly angels, and with the princes of God; and yet, incredible as it may seem, they turn from heavenly attractions. The Creator of all worlds proposes to love those who believe in His only-begotten Son as their personal Saviour, even as He loves His Son. Even here and now His gracious favor is bestowed upon us to this marvelous extent. He has given to men the gift of the Light and Majesty of heaven, and with Him He has bestowed all the treasures of heaven. Much as He has promised us for the life to come, He also bestows princely gifts upon us in this life, and as subjects of His grace, He would have us enjoy everything that will ennoble, expand, and elevate our characters. It is His design to fit us for the heavenly courts above. FE 234.1

But Satan is contending for the souls of men, and casts his hellish shadow athwart their path, in order that they shall not behold the light. He would not have them catch a glimpse of the future honor, the eternal glories, laid up for those who shall be inhabitants of heaven, or have a taste of the experience that gives a foretaste of the happiness of heaven. But with the heavenly attractions set before the mind to inspire hope, to awaken desire, to spur to effort, how can we turn from the prospect, and choose sin and its wages, which is death? FE 234.2

Those who accept Christ as their Saviour have the promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come. The human agent owes no part of his ability to the service of Satan; but his entire allegiance is due to the infinite and eternal God. The lowliest disciple of Christ may become an inhabitant of heaven, an heir of God to an inheritance incorruptible, and that fadeth not away. O that every one might make choice of the heavenly gift, become an heir of God to that inheritance whose title is secure from any destroyer, world without end! O, choose not the world, but choose the better inheritance! Press, urge your way toward the mark for the prize of your high calling in Christ Jesus. For Christ's sake, let the aim of your education be shaped by the inducements of the better world.—The Review and Herald, November 21, 1893. FE 234.3