Sermons and Talks, vol. 2


Chapter 4—Preparation for Christ's Coming

Manuscript 10, 1886

[Talk given Friday morning, July 23, 1886, at Copenhagen, Denmark.]

Mark 13:34-37. We see here that there are none excused from work. To every man He gave his work; therefore everyone has a work to do for the Master. And while they are represented as waiting and watching, yet they are doing noble work for the Master; so that the waiting, watching position of the people of God is not a position of inactivity. 2SAT 26.1

The impression has prevailed largely that the preacher who proclaims God's word is the only one who has anything to do. And this is why there are so many weak churches in our land. If they would all realize that they have an individual work to do, then they would be building one another up in the most holy faith. 2SAT 26.2

The question is, What is the work that devolves upon us as individuals who are looking and watching for the Lord to come? Please read Matthew 24:43-48. Here is a special work, to understand what kind of food is to be given to the flock of God. And while he that is made overseer of the flock of God shall open the Scriptures and give them the truth, then it is their duty to open the Scriptures to others. 2SAT 26.3

The question is asked, How shall we hear without a preacher? But when God has given His message to us through the instrumentality of men, then we are accountable for how we teach that message. It is a great and solemn truth that God has given us, and we should not confine this truth to ourselves; but we should be seeking in every way possible to present it to others, that the Lord is coming. The end of this earth's history is to take place in a short time. Are we indifferent and careless in regard to the matter? Why, we must be in that position that we will feel that we are accountable for the souls around us. 2SAT 26.4

And when we begin to feel that our interest is weakening, so that we have not a living connection with God, plead with God until you get it, for your heavenly Father will honor every effort you make in this direction. And while we profess to be in advance of the churches around us, we want [to] show our faith by our works. Here our eternal interests are involved; souls are at stake. And what would it profit us if we gain the whole world and lose our own souls? 2SAT 26.5

We must show that we have a true and living faith in the Bible, then we shall be represented as God's waiting, watching ones; and we are not only waiting and watching, but longing, for His appearing. It is that which is called in the Word of God a glorious hope. We should be astonished at our own indifference when we should be all life and vivacity, could we see the work that is going on in heaven. 2SAT 26.6

Here is the work of our Intercessor, [on] the great antitypical day of atonement, where [the] work of judgment is going on with the dead. How soon will it begin with the living, when every one of our cases will pass in review before God? And let it be understood by you that if you do not [do] the work that God has given you, you will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and found wanting. To us who have this hope and faith it is a dangerous thing to be putting off the day of God. Matthew 24:48. 2SAT 27.1

Believers who have the true principle at heart will serve God every day as though it were their last. They will separate sin and iniquity from them and will keep before them the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And whosoever “hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself even as He is pure.” If we get careless and think that we have many days of probation, then the enemy comes in and takes possession of us. And now supposing that every one of us should be in that state of watchfulness that Christ requires us to be in, then how much better condition would the church be in. 2SAT 27.2

Why, everyone would feel, Why today I must do my work as for eternity. And they would feel, Like a faithful servant of Christ I must bear my message with fidelity. And our faith will grow as we search the Scriptures. We will see light in His light, and rejoice in the truth. We must keep Jesus ever before us and be waiting and watching for His coming, and then if we are ready, if our character is spotless, we shall be among the white-robed ones who shall stand around the throne of God. 2SAT 27.3

Jesus knew the influence it would have upon the human mind to be careless and indifferent in regard to His coming, therefore He expressly enjoined upon us to keep His coming in view. The end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer. 2SAT 27.4

Your life here is to be a preparation for the future, immortal life. And if this shall be in us, what an impression it will make upon the world. Why, they will say, that people believe just what they profess to believe, and in their lives they are doing thorough, noble work for Christ. A living church is a working church, and a working church is a living church. 2SAT 27.5

We must educate ourselves to be thinking and dwelling upon the great scenes of the judgment just before us, and then as we keep the scenes of the great day of God before us, when everything will be revealed, it will have an effect upon our character. 2SAT 27.6

One brother said to me, “Sister White, do you think the Lord will come in ten years?” [I replied] “What difference does it make to you whether He shall come in two, four, or ten years?” “Why,” said he, “I think I would do differently in some things than I now do if I knew the Lord was to come in ten years.” “What would you do?” said I. “Why,” said he, “I would sell my property and begin to search the Word of God and try to warn the people and get them to prepare for His coming, and I would plead with God that I might be ready to meet Him.” “Then,” said I, “if you knew that the Lord was not coming for twenty years would you live differently?” 2SAT 28.1

Said he, “I think I would.” “Then,” said I, “you know your Master's will, and it is your duty to do just as though you knew that He was coming in twenty years.” I opened the Scriptures and read to him what we have read this morning, and he was convicted that he should change his course, and he did change his course of action. Well, now, how selfish was that expression that he would live a different life if he knew his Lord was to come in ten years. Why, Enoch walked with God 300 years, and this is a lesson for us, that we shall walk with God every day. We are not safe unless we are waiting and watching; we must have an eye single to God's glory. 2SAT 28.2

When Satan tempts you to do evil, then say, “I will not take the first wrong step, for it is registered in the books of heaven. Why, if I do this wrong I cannot lift up holy hands to God; I will be ashamed to lay my soul open before my Saviour.” There are many who do wrong; then they have no courage to approach their Saviour. What we want is to live with an eye single to God's glory. Oh, if we can only be found ready when the Master comes, then He will say, “Child, come up higher.” 2SAT 28.3

We have washed our character and made it white in the blood of the Lamb. We must have an intense anxiety to separate evil from us. If we lose heaven we lose everything, and if we gain heaven we gain everything. We will not only have eternal life in the kingdom of glory but eternal riches forevermore. Therefore we should have a deep interest in these things. Why, the time is coming when the teachings of Christ will be made of none effect. From the minister in the desk you will hear, “Peace, peace; there is to be a temporal millennium first before Christ will come.” But what we want is the Bible. 2SAT 28.4

Look at Martin Luther. As he stood before the people he cried out, “The Bible, the Bible, is the foundation of our religion.” And we want to search the Scriptures, praying the God of heaven to give us light upon it. And when these doctrines come pouring in upon us from every side, then we can say, “The Bible, and the Bible alone, is the foundation of our religion.” We want to believe that the Lord is coming in the clouds of heaven, and show our faith by our works, and be getting ready for His appearing. 2SAT 28.5

Well now, here we are, little companies in different places getting ready for the coming of our Lord. You cannot have a minister with you in all these places. You want, every one of you, to pray the God of heaven to enlighten you so that you can be a help to one another, building up one another in the most holy faith. You must say, “We will not keep the minister with us, but let him go out and enlighten others.” But you can have Bible readings among yourselves, and search the Scriptures and pray to God in faith, believing that He will answer you. 2SAT 29.1

Here in Malachi we read, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name.” It is represented as God hearkening to their testimonies. Although you have no minister standing in the desk talking to you, yet you have angels of God that will minister unto you. And as you talk of the blessed hope and of the home in heaven, angels are right by your side. Why, we have enough in this hope to give us life and courage if we will only draw nearer to God. 2SAT 29.2

The eye of God is upon these scattered ones. If there are only two or three of you together, the promise is, Where two or three are met together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. And what does the Lord say in regard to these little companies? Why, He says, “They shall be mine in that day when I make up My jewels, and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” 2SAT 29.3

Now, every one of us who will try to bring a healthful, reviving influence into the church by their works will be remembered in heaven, and He will give them a reward just as much as to the minister who stands in the desk. They are doing their work with fidelity, and they have a sense of the responsibility that rests upon them, that they must labor for one another. 2SAT 29.4

And He says, “They shall be Mine in that day when I make up My jewels.” Well now, we want to be among the blessed in that day. It means something to be a Christian. Then let every one of us put on the armor of righteousness. We war not against [flesh and blood, but against] principalities and powers, against spiritual wickedness in high places. God sees each of you. We need His power amid the moral darkness, and He will give it [to] us. He does not mean that we shall fight this battle alone, but He has His angels right on the ground to fight for us. When we do all we can, God will add His blessing to our efforts. His arm is not shortened that it cannot save, neither is His ear heavy that it not hear. 2SAT 29.5

Now, when you meet together in your little churches where you are, then remember these words that have been spoken to you this morning, and let every one feel an earnestness to bring all the life and vivacity into that meeting that it is possible for him to bring. Pray to your heavenly Father as though you expected that He would hear you. Offer your testimonies as though you knew the God of heaven would listen and that they would be written down in the books of heaven. When you do this, your own souls will be kept alive; you will be strong in His strength, mighty in His power. You will see the work of God in your midst, and others will be added to your number to unite with you.—Ms 10, 1886 (MR 900. 66). 2SAT 30.1

Ellen G. White Estate
Silver Spring, Maryland
Entire Ms.