The Bible Echo


March 19, 1894

Variance Between Believers and Unbelievers


Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He says, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” Christ is drawing all unto Himself; but not all respond to His drawing. If all would yield to His influence, there would be no variance, no discordant notes in society or in the household; and He would never have said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.” Some respond to the heavenly drawing. The truth convicts them, and they repent. They surrender themselves in obedience to Christ's will, and find in Him the highest realization of their hopes, and in Him their troubled souls find rest and peace. He stands before them as the perfect pattern, and they seek to be like Him. BEcho March 19, 1894, par. 1

But perhaps while one member of the family gives his heart to God, others do not. They are still under the control of the Saviour's worst enemy, and they feel annoyed and angry that division has come into their household. He who has accepted Christ is no less dutiful than before; on the contrary, he is more kind, more faithful, more affectionate, because his nature is being purified, sanctified, and ennobled by the truth. But the Master of the Christian and the master of the unbeliever are in deadly conflict; and so the contest goes on in many homes. While the Christians are pleading earnestly with God that their relatives and friends may be drawn to Christ, while their hearts are breaking with longing that their loved ones may share His joy and peace, the hearts of the unbelieving are bound as with fetters to Satan's car, and they are asking, as did Pharaoh, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice?” Again and again Jesus has knocked at the door of their hearts, and asked admission; but they have locked the door, and refused to receive Him. They cherish pride, envy, and hatred, and contention springs from these evil passions. BEcho March 19, 1894, par. 2

Satan deceives the soul with false pretensions. He leads the unbelievers to think that they are badly used, treated unkindly. He perverts the judgment and misleads the mind, so that the very best motives of those that serve God are misinterpreted; their actions are misjudged, and they themselves are persecuted. Christ is the believer's hope and consolation, the one about whom his best affections are woven. He confesses Christ in word and deed, in spirit and actions, and the enmity that is created in the unbelieving heart against the children of God is not against men simply, but against Christ. BEcho March 19, 1894, par. 3

Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, came to shed His bright beams into every heart and home. He longs to give those who do not understand Him correct views of His character, to take away their burden of sin and resistance, and give them rest. Truth has everything in it that is commendable. The divine Comforter is full of pity and sympathy; He seeks to woo men to God, to direct their attention to Christ as He really is, full of mercy, compassion, and pardoning love. But he comes to the impenitent heart early and often with His message of salvation, only to be rejected. Men make the sad mistake of refusing its offered peace. Satan interposes his hellish shadow between Christ and the soul, and the sinner sees not Jesus, desires not the Lord of life and glory. He does not realize that Jesus alone can quiet the tempest that Satan has created in the human soul, and give him peace and rest. BEcho March 19, 1894, par. 4

Jesus says,” He that loveth father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me, is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not up his cross and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.” The words that Christ addressed to His disciples, were addressed to us as well as to them. He presents before us the unwearied conflict that we must have on this earth as long as time shall last. We are to place no person before Christ in our affections. If a person who has been convicted by the Spirit of God smothers his convictions, and continues to trample under foot the commandments of the Lord, and reject the truth of God simply because he sees it will bring disunion into his family relations, he shows that he loves the peace that is not of Christ, but of the world. He prefers to be in harmony with the world rather than to be in unity with Christ. But in order to have the peace of Christ, it is necessary to place Christ and His service first. Those who yield their convictions of truth to please father or mother, sister or brother, husband or wife or children, prove themselves unworthy of Christ. They do not discern His excellency, and therefore they shun the cross. But there is a cross to be lifted by every one who by faith accepts a crucified and risen Saviour. BEcho March 19, 1894, par. 5

The announcement that there should be enmity between Satan and the seed of the woman, was very unwelcome to the prince of evil; for it was the promise of a Redeemer. Satan thought to induce men, as he had angels, to stand on his side, and join in rebellion against God; and with men as his allies, he planned to control the earth, and wage war against the King of heaven. BEcho March 19, 1894, par. 6

Whenever a soul falls in love with Jesus, every other affection is placed in subservience to this pure, refining principle of heavenly love. Pride, passion, and ambition, which have held sway over the natural heart, are surrendered to Jesus Christ. With Paul the converted soul can say, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I might win Christ.” BEcho March 19, 1894, par. 7

The world's Redeemer was scorned as a deceiver, hunted down as a malefactor, and shall those who become the servants of Christ expect to be treated any better than was their Lord? If they work the works of Christ, relatives and friends will rise up against them. They will persecute, forsake, and betray them. Let the believer not become discouraged because of the things he must suffer. Let his only anxiety be that hatred is kindled against him for no other reason than that of faithfulness in the discharge of his duty for Christ's sake. The true child of God will say, I know I have to do with God, who trieth the heart, and hath pleasure in uprightness. I will set the Lord ever before me, and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. BEcho March 19, 1894, par. 8