The Youth’s Instructor


March 6, 1902

What Shall It Profit?


Cares, riches, pleasures, all are used by Satan in playing the game of life for the human soul. The warning is given: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” He who reads the hearts of men as an open book says: “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life.” And the apostle Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, says: “They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” YI March 6, 1902, par. 1

“And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” YI March 6, 1902, par. 2

Christ pointed him to the commandments, and the young man answered, “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?” YI March 6, 1902, par. 3

“Then Jesus beholding him, loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” YI March 6, 1902, par. 4

“But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” He chose his riches instead of Jesus. He wanted eternal life, but he would not receive into the soul that unselfish love which alone is life. With a sorrowful heart he turned away from Christ. YI March 6, 1902, par. 5

As the young man turned away, Jesus said to his disciples, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” These words astonished the disciples. They had been taught to look upon the rich as the favorites of heaven: worldly power and riches they themselves hoped to receive in the Messiah's kingdom; and now if the rich were to fail of entering the kingdom, what hope could there be for them? YI March 6, 1902, par. 6

“Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” YI March 6, 1902, par. 7

My dear young friends, God knows what your besetting sin is just as surely as he knew the ruler's. His word to him is a message to you. You must decide between Christ and the world. If you choose Christ, you must deny self, take up the cross, and follow him. The Saviour says to you: Withdraw your love from earthly treasure. Follow me, and you shall have treasure in heaven—a “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” YI March 6, 1902, par. 8

Christ does not ask his children to follow where he has not led the way. He was rich, but for our sake he became poor. He left the heavenly courts, and came to this earth to share the poverty of the poor and the toil of the laborer. He said of himself, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” YI March 6, 1902, par. 9

God is testing and proving his children to see if he can trust them with eternal riches. Are you living for him? Have you placed all you have at his disposal? Are you day by day revealing the unselfishness of the Redeemer? Life is uncertain. One may count on years of worldly pleasure, but accident or disease may suddenly cut him off. Are you ready for death? YI March 6, 1902, par. 10

God asks you: “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” YI March 6, 1902, par. 11

Mrs. E. G. White