Ms 38, 1894

Ms 38, 1894

Sermon/Missionary Work

NP

October 9, 1894

This manuscript is published in entirety in HM 4/1895.

Christ said to His disciples, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” [Mark 16:15, 16.] 9LtMs, Ms 38, 1894, par. 1

The field is the world, and we know better what this saying comprehends than did the apostles who received the commission to preach the gospel to all the world from the lips of Christ. The whole world is a vast missionary field, and yet we who have been long established in the truth should be encouraged with the thought that fields which were once difficult of access, are now easily entered. Every church in our land should seek for the revival of the missionary spirit. They should seek for steady growth in zeal and activity. They should pray that the indifference which has caused both men and means to be withheld from the work should be banished, and that Christ should abide in the soul. For our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. 9LtMs, Ms 38, 1894, par. 2

The office work of the Holy Spirit is to convince of sin, and I know that it is a sin for any one of us to be indifferent now. As we look around at the different fields that have been entered, we are led to inquire, “What hath God wrought?” [Numbers 23:23.] What more could He have done for His vineyard than He has done? God has made provision to supply His rich grace, to give divine power for the performance of His work, and nothing is wanting on the part of God. The lack is on the part of the human agency who refuses to co-operate with divine intelligences—through the plan He has devised nothing can be done for the salvation of men. 9LtMs, Ms 38, 1894, par. 3

Sinners who have been blessed with light and evidence, who know that through grace that can be supplied to them they may meet the conditions upon which salvation is promised, and yet who decline to make the attempt, have but themselves to blame for their own destruction. We feel that of such it may be said, “Christ has died for them in vain.” But who is to blame for the loss of the souls who know not God and have had no opportunity for hearing the reasons of our faith? What obligation rests upon the church in reference to a world [that is] perishing without the gospel? Unless there is more decided self-denial on the part of those who claim to believe the truth, unless there is more decided faithfulness in bringing in all the tithes and offerings into the treasury, unless broader plans are laid than have yet been carried into execution, we shall not fulfill the gospel commission to go into all the world and preach Christ to every creature. 9LtMs, Ms 38, 1894, par. 4

The preaching of the gospel is God’s appointed way for converting the souls of men. Men must hear in order to be saved. They cannot hear without a preacher, and the preacher must be sent. This makes it necessary to have funds in the treasury in order to provide means whereby the missionary may reach destitute fields. In the light of this fact, how can those who profess to follow Christ rob God of His own intrusted talents in tithes and offerings? Is it not refusing bread to a starving soul? To withhold the means which God has claimed as His own, whereby He has made provision that souls shall be saved, will surely bring the curse of God upon those who thus rob God. Souls for whom Christ has died are denied the privilege of hearing the truth, because men refuse to carry out the measures which God has provided for the enlightenment of the lost. 9LtMs, Ms 38, 1894, par. 5

Money is not to be furnished for the carrying out of the work of the gospel in some mysterious way, and through unseen, mysterious agencies. God will not shower money from the windows of heaven to do His appointed work, to spread the truth in our world and to save souls unto eternal life. He has made His people stewards of His means to be used for His glory by blessing humanity. He says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” [Malachi 3:10.] 9LtMs, Ms 38, 1894, par. 6

God will not pour out gold and silver from the windows of heaven, but that which [is] of infinitely greater value. He says, “I will pour out my Spirit upon you.” [Proverbs 1:23.] The Holy Spirit of God will bless those who are faithful in the discharge of their duty. The Lord continues, “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruit of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Malachi 3:11, 12.] 9LtMs, Ms 38, 1894, par. 7

What a vast number among us have been blessed with great opportunities, and have been privileged to be educated in the truth. How many should be employed in communicating to others that which has been communicated to them, and in so doing their knowledge would increase. It is not alone the ministers who are needed to let their light shine forth to the world, but both old and young should be lightbearers. To every man God has entrusted talents that should be improved in communicating to others the light that has been communicated to them. This is the very work that the Saviour estimates as of the greatest value. 9LtMs, Ms 38, 1894, par. 8

The Lord has provided our churches with wonderful advantages in order that they may be the light of the world, and yet many are idle in the Master’s vineyard. Souls are perishing out of Christ, and every one is called to the practice of self-denial, to put forth earnest efforts for the salvation of the world. We must reach the people, not by giving high-flown, flowery descriptions, but by preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified, as the only means by which men may enter heaven. The lessons Christ thought essential to give to the world are the lessons which now are most important for men to understand in order that they may be able to secure eternal life. The people must bear the truth for this time, and especially must children and youth have line upon line and precept upon precept. They must know the conditions upon which their salvation is promised, or they will be lost. Let the shaft be sunk deep into the mine of truth, the Word of God, and let the precious ore be discovered. There is need of more carefully, more thoroughly exploring God’s mine. To the earnest seeker for truth it will yield untold treasures of inestimable value that will meet the necessities of every human soul. 9LtMs, Ms 38, 1894, par. 9

In the name of Jesus Christ I would appeal to the church who has been made the depository of deep and precious truths. God has given treasures to the church not to be hoarded, not to be buried in the earth, but to be imparted to others, that others may be enriched as well as ourselves. How shall we work? Let both laymen and ministers follow the example of Christ. Let them meet the people where they are. I would entreat you to labor in word and doctrine. Do not get above the simplicity of the work. Do not soar away above the minds of the common people so that they cannot follow you, and if they did follow you, would neither be benefited nor blessed. 9LtMs, Ms 38, 1894, par. 10

Teach the simple lessons of Christ. Tell the people the touching story of His life of self-denial and sacrifice. Tell them of His humiliation and death. Tell them of His resurrection and ascension, of His intercession for them in the courts of God. Tell them that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16.] 9LtMs, Ms 38, 1894, par. 11