Manuscript Releases, vol. 6 [Nos. 347-418]


The Responsibility of Laymen to the Mission of the Church

I wish there were men and women who could appreciate the situation, and would decide to move to these countries, Australia and New Zealand. Helpers are needed who have some means, who can engage in some employment and sustain themselves and not draw upon the Conference for their support. With genuine faith in the message of truth, such workers could settle in our cities as missionaries, letting their light shine forth to others. 6MR 19.2

It is not ordained ministers upon whom we must depend for this work, but laymen who love and fear God, and who feel the burden for the salvation of souls. They can be agents and co-workers with divine providence in seeking to save the lost. We want those who have sanctified energy, moral and intellectual. Let these put to use the talents they have, and by exercise they will grow. It can not be otherwise if they abide in Christ. In His companionship they will be constantly growing in wisdom. Christ says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” With Christ by your side, as your Teacher and Leader you can do all things.... 6MR 20.1

We must have institutes for educating the members of the churches. Let the believers assemble as did the disciples in the upper chamber where prayer was wont to be made. The churches must have more decided help.... 6MR 20.2

Every believer is under bonds to God to be spiritually minded, keeping himself in the channel of light, that he may let his light shine to the world. When all those who are engaged in the sacred work of the ministry shall grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, they will hate sin and all selfishness. A moral renovation is constantly going on; as they continue looking to Jesus, they become conformed to his image, and are found complete in him, not having their own righteousness, but the righteousness that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.... 6MR 20.3

But we are not simply to be waiting; we are to be vigilantly working with reference to this solemn event. The living church of God will be waiting, watching and working. None is to stand in a neutral position. All are to represent Christ in active, earnest efforts to save perishing souls. Will the church fold her hands now? Shall we sleep as is represented in the parable of the foolish virgins? Every precaution is to be taken now; for haphazard work will result in spiritual declension, and that day overtake us as a thief. The mind needs to be strengthened, to look deep, and discern the reasons for our faith. The soul-temple is to be purified by the truth; for only the pure in heart will be able to stand against the wiles of Satan.... 6MR 20.4

The best way to deal with error is to present the truth, and leave wild ideas to die out for want of notice. Contrasted with truth the weakness of error is made apparent to every intelligent mind.—Letter 19b, 1892, pp. 4, 9, 11, 12, 14-16. (To Elder O. A. Olsen, June 19, 1892.) 6MR 21.1

The Lord employs human agents to be co-workers with him in the salvation of sinners. All heaven is actively engaged in furnishing facilities by which to extend the knowledge of the truth to all peoples, nations, and tongues. If those who profess to have been truly converted do not let their light shine forth to others, they are neglecting the doing of the words of Christ. We need not tax ourselves with rehearsing how much has been given to the cause of God, but rather let us consider how much has been kept back from his treasury to be devoted to the indulgence of self in pleasure seeking and self gratification.... 6MR 21.2

Those who ought to be laborers in the vineyard, will not undertake the work in faith and hope. The stay-at-home, professed Christians are misrepresenting Jesus Christ. They refuse to be partakers with him of his trials, of his humiliation, and of his burden-bearing. They do not wear his yoke. If they would engage all their powers for God, they would not work alone. But many feel no genuine burden for souls. Step by step they might work their way until by study and prayer they might become skillful in the Scriptures, and be able to lay hold with intense earnestness of the God of all grace, beseeching him for His Holy Spirit to mold and fashion them and make them wise to win souls to Christ.... 6MR 21.3

A large number will not go without the camp, bearing the reproach, as did Jesus their Master, and yet by their attitude, by their inconsistent conduct, they actually weaken the efforts of those who are bearing the heavy burdens. They know nothing of what it means to be meek and lowly of heart. They know nothing of what it means to be self-denying, of what it means to be a partaker with those who go forth to labor in the cause of God.—Letter 31, 1894, pp. 7-9. (To Walter Harper, September 23, 1894.) 6MR 22.1