The Signs of the Times


November 29, 1899

Seeking to Save the Lost


More than eighteen hundred years ago Christ walked on this earth, a Man among men, yet a God. Hear what He said, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” A solemn duty rests upon every one who believes in Christ, to go outside the church and seek in every way to save souls. To be a Christian means to be Christlike, and upon all Christians rests the burden of working as Christ worked. ST November 29, 1899, par. 1

Christ came to this world to represent the character of God as expressed in His law, and in human nature He lived that law. So our lives are to be spent in doing God's will. We have been made repositories of sacred truth; but this truth is of no value to us unless it is practiced in the daily life. Christians are to do thorough work. Instead of expending their time and means in working for those who have already been blessed with so many opportunities and privileges that they do not know how to appreciate them, let God's workers go into places where the truth has not been heard. Let earnest zeal and fervent piety be manifested in behalf of those who are in the darkness of error. Of those who work in this way Christ says: “Ye are laborers together with God.” “Ye are the light of the world.” “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Ye are My witnesses.” “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” ST November 29, 1899, par. 2

We are to exert a saving influence over those who are without God and without hope in the world. The pathway to the city of refuge is to be kept free from the rubbish of selfishness of sin. Those who profess to be following the Lamb of God are to take every stumbling-block out of the way. But too often those who claim to believe the truth lay stumbling-blocks in the way of others. They say that they know Christ, but in works they deny Him. By their trifling conduct they hurt those they might have helped. They sin against God, and lie against the truth, imperiling their own souls and leading others astray. ST November 29, 1899, par. 3

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time,” “because the days are evil.” This principle was laid down by the apostle Paul, to whom the Lord gave special light. God's people are to be lights, shining amid the moral darkness of the world. By a godly life they are to show that the truth exerts an ennobling influence over them. ST November 29, 1899, par. 4

Great efforts are made by many to present an attractive exterior. Far more essential is it to have the truth implanted in the heart; for grace in the heart will work outward. The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, that is, it does not consist of ceremonies. There is danger of ceremonies becoming too numerous, of the simplicity of the Gospel being lost in a multiplicity of machinery. When professing Christians work without truth enthroned in the heart, their religion is only a stumbling-block to sinners. “Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.” The church will be perfect only when its members live the truth, vindicating the honor of God by winning souls to Christ. ST November 29, 1899, par. 5

As Christians we are keenly watched by the world. Our words and deeds are remarked upon. The Christian is a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. When we realize that as followers of Christ we are living epistles, read and known of all men, we shall be more careful of how we follow Christ. Those who do not search the Scriptures for themselves receive their impressions of our faith and doctrines by the way in which we practise the teachings of God's Word. They may have no inclination to study their Bibles, but they do study the lives of those who claim to be Christians. A true Christian is a living commentary, explaining day by day the truth as it is in Jesus. ST November 29, 1899, par. 6

If the truth is enthroned in our hearts, we shall live its principles. Our lives will reveal its cleansing efficacy. We shall show that new cloth has not been joined to a threadbare garment. We are clothed with the garment of Christ's righteousness, woven in the loom of heaven. The Holy Spirit takes the things of God, and shows them to us. Truth is applied to the understanding and the heart. We see Christ's sacrifice and intercession in a new light. The work of the Redeemer in our behalf fills us with holy joy and peace, and we are constrained to go out and work for those who need help. ST November 29, 1899, par. 7

Christ gave His life that we should not perish. He has our eternal happiness in view, and He says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” He who heeds these words will indeed become a son of God, a living epistle, known and read of all men. He will not be careless in words or actions, but will make it his aim to seek and to save those that are lost. He will work earnestly and lovingly for those that are wandering in the wilderness of sin. ST November 29, 1899, par. 8