The Signs of the Times


July 24, 1901

Trading on Our Lord's Goods


To men and women God has entrusted talents to be improved by use and returned to Him. Our time, our strength, our intellect, our means, all belong to God. He has lent them to us that we may use them in helping those around us. If we use these gifts for the benefit of others, we become channels of usefulness, and God gives us an increase; for His law is, “Give, and it shall be given unto you.” Those who have been blessed by God, and yet refuse to help the needy, are charged in the ledger of heaven with robbery toward their Maker, at whose bar they will be called to account for their neglect of the needy and suffering. ST July 24, 1901, par. 1

God has purchased us by the death of His Son. He desires us to remember that we are His, and that by the right use of our endowments we are to make of ourselves all that it is possible for us to be. Earnestly we are to cultivate the highest powers of our being, striving by persevering effort to rise to the highest spiritual efficiency. In spirit, in word, in action, we are to try to please God. This we may do; for Enoch pleased God, tho living in a degenerate age. The power at Enoch's command is also at our command. ST July 24, 1901, par. 2

God gives men means, saying, Put it out to the exchangers. Use it where it will bless some one who in turn will bless some one else. As My money is thus put into circulation to help My children, it will steadily multiply itself. ST July 24, 1901, par. 3

Those who have the Spirit of Christ will not selfishly spend on self that which would provide homes for the homeless, and give the destitute food and clothing. They will not lay up their money for the sake of increasing gain. Those who do this are controlled by covetousness. They love neither God nor man. Their fellow-beings are perishing all around them, and yet, tho it is in their power to be a blessing to them, they shut their eyes to their wants. ST July 24, 1901, par. 4

God has a controversy with those who use His gifts for self-gratification. When the judgment shall sit, and the books are opened, these will have a fearful account to settle. If they were not blinded by the enemy, they would fear and tremble at the thought of the time when God will avenge the death of His Son, whom, by their selfishness, they have crucified afresh and put to open shame. ST July 24, 1901, par. 5

Hear the words of the Lord: “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.... Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabbath. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just, and he doth not resist you.” ST July 24, 1901, par. 6

This is the condition of things in the world today. Men are grasping all they can obtain, paying their laborers the lowest prices, while they exact the highest prices for what they sell. Selfishness, avarice, and covetousness are cherished. Thousands and thousands of dollars are locked up where they are of no use to any one. Thus the Lord's capital fails to bring an increase to Him. ST July 24, 1901, par. 7

Talents are of value only as they are used to accomplish the design of the Giver. God has given human beings opportunities and privileges that they may make the most of themselves from a Bible standpoint. If we use our talents wisely, our improvement will be a blessing to ourselves and to others; but when we look upon our talents as of value from the standpoint of accumulating gain for selfish purposes, we fail to carry out the Lord's purpose, and serious loss to the Master follows. Those who might have been benefited fail to receive the help the Lord designed them to have. ST July 24, 1901, par. 8

In the day of judgment no one will be accepted because through clever schemes and sharp dealing he became rich. To such a one Christ will say, “I gave you talents of skill, talents of worldly treasure, that you might co-operate with Me. I was willing to teach you how to impart aright. I could have made you a channel of communication. I could have helped you to reveal My attributes by imparting to others the wisdom and understanding imparted to you. You could have used My gifts to My glory and for the uplifting of those around you. But you allowed the tempter to corrupt your senses; and under his guidance you have robbed Me of the glory I should have received, had you used your talents to relieve the suffering of My children. You were a receiver, but not a producer. Had you used My money to advance My kingdom, I could now recognize you as a faithful servant. But you withheld the means you should have imparted. I gave you My goods to dispense, but you did not feed the hungry or clothe the naked. You neglected the widow and the fatherless. In their destitution they cried for help, but you heeded them not. Their cries have ascended to Me. Their tears are registered in My book. The time has now come for Me to deal with My unfaithful servants. Wherein do your riches help you now? What peace, what happiness do you find from your transactions? ‘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?’” ST July 24, 1901, par. 9

Let us remember that there will be no second probation. Some flatter themselves with the thought that the Lord will give them another opportunity. Fatal delusion! Just now, day by day, we are preparing for the judgment. We are trading on our Lord's goods, and at His coming He will reckon with us. And from each one He will expect a return. Let us do faithful, unselfish work. Our reward will be proportionate to the work we have done. “Behold, I come quickly,” Christ says; “and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” The Master calls for every man to do the work given him according to his ability. In the love of the Saviour let Christians arise and work for those nigh and afar off. ST July 24, 1901, par. 10

Mrs. E. G. White