The Review and Herald

582/1902

June 16, 1891

An Address to Young Men

EGW

“Young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded.” Young men are not to be lovers of pleasure, seekers for amusement, ready to squander time and money and influence in selfish gratification; but they are to cultivate sobriety and godliness. They should seek each day to realize that they are now in the sowing time, and that the harvest reaped will be according to the seed sown. Young men should form their plans of life with thoughtful deliberation, and subject their conduct to criticism, as they seek for integrity of heart and action that will stand the test of the judgment. They should be willing to receive counsel from those of experience, that they may be fortified to stand in the perils that will beset their pathway. They will be exposed to influences which will lead them away from fidelity to God, unless they ever keep a realization of their responsibilities. RH June 16, 1891, par. 1

God wants the youth to become men of earnest mind, to be prepared for action in his noble work, and fitted to bear responsibilities. God calls for young men with hearts uncorrupted, strong and brave, and determined to fight manfully in the struggle before them, that they may glorify God, and bless humanity. If the youth would but make the Bible their study, would but calm their impetuous desires, and listen to the voice of their Creator and Redeemer, they would not only be at peace with God, but would find themselves ennobled and elevated. It will be for your eternal interest, my young friend, to give heed to the instructions in the word of God, for they are of inestimable importance to you. RH June 16, 1891, par. 2

I entreat you to be wise, and consider what will be the result of leading a wild life, uncontrolled by the Spirit of God. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.” For your soul's sake, for Christ's sake, who gave himself to save you from ruin, pause on the threshold of your life, and weigh well your responsibilities, your opportunities, your possibilities. God has given you an opportunity to fill a high destiny. Your influence may tell for the truth of God; you may be a co-laborer with God in the great work of human redemption. RH June 16, 1891, par. 3

John says, “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 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, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” O that young men might appreciate the high destiny to which they are called! Ponder well the paths of your feet. Begin your work with high and holy purpose, and be determined that through the power of the grace of God, you will not diverge from the path of rectitude. If you begin to go in a wrong direction, every step will be fraught with peril and disaster, and you will go on straying from the path of truth, safety, and success. You need your intellect strengthened, your moral energies quickened, by divine power. The cause of God demands the highest powers of the being, and there is urgent need in many fields for young men of literary qualifications. There is need of men who can be trusted to labor in extensive fields that are now white to the harvest. Young men of ordinary ability, who give themselves wholly to God, who are uncorrupted by vice and impurity, will be successful, and will be enabled to do a great work for God. Let young men heed the admonition, and be sober-minded. RH June 16, 1891, par. 4

How many youth have wasted their God-given strength in folly and dissipation! How many painful histories rise before me of youth who have become mere wrecks of humanity, mentally, morally, physically, because of indulgence in vicious habits! Their constitutions are ruined, their life usefulness greatly impaired, because of indulgence in unlawful pleasures. I entreat of you, careless, reckless youth of today, be converted, and become laborers together with God. Let it be the study of your life to bless and save others. If you seek help from God, his power working in you will bring to naught all opposing powers, and you will become sanctified through the truth. Sin is alarmingly prevalent among the youth of today, but let it be your purpose to do what you can to rescue souls from the power of Satan. Carry light wherever you go; show that you have strength of purpose, that you are not a person of indecision, easily swayed by the persuasions of evil associates. Do not yield a ready assent to the suggestions of those who dishonor God, but rather seek to reform, reclaim, and rescue souls from evil. Resort to prayer, persuade in meekness and lowliness of spirit those who oppose themselves. One soul saved from error, and brought under the banner of Christ, will cause joy in heaven, and place a star in your crown of rejoicing. A soul saved will, through his godly influence, bring other souls to a knowledge of salvation, and thus the work will multiply, and only the revealings of the day of judgment will make manifest the extent of the work. Do not hesitate to work for the Lord because you think you can do but little. Do your little with fidelity; for God will work with your efforts. He will write your name in the book of life as one worthy to enter into the joy of the Lord. Let us earnestly entreat the Lord that laborers may be raised up, for the fields are white to the harvest; the harvest is great, and the laborers are few. RH June 16, 1891, par. 5

Our churches are languishing for the want of whole-hearted, self-denying workers. Our smaller churches are losing their vitality because their members do not seek to work for those around them. God can work with few as well as with many, but personal responsibility does not seem to be comprehended as it should be by the members of our churches. Can God bless the church that is indolent and selfish? O rouse, my brethren and sisters, and come to Christ, and he will give you life. God has given to each one his work, and hours are as precious jewels to be treasured and improved for the glory of God. Although we should not move rashly, we must not stand in idleness, but go forward as light-bearers for Christ. God would have his followers men and women of undaunted determination and resolution. They are to be as lights in the world, making those with whom they come in contact wiser, purer, happier. RH June 16, 1891, par. 6

Young men should have broad ideas, wise plans, that they may make the most of their opportunities, catch the inspiration and courage that animated the apostles. John says, “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” An elevated standard is presented before the youth, and God is inviting them to come into real service for him. True-hearted young men who delight to be learners in the school of Christ, can do a great work for the Master if they will only give heed to the command of the Captain as it sounds down along the lines to our time, “Quit you like men, be strong.” You are to be men who will walk humbly with God, who will stand before him in your God-given manhood, free from impurity, free from all contamination from the sensuality that is corrupting this age. You must be men who will despise all falsity and wickedness, who will dare to be true and brave, holding aloft the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. Your talents will increase as you use them for the Master, and they will be esteemed precious by Him who has bought them with an infinite price. Do not sit down and neglect to do anything, simply because you cannot do some great thing, but do whatever your hands find to do, with thoroughness and energy. RH June 16, 1891, par. 7

We each have some power of influence. Men are led to change their plans in temporal matters by the influence of others who approach them in a judicious manner, presenting reasons for such a change. Men lead others to confide in them, to trust their judgment, and to shape their course of action in a different way from that they would otherwise do, simply because of personal influence. Why not use this power of influence to persuade them in matters that pertain to their eternal interests? Use your influence in persuading men to believe the truths of the Bible. Work for God as earnestly in this matter as in things that concern this life; as you exercised your power in society in earthly things, now exercise your power to stay the tide of corruption that is flooding the world. You can save your fellow-men from leading a life of sin and unhappiness. Do not wait for better opportunities; work now, while it is called today. Just where you are, take hold of your opportunities. Those who have a heart to work will find openings all around them; for such will be praying and watching for opportunities, and when these appear, they will seize upon them, and make the most of them. The faithful improvement of small openings will prepare the way for a larger work. RH June 16, 1891, par. 8

Christ is calling for volunteers to enlist under his standard, and bear the banner of the cross before the world. The church is languishing for the help of young men who will bear a courageous testimony, who will with their ardent zeal stir up the sluggish energies of God's people, and so increase the power of the Church in the world. Young men are wanted who will resist the tide of worldliness, and lift a voice of warning against taking the first steps in immorality and vice. RH June 16, 1891, par. 9

But first the young men who would serve God, and give themselves to his work, must cleanse the soul temple of all impurity, and enthrone Christ in the heart; then they will be enabled to put energy into their Christian effort, and will manifest enthusiastic zeal in persuading men to be reconciled to Christ. Will not our young men respond to the invitation of Christ, and answer, “Here am I; send me”? Young men, press to the front, and identify yourselves as laborers together with Christ, taking up the work where he left it, to carry it on to its completion. RH June 16, 1891, par. 10

We have a most solemn message to bear to the world, and how circumspect should be our conduct, how unblamable our example. If through our influence souls are led astray, the loss will be placed to our account. We shall not only suffer because of our own rejection of Christ, but because our impenitence encouraged others to continue in transgression. The Lord will help all who feel their need of help, who seek him earnestly for strength and divine guidance. Those who will purify their hearts by obeying the truth, will be used of God in accomplishing great good. Those who have the love of God in the heart will show it by corresponding works; for they will let their light shine forth in deeds of truth and goodness. “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” I appeal to you, my brethren and sisters, have root in yourselves. Let your souls be riveted to the eternal Rock. God is not mocked; he knows those that are his. Our profession of truth will not save us; we must be sanctified through the truth. Christ said, “Thy word is truth.” We must study the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture. A mere reading through of the Bible will not be sufficient. The heart must be opened to understand what saith the Scriptures in regard to duty. We must have a calm, steady faith, and that moral courage which Jesus alone can impart to us, that we may be strengthened for trial, and prepared for duty. We need living faith, that we may be closely united with God; for only in this way shall we be able to make a success of the Christian life and be a blessing to others. RH June 16, 1891, par. 11