The Review and Herald

757/1902

January 22, 1895

The Followers of Christ Will Be Missionaries

(Concluded.)

EGW

It is a serious thing to embezzle the Lord's goods, to practice robbery toward God; for in so doing the perceptions become perverted and the heart hardened. How barren is the religious experience, how clouded is the understanding, of one who loves not God with pure, unselfish love, and who fails, therefore, to love his neighbor as himself. Though precious opportunities are often presented, he does not accept them, and refuses to wear the yoke of Christ, to be a laborer together with God. Those who follow their selfish, natural inclination, do not make their hearts an abiding place for Christ. They fail to bless others with means that God has lent to them in trust, in order that they may be his almoners; and instead of dispensing it to the poor, like the slothful servant they bury it in lands or in stocks, or give it to their relatives, and the Lord receives neither interest nor principal. The last great day will reveal to them and to the whole universe what good might have been done, had they not followed their selfish inclinations, and thus robbed God in tithes and offerings. They might have placed their treasure in the bank of heaven, and preserved it in bags that wax not old; but instead of doing this, they expended it upon themselves and their children, and seemed to feel afraid that the Lord would get any of their money or their influence, and thus they met with eternal loss. Let them contemplate the consequence of withholding from God. The slothful servant, who puts not out his Lord's money to usury, loses an eternal inheritance in the kingdom of glory. RH January 22, 1895, par. 1

The Lord says, “Return unto me, and I will return unto you.” Do not, like the slothful servant, ask, Wherein shall I return? wherein have I robbed thee? God has laid out the truth plain and clear before every one who has embezzled his Lord's goods. God is in earnest with us. We make desperate efforts to accumulate money, and there may be flattering appearances of our success; but God says, I will blow upon it, I will scatter their substance as the wind scattereth the chaff. RH January 22, 1895, par. 2

Those who believe in Christ as a personal Saviour will grow in healthful experience, because they fulfill the conditions laid down in Isaiah 58. The Lord says, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee [“the Lord our righteousness”]; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.” Consider these words, ye complaining, downcast, discontented, homesick souls. Here is the prescription that the prophet Isaiah was commanded of the Lord to present to you for the healing of the spiritual and bodily maladies. “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.” I am thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. “If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity [not exalting yourself, not thinking yourself very wise and prudent, while censuring and oppressing those who meet with trials and misfortunes; not grieving others by unfeeling, reproachful words and actions]; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.” O how many souls are starving for words of tenderness, for words of brotherly kindness, for words of hope, of faith, of forgiveness, of Christlike love, that will not quench the last spark of hope: “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drouth, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” RH January 22, 1895, par. 3

Let us consider that all these rich blessings are for those who keep the commandments of God. What more can we desire? What richer reward can we ask? “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” RH January 22, 1895, par. 4

“I will mention the loving-kindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his loving-kindness. For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie; so he was their Saviour. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the Angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord; and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.” RH January 22, 1895, par. 5

The Lord Jesus came to our world to seek and to save that which was lost. He said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” How earnestly we should believe in Christ as our personal Saviour, cultivating an intense desire to use every God-given faculty, every God-intrusted capability of means and influence, to present a crucified and risen Saviour to those who are in darkness. What a pity it is that so many professed Christians are infatuated and deluded with the flattering prospect of becoming rich, in order to make a display and to glorify self before the world. Let every follower of Christ become a living epistle, known and read of all men. Where Christ abides in the heart, there will be deep yearnings of soul for the salvation of those who do not believe in him. Let Christians reveal to every son and daughter of Adam the fact that they are more anxious to practice the good works of Christ in this world, and to be numbered as God's chosen ones, than to be seeking for riches. Let your words and your example be a continual sermon, making manifest the fact that you are laying up your treasure above, that your life is hid with Christ in God, and that it is your hope to appear with Christ, who is your life, when he shall appear in glory. RH January 22, 1895, par. 6

“Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Let this be your theme for both precept and example; for conformity to the world and harmony with Christ cannot be maintained. Worldly maxims and worldly practices sap spiritually from heart and life. Conformity to the world means resemblance to the world in meeting the world's standard. But how dwelleth the love of God in the soul of him who assimilates to the world? No man can serve the world and Jesus Christ at the same time. There is an irreconcilable antagonism between Christ and the world. Every one who loves Jesus has a solemn work to do for the world; for “ye are laborers together with God.” Christ sought to save the world, not by conformity to it, but by revealing to the world the transforming power of the grace of God to mold and fashion the human character after the likeness of the character of Christ. To go over to the world in our practices will not influence the world to change its principles and practices. With an eye single to the glory of God, we are to live above the world, and yet in every way we are to seek to let the heavenly light shine forth in Christlike actions, and thus exert a powerful influence to save sinners. The moment a professed Christian goes over the line, and follows the fashions of the world, he becomes an idolater, and a stumbling-block to sinners. You can draw the world with you only as you wear Christ's yoke; but you can have no influence for good upon the world in lowering yourself to its low level. Remember Christ gave himself to save you, and you can do no less than give yourself to save souls for whom Christ died. RH January 22, 1895, par. 7