The Review and Herald

761/1902

February 19, 1895

Ordained to Bring Forth Fruit

(Concluded.)

EGW

What are you doing, my Christian brothers and sisters? Can you say that as far as it was in your power, you have declared, or represented, Christ and his love for fallen humanity to those who know him not? If you have confined your efforts mostly to those who are of the same faith as yourself, what about seeking those who are lost. If the curtain could be rolled back, you would see souls perishing in their sins, and the church idle, indolent, unsympathetic, absorbed in selfish interests, and caring not whether souls are saved or lost, so long as they themselves can have an easy time, and be secure in the hope of salvation. But no one will ever enter heaven who is not a laborer together with God. If you had any appreciation of the salvation brought to you at infinite cost, you would arouse, you would lay hold upon the strength of Jesus, you would lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show “my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” You would cry aloud, and spare not. You would work to the utmost of your capacity, reaching first one and then another. But you cannot do the work of God unless you are abiding in Christ. RH February 19, 1895, par. 1

Many parents seem asleep, or dead in trespasses and sins, and have lost all sense of their accountability to God. They will have to render an account as to why their children are unsaved, why they are rebels against God's government, and are allied with the hosts of darkness. It is their privilege to possess a greater influence over their households than the monarch on his throne possesses over his subjects; but they will have the influence of the Holy Spirit only as they surrender themselves to the rule of Christ. When they are brought under discipline to Christ themselves, and are his loyal subjects, they will have power to train and educate the members of their family to be obedient; and their requirements will be in harmony with the will of God and the Spirit of Christ. Like Abraham, they will command their households to keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. RH February 19, 1895, par. 2

Those who govern their families in the right way, will bring into the church an influence of order and reverence. They will represent the attributes of mercy and justice as standing hand in hand. They will reveal to their children the character of Christ. The law of kindness and love upon their lips, will not make their commands weak and without authority, and their injunctions will not be met with disobedience. Parents are standing in the place of God to their children, and unfaithful parents will have a sorrowful account to render to the God of heaven for their wicked indulgence of wrong in their children. Through firmness and decision, they might have closed the door of temptation, which, because of their irresolution in dealing with the desires and requests of their children, they have left open, and made an easy entrance for the enemy to come in and to mold and fashion their children's character after his own similitude. When home duties are ignored and neglected, children grow up to bring their parents to shame. They go into society with perverse tempers, with untamed, ungoverned wills, and in their turn they mold the characters of others who are weak and foolish, and thus swell the ranks of Satan's army that wars against divine order and authority. RH February 19, 1895, par. 3

The parent who professes to be a Christian, and yet who has chosen to act the part that seemed easiest, and in so doing has given Satan a chance to solicit the minds of his children, and to subvert them in evil ways, will carry this same disposition into his church relations, and will act over the same course in connection with sacred interests. Those who become careless in their home duties, deny Christ in their characters, and they go from weakness to weakness. They neglect also their duties to their friends and neighbors, and lose all realization as to their responsibilities as soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ. If they had kept the way of the Lord at any expense to their natural feelings, and had required obedience from their children, what a different picture would have been presented before the universe of heaven! RH February 19, 1895, par. 4

Faithful work done in the home, educates others to do the same class of work. The spirit of fidelity to God is like leaven, and when manifested in the church, will have an effect upon others, and will be a recommendation to Christianity everywhere. The work of whole-souled soldiers of Christ is as far-reaching as eternity. Then why is it that there is such a lack of the missionary spirit in our churches?—It is because there is a neglect of home piety. The Lord God of heaven is grieved because those who should be living agents, praying, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,” are through their unconsecrated course of action, separating their children from Christ. They are not commanding their children after them as did Abraham, teaching them from babyhood upward through childhood and youth, to render obedience. RH February 19, 1895, par. 5

These matters have been laid open in clear lines before me, and I know that those who neglect to keep the way of the Lord, who do not require their children to be obedient and submissive, will have to repent and reform if they ever hear from the lips of the Master, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Is it not time for the people of God greatly to humble their hearts before God, and inquire by diligent searching of his word and by earnest prayer, as to what is the way in which he would have them walk? RH February 19, 1895, par. 6

Every one should understand that every member of the human family sustains an important relationship to every other member of the human family, and forms a link in the great chain which binds man to his fellow-men. By the most sacred responsibilities, the Christian is bound to exercise his influence for Christ; and if he does this, he will love God with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself. If the Christian is to exert an influence on the side of Christ in the world, then how much more should his influence be felt in his own home? The promise of God is to him and to his children, and he should see to it that his connection is so close with God, that nothing but hallowed influences may breathe within the family circle. Parents should seek to comprehend the fact that they are to train their children for the courts of God. When they are intrusted with children, it is the same as though Christ placed them in their arms and said, “Train these children for me, that they may shine in the courts of God.” One of the first sounds that should attract their attention is the name of Jesus, and in their earliest years they should be led to the footstool of prayer. Their minds should be filled with stories of the life of the Lord, and their imagination encouraged in picturing the glories of the world to come. Christian parents, you are charged with the responsibility of presenting to the world the power and excellence of home religion. Let those who have erred in training their little ones, who have failed to represent Christ in their home life, now repent of their mistakes before it is everlastingly too late. Let Christian parents resolve that they will be loyal to God, and let them gather their children into their homes with them, and strike the door-post with blood, representing Christ as the only one who can shield and save, that the destroying angel may pass over the cherished circle of the household. Let the world see that a more than human influence is at work in the home. Let parents maintain a vital connection with God, set themselves on Christ's side, and show by his grace what great good may be accomplished through parental agency. RH February 19, 1895, par. 7