The Review and Herald


September 24, 1895

The Compelling Message


Christ has sent out an invitation to every son and daughter of Adam, saying, “Come; for all things are now ready.” He has sent out his human agents to call men to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The experience that the believers gain in calling men to the gospel feast, in working in harmony with Christ, is of more value than silver and gold and precious stones. They proclaim the same message that John proclaimed: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” RH September 24, 1895, par. 1

We should sincerely inquire, “Am I feeding upon the bread of life? upon divine truth? Am I listening to the voice of God that speaks to me through his word? Am I willing to make any sacrifice rather than be found seeking to excuse myself for not thankfully accepting the invitation to the gospel feast? I have heard the call, ‘Come; for all things are now ready,’ and am I ready to repeat this call to others?” What excuse will those have to offer in the day of judgment who have known the truth of the Bible, and have had no courage to maintain and advocate it? While they bow their heads in shame, others who have confessed the faith by the word of their testimony, and by their manner of life, will be honored of God, and accounted precious. Could all appreciate the realities of the day of judgment, would they deny their faith for the sake of worldly advantages? Would they give up all that makes life desirable for the sake of securing worldly favors? None can live a happy and satisfactory life who do not live to honor and glorify God at any cost to self. Shall we refuse the heavenly invitation, “Come; for all things are now ready”? Shall we separate ourselves from God and heaven, and walk in the imagination of our own hearts, when this means separation from him who only can bless us? Those only are safe who believe in Christ as their personal Saviour. They have accepted the invitation to the supper of the Lord. What constitutes the gospel feast? Christ says: “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” By faith we are to make him our personal Saviour. He says: “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.... It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” RH September 24, 1895, par. 2

We were created to fulfill a higher and nobler purpose than merely to eat and drink, and to live to please ourselves. What infatuation, what madness, it is to refuse to partake of the richest feast that could possibly be furnished by our Heavenly Father! How vain are the excuses offered for rejecting the message to come to the marriage supper! Men declare, “I will go on with my worldly pursuits. I do not wish to displease my neighbors, and therefore I cannot come.” Let men remember that they are commanded to follow the Lamb of God whithersoever he goeth. His guidance is to be chosen, his companionship valued above the companionship of neighbors and friends. It is too honorable, too precious, to be refused. We are to be willing to endure any reproach for Christ's sake; for all who accept Christ must be made conformable unto his image. Shall we reject the grace of Christ, and put away the hope of salvation, and refuse to be partakers of the sufferings of Christ? Then we shall reap the result of our choice, if we persist in rejecting the invitation of his Spirit. Were the Lord to deal with us as we deserve, would we not be punished in many ways as stubborn, ungrateful children? But he is long-suffering, he does not deal with us according to our perversity. Instead of this, he offers to take us into partnership with himself and with his Son. All may have life who will accept it; the world has been invited to the gospel feast. When those who were first invited refused the invitation, the master of the feast declared that none of those who were bidden should taste of his supper. But the banquet was not to be devoid of guests. He sent his messengers into the streets of the city, into the highways and byways, to compel men to come in, that his house might be filled. Men were to be compelled, not by force, but by the presentation of such convincing arguments that they would be constrained to come in. This compelling message represents the message that God would send to men to impel them to receive Christ, the world's Redeemer. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” RH September 24, 1895, par. 3

But there are strong powers that work from beneath to draw men away from Christ, and to hold them infatuated captives to Satan. Men confederate with Satanic powers in holding their fellow-men away from the gospel feast. False shepherds aid Satan in his work as they cry, “Peace and safety,” when sudden destruction is about to fall upon them. But Christ's faithful watchmen should sound the invitation, not holding their peace day nor night. They should present the white robes, the wedding garment, which is the righteousness of Christ, woven in the loom of heaven. If the watchmen will have faith in Christ, the Lord will give power to their message. They will be enabled so to present his grace, his love, his tenderness, the danger of rejecting the message, that men will feel constrained to accept the gospel invitation. Christ says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Christ will impart to his messengers the same yearning love which he himself had in seeking for the lost sheep. He is unrepulsed by scorn, not turned aside by threatening; but continually seeks the lost one, saying, “How can I give thee up?” “Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” RH September 24, 1895, par. 4

It is the Saviour's love that constrains the messenger to bear the message to the lost. O how wonderful is the importuning of Christ with sinners! Although his love is beaten back by the refusal of hard, stubborn hearts, he returns to plead with greater force, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.” His love woos with winning force, until souls are compelled to come in. Those who come to the supper turn to the blessed Jesus and say, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” He wins them by the word of his love and power; for the word of God is the rod of his power. He says, “Is not my word like a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” When the word of God is sent home to the human heart by the Holy Spirit, it is mighty to the pulling down of the strongholds of Satan. Finite men could do nothing in the great warfare, were it not for the word of God. They could not plead successfully with human hearts, that are as hard as steel, that are bolted and barred, lest Jesus should find an entrance there; but the Lord endows men with his wisdom, and the weakest one may become as David by faith in God. The Lord takes those who are devoted to him, even though they may be uneducated, humble men and women, and sends them forth with his warning message. He stirs their hearts by his Spirit, he gives them Spiritual muscle and sinew, and they are enabled to go forth with the word of God, and to compel men to come in. Thus many poor, fainting souls, who are starving for the bread of life, are out of weakness made strong, and wax valiant in the fight, and put to flight the armies of the aliens. RH September 24, 1895, par. 5

“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh.” Every time you turn away your ear and refuse to listen, every time you fail to open the door of your heart, you strengthen yourself in unbelief, and make yourself more and more unwilling to listen to the voice of Him that speaketh, and you diminish your chance of responding to the last appeal of mercy. Be warned by what the Saviour says; for they that were bidden to the supper and refused his invitation were not to taste of the supper. There is a point beyond which forbearance cannot go. Let it not be written of you, “Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone.” Let not Christ weep over you as he wept over Jerusalem, saying, “How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” RH September 24, 1895, par. 6

We are living in a time when the last message of mercy, the last invitation, is being given to the children of men. The messengers are now saying, “Come; for all things are now ready.” Heavenly angels are still working, co-operating with human agencies. The Holy Spirit is presenting every inducement to compel you to come, and Jesus is watching for some sign that will betoken the removing of the bolts and the opening of the door of your heart for his entrance. Angels are waiting to bear the tidings to heaven that another lost sinner has been found, that another has hearkened to the counsel of the True Witness, who says, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.” The hosts of heaven are waiting ready to strike their harps, and to sing a song of rejoicing that the Good Shepherd has sought and reclaimed his own. RH September 24, 1895, par. 7