The Review and Herald

817/1902

March 17, 1896

Who are the Nobility of the Earth?

EGW

We read in the word of God that “not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” The rich idolize their riches, and do the very things which Jesus has told them not to do. They lay up their treasure upon the earth, and they worship and serve their treasures. By their example they educate those who dwell with them or who are connected with them to think that money is the thing to live for, and thus they testify against Christ. What saith the world's Redeemer?—“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Every needed blessing will be given to those who serve God. RH March 17, 1896, par. 1

The day is not far distant when the books will be opened, when every man shall be judged out of those things which are written in the books according to his works, whether they may be good, or whether they be evil. In the judgment those who have loved God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, will be registered in the book of life as the nobility of the earth. The worldly, who have been called the noble, who have had large possessions, should now consider what is true nobility, and if they rightly understand this, they will esteem themselves richer than the richest if they are in possession of Jesus Christ. They will realize that the payment of a mere tithe of their earthly possessions will not give them power and eternal riches; but that every dollar they possess is the Lord's own capital. That which has secured the title of noble in this world, is the possession of riches which have been entrusted of the Lord for the benefit of his suffering children, and which have been appropriated to glorify him who should have been a wise steward of God. Many such men have used all their tact and wisdom in accumulating property, but have not employed their powers in healing the woes of suffering humanity about them. RH March 17, 1896, par. 2

There are many youths who possess talents, and if they were trained, they would be capable of doing a good work for the Master; but those who could aid them in obtaining an education, hoard up their treasures or use them simply for the gratification of themselves, and thus fail to build up the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. How do the angels of heaven look upon the daughters of wealth and fashion who decorate themselves with costly jewels, and spend thousands of dollars in glorifying themselves? How will Christ judge those who make gifts to the rich, when the poor are starving around them, when men's actions are weighed in the golden balances of the heavenly sanctuary? Has Jesus not said, “Know ye not that ... ye are not your own? Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's”? RH March 17, 1896, par. 3

Jesus came from heaven to earth to redeem the sinner. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God does not desire to consume the sinner because of his perversity and his rejection of the great salvation provided for him. Jesus became poor that we, through his poverty, might come into possession of eternal riches. Yet Jesus, who did all this for fallen man, sees the souls he died to save idolizing themselves, trusting to their earthly riches, and despising the riches of his grace. He endured the agonies of the cross, despising the shame, in order that sinners might be elevated to eternal joys. He died to give them life and peace, and make them benefactors of their race. RH March 17, 1896, par. 4

How many of the poor and sorrowful, the naked, the hungry, and the destitute, might have been placed in comfortable circumstances, with the money needlessly expended for the adornment of the body! How many youth might have been assisted to procure an education; how many orphans and widows might have been made to rejoice, to send up to God a tribute of praise for the supply of necessary comforts, if money expended for gold and jewels had been devoted to philanthropy! Many young men and women might have been trained for missionary fields, to go forth to bring light to those who sit in darkness and have no light. RH March 17, 1896, par. 5

The fulfilling of the plan of salvation was a mighty achievement; but the rich man who has lost eternity out of his reckoning, has no appreciation of its value. The rich do only those things that suit their convenience. One rich person tries to outdo others in display. They are actuated by the same spirit that possessed Satan in the courts above. He has worked on the same line through all the ages, and rejoices at the transformation he can work in the character by implanting in the heart the love of riches. By pride of display and position he has caused the ruin of thousands and ten thousands. He has even led those who have placed their names on the church books to follow the fashion of the world, and seek to outdo their friends and neighbors in display. This has led to the committing of forgeries and robberies. In many cases wives have been tempters to their husbands, and have forced them to steal money in order to keep up the extravagant habits in which they have indulged. When frauds have been discovered, the perpetrators have often either fled from justice or put an end to their own lives. But the extravagance of the rich, and of those who would make a great display, reacts on the poor, and compels many to be ignorant, depraved, and destitute of the necessities of life. Thousands of talented men who have moral worth, and who, if they had a chance, could take a high position in society, are compelled to serve the rich and powerful, and to receive from their hands whatever they are pleased to bestow. If those they serve are selfish and avaricious, it will be made manifest in the way in which they deal with their servants. RH March 17, 1896, par. 6

There are multitudes of poor children who need care and protection. There are multitudes of aged people who are dependent upon others for the necessities of life. The Lord has not designed that these sufferers should be neglected. He has given to the rich an abundance by which the needs of the poor may be supplied. As good and faithful stewards, they are to distribute God's bounties to others. RH March 17, 1896, par. 7

God has made provision that ignorance need not exist. Those who have means are to take up their God-given responsibility. The poor are the purchase of the blood of the Son of God, and with God there is no respect of persons. The Lord says, “Sell that ye have, and give alms.” Instead of hanging a necklace of gold and jewels about your neck, instead of adorning and decorating your mortal bodies, you are to deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Jesus. You are to impart to others, and care for the destitute and the ignorant. RH March 17, 1896, par. 8

Jesus left his high command, laid aside his royal robe and crown, and clothed his divinity with humanity, that he might seek and save the one lost sheep. He did not go to the worlds that had not fallen; he did not fix his eyes on the largest world; but he came to a world cursed by sin. The ninety and nine were his, but he left them to seek the one who had wandered away. He sees a world of sinners, full of guilt and wretchedness. He pities the sinner, sick and in need of a physician. Every one he succeeds in rescuing from the slavery of sin, awakens the greatest joy in the heart of the Redeemer. When the shepherd findeth the sheep, he layeth it on his shoulders rejoicing. That soul, however humble, is of great value in his sight. It was for the joy set before him of saving the lost, that Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame. RH March 17, 1896, par. 9

The heart of Christ is full of unutterable love toward every soul that comes to him. “Likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Jesus said, “It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” The love manifested in Christ reveals the parental character of the Father; for God suffered with Christ. The Sin-bearer for a fallen world made the crown of thorns as a diadem upon his bleeding temples. O stubborn sinner, who will not come unto Christ that you might have life, Jesus will miss you. He is represented as the Divine Shepherd making search for the one lost sheep, that he might take it back and give it a place of refuge with the ninety and nine. Jesus desires the salvation of every lost soul. He says: “Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” RH March 17, 1896, par. 10

Dear soul, Jesus wants you in heaven, or he would never have left his glory, and come to our world to endure poverty, sorrow, abuse, rejection, and crucifixion. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” You that refuse to come will not find your name on the Lamb's book of life, but among the lists of Satan, and in your case he will be triumphant. The Lord Jesus came to break the chains of slavery off you, to put into your mouth a new song, even praise unto God. He came that he might present you with joy to the Father, and say, “Father, this soul is mine. I died to redeem it. I have graven this soul on the palms of my hands.” RH March 17, 1896, par. 11

Not only is there joy among the angels when a soul is rescued from sin, but the Redeemer and the Father rejoice. The sorrow of Jesus over an unsaved world pressed his divine soul, and was a sorrow to end only with his death. Now he presents every soul who repents and believes before the Father with exceeding joy. He sees of the travail of his soul, and is satisfied. In the mansions above finally will be the Shepherd and his sheep. The work will be complete, and victory will crown the ransomed ones. When the redeemed of the Lord return unto Zion, the ransomed throng will sing: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.” RH March 17, 1896, par. 12