The Review and Herald

849/1902

October 27, 1896

The Folly of Self-Pleasing

EGW

In these last days of the world's history, when self-indulgence and pleasure seem to be the objects for which men live, the followers of Christ must strive to become like him in character, that they may not be ashamed to meet their record in the books of heaven, when every man will be rewarded according to his deeds. “To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God.” RH October 27, 1896, par. 1

There are a large number of professed Christians who would feel surprised and deeply injured if they were shown the light in which God regards them. They are spiritually dead, while professing to live. They are false lights—signs that point in the wrong direction. To these I would lift my voice in warning. Study your Bibles, analyze your motives and principles, before it is too late. When you repent and become converted, you will see and appreciate the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. The half-hearted, pleasure-loving professor of religion is the very best agent Satan has to allure souls away from the straight gate and from the narrow path. Such have proved the ruin of souls they might have saved had they walked in the footprints of the Light of life. RH October 27, 1896, par. 2

And yet these persons think that because they have a form of godliness, they are accepted of God. But God does not receive such as his sons and daughters. In that great day when he shall render to every man according as his works have been, they will realize the truth of the words, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” RH October 27, 1896, par. 3

We are often solicited to give advice as to whether it is wrong for Christians to attend parties for amusement. I would remind all such inquirers of their privilege of seeking the Lord in prayer. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed.” RH October 27, 1896, par. 4

He who truly desires to know the will of the Lord will not run any risk by venturing on unknown ground. He will bring to his Heavenly Father a humble, contrite heart, not a determination to have his own way. Nor will he come in doubt whether to receive the heavenly wisdom, and walk in wisdom's ways, or follow his own inclinations and desires; for of such God says, “Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” God will not be mocked by his creatures. We are not to venture on an uncertain course for an hour's self-pleasing. RH October 27, 1896, par. 5

To those who desire to know how far they can go in indulgence and amusements, I would say, Just so far as you can keep the companionship of Christ. Look to Calvary, and as you behold Christ offering up his precious life for you, that you may have an opportunity to form a character for eternal life, ask yourself the question, How shall I occupy the time given me of God at an infinite cost? He “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” RH October 27, 1896, par. 6

Christ was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. Can you follow in his footsteps, and at the same time find your enjoyment in parties of pleasure? Those who have accepted Christ will need to watch and pray constantly, that they may not be deceived by any of Satan's devices. The person who is not cherishing in his heart the love of Jesus, will follow in the lead of those who are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. RH October 27, 1896, par. 7

The gaiety, the foolish nonsense, the lack of sobriety, that are current in pleasure parties and picnic gatherings, lead to grave evils. The youth are pleased with exciting pleasures, as was Herod when the daughter of Herodias danced before him. Satan with his angels was present at that feast of long ago. It was he who instigated the king to make the promise which led to the death of one of the greatest prophets the world has ever seen. But there is also another witness at these gatherings. Angels of heaven are present, taking note of every word and action. How little those present realize, when they join in the mirth and jest, that for “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” RH October 27, 1896, par. 8

The prophet saw this event. He says, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” RH October 27, 1896, par. 9

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” These words mean more than many suppose. To believe on his name means to receive Christ as our personal Saviour. All who receive him may come to the Father in his name. And as a son, the Father will receive the repenting sinner to his favor and his heart, to partake of the riches of his grace. He may ask what he will, and it will be done unto him. Those who have decided to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after they present their case before him, just what course to pursue. With an eye single to the glory of God, they will do his will, even if it does not accord with their inclinations. RH October 27, 1896, par. 10

While living in close connection with God, we shall hear his voice in loving entreaties and warnings: “Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” RH October 27, 1896, par. 11

Then whom shall we choose to serve? Shall we make Christ our personal Saviour; study his life and practise; go only where we are sure he leads the way, and where we can keep him by our side as an honored Friend and Counselor? Our heart's desire, breathed out in prayer to God, should be, Abide with me. RH October 27, 1896, par. 12