The Review and Herald

922/1902

March 1, 1898

True Christianity

EGW

The Lord expects his followers to reveal, in the transformation of their life and character, the power of the gospel, which converts and sanctifies the soul. He calls for all tact and energy to be educated and trained for his service. And yet there are but few who have educated themselves to take in the subject of redemption, and the responsibility which it places upon the followers of Christ. Thousands are doing nothing in real service for the Master. They have no feeling for sin-sick souls who are perishing out of Christ. Although many profess godliness, they help very little in alleviating the poverty and suffering that exist all around them; they reach out no hand to save the perishing. Selfishness increases in every line. It is seen in the clothing of the body, in the decorating of the home, in expending money for that which is not bread, in gratifying pride, and in selfish indulgence. Compassion is becoming rare in the hearts of those who claim to be Christians. They seem to have drunk a deadly draft of Satan's “peace-and-safety” decoction, and to be insensible to the perils to which human souls are exposed. RH March 1, 1898, par. 1

The Lord of glory clothed his divinity with humanity, and came to our world to endure self-denial and self-sacrifice, in order that the moral image of God might be restored in man. All the heavenly attributes were in his heart in abundance, and flowed out in an irrepressible stream of good works. Mark how readily and heartily he ministered to those in need, how his eyes took in the situation of every tempted soul, how his heart was touched with human woe! RH March 1, 1898, par. 2

In Christ's unwearying efforts is our pattern. Pity for those in need and suffering will be awakened in all who will attempt this self-denying, self-sacrificing work that the Majesty of heaven came to our world to perform. Those who receive Christ by faith will represent his compassion, his goodness, and his love in a world that is marred and seared with the curse. The degree to which these graces exist in the life and character, measures the genuine likeness to God. “By their fruits,” said Christ, “ye shall know them.” This is the true test both in grace and in nature. RH March 1, 1898, par. 3

If men would but consider the souls who are ready to perish as of more value than their own pleasure and selfish indulgence, means, in small and large sums, would flow into the treasury as the price of self-denial in outward adornment, in household furniture, and many other things. God's people would act as if they were pilgrims and strangers in this world. RH March 1, 1898, par. 4

Those who have great light have the privilege of obtaining still greater light if they will but appreciate that which they already have. But if that light is not appreciated, if God's professed people will not themselves become light to those who are in darkness, the light they have, but do not rejoice in and impart, will become darkness. If they would put their tact and ability to use in the service of Christ, he would put his Spirit upon them. The grace and attributes of Christ, imparted to others, would draw from the treasure-house of God more grace, as circumstances should demand. RH March 1, 1898, par. 5

The Lord has made it our duty to seek him in earnest prayer, that we may understand his will. He has shown the error of the human race in having direct communion with God to so slight a degree. This is where the weakness of thousands lies today. They place finite man where God should ever be, and thereby lose a great wealth of experience. They catch the spirit of the world; they act as the world acts, and talk as the world talks. Its notions and traditions and infidel sentiments they receive as truth; and when something new is introduced, they grasp it with eagerness. That which is but chaff they look upon as manna from heaven. They are leavened by the human ideas and erroneous sentiments of professed Christians who are far from being doers of the word. Men, women, and children are neglectful of their God-given responsibilities. Perverted appetites are indulged to the injury of mental, physical, and moral health. They are fictitious representations of Christ Jesus. They belong to that class whom Paul describes as lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. As a result, their hearts are hardened. Christ's grace of sympathy and tender pity is regarded as a weakness, and they are led to a misconception of the work that needs to be accomplished. RH March 1, 1898, par. 6

Many have been entrusted with precious talents of intellect. But what good has been accomplished with these entrusted capabilities? What has been done with the education received from God? Have they, with all their varied plans, appreciated the Giver? or have they joined the apostate who was once a covering cherub, and placed their powers at the disposal of Satan? The work given man in this world is to co-operate with Christ in counterworking the work of the first great rebel, in suppressing the rebellion that he has created. Man is to work as Christ worked for humanity. RH March 1, 1898, par. 7

But who are walking even as he walked? Who are working in Christ's lines? Who among us have the faith which works by love and purifies the soul? Who are coming into such conformity to God as was represented in the grace of him who is our pattern? Those who yoke up with Christ will have the mind of Christ. They will garrison the mind so that it shall not become enslaved to the control of a power that will stop at nothing in its earnest zeal to win the victory. RH March 1, 1898, par. 8

We need to guard continually against the sophistry in regard to geology and other branches of science falsely so-called, which have not one semblance of truth. The theories of great men need to be carefully sifted of the slightest trace of infidel suggestions. One tiny seed sown by teachers in our schools, if received by the students, will raise a harvest of unbelief. The Lord has given all the brilliancy of intellect that man possesses, and it should be devoted to his service. RH March 1, 1898, par. 9

Because so little effort has been made to engage young men and women in the missionary work which must be done to bring the gospel invitation to all, there is but one worker where there should be a hundred. The indifference which is manifested for suffering humanity is charged against churches and families and individuals. The medical missionary work is becoming disproportionate to the moral influence and spiritual labor put forth by church-members generally to reach the souls dead in trespasses and sins. Churches that ought to work in Christ's lines are inclined to make disparaging remarks of those who engage in medical missionary work. And yet they profess to be the people of God. RH March 1, 1898, par. 10

True Christlike compassion will be manifested in seeking to save those who are lost, looking for them not only in the churches, but also in the world. The woes of men are to be met by all who believe in Christ: the lost are to be sought for on every side; restoration is to be begun. Compassion manifested for the physical necessities opens the way for the soul to be reached. RH March 1, 1898, par. 11

What excuse can be made in the great day of God for the neglect of souls for whom Christ has died? Wasted opportunities will be presented before those who might, with their God-given abilities and influence, have accomplished a work for God. Then they will see how their unfaithfulness has left souls unassisted, unwarned, unenlightened. Then they will realize that the blood of these souls is upon the garments of those whose duty it was to work in Christ's lines to save the souls for whom he died. RH March 1, 1898, par. 12

Many of us have a serious account to settle for the misuse of our God-given faculties. For the misuse of the talent of time that has been wasted in selfish pleasure, the waste of the influence which God requires to be employed in his service in response to the service he is constantly doing for us, for the neglect to carry unselfish burdens in this life, God will call us to account. He declares “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” RH March 1, 1898, par. 13