The Review and Herald

1181/1902

March 11, 1902

Preach in Regions Beyond

EGW

“Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.” RH March 11, 1902, par. 1

I would present before you the necessity of seeking most earnestly to heed the counsel of the True Witness; for now, “in this thy day,” is your opportunity. The message to the Laodicean Church is applicable to all who have had great light and many opportunities, and yet have not appreciated them. “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire [the gold of faith and love], that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment [the righteousness of Christ], that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” RH March 11, 1902, par. 2

Unless missionaries shall constantly seek to reach a higher standard, they will become “lukewarm,” “neither cold nor hot,” and ready to be spewed out of the mouth of God. Unless they have a living connection with Him, they will mingle self and common, earthly practices and habits with the sacred, holy principles of truth. The truth should be placed before the people in its true, elevated position. All should constantly seek for the true faith that works, not by an earth-born, emotional element, but by love that purifies the soul. This love cleanses the soul-temple from pride, and expels every idol from the throne of the heart. RH March 11, 1902, par. 3

God is not glorified by those who claim to be missionaries, and who yet center their affections upon human beings to such an extent that they cherish inordinate affection, and commit the sin of idolatry. This quality of love is entirely selfish, and diverts the mind and draws the affection from God. Great activity on the part of such workers does not manifest that they have genuine religion. Let us listen to the voice of God. The word of inspiration says, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.... And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.” “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.... Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” RH March 11, 1902, par. 4

You must be doers of the word, and possess that love that was manifested in the life and character of Christ. This love is no narrow, selfish affection. You are to be constrained by this love “to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” RH March 11, 1902, par. 5

The Gospel Minister's Work

The work ever before the minister of Christ is to preach the gospel with earnest fidelity to them that are nigh, and to them that are in the “regions beyond.” This involves self-denial, and necessitates cross-bearing. This kind of work that will lead us both to be faithful home missionaries and to press forward into new fields, must be carried on more and more as we near the close of earth's history. The gospel is not to be restricted to any time, nor confined to any place. The world is the field for the gospel minister, and the whole human family is his congregation. When he has finished giving a discourse, his work is only just entered upon; for the word of life is to be presented from house to house. The truth must be carried from city to city, from street to street, from family to family. Every method by which access may be gained to the homes of the people must be tried; for the messenger must become acquainted with the people. The truth must be carried from province to province, from kingdom to kingdom. The highways and byways must be thoroughly gleaned, and the message must spread from continent to continent until the whole earth is belted with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. RH March 11, 1902, par. 6

Ministers and missionaries must ever keep in view the “regions beyond.” The Saviour has said of His people, “Ye are the light of the world.” The truth is to be proclaimed, the light is to shine forth in clear, steady rays. Self-denial, self-sacrifice, whole-heartedness, must be put into the work; the light must shine forth until precious souls are brought to take their stand on the Lord's side. Then the worker is to press on into the “regions beyond,” where souls are to be gathered, and precious light shine amidst the moral darkness that enshrouds the people. Thus must the truth be preached until the minds of those who sit in darkness, as under the pall of death, are enlightened, elevated, and broadened. Every worker must stand at his post of duty, not only to preach, but to come close to souls, to become acquainted with them at their homes, as did Jesus, working unselfishly, devotedly, until the work is nicely bound off. When one company is raised up to carry light to the community, openings will be seen, inviting the laborers into the “regions beyond.” The workers for God will ever be pressing onward, ever depending upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit. RH March 11, 1902, par. 7

The minister or missionary and his wife must be vitalized by the Holy Spirit, leaving the things that are behind, and ever pressing onward and upward. The minister's wife may do a large work, if she realizes her dependence upon Christ, and finds Him to be her full sufficiency. It is poor work that any of us can do, even though we consecrate every ability to God. But if we do not thus consecrate ourselves, we become stumbling-blocks. I would urge upon all the necessity of aiming to reach the highest standard in spirituality. A form of godliness has but little value, indeed it is a positive curse when the heart is unrenewed, unregenerated. Great responsibilities rest upon the missionary's wife. A great deal will depend upon whether she is gathering heavenly treasures, or allowing her mind to grasp things of trifling importance. If she is dwelling upon heavenly things, she will have the true missionary spirit; her love for souls will flow out in copious streams, and will constrain her to seek and to save that which is lost. RH March 11, 1902, par. 8

Labor among the Churches

The Lord will not approve of ministers’ spending much of their time with churches that already believe the truth. When they preach to those who understand the truth for this time, and labor with them, devoting their time to the flock, they teach the people to depend upon them in their various perplexities. It is needful that our churches should be visited by ministers, but the churches must not expect that the minister is to hold them up, and make them believe. By such a course, the church is weakened rather than strengthened. Ministers have a work to do that will call them forth from believing companies; for they are to preach in “regions beyond,” and bear the warning message to those who have never heard the truth for this time. RH March 11, 1902, par. 9

The end of all things is at hand, and a world is to be warned. Eternity must be urged upon the people. Their attention must be called away from the things of this world, and attracted to everlasting realities. It is a time when the most poisonous errors are prevailing among men, working the destruction of souls. May God bless His messengers who feel the burden and the importance of the message which He has given them to bear to the world. RH March 11, 1902, par. 10

In all his labors, let the minister educate his hearers from the very first. Let him present to them the precious pearls of truth, and not confine his work to mere sermonizing, but let him minister to the people. Let him visit his hearers at their homes, not waiting for invitations, but going as one sent of God. Let him invite himself to the people's homes, in meekness and humbleness of mind seeking admission, and then present to them a sin-pardoning Saviour. The minister, when visiting at the homes of the people, is not to spend the precious time in mere talk upon common themes of conversation, but he is to watch for an opportunity to introduce them to his best Friend. Too often men and women are indifferent and careless in regard to that which concerns their spiritual interests, but even to this class, a word in season may be as seed dropped into good soil. RH March 11, 1902, par. 11

Necessity of Personal Work

Every one has his work. Paul said to Timothy, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” The ministers of Jesus Christ will have more than a mere casual interest for the people. They will seek to know the state of their spiritual being, even as a physician seeks to understand the physical difficulties of his patients. They will engage in personal conversation, and adapt their counsel to every individual case according to the need of the soul. This personal work cannot be looked upon as of secondary importance. The minister is the Lord's appointed under-shepherd to the flock of God, and it is his business to minister to the sin-sick, tempted, and erring. This very work is needed among all classes and in all places. It is the character of the work to be done in “regions beyond.” In different places are families, and individual members of families, who have left their native land, and are sojourners and strangers in a strange land. In leaving their own country and coming to a new place, they have failed to form new church relations, and have grown cold to their best Friend, and have drawn away from Him at the very time when they most needed His presence. They have given up calling upon their strong and mighty Helper, because many perplexities have engaged their minds, and cares have come in between their souls and Jesus, who has assured them that He is a present help in every time of need. They do not pray, they do not lay hold upon Him who is mighty to save unto the uttermost all who come unto God by Him, believing that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. This class need Jesus, and the ministers should educate them, pointing them, as did John, to “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” If they will only come to Jesus, He will hear them. Present to such souls, not doctrinal points, but a living Saviour, and open to them the Scriptures, showing them the way to find Jesus, Him who has promised to heal all their backslidings; thus great good may be accomplished. RH March 11, 1902, par. 12

If ministers who are called upon to preach the most solemn message ever given to mortals, evade the truth, they are unfaithful in their work, and are false shepherds to the sheep and the lambs. The assertions of man are of no value. Let the word of God speak to the people. Let those who have heard only traditions and maxims of men, hear the voice of God, whose promises are Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus. If the character and deportment of the shepherd is a living epistle to the people of the truth which he advocates, the Lord will set His seal to the work. True friendships will be formed with the people, and the shepherd and the flock will become one, united by a common hope in Christ Jesus. RH March 11, 1902, par. 13

The love of Christ is not a fitful feeling, but a living principle, and it is not only to be expressed in words, but to be lived out in the life, and to be made manifest as an abiding power in the heart. Where this love exists, there will be unity, and in unity there is strength. The love of Christ warms the heart of both teacher and learners, and they are quickened together by the Holy Spirit. They all drink from the same fountain, and are all moved by the motive power that comes from love to Christ, which is revealed in good works for Jesus Christ and for those who are purchased by the infinite price of His own precious blood. When love wanes in the Church, it is a sure testimony that ministers and people have lost their first love, and that they need to hear the words of the True Witness as He says, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” RH March 11, 1902, par. 14