The Review and Herald

1293/1902

November 12, 1903

A Personal Appeal to Every Believer

[In view of the missionary convention to be held by all our churches on Sabbath and Sunday, November 21 and 22, we regard this appeal as especially timely.—Ed.]

EGW

There are times when a distinct view is presented before me of the condition of the remnant church,—a condition of appalling indifference to the needs of a world perishing for lack of knowledge of the truth for this time. Then I have hours, and sometimes days, of intense anguish. Many to whom have been committed the saving truths of the third angel's message fail of realizing that the salvation of souls is dependent upon the consecration and activity of God's church. As grateful recipients of Heaven's blessings, believers are to diffuse the light of truth to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. But many are using these blessings in the service of self. Their influence is no better than the influence of worldlings. O how my heart aches because Christ is put to shame by their unchristlike behavior! But after the agony is past, I feel like working harder than ever to arouse them to put forth unselfish effort for the saving of their fellow men. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 1

God has made his people stewards of his grace and truth, and how does he regard their neglect to impart these blessings to their fellow men? Let us suppose that a distant colony belonging to Great Britain is in great distress because of famine and threatened war. Multitudes are dying of starvation, and a powerful enemy is gathering on the frontier, threatening to hasten the work of death. The government at home opens its stores; public charity pours forth; relief flows through many channels. A fleet is freighted with the precious means of life, and is sent to the scene of suffering, accompanied by the prayers of those whose hearts are stirred to help. And for a time the fleet sails directly for its destination. But having lost sight of land, the ardor of those entrusted with the work of carrying food to the starving sufferers, abates. Though engaged in a work that makes them co-laborers with the angels, they lose the good impressions with which they started forth. Through evil counselors temptation enters. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 2

A group of islands lies in their course, and though far short of their destination, they decide to call. The temptation that has already entered grows stronger. The selfish spirit of gain takes possession of their minds. Mercantile advantages present themselves. Those in charge of the fleet are prevailed on to remain on the islands. Their original purpose of mercy fades from their sight. They forget the starving people to whom they were sent. The stores entrusted to them are used for their own benefit. The means of benevolence is diverted into channels of selfishness. They barter the means of life for selfish gain, and leave their fellow beings to die. The cries of the perishing ascend to heaven, and the Lord writes in his record the tale of robbery. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 3

Think of the horror of human beings dying because those placed in charge of the means of relief proved unfaithful to their trust! It is difficult for us to realize that man could be guilty of so terrible a sin. Yet I am instructed to say to you, my brother, my sister, that Christians are daily repeating this sin. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 4

In Eden, man fell from his high estate, and through transgression became subject to death. It was seen in heaven that human beings were perishing, and the compassion of God was stirred. At infinite cost he devised a means of relief. He “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” There was no hope for the transgressor except through Christ. God saw that “there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.” RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 5

The Lord chose a people, and made them the depositaries of his truth. It was his purpose that by the revelation of his character through Israel men should be drawn unto him. To all the world the gospel invitation was to be given. Through the teaching of the sacrificial service, Christ was to be uplifted before the nations, and all who would look unto him should live. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 6

But Israel did not fulfil God's purpose. They forgot God, and lost sight of their high privilege as his representatives. The blessings they had received brought no blessing to the world. All their advantages were appropriated for their own glorification. They robbed God of the service he required of them, and they robbed their fellow men of religious guidance and a holy example. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 7

God finally sent his Son to reveal to men the character of the Unseen. Christ came and lived on this earth a life of obedience to God's law. He gave his precious life to save the world, and made his servants his stewards in trust. With the gift of Christ all the treasures of heaven were given to man. The church was freighted with the food of heaven for starving souls. This was the treasure that the people of God were commissioned to carry to the world. They were faithfully to perform their duty, continuing their work until the message of mercy had encircled the world. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 8

Christ ascended to heaven, and sent his Holy Spirit to give power to the work of his disciples. Thousands were converted in a day. In a single generation the gospel was carried to every nation under heaven. But little by little a change came. The church lost her first love. She became selfish and ease-loving. The spirit of worldliness was cherished. The enemy cast his spell upon those to whom God had given light for a world in darkness,—light which should have shone forth in good works. The world was robbed of the blessings that God desired men to receive. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 9

Is not the same thing repeated in this generation? Many in our day are keeping back that which the Lord has entrusted to them for the salvation of a world unwarned, unsaved. In the Word of God an angel is represented as flying in the midst of heaven, “having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water.” RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 10

The message of Revelation 14 is the message that we are to bear to the world. It is the bread of life for these last days. Millions of human beings are perishing in ignorance and iniquity. But many of those to whom God has committed the stores of life look upon these souls with indifference. Many forget that to them has been entrusted the bread of life for those starving for salvation. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 11

O for consecrated Christians, for Christlike consistency, for the faith that works by love and purifies the soul! May God help us to repent, and change our sluggish movements into consecrated activity. May he help us to show by our words and works that we make the burden of perishing souls our own. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 12

Let us be thankful every moment for God's forbearance with our tardy, unbelieving movements. Instead of flattering ourselves with the thought of what we have done, after doing just a little, we are to labor still more earnestly. We are not to cease our efforts or relax our vigilance. Never is our zeal to grow less. Our spiritual life must be daily revived by the stream that makes glad the city of our God. We must be always on the watch for opportunities to use for God the talents that he has given us. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 13

I appeal to our church-members to use for God the powers that he has given them. Wherever there is true conversion, there is a reformation, a consecration to God. Every one who with genuine faith believes in Christ enters into his service. Our faith must now be a faith that is constantly increasing. God's people are no longer to sit at their ease, waiting for an opening, when it is their duty to make an opening and then, go to work. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 14

Let every believer ask himself, “What can I do to proclaim the third angel's message?” Christ came to this world to give this message to his servant to give to the churches. It is to be proclaimed to every nation and kindred and tongue and people. How are we to give it? The distribution of our literature is one means by which the message is to be proclaimed. Let every believer scatter broadcast tracts and leaflets and books containing the message for this time. We need colporteurs, who will go forth to circulate our publications everywhere. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 15

Those who labor for souls need to remember that they are pledged to co-operate with Christ, to obey his directions, to follow his guidance. Every hour they are to ask for and receive power from on high. They are to cherish a constant sense of the Saviour's love, of his efficiency, his watchfulness, his tenderness. They are to look to him as the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls. Then they will have the sympathy and support of the heavenly angels. Christ will be their joy and crown of rejoicing. Their hearts will be controlled by the Holy Spirit, and they will go forth clothed with holy zeal. Their efforts will be accompanied with a power proportionate to the importance of the message they proclaim. RH November 12, 1903, Art. A, par. 16