The Review and Herald

1355/1902

December 15, 1904

A Call to Repentance

EGW

We are living in the time of the end. Thrones and churches have united to oppose God's purposes. The association of man with man, which God designed should be a means of strengthening goodness and happiness, is used as a means of strengthening evil and of developing tendencies to rebellion. Men have assumed despotic power, and human laws have been put in the place of the law of God. RH December 15, 1904, par. 1

It is the reign of Antichrist. God's law is set aside. The Scriptures are exchanged for the traditions of men. Satan has become the ruler of the world; and in his hands temptation has become a science. He rules over a vast, well-organized empire. Sin has stimulated his followers into fearful activity. Men have combined to perpetuate evil. The sale of intoxicating liquor, destructive alike to soul and body, is legalized by Christian governments. RH December 15, 1904, par. 2

Influences are to be set in motion that will proclaim to the world the first, second, and third angels’ messages. The world is to be warned, and I beseech those who know the truth to do all in their power to sound the message, “Prepare to meet thy God.” RH December 15, 1904, par. 3

“It is time for thee, Lord, to work,” David said; “for they have made void thy law.” David lived many hundreds of years ago, and he thought then that the time had come for God to interfere to vindicate his honor and repress the swelling unrighteousness. Today men have almost filled the cup of their iniquity. But the Lord does not execute the death penalty on the transgressors of his law until they have heard the warning, and have been given an opportunity to see the result of rebellion against him. How wonderful is his forbearance and patience! He is putting a constraint on his own attributes. Omnipotence is exerted over Omnipotence. RH December 15, 1904, par. 4

“The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power,” “plenteous in mercy” and forgiveness; but he “will not at all acquit the wicked.” Soon there is to be an awakening of his displeasure, and who then can stay his wrath? RH December 15, 1904, par. 5

There is a work to be done in our cities,—work to be done in every place. God will take men from the plow, from the sheepfold, from the vineyard, and will put them in the place of those who think that they must have the highest wages. Those who grasp for high wages will find in the money they get all the reward they will ever receive. Such ones can not be expected to feel a burden for the salvation of perishing souls. The Lord can not use such ones in his work. Until they banish selfishness from their hearts, their efforts are worthless. RH December 15, 1904, par. 6

God says to his people today, “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.” Will they heed the reproof? Will they dare to trifle with so direct and decided a statement, and keep their commended excellencies blasted as with a mildew because they allow Satan to steal in among them. “Thou hast left thy first love,” and therefore there is no steadfastness of purpose. Without this love, all knowledge, all capabilities, all outward zeal and service, are worthless. You do not receive from Christ grace to impart to others. And while you do not reveal the love that Christ has commanded you to reveal, your light is not shining forth to the world. RH December 15, 1904, par. 7

Leaving the first love is represented as a spiritual fall. Many have fallen thus. In every church in our land, there is needed confession, repentance, and reconversion. The disappointment of Christ is beyond description. Unless those who have sinned speedily repent, the deceptions of the last days will overtake them. Some, though they do not realize it, are preparing to be overtaken. God calls for repentance without delay. So long have many trifled with salvation that their spiritual eyesight is dimmed, and they can not discern between light and darkness. Christ is humiliated in his people. The first love is gone, the faith is weak, there is need of a thorough transformation. RH December 15, 1904, par. 8

My brethren and sisters, humble your hearts before the Lord. Seek him earnestly. I have an intense desire to see you walking in the light as Christ is in the light. I pray most earnestly for you. But I can not fail to see that the light which God has given me is not favorable to our ministers or our churches. You have left your first love. Self-righteousness is not the wedding-garment. A failure to follow the clear light of truth is our fearful danger. The message to the Laodicean church reveals our condition as a people. RH December 15, 1904, par. 9

Satan is seeking with all his subtlety to corrupt mind and heart. And O how successful he is in leading men and women to depart from the simplicity of the gospel of Christ! Under his influence hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are roused into activity. Ministers and church-members are in danger of allowing self to take the throne. RH December 15, 1904, par. 10

Human wisdom, human ability, is nothingness in God's sight. He who supposes that he is superior to his fellow men in wisdom will sooner or later reveal traits of character that are a dishonor to God. In the church today there are many of this stamp,—men and women in whom the loveliness of Christ is hidden by traits of character that unfit the possessor for membership in the Lord's family in the heavenly courts. RH December 15, 1904, par. 11

There are many who are not Bible Christians. They follow a standard of their own devising. If they would see their defective, distorted characters as they are accurately reflected in the mirror of God's Word, they would be so alarmed that they would fall upon their faces before God in contrition of soul, and tear away the rags of their self-righteousness. RH December 15, 1904, par. 12

My brethren in the ministry, you ought to be reaching higher and still higher in Christian experience,—higher, not by self-assertion, self-assumption, and self-confidence, but by growth in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Press forward toward the mark of the prize of your high calling in Christ. How much we need to be faithful watchmen over self, to make sure that we have not the spirit that leads us to hurt and destroy in the place of using our God-given talents to awaken the inhabitants of our world to a realization of their lost and undone condition. Let us not be content to be as those who have left their first love. RH December 15, 1904, par. 13