The Review and Herald

1636/1902

March 24, 1910

The Great Commission; a Callto Service

EGW

A short time before his ascension to his heavenly throne, Christ commissioned his disciples to go into all the world as teachers of righteousness. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” he said. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” RH March 24, 1910, par. 1

The company of believers to whom these words were addressed, had assembled by appointment on a mountain in Galilee, there to meet their risen Lord. When the Saviour appeared, he charged his followers to labor untiringly for the advancement of his kingdom. Again and again the solemn words of the gospel commission were repeated, that the disciples might grasp their significance. RH March 24, 1910, par. 2

Among the believers to whom the commission was given, were many from the humbler walks of life,—men and women who had learned to love their Lord, and who had determined to follow his example of self-denying service. To these lowly ones of but limited talent, as well as to the disciples who had been with the Saviour during the years of his earthly ministry, was the commission given to go “into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” These humble followers of Jesus shared with the apostles their Lord's comforting assurance, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” RH March 24, 1910, par. 3

To the members of the early Christian church was given a precious trust. They were to be executors of the will in which Christ had bequeathed to the world the treasure of life eternal. Repentance and remission of sins was to be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And they proved true to their trust. Endued, soon afterward with power from on high, they boldly confessed their faith in a risen Saviour. Many of such as should be saved were added to their number. RH March 24, 1910, par. 4

Later, when the believers were scattered by persecution, they went forth filled with missionary zeal. The last words of the Saviour, bidding them teach all nations, were constantly sounding in their ears. They realized the responsibility of their work. They knew that they held in their hands the bread of life for a famishing world; and they were constrained by the love of Christ to go everywhere, breaking the bread of life to all who were in need. The Lord wrought through them. Wherever they went, the sick were healed, and the poor had the gospel preached unto them. RH March 24, 1910, par. 5

In the trust given to the first disciples, believers in every age have shared. God desires that every believer shall be an executor of the Saviour's will. Every one has been given sacred truth to impart to the world. In every age God's faithful people have been aggressive missionaries, consecrating their resources to the honor of his name, and wisely using their talents in his service. RH March 24, 1910, par. 6

The unselfish labor of God's people in ages past is to his servants today an object-lesson and an inspiration. Today, God's chosen people are to be zealous of good works, separating from all worldly ambition, and walking humbly in the footsteps of the lowly Nazarene, who went about doing good. Freed from selfishness and pride, they are to strive to honor God and to advance his work in the world. With sympathy and compassion they are to minister to those in need of help, seeking to lighten the woe of suffering humanity. As they engage in this work, they will be richly blessed, and will see souls won to the Redeemer; for the influence that attends the practical carrying out of the Saviour's commission, is irresistible. Such work calls for laborious effort, but it brings a rich reward, for by it perishing souls are saved. RH March 24, 1910, par. 7

The members of God's remnant church in this our day depend too largely on the ministers to fulfill the commission of Christ to go into all the world with the gospel message. Many have seemed to lose sight of the fact that this commission was given not only to those who had been ordained to preach, but to laymen as well. It is a fatal mistake to suppose that the work of saving souls depends alone on the ordained ministry. All who receive the life of Christ are called to work for the salvation of their fellow men. RH March 24, 1910, par. 8

“The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come.” This commission to bid others come, embraces the entire church, and applies to every one who has accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. Of those who receive Christ it is written, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: ... and of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” That which we receive, we are to impart. Every soul who has heard the divine invitation, is to echo the message from hill and valley, saying to those with whom he comes in contact, “Come.” From the moment of conversion, those who receive Christ are to become the light of the world. They are to reflect the glory of the bright and morning Star. Jesus would impress upon his church the fact that they are his brethren; that they are to unite with him as laborers together with God. They are to be a brotherhood for the saving of humanity. RH March 24, 1910, par. 9

The Holy Spirit, Christ's representative, arms the weakest with might to press forward to victory. God has organized his instrumentalities to draw all men unto himself. He sends forth to his work many who have not been dedicated by the laying on of hands. He answers objections that some may feel inclined to raise against this class of laborers, even before these objections arise. God sees the end from the beginning. He knows and anticipates every want, and provides for every emergency. If finite men to whom he commits sacred responsibilities in connection with the management of his work, do not bar the way, he will send forth many laborers into the vineyard. RH March 24, 1910, par. 10

To every converted soul the Lord of the vineyard is now saying, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” In the field where the follower of Christ is already situated, or in a field close by, or, perhaps, in some field farther away, he is to begin a work for God. The work that some are able to do, may appear to be restricted by circumstances; but wherever it is, if performed with faith and diligence, it will be felt to the uttermost parts of the earth. RH March 24, 1910, par. 11

Those to whom has been entrusted the responsibility of planning for the advancement of the cause of God at home and abroad, are to give wise counsel and proper encouragement to every humble, consecrated believer upon whose heart the Master of the vineyard places a burden for souls. They are to unite with those whom God himself chooses to labor in some neglected part of the field. Men in responsibility are to realize, as never before, that the Saviour's commission to his disciples included as missionaries all who should believe in his name; and they are to seek in every way possible to encourage the development of all the working forces of the church. RH March 24, 1910, par. 12

Let every minister to whom has been committed sacred trusts, take into consideration the vastness of the closing work of God in the earth, and study ways and means of placing the obligation of accomplishing this work on the large number upon whom it rests. Hundreds and thousands who have received the light of truth for this time, but who are still idlers in the market-place, might be engaged in some line of useful service for God. Of these, Christ is now inquiring, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” and he adds, “Go ye also into the vineyard.” Why is it that many more do not respond to the call? Is it because they think themselves excused, in that they do not stand in the pulpit? Let them understand that there is a large work to be done outside the pulpit, by thousands who may never be set apart to the ministry by the laying on of hands. God calls upon all who have been drinking of the water of life, to lead others to the fountain. RH March 24, 1910, par. 13

Satan has worked in such a way as to blind the understanding of many who profess to be followers of Christ. He has sought to cause them to neglect their weighty responsibilities, and to lose their first love. As a result of his devices, a selfish, ease-loving spirit has taken possession of many, many believers who might have worked in a variety of ways as God's instrumentalities. They might have visited from house to house, and opened the Scriptures to those whose understanding is darkened. Angels of God would have been close beside them to impress the hearts of those who are thirsting for the waters of life. God would have imbued these workers with his Holy Spirit as they sought to diffuse the light shining upon their pathway. As they labored with an eye single to the glory of God, they would have had increased light. They would have realized the value of a human soul. Contact with the unconverted would have led them to kindle their tapers at the divine altar and bear its light to their fellow men. RH March 24, 1910, par. 14

In the closing work of the third angel's message, many who have long stood in the market-place as indifferent idlers, will heed the divine commission, and engage in active service for the Master. God has places of usefulness in the home field, and in the regions beyond, that may be filled acceptably by the most humble men, of varied talent, even if human hands may never be laid on them in ordination. Long has he waited for the missionary spirit to pervade the entire church, so that every one shall work, in some part of the world, as in the sight of the hosts of heaven. RH March 24, 1910, par. 15

“Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” When those who claim to have a living experience in the things of God, do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in fulfilment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned, and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” RH March 24, 1910, par. 16