The Review and Herald

1638/1902

April 7, 1910

Warning the Cities

EGW

The spiritual darkness that covers the whole earth today, is intensified in the crowded centers of population. It is in the cities of the nations that the gospel worker finds the greatest impenitence and the greatest need. In these same wicked cities there are presented to soul-winners some of the greatest opportunities. Mingled with the multitudes who have no thought of God and heaven, are many who long for light and for purity of heart. Even among the careless and indifferent, there are not a few whose attention may be arrested by a revelation of God's love for the human soul. RH April 7, 1910, par. 1

The record of crime and iniquity in the large cities of the land is appalling. The wickedness of the wicked is almost beyond comprehension. Many cities are becoming a very Sodom in the sight of heaven. The increasing wickedness is such that multitudes are rapidly approaching a point in their personal experience beyond which it will be exceedingly difficult to reach them with a saving knowledge of the third angel's message. The enemy of souls is working in a masterful manner to gain full control of the human mind; and what God's servants do to warn and prepare men for the day of judgment, must be done quickly. RH April 7, 1910, par. 2

The conditions that face Christian workers in the great cities, constitute a solemn appeal for untiring effort in behalf of the millions living within the shadow impending doom. Men will soon be forced to great decisions, and they must have opportunity to hear and to understand Bible truth, in order that they may take their stand intelligently on the right side. God is now calling upon his messengers, in no uncertain terms, to warn the cities while mercy still lingers, and while multitudes are yet susceptible to the converting influence of Bible truth. Often the needs of the cities have appealed to those who understand by the prophecies what is coming upon the earth, and yet comparatively little has been done to enter these cities with the warning message of present truth. The Spirit of the Lord is still urging men to undertake this work with new courage and zeal, and never cease the effort until a thorough work is done. RH April 7, 1910, par. 3

The Lord is in earnest with his people. Long have they delayed entering the cities; and now they must seek to redeem the time. With heart and soul and voice they must respond to the summons of the Master of the vineyard to enter the cities, and work as laborers together with God for the winning of precious souls. RH April 7, 1910, par. 4

A little has been done in years past, it is true, in a few cities; but in order to meet the mind of the Lord, those in responsibility must plan for the carrying forward of a broad, well-organized work. They must enter into this campaign with a determination to make God their trust, and to labor with unflagging zeal. Thus they will be enabled to do a strong, solid work, and will gain confidence to continue the effort in other places. RH April 7, 1910, par. 5

For the accomplishment of all that God calls for in warning the cities, his servants must plan for a wise distribution of the working forces. Often the laborers who might be a power for good in public meetings, are engaged in other work that allows them no time for active ministry among the people. For the conduct of affairs at the various centers of our work, those in responsibility must endeavor, as far as possible, to find consecrated men who have been trained in business lines. There is constant necessity of guarding against the tendency to tie up at these centers of influence men who could do a larger and more important work on the public platform, in presenting before unbelievers the truths of God's Word. RH April 7, 1910, par. 6

As those who have talent to labor in the cities, enter upon this work, even at considerable personal sacrifice, the blessing of heaven will rest upon them. The cities everywhere are calling for earnest, whole-hearted labor from the servants of God. Had this work been done years ago, what changes would have been wrought in the experiences of many souls! O that every believer would appreciate the fact that the Lord has a definite and decided work for each of his servants to perform! RH April 7, 1910, par. 7

When Christ was upon the earth, he faithfully warned the cities, as well as the regions round about. Of him it is recorded in Holy Writ that, following his return to Nazareth after the temptation in the wilderness, he “dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the seacoast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim, ... by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” Jesus went from city to city, and from village to village, teaching the truth and healing the sick. RH April 7, 1910, par. 8

The message of the third angel of Revelation 14 is now to be proclaimed not only in lands far off, but in neglected places close by, where multitudes dwell unwarned and unsaved. God is calling his people at this time to a long-delayed work. Decided efforts are to be made to enlighten those who have never yet been warned. The work in the cities is now to be regarded as of special importance. Let workers be carefully selected, to labor two and two in the cities, in harmony with the counsel of experienced leaders, and under the direction and commission of Jesus Christ. RH April 7, 1910, par. 9

God desires his people to labor in perfect harmony in an effort to carry the truth into the cities. I am bidden to keep this matter before the attention of the believers, until they shall be aroused to a realization of its importance. Let not ill-advised lips utter words of discouragement, but let every one in responsibility unite in planning for the accomplishment of this work, knowing that he who has led his servants hitherto will not fail them in this time of special need. Angels of God will go before the workers, and will be their sufficiency. Angels will be in the assemblies to make an impression upon the hearts of the hearers. RH April 7, 1910, par. 10

The believers in every church should be aroused to take hold of this work. Let ministers, physicians, and all who know the truth, go about the Lord's work in a sensible way, with Bible in hand, and with heart open to receive divine instruction. Let them look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith. If they have a proper sense of the sacredness of the work that Christ desires them to do, their ministry will be marked by a sacred influence that will give evidence of its heavenly inspiration. RH April 7, 1910, par. 11

In order that the work in the cities may be carried on as rapidly as possible, careful attention should be given to the distribution of laborers who are qualified to engage in this line of work. While it is in the order of God that strong institutional centers be maintained in connection with the publishing, educational, and medical work, yet it is not his design that institutional work shall be carried forward in a way that will tie up too many men of special talent, and thus rob the field of the help that these men could render in the proclamation of the message. RH April 7, 1910, par. 12

Much thought and labor are given to the circulation of the printed page. This is well, and efforts along this line are never to be permitted to slacken; but if more of an effort than is now put forth were given to the sending out of the living missionary to preach the truth, many, many souls would be aroused and won to Christ. While Jesus ministers in the true sanctuary above, he is by his Holy Spirit working through his earthly messengers. The word of the living preacher will often accomplish even more than the printed page. As the Lord's servants go forth trusting in divine power, the Master of the vineyard will work through his chosen ministers, bestowing upon them his Spirit, and fulfilling to them the assurance, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” RH April 7, 1910, par. 13

Those who are Christian physicians may do a precious work for God as medical missionaries. Too often so many things engage the minds of physicians that they are kept from the work that God would have them do as evangelists. Let the medical workers present the important truths of the third angel's message from the physician's view-point. Physicians of consecration and talent can secure a hearing in large cities at times when other men would fail. As physicians unite with ministers in proclaiming the gospel in the great cities of the land, their combined labors will result in influencing many minds in favor of the truth for this time. RH April 7, 1910, par. 14

From the light that God has given me, I know that this cause today is in great need of the living representative of Bible truth. The ordained ministers, alone, are not equal to the task. God is calling not only upon the ministers, but also upon physicians, nurses, canvassers, Bible workers, and other consecrated laymen of varied talent who have a knowledge of present truth, to consider the needs of the unwarned cities. There should be one hundred believers actively engaged in personal missionary work, where now there is but one. Time is rapidly passing. There is much work to be done before satanic opposition shall close up the way. Every agency must be set in operation, that present opportunities may be wisely improved. RH April 7, 1910, par. 15

The Lord is calling upon men and women who have the light of the truth for this time, to engage in genuine personal missionary work. Especially are the church-members living in the cities to exercise, in all humility, their God-given talents in laboring with those who are willing to hear the message that should come to the world at this time. There are great blessings in store for those who fully surrender to the call of God. As such workers undertake to win souls to Jesus, they will find that many who never could be reached in any other way, will respond to intelligent personal effort. RH April 7, 1910, par. 16

Some have been fearful of undertaking work in the cities, because this would mean hard and continuous labor and the investment of considerable means. In some conferences it has been regarded as commendable to keep the laboring forces reduced to a minimum, and thus save up means, and show a large surplus in the treasury,—a surplus that might have been wisely expended in diligent, efficient labor. Those who have been influenced by such considerations, need to gain an understanding of the magnitude of the gift that the Lord has made for the salvation of a lost world. The Lord can not accept as workers those who, knowing the truth, can go on day by day, carrying no real burden for those who know it not. Many are in need of a new conversion. RH April 7, 1910, par. 17

The truth should be everything to believers. When it becomes not only a matter of intelligence, but a quickening power in the life, believers will reveal a piety and grace that will distinguish them from worldlings. When truth really finds entrance to the heart, it works with convincing power. Truth is a divine sentiment, a living element that can not help revealing itself in the life of the receiver; it will work with convincing power in the soul of every one who gives himself unreservedly to God to be used as a messenger for the saving of the lost. RH April 7, 1910, par. 18

The labors of the apostles in the early Christian church were characterized by wonderful manifestations of the power of God in the lives of the believers. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, multitudes were brought to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. The needs of the world today are no less than they were in the days of the apostles. Those who labor for souls in these times of impenitence and unbelief, must yield themselves wholly to God, and work in unison with heavenly intelligences. The power of the Holy Spirit will accompany the labors of those who dedicate their energies and their all unreservedly to the completion of the work that must be done in the last days. Angels from heaven will co-operate with them, and many will be brought to a knowledge of the truth, and will gladly cast in their lot with God's commandment-keeping people. Means will flow into the treasury; strong laborers will be raised up; the unwarned fields of the great regions beyond will be entered; and the work will soon close in triumph. RH April 7, 1910, par. 19