The Review and Herald

1864/1902

November 12, 1914

Preparing for Christ's Return

EGW

Seventh-day Adventists profess to believe that the day of this world's history is far spent, and that the night is at hand. Should we then, as the end draws nigh, manifest greater earnestness and zeal in the service of God, or may we now relax our energies, and participate in the pursuits and pleasures of the world? The Lord has ever required his people to show in all their habits of life a marked difference between themselves and worldlings. Even if the end were not near, it would be the duty of every Christian to be true to his profession of faith, and by an example of simplicity and self-denial, to rebuke the pride and selfishness of the ungodly. How much more, then, is it incumbent upon this people to manifest unfailing zeal and consecration! RH November 12, 1914, par. 1

In both the Old and the New Testament the Lord has positively enjoined upon his people to be distinct from the world, in spirit, in pursuits, in practice, to be a holy nation, a peculiar people. The east is not farther from the west than are the children of light, in customs, practices, and spirit, from the children of darkness. And this distinction will be more marked, more decided, as we near the close of time. It is not a profession of faith, or a name registered in the church book, that constitutes us children of God. It is a vital connection with Christ. We must be one with him, imbued with his Spirit, partakers of the divine nature, crucified to the world with its affections and lusts, renewed in knowledge and true holiness. RH November 12, 1914, par. 2

God requires of his blood-bought heritage the sanctification of the whole being,—purity like the purity of Christ, perfect conformity to the will of God. “Be ye therefore perfect,” is God's word to us; and in order that we might obey this word, he sent his only begotten Son to this earth to live in our behalf a perfect life. We have before us his example; and the strength by which he lived this life we also may have. Our duty, our safety, our happiness and usefulness, and our salvation call upon us each to use the greatest diligence to secure the grace of Christ; to be so closely connected with God that we may discern spiritual things, and not be ignorant of Satan's devices. The mighty surges of temptation will break upon all; and unless we are riveted to the eternal Rock, we shall be borne away, to become the helpless prey of the enemy. By diligent searching of the Scriptures, and earnest prayer for divine help, the soul must be prepared to resist temptation. The transforming power of Christ's grace will mold the one who gives himself to God's service; for God is bound by an eternal pledge to supply power and grace to every one who yields himself to be sanctified by obedience to the truth. RH November 12, 1914, par. 3

Now is the time to prepare for the coming of our Lord. Readiness to meet him cannot be attained in a moment. Preparatory to that solemn scene there must be vigilant waiting and watching, combined with earnest work. RH November 12, 1914, par. 4

We are living in a time of peril, a time of temptation, of despondency. Every one is beset by the wiles of Satan, and we should press together to resist his power. We should be of one mind, speaking the same things, and with one mouth glorifying God. When unity prevails, the church advances from success to success, and the various departments of the cause of God fulfill their part in the finishing of the great work before us. RH November 12, 1914, par. 5

There are many, many in our churches who have but a limited understanding of the real meaning of the truth for this time. I appeal to them not to disregard the fulfilling of the signs of the times, which say so plainly that the end is near. O, how many who have not sought their soul's salvation will soon make the bitter lamentation, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved”! RH November 12, 1914, par. 6

We need to humble ourselves before God, because there are those in the church who are failing of accomplishing that which the Lord desires them to accomplish in soul-saving effort. The privileges that he has given them, the promises he has made, the advantages he has bestowed, should inspire them with far greater zeal and devotion than they manifest. RH November 12, 1914, par. 7

My brethren and sisters, are we willing to leave self out of the question? Are our energies spent in the Master's service? Are our voices often raised in earnest supplication for power from on high? Is our faith pure and strong? Have we put away all prejudice, all evil thinking and evil speaking? Are our affections set on things above, or are they twining about the things of this earth? Are our eyes open to see the needs of those around us? Can God call us faithful watchmen? RH November 12, 1914, par. 8

To those who have failed of discerning the opportunities of the present hour, I would say: Do you desire to break the spell that holds you? Would you arouse from this sluggishness that resembles the torpor of death? Go to work, whether you feel like it or not. Engage in personal effort to bring souls to Jesus and to the knowledge of the truth. In such labor you will find both a stimulant and a tonic; it will both arouse and strengthen. By exercise, your spiritual powers will become more vigorous, so that you can, with better success, work out your own salvation. The stupor of death is upon many who profess Christ. Make every effort to arouse them. Warn, entreat, expostulate. Pray that the melting love of God may warm and soften their ice-bound natures. Though they may refuse to hear, your efforts will not be lost. In the effort to bless others, your own souls will be blessed. RH November 12, 1914, par. 9

The greatest in the kingdom of God are those who love the Saviour too well to misrepresent him; who love their fellow men too well to imperil their souls by setting a wrong example. RH November 12, 1914, par. 10

Let every church member kneel before God, and pray earnestly for the impartation of the Spirit. Cry: “Lord, increase my faith. Make me to understand thy word; for the entrance of thy word giveth light. Refresh me by thy presence; fill my heart with thy Spirit, that I may love my brethren as Christ loves me.” RH November 12, 1914, par. 11

God will bless those who thus prepare themselves for his service. They will understand what it means to have the assurance of the Spirit, because they have received Christ by faith. The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sins. It means that sin is taken away, and that the life is filled with the Spirit. It means that the mind is divinely illumined, that the heart is emptied of self and filled with the presence of Christ. When this work is done for church members, the church will be a living, working church. RH November 12, 1914, par. 12

God expects those who claim to be his children to bring others to him. On every hand are opening before us many doors for the presentation of the message of saving truth. Beside all waters the seeds of truth are to be sown. To all the world—to every nation and kindred and tongue and people—the message is to be proclaimed. As those who have received the light of present truth exercise a living faith in Christ, as they labor together with him in soul winning, what a work will be accomplished! For such laborers the angels of God will open ways and furnish opportunities, and will cooperate with the human agent, that he may not run in vain, neither labor in vain. RH November 12, 1914, par. 13

The Angel of the covenant is empowering his servants to be his witnesses to carry the truth to all parts of the world. He has sent forth his angels with their message. But as though these angels did not speed on their way fast enough to satisfy his heart of yearning love, he gives John personally the message to be given to all: “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” He has opened a fountain for Judah and Jerusalem, and every member of his church is to show his loyalty by inviting the thirsty to drink of the water of life. A chain of living witnesses is to carry the invitation to the world. Will you act your part in this work? God calls. Will you hear his voice, and, denying self, take up the cross and follow him? As you see the peril and the misery of men and women under the working of Satan, do not exhaust your God-given energies in idle lamentations, but go to work for yourselves and for others. Arouse, and feel a burden for those who are perishing. RH November 12, 1914, par. 14

Sound an alarm through the land. Tell the people that the day of the Lord is near, and hasteth greatly. Let none be left unwarned. We might have been in the place of the poor souls who are in error. According to the truth that we have received above others, we are debtors to impart the same to them. RH November 12, 1914, par. 15

We have no time to lose. The powers of darkness are working with intense energy, and with stealthy tread Satan is advancing to take those who are now asleep, as a wolf taking his prey. We have warnings now which we may give, a work now which we may do, but soon it will be more difficult than we imagine. God help us to keep in the channel of light, to work with our eyes fastened upon our Leader, and patiently, perseveringly press on till the victory is gained. RH November 12, 1914, par. 16

The coming of the Lord is nearer than when we first believed. The great controversy is nearing its end. Every report of calamity by sea or by land is a testimony to the fact that the end of all things is at hand. Wars and rumors of wars declare it. Is there a Christian whose pulse does not beat with quickened action as he anticipates the great events opening before us? The Lord is coming. We hear the footsteps of an approaching God, as he comes to punish the world for its iniquity. We are to prepare the way for him by acting our part in getting a people ready for that great day. No entreaties are so tender, no lessons so plain, no commands so powerful and so protecting, no promises so full, as those which point the sinner to the fountain that has been opened to wash away the guilt of the human soul. Let every heart as well as every hand be engaged to do the work that must be done. The word is given from the throne of God, “Every man to his work, each to do his best.” RH November 12, 1914, par. 17