The Youth’s Instructor


December 21, 1893

Words to the Young


The case of the man who claims to know the truth, and yet neglects to become a doer of the words of Christ, is one to be pitied. He neglects to watch and pray, neglects to make God his counselor and dependence, becomes self-sufficient, and walks in the imagination of his own heart, as if he had wisdom, knowledge, and strength in himself. He fails to improve his talents, or works in a negligent, careless way, and thereby disqualifies himself for some place of usefulness he might have filled. But although he neglects the work God has given him to do, he is not released from the responsibility of the results of not doing all he might have done to bless humanity. Is God's Spirit grieved? Is God dishonored? Are souls lost through his unfaithfulness? The guilt is upon the soul that sinneth. He is accountable for all the evil arising through his influence, conscious or unconscious, that works disaster in the world. By his unfaithfulness he prepares himself for the second death. Unless he repents, confesses his wrongs, and becomes qualified through the grace of Christ for service in his cause, he is a lost man. It is not safe to take a single false step. YI December 21, 1893, par. 1

We are free moral agents, and unless we improve the opportunities granted us, we shall be held accountable for all the good we might have done, had we done our full duty as Christians. The Judge of all the earth will require of the sinner the same duties that he requires of his servants; and those who fail to bring forth good works, will he charged as defaulters. The sinner may brave rebuke, he may appear to feel no remorse; yet the law of God holds him in its chains. Unless he exercises repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, he will perish in his sins. All that a Christian fails to do in faithful work, is charged to his account. YI December 21, 1893, par. 2

He is held accountable for the souls that are lost—those who might have been saved had he become a faithful watchman upon the walls of Zion. The sinner cannot be excused from his God-given work because he does not profess Christ, but this is not the way in which sinners look upon the matter of their responsibility before God. They suppose that they are less accountable because they do not stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel; but this is not so. Their salvation cost every jot and tittle as much as did the salvation of others, and it is the same as though they were benefited by the salvation provided for a lost world. YI December 21, 1893, par. 3

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” The truth that sinners refuse to receive, works in the life from day to day, as a savor of death unto death. Every hour spent in careless inattention to the claims of God, results in terrible loss. It is a waste of the opportunities and privileges that God's mercy has provided. To refuse to serve God is keeping back part of the price, committing robbery against God. It is evident that such as do this have dropped eternity out of their reckoning. We shall receive according to our works, and our stars will differ in glory according to the degree of faithfulness that has characterized our work. O what a terrible loss will those sustain, who have had light and truth shining all around them, and who carelessly lived on, and chose not the light and peace and joy of Christ. YI December 21, 1893, par. 4

While we are favorably situated, let us make use of every opportunity to know the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. We do not need to experience what are the delusive snares of Satan. It is the privilege of the young, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to return unto the Lord his own with usury. They may say, “Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.” YI December 21, 1893, par. 5

Mrs. E. G. White