The Signs of the Times


July 11, 1892

By their Fruits Ye shall Know them


“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” At the beginning of the chapter from which this verse is taken, Jesus says: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” To the repenting sinner, God is ever ready to show his mercy and truth; he is ready to bestow upon him forgiveness and love; and he requires that those who have been blessed by his compassion, shall reveal the same mercy and love toward their fellowmen; for this is doing the works of Christ, this is keeping the commandments of God. Those who show true gratitude glorify God by loving him supremely and their neighbors as themselves. They manifest the fact that they have received not the spirit which is of the world, but the Spirit which is of God. By an experimental knowledge they know what are the good things freely given them of God; for they are illuminated by the Holy Spirit. They work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God who worketh in them to will and to do of his good pleasure. Christ abides in the soul of the believer, a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. ST July 11, 1892, par. 1

When we look upon ourselves as the purchased possession of Christ, we shall more clearly realize our need of his constant presence in order that we may represent him by manifesting sympathy and love to all who are brought within the sphere of our influence. Our life is charged with solemn responsibilities, and it is only when we are fully consecrated to God, only when he cleanses us, and puts his own life and spirit upon us, that we can rightly represent him to others. Our accountability extends to our thoughts, words, and acts, as well as to our larger transactions among our fellow-men. ST July 11, 1892, par. 2

In order to fulfill the law, we are to carry out the golden rule, and do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Our influence must be sanctified by the Holy Spirit of God, if it is to be a blessing to humanity. We are not to be anxious as to what we will do for weeks or months or years ahead; for the future does not belong to us. One day alone is ours, and during this day we are to live for God, beautify our characters by faith in the righteousness of Christ. This one day we are to place in the hands of Christ in solemn service, in all our purposes and plans to be guided by him. This one day we are to do unto others exactly as we wish them to do unto us. We are to be ready to speak kind words from hearts full of sympathy and love. We are to manifest patience, revealing to the world what it means to be a practical doer of the words of Christ, ever remembering that our life is bound up with the life of Him who died for us. Christ and the child of humanity become one, so that the Spirit and character of Christ are represented in his followers day by day and hour by hour. By faith Christ becomes unto the believer righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. ST July 11, 1892, par. 3

Jesus says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” It is not enough to talk about the strait gate, to point to the strait gate, to preach sermons about the strait gate; the only safe thing for every soul to do is to enter in at the strait gate. The only safe thing for the sinner to do is to respond to the drawing of Christ's love, to repent, and come to Jesus, asking him with a penitent heart for the gift of his righteousness, whereby he may obtain wisdom and grace to abandon sin. It is not safe to wait for a flight of feeling, to wait to make yourselves better before entering the strait gate; the only safe thing to do is to obey the invitation, “Come, for all things are now ready.” ST July 11, 1892, par. 4

Excitement will not avail to save any soul. To have faith in Christ, to become a child of God, it is not necessary to be stirred with powerful emotion. You are to come to Jesus just as you are, for you know it is the only right thing to do. You know that it is at the peril of your souls that you refuse to enter the strait gate. You manifest saving faith when you respond to the drawing of Christ, and join yourself with him. The Saviour says to the sinner: “Come; I am thy salvation. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Will you forsake all for Christ? Will you learn of Jesus, who is meek and lowly of heart? Will you enter in at the strait gate? If you cling to any besetting sin, you will find the way too narrow for you to enter. Your own ways, your own will, your evil habits and practices, must be given up if you would keep the way of the Lord. He who will follow Christ cannot follow the world's opinions or meet the world's standard. ST July 11, 1892, par. 5

The road to death is broad, and the gate is wide. The whole fallen race may go in thereat, with all their worldliness, all their selfishness, all their pride, dishonesty, and moral debasement. The gate is so wide, the road is so broad, that there is room for every man's opinions and doctrines, space for everyone to follow his inclinations, to do whatever his self-love would dictate. The covetous, the spendthrift, the infidel, the profligate, the gambler, the murderer, the hypocrite, and the self-deceived, all find paths suited to their taste, in which to walk. Divided in their opinions, they yet find one point for purpose and action; for they all agree in opposing the counsel of God. ST July 11, 1892, par. 6

There are many in the broad way who are not fully satisfied with the path in which they walk. They long to break from the slavery of sin, and seek to make a stand against their sinful practices in their own strength. They hear the warning call to repentance. They hear that the only hope of the sinner is found in Christ. They look toward the narrow way and strait gate; but selfish pleasure, love of the world, unsanctified ambition and pride, place a barrier between them and the Saviour. They realize that all their idols must be expelled from the soul, that every sinful indulgence must be given up, all worldly encumbrances must be laid aside, in order to enter the strait gate. Jesus says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” ST July 11, 1892, par. 7

(To be Continued.)