The Review and Herald


December 24, 1901

The Needs of Missionary Effort


Missions at home and missions abroad demand much more consideration than has been given them. Christ came to our world to teach us the importance of missionary effort. Laying aside His royal robe and kingly crown, He clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to a world all seared and marred with the curse, to rescue human beings from eternal death. He took His position at the head of a fallen race, uniting in His body humanity and divinity, in order that all might be done that could be done for the complete restoration of the image of God in man. RH December 24, 1901, par. 1

Christ is the example for all who go forth as missionaries. His work is the model for all missionary endeavor. It calls for unreserved surrender, for the consecration of time and talents. It calls upon us to return to God the goods He has intrusted to us, with the interest which has come to us as we have traded on them. All is to be put into the cause, to advance the work which Christ came to the world to do. RH December 24, 1901, par. 2

In the night season I was in a council meeting. We were seeking the Lord with earnest prayer in regard to opening new fields when there was little encouragement given by those at the head of the work that financial aid would be forthcoming. One of authority spoke to us words of instruction, the substance of which I shall trace. RH December 24, 1901, par. 3

Every family that is converted is to act as God's helping hand. Had every child for centuries in the past been trained to realize his accountability to God to do missionary work, what a change would be seen in the world today. Every morning and evening, sincere, earnest prayer should ascend from every family altar. The Lord will accept individuals from every family for special service, according to their several ability. Fathers and mothers are to act in the place of God to their children, representing Him whose they are by creation and by redemption. They should spare no pains to train their children in the right way, preparing them for service in the Lord's work. RH December 24, 1901, par. 4

In this age of the world, apostasy is the fashion. God's people are to make constant, untiring efforts to press upward. Gratitude offerings of prayer and praise are to be offered to God, but these are unacceptable unless serious, prayerful consideration is given to destitute, unworked fields. What mean the narrow, defective plans on which Christians are working? Why do parents neglect to train their children to go forth as missionaries? RH December 24, 1901, par. 5

While the Church, in comparison with past years, has made some advance, yet in comparison with what she should be, in comparison with the great sacrifice made in Gethsemane and on Calvary, she is far behind in the most important work ever given to mortals. May God help those to whom He has intrusted talents to awaken to His design and their individual responsibility. God says to them, “I have put you in possession of my goods, that by trading wisely on them, you may carry forward the Christian missions which are to be established far and near. I have given you the benefit of accumulated knowledge. The advantages of the past and the present are yours. Upon you rests the weighty burden of accumulated light.” RH December 24, 1901, par. 6

With every age God's plan deepens and broadens to embrace the world. God's light-bearers are to adjust their movements to His progressive plans. They are to embrace new territory. The churches are to be wide awake, moving with the force of Omnipotence, because they move in harmony with God's purpose. They are to seize every opportunity for blessing a world lying in darkness. RH December 24, 1901, par. 7

Church-members should show greater devotion. They should labor with greater zeal for the promulgation of the last message of mercy. Now is the time for all to work. Now is the time to cut away every species of self-indulgence and idolatry. Those who are engaged in Christian ministry are to labor unselfishly for the Lord, dying to self, and pressing together in unity. They are to love as brethren; they are to be kind and courteous; their influence is to be a savor of life unto life. RH December 24, 1901, par. 8

Many young men and women now engaged in secular labor will feel earnestly stirred to give themselves to the service of God. Some will feel a burden to enter the canvassing field, and will become able evangelists. Let these be given an opportunity to obtain an education for the work of God. RH December 24, 1901, par. 9

Those who are impressed to take up the work in the home field or in the regions beyond are to go forward in the name of the Lord. They will succeed if they give evidence that they depend on God for grace and strength. At the beginning their work may be very small, but it will enlarge if they follow the Lord's plan. God lives; He will work for the unselfish, self-sacrificing laborer, whoever and wherever he may be. RH December 24, 1901, par. 10

God does not ask His servants to show their devotion to Him by burying themselves in monasteries, or by going on long, painful pilgrimages. It is not necessary to do this in order to show a willingness to deny self. It is by working for those for whom Christ died that we show true love. By humiliation, suffering, and death Christ purchased the salvation of human beings. Those who love Him will think of how He laid aside His glory, and came to this earth to live in our behalf the life of the poorest, suffering often with hunger. “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests,” He said, “but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Beholding this divine love, this wonderful sacrifice, they are filled with a desire to spend and be spent in the service of the Redeemer. RH December 24, 1901, par. 11

To each human being God has assigned a work. Abraham was called to go forth from his home, a light-bearer to the heathen. And without questioning he obeyed. “He went out, not knowing whither he went.” So today God's servants are to go where He calls, trusting Him to guide them and give them success in their work. RH December 24, 1901, par. 12

God's people are to feel a noble, generous sympathy for every line of work carried on in the great harvest field. They are to be interested in everything which concerns the human brotherhood. By their baptismal vows they are pledged to make persevering, self-denying efforts to promote, in the hardest parts of the field, the work of soul-saving. God has placed on every believer the responsibility of striving to rescue the helpless and the oppressed. They are to break every yoke, letting the oppressed go free from the power of vicious habits and sinful practices. RH December 24, 1901, par. 13

Christians are to be Christlike in their earnest desire to save souls. They should regard it as the highest honor to be enlisted in Christ's army. They should thank God for the privilege of using the talent of speech to win souls to Christ. They should look upon no privilege as more precious than that of imparting to others the knowledge they have received. RH December 24, 1901, par. 14

My heart aches when I think of how many more might have been saved if men had done their duty. “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” RH December 24, 1901, par. 15

God says to those who profess to believe in Him, “Go forth into all parts of the world, and diffuse the light of my truth, that men and women may be led to Christ.” Let us awaken to our duty. Let us do all we can to help forward the Lord's work. Let superficial excuses be blown to the winds of heaven. No longer grieve the Spirit of God by delaying. Forget not the words, “We are laborers together with God.” Co-operate with angels sent from the heavenly courts to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. RH December 24, 1901, par. 16

Time is passing; the end is near. While you are unconsecrated, golden opportunities to help souls to see Jesus as He is—full of grace and truth—are being lost. That which you have not done as a devoted Christian in the year which has now almost passed into eternity, you cannot now do. But through the grace of Christ you may redeem the time by redoubling your exertions. Let your interest in the souls for whom Christ has died deepen and broaden. Inquire not, “What shall this man do?” for then Christ would say to you, as He said to Peter, “What is that to thee? follow thou me.” Keep in the love of the truth, and work with untiring endeavor to win souls to the Saviour. RH December 24, 1901, par. 17

Look upon the world today. Is the voice of prayer heard amid the din of confusion? Altars are created, but it is not to God that the sacrifices are offered. Deceivers, robbers, and murderers are many. Pride of ancestry and pride of wealth minister to the work of soul-destruction. Avarice, sensuality, malice,—these are the attributes which bear sway. Thousands are standing on the brink of perdition. Do you see them?—many of them lost, eternally lost to Christ, while professing Christians sleep the sleep of indifference! RH December 24, 1901, par. 18

More earnest, self-sacrificing men are needed, men who will go to God, and with strong crying and tears plead for the precious souls who are going to ruin. There can be no harvest without seed-sowing, no result without effort. RH December 24, 1901, par. 19

Christ gave His life to save sinners, and He says to His people, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” He has laid out before us the work to be done, and has declared that He will give us power to do this work. Shall we take Him at His word, believing that He meant just what He said when He declared that the whole world is to hear the message of mercy? RH December 24, 1901, par. 20

The work is fast closing up, and on every side wickedness is increasing. We have but a short time in which to work. Why do not those to whom God has given light move out into new places? They will have to do this, whether they wish to or not; for God will scatter them to many places. RH December 24, 1901, par. 21

God is not willing that any should perish. He has abundantly provided for the salvation of all. If His people had gone forth as they should, giving the invitation to thousands, many souls would have been added to the Church. Let us awaken from spiritual slumber, and consecrate all that we have and are to the Lord. His Spirit will abide with true missionaries, furnishing them with power for service. God is an overflowing fountain of efficiency and strength. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes. When this power is utilized, it will be found to be more than sufficient to meet the power of the enemy. RH December 24, 1901, par. 22

It is impossible for the man who believes in Christ to see the work that needs to be done and not do anything. Daily the Church is to receive from heaven the healing balm of God's grace to impart to the needy and suffering. God's people are weighted with the most sacred responsibilities and the most glorious privileges. All who believe the message for this time will go forth into the field to do something for the Master, relying on the assurance, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” In practical obedience to the divine command, his confidence will increase, and his talents will multiply. The spiritual desert will rejoice and blossom as the rose. RH December 24, 1901, par. 23

Arise, ye sleeping virgins, and trim your lamps. Take up your appointed work. “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people.” RH December 24, 1901, par. 24