The Review and Herald

128/1902

March 14, 1878

An Appeal to the Churches

EGW

Our influence is of some consequence; it is active, constantly telling on one side or the other. We are builders, every one of us; and we are either building up the cause of God or we are building up the cause of Satan. There are many more engaged in building up the cause of Satan than we have the least idea of. Many who profess Christ do not have him enshrined in their hearts. Christ does not abide in them, and they do not abide in Christ. They are merely cumberers of the ground, destitute of fruit; and the curse which Christ pronounced upon the fig-tree will fall upon them as surely as it fell upon the barren fig-tree. What a time we are living in! the very remnant of probation! Surely these golden moments should be improved. Where are the stewards of God, to whom he has intrusted means for them to use in his cause, to extend the light of truth to those who are now in darkness? Where are the missionaries who feel the burden of the work, and who will go into other countries, and to people of other tongues, to make them ready for the great day just upon us? RH March 14, 1878, par. 1

Money is needed now. One dollar now, when it is actually needed, is worth as much as one hundred dollars will be by-and-by, when means are flowing into the treasury. The call comes from Europe for means to publish tracts and papers in the Italian language. Who has the ready money, and will help now, just now, when Europe is stretching forth her hands, crying, Help us to get the light of truth before these who are ready to perish? We are trying to sell our property that we may have means to use now. Oh! why will not those who have money at interest use it at this time? Why will they withhold from the cause of God the very means God has placed in their hands to be used in time of need? I feel intensely upon this subject. Men are robbing God; and with self-complacency they look up and say, “Wherein have we robbed thee?” The answer comes from him, “In tithes and in offerings.” There are men in the ranks of Sabbath-keepers who are holding fast their earthly treasure. It is their god, their idol; and they love their money, their farms, their cattle, and their merchandise better than they love their Saviour, who for their sakes became poor, that they, through his poverty, might be made rich. They exalt their earthly treasures, considering them of greater value than the souls of men. Will such have the “Well done” spoken to them? No; never. The irrevocable sentence, “Depart,” will fall upon their startled senses. Christ has no use for them. They have been slothful servants, hoarding the means God has given them, while their fellow-men have perished in darkness and error. RH March 14, 1878, par. 2

My soul feels to the very depths on this point. Will the men of means sleep on until it is too late? until God shall reject them and their treasures, saying, “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you.” What a revelation will be made in the day of God, when hoarded treasures, and wages kept back by fraud, cry against their possessors, who were professedly good Christians, and flattered themselves that they were keeping the law of God, when they loved gain better than they loved the purchase of Christ's blood, the souls of men! RH March 14, 1878, par. 3

Now is the time for all to work, those to whom are intrusted the five talents and those who have only one. Those with limited talents are responsible to God for their limited trust. To every man is given his work, and of every man the Master will require improvement of the talents intrusted to him. What will many answer in the day of God, when he inquires, What have ye done for me, who gave my riches, my honor, my command, and my life to save you from ruin? The do-nothings will be speechless in that day. They will see the sin of their neglect. They have robbed God of the service of a life time. They have not influenced any for good. They have not brought one soul to Jesus. They felt content to do nothing for the Master; and they meet no reward, but eternal loss. They perish with the wicked, although they professed to be followers of Christ. RH March 14, 1878, par. 4

None should mourn that they have not larger talents. When they use to the glory of God the talents he has given them, they will improve. It is no time now to bemoan our position in life, and excuse our neglect to improve our abilities because we have not another's ability and position, saying, O if I had his gift and ability, I might invest a large capital for my Master. If such persons use their one talent wisely and well, that is all the Master requires of them. RH March 14, 1878, par. 5

Look into our churches. There are only a few real workers in them. The majority are irresponsible men and women. They feel no burden for souls. They manifest no hungering and thirsting for righteousness. They never lift when the work goes hard. These are the ones who have but one talent, and hide that one in a napkin, and bury it in the world; that is, they use all the influence they have in their temporal matters. In seeking the things of this life, they lose the future, eternal life, the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. What can be said and done to arouse this class of church members to feel their accountability to God? Must the mass of professed Christian commandment-keepers hear the fearful words, “Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth”? RH March 14, 1878, par. 6

Every man and woman and child should be a worker for God. Where there is now one who feels the burden of souls there should be one hundred. What can we do to arouse the people to improve what influence and means they already have to the glory of the Master? Let those who have one talent use that well, and in so doing they will find it doubled. God will accept “according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” There always has been, and there always will be, diversity of gifts. It is not the great gifts alone that God requires and accepts, but he calls for the smaller talents, and will accept them if men will use them to his glory. Have we not become servants of the Master by his grace? It is not, then, our own property that is intrusted to us, but the Lord's talents. The capital is his, and we are responsible for its use or its abuse. RH March 14, 1878, par. 7

I hope efforts will be made in every church to arouse those who are doing nothing. May God make these realize that he will require of them the one talent with improvement; and if they neglect to gain other talents besides the one, they will meet with the loss of that one talent and their own souls also. We hope to see a change in our churches. The Householder is preparing to return and call his stewards to account for the talents he has intrusted to them. God pity the do-nothings then! Those who hear the welcome [plaudit], “Well done, good and faithful servant,” will have well done in the improvement of their abilities and means to the glory of God. Who will come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty? Satan is active, persevering, a faithful general in his work, leading on his armies. He has his faithful sentinels everywhere. What are the servants of Jesus Christ doing? Have they the armor on? Are they vigilant and faithful to meet and resist the strong forces of the enemy? or are they asleep, expecting another to do their work? RH March 14, 1878, par. 8

Vigilant men are wanted in every church. Every member should be awake and active, feeling that he is responsible for the prosperity of the church. The reason there is so much dissension in the churches is because they do so little for God. Satan gives them a work to do for him in finding fault, murmuring, and talking discouragement. You will ever find that those who invest least in the cause of God are the ones who will express great concern as to how those at the head of the work are using the means in their trust. Those who do least have the least faith. They are like Judas, who grudged the money that would comfort, and bless, and honor the Redeemer. But let the church come up individually, every one doing what he can, and all that God requires, and these petty difficulties will not exist. The mind will be so engrossed in the greatness of the work, in devising plans for its advancement, that they cannot spend time to investigate their brother's work or motives. RH March 14, 1878, par. 9

Let all awake; for the time is at hand when it will be said, “He which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Just now is the time to seek purity and holiness of character, and obtain white robes, that we may be prepared for a seat at the marriage supper of the Lamb. RH March 14, 1878, par. 10

E. G. White.