Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 23 (1908)


Ms 7, 1908

Enter the Cities


February 24, 1908 [typed]

Portions of this manuscript are published in Ev 32-33, 46-47, 64-65; MM 263. +Note

Again and again I am instructed to present to our churches the work that should be done in our large cities. There is a great work to be done, not only where we have churches already established, but also in places where the truth has never been fully presented. Right in our midst there are heathen as verily as in far off lands. The way must be opened to reach these with the truth for this time; and these openings should be made at once. Mission work should be done in all our large cities. There is special talent among us for this line of labor, and this talent should be educated and trained. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 1

The ministers who hover over the churches are accomplishing little good for church members unless they encourage and teach the people to do practical missionary work. Every minister should now feel that there is a greater work for him to do than to repeat again and again the same sermons to the people. Unless earnest effort is combined with diligent study of the Scriptures in the experience of church members, lasting results will not be accomplished. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 2

Home Missions! Everywhere I want to raise the cry. To teachers in our schools, to ministers and physicians and nurses, I would say, If you will, you can succeed in revealing the truths of the third angel’s message. This will not be done merely by preaching the Word, but by deeds of loving ministry. It is the Spirit of the Word that we so greatly need. Those who have the Spirit of Christ will work His works. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 3

I have been instructed to refer our people to the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. Read this chapter carefully, and understand the kind of ministry that will bring life into the churches. The work of the gospel is to be carried by means of our liberality as well as by our labors. When you meet suffering souls who need help, give it them. When you find those who are hungry, feed them. In doing this you will be working in lines of Christ’s ministry. The Master’s holy work was a benevolent work. Let our people everywhere by encouraged to have a part in it. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 4

It is not the duty of conference officers to lay restraining hands on the work being done in our cities. By the strange forbiddings that have been exercised in some places, Satan has been seeking to hedge up the way of the truth. The people need no encouragement to inactivity. They have already delayed many years to do the work that God has given them. Again and again have the needs of our large cities been presented to our people. Yet little has been done. The message now comes, Clear the King’s highway. God calls for missionaries to enter the cities without delay. Looking to Him for counsel and direction, workers are to go forth in a spirit of faith and prayer. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 5

Every conference, whether large of small, is responsible for earnest, solemn work in preparing a people for the coming of Christ. Those churches in the conference that are willing to work, and are in need of help in order to know how to do effective work, should have the needed assistance. Let every conference worker become wide-awake to make his conference an intensely active agency for the upbuilding of the work of God. Let every church member become a working member, to build up spiritual interests. In holy love, by humble prayer and earnest work, let the ministers act their part. These, our last efforts for the work of God in the earth, must bear <decidedly> the impress of the divine. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 6

A very different class of education from that which has prevailed in the past needs to be given to our youth; and this work should begin in the home life. There are many parents who need to awake and be converted. Both parents and children have a special work to do for their home church; but before we can have a model church, we must have model homes. Let every family mark on the doorposts that the blood of Jesus Christ is their safeguard. When lives of consecration and obedience are lived in the homes of our people, the results will be seen in a perfect church. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 7

There are many who seem to feel a great zeal for work far away, but who neglect the duties and opportunities right at hand. These should be led to see that missionary work begins at home. Let every member of the family, and especially the older members, work diligently and patiently and kindly to pick up the dropped stitches in the family weaving. Let each seek the Lord with full purpose of heart, as servants of the Lord, learning the servant’s duty to control the words and actions. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 8

The lessons of God’s Word are to be patiently learned. Those who succeed in the work of overcoming will begin with self. Think what kind of heaven we would have if all who now reveal unsubdued wills and speak harsh and hasty words were permitted to associate together in the heavenly courts. But this will never be. Now is our time, now is our opportunity to form characters that will fit us for association with the heavenly family. We must each learn, right here in this life, that the highest aim of the Christian should be to possess the beauty of a Christlike character. Just what we are in disposition when Christ comes, we will remain. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 9

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” was the command of Christ to His disciples. [Mark 16:15.] What are our churches doing to fulfil this commission? The heathen are dying without the gospel, and the unconverted are right among us, in our towns and cities. Preach the gospel to these. Live it before them, carry it into their homes. Into every household “the gospel of the kingdom” is to be carried. [Matthew 4:23.] And many of these souls must be taught as you would teach little children. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 10

God expects us to help the work of missions in foreign countries more and more; and while we do this, we are not to neglect the work that lies nearest. Just as verily as there is work to be done in heathen lands, there is also a work to be carried forward in our own cities. I call upon our people not to allow themselves to lose sight of their home duties. Moreover, our work in foreign fields will not suffer because we take up our neglected duties at home, but it will receive fresh life through the revival of the home churches. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 11

Many of our church members need to be reconverted. They need to divest themselves of selfishness. When this change is experienced, the money now expended unnecessarily for ornaments and trimmings will be devoted to the work of God. Let our church members seek for this genuine conversion. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 12

My brethren, enter the cities while you can. In the cities that have been already entered, there are many who have never heard the message of truth. Some who have heard have been converted, and some have died in the faith. There are many others who, if they were given an opportunity, might hear and accept the message of salvation. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 13

Often we have been told that our cities are to hear the message, but how slow we are to heed the instruction. I saw One standing on a high platform with arms extended. He turned and pointed in every direction, saying, “A world perishing in ignorance of God’s holy law, and Seventh-day Adventists are asleep.” The Lord is pleading for laborers; for there is a great work to be done. There are conversions to be made that will add to the church such as shall be saved. Men and women in the highways and byways are to be reached. We read of Christ’s labors: “Jesus went through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” [Matthew 9:35.] Just such a work as this is to be done in our cities and villages, in the highways and hedges. The gospel of the third angel’s <message> is to be carried to all classes. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 14

We are far behind in following the light God has given regarding the working of our large cities. The time is coming when laws will be framed that will close doors now open to the message. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 15

We need to arouse to earnest effort now, while the angels of God are waiting to give their wonderful aid to all who will labor to arouse the consciences of men and women regarding righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come. 23LtMs, Ms 7, 1908, par. 16