The Signs of the Times



January 5, 1891

What is Involved in Neglect of Salvation?


To neglect to comply with the conditions of salvation is to choose a character of defection and sin, wholly unlike the character of Christ. It is to bar the only way whereby sinners may escape the wrath of God. If men show no disposition to come into communion with Christ, and through him into communion with God the Father, but hour by hour, and day by day, dare to manifest indifference to Christ by withholding the service which is due to God, robbing the Lord of their time, their reasoning powers, their co-operation, rendering back no talent improved, but rather uniting with Satan to further the influence and power of evil, can God honor them by the gift of eternal life? Can the impenitent sinner, who treats with contempt the gift of God, declaring by his words and attitude that he does not want to wear the yoke and bear the burden of Christ, does not desire that his life shall be hid with Christ in God,—can such a one enter into the kingdom of heaven? Would the sinner, who hated God and would not yield to the overtures of mercy on earth, enjoy everlasting life with Christ and the Father? Could he who despised the companionship of the Father and the Son on earth come into fellowship with them in heaven? ST January 5, 1891, par. 1

Satan was once an angel of light, but he was cast out of heaven when he became rebellious against God. Sin separates both men and angels from God. And “if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment,” how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? God “spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.” The history of the past furnishes examples of the fate of those who persist in indifference to the provisions of salvation. God revealed his character to Moses, declaring how he would deal with the obedient and the disobedient. “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” ST January 5, 1891, par. 2

Satan is the author of all doubt, all transgression. He leads men captive, binding them to do his will; in order to fulfill his purpose, he holds them in the veriest slavery. To break this bondage, the Lord, in man's behalf, has given to the world his only-begotten and well-beloved Son. Through the power of Christ, the captives of Satan may all be set free. Had there been no interference on the part of God, Satan and men would have united in an unbroken warfare against the God of heaven. When Christ came to the world, evil angels conspired with evil men, and the energies of apostasy were united to destroy the Saviour of the world. This enmity was due to the fact that Christ would not license the evil passions of the natural heart, and made a decided warfare against all lust and every form of evil. ST January 5, 1891, par. 3

In the great controversy between good and evil, each one of us has to choose on which side he will stand, and our life and character will make manifest who is our master. If we refuse to be obedient to the law of God, we shall make terms with Satan, and Christ will be unloved, and unhonored in our heart and life; but the heart insensible to so great salvation, closed to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, must indeed be hard as adamant. ST January 5, 1891, par. 4

The heart is like a field, and good and evil are like seeds that take root and bear their harvest, either for eternal life or eternal death. Those who refuse to be moulded by the operations of the Spirit of God, who refuse to be drawn to Christ, to stand under his banner, and to war the good warfare, educate others by both precept and example to cut themselves off from the Source of their strength, and to neglect the great salvation provided for them. ST January 5, 1891, par. 5

Parents who refuse the knowledge of God, influence their children against the truth by their own unbelief and hardness of heart. The Lord speaks to fathers and mothers by all the lessons of the gospel; he admonishes them by the agony and death of his own beloved Son; he warns them by the terrors of his judgments upon the impenitent nations of the past, and entreats them by all the rewards of eternity, to bring up their children in the fear and nurture of the Lord. ST January 5, 1891, par. 6

Christ manifested his interest in the salvation of every soul. When he endured the death of the cross, he made provision for the pardon of every soul, and to those who would obey his commandments, he promised eternal happiness in his kingdom. How is it that so few respond to this love? God is our Creator, and we are dependent upon him for every blessing, for shelter and food and clothing, for religious opportunities, for the grace we enjoy; and yet how cold are our hearts! Many are even led to behold Calvary, they are pointed to the crucified Saviour, and yet they are unmoved by the manifestation of Infinite Love. But shall we look with stoical indifference upon all the revealing of his love? Rather, shall not our hearts be melted and subdued in fervent gratitude and love? Shall we not sing the praise of our Creator and Redeemer? God has endowed men with emotional powers, and these are to be exercised and strengthened, but many seem to be devoid of feeling. They manifest no gratitude, give no praise to God, the giver of all their mercies. They display affection toward their friends, but the great Source of all blessing, the gracious Benefactor, receives not that love to which he is entitled. All heaven looks with amazement upon this unnatural exhibition of ingratitude toward Him who sends his sunshine and rain on the evil and on the good. ST January 5, 1891, par. 7

An enchanting power has been at work, stealing away the senses of man, deadening all his powers, so that he might not be able to respond to high and holy things, and carry out his purposes to serve God and man. Satan, the great deceiver, has been taking possession of the human mind. ST January 5, 1891, par. 8

Paul said concerning those who were in this state, “Who hath bewitched you that ye should not believe the truth?” The sorcerer, Satan, has been putting his spell upon men, and they have surrendered to the powers of darkness. A beguiling infatuation controls the reason, and men do not love the Saviour, and so refuse to do his will. Heaven is astonished that the love of Christ does not awaken every power of the being, and call forth songs of adoration, and a life of obedience to God. ST January 5, 1891, par. 9