The Signs of the Times


August 29, 1892

“They That Have Done Good”


“Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” It is those that have done good who will come forth to the resurrection of life. The question of most importance to us is, How can we do good? The greatest good that we can do is to help one another to become earnest followers of Christ, and in the day of God we shall be able to render no excuse for not doing good to those around us. We are to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves, and the Lord Jesus Christ has provided means by which we may fulfill the conditions upon which we may obtain eternal life. We cannot do evil, and work wickedness, and yet stand justified before God at last. Now is our day of probation, and we are now to perfect characters that will stand the test of the judgment. When Christ comes, there is to be no change of character; this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption; and those who are alive and remain upon the earth will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, if their characters are blameless and pure. Transformation of character must take place during the precious hours of probation. ST August 29, 1892, par. 1

There are many who in their hearts murmur against God. They say, “We inherit the fallen nature of Adam, and are not responsible for our natural imperfections.” They find fault with God's requirements, and complain that he demands what they have no power to give. Satan made the same complaint in heaven, but such thoughts dishonor God. And the Lord knoweth our thoughts afar off. He speaks to his people, saying, “O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.” The complainers have an opportunity to bring their accusations against him; their Maker gives them an opportunity to speak. What charge have you to bring against Him that ruleth in the heavens? What have you to say against His dealings with you? What against His government? What against His law? If you have any excuse to offer for your neglect to comply with the conditions upon which your salvation is based, now make them known. If you have any excuse for sin, for impenitence, for covetousness, or for sensuality, you are permitted to give your reasons. Those who would justify themselves in wrongdoing, and lay the blame of their disobedience upon God, will be heard. They argue that they are born with strong passions and appetites, and are surrounded with objects that solicit to sin, and under such circumstances how is it just to condemn them? But God answers: “I did all that could be done for your forefather Adam; I gave him the noblest qualities and the highest powers; my requirements were light upon him. It was because he did not believe my word, did not choose to stand the simple test I imposed upon him, but believed the word of my enemy, that he fell from his holy estate. But in his fallen condition did I not send help? I sent my Son, who was equal with myself, that he might live an example upon earth, and die for man's transgressions, that you might make no mistakes or failures in obtaining eternal life.” ST August 29, 1892, par. 2

Since such ample provisions have been made for our salvation, shall we be excusable if we put forth no effort to obtain eternal life? God has given his beloved Son to die that we might be saved. What an infinite condescension on the part of the God of heaven! By the death of Jesus Christ life and immortality are brought to light. What a hope we have! And with such a hope as this shall we cling to sin? Shall we not consent to be purified from every spot and stain? It is for us to search the Scriptures; for said Christ, “They are they which testify of me.” And while we have the precious testimony of the word of God before us, we can be both hearers and doers of the word. As we see the weakness of human nature, instead of trying to justify ourselves in wrongdoing, let us become more familiar with the word of God. It will strengthen our minds in the time of temptation. We do not think half enough upon the Bible. The ministers may explain the Scriptures, but this is not enough; we must practice their teaching in our lives. We must be fortifying our souls with the precious promises of Jesus. We are to avail ourselves of all the help God has provided for us, that we may not fall at last. If it is not in accordance with your inclination to study the word of God, I beg of you to plead with God for his divine Spirit; for those who love Jesus take comfort in communion with him. ST August 29, 1892, par. 3

Our Heavenly Father paid an infinite price that we might come to him; and if our past life has been full of sin, we can now repent and come to God. The promise is that all who repent and turn from their transgressions shall be forgiven. None need be discouraged because their past life has been marked with objectionable characters. Hear what the God of heaven says: “When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him.” “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” I am so grateful today that we have a living Saviour. There are many who go about as mournfully as though Christ were still in Joseph's tomb with a great stone rolled before the door. Our hearts should be full of hope and joy, and we should be able to say with grateful tongues, Christ is risen, and is at the right hand of God to make intercession for us. He has carried his blood into the sanctuary, and will cleanse us from every sin. ST August 29, 1892, par. 4

Since Jesus has made such an infinite sacrifice for us, how cruel it is that we should remain indifferent. Individually we have cost the life of the Son of God, and he desires us to walk out by living faith, believing in him with all the heart. He would have you bring the truth of God into the inner sanctuary, to soften and subdue the soul; for when Christ is dwelling in your heart by faith, you will love those for whom he died. Suppose that the trump of God should sound tonight, who is ready to respond with gladness? How many of you would cry, “Oh, stay the chariot wheels; I am not ready”? Of how many would it be written, as it was written of Belshazzar, “Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting”? To be wanting in that day is to be wanting forever; for when Christ shall come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, we must be all ready to be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Your only safety is in coming to Christ, and ceasing from sin this very moment. The sweet voice of mercy is sounding in your ears today, but who can tell if it will sound tomorrow? How precious will be the appearing of Christ to those who have done good upon the earth. Jesus, our Redeemer, is coming back to the world, and all those who believe in him, who love him, and keep his commandments, will be able to say, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us.” ST August 29, 1892, par. 5