The Signs of the Times


July 17, 1893

Christ Adjusts the Claims Between Earth and Heaven


The abominations of the earth have defiled the minds of men, and made gross their imagination, until nothing is pure to the mind's eye. God designed that the mind should be elevated and noble, that through the merits of the crucified and risen Saviour, the soul should be pure and exalted; but through the contemplation of defiling things, through setting the affections upon the so-called treasures of this earth, the mind is debased, and incapable of appreciating heavenly things. God designed that man's mind should be capable of rising to heights of pure delight, that we might take in the significance of things infinite and eternal, looking upon views of which God is the center; yet through submitting themselves to Satan, men have lowered themselves to fulfill the devices and plans of Satan, thus completing the ruin of soul, body, and spirit. ST July 17, 1893, par. 1

But “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The Lord Jesus sees with what masterly power Satan is working to obliterate in man the image of God, and to place upon him his own image and character. Through his love for the fallen human family, Christ consented to come to this world. He clothed his divinity with humanity, and engaged in the task of correcting the evils which are ruining the world. As he looked upon the world, he saw that the senses of men were closed to the eternal realities, and he sees today the same blindness to spiritual things. He lifts up his voice in warning. Listen, what does he say?—“What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” ST July 17, 1893, par. 2

Earth and earthly things will perish with the using. A few years will pass by, and death will come. Your eternal destiny will be fixed, eternally fixed. If your soul is lost, what will compensate you for its loss? Christ the Life Giver, Christ the Redeemer, Christ the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, points you to a nobler world. He brings it within range of your vision. He takes you to the threshold of heaven, and brings you to contemplate the glories of eternal realities, that your aspirations may be quickened to grasp the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. As you contemplate heavenly scenes, desire is kindled in your heart to have friendship with God, to be wholly reconciled to him. ST July 17, 1893, par. 3

Our Saviour's work is to adjust the claims between earthly and heavenly interests, to put the duties and responsibilities of the life that now is in proper relation to those that pertain to eternal life. The fear and love of God are the first things that should claim our attention. We cannot afford to put off that which concerns our soul's interest till tomorrow. The life which we now live we are to live by faith in the Son of God. We are redeemed from the beggarly elements of the world with a redemption that is full and complete, that cannot be increased by any supplement from human sources. ST July 17, 1893, par. 4

But in the midst of this flood of mercies, this plentitude of divine love, many hearts continue in indifference, careless, and unimpressed by the provisions of God's grace. Shall we who claim to be Christians make no effort to break the spell which Satan has cast upon these souls? Shall we let them go on in hardness of heart, without God, and without hope in the world?—No; although every appeal we may make may be slighted and refused, we cannot cease to pray for them and to make tender entreaty for their souls. We must do all we can, through the aid of God's Holy Spirit, to break down the barriers by which they have sought to make themselves impregnable to the light of God's truth. We must seek to open their eyes to their blindness, to loose them from the captivity of Satan. These poor, deceived, blinded, deluded souls look upon religion as something that will fetter them, that will deprive them of their liberty, when the truth is that an infinite sacrifice has been made in order to emancipate them from the slavery of Satan, to break every yoke, and to let the oppressed go free. They are victims of the father of lies, and it is the truth of God alone that can set them free, and sanctify them to a blessed service. They seem to feel afraid of the truth lest it should bring them into subjection to Christ. Shall we who know the value of truth arouse our sleeping energies, and become laborers together with God, putting forth personal effort, that we may by both precept and example win souls to Christ? ST July 17, 1893, par. 5

If once the vision were cleared to behold eternal realities as they really are, many of these poor, deluded souls would decide for Christ and heaven. Would this incapacitate them for the affairs of this life?—No. But Christ would teach them the value of eternal life, and by comparing earthly treasure with heavenly treasure would show them of how little esteem the world is in contrast with eternal blessedness among the redeemed hosts. He would show them that the world and its engrossing engagements are to be kept in subjugation to heavenly interests. Jesus did not come to annihilate the world and its appropriate interests. He made the world, and he had such respect for the world that he came in person to dispute Satan's usurped authority and power over his own purchased possession. In dealing with the souls of men he deposes the world and its interests from its position of usurped authority, and assigns to it its proper place in subordination to the will of God. ST July 17, 1893, par. 6

The object of the world's Redeemer in coming to earth was to impress the minds of men with high and solemn considerations, so that every moment of life might be regarded by them as burdened with momentous interests and freighted with eternal results. The world was in rebellion against him, and he might have swept away all rebellion by annihilating those who were in resistance to his will; but instead of this, he set before men the value of life, the attractions of the heavenly world, and he invites every son and daughter of Adam to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. In place of exhausting the powers of brain, bone, and muscle in securing the bread which perisheth, he warns us not to drop eternity out of our reckoning, but to seek for the bread which cometh down from heaven. It is safe for us to put forth our chief endeavors to secure eternal substance. He encourages us to have our principal interest in heaven, and in so doing to secure our peace on earth; “for where the treasure is, there will the heart be also.” ST July 17, 1893, par. 7