Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

June 29, 1905

The Need of Home Religion

[A talk by Mrs. E. G. White, May 27, 1905.]

(Concluded.)

What we need is home religion,—the sanctification of the truth in the home life. We know in whom we have believed, but we do not half express it, and when we fail to give expression to our faith, we lose half the sense of what it means to give ourselves to God. To live for him means sacrifice at every step. It means self-denial in the matter of dress. Much money is spent in the adornment of the person that ought to be devoted to the proclamation of the truth for this time. A world has been committed to us, and in the name of Christ Jesus, I ask you, my sisters, to dress plainly and neatly, but not for display. Do not try to follow every fashion. Get a good fashion, and keep it. Let all see that you have a nobler aim in life than following the ever-changing fashions of the world, that you are preparing for the higher life in the kingdom of God.

My brethren, build plainly and solidly the houses that you put up. We have no fault to find with the buildings here. Our institutions are to be a representation of the characters that we are to form. Everything about them is to be solid. God will help us as we try to carry out his will in our character building.

Christ came to our world without display. But today great displays are made every now and then. Thousands of dollars are expended right among our people in such displays, and this God forbids. That is not the way to get the truth before the people. Christ could have come to this world accompanied by thousands of angels, but he did not do this. He stepped down from his high command, and laying aside his royal robe and kingly crown, he came to this’ world in the garb of humanity, to live a life of perfect obedience, that human beings, receiving him as their Redeemer, might become partakers of the divine nature, and at last stand before God without spot or stain of sin. He died for us that we might be made worthy to enter through the gates of the holy city, and hear the welcome, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

In our work we are not to strive to make an appearance. We are to look unto Christ, beholding what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. And what a joy, what a power, will be with us as we do this! It will not be merely the excitement of feeling, but a deep, abiding joy. We are to present the solid truths of the Word of God, that these truths may be impressed on the hearts of the people, and that men and women may be led to walk in the footsteps of the Redeemer.

When the Pharisees complained because Christ and his disciples ate with publicans and sinners, the Saviour said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” He accepted the invitations given him to attend different gatherings, and every time he went to one of these places, he spoke words that reached forth to rescue the lost sheep.

May God help us so to act that his converting power may be seen among us. Parents and children are to act as if they were under God's discipline. In the home, under the direction of the great Counselor, they are to carry out the principles of heaven. God will be with them in their work, giving them victory after victory, if they will follow in the way of truth and righteousness.

O, how my soul longs after God,—to see him with his people, to see his power revealed in the heart, in the character, and in the home!

We need true religion in the church. It is God's purpose that we shall show that we are born again, and that we are working out in our lives the great, heaven-born principles of truth. Thus only can we gain eternal life in the kingdom of glory. But there are so few who are going out to proclaim the wonderful truth that we have received! Why do you not go out? Why do you not enter the different places that have not yet heard the truth? Do you say, I do not know how I should be supported? Christ told his disciples how they would be supported. He told them to go right into the homes of the people, and eat at their tables. He wants his workers today to come so close to the people that those for whom they are working will be bound to the one who speaks to them the word of life. There might be a thousand more laborers than there now are if God's people would deny themselves, and take up the cross and follow Jesus. What we need is the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, and we need it every day. What we need is men of prayer,—men who in quietness and humility, without any display or excitement, are overcoming self.

What we need at this meeting is to settle into the living principles of present truth. Satan is creeping in with his sophistry, to undermine the principles of our faith. You remember how, when Paul and Silas were teaching in a certain place, a woman met them, “and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation.” This woman was possessed with a spirit of divination, and by soothsaying brought her masters much gain. Her influence had helped to strengthen idolatry.

“But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out that same hour.”

But, you say, she spoke good words, and why should Paul rebuke her? It was Satan speaking through her, hoping to mingle his sophistry with the truths taught by those who were proclaiming the word of God.

The same danger exists today. The enemy is trying to bring in his sophistry through those who ought to be on their knees before God, praying for an understanding of what saith the Scriptures, that they may stand against the evil influences that fill the world. God desires scientific sophistry to be purged from every heart. He desires us to rebuke every evil devising, every evil work. If we allow such devising to go unrebuked, we shall have to suffer the consequences.

After the woman had been freed from the evil spirit, she became a follower of Christ. Her masters saw that their hope of gain was gone, and taking Paul and Silas, they brought them before the rulers, charging them with troubling the city. This caused an uproar. The multitude rose against the disciples, and the magistrates commanded that the prisoners should be beaten. They were then taken to prison, and their feet were placed in the stocks.

Things looked very discouraging for the disciples, but Angels of God were with them, and they sang the praises of God in the prison. Could we have sung under such circumstances? They did. While they were singing, “suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

“And the keeper of the prison, awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

“Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling. and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

“And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.”

It looked as if their effort had been a failure, when they were in jail, with their feet in the stocks. But their effort resulted in the conversion of the jailer and all his household.

What we need is to hold fast to the living principles of the truth, whatever may be the consequences to us. We are not to accept one thread of sophistry from any doctor or minister or any one else. God is our teacher. And yet we are bound to unify. Christ has declared that we are to be one, even as he is one with the Father. But we are not to pick up sophistry from men whose lives are full of failures and mistakes and underhand working. God wants us to go to him for light, and to carry his presence with us wherever we go.

May the Lord impress his people that there is good religion in good management in the home. When this is done, we shall have men and women who understand the meaning of good management in the church. We shall have those who will stand as firm as a rock to principle. They will not try to gain all the advantages for a certain place, because they have an interest in that place. What God wants is men who are as true as steel to principle. Unless we have such men, we shall not know when the devising of the enemy comes. We shall not know when he speaks as he spoke through the woman in Paul's day.

We are to bring sound principles into the home, and into the church. Every member of the family is to exert a right influence in the home, in the church, and in the world. Parents, I ask you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, to begin to work in God's lines in your home. We desire to see the salvation of the Lord revealed in every home. I desire your homes to be such that angels of God can enter them, and work with you and your children. But if by harsh words and angry blows you are constantly sinning against God, the angels can not enter your home. Sadly they turn away, grieved that those for whom Christ has done so much should thus dishonor their Redeemer.

If parents have not a reformation to make in their homes, God has never spoken by me. They need to be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

This is that last Sabbath that we shall be here together, and I want to know how many in this congregation are ready to take hold of the work of the Lord in advance lines, ready to spend their time hunting and fishing for souls. Christ did not place his fishermen-disciples in a school to be educated for his work. He took them to himself, bidding them follow him. They asked no questions, but followed him. Today men will go straight from our churches to work in the harvest-field. They may never have laid on them the hands of ordination, but they will do a work for God, and none are to forbid them.

The time has come when the Jews are to be given light. The Lord wants us to encourage and sustain men who shall labor in right lines for this people; for there are to be a multitude convinced of the truth, who will take their position for God. The time is coming when there will be as many converted in a day as there were on the day of Pentecost, after the disciples had received the Holy Spirit.

The Jews are to be a power to labor for the Jews; and we are to see the salvation of God. We are altogether too narrow. We need to be broader-minded. God wants us to carry out the principles of truth and righteousness. His work is to go forward in cities and towns and villages.

I wish to ask how many are willing to re-consecrate their hearts to God today. How many are willing to take the stand that they will no longer be lukewarm in their religious experience, neither cold nor hot? Christ wants you to be where the virtue of his life is taken into your life. How many during the meeting have been impressed by the truth, and are determined to obey it?

[The entire congregation arose.]

Will you in the name of the Lord take steps upward? Christ has placed one end of the ladder firmly on the earth. The ladder reaches to heaven, and you may climb round by round until at last you step off the topmost round into the kingdom of God.

I want you to remember that you have today pledged yourselves to live wholly for God. You have declared your determination to serve him. Let your lives be so pure and holy that Christ will not be ashamed to call you brethren. In such a day as ye think not, the Son of man cometh. Get ready to meet him in peace. Theories are being presented that say, My Lord delayeth his coming. But look at the world, at its wickedness. The life of no one is safe, except for God's protection. The world is fast becoming as Sodom and Gomorrah. It is fast becoming as it was in the days of Noah. We are to be as wholly consecrated to Christ and his service as the world is wholly given over to evil. The enemy will present his sophistries, with little fibers that would take hold of your experience and undermine your faith. I pray that your eyes may be anointed with the heavenly eye-salve, that you may discern what is truth and what is error. We need to put on the white garments of Christ's righteousness. We need to walk and talk with God.

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