Ellen G. White Writings

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Homeward Bound, Page 118

Stepping Over the Line, April 9

Do not love the world or the things in the world.—1 John 2:15.

Christ does not say that people will not or shall not serve two masters, but that they cannot. The interests of God and the interests of mammon have no union or sympathy. Just where the conscience of Christians warn them to forbear, to deny self, to stop, just there the worldlings step over the line, to indulge their selfish propensities. On one side of the line are the self-denying followers of Christ; on the other side are the self-indulgent world lovers, pandering to fashion, engaging in frivolity, and pampering themselves in forbidden pleasure. On that side of the line the Christian cannot go.

No one can occupy a neutral position; there is no middle class, who neither love God nor serve the enemy of righteousness. Christ is to live in His human agents and work through their faculties and act through their capabilities. Their will must be submitted to His will; they must act with His Spirit. Then it is no more they that live, but Christ that lives in them. Those who do not give themselves wholly to God are under the control of another power, listening to another voice, whose suggestions are of an entirely different character. Half-and-half service places the human agent on the side of the enemy as a successful ally of the hosts of darkness. When those who claim to be soldiers of Christ engage with the confederacy of Satan, and help along his side, they prove themselves enemies of Christ. They betray sacred trusts. They form a link between Satan and the true soldiers, so that through these agencies the enemy is constantly working to steal away the hearts of Christ’s soldiers.

The strongest bulwark of vice in our world is not the iniquitous life of the abandoned sinner or the degraded outcast; it is that life which otherwise appears virtuous, honorable, and noble, but in which one sin is fostered, one vice indulged. To the soul that is struggling in secret against some giant temptation, trembling upon the very verge of the precipice, such an example is one of the most powerful enticements to sin. Anyone who, endowed with high conceptions of life and truth and honor, does yet willfully transgress one precept of God’s holy law, has perverted His noble gifts into a lure to sin. Genius, talent, sympathy, even generous and kindly deeds, may become decoys of Satan to entice other souls over the precipice of ruin for this life and the life to come.—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 93, 94.

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