Ellen G. White Writings

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Ministry to the Cities, Page 9


Psalm 48 is often viewed as the city dweller's twenty-third psalm. The Lord is “greatly to be praised in the city of our God” (verse 1, NKJV). It is God's presence in the city that makes it beautiful in its loftiness, “the joy of the whole earth, ... the city of the great King” (verse 2, NKJV). That God could so identify with an earthly city should alert us to see the potential of the cities of today through God's eyes. MTC 9.1

Cities, though, have often been arrayed against God. Such cities were dominant when the Bible was written. Jesus, Moses, David, Daniel, and most of the other Bible prophets had to deal with cities, some of which were huge for that day. Nineveh was “an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent” (Jonah 3:3, NKJV), having “more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons” (Jonah 4:11, NKJV). Babylon had about 10 miles (16 kilometers) of walls surrounding a major populace and monumental buildings that included one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. New Testament Ephesus had street lighting along its main artery, the famed Arcadiane. Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Athens, Corinth, Susa, and Thebes were among the great cities of Bible times. MTC 9.2

Paul was Christianity's premier evangelist to the major cities of the Roman Empire. Peter, Philip, Apollos, and other Christian leaders evangelized the cities as well. Those accustomed to thinking of cities as places of evil should remember that in vision John saw God's ultimate intentions for humanity as a city of incomparable glory and joy. MTC 9.3

When Jesus walked the earth, He “went about all the cities and villages,” teaching, preaching, and healing. The crowds moved Him deeply: “When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were ... like sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:35, 36, NKJV). Today most of the world's population lives in cities. Does Jesus care for them any less than He did for those in the cities 2,000 years ago? It is no wonder that Ellen G. White was given so much counsel on the city to equip the church for comprehensive urban evangelism and ministry. Yet her instruction on city work is less well known than her appeals for locating in more rural MTC 9.4

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