Ellen G. White Writings

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Radiant Religion, Page 244

The Sinner Is Not Happy in God’s Presence, August 30

What is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? ...

Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God? Job 27:8, 10.

In his sinless state, man held joyful communion with Him “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” But after his sin, he could no longer find joy in holiness, and he sought to hide from the presence of God. Such is still the condition of the unrenewed heart. It is not in harmony with God, and finds no joy in communion with Him. The sinner could not be happy in God’s presence; he would shrink from the companionship of holy things. Could he be permitted to enter heaven, it would have no joy for him. The spirit of unselfish love that reigns there—every heart responding to the heart of Infinite Love—would touch no answering chord in his soul. His thoughts, his interests, his motives, would be alien to those that actuate the sinless dwellers there. He would be a discordant note in the melody of heaven. Heaven would be to him a place of torture; he would long to be hidden from Him who is its light, and the center of its joy. It is no arbitrary decree on the part of God that excludes the wicked from heaven: they are shut out by their own unfitness for its companionship. The glory of God would be to them a consuming fire. They would welcome destruction, that they might be hidden from the face of Him who died to redeem them.—Steps to Christ, 17.

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