Ellen G. White Writings

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East Michigan Banner

March 1, 1905

The Church and it's Mission

No. 3

One More Chance

The Lord is long-suffering and gracious, and he gave those who have done this wickedness another chance. “Return unto me,” he says, “and I will return unto you.” But they say, “Wherein shall we return?” Their means have been made to flow in channels of self-service and self-glorification, as if their goods were their own, and not lent treasures. Their perverted consciences have become so hard and unimpressible that they do not realize what great wickedness they have done in so hedging up the way that the cause of truth could not advance. Man, finite man, through using for himself the talents which God has reserved to publish salvation, to send the glad news of a Saviour's love to perishing souls, and hedging up the way by his selfishness, inquires:

Robbing God

“Wherein have we robbed Thee?[”] God answers, “In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” The whole world is engaged in robbing God. With the money he has lent them they indulge in dissipation, in amusements, reveling feasting, and disgraceful indulgences.

To Judgment

But God says, “I will come near you to judgment.” The whole world will have an account to settle in that great day when every one shall receive sentence according to his deeds.

A Blessing Pledged

God pledges himself to bless those who will obey his commandments. “Bring ye all the tithes into the store-house that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruits before the time in the field, saith the Lord of Hosts.”

Does This Mean You?

With these words of light and truth before them, how dare men neglect so plain a duty? How dare they disobey God when obedience to his requirements mean prosperity in temporal and spiritual things and disobedience means the curse of God? Satan is the destroyer. God cannot bless those who refuse to be faithful stewards. All [he] can do is to permit Satan to do his destroying work. We see calamities of every shape and in every degree coming upon the earth, and why,—The Lord's restraining power is not exercised. The world has disregarded the word of God. They live as though there were no God. Like the inhabitants of the Noachic world, they refuse to have any thought of God. Wickedness prevails to an alarming extent, and the earth is ripe for the harvest. “Your words have been stout against me, saith the lord. Yet ye say, what have we spoken so much against thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts? And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedly are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.”

Who Complain

Those who withhold from God his own, make these complaints: The Lord asks them to prove him by bringing their tithe into his store-house, and to see whether he will not pour them out a blessing. But they cherish rebellion in their hearts, and complain of God, and at the same time they rob him, and embezzle his goods. When their sin is presented to them, they say, “I have had adversity; my crops have been poor; but the wicked are prospered. It does not pay to keep the ordinance of the Lord.” But God does not want any to walk mournfully before him. Those who thus complain of God have brought their adversity on themselves. They have robbed God, and his cause has been hindered because the money which should have flowed into his treasury, was used for selfish purposes.

Disloyalty Shown

They showed their disloyalty to God by failing to carry out his prescribed plan. When God prospered them, and they were asked to give him his portion, they shook their heads and could not see that it was their duty. They closed the eyes of their understanding, that they might not see it. They withheld the Lord's money, and hindered the work which he designed should be done.

Cause of Failure

God was not honored by the use of his entrusted goods. Therefore he let the curse fall upon them, permitting the spoiler to destroy their fruits and to bring calamities upon them.

Faithful Record Possible

No one can excuse himself from paying his tithes and offerings to the Lord. Another year has nearly passed into eternity, with its burden of record. Let us look over the past year, and if we have not done our full duty willingly, heartily unto the Lord let us come up to the new year in making a faithful record to our God.

Mrs. E. G. White.

(To be Continued.)

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