Ellen G. White Writings

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Pacific Union Recorder, vol. 1

December 19, 1901

“To the Pacific Union Conference” Pacific Union Recorder, 1, 11, pp. 3, 4.

[This article was written especially for the California Conference, but, since it was so timely, it has been adapted to the Pacific Union Conference, for use during the week of prayer.—ED.]

Dear Brethren and Sisters: The Lord is coming. This is certain. All things, in the world and in the church, show that His coming is near, even at the doors. Thus we know that the day of the Lord is near. It is near, and hasteth greatly. Even the voice of the day of the Lord itself can now be heard by all whose ears the Lord has opened. This is the truth. We profess to believe that all this is the truth. Our denominational name certifies that we believe all this to be the truth, and that we are waiting and watching for the Lord’s soon coming.

Yet it is only to deal fairly and truly to say, and to say in all Christian tenderness and consideration, that the Seventh-day Adventists of the Pacific Union Conference are no more prepared to meet the Lord than they are prepared to fly this minute. And this for the simple reason that they are not diligently and carefully seeking to be prepared. Whosoever diligently, carefully, and conscientiously, and according to his light, seeks to be prepared to meet the Lord, is prepared to meet the Lord; that very sincerity and purpose of heart will always find in God and from God the preparation that is needed to meet Him in peace.

Now I am not judging in saying that our people in this conference are not prepared to meet the Lord; it is not said in any spirit of judging; it is said altogether in sorrow, and because our experience amongst the people has compelled recognition of the sad truth that it is so. But it need not be so. God has made abundant provision by which every one of us shall be fully prepared to meet Him at His coming, whensoever that may be. And the only preparation that any person ever will need, or ever can have, to meet the Lord in perfect peace at His coming, or at any other time, is simply to receive and retain the provision that God has made that we may be prepared.

The truth of the third angel’s message is the only thing that will prepare anybody to meet the Lord in peace when He comes in the clouds of heaven. Yet it is stating only the sober truth to say that by such a great number that it seems to be a majority of our people in this conference, that gracious message with its precious saving truths is slighted and is actually counted of less worth than are the things and the ways of this doomed and perishing world. My dear brethren and sisters, this will never do; these things ought not so to be. Come now, and let us see to it that this condition shall be entirely changed.

Provision is even now made that this change shall be accomplished. The week of prayer is at hand. Let it be indeed a week of prayer and genuine true-hearted consecration of body, soul, and spirit to God in seeking the right way—the way of the Lord. The week of prayer has been allowed to be too much of a mere formal and listless course of things for a week. That this is so is of itself evidence that the truth and reality of the third angel’s message have been slighted and neglected, and that the people are not prepared for the coming of the Lord; for how could that unpreparedness be more plainly shown than in a slackness or formalism in prayer?

The message that is committed to us, the message which we have professedly received, and which we professedly believe, is a message that is to be preached to “every nation and kindred and tongue and people.” As certainly as that is so, so certainly every person who receives and believes that message also accepts the obligation to do all that lies in his power always to

cause that message to reach every nation and kindred and tongue and people at the earliest possible day. The annual week of prayer is a double means of accomplishing this obligation that is accepted by every person who accepts that message; first, in the seeking, through earnest prayer and consecration, for a deeper knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent, and a broader view of the truth and the work of God which are committed to us for the world; and, second, in the making of a special offering from the means which the Lord has given to us in the year. Thus by our gaining a deeper and broader knowledge of God and of His truth and work, which are committed to us, and by our making of a special offering of the means with which the Lord has blessed us in the year, the week of prayer, rightly used, is but a double means of our accomplishing the very thing for which alone we are in the world,—the giving to every nation and kindred and tongue and people, at the earliest possible day, the blessed message which is given to us for that purpose. Then how could there be a clearer contradiction than a formal, listless week of prayer by a people who believe a message of God that is due, yes, even overdue, to every nation and kindred and tongue and people? A formal, listless week of prayer by a people who profess to believe such a message as that, would be the clearest possible evidence that they did not believe that message at all. As certainly as a people believe that message, so certainly their week of prayer, and every other season of prayer, will never be either formal or listless, but instead will be effectual and fervent.

The time has come. This whole question is being decided by each soul. Do we believe our heaven-given message, or do we not? The week of prayer will surely tell. Oh, let it tell to both heaven and earth that we do believe that heaven-sent message which is due from us, by being due from God with us, to every nation and kindred and tongue and people.

Alonzo T. Jones.

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