Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

January 15, 1895

Followers of Christ Will Be Missionaries

By Mrs. E. G. White

(Continued.)

The people of God who profess to be keeping his commandments are but a few in comparison to those whom the world loves and honors. Those who obey the teachings of Christ must bear the cross, and know what self-renunciation means. Those who have a true Christian experience will have the heart and mind of Christ. Those who come in contact with Sabbath-keepers should be the better for their association; for if they live out the commandments of God, they are representatives of the Father and the Son. Many who have filled responsible positions of trust, have failed to practice the keeping of the commandments of God. The very ones they could have helped, they have passed by, as the priest and the Levite passed by the wounded and bruised stranger who had been left to die by the wayside. The very ones who needed the power of the divine Healer to cure their wounds, have been left uncared for and unnoticed. Many have acted as though it were enough to know that Satan had his trap all set for a soul, and they could go home, and rest, and be at ease, and care no more for the one lost sheep. In manifesting such a spirit, it is evident that we have not been partakers of the divine nature, but partakers of the attributes of the enemy of God. This is how the Lord regards it. “He that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Jesus said, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

To practice the principles of love which Christ taught by precept and example, will make the experience of every one who follows him, like the experience of Christ. Such souls will labor with Christ, seeking to uplift and bless their fellow-men. If we desire healthfulness of soul, a sunny experience, we must put into practice the rules given us in Isaiah 58. When those who are connected with the sacred work of God in all our institutions, shall open the door of their hearts, Jesus will come in; for a long time he has been knocking for an entrance. When he is permitted to enter, the sunshine of his righteousness will pervade the soul; but “he that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase.”

Souls are perishing out of Christ. I inquire, Who are earnestly making personal efforts to seek the straying ones? Who will seek to roll back every reproach from the sacred truth of God? The voice of Christ is heard giving the invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Shall we who claim to know by experience what is the blessing to be obtained in coming to Christ, lead others to Jesus? Shall any one who professes to love God, and to love the truth, be cold, unsympathetic, and hard-hearted toward those who stumble, toward those who err, and fail to give them a helping hand when they need help? By their neglect of the erring, by their unsympathetic words and indifferent deportment, some show themselves to be of that class that pass by on the other side. Some pour out words of gall and bitterness in censure, in reproach of the erring, and it is like pouring vitriol into an open wound, instead of pouring in the healing oil. O let us be witnesses for Christ, testifying to the power of his grace by representing him in character! We are to work along Christ's lines, and if we fail to do this, our experience will be marred, and our character will be defective. We are to be continually laboring together with Christ, seeking to turn the darkness of benighted souls into day. By our words, by our actions we are to let Heaven's light shine upon them, and do nothing that will cut off one ray of the light of Christ, “which is the Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

Many professed Christians have interposed themselves between Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, and the world. In place of diffusing light, peace, hope, and comfort, they diffuse darkness, discouragement, and hopelessness. Every poor, tried soul needs light, needs tender, sympathizing, hopeful words. Every widow needs the comfort of helpful and encouraging words that others can bestow. Orphans who are lent to Christians in trust for God, are too often passed by and neglected, and yet they are bought with a price, and are just as valuable in the sight of God as we are. They may be ragged, uncouth, rough, destitute, cold, and hungry; yet as Gods’ property, Christians should have a lively interest in them. They are members of the household of God, for whom Christians are responsible. “Their souls,” saith God, “will I require at thy hands.” They must be cared for, they must receive special attention. You cannot expend your means in a better way than by opening your doors to make homes for them. When the Lord sees that you are faithful in doing what you can to relieve human misery, he will move upon others to provide means to care for those who need help. Those who enlarge their hearts in this kind of work, do no more than their duty. Christ is our example. He was the Majesty of heaven, yet he did more for our fellow-men than any of us can possibly do. “Ye are laborers together with God.” Let not one needless expenditure be made for the gratification of pride and vanity. Put your mites and your larger sums in the bank of heaven, where they will accumulate. Many who have had precious opportunities to wear the yoke of Christ in this most precious line of work, have refused to submit to the yoke. It has not been pleasant to practice unselfishness, and they have neglected to make the cases of the poor and unfortunate their own. They do not heed the injunctions of Christ, and improve every talent that the Lord has given them, co-operating with heavenly intelligences in gathering souls who will serve, honor, and glorify the name of Christ.

There is a great work to be done in our world, and as we approach the close of earth's history, it does not lessen in the least degree; but when the perfect love of God is in the heart, wonderful things will be done. Christ will be in the heart of the believer as a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. But those who manifest indifference to the suffering ones of humanity will be charged with indifference to Jesus Christ in the person of his suffering saints. Nothing saps spirituality from the soul more quickly than to inclose it in selfishness and self-caring. Those who indulge self and neglect to care for the souls and bodies of those for whom Christ has given his life, are not eating of the bread of life, nor drinking of the water of the well of salvation. They are dry and sapless, like a tree that bears no fruit. They are spiritual dwarfs, who consume their means on self; but “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Christian principles will always be made visible. In a thousand ways the inward principles will be made manifest. Christ abiding in the soul is as a well that never runs dry. Where he abides, there will be an overflowing of beneficence. There will be acts of love for the needy, and provision will be made for the destitute. “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work (as it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor; his righteousness remaineth forever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness); being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us [the living human agency] thanksgiving to God.”

How many through selfish plans, rob God of the praise and the thanksgiving due to his holy name, because they would hold the goods lent them in trust, and fail to relieve the necessities of their brethren who are in poverty and distress. They do not break the yoke of oppression. Many rob God in tithes and in offerings, so that there is no meat in his house. The Lord says of them, They have “gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them.” Listen to the voice of God, speaking to every church, to every family, to every individual: “Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” How many are in this position, who, while they are professing to serve God, are diligently serving themselves and dishonoring the God whose representatives they claim to be? They say, “I do not see that it is my duty to give to the Lord a certain portion of all my income, and I do not feel condemned in not giving it.”

Wherein have we robbed God? The Lord answers through his servant the prophet. Listen to his words, which you must meet in the judgment. You will have to meet a revelation of the good you might have done in acts of charity, in giving back to God all that he claimed. Open your hearts, that you may be impressed with the words of the Lord. “Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse 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 fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.”

(Concluded next week.)

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