Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

June 30, 1896

Christians to Be Colaborers With God

By Mrs. E. G. White

There is no respect of persons with God. Those who have the largest responsibilities are under the most sacred obligations to be the most Christlike in spirit, word, and action, and to manifest tenderness toward all, especially toward those who do not feel that they are important personages. Let there be no putting forth of the finger and speaking vanity, no word spoken that will depreciate or condemn another. It is important work to deal with human minds. Man is God's property, and angels are looking with intense interest to see how man will deal with his fellow man. When heavenly intelligences see those who claim to be the sons and daughters of God putting forth Christlike efforts to help the erring, manifesting a tender, sympathetic spirit for the repentant and the fallen, angels press close to them, and bring to their remembrance the very words that will soothe and uplift the soul. Holy angels are on the track of every one of us. We are not to despise the least of God's little ones, not to exact homage from any one toward ourselves. The angels are all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. Shall we be privileged to co-operate with heavenly intelligences? Will God accept us as light bearers to the world?

Jesus Christ has taken the position of one who came to seek and to save that which is lost, and he has exalted the world inasmuch as he died to redeem it, to bring back the one lost sheep to the fold. Jesus has given his precious life, his personal attention, to the least of God's little ones; and angels that excel in strength encamp round about them that fear God. Then let us be upon our guard, and never permit one contemptuous thought to occupy the mind in regard to one of the little ones of God. We should look after the erring with solicitude, and speak encouraging words to the fallen, and fear lest by some unwise action we shall turn them away from the pitying Saviour.

Those who love Jesus will love those for whom Christ died. If many of the sinners that are around us had received the light which has blessed us, they would have rejoiced in the truth, and have been in advance of many that have had a long experience and great advantages. Take these lost sheep as your special burden, and watch for souls as they that must give an account. Draw not a glance to yourself, but cry with earnest, heartfelt interest, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” This is the Christian's message to the world. This is the effective argument. Encourage your heart to put forth earnest endeavors to induce perishing souls to fix their eyes upon Him who was uplifted upon the cross; and remember that as you do this, unseen angels are flashing the light of truth into the mind, and impressing it upon the heart, and leading the soul to believe in Jesus. The sinner is enabled to see Jesus as he is,—full of compassion, pity, and love,—and he exclaims, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.”

Jesus would impress upon the hearts and minds of his disciples the value of the human soul. He demands co-operation on the part of his followers in rescuing lost sinners. There is one lost sheep, the very least that could be numbered; and yet he represents the shepherd as leaving the ninety and nine, and going into the mountains to seek that one lost wanderer. Then why is it that the sons and daughters of God are so cold of heart, so indifferent to the souls that are perishing around them? Why is it that the members of the church are so willing to let the whole burden rest upon the shoulders of the ministers? How great a mistake is this, since every subject of grace is to have a part to act in saving those that are lost. To every man Christ has given his work, and personal efforts must be put forth to save the perishing. The worker must be much in secret prayer; for this work requires great wisdom in the science of saving souls. Christ said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” He said also to his disciples, “Ye are the light of the world.” He made the church the depositary of sacred truth. He left his church a stewardship of sacred truth, and it is the work of the church to carry forward his mission of saving the world. He is the Sun of Righteousness, who is to impart bright rays to his followers; and they, in turn, are to shed his light upon others. They are to be his representatives to the world. Believing in Christ as their personal Saviour, they take up the work where he left it. “Without me ye can do nothing,” said Christ; but with him we can do all things. There is a large, a very large number of straying and lost sheep that have perished in the wild deserts of sin, simply because no one went after them, to search for them and to bring them back to the fold. Jesus uses the illustration of a lost sheep to show the need of seeking after those who have wandered from him; for a sheep once lost will never find its way back to the fold without help. It must be sought for, it must be carried back to the fold.

All heaven is interested in the work of saving the lost. Angels watch with intense interest to see who will leave the ninety and nine, and go out in tempest and storm and rain into the wild desert to seek the lost sheep. The lost are all around us, perishing and sadly neglected. But they are of value to God, the purchase of the blood of Christ. “And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”

The world's Redeemer said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.... The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” In the same way the disciples of Christ work the works of Christ, copying the example of their Master. Jesus commissioned his disciples, saying, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” This commission rests upon every one who claims to believe in Jesus Christ. We are to seek to save those that are lost. We are to search for the one lost sheep, and bring him back to the fold; and this represents personal effort.

A church may be composed of those who are intelligent, well educated, and wealthy, and to the world it may appear to be a strong church; but if its members are not men and women who walk humbly with God, they are stumbling-blocks to sinners; for they direct the feet into false paths, and do not shine by reflecting the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. They may have an appearance of shining, like an iceberg in the sun; but they do not shine with the rays of Heaven. Then there may be another church composed of men and women who have not been educated in the colleges, and who have no wealth or worldly honor, yet they feel the sacred responsibility that rests upon them, and they shine as burning lights for the Master. Wherever they go, they shed light, and diffuse a heavenly atmosphere. They go forth to seek the lost sheep. They feel that it is a great privilege to deny self, to lift up the cross, and to be partakers of the divine energy. The influence of these workers goes up to God as a sweet aroma. The true worker for God wrestles with God in prayer, and puts intense earnestness into the work of saving lost souls. He does not seek to exalt self by word or deed, but simply seeks to win souls. God pronounces the purest, the meekest, the most childlike Christian, the best worker for him, the mightiest in labor for souls. Heavenly intelligences can work with the man or woman who will not absorb the glory to himself, but who will be willing that all the glory shall redound to the honor of God. It is the man who most feels his need of divine wisdom, the man who pleads for heavenly power, that will go forth from communion with Christ, to hold converse with souls perishing in their sins; and because he is anointed with the Spirit of the Lord, he will be successful where the learned minister may have failed. God has given lessons that are all-important in regard to the duty of every disciple. Not one need be in darkness; for it is evident that every Christian is to be a living epistle, known and read of all men.

Every one who believes in Christ as a personal Saviour is under bonds to God to be pure and holy, to be a spiritual worker, seeking to save the lost, whether they are great or small, rich or poor, bond or free. The greatest work on earth is to seek and to save those who are lost, for whom Christ has paid the infinite price of his own blood. Every one is to do active service, and if those who have been blessed with light do not diffuse light to others, they will lose the rich grace which has been bestowed upon them, because they neglect a sacred duty plainly marked out in the word of God. As the light of the unfaithful one diminishes, his own soul is brought into peril; and the ones to whom he should have been a shining light, miss the labor that God intended that they should have through the human instrument. Thus the sheep unsought is not brought back to the fold.

God depends upon you, the human agent, to fulfil your duty to the best of your ability, and he himself will give the increase. If human agents would but co-operate with the divine intelligences, thousands of souls would be rescued. The Holy Spirit would give devoted workers glimpses of Jesus that would brace them for every conflict, that would elevate and strengthen them, and make them more than conquerors. When two or three are met together to unite their counsel, and to send up their petitions, the promise is for them: “Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” The Lord has promised that where two or three are met together in his name, there will he be in the midst. Those who meet together for prayer will receive an unction from the Holy One. There is great need of secret prayer, but there is also need that several Christians meet together, and unite with earnestness their petitions to God. In these small companies Jesus is present, the love of souls is deepened in the heart, and the Spirit puts forth its mighty energies, that human agents may be exercised in regard to saving those who are lost. Jesus ever sought to show how worthless are formal ceremonies, and strove to impress upon his disciples that the Holy Spirit must enlighten, renew, and sanctify the soul.

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