Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

November 24, 1898

The Great Salvation

The value of a gift is proportionate to its adaptability to the needs of perishing souls. When Christ gave Himself, He opened up a spiritual fountain of divine influence, that by faith in Him, man might partake of the divine nature. In Christ is gathered all the glory of the Father. In Him is all the fulness of the Godhead. He is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God are expressed in His character. Every page of the New Testament Scriptures shines with His light. Every text is a diamond, touched and irradiated by the divine rays. The Gospel is Christ unfolded, and Christ is the Gospel embodied. We are not to worship the Gospel, but Christ, the Lord of the Gospel. The Gospel is glorious because it is made up of Christ's righteousness. Our Saviour is a perfect representation of God on the one hand, and a perfect representation of humanity on the other. Thus He has combined divinity and humanity.

That we might have eternal life, God's only-begotten Son suffered the deepest humiliation and agony, and died a shameful death on the cross. This precious salvation is presented to those for whom this sacrifice was made, but many refuse to accept it. “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire?” God asks. “Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.” Yet in Me is found salvation, the pearl of great price.

Is it not wondrously strange that the perversity of the human heart makes poor souls ignorant of what is worth seeking for? They think themselves possessed of superior wisdom. They set more value on gold and silver than on the crown of glory, that fadeth not away. Many a woman adorns herself with rings and bracelets, and thinks that she will be highly esteemed because of these ornaments; but she does not seek for the pearl of great price. It is not of as much value in her sight as the jewels with which she adorns her poor mortal body. The one jewel of inestimable value has no worth in her mind.

Our estimate of the value of salvation is being tested. The precious jewels of truth are being presented to us. But many listen with weariness to the presentation of the most precious and important truths. Their countenances do not glow with animation. They are listless and uninterested. Who would believe that such realized that by their life practise they were deciding their eternal destiny? They should be wide-awake, earnestly seeking for the kingdom of God and His righteousness. But do they look like people to whom a priceless gem is being presented?

At this time the warning comes to us, Take heed lest in seeking for the pearl of great price, you are deceived into accepting the spurious for the genuine. To all who truly believe in Christ, He is precious, but many refuse to accept Him; and so there are two classes in our world, the obedient and the disobedient. Christ brings every one to the point, saying: “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.... He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.... If a man love Me, he will keep My words, and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.”

The test is plainly defined: “He that loveth Me not, keepeth not My sayings; and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father's which sent Me.” “If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

In the Sermon on the mount, our Lord compared the truth to pearls, and He warned His disciples to beware how they threw away truth of the highest value on those who would not appreciate it. “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,” He said, “neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

Satan's power is wholly destructive; God's power is constructive. The kingdom of God is a kingdom of continual progress. If we follow on to know the Lord, we shall know that “His going forth is prepared as the morning.” It is like the sun, which in the morning sheds its mild beams in the east, and keeps on increasing in strength until it reaches the perfect day. How much need, then, is there for us to keep a sharp watch unto prayer, and be earnest and zealous in our efforts to secure the great salvation! When this is held up before us, we should be intensely anxious to secure it, lest we lose the opportunity offered us.

The world estimates a man by the amount of money he has, by the value of his residence and its furniture, or by the number of acres in his estate. Christ places a different estimate upon His people. He calls those who obey His commandments His jewels. “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”

“For Zion's sake will I not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” “And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of His people; for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land.’

Those here represented have found Christ, the gift of God, for whom the world should be surrendered. Those who seek for peace and rest will be unsuccessful unless they find Him, the One of whom John said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” But the soul that finds Jesus feels that all his wants are satisfied. In Him the words are fulfilled, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” This is the reward of obedience.

Christ is not changeable. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is our salvation, the treasure for which all may seek, and be successful in their search. Those who find this gem do not need to be told how valuable it is; for they appreciate it and will sell all they have to possess it, saying, I count all things but loss that I may win Christ.

Mrs. E. G. White

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