Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

June 27, 1900

The Sinner's Hope

When this earth was created by Christ, it was holy and beautiful. God pronounced it “very good.” Every flower, every shrub, every tree, answered the purpose of its Creator. Everything upon which the eye rested was lovely, and filled the mind with thoughts of love for the Creator. Every sound was music, in perfect harmony with the voice of God.

But a change has come. Sin has brought decay, deformity, death. Today, the whole world is tainted, corrupted, stricken with a mortal disease. The earth groans under the continual transgression of the inhabitants thereof.

Human beings have degenerated. One after another they fall under the curse, because sin has entered the world, and death by sin. The truth is not made precious by practise. It does not sanctify the soul. It fades from the mind because the heart does not appreciate its value. In consequence, the mind becomes more and more darkened by the atmosphere, which is malarious because of the perpetuating of Adam's sin. The conscience has lost its sensitiveness. Through a repetition of sin, the impression made on the conscience by sin has no longer force enough to arrest the transgressor, diseased, depraved, and dying. The voice no longer echoes the voice of God, or gives expression to the music of a soul sanctified through the truth. The heart, in which God should be enthroned, is a place from which come forth all kinds of abominations. How has the fine gold become dim! Man has lost the reflection of God's character.

This calamity is well-nigh universal. There is no place upon earth where the track of the serpent is not seen and his venomous sting felt. The whole earth is defiled. The curse is increasing as transgression increases. The earth is preparing for purification by fire.

Satan has come down with great power to work with the children of men. Their senses are perverted by his schemes. He lends enchantment to the view which he presents to them, covering transgression with great desirableness. As he tempted Adam and Eve, saying, “Ye shall be as gods, made wise by partaking of the fruit which God has forbidden you to eat,” so he tempts men and women today.

But a hope has been set before every sinner. The instant Adam yielded to Satan's temptation, and did the very thing which God had said he should not do, Christ, the Son of God, stood between the living and the dead, saying: “Let the punishment fall on Me. I will stand in man's place. Give him another trial.” Transgression placed the whole world under the death sentence. But in heaven there was heard a voice saying, “I have found a ransom.” He who knew no sin was made sin for fallen man. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Christ laid off His royal robe and kingly crown, and gave up His command over all heaven. He clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might bear all the infirmities and endure all the temptations of humanity. He was a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. For our sake He became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich. For us He left the adoration of the angels for the insults and execrations of a mob lashed to madness by the priests and rulers.

The words in the first chapter of John are full of meaning: “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.... The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.... full of grace and truth.... And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.”

All that God could do has been done to save sinners. The Saviour invites all: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” But those who refuse to yoke up with Christ, who will not learn of the great Teacher, can not receive God's protection. If they are determined to walk in the path of disobedience, Satan will exercise his power over them, after deceiving, to destroy. We may choose God's way, and live; we may choose our own way, and know that sin has entered into the world, and death by sin.

Christ is the true light. Shall this light shine in darkness and the darkness comprehend it not?—God forbid. The Word of God comes to us as a cure for diseased souls and bodies. It is life for those who are dead in trespasses and sins. He who knew no sins was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. On Him the iniquities of us all were laid. He lives to be our Advocate. He did nothing worthy of death, yet He died. And if we hear the glad words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord,” we shall have done nothing worthy of life. Jesus, the sinless, died having done nothing deserving of death. The sinner is saved without having done anything worthy of salvation. He is wholly without merit. But, clothed with the spotless robe of Christ's righteousness, he is accepted by God. The living way has been laid open. Life and immortality have been purchased by Christ. Through obedience to God's commands, sinners may find pardon and peace.

Mrs. E. G. White

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