Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

June 6, 1900

“Go, Work Today in My Vineyard”—No. 2

It is the special work of Christians to help those who have fallen under Satan's temptations. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Those who have the mind of Christ, work in the same lines in which Christ worked. If you see a man who has by yielding to temptation weakened his moral power, do all that you can to help him. Let him that is strong support the weak. Help him by speaking words that encourage faith. By your influence seek to strengthen every good trait in his character.

The wretched victim of intemperance may refuse to seize the opportunity of regaining his manliness by breaking with Satan. Is it any less your duty to strive to awaken the soul dead in trespasses and sins, by doing all that human effort can do? Remember that you are not dealing with a sane man, but with one who is for the time being under the control of a demon. In the past, Satan has controlled his mind and directed his actions. When he comes to his senses, when he is no longer drunk, do all a human being can do to show him that you are his friend. Do not blame him; for very likely he curses himself; but help him to rise. Without some one to help him, he will go over the same ground again and again.

The world has utterly failed to restore the moral image of God in man. Multitudes have been allured to sell their reason for a glass of rum; and the world looks on, without the power to counteract the evil. Shall the priests and Levites see the ruin which Satan is working without making an effort, in the name of the Lord God of Israel, to lift up a standard against the enemy? Shall those who claim to be sons and daughters of God feel perfectly at liberty to enjoy the good things of this life, as did Dives, making no use of that which God gave to be used in carrying out His purposes? Shall the pitying tenderness of the Saviour for wretched, fallen, helpless beings be in vain, for the want of human channels through whom He can communicate His treasures of food and clothing and words fitly spoken?

Christ is waiting to exercise His power in behalf of the broken-down victims of intemperance; but few, very few, of those who claim to be His children have co-operated with Him by speaking hopeful words to these discouraged souls, by taking to them, if necessary, the gifts of simple food, unstimulating drink, and clean clothing. Thousands might have been saved if those who have acted as did the priest and Levite had acted the part of the good Samaritan. Who will now awake to their God-given responsibilities? One soul rescued is a soul saved from Satan's grasp.

If poor, helpless beings are saved, it will be by arousing in them the sense that it is not too late for them to be men. Those who would act the part of the priest and Levite, may pass by on the other side, saying of the drunkard, It is time lost to work for such a man. But Christ died for that soul. Shall the heavy ransom paid for him be of no account? Let every soul who believes himself to be a Christian strive with all his power to do the work that Christ did. The Lord will use as His instrumentalities those who faithfully act their part.

Remember that every soul you succeed in saving will have the life that measures with the life of God. Those whom you are trying to help will be continually tempted to evil; but do not, because of this, cease your efforts. Remember the helplessness of these tempted human beings. Their fellow-men are co-operating with Satan in presenting his bribes. Let all who name the name of Christ arouse, and make determined efforts to save sinners, knowing that Jesus, the great Physician of the soul and of the body, is their efficiency.

There are many in poverty who are being driven to ruin. If the large sums of money now devoted to erecting monuments to the dead were used to help the hungry, starving, dying millions that throng our world, God would be better pleased. Is He not a God of the living? In the judgment a strict account will be required for every misused talent. Those who now engage in horse-racing, cricket matches, gambling, are spending money for that which is not bread. Can they receive the benediction, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”?

The cities and villages of today are leavened with the principles of evil that prevailed in the time of Christ. “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”

We must proclaim the truth now. We are guilty of fearful sin if we neglect to co-operate with God in His work of salvation. There is work for every one to do. When God's people open the door of the heart to His love, the light of His glory will be revealed in their work, as we have not yet seen it. All around you, in our cities, towns, and villages, there are those who are tired, worn, depressed, whom Satan is tempting to indulge in amusements that pave the broad road which leads to ruin and death. He is offering them the apples of Sodom, which, when they are eaten, will be as ashes. Who will take upon themselves the burden of these souls? By judicious effort many can be reached who are now infatuated by pleasures that drive Christ from the soul. Let us press to the mercy-seat, and in the name of Christ claim the power that has been promised to co-workers with Him.

Jesus will work wonderful miracles if men will but do their part. In his own strength, man can never recover himself from Satan's grasp. Only by a union with Christ can this restoration be accomplished. Man must work, he must pray, he must uplift the discouraged and hopeless, by his human endeavor, while he grasps the arm of the Mighty One, and wrestles as did Jacob for the victory. His cry must be, “I can not, I will not let Thee go unless Thou bless me.”

What was Bunyan before his conversion? Who wrought in him the great change? His life reveals the power of the divine Physician. He was dead in trespasses and sins, but Christ re-created him. He took his mind under His control, and showed him wonderful things, enabling him to place them in such a form as to be the means of enlightening many in regard to the Christian warfare. Bunyan was redeemed from profanity and reveling, Newton from slave-dealing, to proclaim the uplifted Saviour. These cases show God's love for humanity. They show us that the God of nature is above nature in His deep and inexpressible love for man. By His power He causes the dead in trespasses and sins to hear the voice of the Son of God and come forth.

Do not forget that a Bunyan and a Newton may again be redeemed from among men. Just as wonderful miracles will be wrought upon human minds in the future as have been wrought in the past. Man is dead, without God, and without hope in the world. But over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, Christ proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Not only will all who are in the graves hear His voice and come forth, He is today the Restorer of those dead in sin. Today Jesus is working His miracles. The great Physician stands by the side of the faithful worker, saying to the repentant, discouraged soul, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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