Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

May 30, 1900

“Go, Work Today in My Vineyard”

The Lord of life and glory humbled Himself to partake of human nature, that in and through Him the fallen sons and daughters of Adam may become united with God. Never could an earthly father feel as great and deep a pity and sympathy for his sons and daughters as our heavenly Father feels for His sons and daughters. Never can love be shown by mortals like the love that God has shown for the human family. God is revealed in Christ as full of mercy, love, goodness, and truth. His compassion can not be measured. Look at the cross of Calvary. Behold there God's precious gift. He “so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

This is the truth that is to be proclaimed everywhere. In this age uncertainty and irreligion prevail. There is a famine in the world for the true Word. But how few there are who preach the Gospel unmixed with human tradition! Saith the apostle Paul. “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” Today the simple truths of God's Word are preached by very few. Let us search and try our hearts to see if we have a burden of soul for those who know not the truth, a burden that leads us to work faithfully for them. The time has come, and this will be seen more and more plainly, when a standard-bearer for God, who ministers in word and doctrine, is far more secure than those who possess gold and silver.

We should set a high estimate upon the Gospel, building our hopes on the sure Rock, Christ Jesus. The leaven of truth in the soul will lead us to do the very work that Christ did when He was on this earth, to show the same love for others that He showed for us. All who know this love are privileged above anything that language can express. To understand it means to understand what Paul meant when he said: “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man [through the leaven of truth]; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

If we are laborers together with God, the deep interest we have in those for whom Christ died will lead us to use His precious gifts to the very best advantage in rescuing the souls who are dying in their sins. As we use the power we have in God's lines, we shall be encouraged to exercise faith. We shall be shown what we can do in connection with Christ.

There are many souls to be saved. Often you will need to begin your work by feeding the hungry, by ministering to their bodily necessities. This will give you an opportunity to minister to the necessities of the soul. Thus the way is prepared for the uplifting of Christ. With those who do this work because the Lord has given it to them to do, hunting for the lost sheep, speaking loving words in season and out of season, helping the needy, telling them of the wonderful love that Jesus has for them, the Saviour is always precious, impressing the hearts of the poor, the miserable, the wretched, with their need.

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen?” God asks, “to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?”

This is the recipe Christ has given to fainthearted, doubting, trembling saints. In this word He has given something definite and solid for diseased souls to grasp and lean upon. Let the sorrowful ones, who walk mournfully before the Lord, arise and help some one who needs help. God says to them, “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.” Christ is our righteousness. He goes before us as we do this work, and the glory of the Lord follows.

Christ has definitely pointed out our work; for He Himself, the Son of the living God, stooped to uplift the fallen. By pledges and words of assurance He sought to win to Himself the poor, the lost, the suffering. Human beings are precious in the sight of the Lord. Is it not a very strange thing that we regard so lightly those for whom Christ has died, that we put so little of ourselves into the work of doing what we can to rescue those who are suffering from poverty, sickness, and heartache, who need to know that Christ will forgive their sins and pardon their transgressions? Our work is to be done for the love of Christ and for the love of the beings that the Lord loved so much that He gave His only-begotten Son to die for them.

Satan has prepared every kind of temptation to ensnare the youth, and not the youth only, but those of all ages. For rich and for poor he has spread his net, that he may ruin God's workmanship. Every year multitudes are ruined through intemperance, yet there are thousands upon thousands of saloons sustained by law. And the church, which should be a living power, is asleep. Men of discernment, of vital piety, are needed. Such men will look with horror upon the practise of legalizing the work of manufacturing drunkards. But the great majority give their influence to the destroyer, aiding him by voice and vote to destroy the moral image of God in man, not thinking of the families that are degraded by a perverted appetite for liquor.

Many a man has not the moral power to pass a saloon, with its attractions and invitations. He enters, and the glass is put to his lips. The intoxicating draught takes away his reason, and places him in the control of a spirit that leads him to violence and murder. His health is ruined, and his power of distinguishing between right and wrong, between the sacred and the common, is destroyed. His wife and children are beggared, and all because Satan's temptations were not resisted. The liquor seller knows the effect of liquor drinking; for it is demonstrated at his own door in scenes of quarreling and fighting. What an account liquor dealers will have to render to their God! What an account, too, will the poor inebriate have to render! He has brought children into the world with the same desires that control him. His sinful inclinations will be perpetuated in his children and his children's children. One man becomes defiled by a wrong course of action, and he defiles many others.

As men, and women as well, are thus beguiled, will not the Lord work through His church, impressing His people to do their duty in regard to these victims of sin? By many, liquor has been regarded as the only solace in trouble. If God's people seize the opportunities offered them, they will see the work waiting to be done. They will do the work which God would have had them do in the beginning of their experience, when their souls were filled with joy and gladness because their sins had been pardoned.

All who strive in the name of the Lord Jesus to counteract the evil of self-indulgence are doing the very work which Jesus of Nazareth came to our world to do. Make every effort to save all whom you possibly can. Do not argue that the evil is so deep and so widespread, and is increasing so rapidly, that your efforts will be of no avail. Rally round the standard of Christ. See in the degraded specimens of humanity, men and women whom Christ came to save. Altho they may have sunk to the very lowest depths of sin, there is a possibility of saving them. “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” Christ declared. It is the sinners that the church of God is called upon to seek and to save. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, presenting at the same time the love of the great Physician.

Among the wealthy there are mirth, liquor drinking, reveling, dissipation. There are balls, games, theaters. All these tempt men and women from their allegiance to God. There are those there like the maiden who danced before Herod, so infatuating the besotted king that Satan gained control of his mind, and led him by a rash movement to sacrifice the life of one of the greatest of the prophets. But, notwithstanding all this, work, work, for Christ's sake, work. You are under obligation to God to show an interest in those around you. Your neighbor may be yielding to the temptation to destroy himself by liquor drinking and tobacco using. He may be burning up his vital organs by fiery stimulant. He is pursuing this course to the ruin of himself and his wife and children, who have no success in trying to stay the feet that are traveling the road to perdition. God calls upon you to do all in your power to save your fellow-creatures. Souls should not be left to perish. Lift before them the crucified Saviour. Point them to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Some will be led to look upon the Saviour. Christ will inspire them with faith to look and live.

Mrs. E. G. White

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