Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

June 29, 1893

Words to the Young

My dear young friends,

You need to cultivate a more simple, trusting faith. You are keeping too close to the world, and not pressing close enough to the side of Christ. You need to study more closely the life and character of Christ; you need to behold his simplicity, his meekness and lowliness of heart; you need to fall upon the Rock and be broken, that Christ may mold you into his own image. Crime of every type is increasing in the world, and the earth is defiled under the inhabitants thereof. The eternal plans of God are about to be fulfilled, and the end of all things is at hand. This is a time when those who have a knowledge of the truth of God should be ranging themselves on the side of the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. They should stand forth as defenders of the faith delivered to the saints. They should make manifest to the world what it is to keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. They should let their light shine forth in clear, strong rays upon the pathway of those who walk in darkness. The soldiers of Christ should stand shoulder to shoulder, loyal to truth, vindicators of the law of Jehovah.

Those who depart from the plain precepts of God, will support error, and be ranged against the soldiers of Christ. They will make manifest who is their leader by the course they will pursue in opposing the truth of God, and in enforcing error on the conscience by oppressive measures. It is now time to take a decided stand on the side of truth; and as God has given to every one his measure of influence, he should exert it to the glory of God and for the good of his associates. Not one of the faithful stewards of Christ will be idle in such a time as this, or will be content to live simply for self. Those who are in communion with Christ will realize that there are souls on every side who may be benefited by their help, example, and influence. They will realize that they may be agents through whom Jesus will work to save those for whom he died. This should be the experience of all who profess to believe the third angel's message. Young and old should have a rich, joyful, abundant experience in the religion of Christ in order that they may direct their conduct and conversation aright, in order that they may become laborers together with God for the salvation of the lost.

What are you doing, dear youth, to make known to others how important it is to take the word of God for a guide, to keep the commandments of Jehovah? Are you by precept and example declaring that it is only by obedience to the word of God that men can be saved? Do you realize that you have a work to do for those who have not had the light, who have not been granted the privileges and opportunities that have been granted to you? You can now do a work for their souls that you cannot do for them after they are dead. It is while they are living that you must present to them the word of life. Then why do you manifest such hesitancy in presenting to them the reasons of our faith? You should show them that you are not a fanatic, that there is a foundation for your practice of observing the seventh day as the Sabbath, and that foundation is the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. Are you not chosen of God to be a vessel unto honor, to convey light and truth to those who are in error and darkness? The saving message of truth has come to you, and if you receive of the spirit of Christ, you will have a love for the souls who are in peril. If you love Christ, appreciating something of the sacrifice he has made for you, you will deny yourself for his sake, turn from all selfish pleasures, and use money, time, and influence to win souls for whom Christ has died. As you willingly devote your powers to the winning of souls, you will be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving [not self, but] the Lord.”

It should be your object, in whatever vocation you may be found, to do your work in a manner that shall glorify God. All that you gain, you should look upon as capital to be invested in the bank of heaven. It should be your joy to devote means, and time, and ability to win souls for Christ, to send the light to those who sit in darkness. I plead for the souls that are perishing around us, for whom Christ has paid the ransom of his own precious blood. O that the baptism of the Holy Spirit may come upon us all, that we may have more to impart to others! Work, watch, and pray that we may each have the spirit of the true Christian. Let us place ourselves in the channel of light, and know for ourselves what it means to believe in Jesus. As yet there is only a feeble, partial faith in the hearts of the professed followers of Christ in the word of God; but we must learn what it means to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Who of us has this faith? Who of us believes with the simplicity of a little child that we may come to God, through the name of Jesus, and ask for spiritual food, ask for the Holy Spirit, the greatest gift that Heaven can bestow?

Jesus has said, “If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good things to them that ask him?” Should we ask in faith, the Lord would fulfil his word, and we should go forth weighted with the important truths for this time. We should then pass the time of our sojourning, not in trifling, but in sobriety, in earnest, determined effort, with much prayer, for the salvation of those who are ready to perish. We should be gathering sheaves for the Master, and would be fitted up for the heavenly benediction, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

It is not safe for us to turn from the Holy Scriptures, with only a casual reading of their sacred pages. Dig deep for truth as you would for hidden treasure. Every page of God's word is illuminated by the light of the Sun of righteousness, and the utterances of prophets and apostles are full of freshness and power. Rein the mind up to the high task that has been set before it, and study with determined interest, that you may understand divine truth. Those who do this, will be surprised to find to what the mind can attain. As we endeavor to use our talents as God would have us, they strengthen and increase, until we can grasp sacred and elevated themes. As long as we are content with little things, and fail to study to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, we shall meet with great loss. The blessed book of God assures us that we may grow spiritually, that there is no need of becoming religious dwarfs, by indolence disqualifying ourselves to do the very work that is waiting to be done. By placing ourselves in right relation with the source of all light, we may accomplish great things for God and humanity.

Young and old must know the converting power of God. They all need a fresh blessing from the hand of God,—faith to grasp the rich promises of God in order that they may be blessed and be made a blessing unto others. Those who will receive and impart to others, shall receive more abundantly. They will not hide their light under a bed or under a bushel, and will not stop short of pressing toward the mark for the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus. They will not lose the fervor of their first love, and grow cold and selfish, self-loving, self-indulgent, and fail to lift the cross and follow where Christ leads the way. Those who halt in the Christian life, and make no advance beyond the first stages of religion, do not realize the necessity of becoming partakers of the divine nature, to push the triumphs of the cross. The Lord is willing to heal their backsliding, and to quicken them anew; for he is of great mercy and tender compassion. He has a heaven full of blessing to bestow upon them. There is no failure on the part of Christ; he is able and willing to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by him.

I make an appeal to the youthful disciples of Christ to arouse, no longer to indulge in pleasure-seeking, in self-love and ease; no longer be controlled by inclination, and by the lusts of the carnal heart. Do not settle down in Satan's easy-chair, and say that there is no use, you cannot cease to sin, that there is no power in you to overcome. There is no power in you apart from Christ, but it is your privilege to have Christ abiding in your heart by faith, and he can overcome sin in you, when you cooperate with his efforts, putting your will on the side of God's will. He says, “I have overcome the world.” In him you lift up the banner as one who conquers. “We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” You may have a constant testimony in your life to the power of the grace of Christ, and may understand what are the operations of the Spirit of God. You may be living epistles, known and read of all men. You are not to be a dead letter, but a living one, testifying to the world that Jesus is able to save.

My prayer to God is that the converting power of his Holy Spirit may come upon our youth, that they may become working agents to win scores of youth to Jesus Christ, that they may be among the number who shall be accounted wise, who shall “shine as the brightness of the firmament,” and “as the stars forever and ever.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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