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    THE LAST DAYS

    It may be objected to the view here presented that inasmuch as almost the whole Christian world do keep the Sunday, to declare it to be wrong would appear to contradict the predictions of God’s word respecting the spread of the truth and the triumphs of the church; for it is generally admitted that the whole world will be converted, and will acknowledge the truth and obey the gospel.TFNOS 37.1

    We are well aware that the general supposition is that the whole world will be converted; but this supposition is modern, and by no means founded on the word of God. By reference to those scriptures which speak of the triumph of the church, it will be seen that the saints sing their song of triumph on the Mount Zion with the Lamb. Revelation 14:1-5; 15:1-3. Their victory is in the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:54; Revelation 20:4-6. The idea of the universal sway of the church in this present world is inconsistent with the plainest declarations of the Bible. A few considerations will make this plain.TFNOS 37.2

    1. The way to life is narrow, and few find it; the way to death is broad, and many walk in it. Matthew 7:13, 14. There is not an intimation in the blessed Book that the way to life will become so wide that all will walk therein, and the way to death so narrow that few or none will find it. See Luke 13:24, 25.TFNOS 37.3

    2. The redeemed come out of great tribulation. Revelation 7:9-15. The Saviour told his disciples, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” John 16:33. Paul said, “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22.TFNOS 37.4

    The Scriptures nowhere present another company who enter into the kingdom of God through great case and worldly prosperity.TFNOS 38.1

    3. The Saviour did not promise his ministers that all should believe their word. He did not give them to expect that they should meet with the favor of the world any more than he had. But he said, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own.” And “the servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” John 15:19, 20. And again, when the Jews reviled him, he said to his followers, “If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” Matthew 10:25. Who dares to rise above his Lord and say he will be exempt from persecution? Who seeks to be free from the sufferings of his Master? And shall we reign with him if we do not suffer with him? 2 Timothy 2:12. Be not deceived in this matter. It is not only a plain truth, but a truth having an important bearing on your present position and eternal welfare. Examine yourself; see if you are following your Saviour in cross-bearing, in self-denial, in affliction, and in patience.TFNOS 38.2

    4. The gospel was not expected to convert the world, but to call out of the world a people to glorify God. “Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” John 15:19. “God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.” Acts 15:14. The saints of God are redeemed “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Revelation 5:9.TFNOS 38.3

    5. The Saviour taught that wickedness would prevail on earth till his coming, or to the end of the world. In Matthew 13:24-30, is the parable of the tares of the field, which is explained in verses 37-41, wherein it is shown that the tares, the children of the wicked one, and the wheat, the children of the kingdom, shall grow together till the harvest, which is the end of the world; and the reapers, the angels of God, will make the separation at the coming of Christ. See Matthew 24:30, 31.TFNOS 38.4

    6. The last days will be days of peril. This could not be true if the church were to triumph on the earth in the last days, or if the world were to be finally converted. When speaking of his coming and of the end of the world, the Saviour said, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:12-14.TFNOS 39.1

    In this chapter we notice (1) Before the end comes, iniquity shall abound. (2) Endurance will be necessary even to the end. (3) The gospel will not convert all nations, but be for a witness unto all nations. (4) In verse 24 it is predicted that false christs and false prophets shall arise, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. (5) In verses 42-50, it is shown that even some of the so called servants of God will become slothful and wicked, and not be prepared for the coming of Christ, but finally have their portion with the hypocrites.TFNOS 39.2

    Said Paul, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come; for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5. This is according to what the Saviour said; iniquity shall abound, and the love of many shall wax cold. And Paul further says, verse 12, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Thus, in the last days, peril and persecutions will surround the true church, because the mass of those who profess godliness, or have its form, will deny its power.TFNOS 39.3

    Peter said, “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming?” 2 Peter 3:3, 4. How could these scoffers arise and deny his coming, and persecutions and perils exist, if all were to be converted long before his coming?TFNOS 40.1

    Our Saviour has given Scripture examples on this subject: “And 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.” Luke 17:26-30.TFNOS 40.2

    Some suppose that because the heathen will be given to Christ, and the uttermost parts of the earth, that he will, therefore, as Saviour of sinners, possess them, convert them, and forgive their sins. But they seem to forget that Christ is to put off the robes of his priesthood, and put on the garments on vengeance. Isaiah 59:17. They do not consider that the “day of salvation” will close, and “the great day of his wrath” will come. Revelation 6:16, 17. The Saviour had ascended on high as a priest, or intercessor, and is there to sit down at his Father’s right hand till his foes are made his footstool. Psalm 110:1. And then will Psalm 2:8, 9, be fulfilled, which reads: “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” No conversion is contemplated here; they are given into his hands to be destroyed, or broken and dashed in pieces. This is when the great day of his wrath is come: when the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, shall hide from his presence. Revelation 6:15-17. Then, instead of looking for a time of peace when the Lord has not said peace, it would be better to listen to the admonition to be wise, and serve the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little. Psalm 2:10-12.TFNOS 40.3

    If we believe the testimony of the world we shall doubtless conclude that it is growing better; for its hopes, like that of the consumptive, seem brightest when on the brink of destruction. Or, if we believe those who have a form of godliness and deny the power thereof, we might conclude that the cause of Christ was fast prevailing over all the earth. But when we look at the testimony of the infallible word, we see required there a state of holiness, of consecration, of humility, of renunciation of the world, that we do not see to any great extent in the churches of the present day. They have no disposition to share the lot of Him who had not where to lay his head. They seem to have forgotten their accountability as stewards, and that God hath chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him.TFNOS 41.1

    Seeing these things are revealed in the word of God, let us not stumble at the truth, but take God’s commandments as they are given in his own precious book, and not frame our lives by what men are doing, but by what they ought to do. If we do not receive God’s word, who shall decide what we ought to receive? It will not do to trust to the multitude; for they go in the broad road to death. The way to life is narrow, and few find it. How careful, then, ought we to be! How diligent to search God’s word! that we may be sure that we are of the little flock that our Father in Heaven will bless and own. The pure in heart shall see God. Except a man deny himself and take up his cross, he cannot be a disciple of Jesus.TFNOS 42.1

    The Lord has declared his purpose to purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, that he may present to himself a glorious church, perfect in faith and obedience. Past transgressions he will forgive for Jesus’ sake, if we are truly penitent, and show that we are penitent by turning from our sins and obeying God. “Every word of God is pure,” and more precious than gold. Then slight it not. Do not think that faith, or a profession of faith in Christ, will excuse your neglect of God’s holy commandment; for the Saviour himself says, “Not every one that saith unto me. Lord,TFNOS 42.2

    Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.” Matthew 7:21. Thus the law of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ unite in the formation of the true Christian character. May you, dear readers, walk in the way of truth, that it may of you be said, as of the remnant of God’s elect, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12; 12:17.TFNOS 43.1

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