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Gospel Workers (1892/1893 ed.)

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    The Cause of Doubts

    Some are often heard talking of doubts and unbelief, and dwelling upon the wonderful struggles they have had with infidel feelings. They dwell upon discouraging influences as so affecting their faith, hope, and courage in the truth and in the ultimate success of the work and cause in which they are engaged, as to make it a special virtue to be found on the side of the doubting. At times they seem to really enjoy hovering about the infidel's position, and strengthening their unbelief with every circumstance they can gather as an excuse for their darkness. To such we would say, You would better come down at once, and leave the walls of Zion, until you become converted men and good Christians. Before you take the responsibility of becoming ministers, you are required by God to separate yourselves from the love of this world. The reward of those who continue in this doubting position will be that given to the fearful and unbelieving.GW92 114.2

    But what is the reason of these doubts, this darkness and unbelief? I answer, These men are not right with God. They are not dealing honestly and truly with their own souls. They have neglected to cultivate personal piety. They have not separated themselves from all selfishness, and from sin and sinners. They have failed to study the self-denying, self-sacrificing life of our Lord, and have failed to imitate his example of purity, devotion, and self-sacrifice. The sin which easily besets has been strengthened by indulgence. By their own negligence and sin, they have separated themselves from the company of the Divine Teacher, and he is a day's journey in advance of them. They have for their company, the indolent, slothful, backsliding, unbelieving, irreverent, unthankful, unholy, and their attendants, the evil angels. What marvel that such are in darkness, or that they have doubts of doctrine? “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.” [John 7:17.] He shall know of a certainty in regard to this matter. This promise should put to flight all doubts and questionings. It is separation from Christ that brings doubts. He is followed by the earnest, honest, true, faithful, humble, meek, and pure, whom holy angels, clothed with the panoply of heaven, are sanctifying, enlightening, purifying, and guarding; for they are heaven-bound.GW92 115.1

    No greater evidence need be asked that a person is at a great distance from Jesus, and living in neglect of secret prayer, neglecting personal piety, than the fact that he thus talks doubts and unbelief because his surroundings are not favorable. Such persons have not the pure, true, undefiled religion of Christ. They have a spurious article, which the refining process will utterly consume as dross. As soon as God proves them, and tests their faith, they waver, they stand feebly, swaying first one way, then the other. They have not the genuine article that Paul possessed, that could glory in tribulation, because “tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.” [Romans 5:3-5.] They have a religion of circumstance. If all around them are strong in faith and courage in the ultimate success of the third angel's message, and no special influence is brought to bear against them, they then appear to have some faith. But as soon as adversity seems to come upon the cause, and the work drags heavily, and the help of every one is needed, these poor souls, though they may be professed ministers of the gospel, expect everything to come to naught. These hinder instead of helping.GW92 115.2

    If apostasy arises, and rebellion is manifested, you do not hear them say, in words of encouragement and lofty cheer, “Brethren, faint not; be of good courage.” “Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.” [2 Timothy 2:19.] Men who are thus affected by circumstances should remain at their homes, and employ their physical and mental strength in a less responsible position, where they will not be liable to meet such strong opposition. If everything moves smoothly, they may pass for very good, devotional men. But these are not the ones whom the Master will send to do his work; for this is opposed by those who are emissaries of Satan. Satan also, and his host of evil angels, will be arrayed against them. God has made provision for the men whom he has called to do his work, that they may come off conquerors in every contest. Those who follow his directions will never meet with defeat.GW92 116.1

    The Lord, speaking through Paul, tells us how to fortify ourselves against Satan and his emissaries: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” [Ephesians 6:10-18.] ...GW92 116.2

    Shall our zeal, our fervor, be kindled only when we are surrounded by those who are awake and zealous in the work and cause of God? Can we not stand in God, let our surroundings be ever so unpleasant and discouraging? “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, not depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:31-39]—Testimonies for the Church 2:513.GW92 117.1

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