When the promise of God was fulfilled to Zacharias and Elizabeth, they were deeply conscious of the solemn obligation resting upon them. Their son was a child of prophecy. He was to be "the voice of one crying in the wilderness." God had brought him into the world for a definite work, the most
That tremendous fact was instilled into yE his mind from earliest childhood. It became og the dominant conviction of his young life. He Eo was called of God for a definite mission. He og could not choose this calling or that, like other youth. Only one thing was open before him EY in the great plan of God,—to be the forerunner of the Messiah. When the Jews demanded that he declare who he was, he replied with thrilling directness and conviction, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness."
But what about those who are called to be the forerunners of the second advent? Are they not pointed out as definitely and explicitly as was John? Are not our children today as truly children of prophecy as was he? "It shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy." Is it not just as sacred an obligation that we teach our sons and daughters that they are called of God, and must give their lives to His work? A large part of the world is still unwarned and unprepared for the coming of Christ. Is it possible that we have more trained young people than God is able to use in His great final work to save men?
Can we be satisfied to tell our sons and our daughters that only a very small percentage of our young people can be utilized in the work; therefore they must find some other employment? Is it not the highest ambition and constant prayer of loyal Seventh-day Adventists that their children may be actively engaged in the Lord's work? In early apostolic times was any salary offered men, or any inducement held out, other than the words of the Master, "The laborer is worthy of his hire"?
And in the early days of this second advent movement, men and women left their ordinary occupations, and depending upon the God who called them, went forth to proclaim the truth. Some of them toiled for many months, receiving no salary, and many for years for a mere pittance; and yet they were sustained. They became strong leaders, presidents of conferences, and even of the General Conference.
Those men and women had a conviction that God had called them, and they must go. They left the responsibility of support with God, and He did not disappoint them. Is it not very evident that this will be repeated, and that thousands will yet engage in this work who do not look to the conference treasury for support? From the pen of Mrs. E. G. White we read:
"God calls for men to enter the whitening harvest field. Shall His workmen wait because the treasury is exhausted, because there is scarcely enough to sustain the workers now in the field? Go forth in faith, and God will be with you. 'He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.' Nothing is so successful as success. Let this be secured, and the work will move forward. New fields will be opened. Many souls will be won to the truth. What is needed is increased faith in God."—MS. 54, 1901.
This very work is being done by several groups of our young people on a larger scale than many are aware of. They are obtaining decidedly encouraging results, and the blessing of God is with them in a large measure. With a clear vision and wise leadership, hundreds more might engage in this kind of work in our various home bases, thus bringing new life and blessing into our conferences. And—
"With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world!" —"Education," p. 271.
Why should we not labor and pray to inspire in the heart of every child a deep and dominant conviction that he is called of God, and must devote his life to the one great work of saving as many as possible before the end comes?