Stern Conflicts Before Us

Vital "Testimony" counsels.

Ellen G. White

The powers of the enemy are mustering for battle. Stern conflicts are before us. Press together, my brethren and sisters, press together. Bind up with Christ, "Say ye not, A confederacy, . . . neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself ; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary ; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken."

The world is a theater. The actors, its in­habitants, are preparing to act their part in the last great drama. God is lost sight of. With the great masses of mankind there is no unity, except as men confederate to accomplish their selfish purposes. God is looking on. His purposes in regard to His rebellious subjects will be fulfilled. The world has not been given into the hands of men, though God is permit­ting the elements of confusion and disorder to bear sway for a season.

A power from beneath is working to bring about the last great scenes in the drama,—Satan coming as Christ, and working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are binding themselves together in secret societies. Those who are yielding to the pas­sion for confederation are working out the plans of the enemy. The cause will be fol­lowed by the effect.

Transgression has almost reached its limit. Confusion fills the world, and a great terror is soon to come upon human beings. The end is very near. We who know the truth should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise. John writes:

"I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away ; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God ; and the books were opened : and another book was opened, which is the hook of life : and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

Are we as a people asleep? O if the young men and young women in our institutions who are now unready for the Lord's appearing, unfitted to become members of the Lord's fam­ily, could only discern the signs of the times, what a change would be seen in them ! The Lord Jesus is calling for self-denying, self-sacrificing workers to follow in His footsteps, to walk and work for Him, to lift the cross, and follow where He leads the way.

Many are readily satisfied with offering the Lord trifling acts of service. Their Chris­tianity is feeble. Christ gave Himself for sin­ners. . With what anxiety for the salvation of souls we should be filled as we see human beings perishing in sin ! These souls have been bought at an infinite price. The death of the Son of God on Calvary's cross is the measure of their value. Day by day they are deciding a question of life and death, deciding whether they will have eternal life or eternal death.

And yet men and women professing to serve the Lord are content to occupy their time and attention with matters of little importance. They are content to be at variance with one another. If they were consecrated to the work of the Master, they would not be striving and contending like a family of unruly children. Every hand would be engaged in service. Everyone would be standing at his post of duty, working with heart and soul as a mis­sionary of the cross of Christ. The Spirit of the Redeemer would abide in the hearts of the laborers, and works of righteousness would be wrought. The workers would carry with them into their service the prayers and sympathies of an awakened church. They would. receive their directions from Christ, and would find no time for contention or strife.

Messages would come from lips touched by a live coal from the divine altar. Earnest, purified words would be spoken. Humble, heartbroken intercessions would ascend to heaven. With one hand the workers would take hold of Christ, while with the other they would grasp sinners and draw them to the Saviour. Work is what the churches need. They need an unreserved consecration to serv­ice. Jesus wept over the obduracy of Jeru­salem. Whose hearts break today because of the peril of those in darkness ? Who among those that have received such great light and such rich gifts mingle their tears with the tears of their Redeemer ?

Never can the church reach the position that God desires it to reach until it is bound up in sympathy with its missionary workers. Never can the unity for which Christ prayed exist until spirituality is brought into mis­sionary service, and until the church becomes an agency for the support of missions. The efforts of the missionaries will not accomplish what they should until the church members in the home field show, not only in word, but indeed, that they realize the obligation resting on them to give these missionaries their hearty support.

God calls for workers. Personal activity is needed. But conversion comes first; seeking for the salvation of others, next. Spiritual despotism is to lose its hold on souls. Each" one is to awake to the necessity of having personal holiness and a personal, living faith. Then will God's work be done. Then will reformations take place. Souls will be rescued from the grasp of selfishness, and in love, pa­tience. and Christian forbearance, will help one another to work for those perishing out of Christ.—Ellen G. White, in Review and Herald, Sept. .10, 1903.

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