Truth Will Triumph--Will You?

Truth Will Triumph--Will You?

Are we in a similar position to that of ancient Israel?

J. G. KERBS, Publishing Department Secretary, South African Unio

THOSE who should have been foremost in hon­oring the Master by their faith were put to shame by an "outsider" who said, "Speak the word only, and my serv­ant shall be healed" (Matt. 8:8). The Roman army officer's faith was rewarded. Then turning to "them that followed," Jesus declared, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (verses 10-12).

They "shall come" was the promise. And "the children of the kingdom"? "Cast out"? "God forbid!" was the horrified response of the Jews to this suggestion often made by Christ (Luke 20:16). But it happened. The Gentiles received the crucified and risen Messiah with an enthusiasm never equaled by the children of light. God did not cast away His people, but only those who would not become His, being "hard­ened," {Rom. 11:7 margin) were "broken off" "because of unbelief" (verses 20).

Are we, Seventh-day Adventists, upon whom "is shining the accumulated light of past ages," in similar danger as was Israel (Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 115)?

Truth Will Triumph

"The truth is soon to triumph gloriously," declares the servant of the Lord (Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 135). "There is no need to doubt, to be fearful that the work will not succeed. God is at the head of the work."—Testimony Treasures, vol. 2, p. 363.

"Do not worry," we are comforted. "The work is under the supervision of the blessed Master. . . . All parts of the work—our churches, missions, Sabbath schools, institu­tions—are carried upon His heart. Why worry?"—Ibid., p. 353. God is well able to "finish the work, and cut it short in right­eousness" (Rom. 9:28). Notice that "he will finish the work." "A short work will the Lord make upon the earth." Speaking of the final ingathering of souls, which could and should have taken place long ago, the inspired pen makes it clear that God is the Master Worker and can do more in a moment than we can in a lifetime.

The message will be carried not so much by ar­gument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God. The arguments have been presented. The seed has been sown, and now it will spring up and bear fruit. The publications distributed by mis­sionary workers have exerted their influence, yet many whose minds were impressed have been pre­vented from fully comprehending the truth or from yielding obedience. Now the rays of light penetrate everywhere, the truth is seen in its clearness, and honest children of God sever the bands which have held them. Family connections, church relations, are powerless to stay them now. Truth is more precious than all besides. Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large num­ber take their stand upon the Lord's side.—The Great Controversy, p. 612.

How Long, O Lord?

At a recent camp meeting, we were thrilled by the reports of faithful lay workers. Vacation Bible schools, literature evan­gelism, welfare work, audio-visual Bible studies, youth evangelism—all featured prominently. The joys of Christian service were evident on every face. Yet a number of times came the hopeful, yet somewhat regretful, expression, "The final results are not yet known." In the heart of every mis­sionary worker could be found the occa­sional outcry, "When shall I see the fruits of my labors?"

"I'm afraid to quit," said a lifetime lit­erature evangelist, though admitting that each month of sixteen years had brought a struggle "to make ends meet." He has la­bored in the same small city for this entire time, though suffering much opposition be­cause of religious prejudice. There has been sickness in the family and other diffi­culties to test their faith. Their eldest son had been killed instantly on the highway a short time before.

All of this—and the fruits? He knows of only four or five people who have had the courage to accept the truth that he has so faithfully presented through the years. In his heart, I am sure, is the plea, "How long, O Lord? How long? How long before the harvest, the end of suffering, the resurrec­tion of the righteous, and the reunion of families?"

Shall We Triumph Too?

A young mother, now a faithful branch Sabbath school evangelist, knelt in prayer, an intense longing in her heart for Jesus to come. It seemed that a voice spoke to her, "Marie, if you want Jesus to come, you'll have to do something about it." "The truth is soon to triumph gloriously, and all who now choose to be laborers together with God will triumph with it."—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 135. (Italics supplied.) While reaching for the crown of life, we must never reject the cross of service.

What does it mean to be "laborers to­gether with God"? Is it engaging in what we call "missionary activities?" Distribut­ing literature, feeding the hungry, preach­ing, teaching, and healing? This is all in­cluded, but listen: "Only when selfishness is dead, when strife for supremacy is ban­ished, when gratitude fills the heart, and love makes fragrant the life—it is only then that Christ is abiding in the soul, and we are recognized as laborers together with God."—Christ's Object Lessons, p. 402. (Italics supplied.)

A Valuable Lesson 

On a journey from Cape Town to Jo­hannesburg, God taught me how limited was my concept of working for God. Try­ing to go to sleep in an already over­crowded, smoke-filled compartment on the train, I was much annoyed when the sixth man stumbled through the door smelling strongly of liquor. I was disgusted and felt that he should sleep elsewhere if he insisted on drinking. I must confess that I felt like telling him so and thought of asking the conductor to remove him. No, it's not wrong to hate the smell of liquor, but I was having difficulty realizing this liquor was not in a bottle but in a child of God, a candidate for His kingdom. Finding it hard to separate the liquor from the man, I was inclined to cast both out.

God was not long in bringing me to repentance. The night was not pleasant, but I determined to do what I could to help this man. The next day, when alone, we had a long talk. He wept as he told of starting to drink only seven years before, of how he had lost family and job as a re­sult. Now he was on his way to Johannes­burg to seek help at a hospital for alcohol­ics. A man needing help—even seeking help—and I would have cast him out of my presence!

To add to the needed rebuke, only days after I arrived in Johannesburg, I received a letter which began thus: "Dear Mr. Kerbs, Many thanks for your kindness to my son on the train." The son of a praying, worry­ing mother! And I, who claim to be seeking the lost, a worker in God's cause, was almost unready to help him whom God had brought to me!

"To bend every energy toward some ap­parently great work, while we neglect the needy or turn the stranger from his right, is not a service that will meet His approval." —Ibid., p. 384.

Activity Not a Test

Could it be that in the midst of our ac­tivity God is often unable to find room to work? One former worker admitted his mistake: "While my heart was in the Mas­ter's service, the Master wasn't really in my heart."

"So many are full of busy plans, always active; and there is no time or place for the precious Jesus to be a close, dear com­panion."—Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 393.

No, the busy-ness and greatness of our labors are not the test of their worth. "Whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so little or contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful; for God regards more with how much love one worketh than the amount he doeth."—Ibid., vol. 2, p. 135.

God Is Able

A youth of twenty-two years telephoned one of our pastors requesting baptism. He had never been to the Seventh-day Advent­ist church before, but because of books purchased from a literature evangelist he was already paying tithe and keeping the Sabbath.

"Which church do you belong to?" asked a woman of a student canvasser. The an­swer, "Seventh-day Adventist," brought forth an interesting story. Not long before, related this woman, the Lord had shown her in a dream a persecuted people fleeing from the city. In her dream she seemed to inquire, "Why are these people being per­secuted?" "Because they are worshiping on Saturday, the true Sabbath," came the re­ply. She awakened her husband and star­tled him with, "Saturday is the Sabbath!" Since the visit of the student literature evan­gelist the man has changed his employ­ment that he might keep the Sabbath.

If God can give a dream to one, can He not give a dream to 10,000 or 100,000 in one night?

Why Not Now?

Yes, God is well able to finish His work speedily. We will yet see thousands of strange faces in our congregations, but "the Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden."—Ibid., vol. 6, p. 371.

What a tragedy! Can it really be true that the great Lover of souls "does not now work to bring many souls into the truth"? Are we standing in the way of the great final ingathering?

We are told that even "workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness"—Testimonies to Ministers, page 300, and that "conversions to truth will be made with a rapidity that will sur­prise the church, and God's name alone will be glorified."—Selected Messages, book 2, p. 16.

Have we seen this day? In most cases we are "surprised" at the meager results in spite of strenuous effort! "The Lord would do great things for the workers, but their hearts are not humble."—Evangelism, p. 333. "The reason why . . . [we] accomplish so little is that . . . [we] do not walk with God. He is a day's journey from most of . [us]."—Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 434.

The truth will triumph. God's people will come from the East and West. Nor is it God's plan to "cast out" "the children of the kingdom." Only the refusal to abide in Christ and to allow Him to abide within will finally force from the lips of a soul, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and . . [I] am not saved" (Jen 8:20).

God "brought us out . . . , that he might bring us in" (Deut. 6:23). Let us each one arise and shine and be the people we ought to be, that the harvest may be reaped and together we may "sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 8:11).

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J. G. KERBS, Publishing Department Secretary, South African Unio

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