The mission of the church of Jesus Christ is to save perishing sinners. It is to make known the love of God to men, and to win them to Christ by the efficacy of that love.
The truth for this time must be carried into the dark corners of the earth. This work may begin at home. The followers of Christ should not live selfish lives, but [be] imbued with the spirit of Christ, then they will work in harmony with Christ.
How often do we hear professed Christians complain, I do not enjoy religion. There is a most painfully marked contrast between the professed followers of Christ today, and those who followed Him amid persecution and peril. The writings of the apostles were given us in the times of distress and perplexity and adversity, and these compositions show a depth of Christian experience and triumphant joy that is rarely seen now in the writings of those who profess to believe the truth and live in obedience to it.
There is a cause for the present coldness and unbelief. The love of the world, the cares of life, separate the soul from God. The water of life must be in us, and flowing out from us, springing up unto everlasting life.
We must work out what God works in. If the Christian would enjoy the truth and the light of life, he must increase his efforts to bring others to the knowledge of the truth. His life must be characterized with exertion, self-denial, and sacrifices to do others good, and there will be no complaints of lack of enjoyment.
Angels are ever engaged in working for others’ happiness. In this is their joy. That which to selfish hearts would be considered humiliating service of ministry to those who are wretched and in every way inferior in character and rank is the work of the pure, sinless angels in the royal courts of heaven.
The spirit of Christ, self-sacrificing love, is the spirit which pervades heaven, and is the very essence of its bliss. Those who feel no special pleasure in seeking to be a blessing to others, in working even at a sacrifice to do them good, cannot have the spirit of Christ and of heaven, for they have no union with the work of angels, and cannot participate in the bliss that imparts the elevated joy to the heavenly angels.
Christ has said there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth than over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance. If this is the joy of angels, in seeing sinners repent, will it not be the joy of sinners saved by the blood of Christ? Then, working in harmony with Christ and the holy angels will give bliss and joy that cannot be realized aside from this work.
The principle of the cross of Christ lays every believing soul under heavy contribution to deny self, to impart light, and to give of their means. If they are [in] connection with heaven, they will be engaged in the work in harmony with the angels.
The principle of worldlings is to gather, to get all that they can, for selfish love of gain is the ruling principle in their lives. The result, carried out, is crime and misery. The purest joy found is not in riches, not where covetousness is always craving, but where contentment reigns and self-sacrificing love is the ruling principle.
There are thousands who are passing their lives in indulgence, and their hearts are filled with repining. They are victims of selfishness and discontent in the vain effort to satisfy the minds with indulgence. But unhappiness is stamped upon the very countenance, and behind them is like a desolate desert, because [they are] not fruitful in good works.
In proportion as the love of Christ fills our hearts and controls our lives, covetousness, selfishness, and love of ease will be overcome, and it will be meet [i.e., fit] to do the will of Christ, whose servants we claim to be. Our happiness will be proportionate to our unselfish works, prompted by the love of Christ.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry. This excerpt was taken from Manuscript 6, 1872.