If our ministers realized how soon the inhabitants of the world are to be arraigned before the judgment seat of God, to answer for the deeds done in the body, how earnestly they would work together with God to present the truth! How untiringly they would labor to advance God’s cause in the world, proclaiming in word and deed: “The end of all things is at hand” (1 Peter 4:7).
“Prepare to meet thy God” is the message we are everywhere to proclaim. The trumpet is to give a certain sound. Clearly and distinctly the warning is to ring out: “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen....Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:2-4). The words of this scripture are to be fulfilled. Soon the last test is to come to all the inhabitants of the earth. At that time prompt decisions will be made. Those who have been convicted under the presentation of the word will range themselves under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel. They will see and understand as never before they have missed many opportunities for doing the good they ought to have done. They will realize that they have not worked as zealously as they should, to seek and save the lost, to snatch them, as it were, out of the fire.
God’s servants are to be “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” Listlessness and inefficiency are not piety. When we realize that we are working for God we shall have a higher sense than we have ever had before of the sacredness of spiritual service. This realization will put life and vigilance and persevering energy into the discharge of every duty.
Religion, pure, undefiled religion, is intensely practical. Nothing but earnest, wholehearted labor will avail in the saving of souls. We are to make our everyday duties acts of devotion, constantly increasing in usefulness, because we see our work in the light of eternity.
Our work has been marked out for us by our heavenly Father. We are to take our Bibles and go forth to warn the world. We are to be God’s helping hands in saving souls—channels through which His love is day by day to flow to the perishing. The realization of the great work in which he has the privilege of taking part ennobles and sanctifies the true worker. He is filled with the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Nothing is drudgery to the one who submits to the will of God. “Doing it unto the Lord” is a thought that throws a charm over whatever work God gives him to do.
Carry on all your work on strictly religious principles. Let your earnest inquiry be: “What can I do to please the Master?” Visit places where the believers need encouragement and help. At every step ask: “Is this the way of the Lord? Am I, in spirit, in word, in action, in harmony with His will?” If you labor for God with an eye single to His glory, your work will bear the divine mold, and you will be carrying out the Lord’s purposes.
In your study of the Word of God, penetrate deeper and still deeper beneath the surface. Lay hold by faith on divine power and sound the depths of inspiration. Bring into your ministry the power of God, remembering that the Lord is behind you. Let His love shine through all you do and say. Let the truth, the precious, simple truth of the Word of God, shine out in full brightness. Humble self before God. Christ will be your efficiency. He has appointed you as rulers over His household, to give meat in due season. Christ’s laborers are very near His heart of love. He desires to perfect His household through the perfection of His ministers.
Christ is the sympathetic, compassionate Redeemer. In His sustaining power, men and women become strong to resist evil. As the convicted sinner looks at sin, it becomes to him exceeding sinful. He wonders that he did not come to Christ before. He sees that his faults must be overcome and that his appetites and passions must be subjected to God’s will, that he must be a partaker of the divine nature, having overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust. Having repented of his transgression of God’s law, he strives earnestly to overcome sin. He seeks to reveal the power of Christ’s grace, and he is brought into personal touch with the Saviour.
Constantly he keeps Christ before him. Praying, believing, receiving the blessings he needs, he comes nearer and nearer to God’s standard for him.
New virtues are revealed in his character as he denies self and lifts the cross, following where Christ leads the way. He loves the Lord Jesus with his whole heart, and Christ becomes his wisdom, his righteousness, his sanctification, and his redemption.
Christ is our example, our inspiration, our exceeding great reward. “Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1 Cor. 3:9). God is the Master Builder, but man has a part to act. He is to cooperate with God. “We are laborers together with God” (verse 9). Never forget the words: “together with God.” “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12, 13). The miracle-working power of Christ’s grace is revealed in the creation in man of a new heart, a higher life, a holier enthusiasm. God says: “A new heart also will I give you” (Eze. 36:26). Is not this, the renewal of man, the greatest miracle that can be performed? What cannot the human agent do who by faith takes hold of the divine power?
Remember that in working with Christ as your personal Saviour lies your strength and your victory. This is the part all are to act. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He declares: “Without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). And the repentant, believing soul responds: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).
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 selection was taken from Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 9, pp. 149-152.