Chapter 9—The Call to Arouse
Let the gospel message ring through our churches, summoning them to universal action. Let the members of the church have increased faith, gaining zeal from their unseen, heavenly allies, from a knowledge of their exhaustless resources, from the greatness of the enterprise in which they are engaged, and from the power of their Leader. Those who place themselves under God's control, to be led and guided by Him, will catch the steady tread of the events ordained by Him to take place. Inspired with the Spirit of Him who gave His life for the life of the world, they will no longer stand still in impotency, pointing to what they cannot do. Putting on the armor of heaven, they will go forth to the warfare willing to do and dare for God, knowing that His omnipotence will supply their need.—Testimonies for the Church 7:14.Let us arouse! The battle is waging. Truth and error are nearing their final conflict. Let us march under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, and fight the good fight of faith, and win eternal honors; for the truth will triumph, and we may be more than conquerors through Him who has loved us. The precious hours of probation are closing. Let us make sure work for eternal life, that we may glorify our heavenly Father, and be the means of saving souls for whom Christ died.—The Review and Herald, March 13, 1888.
The duke of Wellington was once present where a party of Christian men were discussing the possibility of success in missionary effort among the heathen. They appealed to the duke to say whether in his judgment such efforts were likely to prove a success commensurate to the cost. The old soldier replied: “Gentlemen, what are your marching orders? Success is not the question for you to discuss. If I read your orders aright, they run thus, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.’ Gentlemen, obey your marching orders.”—Gospel Workers, 115.
No Time for Delay
“The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly.” Zephaniah 1:14. Let us be shod with the gospel shoes, ready to march at a moment's notice.—Testimonies for the Church 9:48.Church members ... are to be ever ready to spring into action in obedience to the Master's commands. Wherever we see work waiting to be done, we are to take it up and do it, constantly looking unto Jesus.... If every church member were a living missionary, the gospel would speedily be proclaimed in all countries, to all peoples, nations, and tongues.—Testimonies for the Church 9:32.We are nearing the close of this earth's history. We have before us a great work,—the closing work of giving the last warning message to a sinful world. There are men who will be taken from the plow, from the vineyard, from various other branches of work, and sent forth by the Lord to give this message to the world.—Testimonies for the Church 7:270.Sound an alarm throughout the length and breadth of the earth. Tell the people that the day of the Lord is near, and hasteth greatly. Let none be left unwarned. We might have been in the place of the poor souls that are in error. We might have been placed among barbarians. According to the truth we have received above others, we are debtors to impart the same to them.—Testimonies for the Church 6:22.My brethren and sisters, it is too late to devote your time and strength to self-serving. Let not the last day find you destitute of the heavenly treasure. Seek to push the triumphs of the cross, seek to enlighten souls, labor for the salvation of your fellow beings, and your work will abide the trying test of fire.—Testimonies for the Church 9:56.We must give this message quickly, line upon line, precept upon precept. Men will soon be forced to great decisions, and it is our duty to see that they are given an opportunity to understand the truth, that they may take their stand intelligently on the right side. The Lord calls upon His people to labor—labor earnestly and wisely—while probation lingers.—Testimonies for the Church 9:126, 127.We have no time to lose. The end is near. The passage from place to place to spread the truth will soon be hedged with dangers on the right hand and on the left. Everything will be placed to obstruct the way of the Lord's messengers, so that they will not be able to do that which it is possible for them to do now. We must look our work fairly in the face, and advance as fast as possible in aggressive warfare. From the light given me of God I know that the powers of darkness are working with intense energy from beneath, and with stealthy tread Satan is advancing to take those who are now asleep, as a wolf taking his prey. We have warnings now which we may give, a work now which we may do; but soon it will be more difficult than we can imagine. God help us to keep in the channel of light, to work with our eyes fastened on Jesus our leader, and patiently, perseveringly press on to gain the victory.—Testimonies for the Church 6:22.There is danger in delay. That soul whom you might have found, that soul to whom you might have opened the Scriptures, passes beyond your reach. Satan has prepared some net for his feet, and tomorrow he may be working out the plans of the archenemy of God. Why delay one day? Why not go to work at once?—Testimonies for the Church 6:443.Vigilance and fidelity have been required of Christ's followers in every age; but now that we are standing upon the very verge of the eternal world, holding the truths we do, having so great light, so important a work, we must double our diligence. Every one is to do to the very utmost of his ability. My brother, you endanger your own salvation if you hold back now. God will call you to account if you fail in the work He has assigned you.—Testimonies for the Church 5:460, 461.
Eternity stretches before us. The curtain is about to be lifted. What are we thinking of, that we cling to our selfish love of ease, while all around us souls are perishing?Have our hearts become utterly callous?Can we not see and understand that we have a work to do in behalf of others?My brethren and sisters, are you among those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not?Is it in vain that God has given you a knowledge of His will?Is it in vain that He has sent you warning after warning of the nearness of the end?Do you believe the declarations of His word concerning what is coming upon the world?Do you believe that God's judgments are hanging over the inhabitants of the earth?How, then, can you sit at ease, careless and indifferent?—Testimonies for the Church 9:26, 27.
The Call to Awake
The work is fast closing up, and on every side wickedness is increasing. We have but a short time in which to work. Let us awake from spiritual slumber, and consecrate all that we have and are to the Lord. His Spirit will abide with true missionaries, furnishing them with power for service.—The Southern Watchman, April 9, 1903.Wake up, brethren and sisters, wake up. Sleep no longer. “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” Jesus calls you, saying, “Go work today in My vineyard.” Whoever has received the Holy Spirit, will make it manifest; for all his powers will be employed in the most active service. All who actually receive Christ by faith, work. They feel the burden of souls. God now calls upon every one who has a knowledge of the truth, who is a depositary of sacred truth, to arise and impart the light of heaven to others.—The Review and Herald, December 5, 1893.Wake up, brethren; for your own soul's sake, wake up. Without the grace of Christ you can do nothing. Work while you can.—The Southern Watchman, July 17, 1906.If our eyes could be open to discern the fallen angels at work with those who feel at ease and consider themselves safe, we would not feel so secure. Evil angels are upon our track every moment.—Testimonies for the Church 1:302.God calls upon all, both preachers and people, to awake. All heaven is astir. The scenes of earth's history are fast closing. We are amid the perils of the last days. Greater perils are before us, and yet we are not awake. This lack of activity and earnestness in the cause of God is dreadful. This death stupor is from Satan.—Testimonies for the Church 1:260, 261.What shall I say to arouse the remnant people of God? I was shown that dreadful scenes are before us; Satan and his angels are bringing all their powers to bear upon God's people. He knows that if they sleep a little longer, he is sure of them, for their destruction is certain.—Testimonies for the Church 1:263.In these final hours of probation for the sons of men, when the fate of every soul is so soon to be decided forever, the Lord of heaven and earth expects His church to arouse to action as never before. Those who have been made free in Christ through a knowledge of precious truth, are regarded by the Lord Jesus as His chosen ones, favored above all other people on the face of the earth; and He is counting on them to show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into marvelous light. The blessings which are so liberally bestowed, are to be communicated to others. The good news of salvation is to go to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.—Prophets and Kings, 716, 717.Not one in a hundred among us is doing anything beyond engaging in common, worldly enterprises. We are not half awake to the worth of the souls for whom Christ died.—Testimonies for the Church 8:148.If the followers of Christ were awake to duty, there would be thousands where there is one today, proclaiming the gospel in heathen lands. And all who could not personally engage in the work, would yet sustain it with their means, their sympathy, and their prayers. And there would be far more earnest labor for souls in Christian countries.—Steps to Christ, 81.Thousands enjoy great light and precious opportunities, but do nothing with their influence or their money to enlighten others. They do not even take the responsibility of keeping their own souls in the love of God, that they may not become a burden to the church. Such ones would be a burden and a clog in heaven. For Christ's sake, for the truth's sake, for their own sakes, such should arouse and make diligent work for eternity.—The Review and Herald, March 1, 1887.The church of Christ may be fitly compared to an army. The life of every soldier is one of toil, hardship, and danger. On every hand are vigilant foes, led on by the prince of the powers of darkness, who never slumbers and never deserts his post. Whenever a Christian is off his guard, this powerful adversary makes a sudden and violent attack. Unless the members of the church are active and vigilant, they will be overcome by his devices.What if half the soldiers in an army were idling or asleep when ordered to be on duty; the result would be defeat, captivity, or death. Should any escape from the hands of the enemy, would they be thought worthy of a reward? No; they would speedily receive the sentence of death. And is the church of Christ careless or unfaithful, far more important consequences are involved. A sleeping army of Christian soldiers—what could be more terrible? What advance could be made against the world, who are under the control of the prince of darkness? Those who stand back indifferently in the day of battle, as though they had no interest and felt no responsibility as to the issue of the contest, might better change their course or leave the ranks at once.—Testimonies for the Church 5:394.
There Must Be Action
I was shown God's people waiting for some change to take place,—a compelling power to take hold of them. But they will be disappointed, for they are wrong. They must act; they must take hold of the work themselves, and earnestly cry to God for a true knowledge of the work themselves. The scenes which are passing before us are of sufficient magnitude to cause us to arouse, and urge the truth home to the hearts of all who will listen. The harvest of the earth is nearly ripe.—Testimonies for the Church 1:261.Everything in the universe calls upon those who know the truth to consecrate themselves unreservedly to the proclamation of the truth as it has been made known to them in the third angel's message. That which we see and hear calls us to our duty. The working of satanic agencies calls every Christian to stand in his lot.—Testimonies for the Church 9:25, 26.The message of Christ's soon coming is to be given to all the nations of the earth. Vigilant, untiring effort is required to overcome the forces of the enemy. Our part is not to sit still and weep and wring our hands, but to arise and work for time and for eternity.—The Southern Watchman, May 29, 1902.“Do something, do it soon, with all thy might;
An angel's wing would droop if long at rest;
And God Himself, inactive, were no longer blest.” —Testimonies for the Church 5:308.Let no one think that he is at liberty to fold his hands and do nothing. That any one can be saved in indolence and inactivity is an utter impossibility. Think of what Christ accomplished during His earthly ministry. How earnest, how untiring, were His efforts! He allowed nothing to turn Him aside from the work given Him. Are we following in His footsteps?—The Colporteur Evangelist, 38.Divine and human agencies are combined in the work of saving souls. God has done His part, and Christian activity is needed now. God calls for this. He expects His people to bear a part in presenting the light of truth to all nations. Who will enter into this partnership with the Lord Jesus Christ?—The Review and Herald, March 1, 1887.The church must be a working church if it would be a living church. It should not be content merely to hold its own ground against the opposing forces of sin and error, not be content to advance with dilatory step, but it should bear the yoke of Christ, and keep step with the Leader, gaining new recruits along the way.—The Review and Herald, August 4, 1891.We have only a little while to urge the warfare; then Christ will come, and this scene of rebellion will close. Then our last efforts will have been made to work with Christ and advance His kingdom. Some who have stood in the forefront of the battle, zealously resisting incoming evil, fall at the post of duty; others gaze sorrowfully at the fallen heroes, but have no time to cease work. They must close up the ranks, seize the banner from the hand palsied by death, and with renewed energy vindicate the truth and the honor of Christ. As never before, resistance must be made against sin,—against the powers of darkness. The time demands energetic and determined activity on the part of those who believe present truth. They should teach the truth by both precept and example.—The Review and Herald, October 25, 1881.The Lord now calls upon Seventh-day Adventists in every locality to consecrate themselves to Him, and to do their very best, according to their circumstances, to assist in His work.—Testimonies for the Church 9:132.Idleness and religion do not go hand in hand; and the cause of our great deficiency in the Christian life and experience is inactivity in the work of God. The muscles of your body will become weak and useless if they are not kept in exercise, and it is so with the spiritual nature. If you would be strong, you must exercise your powers.—The Review and Herald, March 13, 1888.We are to be diligent workers; an idle man is a miserable creature. But what excuse can be offered for idleness in the great work which Christ gave His life to accomplish? The spiritual faculties cease to exist if they are not exercised, and it is Satan's design that they shall perish. All heaven is actively engaged in the work of preparing a people for the second coming of Christ to our world, and “we are laborers together with God.” The end of all things is at hand. Now is our opportunity to work.—The Review and Herald, January 24, 1893.It is heart missionaries that are needed. Spasmodic efforts will do little good. We must arrest the attention. We must be deeply in earnest.—Testimonies for the Church 9:45.There are among us those who, if they would take time to consider, would regard their do-nothing position as a sinful neglect of their God-given talents.—Testimonies for the Church 6:425.What is our position in the world? We are in the waiting time. But this period is not to be spent in abstract devotion. Waiting, watching, and vigilant working are to be combined. Our life should not be all bustle and drive and planning about the things of the world, to the neglect of personal piety and of the service that God requires. While we should not be slothful in business, we should be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. The lamp of the soul must be trimmed, and we must have the oil of grace in our vessels with our lamps. Every precaution must be used to prevent spiritual declension, lest the day of the Lord overtake us as a thief.—Testimonies for the Church 5:276.We are living in an age when there is to be no spiritual idleness. Every soul is to be charged with the heavenly current of life.—Testimonies for the Church 8:169.Crowd all the good works you possibly can into this life.—Testimonies for the Church 5:488.Jesus would have all who profess His name become earnest workers. It is necessary that every individual member build upon the rock Christ Jesus. A storm is arising that will wrench and test the spiritual foundation of everyone to the utmost. Therefore avoid the sandbed; hunt for the rock. Dig deep; lay your foundation sure. Build, oh, build for eternity! Build with tears, with heartfelt prayers. Let every one of you, from henceforth, make your life beautiful by good works. Calebs are the men most needed in these last days.—Testimonies for the Church 5:129, 130.
The Divine Measurement
There is a measurement of character constantly going on. The angels of God are estimating your moral value, and ascertaining your needs, and bearing your case to God.—The Review and Herald, April 2, 1889.We shall individually be held responsible for doing one jot less than we have ability to do. The Lord measures with exactness every possibility for service. The unused capabilities are as much brought into account as are those that are improved. For all that we might become through the right use of our talents God holds us responsible. We shall be judged according to what we ought to have done, but did not accomplish because we did not use our powers to glorify God. Even if we do not lose our souls, we shall realize in eternity the result of our unused talents. For all the knowledge and ability that we might have gained and did not, there will be an eternal loss.—Christ's Object Lessons, 363.
What Might Have Been
If every soldier of Christ had done his duty, if every watchman on the walls of Zion had given the trumpet a certain sound, the world might ere this have heard the message of warning. But the work is years behind. While men have slept, Satan has stolen a march upon us.—Testimonies for the Church 9:29.Let us now take up the work appointed us, and proclaim the message that is to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger. If every Seventh-day Adventist had done the work laid upon him, the number of believers would now be much larger than it is. In all the cities of America there would be those who had been led to heed the message to obey the law of God.—Testimonies for the Church 9:25.Had the purpose of God been carried out by His people in giving to the world the message of mercy, Christ would, ere this, have come to the earth, and the saints would have received their welcome into the city of God.—Testimonies for the Church 6:450.
The world needs missionaries, consecrated home missionaries, and no one will be registered in the books of heaven as a Christian who has not a missionary spirit.—The Review and Herald, August 23, 1892.If the church members do not individually take hold of this work, then they show that they have no living connection with God. Their names are registered as slothful servants.—Testimonies for the Church 5:462, 463.In every religious movement there are some who, while they cannot deny that the cause is God's, still hold themselves aloof, refusing to make any effort to help. It were well for such ones to remember the record kept on high,—that book in which there are no omissions, no mistakes, and out of which they will be judged. There every neglected opportunity to do service for God is recorded; and there, too, every deed of faith and love is held in everlasting remembrance.—Prophets and Kings, 639.On the morning of October 23, 1879, about two o’ clock, the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I beheld scenes in the coming judgment.... Ten thousand times ten thousand were assembled before a large throne, upon which was seated a person of majestic appearance. Several books were before Him, and upon the covers of each was written in letters of gold, which seemed like a burning flame of fire, “Ledger of Heaven.” One of these books containing the names of those who claim to believe the truth, was then opened. Immediately I lost sight of the countless millions about the throne, and only those who were professedly children of the light and of the truth engaged my attention....Another book was opened, wherein were recorded the sins of those who profess the truth. Under the general heading of selfishness came every other sin.... One class were registered as cumberers of the ground. As the piercing eye of the Judge rested upon these, their sins of neglect were distinctly revealed. With pale, quivering lips they acknowledged that they had been traitors to their holy trust. They had had warnings and privileges but they had not heeded nor improved them. They could now see that they had presumed too much upon the mercy of God. True, they had not such confessions to make as had the vile and basely corrupt; but, like the fig tree, they were cursed because they bore no fruit, because they had not put to use the talents intrusted to them. This class had made self supreme, laboring only for selfish interests. They were not rich toward God, not having responded to His claims upon them. Although professing to be servants of Christ, they brought no souls to Him. Had the cause of God been dependent on their efforts, it would have languished; for they not only withheld the means lent them of God, but they withheld themselves.... They had allowed others to do the work in the Master's vineyard, and to bear the heaviest responsibilities, while they were selfishly serving their own temporal interests....Said the Judge, “All will be justified by their faith, and judged by their works.” How vividly then appeared their neglect, and how wise the arrangement of God in giving to every man a work to do to promote the cause and save his fellow men. Each was to demonstrate a living faith in his family and in his neighborhood, by showing kindness to the poor, sympathizing with the afflicted, engaging in missionary labor, and by aiding the cause of God with his means. But, like Meroz, the curse of God rested upon them for what they had not done. They had loved that work which would bring the greatest profit in this life; and opposite their names in the ledger devoted to good works there was a mournful blank.—Testimonies for the Church 4:384-386.