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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    L. T. NICOLA


    IN the previous readings our attention has been called to the situation we occupy, and to the great need of our seeking God with humility of heart and earnestness of spirit. Evidences have also been presented which show that we are living in the closing scenes of time. Never were the National Reformers so active and determined in their work as now. The persecutions of our brethren are going on continually. Scarcely a week goes by without one or more being arrested, while others are serving sentences in prison or at hard labor.GCB April 1, 1896, page 699.8

    The Eastern Question is ripe. The winds, ready to blow at any moment, are held back by supernatural power, only waiting for the last message to do its work. The presentation of the needs of the mission field, by the Foreign Mission secretary, gives some idea of the urgent call for immediate relief. Shall the thousands and millions of people who still remain in darkness, be permitted to go down to perdition without having an opportunity to hear the message of salvation?GCB April 1, 1896, page 699.9

    Our duty to God in tithes and offerings has been briefly referred to. This question should receive conscientious study. Have we robbed God in tithes and offerings? Then let us do so no more; for it is a fearful thing.GCB April 1, 1896, page 700.1

    Beloved brethren and sisters, the time has come when we must awake, and put forth every effort in the accomplishment of the work God has given us to do. We are nearing the close of this season of prayer and fasting; we have sought God, confessed our sins, and plead for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Lord has graciously heard us, as he always does when we seek him with all the heart. God’s people have never prayed to him in vain. He has come near, and we have realized his reviving presence in our midst. For this we have reason to be thankful.GCB April 1, 1896, page 700.2

    The next step is that of making the best use of these blessings. This means a deeper Christian experience and increased zeal and activity in every line of Christian work. It means also greater promptness in the payment of tithes and first-day offerings, and faithful self-denial generally in the interest of the Lord’s work.GCB April 1, 1896, page 700.3

    In this connection some suggestions may be submitted, which it is desired our brethren and sisters, and especially the church officers, will consider and carry into effect as far as circumstances permit.GCB April 1, 1896, page 700.4

    1. Meetings should be held from time to time in which church, missionary, and Sabbath-school officers, and such other members as might be called in, could engage in earnest prayer, and together study the needs and condition of the church. At such meetings plans could be laid for the church to carry on aggressive work in the neighborhood, as well as to take a kindly interest in such of its members as should for any reason become discouraged, or begin to grow cold and indifferent.GCB April 1, 1896, page 700.5

    2. Our young people are not receiving the attention they so much need. There are many influences at work everywhere, calculated to lead them astray from God and the truth. Effort should be made to employ their interest and talents where they will help on the Lord’s work.GCB April 1, 1896, page 700.6

    O, where are the fathers and mothers in Israel? We ought to have a large number of them who would be stewards of the grace of Christ, who would feel not merely a casual interest, but a special interest in the young. We ought to have those whose hearts are touched by the pitiable situation in which our youth are placed, who realize that Satan is working by every conceivable device to draw them into his net. God requires that the church rouse from its lethargy, and see what is the manner of service demanded at this time of peril. The lambs of the flock must be fed. The eyes of our brethren and sisters should be anointed with heavenly eye-salve, that they may discern the necessities of the time. We must be aroused to see what needs to be done in Christ’s spiritual vineyard, and go to work. The Lord of heaven is looking on to see who is doing the work he would have done for the youth and the children. — Mrs E. G. White, in The Review and Herald, April 26, 1896.GCB April 1, 1896, page 700.7

    3. More pains should be taken in making the different church meetings interesting and profitable; not, however, by getting a minister to preach or having some one else attempt to do so, but by all taking an active part and doing their duty. Let the exercises be varied from time to time, so as to prevent falling into a dead formality. Sometimes a short Bible reading can be held; at other times, again, an appropriate selection may be read; and there are still other ways of profitably spending the time. Be careful not to let the meeting drag, or become tiresome because of improper length.GCB April 1, 1896, page 700.8

    4. What is known as Christian Help work should receive earnest attention, and be carried into active operation by every church. As a people we should be foremost in every good work. Nothing can so effectually recommend the truth of God as our carrying out its holy principles, touching works of love and mercy for the needy, suffering, and fallen members of the human family. Nothing is so effective in awakening an interest to learn about our faith and doctrines as showing our religion, not by cold argument, but by living out the very principles which are so prominent in the life and labors of our Saviour.GCB April 1, 1896, page 700.9

    5. The interest in our tract and missionary work should be revived. In every church there are some who are doing all they can. At the same time there are a goodly number who, it is sad to say, are doing little or nothing. The Master has given “to every man his work,” and we must not bury our talent in the ground.GCB April 1, 1896, page 700.10

    Specific instruction in regard to this work cannot be given in this connection, but the question of a wider circulation of our literature should receive careful study.GCB April 1, 1896, page 700.11

    (a) The Signs of the Times is our pioneer missionary paper. The circulation of this paper ought to be one hundred thousand, instead of less than thirty thousand. It is a most powerful agent in spreading the knowledge of the truth.GCB April 1, 1896, page 701.1

    (b) The selling of papers and tracts by children and older people is another important branch of missionary work which has been attended with good success. Also that of selling and distributing our tracts and smaller publications.GCB April 1, 1896, page 701.2

    (c) We publish quite a variety of small books, such as “Steps to Christ,” “Mount of Blessing,” “Christ our Saviour,” “Gospel Primer,” “Glorious Appearing,” and “The Rights of the People.” There are persons in all our churches who could do excellent work with these, and not go far away from home either.GCB April 1, 1896, page 701.3

    6. The prompt payment of tithes and offerings should receive attention. This matter should often be talked over freely in the church, and the proper officers should do their duty faithfully in collecting and forwarding these means. Great and precious promises in God’s word are contingent for their fulfillment on our dealing liberally with him.GCB April 1, 1896, page 701.4

    7. The question of selling and giving alms should receive more attention. This is not a time to gather earthly store and lay up worldly treasures. Much money is now being invested in worldly enterprises that ought to be donated toward spreading the truth of God. But this is an individual matter. We only ask of all that they seek the Lord earnestly to know his will, and then do it promptly. Now there is an opportunity to help forward the work of the Lord; soon it will be forever too late.GCB April 1, 1896, page 701.5

    8. Closely related to the above is the question of families, especially those who live in our larger churches, selling and moving to new localities in this or some other country, for the purpose of raising the standard of the truth in such places. There is room for hundreds of such self-supporting missionaries in the southern part of our own country, as well as in Mexico, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the world. This line of missionary work has received some attention, and some families have gone abroad, and are doing a good work. Many more can do the same. We do not advise rash or hasty action. Seek the Lord for guidance, and he will open the way.GCB April 1, 1896, page 701.6

    9. The plan of engaging in missionary farming and gardening, for the purpose of raising funds with which to spread the message, is receiving some attention, and should receive more. If properly taken hold of, it may be made productive of much good, and considerable means can be thus raised for the support of our missionary enterprises.GCB April 1, 1896, page 701.7

    Much more might be said, and many more suggestions made, but the above are perhaps sufficient to set us thinking. May the outcome of this effort be a more thorough consecration, a deeper devotion, and a more zealous activity in God’s cause. Let us remember, too, that what we do must be done quickly, for the time is short.GCB April 1, 1896, page 701.8

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