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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    L. T. NICOLA


    FOR the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work.” Mark 13:34.GCB October 1, 1896, page 774.4

    “And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.” Matthew 20:6, 7.GCB October 1, 1896, page 774.5

    We have come to the last meeting of this special season. During the past few days much relating to the importance of this time, the dangers that are threatening, and the unprepared condition of our people, has been presented to us, and these things have made a deep impression on our minds. The magnitude of the work given God’s people to do at this time, has also been placed before us; and it has become evident that we have not made the advancement that God would have been pleased to see us make. The Laodicean message has been applied to us, as describing our true condition, and this we have acknowledged to be true. These things have made our hearts sad, and we have sought God with fasting and prayer, humbling our hearts, confessing our sins and our backslidings, and God has mercifully heard our prayers. He has come graciously near to each one of us, and poured his blessing upon us in copious showers.GCB October 1, 1896, page 774.6

    Now it is fitting for us to consider the question, What shall we do? Shall we go back to our lukewarm, indifferent condition? God forbid! No; let us do just the opposite. Let us strike while the iron is hot. Our hearts have been made tender by the operation of the Holy Spirit; we have been led to see our lack of consecration, — our spiritual blindness, apathy, and slothfulness. Influenced by these considerations, and a sense of the wrong course we have pursued in the past, we have formed good resolutions for the future. Now it remains for us to put these resolutions into definite shape, and proceed immediately to carry them out.GCB October 1, 1896, page 774.7

    The Holy Spirit is at work in our midst. Let us give it free play to mold and fashion our minds. Let us open our purses and contribute liberally toward the foreign missionary work. The wants of the cause were never greater than they are to-day; but God does not permit such wants to arise without providing some means of supplying them. It is reasonable, therefore, to conclude that he has money enough in the hands of his stewards abundantly to meet all the wants of his cause. Will we let him have it, or will we withhold it? This question must be answered by each steward for hismelf. Remember, God does not look on the amount, but at what it costs us. Therefore let every individual give according to his ability, and in so doing count it a privilege, and not a cross; for “God loveth a cheerful giver.”GCB October 1, 1896, page 774.8

    Meantime let us not think that our responsibility ends here. O no! We have missionary work to do ourselves, and we must go at it without a moment’s delay. We must ourselves take the sickle, and go into the harvest-field to reap. Our adversary will spare no pains to keep us from doing this work. He cares nothing for the good resolutions we form, so long as he can prevent us from carrying them out. He delights in a revival which does not set the people to work, for he well knows that the church which does not at once proceed to follow up a spiritual awakening with active work for others, will fall back into a worse condition that it was before the revival.GCB October 1, 1896, page 775.1

    Brethren and sisters, we cannot afford to let this be the case with us. The Lord wants us to take decided advance moves. Our souls have been refreshed and strengthened by the heavenly showers of God’s grace that have fallen upon us during this season of fasting and prayer. Then shall we not arise and act? We have put on the helmet of hope,a nd taken in our left hand the shield of faith, and in our right the sword of the Spirit. Then shall we not go forth with courage, and fight the battles of the Lord? Let us not trifle with Jehovah. If he has called us to give the last warning message to the world, ought not such a sacred responsibility to mean something to us? How can we expect men to believe that the Lord’s coming is at the door, when we are all the time denying it by our worldly lives, and showing so little zeal in its proclamation?GCB October 1, 1896, page 775.2

    “Well,” you may say, “what shall we do, then?” — Awake, bestir yourselves, from the elder and deacon down to the youngest member of the church! Revive your missionary meetings, double your list of missionary papers, lay in a good stock of our tracts and small books. Has not the Lord told us that we ought to be doing twenty times as much work as we are? Get out among your neighbors and interest yourselves in their salvation. Live Christ, and talk Christ to the people.GCB October 1, 1896, page 775.3

    “Can we who claim to love God pass on day after day, and week after week, indifferent to those who are out of Christ? If they should die in their sins, unwarned, their blood would be required at the unfaithful watchman’s hands. Why is it that personal efforts are not put forth, that they may be drawn to Christ by the strong cords of love? There is work for each and all to do, and will any one shrink from sacred responsibility? Shall souls be left to perish because of your unfaithfulness? Jesus has said, ‘Ye are the light of the world.’ ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ Let your light shine in clear, steady rays, that you may represent Him who has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” [These quoted passages are from the pen of Mrs. E. G. White.]GCB October 1, 1896, page 775.4

    Remember, brethren, we have a definite message to give the world. “The Lord is coming soon” should be on our lips, and the same sentiment should be powerfully echoed in our lives. Instead of having our minds taken up with the things of this world, we should remember that we are pilgrims and strangers here. Instead of spending our money upon ourselves, we should live lives of strict self-denial, and seek to lay up treasure in heaven. We should make it our business to serve the Lord, to get ready ourselves, and warn our neighbors to get ready, for the coming of the Just One. If we would escape the terrible fate of having the Lord require the blood of souls at our hands, we must give them the light which we have. There is not a moment to lose. Soon it will be forever too late.GCB October 1, 1896, page 775.5

    Our missionary paper, the Signs of the Times, the American Sentinel, and our books and tracts, are all efficient means of bringing the truth before the people. God has graciously provided them to help us in this work, but they cannot do any good while they lie on the shelves. We must use them. Our State tract societies must arouse to a sense of their responsibilities; our churches everywhere must respond to the Lord’s call, and fall into line. Every man, woman, and child should press into the ranks without a moment’s delay; for God’s people are marching forward to glorious victory. He who now lags will be left behind. We must strain every nerve if we are to keep pace with the message.GCB October 1, 1896, page 775.6

    O how earnestly we should plead with God for power to win souls for him! How many there are all around us who are famishing for the bread of life! Should not our hearts go out with an intense longing to feed them? Think you that this work belongs to the minister? Let us hear what the Lord has said to us:—GCB October 1, 1896, page 776.1

    “The responsibility of representing Christ to the world does not rest alone upon those who are ordained as ministers of the gospel. Each member of the church should be a living epistle, known and read of all men. A working church will be a living church. Those who are elected as elders and deacons should ever be on the alert, that plans may be made and executed which will give every member of the church a share in active work for the salvation of souls. This is the only way in which the work can be preserved in a healthy, thriving condition.”GCB October 1, 1896, page 776.2

    “What more can I say than I have said, to impress upon our churches ... the eternal loss they are liable to in not arousing and putting to use the executive ability that God has given them? If the members of the churches would but put to work the powers of mind that they have, in well-directed efforts, in well-matured plans, they might do a hundredfold more for Christ than they are now doing. If they went forth with earnest prayer, with meekness and lowliness of heart, seeking personally to impart to others the knowledge of salvation, the message might reach the inhabitants of the earth. How many more messages of reproof and warning must the Lord send to his chosen people before they will obey? I tell you in the name of the Lord Jesus, who gave his life for the life of the world, that as a people we are behind our privileges and opportunities.”GCB October 1, 1896, page 776.3

    Do any excuse themselves on the ground of lack of preparation? Let us consider what the Lord has said on this point:—GCB October 1, 1896, page 776.4

    “Some excuse themselves, saying that they do not know how to do the kind of work that is called for in the missionary. You ought to have known how to do the work from the very beginning of your religious life. Will you be content to rest in ignorance and indifference? Will you venture to be a slothful servant to the end of the chapter? or will you now seek most earnestly after God, and know what it is to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, and become laborers together with God? ...GCB October 1, 1896, page 776.5

    “Never was there a time in the history of the world when there was a more urgent demand for workers than at present. The seeds of truth are to be sown, and the reapers are to follow after to gather in the sheaves. If the members of all our churches did but have the love of Christ, and the love for souls which his indwelling presence would impart, they would be aggressive workers, and would lay aside their busy activities upon unimportant things, and would put their talents out to interest, and invest in that which would bring treasure throughout eternal ages. In the service of the Master, they would have increased strength and life. O, then, why not study as to how you may reach souls who are out of the ark of safety? Let your work be proportionate to your advantages and privileges, and trade on the talents you have at your command, and you will have a living experience int he things of God.”GCB October 1, 1896, page 776.6

    “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. But we can do nothing without sanctified energy. Just as soon as the missionary spirit is lost from the heart, and zeal for the cause of God begins to wane, the burden of our testimonies and plans is a cry for prudence and economy; and real backsliding begins in the missionary work. Instead of diminishing the work, let all the councils be conducted in such a manner that increased purpose may be manifested to carry forward the great work of warning the world, though it may cost self-denial and sacrifice. If every member of the church was constantly impressed with the thought, I am not my own, but have been bought with a price, each would feel that he is under the most sacred obligation to improve every ability given of God, to double his usefulness year by year, and have no excuse for spiritual negligence. Then there would be no lack of sympathy with the Master in the great work of saving souls. Who are there among us that with spiritual perception can discern the stern conflict that is going on in the world between the forces of good and evil? ...GCB October 1, 1896, page 776.7

    “Brethren and sisters, God calls upon you to enter the new fields opening before you and calling for laborers. Will you hear? Beneath the cross of Calvary will you consecrate yourselves, and take up the work with vigor and enthusiasm?GCB October 1, 1896, page 777.1

    In the work of saving souls the zeal of Christ consumed him; and it is only be recognizing our responsibilities as laborers together with God, that we become followers of Christ. Shall we give up self and lift the cross, that we may be endued with the Spirit of Christ, and enjoy the triumph of victorious overcomers?” O. A. OLSEN.GCB October 1, 1896, page 777.2

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