he Saviour’s words, “Ye are the light of the world,” point to the fact that He has committed to His followers a worldwide mission. As the rays of the sun penetrate to the remotest corners of the globe, so God designs that the light of the gospel shall extend to every soul upon the earth. If the church of Christ were fulfilling the purpose of our Lord, light would be shed upon all that sit in darkness and in the region and shadow of death; instead of congregating together and shunning responsibility and cross-bearing, the members of the church would scatter into all lands, letting the light of Christ shine out from them, working as He did for the salvation of souls, and this “gospel of the kingdom” would speedily be carried to all the world.
The Call to Witness
From all countries the Macedonian call is sounding, “Come over and help us.” God has opened fields before us.. . . Providence is going before us, and divine power is working with human effort. . . . Some have heard the call of God, and have responded. Let every sanctified heart now respond, by seeking to proclaim the life-giving message. If men and women in humility and faithfulness will take up their Godgiven, appointed work, divine power will be revealed in the conversion of many to the truth. Wonderful will be the results of their efforts.
The Lord is bidding His people in every place to sow beside all waters. It means much to obey His command. It means a continual imparting of the gifts we have received from heaven. The cause of God needs consecrated workers, and it needs money. Shall we continue to spend our means for things that are unessential, while a neglected work remains undone? Shall we not rather repent of our indifference toward this work, and pray for spiritual discernment to see and understand, as we should, its urgent needs?
The spirit of liberality is the spirit of heaven. Christ’s selfsacrificing love is revealed upon the cross. That man might be saved, He gave all that He had, and then gave Himself.
The cross of Christ appeals to the benevolence of every follower of the blessed Saviour. The spirit here illustrated is to give, give. This carried out in actual benevolence and good works is the true fruit of the Christian life.
The Need of Conversion
The work of God needs men and women who have learned of Christ. The moment God’s workmen see Him as He is, that moment they will see themselves as they are, and will ask Him to make them what they ought to be. Selfishness makes men hindrances instead of helps. In God’s light we can see our defects; and in His strength we can remedy them.
At the final day, when the earth shall perish, he who has laid up treasures in heaven will behold that which his life has gained. If we have given heed to the words of Christ, then, as we gather round the great white throne, we shall see souls who have been saved through our agency, and shall know that one has saved others, and these still others,—a large company brought into the haven of rest as the result of our faithful labors, there to lay their crowns at Jesus’ feet,
and praise Him through the ceaseless ages of eternity. With what joy will the worker for Christ behold these redeemed ones, who share the glory of the Redeemer! How precious will heaven be to those who have been faithful in the work of saving souls!
The nearer we come to the close of this earth’s history, the more delusive will be the snares of the enemy. As time passes, his attacks will grow fiercer and more frequent. Satan’s supreme effort is made to ensnare and deceive if possible the very elect,—the church and the ministers of Christ. . . . If he can lull them to indifference to their high calling, his triumph
is certain. What is needed at this time is thorough conversion and wholehearted consecration. He who is closely connected with Christ will be strengthened to withstand the enemy’s devices. Our safety lies in practising heartily the truths of the Bible. By humbling ourselves before God, we invite His saving power.
A great work is to be done in foreign fields; and just as verily a great work is to be done in the home field; for it is by consecrated, faithful effort in the home field that workers are to be won for God who will go forth to proclaim the truth in foreign fields. . . .
All classes are to be reached. As we labor, we shall meet with different nationalities. None are to be passed by unwarned. The Lord Jesus was the gift of God to the entire world—not to the higher classes alone, and not to one nationality, to the exclusion of others. His saving grace encircles the world. . . . And while the servants of God are aroused to give the light, all nationalities are represented as pressing into service as instrumentalities of divine choosing.
There are many who long for special talent with which to do some wonderful work, while the duties lying close at hand, the performance of which would make the life fragrant, are lost sight of. Let such ones go to work, taking up the work lying directly in their pathway. Success depends not so much on talent as on sanctified energy and willingness. . . .
Christ’s Love the Motivation
If the love of Christ fills the heart, this love will be manifested in the life. If you have a fitness for a special line of service, this will be seen as you do your best in the work nearest to you. Be faithful and thorough in all that you do. Do not be discouraged if the beginning you make seems small, but set your mark high, and put forth earnest efforts to reach it. Do not allow obstacles to dishearten you. Concentrate your efforts on the surmounting of these obstacles.
Persevere, and you will succeed.
Right where you are, and right where the people are, let earnest efforts be put forth. The Word of God has, as it were, been hidden under a bushel. That Word must be explained to those who are now ignorant of its requirements. Search the Scriptures with those who are willing to be taught. . . .
My message to our people is: “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
When the Samaritans came to Christ at the call of the Samaritan woman, Christ spoke of them to His disciples as a field of grain ready for harvesting: “Say ye not, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?” He asked. “Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.”
And how did that harvest begin?—With one woman,— just giving the truth to one woman, and that woman giving it to others; for she went to the village, and said to the people, “Come.” They came, and they listened, and the harvest began. . . . As a result of His labors, “many more believed” on Him. This was their testimony: “We have heard him ourselves,
and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
Just such work is to be carried on to-day. There are many preparing for the harvest, but they know it not. At this time every word and act of ours should be fraught with meaning.. . . The reapers must act their part. God’s people must arouse from their indifference and selfishness, and reveal a desire to be used as the Lord’s helping hand.
A Call to Action
My brethren and sisters, arise; shine! The time has come when we should make every possible effort in giving this last message to the world. I call upon all who possibly can to connect with the work, and to do it now. . . . God’s first and great commandment is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” The second is like unto it: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
The Lord is sending us repeated instruction pointing us to the importance of becoming earnest, diligent workers. We have an important work to do, a work that will not wait, a work that can be accomplished only in the power of, and through, the Spirit, and under the direction and guidance of Christ. Let every believer at this time show himself a worker together with God. Let all differences be put away, all light, meaningless talk. Let us speak and act righteously. The Lord will work through every soul who will yield heart and life to His control. To all who will be led by the Spirit, God will impart His righteousness. He commits to His true followers the power of persuasion, the power of His grace and truth, a deep and constant love for His work in home and foreign fields. He gives them hearts that are in earnest in gathering with Christ. With helpers possessing such gifts as these, the missionary work cannot be without fruit.
A Glorious Future
The kingdom of grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place till the second coming of Christ to this world. “The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven” is to “be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.” They shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. And Christ will take to Himself His great power, and reign. . . .
But before that coming, Jesus said, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.” His kingdom will not come until the good tidings of His grace shall have been carried to all the earth. Hence, as we give ourselves to God, and win other souls to Him, we hasten the coming of His kingdom. Only those who devote themselves to His service, saying, “Here am I; send me” to open blind eyes, to turn men “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God,”—they alone pray in sincerity, “Thy kingdom come.”—Ellen G. White, “For a Witness Unto All Nations,” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Nov. 14, 1912.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND SHARING
1. What part do our lives play in witnessing for Christ?
2. What could make a person a hindrance rather than a help?
Ellen G. White, whom Seventh-day Adventists believe had the gift of prophecy, was one of the founders of the church.