FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
May 2, 2014
Are We Preparing for the Latter Rain?– Part XXVIII
A Working People
The wise man said, “Go to the ant thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise.” Proverbs 6: 6 (see verses 7-11). Jesus said, “The harvest truly is great but the laborers are few.” Luke 10:2. “Occupy till I come.” Luke19:13. We need to pay closer attention to what “the Lord of the harvest” meant by “harvest” and “laborer” particularly in the context of preparing for the Latter Rain. Inspiration says, “The harvest of life is character, and it is this that determines destiny, both for this life and the life to come.” (Ed 109); it is “the end of probationary time,” “the end of the world.” See parable of the wheat and tares, Matt. 13: 24-30, 37-43 and Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 72, 75.
Many are busy working out….in the popular fitness centers but are neglecting the work of spiritually fitting themselves for eternity. Many retirees and senior citizens, nearing the end of their earthly journey are yet learning ball-room dancing, gambling, or watching telenovelas such as the Filipino teleserye the whole day, instead of using these very same dwindling time, opportunities, and energies to continue delving into God’s word, “seeking immortality,” and “making their calling and election sure.” Rom. 2:7; 1 Tim. 6: 16; 2 Tim. 1:10; 2 Pet. 1:10. There are, however, faithful grandparents. Encourage and challenge them that Paul “pressedtoward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus, (Phil. 3: 14), knowing his death was near. So should they, so should all.
As a fitness guru or trainer is your personal instructor, so is Jesus Christ our personal Savior from sin and temptation. All who will be sealed for eternity and given the finishing touches of immortality at His second coming are in a growing, abiding, saving, working relationship with Hims. That’s my answer to anyone who asks: “Are you saved?”
Thus: “The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another. Though all nations are to pass in judgment before God, yet He will examine the case of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being upon the earth. Everyone must be tested and found ‘without spot or wrinkle or any such thing’ Eph. 5: 27.”- E. G. White, The Great Controversy, 1911: p. 490.
Paul urgently reminds all Christians to: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.” Phil. 2: 12, 13. He warns the presumptuous: “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10: 12. Pride and self-confidence are fatal. “For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast (certain, margin), and every transgression receive a just (fair, margin) recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him?” Heb. 2: 2, 3.
“Upon every one who knows the truth for this time rests the responsibility of making it known to others. The servants of Christ are in a large measure responsible for the well-being and salvation of the world. They are to be co-laborers with God in the work of winning souls to Christ. The theme that attracts the heart of the sinner is Christ, and Him crucified. On the cross of Calvary , Jesus stands revealed to the world in unparalleled love. Present Him thus to the hungering multitudes, and the light of His love will win men from the darkness to light, from transgression to obedience and true holiness. Beholding Jesus upon the cross of Calvary arouses the conscience to the heinous character of sin as nothing else can do. . . .It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world will be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.” – Ibid, Maranatha (Daily Devotional), p. 99.
“When we have entire, whole-hearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church arenot laborers together with God.” Ibid, Evangelism, p. 699.
Salvation in indolence and inactivity is an utter impossibility
“Remember that your responsibility is measured, not by your present resources and capabilities, but by the powers originally bestowed and the possibilities for improvements. The question which each one should ask himself is not whether he is now inexperienced and unfit to labor in God’s cause, but how and why he is in this condition, and how it can be remedied. God will not supernaturally endow us with the qualifications which we lack; but while we exert the ability we have, He will work with us to increase and strengthen every faculty; our dormant energies will be aroused, and powers which have long been palsied will receive new life.” –Ibid, Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 459. We have been saved in order to save others. “Those who would be overcomers must be drawn out of themselves and the only thing that will accomplish this work is to become intensely interested in the salvation of others.”- Ibid, Fundamentals of Education, p. 207.
“What part will you act in the closing scenes of this world’s history? . . . .Do you realize the grand work of preparation that is going on in heaven and on earth?. . . Let none now tamper with sin, the source of every misery in the world. . . . Let not the destiny of your soul hang upon an uncertainty. Know that you are fully on the Lord’s side. Let the inquiry go forth from sincere hearts and trembling lips, ‘Who shall be able to stand?’ [Rev. 12:17]. Have you, in these last hours of probation, been putting the very best material in your character-building? Have you been purifying your souls from every stain? Have you followed the light? Have you works corresponding to your profession of faith? Is the softening, subduing influence of the grace of Godworking upon you? . . . Do you realize that you are to stand in defense of God’s commandments before those who are treading them underfoot?
“It is possible to be a partial, formal believer, and yet be found wanting and lose eternal life. It is possible to practice some of the Bible injunctions and be regarded as a Christian, and yet perish because you lack qualifications essential to Christian character . . . While mercy lingers, while the Savior [as merciful High Priest, Mediator, and Advocate in heaven] is making intercession, let us make thorough work for eternity.
The great crisis is just before us. To meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties, will require persevering faith. But we may triumph gloriously; not one watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the enemy.” – Ibid, Maranatha (Devotional Readings ), p. 96, Review & Herald Publishing Asso. , Washington , DC.
“Satan uses the listless, sleepy indolence of professed Christians to strengthen his forces and win souls to his side. Many who think that though they are doing no actual work for Christ, they are yet on His side, areenabling the enemy to pre-occupy ground and gain advantages. By failure to be diligent workers for the Master, by leaving duties undone and words unspoken, they have allowed Satan to gain control of souls who might have been won for Christ. We can never be saved in indolence and inactivity. There is no such thing as a truly converted person living a helpless, useless life. It is not possible for us to drift into heaven. No sluggard can enter there. If we do not strive to gain an entrance into the kingdom [Luke 13: 23, 24], if we do not seek earnestly to learn what constitutes its laws, we are not fitted for a part in it. Those who refuse to co-operate with God on earth, would not co-operate with Him in heaven. It would not be safe to take them to heaven.” – Ibid, Christ’s Object Lessons, “Saying and Doing” chapter, p. 280.
Favorable Time to do City Work has already Passed By. One book in the Bible is devoted to city evangelism—Jonah. The first home the Creator built for Adam and Eve was not a city but a garden, one He planned would be replicated by their offspring as they were “to replenish and fill the earth.” Gen. 1: 27, 28. After the fall and the curse of sin had fallen upon the earth and on Cain, Adam’s first-born son for murdering his brother Abel in blind-rage over God’s rejection of his self-chosen, bloodless sacrifice that denied the efficacy of the blood-atonement that the promised Seed would shed at Calvary 4,000 years after, Cain left the presence of God as earth’s first vagabond. The antediluvian unrighteous line he began was continued by Ham after the flood.
Here’s brief Biblical summary of the origin and history of Cities: Cain built the first city and named it Enoch (Gen. 4: 17). Then Babylon was built (Gen. 10: 10, margin); the first tower (Gen. 11: 3, 4). God was sorely displeased (Gen. 11: 5-9; PP 120). Lot chose the cities (Gen. 13: 12); they were very wicked, Gen. 13: 13; 18: 20, 21; 19: 24, 25. Lot ’s second choice was also a city (Gen. 19: 17-20), eventually resulting in the loss of his wife and ruin of his daughters, Gen. 19: 30-39. Deceit and violence found in cities, Ps. 55: 9-11. If Satan is not destroyed, he will fill the face of the earth with cities, Isa. 14: 20, 21. Cities will be judged (Eze. 22: 2), according to the light given and rejected (Matt. 11: 20-24)–in the day of God (Zeph. 1: 14-16). Complete destruction is prophesied of them, Isa. 32:19; Jer. 4: 26; Rev. 16: 17-19. (Continued next week on the same topic)