Vain Professors

     The Scriptures speak of the large class of professors who are not doers. Many who claim to believe in God deny Him by their works. Their worship of money, houses, and lands marks them as idolaters and apostates. All selfishness is covetousness, and is, therefore, idolatry. Many who have placed their names on the church roll, as believers in God and the Bible, are worshiping the goods the Lord has entrusted to them that they may be His almoners. They may not literally bow down before their earthly treasure, but nevertheless it is their god. They are worshipers of mammon. To the things of this world they offer the homage which belongs to the Creator. He who sees and knows all things records the falsity of their profession.    

     From the soul temple of a worldly Christian, God is excluded, in order that worldly policy may have abundant room. Money is his god. It belongs to Jehovah, but he to whom it is entrusted refuses to let it flow forth in deeds of benevolence. Did he appropriate it in accordance with God's design, the incense of his good works would ascend to heaven, and from thousands of converted souls would be heard songs of praise and thanksgiving.    

     To advance God's kingdom, to arouse those dead in trespasses and sins, to speak to sinners of the healing balm of the Saviour's love,--it is for this that our money should be used. But too often it is used for self-glorification. Instead of being the means of bringing souls to a knowledge of God and Christ, thus calling forth praise and gratitude to the Giver of all good, earthly possessions have been the means of eclipsing the glory of God and obscuring the view of heaven. By the wrong use of money the world has been filled with evil practices. The door of the mind has been closed against the Redeemer. 

     God declares, "The gold and the silver is Mine." He keeps a strict account with every son and daughter of Adam, that He may know how they are appropriating His means. Worldly men and worldly women may say, "But I am not a Christian. I do not profess to serve God." But does this make them any less guilty for burying His means, His resources, in worldly enterprises, to advance their selfish interests?       I speak to you who know not God, who may read these lines; for in His providence they may be brought to your notice. What are you doing with your Lord's goods? What are you doing with the physical and mental powers He has given you? Are you able of yourself to keep the human machinery in motion? Did God speak but one word to say that you must die, you would at once be still in death. Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, God works by His infinite power to keep you alive. It is He who supplies the breath which keeps life in your body. Did God neglect man as man neglects God, what would become of the race? 

     The great Medical Missionary has an interest in the work of His hands. He presents before men the peril of closing the door of the heart against the Saviour, saying, "Turn ye, turn ye; for why will ye die?"

       A Title to the Heavenly Possessions

     The day is coming when "a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty." The riches of the world will not avail in the day of wrath; but faith and obedience will bring the victory.   

     We shall act out all the faith we have. We must educate ourselves to talk faith, and prepare for the future life. What earnest efforts men make to obtain a lawful title to their land. They must have deeds that will stand the test of law. The possessor is never satisfied unless he is confident that there is no flaw in his title. O that men were as earnest to obtain a title to their heavenly possessions that would stand the test of law! The apostle exhorts the follower of Christ to give diligence to make his calling and election sure. There must be no error, no flaw in your claim to immortality. Says the Saviour, "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."

   Eternal Riches Slighted

     The Lord looks with pity on those who allow themselves to be burdened with household cares and business perplexities. They are cumbered with much serving, and neglect the one thing essential. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness," the Saviour says; "and all these things shall be added unto you." That is, look away from this world to the eternal. Put forth your most earnest endeavors to obtain those things upon which God places value, and which Christ gave His precious life that you might secure. His sacrifice has thrown open wide to you the gates of heavenly commerce. Lay up your treasure beside the throne of God, by doing with His entrusted capital the work that He desires done in the winning of souls to a knowledge of the truth. This will secure you eternal riches. . . .    

     When we think of the great gift of heaven for the redemption of a sinful world, and then consider the offerings that we can make, we shrink from drawing a comparison. The demands that might be made upon a whole universe could not compare with that one gift. Immeasurable love was expressed when One equal with the Father came to pay the price for the souls of men, and bring to them eternal life. Shall those who profess the name of Christ see no attraction in the world's Redeemer, be indifferent to the possession of truth and righteousness, and turn from the heavenly treasure to the earthly?    

     "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. But everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."    

     This gospel message is one of the most precious passages in the New Testament. When it is accepted, it yields in the lives of the receiver good deeds whose value is far above that of diamonds and gold. It has power to bring gladness and consolation into the earthly life, and to bestow eternal life upon the believer. O that we might have our understanding so enlightened by grace that we could take in its full meaning! The Father is saying to us, I will bestow upon you a treasure more precious than any earthly possession, a treasure that will make you rich and blessed forever.

        How Inconsistent! How Worthless!

     Christ declares, "He that will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Those who have on the wedding garment, the robe of Christ's righteousness, will not question whether they should lift the cross, and follow in the footsteps of the Saviour. Willingly and cheerfully they will obey His commands. Souls are perishing out of Christ. How inconsistent, then, is all striving after position and wealth. How feeble are the motives which Satan may present, which selfishness and ambition can furnish, in comparison with the lessons which Christ has given in His word! How worthless the reward the world offers beside that offered by our heavenly Father!

                    God Will Provide

     While men should see that no bounty of providence is needlessly wasted, a parsimonious, acquisitive spirit will have to be overcome. This disposition will lead to overreaching and unjust dealing, which is an abhorrence in the sight of God. Christians should not allow themselves to be troubled with anxious care as to the necessities of life. If men love and obey God, and do their part, God will provide for all their wants. Although your living may have to be obtained by the sweat of your brow, you are not to distrust God; for in the great plan of His providence, He will supply your need from day to day. This lesson of Christ's is a rebuke to the anxious thoughts, the perplexities and doubts, of the faithless heart. No man can add one cubit to his stature, no matter how solicitous he may be to do so. It is no less unreasonable to be troubled about the morrow and its needs. Do your duty, and trust in God; for He knows of what things you have need. 1888. 

CS 223-227