The whole earth is to be lightened with the glory of God. But how difficult for some to see and acknowledge the light and be converted, that I, Christ says, should heal them! The atmosphere of selfishness, pride, formality, and self-righteousness surrounds their souls, and it is very difficult for them to discern light as light and appreciate it. Some walk away from the light into darkness, and how much greater is the darkness that enshrouds their souls because they have had the light! Refusing to walk in the light, they stumble at most precious things. Refusing to see the truth, they stumble and know not at what they stumble.
The light that has been graciously given has not been appreciated and brought into practical life, and many are not doers of the word. Every true believer should have a realization of his solemn responsibility before God, to be a missionary seeking to save those that are lost. We should see armies of consecrated workers seeking to do, not their own will or pleasure, but the will of God. They should be laborers together with God. They should work, pray, and continually look unto Jesus, who is the author and finisher of their faith. Those who surrender wholly to God will put thought and prayer and earnest, consecrated tact into their labor.
Young men and young women, if you are true disciples of Christ, you will consecrate every talent, and be able to reach out for the unconverted, by ways and methods that will be effective. You will be active, working agencies for Christ. In every church there should be devoted workers. All should realize that they are to seek counsel of God, that by well-directed personal efforts they may save souls for whom Christ died. No sinner should come within the sphere of a Christian’s influence and feel that his interest has not been enlisted on the side of Jesus, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Those who profess to believe the truth should walk in the light of the precious beams of the Sun of Righteousness.
Who of our youth will give themselves to God for the purpose of laboring for the salvation of their fellow youth? Who will put their talent out to the exchangers? Who will feel their sacred accountability and put to use every ability given them of God to win souls? Young men and young women, can not you form companies, and, as soldiers of Christ, enlist in the work, putting all your tact and skill and talent into the Master’s service, that you may save souls from ruin? Let there be companies organized in every church to do this work. It is stated that when the householder left his servants, “he gave to every man his work.” Not one was to be idle.
I appeal to both young and old, and ask, Is Jesus your personal Saviour? If you do not realize that he is yours, by all means make him yours. Then without delay teach others what you have experienced in the Christian life. Instead of being as frail reeds blowing in the wind, show yourselves as those who have root in themselves—that you believe and that you practise the truth, and its sanctifying power is upon your life and character. Then you will be walking in the light while you have the light. Will the young men and young women who really love Jesus organize themselves as workers, not only for those who profess to be Sabbath-keepers, but for those who are not of our faith; for there is no respect of persons with God? All souls are precious; they are the purchase of the blood of the Son of God.
Why has there been so little interest and soul burden for sinners? Many outside of the ranks of Sabbath-keepers, who have not had the light, give more promise of becoming children of God, joint heirs with Jesus, than do those who have had the light of truth, and who have not appreciated it, but have walked in the sparks of their own kindling. No one can labor successfully for souls without true, earnest, unselfish interest. Those who do so labor will see souls converted, and will themselves grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They will not have a dwarfed experience in the things of God. They will be learners in the school of Christ, and educators as well, making known to others the things which they have learned of Jesus.
Let the young men and young women determine to love God supremely and to do his commandments. Under circumstances the most trying, let them remain faithful to duty—especially in their attitude toward the principles of health reform. Instead of being half-hearted reformers, let them make a whole-hearted reformation, in all things practising chastity and temperance. Let none begin to reform, and then stop. Resolve to overcome the wicked one.
True victory is gained only when the repentant sinner pledges himself to unconditional obedience to God,—only when he pledges himself to honor God in every word, every business transaction, every act of his life. Those who do this may be like the youth whom John addressed in the words:
I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
It is possible for every youth to gain spiritual strength. Those who endeavor to increase their strength will pass through severe struggles, which will test their sincerity of purpose; but by remaining faithful, they prove that their determination to do God’s will is prompted by high and holy motives. In every sense of the word, such youth are able to be overcomers; for Christ overcame in their behalf. Having overcome, they are brought into alliance with divine, unfailing resources.
Young men, young women, you are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. By your determined efforts to be true and righteous, laying your foundation secure in faith, you may be able to provoke the older and more experienced brethren and sisters to love and good works.
Mrs. E. G. White