Commitment to the Cause

By John Thiel, mp3, pdf

Scripture reading: Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

While pilgrims here we journey on
In this dark vale of sin and gloom,

We are pilgrims here, and what we have to meet is tribulation, hate, and scorn,

Till our returning king shall come
To take His exile captives home.

We want to examine our commitment to the cause that this Advent Pilgrims Fellowship is embracing. I want to take our minds back to the period just prior to 1844 and that which transpired in the ranks of those who decided to take hold of the message of the three angels.

Protestants

The condition of the Protestant churches of that time is here described:

Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

What was the condition of the Protestant churches? They had a specific name: Protestants. This was a name that described action, being on fire, being committed to do what God wanted them to do. The Protestants were the fruit of the Reformation. But by the time we came to the time just before 1844, the description that Christ gives in reference to these people is that they have a name that they live, Protestants, and yet are dead.

As the founders, those who possessed the true spirit of reform, pass away, their descendants come forward and “new-model the cause.” While blindly clinging to the creed of their fathers and refusing to accept any truth in advance of what they saw, the children of the reformers depart widely from their example of humility, self-denial, and renunciation of the world. Thus “the first simplicity disappears.” A worldly flood, flowing into the church, carries “with it its customs, practices, and idols.” {GC 385.1}

Alas, to what a fearful extent is that friendship of the world which is “enmity with God,” now cherished among the professed followers of Christ! How widely have the popular churches throughout Christendom departed from the Bible standard of humility, self-denial, simplicity, and godliness! {GC 385.2}

Jesus the True Witness said, You have a name that you live, but you are dead. And the above statement shows us what this means. And it is out of this decline that a nucleus of Christians arose and gave their all for the cause of the three angels’ messages. We are contemplating this so we can reflect back upon what this company of sincere Christians who would respond to the warning of the True Witness were like; these people would give their entire life to be true Protestants and give themselves unreservedly to the cause of the three angels’ messages.

Assessing True Commitment

As we read of the pioneers going through their disappointment, and realising what their disappointment was, we see that, as they came together, they were very small in number. Here we are right now, nine people. It wasn’t many more than these who came together after the disappointment. And they were pleading with God; they were gathering together to seek to fulfil the prayer of Christ that they should be united, in a time when so many different Protestant churches were all over the place in their state of spiritual dearth. Let us examine their fervour and commitment, and learn what commitment really is. How committed are we? We can measure ourselves by those who have gone before us:

My husband, with Elders Joseph Bates, Stephen Pierce, Hiram Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, was among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. {TM 24.3}

It was just a few people. They were thrown into chaos because our their past experience, their disappointment, and, as she continues,

We would come together burdened in soul, praying that we might be one in faith and doctrine; for we knew that Christ is not divided. One point at a time was made the subject of investigation. The Scriptures were opened with a sense of awe. Often we fasted, that we might be better fitted to understand the truth. After earnest prayer, if any point was not understood it was discussed, and each one expressed his opinion freely; then we would again bow in prayer, and earnest supplications went up to heaven that God would help us to see eye to eye, that we might be one as Christ and the Father are one. Many tears were shed. {TM 24.4}

Can you visualise their experience? These were Christians, Protestants, who were truly committed to answer the prayer of Jesus. And as they were agonising to come into that unity, whole nights were sometimes spent together.

We spent many hours in this way. Sometimes the entire night was spent in solemn investigation of the Scriptures, that we might understand the truth for our time. On some occasions the Spirit of God would come upon me, and difficult portions were made clear through God’s appointed way, and then there was perfect harmony. We were all of one mind and one spirit. {TM 25.1}

This is commitment – to really take the challenge of the time with great earnestness. We are reading this to see where we stand today in our present difficulties, whether we would be determined to make sure that we are in harmony together at all costs.

As they were developing this beautiful message and they needed to share it, to send it out, they had no money, they were poor, so James White would go and earn some money. At one time he mowed a field a grass to raise funds so that the Present Truth, the periodical they were then developing, could be spread.

Labour and Self-sacrifice

Uriah and Annie Smith, for example, were two promising young people. Anne Smith was a very capable person, as was also her brother, and she could have become very rich. But instead of pursuing their personal interests, they devoted themselves to the message. And unfortunately, as they did so, Annie Smith suffered consumption (TB) and died. But she sacrificed everything, as did her brother. They all laboured by self-sacrifice and commitment to do this work.

While we were living at this place, my husband was impressed that it was his duty to write and publish the present truth. He was greatly encouraged and blessed as he decided thus to do. But again he would be in doubt and perplexity, as he was penniless. There were brethren who had means, but they chose to keep it. He at length gave up in discouragement, and decided to look for a field of grass to mow. {1T 87.2}

He looked for a field of grass to mow because money wasn’t going to come from anywhere else.

As he left the house, a burden was rolled upon me, and I fainted. Prayer was offered for me, and I was blessed, and taken off in vision. I saw that the Lord had blessed and strengthened my husband to labor in the field one year before; that he had made a right use of the means there earned; and that he would have a hundredfold in his life, and, if faithful, a rich reward in the kingdom of God; but that the Lord would not now give him strength to labor in the field, for He had another work for him; that he must walk out by faith, and write and publish the present truth. He immediately commenced to write, and when he came to some difficult passage, we would call upon the Lord to give us the true meaning of His word. {Ibid.}

So it was that the publication of the Present Truth took place under God’s guidance and through much sacrifice and labour.

We were still crippled by poverty, {1T 90.1}

What are God’s faithful people in the end? A poor and afflicted people (Zeph. 3:12). This was the case of these committed souls.

We were still crippled by poverty, and compelled to exercise the most rigid economy and self-denial. I will give a brief extract from a letter to Brother Howland’s family, dated April 16, 1852: “We are just getting settled in Rochester. We have rented an old house for one hundred and seventy-five dollars a year. We have the press in the house. Were it not for this, we should have to pay fifty dollars a year for office room. You would smile could you look in upon us and see our furniture. {Ibid.}

Notice now the commitment. We are reading this for a very special purpose; this is for us to realise if we are really committed and to appreciate the kind of sacrifice that was then made:

We have bought two old bedsteads for twenty-five cents each. My husband brought me home six old chairs, no two of them alike, for which he paid one dollar, and soon he presented me with four more old chairs without seating, for which he paid sixty-two cents. The frames are strong, and I have been seating them with drilling. Butter is so high that we do not purchase it, neither can we afford potatoes. {Ibid.}

But they spent the money for the Lord. They couldn’t even afford potatoes.

We use sauce in the place of butter, and turnips for potatoes. Our first meals were taken on a fireboard placed upon two empty flour barrels. We are willing to endure privations if the work of God can be advanced. {Ibid.}

That was the spirit of commitment.

We believe the Lord’s hand was in our coming to this place. There is a large field for labor, and but few laborers. Last Sabbath our meeting was excellent. The Lord refreshed us with His presence.”  {Ibid.}

Isn’t it amazing to actually see with them the spirit of commitment? It was a commitment to the cause so great that they would go without certain things for the purpose of promoting the truth for that time, which we also espouse.

With the three angels’ messages they had something to spend mind, energy, and money to push forth the cause; and that was how the Seventh-day Adventist cause, the three angels’ messages, were launched.

Lack of Commitment

But the church that came into existence back then is today described in the same way as the Protestant churches were described for their day. The True Witness is here speaking unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans:

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Hot commitment was lacking, like it was in the early church of Sardis.

Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

The condition of the church that was once on fire for the Lord, hot, is now: wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, and doesn’t know it. What does that actually mean in practical reality?

Spiritual death has come upon the people that should be manifesting life and zeal, purity and consecration, by the most earnest devotion to the cause of truth. {RH, July 24, 1888 par. 1}

So spiritual death has come upon them instead of the most earnest devotion to the cause of truth.

The facts concerning the real condition of the professed people of God, speak more loudly than their profession, and make it evident that some power has cut the cable that anchored them to the Eternal Rock, and that they are drifting away to sea, without chart or compass. {Ibid.}

When a ship goes out to sea without chart of compass, what is eventually going to happen? So by the time it had grown into this large organisation, even in Sr. White’s time, the condition of the church had become one similar to the Protestant churches out of which they had initially come. There is much written in the Testimonies in this regard. She said the truth was given in a slack manner.

So many other interests are brought in that the very message which should be proclaimed with power becomes tame and voiceless. {6T 60.1}

It is a solemn and terrible truth that many who have been zealous in proclaiming the third angel’s message are now becoming listless and indifferent! The line of demarcation between worldlings and many professed Christians is almost indistinguishable. {8T 118.4}

The commitment was gone. Those who present the message become listless and indifferent.

Many who once were earnest Adventists are conforming to the world–to its practices, its customs, its selfishness. {Ibid.}

The church had already slipped into that before the turn of the century. What do you see today? Today we have become so conditioned that we don’t even realise that what is written here applies in a far greater dimension now.

Instead of leading the world to render obedience to God’s law, the church is uniting more and more closely with the world in transgression. Daily the church is becoming converted to the world. How many professing Christians are slaves of mammon! Their indulgence of appetite, their extravagant expenditure of money for selfish gratification, greatly dishonors God. {Ibid.}

As you compare this description with the account of the pioneers’ experience what do you see? What did they do with their money? No selfish gratification; they sacrificed for the truth.

And through lack of zeal for the promulgation of the third angel’s message, many others, while not apparently living in transgression, are nevertheless as verily lending their influence on the side of Satan as are those who openly sin against God. Multitudes are perishing; but how few are burdened for these souls! There is a stupor, a paralysis, upon many of the people of God, which prevents them from understanding the duty of the hour. {8T 119.1}

This is a description of the way the church was back then, but it is even worse today. And here we are now, a small company, and we are to understand what is our commitment meant to be. What is the cause that should animate us, and what is the spectrum of our activity to expand our zeal, our energy, and our funds upon?

We have very vivid descriptions in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy of what the cause is. What is it that we are to back up and promote? Of course it is the three angels’ messages, but let us see some detail that we may better understand the point that God is trying to bring home to us.

The Key Message of the Cause – the Sanctuary

The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. {GC 423.1}

They were disappointed, and they didn’t know what went wrong; so the sanctuary was a truth, a message, that unlocked the mystery. What did it do?

It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God’s hand had directed the great advent movement and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people. {Ibid.}

This is what they established themselves to support – this work. They sacrificed much to shed it out. It is a complete system of truth that was found in the sanctuary message. So it was the sanctuary message that was promoted and sent out to the people of that time, at much cost of self. But even at that time, while they were giving themselves so fully to the work of the Lord,

…the people were not yet ready to meet their Lord. There was still a work of preparation to be accomplished for them. Light was to be given, directing their minds to the temple of God in heaven; and as they should by faith follow their High Priest in His ministration there, new duties would be revealed. Another message of warning and instruction was to be given to the church. {GC 424.4}  

Here is the material, the cause, that occupied their interest. Yet today people have become so blasé about all those subjects that if you are going to be on fire for it, they think you’re just a bit too extreme. This is the truth that these people sacrificed so much for; this is the cause.

The Bible is so clear on this that we need to be very much on fire for this cause.

Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

As they studied the sanctuary, the close of probation would be shown, the judgment hour, the importance of embracing the message to shut the doors of protection around us. This was what their work was: to share this with the people around them. In those days they could do that, so there was a large bringing in of the people to this message, and this is what caused the church to develop, because they proclaimed this message with great sacrifice. This is the message, this is the cause.

Psalm 27:4 One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

This is what their mind occupation was about – to be protected and cared in the sanctuary, to be there and to dwell in the sanctuary by faith; because this is where God’s children were to be protected.

Psalm 96:6 Honour and majesty [are] before him: strength and beauty [are] in his sanctuary.

Sister White, under inspiration, made a great issue of the sanctuary message, as they themselves did, and this message was to be received with great enthusiasm by all, even today.

From the creation and fall of man to the present time, there has been a continual unfolding of the plan of God for the redemption, through Christ, of the fallen race. The tabernacle and temple of God on earth were patterned after the original in heaven. Around the sanctuary and its solemn services mystically gathered the grand truths which were to be developed through succeeding generations. {FLB 194.2}

It was this, the grand truths of the sanctuary message, that accumulated as a whole system of truth to the early Adventist people; and this is the cause. This is what we are to be occupied with. It is all associated with that grand system of truth.

The Great Truth – the Atonement

The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. {5BC 1137.7} 

This is the great truth, the great cause; we should focus on promoting this message and keeping it very alive in our own minds, to display it before others around us.

In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light which streams from the cross of Calvary, and in connection with the wondrous, central truth of the Saviour’s atonement. Those who study the Redeemer’s wonderful sacrifice grow in grace and knowledge. {Ibid.}

I present before you the great, grand monument of mercy and regeneration, salvation and redemption–the Son of God uplifted on the cross of Calvary. This is to be the theme of every discourse. Christ declares, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (MS 70, 1901). {5BC 1137.8}

Here is a cause to develop our energies upon, and we are called to let our enthusiasm push this cause forward. Doing this has been my commitment; but over the years I have seen people becoming tired of it. “It’s the old facts; we know it all by now. Why can’t we spend our time on something else and get on with our life?” No; this is a cause; this is to occupy our minds. As the Spirit of Prophecy expresses it, this is to preside. It is a presiding message.

When the Presiding Power Is Gone

Satan is striving continually to bring in fanciful suppositions in regard to the sanctuary, degrading the wonderful representations of God and the ministry of Christ for our salvation into something that suits the carnal mind. {CW 53.3}

This is Satan’s work; and what are God’s people doing today?

He removes its presiding power from the hearts of believers, and supplies its place with fantastic theories invented to make void the truths of the atonement, and destroy our confidence in the doctrines which we have held sacred since the third angel’s message was first given. {Ibid.}

Satan works to remove the presiding power from the hearts of believers. Haven’t we seen this? If it is a presiding power, isn’t it what we should be hearing from the Adventist pulpits? If it was presiding we would hear it; but it is not presiding, that’s the problem. And when I shared these messages in the past, the atonement of Jesus and all connected with this great system of truth, people would say, We haven’t heard these things for years! No, they haven’t heard it because it’s not presiding anymore; Satan has stolen a march on God’s people.

Contending Earnestly

Many today are driven by fundamentalism of different teachings, such as, for example, Islam. In the Second World War, the Kamikaze pilots gave their lives for what they believed in. They actually flew their planes personally into the enemy’s ships. They really believed in it; they sacrificed everything, even their lives. And this is what the radical Muslims are doing too. If you look at it, they just gather their money, all their money, to be able to promote their cause and fight their wars. And in such a time as this, when the love of Christ compels us, constrains us, where do we see such dedication, to sacrifice to a degree similar to what the early pioneers did?

What the true children of God are identified by in today’s atmosphere is expressed in Jude 3. We are exhorted to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. How applicable is that as we look at the pioneers? They contended earnestly and sacrificed and committed themselves to the cause. The same call is still for us today – to commit ourselves so that our life is totally in tune and we are giving all to make it a reality.

No line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are, is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience, and duty, and we are to stand firmly in defense of our principles, in full view of the world. {CW 52.3}

To stand in full view of the world, in defence of the principles that had made the Seventh-day Adventists what they are, this is what we are called upon to do; not to engage in the world, but to be in harmony with all of God’s ways, His platform of truth. And nothing is to be weakened. Can you see what the problem is today? Not a pin is to be removed. Everything is to be firmly enlarged and strengthened by the preachers.

Let us examine from the word of God what it means to be zealously promoting the cause; not just to give all our funds for it, but to know everything that applies to promoting this cause with zeal. We want to let the Bible give us the spectrum of enthusiasm that is to be revealed on all fronts. Many people say, “You’ve got to do missionary work. That’s important.” Well, yes, sure; but what is written? How will it show if your personal walk with Jesus is on fire and you are wholly for Him?

1. A Personal Walk with Jesus

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

It is a personally entwined walk with Jesus. The people who are truly on fire are a people who are so filled with zeal that they are a peculiar people, zealous of good works; they will be under the message that causes them to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, so that the world doesn’t come into their life, like it does in the general church.

This is one thing: to be personally entwined with Jesus. This is what it means to be committed – to be with Jesus, with all the heart.

2. Entwined with the Collective Body

Secondly, we are to be entwined with the collective of individuals who are doing the same thing. This is what the early Adventists did; they were entwined with one another in a very special way. We see it in the book of Acts .When the Holy Spirit was poured upon the early Christian church they were committed. They didn’t just come to church as they felt. They didn’t just do how they felt; they did as the Holy Spirit moved them, and He moved them to do what was necessary in this time.

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship…

They were on fire for the apostles’ doctrine. Interesting that. Today you are ridiculed if you stand faithful to the apostles’ doctrine, to the doctrine of those who are preaching the pure message. But these people continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Acts 2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

This was a commitment. They were entwining with God’s people, standing faithful and loyal in harmony with them.

What now follows is true commitment. We are reading all this to understand what commitment means. It has to do with being associated together and being loyal to the truth with one another.

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Here is commitment. Here is a commitment where I will be together with God’s people, and I will not forsake the meetings at all. This is commitment. Are we committed?

3. All On the Altar

Then, thirdly, we come to the story of when people sacrifice all on the altar. What did the apostles do? They left everything and followed Jesus. The rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked, What must I do to have eternal life? Jesus told him, and then the man said, Well, I’ve been keeping the commandments all my life. So Jesus said, Alright, sell all you have. This is what they did back then. And Jesus invited him to become His disciple. Sell all you have, He said, and give to the poor, and come and follow Me.

The following scripture shows you the commitment; and remember, The love of Christ constraineth us. This is what makes the commitment. There is no other reason but the love of Christ.

Matthew 19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

So specific. What is commitment? It is so well described here. All on the altar for Christ’s sake – this is commitment.

4. Ready Always to Give an Answer

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

This is commitment – just waiting for the opportunity to be able to answer the questions of those who are challenging us, to give an answer with meekness and fear; to be always willing to communicate that which we have made so important in our life. Personally entwined with Jesus, and entwined with one another. “Why do you go to church? Why are you few people always going to church? You don’t go to the big churches; why?” “Because we are gathering for one most important reason…” We tell them the reasons with meekness and fear.

5. The Use of Our Means

Finally, what about our funds? What are we doing with our money? Here is what the apostles did in Acts 2. This is an example; and although in today’s circumstances it makes it difficult, still we share with one another, as the disciples did, so that we can continue to promote truth in all its dimensions today, until our work is over. This is commitment:

Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Commitment with one purpose for living on this earth. This is what it’s about.

Today we have a church, an organisation that was established in Sister’s time; not the faulty one, but the little company that is functioning together. And as it functions together with all earnestness and commitment, we have needs, we have a work to go forward with, and we need to continue in our commitment to follow the example of those who were committed before us. The Spirit of Prophecy tells us emphatically that this organisational procedure requires our attention (See Testimonies to Ministers, p. 26-27). The truth, the cause, and its prosperity, are still dependant today upon our commitment. But its prosperity is not squeezed by systematic benevolence; it is not policed, not coerced. Have you found that in the cause of God, if the people don’t support it, it suffers a bit? But when they really support it with all their energy, then it can start flourishing. And when people fall off and there are only a few people left, it makes it difficult. But it is not coerced. Often times, in the ministries of the churches of today, money is being asked. Give, give, give, they say. This doesn’t need to be done for the people who are committed. They don’t have to be policed whether they are giving or not. Religious liberty is the benchmark. In this company that stands true like that, no one looks over your shoulder to ensure you are sacrificing. There is no coercion; it is something that happens because there is a spontaneous motivation of commitment.

The Highest Delight

The will of God is expressed in the precepts of His holy law, and the principles of this law are the principles of heaven. The angels of heaven attain unto no higher knowledge than to know the will of God, {MB 109.1} 

This is the motivating power. I want to do what God’s will is in this and that. The angels of God rise to nothing more than that.

…and to do His will is the highest service that can engage their powers. {Ibid.}

They are not being policed; they are not being watched and appealed to.

…in heaven, service is not rendered in the spirit of legality. When Satan rebelled against the law of Jehovah, the thought that there was a law came to the angels almost as an awakening to something unthought of. In their ministry the angels are not as servants, but as sons. There is perfect unity between them and their Creator. Obedience is to them no drudgery. Love for God makes their service a joy. So in every soul wherein Christ, the hope of glory, dwells, His words are re-echoed, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8. {MB 109.2}

A total commitment that has been aroused by the amazing story of Jesus and all that system of truth, this is the motivating force. If the cause flourishes, it is because its members are totally devoted. I have experienced this. Every time there was a revival in the ministry that I have been engaged in, funds were plenty; no problems at all. And people were on fire. But then Satan came in with his devices and spoiled it. But the little company continued; and then it would again arise with energy, and more enthusiasm came in. But then again, Satan comes in and only a little company is left. This has been repeated again and again over the years. If the cause languishes, Jesus and His angels weep, but there is no exercise of force.

May God grant us such a commitment that no matter if we suffer or if we have plenty, we will be consecrated to His cause and ignore those who would deride us. How important this is. As you will remember, we used to be a larger number here; and the onlookers used to say, “You’re all like a lot of tin soldiers, all following one man.” We pay no attention to that. But unfortunately it wears in to some people, and they lose their enthusiasm and begin to question; and away it goes. This is what we suffered under. For us to reject this cause is the desire of the enemy. He mocks and derides. They do not love our Saviour, our King, our Father, our Elder Brother; this is what it boils down to. They say they love Him, but they don’t sacrifice; they don’t commit all to Him. If you do, if I do, it is because I love Him; and I follow Him with all my heart, and I ignore what the others around us are saying.

May we be committed, may we let Jesus cause us to sacrifice all and leave the consequences with Him. This is what we are doing, and may God bless us and strengthen us to abide by that.

Amen.

(Illustration by Good News Productions, International, used under CC BY)

Posted on May 2, 2018, in Commitment, Divine Service Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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