Christ's Object Lessons
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 29: "To Meet the Bridegroom"
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The coming of the bridegroom was at midnight—the
darkest hour. So the coming of Christ will take place in
the darkest period of this earth's history. The days of
Noah and Lot pictured the condition of the world just
before the coming of the Son of man. The Scriptures
pointing forward to this time declare that Satan will work
with all power and "with all deceivableness of unrighteousness."
2 Thess. 2:9, 10. His working is plainly revealed by
the rapidly increasing darkness, the multitudinous errors,
heresies, and delusions of these last days. Not only is Satan
leading the world captive, but his deceptions are leavening
the professed churches of our Lord Jesus Christ. The
great apostasy will develop into darkness deep as midnight,
impenetrable as sackcloth of hair. To God's people it will [p. 415] be a night of trial, a night of weeping, a night of
persecution for the truth's sake. But out of that night of
darkness God's light will shine.
He causes "the light to shine out of darkness." 2 Cor.
4:6. When "the earth was without form, and void, and
darkness was upon the face of the deep," "the Spirit of God
moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let
there be light; and there was light." Gen. 1:2,3. So in the
night of spiritual darkness, God's word goes forth, "Let
there be light." To His people He says, "Arise, shine; for
thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon
thee." Isa. 60:1.
"Behold," says the Scripture, "the darkness shall cover
the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall
arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee."
It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is
enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge
of His character. It has been misunderstood and
misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be
proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and
saving in its power. His character is to be made known.
Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of
His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth.
This is the work outlined by the prophet Isaiah in the
words, "O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up
thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto
the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord
God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule
for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work
before Him." Isa. 40:9,10.
Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to
say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of
merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the
world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children [p. 416] of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life
and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has
done for them.
The light of the Sun of Righteousness is to shine forth
in good works—in words of truth and deeds of holiness.
Christ, the outshining of the Father's glory, came to the
world as its light. He came to represent God to men, and [p. 417] of Him it is written that He was anointed "with the Holy
Ghost and with power," and "went about doing good."
Acts 10:38. In the synagogue at Nazareth He said, "The
Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed
Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to
heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives,
and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty
them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the
Lord." Luke 4:18, 19. This was the work He commissioned
His disciples to do. "Ye are the light of the world,"
He said. "Let your light so shine before men, that they
may see your good works, and glorify your Father which
is in heaven." Matt. 5:14, 16.
This is the work which the prophet Isaiah describes
when he says, "Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry,
and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy
house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him;
and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then
shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health
shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go
before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward."
Isa. 58:7, 8.
Thus in the night of spiritual darkness God's glory is
to shine forth through His church in lifting up the bowed
down and comforting those that mourn.
All around us are heard the wails of a world's sorrow.
On every hand are the needy and distressed. It is ours to
aid in relieving and softening life's hardships and misery.
Practical work will have far more effect than mere
sermonizing. We are to give food to the hungry, clothing
to the naked, and shelter to the homeless. And we are
called to do more than this. The wants of the soul, only
the love of Christ can satisfy. If Christ is abiding in us,
our hearts will be full of divine sympathy. The sealed
fountains of earnest, Christlike love will be unsealed. [p. 418]
God calls not only for our gifts for the needy, but for
our cheerful countenance, our hopeful words, our kindly
handclasp. When Christ healed the sick, He laid His
hands upon them. So should we come in close touch
with those whom we seek to benefit.
There are many from whom hope has departed. Bring
back the sunshine to them. Many have lost their courage.
Speak to them words of cheer. Pray for them. There are
those who need the bread of life. Read to them from the
word of God. Upon many is a soul sickness which no
earthly balm can reach nor physician heal. Pray for these
souls, bring them to Jesus. Tell them that there is a balm
in Gilead and a Physician there.
Light is a blessing, a universal blessing, pouring forth
its treasures on a world unthankful, unholy, demoralized.
So it is with the light of the Sun of Righteousness. The
whole earth, wrapped as it is in the darkness of sin, and
sorrow, and pain, is to be lighted with the knowledge of
God's love. From no sect, rank, or class of people is the
light shining from heaven's throne to be excluded.
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