Probation’s Close -- Constant Watching While Waiting

“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.” Rev 3:3


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August 1, 1910 Watch

E.G. White

     We are in the waiting time; let your loins be girded about, and your lights shining, that you may wait for the Lord when he returns from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks you may open unto him immediately. {GH, August 1, 1910 par. 1}

     Watch, brethren, the first dimming of your light, the first neglect of prayer, the first symptom of spiritual slumber. "He that endureth to the end shall be saved." It is by the constant exercise of faith and love that believers are made to shine as lights in the world. We are making but poor preparation for the Master's coming if we are serving mammon while  professedly serving God. When he appears, you must then present to him the  talents you have buried in the earth, talents neglected, abused, misused,--a  divided love. {GH, August 1, 1910 par. 2}

     Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. There are stern battles to be fought. We should put on the whole armor of righteousness, and prove our selves strong and true in our Redeemer's service. God wants no idlers in his fields, but colaborers with Christ, vigilant sentinels at their  posts, valiant soldiers of the cross, ready to do and dare all things for the cause in which they are enlisted. {GH, August 1, 1910 par. 3}

     In this age of corruption, when our adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour, I see the necessity of  lifting my voice in warning. "Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation."  There are many who possess brilliant talents, who wickedly devote them to the  service of Satan. What warning can I give to a people who profess to have  come out from the world, and to have left its works of darkness? to a people  whom God has made the repositories of his law, but who like the pretentious  fig-tree, flaunt their apparently flourishing branches in the very face of  the Almighty, yet bear no fruit to the glory of God. Many of them cherish impure thoughts, unholy imaginations, unsanctified desires, and base  passions. God hates the fruit borne on such a tree. Angels, pure and holy, look upon the course of such with abhorrence, while Satan exults. Oh, that men and women would consider what is to be gained by transgression of God's law. Under any and every circumstance, transgression is a dishonor to God and  a curse to man. We must regard it thus, however fair its guise, and by whomsoever committed. {GH, August 1, 1910par. 4}

     God is leading his people out from the abominations of the world, that they may keep his law; and because of this, the rage of "the accuser of our brethren" knows no bounds. "The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." The antitypical land of promise is just before us, and Satan is determined to destroy the people of God, and cut them off from their inheritance. The admonition, "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation," was never more needed  than now. We are now living in the great day of atonement. In the typical  service, while the high priest was making the atonement for Israel, all were  required to afflict their souls by repentance of sin and humiliation before  the Lord, lest they be cut off from among the people. In like manner, all who would have their names retained in the book of life, should now, in the few  remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow  for sin, and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart. The light, frivolous spirit indulged by so many of professed Christians must be put away. There is earnest warfare before all who would subdue the evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. 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. {GH, August 1, 1910 par. 5}

     Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work of the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For more than sixty years this work has been in progress. Soon--none know how soon--it will pass to the cases of the living.  In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time above all others it behooves every soul to heed the Saviour's admonition, "Watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is." "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." {GH, August 1, 1910par. 6}

     When the work of the investigative judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. Christ in the Revelation, looking forward to that time, declares: "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still, and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him  be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." {GH, August 1, 1910 par. 7}

     The righteous and the wicked will still be living upon the earth in their mortal state--men will be planting and building, eating and drinking, all unconscious that the final, irrevocable decision has been pronounced in the sanctuary above. Before the flood, after Noah entered the ark, God shut him in, and shut the ungodly out; but for seven days the people, knowing not that their doom was fixed, continued their careless, pleasure-loving life, and mocked the warnings of impending judgment. "So," says the Saviour, "shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Silently, unnoticed as the midnight thief, will come the decisive hour which marks the fixing of every man's destiny, the final withdrawal of mercy's offer to guilty man{GH, August 1, 1910 par. 8}

     "Watch ye therefore, . . . lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping." Perilous is the condition of those who, growing weary of their watch, turn to the attractions of the world. While the man of business is absorbed in the pursuit of gain, while the pleasure-lover is seeking indulgence, while the daughter of fashion is arranging her adornments,--it may be in that hour the Judge of all the earth will pronounce the sentence, "Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting." {GH, August 1, 1910 par. 9}

     "And what I say unto you I say unto all. Watch." 

                                                           Mrs. E. G. White. 
{GH, August 1, 1910 par. 10}