Some who are wealthy do not withhold from ministers. They keep up their systematic benevolence exactly and pride themselves upon their punctuality and generosity, and think their duty ends here. This is well as far as it goes, but their duty does not cease here. God has claims upon them that they do not realize. Society has claims upon them; their fellow men have claims upon them. Every member of their family has claims upon them. All these claims should be regarded; not one should be overlooked or neglected. Some men give to ministers and put into the treasury with as much satisfaction as though it would entitle them to heaven. Some think that they can do nothing to aid the cause of God unless they constantly have a large increase. They feel that they can in nowise touch the principal. Should our Saviour speak the same words to them that He did to the certain ruler, “Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me,” they would go away sorrowful, choosing like him to run the risk of retaining their idols, riches, rather than to part with them to secure treasure in heaven. This ruler claimed that he had kept all the commandments of God from his youth up, and confident in his fidelity and righteousness, and thinking that he was perfect, he asks: “What lack I yet?” Jesus immediately tears off his sense of security by referring to his idols, his possessions. He had other gods before the Lord, which were of greater value to him than eternal life. Supreme love to God was lacking. Thus it is with some who profess to believe the truth. They think they are perfect, think that there is no lack, when they are far from perfection and are cherishing idols which will shut them out of heaven. {1T 483.1}


Vidnesbyrd for menigheden bind 1 kapitel 84. 483.     Fra side 483 i den engelske udgave.tilbage

Vore prædikanter

Nogle velhavende nægter at give til prædikanterne. De følger deres systematiske godgørenhed ganske nøjagtigt og roser sig selv for deres punktlighed og gavmildhed og tror at deres pligt ophører her. Det er godt så langt som det går, men her holder deres pligt ikke op. Gud har et krav på dem, som de ikke erkender. Samfundet har krav på dem; deres medmennesker har krav på dem. Ethvert medlem i familien har krav på dem. Alle disse krav bør respekteres; ikke et eneste bør overses eller forsømmes. Nogle giver til prædikanterne og lægger til i kassen med ligeså megen tilfredshed, som om det berettigede dem til himlen. Nogle tror at de ikke kan være Guds sag til hjælp hvis ikke de hele tiden har en stor vækst. De føler at de på ingen måde kan nå op på den pengesum. Skulle vor Frelser sige de samme ord som han gjorde til den selvsikre hersker, »gå hen og sælg, hvad du ejer og giv det til de fattige, så vil du have en skat i Himlene; og kom så og følg mig«, ville de gå bedrøvede bort og, ligesom ham, vælge at løbe den risiko at beholde deres afguder og rigdomme frem for at skille sig af med dem, for at sikre sig rigdomme i himlen. Denne hersker påstod at han havde overholdt alle Guds bud fra sin ungdom og var overbevist i sin troskab og retfærdighed og troet at han var fuldkommen. (484) Og så spørger han: »Hvad mangler jeg endnu?« Jesus nedbryder straks hans fornemmelse om sikkerhed, ved at henvise til hans afguder, hans gods. Han havde gods før Herren, som var af større værdi for ham end evigt liv. Den største kærlighed til Gud manglede. Således er det med dem, som hævder at de tror sandheden. De tror at de er fuldkomne, tror at der ikke mangler noget, endskønt de er langt fra fuldkommenhed og værner om afguder, som vil lukke dem ude fra himlen.

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