PREPARING FOR RELIGIOUS AGGRESSION
"It is in a crisis that character is revealed. When the earnest voice proclaimed at midnight, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him," and the sleeping virgins were roused from their slumbers, it was seen who had made preparation for the event. Both parties were taken unawares; but one was prepared for the emergency, and the other was found without preparation. So now, a sudden and unlooked-for calamity, something that brings the soul face to face with death, will show whether there is any real faith in the promises of God. It will show whether the soul is sustained by grace. The great final test comes at the close of human probation, when it will be too late for the soul's need to be supplied." Christ Object Lessons 412
"My brethren, do you realize that your own salvation, as well as the destiny of other souls, depends upon the preparation you now make for the trial before us? Have you that intensity of zeal, that piety and devotion, which will enable you to stand when opposition shall be brought against you? If God has ever spoken by me, the time will come when you will be brought before councils, and every position of truth which you hold will be severely criticized. The time that so many are now allowing to go to waste should be devoted to the charge that God has given us of preparing for the approaching crisis." 5T 716
The enemy of souls has so many of us caught up with our smart phones, tablets, television, video games, our natural hair, fashion, food, sports, and focusing on the defects of others rather than our own heart condition, for the sole purpose of keeping us from seeking God and making a preparation “just one more day.” That’s all he needs is “one more day”. And down the road of life when we wake up, we will find that we are deficient in many things, and for some it will be too late to get ready. We have no time to waste, the crisis is just upon us, and we will be accountable for time squandered. The turmoil swirling around Hillary and Trump alone is a serious call to prayer. But behind the scenes are the workings of a greater threat to our liberties than either of them.
The Constitution of the United States guarantees liberty of conscience, but it is rapidly being chipped away without much opposition from the leading churches. There was a time when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which had been purchased at such a great cost, but now it is as a fading shadow that is going unnoticed by the masses. This is no time for us to close our eyes or sit and do nothing while our civil and religious liberties are being eroded. We need to stand in defense of the faith which was once delivered to the saints and make no apology for it. The loss of our liberties is leading up to the great event which we are looking closely for, the enforcement of Sunday observance. But while we are watching for that event we also are to be preparing for it by studying the word of God, much praying, repentance of sin, sharing with others the gospel of the kingdom, and studying how to help the sick and suffering.
Counsels on Health page 506 says, “As religious aggression subverts the liberties of our nation, those who would stand for freedom of conscience will be placed in unfavorable positions. For their own sake, they should, while they have opportunity, become intelligent in regard to disease, its causes, prevention, and cure. And those who do this will find a field of labor anywhere. There will be suffering ones, plenty of them, who will need help, not only among those of our own faith, but largely among those who know not the truth.
The shortness of time demands an energy that has not been aroused among those who claim to believe the present truth. There is need of personal religion, of repentance, of faith and love. I plead that there be a general awakening among us as a people. In the strength that Christ imparts, we should be able to teach others also how to wrestle with those passions which the light of heaven shows them must be mortified. Let there be constant watchfulness and unwearied prayer for the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and let us avail ourselves of all the help and light that God has given.”
For further reading, see “Liberty of Conscience Threatened” Great Controversy pp. 563-581; “Individuality in Religion” by AT Jones (this can be purchased in our store).