Because I have called - These and the following words appear to be spoken of the persons who are described, Proverbs 1:11-19, who have refused to return from their evil ways till arrested by the hand of justice; and here the wise man points out their deplorable state.
They are now about to suffer according to the demands of the law, for their depredations. They now wish they had been guided by wisdom, and had chosen the fear of the Lord; but it is too late: die they must, for their crimes are proved against them, and justice knows nothing of mercy.
This, or something like this, must be the wise man's meaning; nor can any thing spoken here be considered as applying or applicable to the eternal state of the persons in question, much less to the case of any man convinced of sin, who is crying to God for mercy. Such persons as the above, condemned to die, may call upon justice for pardon, and they may do this early, earnestly; but they will call in vain. But no poor penitent sinner on this side of eternity can call upon God early, or seek him through Christ Jesus earnestly for the pardon of his sins, without being heard. Life is the time of probation, and while it lasts the vilest of the vile is within the reach of mercy. It is only in eternity that the state is irreversibly fixed, and where that which was guilty must be guilty still. But let none harden his heart because of this longsuffering of God, for if he die in his sin, where God is he shall never come. And when once shut up in the unquenchable fire, he will not pray for mercy, as he shall clearly see and feel that the hope of his redemption is entirely cut off.
Solomon exhorts the youth: “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.... Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at My reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you. 4T 208.1
“Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of My counsel: they despised all My reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” 4T 208.2
Order should be maintained in our different institutions at -----. Insubordination should be overruled. None should be retained in the office who have been instructed by Sabbath-keeping parents and have been privileged to hear the truth yet rebel against its teachings. No persons should be connected with the sacred work of God who speak lightly of it or treat our holy faith with disrespect. Those who have been connected with the office for quite a length of time and have had ample opportunity to become acquainted with our faith, yet manifest opposition to the truth, should no longer be retained in the office. Their influence is against the truth if they continue to neglect the light and slight salvation. This very indifference has a chilling influence upon the faith of others to draw them away from God. These impenitent, unimpressible ones should not occupy positions that might be filled by persons who will respect the truth and yield to the influence of the Spirit of God by being so closely connected with this sacred work. 4T 209.1Read in context »
It is Satan who tempts children to follow in a course of sin and disobedience; and then if he is permitted he will take the life of the children while they are yet in their sins, in order to cut them off from all hope of salvation, and to pierce, as with a sword, the hearts of the God-fearing fathers and mothers, who will be bowed down with a sorrow that never can be lifted, because of their children's final impenitence and rebellion against God.... MYP 334.1
Children and youth, I entreat you, for Christ's sake, to walk in the light. Submit your will to the will of God. When “sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” Keep the way of the Lord, for you will have no peace in transgression. By an evil course you bring discredit upon your parents and dishonor upon the religion of Christ. Remember that your life is recorded in the books of Heaven, to be opened before the assembled universe. Think what shame, what remorse, would be yours, should it be your unhappy lot to lose eternal life! “Turn you at My reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.... Then shall they call upon Me.... Whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Heed the instruction of Christ, “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.”—The Youth's Instructor, August 10, 1893. MYP 334.2Read in context »
“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Revelation 6:15-17. GC 642.1
The derisive jests have ceased. Lying lips are hushed into silence. The clash of arms, the tumult of battle, “with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood” (Isaiah 9:5), is stilled. Nought now is heard but the voice of prayer and the sound of weeping and lamentation. The cry bursts forth from lips so lately scoffing: “The great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” The wicked pray to be buried beneath the rocks of the mountains rather than meet the face of Him whom they have despised and rejected. GC 642.2
That voice which penetrates the ear of the dead, they know. How often have its plaintive, tender tones called them to repentance. How often has it been heard in the touching entreaties of a friend, a brother, a Redeemer. To the rejecters of His grace no other could be so full of condemnation, so burdened with denunciation, as that voice which has so long pleaded: “Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Ezekiel 33:11. Oh, that it were to them the voice of a stranger! Says Jesus: “I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof.” Proverbs 1:24, 25. That voice awakens memories which they would fain blot out—warnings despised, invitations refused, privileges slighted. GC 642.3Read in context »
At this time I prized the Christian's hope. This scene brought vividly to my mind the day of the Lord's fierce anger, when the storm of his wrath will come upon the poor sinner. Then there will be bitter cries and tears, and confession of sin, and pleading for mercy; but all too late. “Because I have called and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh. 2SG 86.1
Through the mercy of God we were all landed safe. But some of the passengers who manifested so much fear in the storm, made no reference to it, only to make light of their fears. The one who had so solemnly promised that if she was preserved to see land she would be a Christian, as she left the boat mockingly cried out, “Glory to God, I am glad to step on land again.” I asked her to go back a few hours, and remember her vows to God. She turned from me with a sneer. 2SG 86.2
I was forcibly reminded of death-bed repentance. Some who serve themselves and Satan all their life, as sickness subdues them, and a fearful uncertainty is before them, manifest some sorrow for sin, and perhaps say they are willing to die, and their friends make themselves believe they were converted and fitted for heaven. But if they should recover, would they not be as rebellious as ever? I am reminded of Proverbs 1:27, 28. “When your fear cometh as desolation and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you, then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me.” 2SG 86.3Read in context »