As many as I love - So it was the love he still had to them that induced him thus to reprehend and thus to counsel them.
Be zealous - Be in earnest, to get your souls saved, They had no zeal; this was their bane. He now stirs them up to diligence in the use of the means of grace and repentance for their past sins and remissness.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten - Of course, only on the supposition that they deserve it. The meaning is, that it is a proof of love on his part, if his professed friends go astray, to recall them by admonitions and by trials. So a father calls back his children who are disobedient; and there is no higher proof of his love than when, with great pain to himself, he administers such chastisement as shall save his child. See the sentiment here expressed fully explained in the notes on Hebrews 12:6. The language is taken from Proverbs 3:12.
Be zealous therefore, and repent - Be earnest, strenuous, ardent in your purpose to exercise true repentance, and to turn from the error of your ways. Lose no time; spare no labor, that you may obtain such a state of mind that it shall not be necessary to bring upon you the severe discipline which always comes on those who continue lukewarm in religion. The truth taught here is, that when the professed followers of Christ have become lukewarm in his service, they should lose no time in returning to him, anti seeking his favor again. As sure as he has any true love for them, if this is not done he will bring upon them some heavy calamity, alike to rebuke them for their errors, and to recover them to himself.
Those who profess to keep the law of God and yet at heart are indulging in sin are condemned by the True Witness. They claim to be rich in a knowledge of the truth; but they are not in harmony with its sacred principles. The truth does not sanctify their lives. God's Word declares that the professed commandment-keeper whose life contradicts his faith is blind, wretched, poor, and naked. FW 31.3Read in context »
You are blinded and infatuated. You have felt strong when you were weakness itself. You can be strong in the Mighty One. You can be an instrument of righteousness if you are willing to suffer for Christ's sake. You and your sisters may redeem the time if you will, but it will cost an effort. Your younger sister is linked to one who is not worthy of her affections. There are serious defects in his character. He does not have reverence for sacred and holy things; his heart has not been changed by the Spirit of God. He is selfish, boastful, and loves pleasure more than duty. He has no experience in self-denial and humiliation. 3T 42.1
In forming friendship, great caution should be exercised lest an intimacy be contracted with one whose example it would not be safe to imitate; for the effect of such an intimacy is to lead away from God, from devotion, and the love of the truth. It is positively dangerous for you to be intimate with friends who have not a religious experience. If either of you, or all three of you, follow the leadings of God's Spirit, or value your soul's salvation, you will not choose as your particular and intimate friends those who do not maintain a serious regard for religious things, and who do not live under its practical influence. Eternal considerations should come first with you. Nothing can have a more subtle and positively dangerous influence upon the mind, and serve more effectually to banish serious impressions and the convictions of the Spirit of God, than to associate with those who are vain and careless, and whose conversation is upon the world and vanity. The more engaging these persons may be in other respects, the more dangerous is their influence as companions, because they throw around an irreligious life so many pleasing attractions. 3T 42.2
God has claims upon all three of you which you cannot lightly throw aside. Jesus has bought you with the price of His own blood. “Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Have you no sacrifice to make for God? Great responsibilities stand before you each in everyday life. Your record is daily passing up to God. Great dangers lie hidden in your pathway. If I could, I would take you in my arms and bear you safely over them; but this I am not permitted to do. You are in the most critical period of your life history. If you arouse the energies of the soul and direct them to securing things of eternal interest, and if you make everything subordinate to this, you will make a success of perfecting Christian character. You may all engage in the spiritual warfare against besetting sins, and you may, through Christ, come off victors. But it will be no child's play. It will be a stern warfare, involving self-denial and cross bearing. The danger is that you will not fully realize your backslidings and your perilous condition. Unless you view life as it is, cast aside the brilliant fancies of imagination, and come down to the sober lessons of experience, you will awake when it is too late. You will then realize the terrible mistake you have made. 3T 43.1Read in context »
The Laodicean message applies to the people of God who profess to believe present truth. The greater part are lukewarm professors, having a name but no zeal. God signified that He wanted men at the great heart of the work to correct the state of things existing there and to stand like faithful sentinels at their post of duty. He has given them light at every point, to instruct, encourage, and confirm them, as the case required. But notwithstanding all this, those who should be faithful and true, fervent in Christian zeal, of gracious temper, knowing and loving Jesus earnestly, are found aiding the enemy to weaken and discourage those whom God is using to build up the work. The term “lukewarm” is applicable to this class. They profess to love the truth, yet are deficient in Christian fervor and devotion. They dare not give up wholly and run the risk of the unbeliever, yet they are unwilling to die to self and follow out closely the principles of their faith. 4T 87.1
The only hope for the Laodiceans is a clear view of their standing before God, a knowledge of the nature of their disease. They are neither cold nor hot; they occupy a neutral position, and at the same time flatter themselves that they are in need of nothing. The True Witness hates this lukewarmness. He loathes the indifference of this class of persons. Said He: “I would thou wert cold or hot.” Like lukewarm water, they are nauseous to His taste. They are neither unconcerned nor selfishly stubborn. They do not engage thoroughly and heartily in the work of God, identifying themselves with its interests; but they hold aloof and are ready to leave their posts when their worldly personal interests demand it. The internal work of grace is wanting in their hearts; of such it is said: “Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” 4T 87.2
Faith and love are the true riches, the pure gold which the True Witness counsels the lukewarm to buy. However rich we may be in earthly treasure, all our wealth will not enable us to buy the precious remedies that cure the disease of the soul called lukewarmness. Intellect and earthly riches were powerless to remove the defects of the Laodicean church, or to remedy their deplorable condition. They were blind, yet felt that they were well off. The Spirit of God did not illumine their minds, and they did not perceive their sinfulness; therefore they did not feel the necessity of help. 4T 88.1Read in context »
In order to be happy, we must strive to attain to that character which Christ exhibited. One marked peculiarity of Christ was His self-denial and benevolence. He came not to seek His own. He went about doing good, and this was His meat and drink. We may, by following the example of the Saviour, be in holy communion with Him, and by daily seeking to imitate His character and follow His example, we shall be a blessing to the world and shall secure for ourselves contentment here and an eternal reward hereafter. 4T 227.1
*****Read in context »