As the claims of the law are presented, it is found that the observance of the seventh day Sabbath is enjoined; and as the only way to free themselves from a duty which they are unwilling to perform, many popular teachers declare that the law of God is no longer binding. "Believe, believe," they say, "and you need not keep the law." Thus they cast away the law and the Sabbath together. Is it possible for men to be holy, in accord with the will and character of God, without coming into harmony with the principles which are an expression of His nature and will, and which show what is well pleasing to Him? The apostle John says, "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected." l John2:4, 5.
The teachings of religious leaders have opened the door to infidelity, and to contempt for Godís holy law; upon these leaders rests a fearful responsibility for the iniquity that exists in the Christian world. The line of distinction between professed Christians and the ungodly is now hardly distinguishable. Church members love what the world loves.
|The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted.|
The presentation of truth that reproves the sins and errors of the times excites opposition. "Everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." John 3:20. As men see that they cannot maintain their position by the Scriptures, many determine to maintain it at all costs.
The apostle Paul declared, looking down to the last days: "The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:3. That time has fully come. The multitudes do not want Bible truth, because it interferes with the desires of the sinful, world-loving heart.
As churches reject the clear, Scriptural arguments in defense of Godís law, they will long to silence those whose faith they cannot overthrow by the Bible. The power attending the message will only madden those who oppose it. By every means at their command they will endeavor to suppress the discussion of these vital questions.
The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected.
God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satanís constant resort ó to gain control of those whom he cannot otherwise seduceó is compulsion by cruelty. Through fear or force he endeavors to rule the conscience and to secure homage to himself. To accomplish this, he works through both religious and secular authorities, moving them to the enforcement of human laws in defiance of the law of God.
The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When it shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not.
To every soul will come the searching test: Shall I obey God rather than men? The decisive hour is even now at hand.
A lack of moral courage to step aside from the beaten track of the world leads many to follow in the steps of learned men; by their reluctance to investigate for themselves, they are becoming hopelessly fastened in the chains of error. They see that the truth for this time is plainly brought to view in the Bible; they feel the power of the Holy Spirit attending its proclamation, yet they allow the opposition of the clergy to turn them from the light. Though reason and conscience are convinced, these souls dare not think differently from the minister. Their individual judgment, their eternal interests, are sacrificed to the unbelief, pride and prejudice of another.
From the very beginning of the great controversy in heaven it has been Satanís purpose to overthrow the law of God. To deceive men, and lead them to transgress Godís law, is the object which he has steadfastly pursued. Whether this be accomplished by casting aside the law altogether, or by rejecting one of its precepts, the result will ultimately be the same.