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WHY ARE WE HELD RESPONSIBLE?
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, September 14, 1905 (Country Living, p 10; Manuscript Releases, vol 14, p 156)
"Those in positions of responsibility who follow their own way are held responsible for the mistakes of those who are led astray by their example. 'Shall I not judge for these things?' God asks."
The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 673 (Review and Herald, May 27, 1890)
"The third angel's message will not be comprehended, the light which will lighten the earth with its glory will be called a false light, by those who refuse to walk in its advancing glory. The work that might have been done, will be left undone by the rejecters of truth, because of their unbelief. We entreat of you who oppose the light of truth, to stand out of the way of God's people. Let Heaven-sent light shine forth upon them in clear and steady rays. God holds you to whom this light has come, responsible for the use you make of it. Those who will not hear will be held responsible; for the truth has been brought within their reach, but they despised their opportunities and privileges. Messages bearing the divine credentials have been sent to God's people; the glory, the majesty, the righteousness of Christ, full of goodness and truth, have been presented; the fullness of the Godhead in Jesus Christ has been set forth among us with beauty and loveliness, to charm all whose hearts were not closed with prejudice. We know that God has wrought among us. We have seen souls turn from sin to righteousness. We have seen faith revived in the hearts of the contrite ones. Shall we be like the lepers that were cleansed who went on their way, and only one returned to give glory to God? Let us rather tell of his goodness, and praise God with heart, with pen, and with voice."
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, September 15, 1904 (Pacific Union Recorder, December 5, 1901; Child Guidance, p 235)
"The prudent mother keeps the door of her lips, that she may not utter one hasty, fretful word. Fathers and mothers, never scold. Consecrate to God the talent of speech. Tell your children exactly what you require of them. Then let them understand that your word is law, and must be obeyed. Thus you are training them to respect the commandments of God, which plainly declare 'Thou shalt,' and 'Thou shalt not.' It is far better for your boy to obey from principle than from compulsion. If as teachers in the home the father and the mother allow children to take the lines of control into their own hands and to become wayward, they are held responsible for what their children might otherwise have been. From babyhood the child should be taught that the mother is master. Never is the mother to do anything that would give Satan opportunity to arouse or strengthen the disagreeable passions of her child. She should not use the rod, if it be possible to avoid doing so. But if milder measures prove insufficient, punishment that will bring the child to its senses should in love be administered. Frequently one such correction will be enough for a lifetime to show a child that he does not hold the lines of control."
Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, April 24, 1883
"The injunction to be blameless and harmless does not teach that we may remain in a passive state. If Christians aspire no higher than a mere negative virtue, we may well anxiously inquire, what is to become of those who know not Christ nor the truth? Who will reach out their hands to save them? 'Blameless' here means unadulterated, sincere; it expresses an active piety. We are to let our light shine upon others, that its bright beams may reflect glory to the great Source of light. Our Heavenly Father is not a hard master; he requires of no man more or less than he gives him ability to do. 'Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.' Every one has earnest work to do for God. Every one upon whom God has bestowed the gift of reason has some influence over others. By the blessing of God, that influence can be used to save souls. We shall individually be held responsible for doing an iota less than God has given us ability to do. He measures our strength; he gives us work which we can do, and which we must do if we ever hear from his lips the heavenly benediction, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.'"
Christ's Object Lessons, p 362-363 (Christian Service, p 86; Messages to Young People, p 309; Signs of Times, November 25, 1903)
"'Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.' Luke 12:48. We shall individually be held responsible for doing one jot less than we have ability to do. The Lord measures with exactness every possibility for service. The unused capabilities are as much brought into account as are those that are improved. For all that we might become through the right use of our talents God holds us responsible. We shall be judged according to what we ought to have done, but did not accomplish because we did not use our powers to glorify God. Even if we do not lose our souls, we shall realize in eternity the result of our unused talents. For all the knowledge and ability that we might have gained and did not, there will be an eternal loss."
Manuscript Release #449, p 1-2
"Cleanse the camp of this moral corruption, if it takes the highest men in the highest positions. God will not be trifled with. Fornication is in our ranks; I know it, for it has been shown me to be strengthening and extending its pollutions. There is much we will never know; but that which is revealed makes the church responsible and guilty unless they show a determined effort to eradicate the evil. Cleanse the camp, for there is an accursed thing in it."
Signs of the Times, December 4, 1907 (Ministry of Healing, p 343; Temperance, p 206-207)
"The man who has a vicious beast and who, knowing its disposition, allows it liberty is by the laws of the land held accountable for the evil the beast may do. In the laws given to Israel the Lord directed that when a beast known to be vicious caused the death of a human being, the life of the owner should pay the price of his carelessness or malignity. On the same principle the government that licenses the liquor-seller should be held responsible for the results of his traffic. And if it is a crime worthy of death to give liberty to a vicious beast, how much greater is the crime of sanctioning the work of the liquor-seller!"
Testimonies, Vol 6, p 331-332 (Colporter Ministry, p 12; Review and Herald, January 22, 1901)
"If we only knew what is before us we would not be so dilatory in the work of the Lord. We are in the shaking time, the time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. The Lord will not excuse those who know the truth if they do not in word and deed obey His commands. If we make no effort to win souls to Christ we shall be held responsible for the work we might have done, but did not do because of our spiritual indolence. Those who belong to the Lord's kingdom must work earnestly for the saving of souls. They must do their part to bind up the law and seal it among the disciples."
Review and Herald, April 21, 1896
"The Lord Jesus has a special work for his believing, commandment-keeping people to do. He desires that we should be faithful laborers together with God in the salvation of sinners. The servants of Jesus Christ, who know the truth and the power of the grace of God, have an extensive and important mission to fulfil; and every soul is held responsible for the proper exercise of the talents entrusted to him. We are justified by faith, but judged by the character of our works. In the parable, before the nobleman went away, he 'called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability.' There is not one human being to whom is not committed some talent, not one but has a work to do for the Lord. Not one is to be excused. Not one is to remain in idleness; but every man is required to do his best; the talents entrusted to him are to be used in consecrated service for the Master. Each member of the family of God is a responsible agent, and all should donate gifts to carry forward his work. From the humblest to the most exalted in privilege and position, both in the church and in the world, a strict account of the entrusted talents will be required, with the improvement which they are sure to make if put to use in the Lord's service. It is practice that enables us to use our abilities to the best advantage. Investments are to be made in such a way as to accomplish the greatest good for the cause, and to increase the revenue of the Lord's treasury. This need not apply solely to money investments, but to the improvement of our capabilities and opportunities as well. The Lord has given to every man his work, and expects returns proportionate to the ability of each. All are expected to perform their duty intelligently, so that the amount entrusted to them shall be doubled by the use they make of it. The fidelity of every human agent is to be tested and tried, and the destiny of the worker is determined by the faithful improvement, or by the lack of improvement, of his talents, according to the amount returned. Christ has paid the penalty, the wages of sin; he has shed his own precious blood to redeem the world from eternal ruin. If we always bear this in mind, we shall understand that there is no excuse for our remaining in ignorance."
Review and Herald, September 23, 1873 (Testimonies, vol 3, p 265)
"In the case of the sin of Achan, God has shown how he regards sin among those who profess to be his commandment-keeping people. Those whom he has especially honored with witnessing the remarkable exhibitions of his power, as did ancient Israel, and that will venture to disregard his express directions, will be subjects of his wrath. God would teach his people that disobedience and sin are exceedingly offensive to him, and not to be lightly regarded. He shows us that when his people are found in sin, they should at once take decided measures to put the sin from them, that his frown should not rest upon all his people. But if those in responsible positions pass over the sins of the people, his frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held responsible for the sins that exist in their midst. God, in his dealings with his people in the past, shows the necessity of purifying the church from wrongs that exist among them. One sinner may diffuse darkness which will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation. When the people realize that darkness is settling upon them, and they do not know the cause, then they should earnestly seek God in great humility and self-abasement, until the wrongs which grieve God's Spirit are searched out and put away from among them."
The Home Missionary, November 1, 1893
"The banner of truth and religious liberty which these reformers held aloft, God has in this last conflict committed to our hands. Those whom he has blessed with the knowledge of his word are held responsible for this great gift. We are to receive the word of God as supreme authority. We must accept its truths for ourselves, as our own individual act."
Pamphlet #13, p 2-3 (Messages to Young People, p 146; Testimonies, vol 3, p 363)
"Young men and women, you are accountable to God for the light he has given you. This light and these warnings, if not heeded, will rise up in judgment against you. You have your dangers plainly stated. You are cautioned and guarded on every side, and hedged in, as it were, with warnings. And in Battle Creek you have listened to the most solemn, heart-searching truths presented by the servants of God in demonstration of the Spirit. What weight have these solemn appeals upon your hearts, and what influence do they have upon your characters? You will be held responsible for every one of these appeals and warnings. They will rise up in judgment to condemn your life of vanity, levity, and pride."
Great Controversy, p 70-71
"The spirit of Christ is a missionary spirit. The very first impulse of the renewed heart is to bring others also to the Saviour. Such was the spirit of the Vaudois Christians. They felt that God required more of them than merely to preserve the truth in its purity in their own churches; that a solemn responsibility rested upon them to let their light shine forth to those who were in darkness; by the mighty power of God's word they sought to break the bondage which Rome had imposed. The Vaudois ministers were trained as missionaries, everyone who expected to enter the ministry being required first to gain an experience as an evangelist. Each was to serve three years in some mission field before taking charge of a church at home. This service, requiring at the outset self-denial and sacrifice, was a fitting introduction to the pastor's life in those times that tried men's souls. The youth who received ordination to the sacred office saw before them, not the prospect of earthly wealth and glory, but a life of toil and danger, and possibly a martyr's fate. The missionaries went out two and two, as Jesus sent forth His disciples. With each young man was usually associated a man of age and experience, the youth being under the guidance of his companion, who was held responsible for his training, and whose instruction he was required to heed. These colaborers were not always together, but often met for prayer and counsel, thus strengthening each other in the faith."
Gospel Workers (1892), p 240 (Gospel Workers (1915), p 420; Manuscript Releases, vol 9, p 143)
"The question is asked me if it is not a mistake to remove the president of a State Conference to a new field when many of the people in his present charge are unwilling to give him up. The Lord has been pleased to give me light on this question. I have been shown that ministers should not be retained in the same district year after year, nor should the same man long preside over a Conference. A change of gifts is for the good of our Conferences and churches. Ministers have sometimes felt unwilling to change their field of labor; but if they understood all the reasons for making changes, they would not draw back. Some have pleaded to remain one year longer in the same field, and frequently the request has been respected. They have claimed to have plans for accomplishing a greater work than heretofore. But at the close of the year there was a worse state of things than before. If a minister has been unfaithful in his work, it is not likely that he will mend the matter by remaining. The churches become accustomed to the management of the one man, and think they must look to him instead of looking to God. His ideas and plans have a controlling power in the Conference. The people may see that he errs in judgment, and because of this they learn to place a low estimate upon the ministry. If they would look to God, and depend upon heavenly wisdom, they would be gaining an experience of the highest value, and would themselves be able, in many respects at least, to supply what is lacking in him who is the overseer of the flock. But too often things are left to drift as they will, the president being held responsible for the healthful condition of the churches in the Conference, while the church members settle down, indifferent, lukewarm, doing nothing to bring things into order."
Review and Herald, September 18, 1888 (Christian Service, p 142-143; Our High Calling, p 194)
"All branches of business, all manner of employments, are under the eye of God; and every Christian has been given ability to do something in the cause of the Master. Whether engaged in business in the field, in the warehouse, or in the counting-room, men will be held responsible to God for the wise and honest employment of their talents. They are just as accountable to God for their work, as the minister who labors in word and doctrine is for his. If men acquire property in a manner that is not approved by the word of God, they obtain it at a sacrifice of the principles of honesty. An inordinate desire for gain will lead even the professed followers of Christ into imitation of the customs of the world. They will be influenced to dishonor their religion, by overreaching in trade, oppressing the widow and the orphan, and turning away the stranger from his right."
Review and Herald, August 8, 1893 (Our High Calling, p248)
"The apostle says, 'Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.' By beholding we become changed into the image of that upon which we dwell; then let us turn away our eyes from beholding the imperfections of those who are in the church, but who have not the likeness of Christ. We shall not be held responsible because those who make a high profession do not possess corresponding virtues. Let us thank God that it is our privilege to turn away our eyes from these defective Christians, and look upon those who are truly devoted, who are doers of the word, and who in life and character bear the image of the Divine. And above all things, thank God that it is your privilege to look upon Christ, the perfect pattern. We shall be without excuse if we do not study the word of God that we may understand how inseparable are Christian doctrine and Christian practice."
Patriarchs and Prophets, p 130-131
"Abraham had been greatly favored by the king; even now Pharaoh would permit no harm to be done him or his company, but ordered a guard to conduct them in safety out of his dominions. At this time laws were made prohibiting the Egyptians from intercourse with foreign shepherds in any such familiarity as eating or drinking with them. Pharaoh's dismissal of Abraham was kind and generous; but he bade him leave Egypt, for he dared not permit him to remain. He had ignorantly been about to do him a serious injury, but God had interposed, and saved the monarch from committing so great a sin. Pharaoh saw in this stranger a man whom the God of heaven honored, and he feared to have in his kingdom one who was so evidently under divine favor. Should Abraham remain in Egypt, his increasing wealth and honor would be likely to excite the envy or covetousness of the Egyptians, and some injury might be done him, for which the monarch would be held responsible, and which might again bring judgments upon the royal house."
Review and Herald, May 3, 1892 (Our High Calling, p 357)
"A confession of Christ means something more than bearing testimony in social meeting. Daniel is an example to believers as to what it means to confess Christ. He held the responsible position of prime minister in the kingdom of Babylon, and there were those who were envious of Daniel among the great men of the court, and they wanted to find something against him that they might bring an accusation against him to the king. But he was a faithful statesman, and they could find no flaw in his character or life. 'Then said these men, we shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.' So they agreed together to ask the king to make a decree that no one should ask any petition of any God or man for thirty days save of the king, and if any disobeyed this decree, he was to be cast into the den of lions. But did Daniel cease to pray because this decree was to go into force! -- No, that was just the time when he needed to pray. 'When Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and, his window being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.' Daniel did not seek to hide his loyalty to God. He did not pray in his heart, but with his voice, aloud, with his window open toward Jerusalem, he offered up his petition to heaven. Then his enemies made their complaint to the king, and Daniel was thrown into the den of lions. But the Son of God was there. The angel of the Lord encamped round about the servant of the Lord, and when the king came in the morning, and called, 'O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me.' No harm had come to him, and he magnified the Lord God of heaven."
Patriarchs and Prophets, p 190
"It was necessary for the shepherd to watch his flocks day and night. They were in danger from robbers, and also from wild beasts, which were numerous and bold, often committing great havoc in flocks that were not faithfully guarded. Jacob had many assistants in caring for the extensive flocks of Laban, but he himself was held responsible for them all. During some portions of the year it was necessary for him to be constantly with the flocks in person, to guard them in the dry season against perishing from thirst, and during the coldest months from becoming chilled with the heavy night frosts. Jacob was the chief shepherd; the servants in his employ were the undershepherds. If any of the sheep were missing, the chief shepherd suffered the loss; and he called the servants to whom he entrusted the care of the flock to a strict account if it was not found in a flourishing condition."
Patriarchs and Prophets, p 495
"Sentence was pronounced and immediately executed. 'Why hast thou troubled us?' said Joshua, 'the Lord shall trouble thee this day.' As the people had been held responsible for Achan's sin, and had suffered from its consequences, they were, through their representatives, to take part in its punishment. 'All Israel stoned him with stones.'"
Pamphlet #79, p 14 (Publishing Ministry, p 233)
"Some think that only a portion of their means is the Lord's, but this is a mistake. All is the Lord's. All should feel their accountability to appropriate the means as the different necessities of the work shall demand. There are poor to be helped. If you put out of your power the talents lent you of God to do this work, you are held responsible for the work you should have done. You place man as God, and he feels fully authorized to use the purchased talents just as he pleases, when he might listen to the calls for help. You put it out of your power to do the work you feel impressed to do."
Bible Echo, June 11, 1900 (Reflecting Christ, p 187; Signs of Times, September 26, 1900)
"Every True Christian A Light Bearer. Each soul united to Christ becomes a light in God's house. Each is to receive and impart, letting his light shine forth in clear, bright rays. We are held responsible by God if we do not let light shine to those who are in darkness. God has given each member of His church the work of giving light to the world, and those who faithfully act their part in this work, will receive an increasing supply of light to impart. By His Spirit the Lord will mould and fashion the human agent, quickening his energies, and giving him light wherewith to enlighten others."
Review and Herald, November 30, 1897 (Selected Messages, book 3, p 345)
"In this day we have been privileged to have increased light and large opportunities, and we are held responsible for the improvement of light. This will be manifested by increased piety and devotion. Our loyalty to God should be proportionate to the light which shines upon us in this age. But the fact that we have increased light does not justify us in dissecting and judging the character of men whom God raised up in former times to do a certain work and to penetrate the moral darkness of the world. In the past the servants of God wrestled with principalities and powers, and with the rulers of the darkness of this world, and with spiritual wickedness in high places, the same as we, who bear aloft the banner of truth, do to-day. These men were God's noblemen, his living agencies, through whom he wrought in a wonderful manner. They were depositaries of divine truth to the extent that the Lord saw fit to reveal the truth that the world could bear to hear. They proclaimed the truth at a time when false, corrupt religion was magnifying itself in the world."
S.D.A. Bible Commentary, vol 5, p 1100 (God's Amazing Grace, p 64)
"To every man is committed individual gifts, termed talents. Some regard these talents as being limited to certain men who possess superior mental endowments and genius. But God has not restricted the bestowal of His talents to a favored few. To every one is committed some special endowment, for which he will be held responsible by the Lord. Time, reason, means, strength, mental powers, tenderness of heart--all are gifts from God, entrusted to be used in the great work of blessing humanity."
Atlantic Union Gleaner, August 26, 1903 (Southern Watchman, September 29, 1903; SDA Bible Commentary, vol 6, p 1074; Manuscript Releases, vol 18, p 113)
"The second Adam was a free moral agent, held responsible for His conduct. Surrounded by intensely subtle and misleading influences, He was much less favorably situated than was the first Adam to lead a sinless life. Yet in the midst of sinners He resisted every temptation to sin, and maintained His innocency. He was ever sinless."
Sketches from the Life of Paul, p 200 (Acts of Apostles, p 393-394)
"'Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men; for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.' No fear of giving offense, no desire for friendship or applause, could lead him to withhold the words which God had given him for their instruction, warning, or correction. The minister of Christ is not to present to the people those truths that are most pleasing, while he withholds others which might cause them pain. He should watch with deep solicitude the development of character. If he sees that any of his flock are cherishing sin, he must as a faithful shepherd give them instruction from God's word applicable to their case. Should he permit them in their self-confidence to go on in sin unwarned, he would be held responsible for their blood. The pastor who fulfills his high commission must instruct his people in every point of the Christian faith, all that they ought to be or to do, in order to stand perfect in the day of God."
Sketches from the Life of Paul, p 262
"The season of safe navigation was already far advanced, before the apostle's ship left Caesarea, and the time was fast approaching when travel by sea would be closed for the year. Every day's delay increased the peril of the voyage. But the journey which would be difficult and dangerous to the ordinary traveler, would be doubly trying to the apostle as a prisoner. Roman soldiers were held responsible with their own lives for the security of their prisoners, and this had led to the custom of chaining prisoners by the right wrist to the left wrist of soldiers, who relieved each other in turn. Thus not only could the apostle have no movement free, but he was placed in close and constant connection with men of the most uncongenial and absolutely repulsive character; men who were not only uneducated and unrefined, but who, from the demoralizing influence of their surroundings, had become brutal and degraded. This custom, however, was less rigidly observed on shipboard than when prisoners were ashore. One circumstance greatly lightened the hardships of his lot. He was permitted to enjoy the companionship of his brethren, Luke and Aristarchus. In his letter to the Colossians, he speaks of the latter as his 'fellow-prisoner.' But it was as an act of choice, because of his affection for Paul, that Aristarchus shared his bondage, and ministered to him in his afflictions."
Testimonies, vol 1, p 465-466
"As to the matter of wearing hoops, the reform in dress is entirely in advance of them. It cannot use them. And it is altogether too late to talk about wearing hoops, large or small. My position upon that question is precisely what it ever has been, and I hope not to be held responsible for what others may say on this subject, or for the course pursued by those who put on hoops. I protest against the perversion of my private conversations on this subject, and ask that what I have written and published be regarded as my settled position."
Signs of the Times, June 29, 1882 (Adventist Home, p 91-92; Fundamentals of Christian Education, p 74; Pamphlet #124, p 6)
"In institutions of learning, experienced teachers should be employed to instruct young ladies in the mysteries of the kitchen. A knowledge of domestic duties is beyond price to every woman. There are families without number whose happiness is wrecked by the inefficiency of the wife and mother. It is not so important that our daughters learn painting, fancy work, music, or even 'cube root,' or the figures of rhetoric, as that they learn how to cut, make, and mend their own clothing, or to prepare food in a wholesome and palatable manner. When a little girl is nine or ten years old, she should be required to take her regular share in household duties, as she is able, and should be held responsible for the manner in which she does her work. That was a wise father, who, when asked what he intended to do with his daughters, replied, 'I intend to apprentice them to their excellent mother, that they may learn the art of improving time, and be fitted to become wives and mothers, heads of families, and useful members of society.'"
Testimonies, Vol 4, p 138
"The first great business of your life is to be a missionary at home. Clothe yourself with humility and patience, forbearance and love, and go about the work that God has ordained you should do, which no other one can do for you. It is a work for which you will be held responsible in the day of retribution. God's blessing cannot rest upon an ill-disciplined household. Kindness and patience must rule in the home to make it happy."
Testimonies, Vol 4, p 424
"The selfish love of 'me and mine' keeps many from doing their duty to others. Do they think that all the work they have to do is for themselves and their own children? 'Inasmuch,' says Christ, 'as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.' Are your own children of more value in the sight of God than the children of your neighbors? God is no respecter of persons. We are to do all we can to save souls. None should be passed by because they have not the culture and religious training of more favored children. Had these erring, neglected ones enjoyed the same home advantages, they might have shown far more nobility of soul and greater talent for usefulness than many who have been watched over day and night with gentlest care and overflowing love. Angels pity these stray lambs; angels weep, while human eyes are dry, and human hearts are closed against them. If God had not given me another work, I would make it the business of my life to care for those whom others will not take the trouble to save. In the day of God somebody will be held responsible for the loss of these dear souls."
Testimonies, Vol 5, p 126
"Because of earnest, faithful warnings to guard you against the mistakes of a lifetime, you have imagined you were a great benefit to the church. True, you are capable, in Jesus Christ, of being useful; but, notwithstanding this, the Lord and the church can get along without you. You can join the army of Christ's followers if you will; you may share in its conflicts and triumphs. But if you choose not to do this, the self-denying army under the bloodstained banner of the cross will move on to certain victory, and leave you behind. If you choose to guide your own frail bark across life's stormy waters you must answer for the presumption and be held responsible for the result."
Review and Herald, July 29, 1902 (Counsels on Health, p 425-426; Testimonies, vol 7, p 62-63; Welfare Ministry, p 119)
"Before the true reformer, the medical missionary work will open many doors. No one need wait until called to some distant field before beginning to help others. Wherever you are, you can begin at once. Opportunities are within the reach of every one. Take up the work for which you are held responsible,--the work that should be done in your home and in your neighborhood. Wait not for others to urge you to action. In the fear of God, go forward without delay, bearing in mind your individual responsibility to him who gave his life for you. Act as if you heard Christ calling upon you personally to do your utmost in his service. Look not to see who else is ready. If you are truly consecrated, God will, through your instrumentality, bring into the truth others whom he can use as channels to convey light to many who are groping in darkness."
This Day with God, p 345 (Paulson Collection, p 12)
"We are all members of God's family, all in a greater or less degree entrusted with God-given talents, for the use of which we are held responsible. Whether our talent be great or small, we are to use it in God's service, and we are to recognize the right of everyone else to use the gifts entrusted to them. Never should we disparage the smallest physical, intellectual, or spiritual capital. Some may trade in pennies and farthings, and by God's blessing, and unwearied diligence, these humble ones may make successful investments, and make a gain proportionate to the capital entrusted to them. No one should make light of any humble worker, who is filling his place, and is doing a work that someone must do, however small that work may seem."
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p 104
"It is the privilege of the faithful teacher to reap day by day the visible results of his patient, persevering labor of love. It is his to watch the growth of the tender plants as they bud, and blossom, and bear the fruit of order, punctuality, faithfulness, thoroughness, and true nobility of character. It is his to see a love for truth and right growing and strengthening in these children and youth for whom he is held responsible. What can give him greater returns than to see his pupils developing characters that will make them noble and useful men and women, fitted to occupy positions of responsibility and trust--men and women who in the future will wield a power to hold in check evil influences and help in dispelling the moral darkness of the world?"
General Conference Bulletin, July 1, 1902
"No one need wait until called to some distant field before beginning to help others. Wherever you are, you can begin at once. Opportunities are within the reach of every one. Take up the work for which you are held responsible,-- the work that should be done in your home and in your neighborhood. Wait not for others to urge you to action. In the fear of God go forward without delay, bearing in mind your individual responsibility to Him who gave His life for you. Act as if you heard Christ calling upon you personally to do your utmost in His service. Look not to see who else is ready."
General Conference Daily Bulletin, February 23, 1899
"Mismanagement, wrong methods, ill-advised, movements have brought a reproach upon the work and cause of God, and these matters need to be adjusted. The book work needs to be cleansed of every artful intrigue. Those who have stood at the head of this unjust dealing will never be clean in the sight of God until they restore that which they have taken away. They are held responsible for the work that might have been done, but is not."
Review and Herald, May 6, 1875
"All will yet understand, as did Adam and Eve, that God means what he says. Men who pass on indifferently in regard to the especial claims of God's holy law, and who turn from and reject the light given upon the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and seek to ease their consciences by following traditions and customs, will be held responsible by God, and in a greater degree, than if Christ had not come to the earth, and suffered on Calvary. The fact that the redemption of man from the penalty of the transgression, required this wonderful sacrifice on the part of Christ, gives unmistakable proof of the unchanging nature of the law of God."
Review and Herald, July 10, 1879
"We have our convocation meetings yearly, and all who possibly can attend them should feel under obligation to do so. If they neglect to improve the opportunities to obtain a better knowledge of the truth, and to become more thoroughly in earnest in their efforts to perfect Christian character, they will be held responsible for the light, and privileges, and blessings which they might have had. Their case is nearly as bad in the sight of God as that of those who attend the meetings but fail to improve by the light and blessings there received."
Review and Herald, January 5, 1886
"As persons become convinced from the Scriptures that the claims of the fourth commandment are still binding, the question is often raised, Is it necessary in order to secure salvation that we keep the Sabbath? This is a question of grave importance. If the light has shone from the word of God, if the message has been presented to men, as it was to Pharaoh, and they refuse to heed that message, if they reject the light, they refuse to obey God, and cannot be saved in their disobedience. On the other hand, many have died conscientiously observing the first day of the week as the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. These will not be condemned, because they followed the best light they had. They will not be held responsible for light which they never received. Christ said to the scribes and Pharisees: 'If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin.' Again he said, 'For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin; but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.'"
Review and Herald, May 1, 1888
"Jesus declared of his people, 'Ye are the light of the world.' And he said again, 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.' Those who will not become connected with Jesus Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, will not become channels of light, but they will be held responsible for what they might have been through his grace. God has endowed us with talents for his service and glory, and we should seek to put our gifts out to the exchangers, that interest may be returned to our Heavenly Father."
Review and Herald, December 24, 1889
"Will parents repent on their backslidings from God? Will they obey the laws of God? His heart of love is drawn out to the needy, to the destitute, and to the perishing. What else but blessing will follow those who are obedient? The parents who administer to their children after the example of Abraham, by the combined influence of authority and affection, will find the favor of God. God has told you, fathers and mothers, that a certain course must be pursued by those for whom Christ has died, and this is the very course you should pursue to meet the approval of God. The Holy One of Israel has laid out before you plain rules for the guidance of all within the home circle. From this high standard of the Lord there can be no departure. The first principles of holiness must be taught to the children both by precept and example. The Lord calls upon fathers and mothers in every family to take hold of this work of educating their children in the fear of the Lord. Lose no time. Sabbath-keeping parents, and even ministers, need to closely examine their children's course of action, and their own course in regard to them; for if these children are growing up without a knowledge of Christ, without conforming to the precepts of God, the parents will be held responsible. These children, by words and works, are communicating the knowledge of evil to other children. Their influence is to lead others to disregard the claims of God. Children and youth need to be daily instructed in the fear of the Lord. Their inclinations and desires are to be restrained, and turned in the right channel of the precious lessons of Jesus. Let parents find out the good way of the Lord themselves, and walk circumspectly in that way; and when perplexity comes, carry it, not to your neighbors, but to God, that you may bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Review and Herald, April 9, 1901 (Counself on Stewardship, p 116)
"According to the talents bestowed will be the returns called for. The heaviest obligation rests upon him who has been made a steward of the greatest abilities. A man who has ten pounds is held responsible for all that ten pounds would do if used aright. He who has only ten pence is accountable for only that amount. God accepts according to what a man has, not according to what he has not. He does not expect from the man who has only one talent what he expects from him who has five."
Review and Herald, August 18, 1891
"When Christ left the world, he gave to his disciples the work of carrying the gospel. The professed followers of Christ are held responsible for the warning of the world. How are we doing this solemn work committed to us? We must humble ourselves before God, and not follow the ideas of men. We must come before the world, speaking the words of God, that the world may know that God has sent us, and that Heaven's mold is upon the work. O, we must grow up into a glorious temple in the Lord. The enemy will come in, and try to draw our minds away from the important work to be done for this time. He will seek to keep us engaged on trivial matters, make us think that it is our province to criticise and condemn others; but our work is to deal faithfully with our own souls. We must search our hearts and see if we are right in the sight of God. Peter said to Christ in regard to John, 'Lord, what shall this man do?' But the Lord answered him, 'What is that to thee? follow thou me.' We each have a work to do for ourselves, and while we are criticising others, we are neglecting the most important work of all."
Review and Herald, October 25, 1892
"The work of God is not divided; it is one vast plan in which all have a part to act. God would have you laborers together with him for the saving of your own children. The children must not be left to themselves to become the slaves of Satan; those who have taken the responsibility of bringing them into the world will be held responsible to a large degree for the characters they form. In order to do their God-given work to save their own households, parents will have to search the Scriptures to know the ways of the Lord. They should be much in secret prayer, that they may be holy in all manner of conversation. Their hearts should be filled with cheerfulness and thanksgiving, that there be no tale-bearing, no false accusation, but only such themes of conversation as will elevate and ennoble those who hear and take a part in it."
Review and Herald, December 10, 1901
"What shall we render to God for all His benefits to us? Does the weight of your obligation to your Creator rest heavily upon you? Are you seeking to save the souls who are perishing in sin? Do you realize that now is the time to work for the Master, that now is the time to bring your tithes and offerings into the storehouse? Upon His people God has placed the solemn charge of representing Him in this world. 'Ye are the light of the world,' He says to them. 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.' If the truth is not carried into new territory, if the warning message is not given to those who are in darkness, the Church will be held responsible."
Review and Herald, December 10, 1901
"Rightly appreciate the gifts of influence and property. Rightly estimate the value of the capital intrusted to you. It places you where you are held responsible to see and relieve the needs of God's cause. Labor for the advancement of the interests which are dearest to the heart of God. With your money, your time, your strength, your influence, work for the upbuilding of these interests. The Lord God of Israel needs the co-operation of every soul, because there is a large field to be worked. Hasten, my brethren and sisters, to bring to God a faithful tithe, and to bring Him also a willing thank offering. There are many who will not be blessed till they make restitution of the tithe which they have withheld. God is waiting for you to redeem the past. The hand of the holy law is laid upon every soul who enjoys God's benefits. Let those who have kept back their tithe make an accurate reckoning, and bring to the Lord that of which they have robbed His work. Make restitution, and bring the Lord peace offerings. 'Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.' If you acknowledge that you have done wrong in misappropriating His goods, and freely and fully repent, He will forgive your transgression."
Bible Students' Library #181 (Review and Herald, November 10, 1910)
"The ministry of the word in our cities rests not merely upon those who preach the word, but upon all who read and hear the word. God calls upon His people to break the bands of their precise, indoor service. He would have hundreds in our cities doing the work that Christ did while on this earth,--cheering the sorrowful, strengthening the weak, comforting the mourners, preaching the gospel to the poor. In many of the cities of America scarcely anything has been done to proclaim the message of warning. Our brethren and sisters living in these crowded centers should let their light shine amidst the moral darkness. More than one may think that his light is too small to do any good, but he should remember that it is what God has given him, and that he is held responsible for letting it shine forth. Some one else may light his taper from it, and his light may be the means of leading others out from the darkness."
Review and Herald, March 30, 1905
"Places that have not yet been worked should long ago have heard the message. Those who are familiar with the teachings of God's Word, those who understand the things that Christ has commanded, are required, as stewards of his grace, to perform faithfully their appointed work. The means entrusted to them they are to use in opening new fields, in teaching those who would accept the truth were it presented to them in the way that Christ presented it when on this earth. All who have received the light of truth are held responsible to do their part in enlightening others."
Manuscript Releases, Vol 2, p 90 (Review and Herald, August 13, 1859)
"Those who with humility of heart search the Scriptures with a sincere desire to know and obey the truth, will not be left to walk in darkness. Jesus says, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The whole Bible is a revelation of Christ. But you may read the Scriptures from morning till night, and unless you humbly submit your will to the will of God, you cannot receive a saving knowledge of the gospel. As you see the truth plainly stated, lay aside every false position, however dear it may be to the selfish heart. Some will take a text, wrest it from its true bearing, and force it into service to sustain some preconceived opinion. By linking together isolated passages of scripture, they may deceive others. But what appears to be Bible proof for their position is no proof whatever, for the scriptures are not used in their true setting. In this way error is often magnified and truth diminished. Those who thus wrest the scriptures to sustain error greatly dishonor God, and in the day of judgment they will be held responsible for the disobedience of those who through their sophistries have been led to disregard the divine law."
Signs of the Times, February 9, 1882
"On this occasion I dwelt particularly upon the evils resulting from parental neglect. Notwithstanding our boasted advancement in education, the training of children is sadly defective. For this state of things, must not mothers to some extent be held responsible? Are they not generally the willing servants of worldliness and fashion? Are not even those who profess to have renounced the vanities of the world, influenced to a great degree by its customs? It is too true that mothers are not standing at their post of duty, faithful to their motherhood. God requires of us nothing that we cannot in his strength perform; nothing that is not for our own good and the good of our children. He does not call woman to engage in any work that will lead her to neglect the physical, mental, and moral training of her own children. She may not shift this responsibility upon others, and leave them to do her work."
Signs of the Times, November 20, 1884
"The Master bestows his gifts according to the varied capacities of his servants. In the parable we read: 'Unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.' To every one of us is committed some talent to be improved by use. The goods of Heaven are intrusted to our keeping, not to be hoarded of idolized, but to be wisely employed in the service of Christ. We are to place the highest value upon the talents committed to our trust, and to trade even with pence and farthings. Our opportunities may seem small; but if we are diligent, the blessing of God will rest on our efforts. He admits no idlers in his vineyard. All will be held responsible, from those in the highest positions to those in the most lowly; and of all he expects returns corresponding to the gifts bestowed."
Signs of the Times, August 31, 1882
"Saul stubbornly persists in his self-justification; 'Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroy the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.' Had Saul himself obeyed the command of God, and enforced it upon the people with the same decision that he had manifested in carrying out his own decrees, he would have had no difficulty in securing obedience. God held him responsible for the sin which he basely endeavored to charge upon Israel."
Signs of the Times, July 13, 1888
"Parents should seek to become thoroughly acquainted with their children. Oh, may the Lord impress them with the necessity of laboring for them, in order to bring them to Jesus! Oh that they might realize the far-reaching influence of the impressions of early life! These impressions are either for good or for evil, and they leave their traces in the character, which is developing day by day. Parents will be held responsible for the influence they exert, and for the development of their children. In the day of Judgment they will have to meet the record of their work."
Signs of the Times, November 30, 1888
"Your talent has been intrusted to you by the Lord, and you will be held responsible for its employment and improvement. It is the design of the Giver that it shall be used in accordance with his divine will. We are not only to work out our own salvation, but we are to love our fellow-men as we love ourselves. We must manifest the glory of God. This is the high aim of our existence. We must be in such a condition that we can appreciate the light that God has brought into the experience of others. Our lives and characters are influenced by the physical, intellectual, and moral acquirements of past generations. If we remain in ignorance, we have no one to blame but ourselves. If we put to the stretch every power, and task every ability to the utmost, with an eye single to the glory of God, we shall not fail of doing a valuable work for God."
Signs of the Times, December 28, 1891
"All those who say, 'I am saved! I am saved!' but do not obey God's commandments, are resting their salvation on a false hope, a false foundation. No one who has an intelligent knowledge of the requirements of God, can be saved in disobedience. Just so far as men have a knowledge of the words of Christ, so plainly laid down in the Bible, they will be held responsible."
Signs of the Times, September 24, 1894
"Faith does not make void the law, and though there are persons who insist that through faith in Christ they are freed from obligation to keep the law, yet the teaching of prophets and apostles contradicts their position. 'Faith without works [obedience] is dead.' Men's characters are estimated according to their works. James says, 'Show me thy faith without thy works [if it were possible], and I will show thee my faith by my works.' Faith in the great plan of redemption without corresponding works is not reckoned as faith. Christ our Redeemer did not suffer the penalty of the law for our sins in order to deliver us from obligation to keep God's commandments. Christ suffered the penalty of the law, which was death, in order to give to man another trial, to provide for him another probation, and allot to him another opportunity of proving loyal to the authority of God. Every soul is to be tested, for he is held responsible for obedience to the divine law, and, although Christ has died for man's transgression, those who continue in disobedience will suffer the penalty of their sin. The condition upon which men will be offered the benefits of salvation is through repentance toward God, because of transgression of his holy law, faith in Christ, by which he receives power from on high to become an obedient subject of the government of God. Those who would be saved must take Christ as their personal Saviour, and become not only hearers, but doers of his words. 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'"
Southern Watchman, June 23, 1908
"But none will be held responsible for light which they never received. Christ said of the scribes and Pharisees, 'If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin.' Again he said, 'For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin; but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.'"
Youth's Instructor, January 2, 1896
"It is our privilege now to act a part in the work and mission of Christ. We may be laborers together with him. In whatever work we are called to engage, we may work with Christ. He is doing all that he can to set us free, to make our lives that seem so cramped and narrow, reach out to bless and help others. He would have us understand that we are held responsible to do good, and have us realize that in shunning our work we are bringing loss upon ourselves. In his day he saw many that were falling far below what they might be in becoming useful. To those who were doing nothing, he said, 'Why stand ye here all the day idle?' We are to work while it is called to-day; for the night cometh in which no man can work."
Youth's Instructor, August 5, 1897
"Those who claim to be descendants of Abraham have attempted to number Israel, as though the gift of eternal life belonged to a select few. They would have the benefits of salvation limited to their own nation. But God has placed every individual of our race under divine favor, and all are called upon to contribute to God's glory and to the advancement of his kingdom. Individuals and nations will be held responsible for the grace of God given them through Jesus Christ. Christ came eating with publicans and sinners, giving them lessons day by day in his association with them. Leaving the ninety and nine in the fold, he went out into the wilderness after the one lost lamb. He said, 'I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.' And his lesson to Simon was, To whom much is forgiven, the same loveth much."
Pamphlet #80, p 40
"Long ago, when such ideas were first advanced, they should have been treated as they deserved. Men took into their own hands responsibilities which they were not capable of treating justly or managing successfully. They have given evidence of this in the past in the fact that they would resort to unfair means, in order to wring from men God's entrusted talents for their own appropriation. But the very persons whom God has entrusted with his goods are held responsible to trade upon them, and thus develop talent."
Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p 1441-42 (Pamphlet #102, p 26)
"Long ago, when such ideas were first advanced, they should have been treated as they deserved. Men were taking into their own hands responsibilities which they were not capable of treating justly or managing successfully. They have given evidence of this in the past that in order to wring some men in the fact that they would resort to unfair means in order to wring from men God's entrusted talents for themselves to appropriate. But the very persons whom God has entrusted with his goods, are held responsible to trade upon them, and thus develop character. Can any more striking demonstration be required to open the eyes of men and councils to this matter than the history of the past few years?"
Manuscript Releases, Vol 3, p 77-78
"John, in looking down through time, saw a remnant that would be gathered from the world, who would be in harmony with the precepts of Jehovah; and he exclaims: 'Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.' Rev. 14:12. 'And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament.' Rev. 11:19. What was it that the ark contained? It was the law of God that points out our duty. John saw the people's attention called to those ten precepts, and as the light is seen we shall be held responsible if we reject it."
Manuscript Releases, Vol 4, p 156-157
"Were you here in Cooranbong, we would not, could not, entrust our youth to you, for you are not qualified to give students proper instruction. We would feel that God held us responsible for placing you in so important a position. You would hinder the very work that the Lord calls upon every teacher to be qualified to do."
Manuscript Releases, Vol 14, p 137
"The Lord is about to do a short and effectual work in the earth. Oh, that our leading workers would realize this, and shun their work of criticizing and forbidding. When the Judge of all the earth shall come to render to every man his reward, those who have laid plans that have hindered the cause of truth will be held responsible for their actions, with all the evil that has resulted therefrom."
Christ's Object Lessons, p 373
"The lesson of this parable is for all. Everyone will be held responsible for the grace given him through Christ. Life is too solemn to be absorbed in temporal or earthly matters. The Lord desires that we shall communicate to others that which the eternal and unseen communicates to us."
Adventist Home, p 488
"Opportunities are within the reach of everyone. Take up the work that should be done in your neighborhood, for which you are held responsible. Wait not for others to urge you to take advance steps. Move without delay, bearing in mind your individual responsibility to Him who gave His life for you. Move as if you heard Christ calling upon you personally to awake out of sleep and to exert every God-given faculty in doing the utmost in His service. Look not to see who else is ready to catch inspiration from the word of the living God. If you are thoroughly consecrated, through your instrumentality He will bring into the truth others whom He can use as channels to convey light to many souls in darkness."
Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p 453
"'I beseech you,' says Paul, 'that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.' 'Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace.' Eph. 4:1,3. We are amid the perils of the last days, and in this evil time everyone is held responsible by the Holy Spirit for his personal position before the church and the world. It is an individual work that each is required to do to cast himself upon the Lord. The name of Jesus is all powerful. It is accepted of the Father, always. No other name will He honor. It is through faith in His name that we are saved. We are complete in Him. Jesus will not sanction sectarianism or a legal religion, which is so prevalent even among those who claim to believe present truth. Christ and His righteousness is our only hope. Christ is our only hope, and He is everything to us. Self must die. Jesus must be to us all and in all. Let self be put out of sight. Let Jesus abide in our hearts by faith, and we will be strong in His strength."
Mind, Character, and Personality, Volume 2, p 399 (Paulson Collection, p 84; Spalding-Magan, p 352)
"Sister ____ was so weighted down with sorrow that she lost her reason. I ask, Who, in the day of judgment, will be held responsible for putting out the light of that mind that should be shining today? Who will be accountable in the day of God for the work that caused the distress which brought on this sickness? She suffered for months, and the husband suffered with her. And now the poor woman has gone, leaving two motherless children. All this because of the work done by unsanctified tongues." (Manuscript 54, 1904).
Spalding - Magan Collection, p 178
"Light has been given me by God that unless something more is done in behalf of the Southern field than has yet been done, those who ought to see the condition of the field, and to realize its need, will be held responsible for the means they have diverted from the object for which it was raised. The failure to do that which should have been done to place the work where it should be, shows that the past unfaithfulness is unhealed. Something has been done to help, but it falls far short of what ought to be done."
Ellen G. White Biography, Vol 4, p 310
"I went to the school this morning and found Brother and Sister Hughes and Brother and Sister Haskell counseling together as to what they should do to change the order of things....The foolish talking, the jesting, the joking, the low, cheap talk, and the unruly spirit were contaminating the youth. I presented to them that both principal and teachers were held responsible, and were under condemnation of God while these things existed. They are to watch for souls as they that must give an account."