Unfinished Business

Jan 8, 2009

In 1888, God’s people failed a divine opportunity. Will we meet the challenge?

We have reached another milestone. October 17 marked the 120th anniversary of the historic 1888 General Conference session held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was at this conference that the Righteousness by Faith message was presented in eighteen talks by Elder E. J. Waggoner.

Against strong opposition from leaders, including General Conference President George Butler (absent because of illness) and Uriah Smith, Sister Ellen G. White strongly endorsed this message as the heart of the plan of salvation. If it had been wholeheartedly embraced by God’s people, they would have been in the heavenly home decades ago.

Of course, none of us were alive at the time this conference convened. Yet, we have the present-day challenge to do what our forefathers did not do—surrender our lives unreservedly to this God-given message of salvation.

It is vital that we understand this message. Sister White said under divine inspiration, “This is the testimony that must go throughout the length and breadth of the world. It presents the law and the gospel, binding up the two in a perfect whole…. The Lord would have these grand themes studied in our churches, and if every church member shall give entrance to the word of God, it will give light and understanding to the simple.” Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 95-96.

These and other passages on the topic (i.e. Selected Messages, vol. 1, pp. 355-405 and vol. 3, pp. 156-204) have most inspired me. Why not join me in studying them and asking for divine power to live the truths contained in them? You will be greatly blessed.

God will have a people “who would rather die than perform a wrong act.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 53. They will overcome “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony,” and will love not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12:11. God has promised to give us the grace to do this through the perfect life of His Son, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17. Why should not our generation be the one to bring in everlasting righteousness?