A Message to the Young and Old
I am glad to have the privilege of meeting with those that have gathered here today. I feel an earnest desire that every one of you shall be victorious in the struggle against evil. For many years I have been laboring for the salvation of souls. I began this work at a very early age, and all through my life the Lord has sustained me in telling old and young of the hope that we have in Christ.
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I have always had an especial interest in the youth. I see before me today those whom I know God can use if they will put their dependence in him. Children, if you will be in earnest in serving God, you will be a help to all with whom you associate. There is nothing to be ashamed of in being a Christian. It is an honor to follow the Saviour. And it is by obeying the instructions that he has given that you are to be prepared to meet him when he comes. If you will ask God to help you to overcome what is un-Christlike in your dispositions, he will prepare you for entrance into heaven, where no sin can enter. Those who daily give the life to Jesus, and who follow on to know him, will be greatly blessed. Say, Christ gave his life for me, and I must give my life for him. If you give yourselves wholly to him, you will be conquerors in the warfare against sin. The Lord Jesus will be your helper, your support, your strength, if you will receive and obey him.
To the older ones who are present, I wish to say, Set before the younger ones an example that will help them to press forward in the upward way. Remember that your words and acts have an influence upon them for good or for evil. It is unworthy a Christian to neglect to make every effort in his power to help those for whom the Saviour gave his life. Christ died that we might live, and we want to be sure that we are trying to do his will. Then we shall be acceptable to him. Angels of God will be near to help us, and we shall realize the aid of a power above ourselves.
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I have recently been studying what we older ones can do to make the best impression upon the minds of the youth. What can we do? Let us study the Word, and as we have opportunity, talk Bible truth. As you do this, you will find that your own mind and heart are becoming subdued. As you strive to overcome everything that is displeasing to God, angels of heaven will help you to exert a right influence upon those who are younger. You will not be left to stumble along in uncertainty, not knowing what you are doing. Power from above will be given you, to enable you to show to others that we have a living Saviour, a Redeemer who can forgive our transgressions.
You can help the younger ones. You can be a blessing to them, even to the very young. And when Christ shall come in the clouds of heaven, he will say: “You have followed on to know me. I acknowledge you as my servants.” You will have light in the Lord, and the glory of the Lord will be your rearward.
The Students Duty
To these students I would say, Do not think it is an amusing thing to take advantage of a fellow student, and to lead him astray. God wants you to be constantly reaching higher and still higher for attainments that will enable you to help others, to be an example to those around you. And as you do this, the Lord will surely let his blessing rest upon you. But do not go only halfway in your efforts to serve God. Do not feel that there is no need of being particular. From the oldest to the youngest, you do need to be particular to avoid evil, even the appearance of evil. It is possible for the youth to be such earnest Christians that through them the Lord will send the truth home to those who have never known him.
I was very young when I began to serve the Lord. I am now eighty-five years old. In my childhood affliction came to me, and I have been a sufferer all my life. But the Lord has been my strength to do his service, and I have been able to speak again and again to congregations numbering thousands of people. For a great many years I have been engaged in active labor, speaking to the people and writing out the instruction opened before me. At times sickness has come upon me, and then I would cast my helpless soul upon Jesus Christ, and say:
Thou knowest, Lord, that I have chosen thee as my Redeemer. Give me not only spiritual strength, but physical strength, that I may follow on to know thee.
And the Lord has never forsaken me. Always he has been my helper, as he will be yours if you will trust in him. It is because I so greatly desire to work for the salvation of souls that I do not give up to infirmities. I am determined that as long as God permits me to live, I will proclaim the message of warning to the world. I want my voice to reach many more before I shall give up my labors. I expect to have trials, but I do not dread them. The Lord knows what I can bear, and he will give me strength to endure. He will sustain me in my weakness, enabling me to follow on, and to know that his going forth is prepared as the morning.
Students, be determined that you will follow on to know the Lord. Remember that angels are beside you. They see all your efforts against wrong. They understand all your difficulties; and if in meekness you will give up your own way for Christ’s way, taking his yoke cheerfully, you will find that he will give you daily strength to overcome. As I see you all here, the thought comes to me, Shall I meet them in the kingdom of heaven? What a meeting that will be when the redeemed are gathered home, saved, eternally saved. They have fought the good fight. They have pressed the battle to the gates. They have done all in their power to help others to follow in the Saviour’s footsteps.
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Knowing the Lord
I know that there are many here who are trying to overcome through the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. I want to say to you, Jesus wants every one of you. He died that you and I might be among those who shall wear the crown of life. He wants you, from the oldest to the youngest, to place your influence on his side. He wants your help. I pray that those who today have listened to me will lay hold upon the hope set before them in the gospel. I pray that in the great day of Christ’s coming, their voices will help to swell the song of joy and triumph that will be raised by the overcomers. I beg of you, dear youth, to link up with Jesus Christ. He died on Calvary’s cross for you and for me, and in his strength we may overcome.
Follow on to know the Lord. If you will do this, you will win souls to Christ. Not only will your own soul be saved; the power that converts your soul will enable you to set an example that will win others to Christ. These older children can be an example to the younger ones, leading and guiding them aright, speaking a word in season to them. Thus you can be laborers together with God. I want to say to these boys, You can overcome evil—evil thoughts, evil desires—by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony. We cannot afford to sin. It costs too much. May the Lord bless you all. We shall think of you and pray for you. I want to offer a word of prayer now.
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[Praying] Heavenly Father, we come to thee just as we are, needy and dependent. And we ask thee, Lord, that the few words spoken here today may lead those who have heard to seek with all their hearts to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Lord, wilt thou work by thy Spirit, and let the light of truth shine into human hearts, that souls may turn to thee, and repent and be converted, that we may meet them in the kingdom of glory. Amen.