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REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT
„Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine; for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.” … „And of some have compassion, making a difference; and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” 2 Tim. 4:2,3,15-17; Jude 23,24
It is not our province to judge men’s hearts [motives]; we can judge only by their words of profession and their course of action; we must leave the rest to be revealed by the great Judge. Hence, when our fellow-creatures profess to desire the truth, we must always be ready to meet them and assist in the search, in the spirit of the Master, ready to give to every man a reason for the hope that is in us with meekness.
We believe that very many, even of those who, after having tasted and known the truth, and having appreciated and been sanctified by the „blood of the covenant” (Heb. 10:29), seem to reject the blood by denying the ransom, are merely blinded by the cunning sophistries which Satan constantly uses to deceive—himself, his agents, and his doctrines, being so clothed as messengers of light, and so wrapped in fragments of truth, as to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. (2 Cor. 11:11-14.) Of these, the truly consecrated, earnest ones we believe, will surely be brought in contact with the antidote, or cure of the poisonous errors they have imbibed, and restored to the ROCK of salvation the ransom which God provided, which
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Jesus gave, and which all who will not perish in the second death, must climb upon and build upon.—John 3:15,36.
Our part must always be to be ready at all times to help such back; because we know not the willful rejecters from those merely deceived and ensnared. We, however, have the assurance that so far as the willful ones are concerned, all our efforts will be in vain; because „It is impossible to renew them again unto repentance.”—Heb. 6:4-6.
It is far from our desire to think of any fellow-creature as rebellious against God’s plans and methods, and rejecters of the one and only remedy for sin; but even as infinite wisdom and love, which provided the sacrifice and the resulting favor of everlasting life, has guarded it and arranged that only those who will
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accept it as provided shall have it, so we, as faithful ministers of God, must make plain the one condition upon which only seekers may have the gift of life. And as God states the fact that some, after being fully enlightened in this Gospel Age, as well as some in the Millennial Age, will reject the favor in the way it is offered (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:29-31,38,48,39; Rev. 20:9; Matt. 25:41), so, while hoping and believing that the number of willful rejecters will be small, we are „warning every man, and teaching every man, in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ.”—Col. 1:28,29.
— September, 1886 —