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Backslidden Church (17) | backsliding church
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
backslidden  Church
Related Phrase:   Backsliding church
A prayer meeting will always tell the true interest of the church members in spiritual and eternal things.The prayer meeting is as the pulse to the body; it denotes the true spiritual condition of the church.  A lifeless, backslidden church has no relish for the prayer meetings.-- Selections from Testimonies to the Managers and Workers in our Institutions  (Ph 149, p 32).  Pastoral Ministries, page 183.2
 
 
There has come into the church at Battle Creek a spirit that has no part in Christ. It is not a zeal for the truth, not a love for the will of God as revealed in His word. It is a self-righteous spirit. It leads you to exalt self above Jesus and to regard your own opinions and ideas as more important than union with Christ and union with one another. You are sadly lacking in brotherly love. You are a backslidden church. To know the truth, to claim union with Christ, and yet not to bring forth fruit, not to live in the exercise of constant faith--this hardens the heart in disobedience and self-confidence. Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness, all depend on our union with Christ and the degree of faith we exercise in Him. Here is the source of our power in the world.  {5T 48.1}
 
 
God will use humble men as his instruments. Even though they have but one talent, if they trade upon it, it will increase. The great fault in the church is that the work of saving souls is so limited that the advancement of the kingdom of God is slow. A backslidden church is the sure result of a selfish church, -- a church that does not use her talents in co-operating with Jesus to restore the image of God in men. We are to minister to every creature. A responsibility is laid upon us to work for all,--our friends, our acquaintances, those who are bound up with the world and alienated from God. The apparently amiable and agreeable are to come into the sphere of our labors. The truth is for them as much as for us, and we must say, "Come."  {RH, April 26, 1898 par. 8}
God will use humble men as His instruments. Even though they have but one talent, if they trade upon it, it will increase. The great fault in the church is that the work of saving souls is so limited, that the advancement of the kingdom of God is slow. A backslidden church is the sure result of a selfish church, a church that does not use her talents in the work of cooperating with Jesus to restore the moral image of God in man. We are to minister to every creature. A responsibility is laid upon us to work for all, our friends, our acquaintances, those that are bound up with the world and alienated from God. The apparently amiable and agreeable are to come into the sphere of our labors. The truth is for them as much as for us, and we must say, "Come." -- Manuscript 123, Nov. 17, 1897, "Christ's Commission."  {TDG 330.4}
 
There are heathen at our doors; but there is infidelity in our churches, and this infidelity palsies the working element. The work of saving souls is so limited that the advancement of the kingdom of God is slow. A backslidden church is the sure result of a neglect by the church to use her talents in the work of cooperating with Jesus to restore the moral image of God in man.  {ST, August 25, 1898 par. 15}
 
A prayer meeting will always tell the true interest of the church members in spiritual and eternal things.The prayer meeting is as the pulse to the body; it denotes the true spiritual condition of the church. A lifeless, backslidden church has no relish for the prayer meetings. Young men and women of no depth of religious experience, who are vain and proud and frivolous, can feel no satisfaction in engaging in religious exercises. They prefer to pass the time in flirtations or reading novels, or in other ways of pleasing and gratifying the feelings of the natural heart.  {PH149 32.1}
 
4. The preached Word will be powerless for the conviction and conversion of souls, while a sleepy, lazy, and backslidden church are all that are left to sustain the efforts of the laborers. The efforts of Christ's ambassadors will be successful only when sustained by an earnest, praying, working people. Prayer-meetings are neglected, while concerts, singing schools, and various entertainments are faithfully patronized. "It's only a prayer-meeting," is often repeated by church-members; I can not call them Christians. Exciting popular lectures will interest the church-members and call them out, when the prayer-meeting has no attraction for them. This reveals the true spiritual condition of the church. God is not pleased with this state of things. Spiritual and eternal things are not appreciated, while temporal matters are exalted above things of eternal interest.  {PH152 6.2}
5. A prayer-meeting will always tell the true interest of the church-members in spiritual and eternal things. The prayer-meeting is as the pulse to the body; it denotes the true spiritual condition of the church. A lifeless, backslidden church has no relish for the prayer-meetings. Young men and women of no depth of religious experience; who are vain and proud and frivolous, can feel no satisfaction in engaging in religious exercises. They prefer to pass the time in flirtations or reading novels, or in other ways of pleasing and gratifying the feelings of the natural heart.  {PH152 7.1}
 
 
salvation  of  a  backslidden  Church
 
We deplore the fact that men idolize their own opinions, that they are willing to be governed by their own preconceived ideas rather than by a plain "Thus saith the Lord." It is the most difficult thing in the world to convince men who do not want to be convinced. Satan beclouds the perceptions, and hardens the heart so that men will not give up their own ways that they may work for the salvation of a backslidden church, and point sinners to the "Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." Instead of engaging heartily in this work, they hold back, and almost hope and pray that those upon whom the Lord has laid the burden, will not succeed: for if success crowns the efforts of the burden-bearers, it will prove these doubters to be in the wrong.  {1888 427.2}
 
 
The True Witness desires to remedy the perilous condition in which his professed people are placed, and he says: "I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." Christ will cease to take the names of those who fail to turn to him and do their first works, and will no longer make intercession for them before the Father. He says, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Yet the case of those who are rebuked is not a hopeless one; it is not beyond the power of the great Mediator. He says: "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see." Though the professed followers of Christ are in a deplorable condition, they are not yet in so desperate a strait as were the foolish virgins whose lamps were going out, and there was no time in which to replenish their vessels with oil. When the bridegroom came, those that were ready went in with him to the wedding; but when the foolish virgins came, the door was shut, and they were too late to obtain an entrance. But the counsel of the True Witness does not represent those who are lukewarm as in a hopeless case. There is yet a chance to remedy their state, and the Laodicean message is full of encouragement; for the backslidden church may yet buy the gold of faith and love, may yet have the white robe of the righteousness of Christ, that the shame of their nakedness need not appear. Purity of heart, purity of motive, may yet characterize those who are half-hearted and who are striving to serve God and Mammon. They may yet wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.  {RH, August 28, 1894 par. 3}
 
 
But the counsel of the true Witness does not represent those who are lukewarm as in a hopeless case. There is yet a chance to remedy their state, and the Laodicean message is full of encouragement; for the backslidden church may yet buy the gold of faith and love, may yet have the white robe of the righteousness of Christ, that the shame of their nakedness need not appear. Purity of heart, purity of motive, may yet characterize those who are halfhearted and who are striving to serve God and mammon. They may yet wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb (RH Aug. 28, 1894).  {7BC 966.7}
backslidden  church-members
It is this baptism of the Holy Spirit that the churches need today. There are backslidden church-members and backslidden ministers who need re-converting, who need the softening, subduing influence of the baptism of the Spirit, that they may rise in newness of life and make thorough work for eternity. I have seen the irreligion and the self-sufficiency cherished, and I have heard the words spoken, "Except ye repent and be converted, ye shall never see the kingdom of heaven." There are many who will need re-baptizing, but let them never go down into the water until they are dead to sin, cured of selfishness and self-exaltation until they can come up out of the water to live a new life unto God. Faith and repentance are conditions, essential to the forgiveness of sin.  {BTS, April 1, 1906 par. 7}
It is this baptism of the Holy Spirit that the churches need today. There are backslidden church members and backslidden ministers who need re-converting, who need the softening, subduing influence of the baptism of the Spirit, that they may rise in newness of life and make thorough work for eternity. I have seen the irreligion and the self-sufficiency cherished, and I have heard the words spoken, "Except ye repent and be converted, ye shall never see the kingdom of heaven." There are many who will need rebaptizing, but let them never go down into the water until they are dead to sin, cured of selfishness and self-exaltation; until they can come up out of the water to live a new life unto God. Faith and repentance are conditions essential to the forgiveness of sin.-- Letter 60, 1906, pp. 4-6. (To S. N. Haskell, February 8, 1906.)  {7MR 267.1}
  
a  backsliding  Church
Related Phrase:   Backslidden church
The Lord has pronounced a curse upon those who take from or add to the Scriptures. The great I AM has decided what shall constitute the rule of faith and doctrine, and he has designed that the Bible shall be a household book. The church that holds to the word of God is irreconcilably separated from Rome. Protestants were once thus apart from this great church of apostasy, but they have approached more nearly to her, and are still in the path of reconciliation to the Church of Rome. Rome never changes. Her principles have not altered in the least. She has not lessened the breach between herself and Protestants; they have done all the advancing. But what does this argue for the Protestantism of this day? It is the rejection of Bible truth which makes men approach to infidelity. It is a backsliding church that lessens the distance between itself and the Papacy.  {ST, February 19, 1894 par. 4}
 
 
The watchmen upon the walls of Zion should have been the first to catch the tidings of the Saviour's advent, the first to lift their voices to proclaim Him near, the first to warn the people to prepare for His coming. But they were at ease, dreaming of peace and safety, while the people were asleep in their sins. Jesus saw His church, like the barren fig tree, covered with pretentious leaves, yet destitute of precious fruit. There was a boastful observance of the forms of religion, while the spirit of true humility, penitence, and faith -- which alone could render the service acceptable to God--was lacking. Instead of the graces of the Spirit there were manifested pride, formalism, vainglory, selfishness, oppression. A backsliding church closed their eyes to the signs of the times. God did not forsake them, or suffer His faithfulness to fail; but they departed from Him, and separated themselves from His love. As they refused to comply with the conditions, His promises were not fulfilled to them.  Great Controversy, page 315.4
 
 
The watchmen upon the walls of Zion should be the first to catch the tidings of the Saviour's advent, the first to lift their voices to proclaim him near, the first to warn the people to prepare for his coming. But they were at ease, dreaming of peace and safety, while the people were asleep in their sins. Jesus saw his church, like the barren fig-tree, covered with pretentious leaves, yet destitute of precious fruit. There was a boastful observance of the forms of religion, while the spirit of true humility, penitence and faith -- which alone could render the service acceptable to God -- was lacking. Instead of the graces of the Spirit, there were manifested pride, formalism, vainglory, selfishness, oppression. A backsliding church closed their eyes to the signs of the times. God did not forsake them, or suffer his faithfulness to fail; but they departed from him, and separated themselves from his love. As they refused to comply with the conditions, his promises were not fulfilled to them.  {4SP 200.1}
 
 
The watchmen upon the walls of Zion should have been the first to catch the tidings of the Saviour's advent, the first to lift their voices to proclaim him near, the first to warn the people to prepare for his coming. But they were at ease, dreaming of peace and safety, while the people were asleep in their sins. Jesus saw his church, like the barren fig-tree, covered with pretentious leaves, yet destitute of precious fruit. There was a boastful observance of the forms of religion, while the spirit of true humility, penitence, and faith --which alone could render the service acceptable to God --was lacking. Instead of the graces of the Spirit, there were manifested pride, formalism, vainglory, selfishness, oppression. A backsliding church closed their eyes to the signs of the times. God did not forsake them, or suffer his faithfulness to fail; but they departed from him, and separated themselves from his love. As they refused to comply with the conditions, his promises were not fulfilled to them.  {GC88 315.2}
 
 
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