When the chief Shepherd - That is, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose is the flock, and who provides the pasture, and from whom, if ye are legally called to the most awful work of preaching the Gospel, ye have received your commission; when he shall appear to judge the world in righteousness, ye who have fed his flock, who have taken the superintendency of it, not by constraint, nor for filthy lucre's sake, not as lords over the heritage, but with a ready mind, employing body, soul, spirit, time and talents, in endeavoring to pluck sinners as brands from eternal burnings, and build up the Church of Christ on its most holy faith; Ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away, an eternal nearness and intimacy with the ineffably glorious God; so that ye who have turned many to righteousness shall shine, not merely as stars, but as suns in the kingdom of your Father! O ye heavenly-minded, diligent, self-denying pastors after God's own heart, whether ye be in the Church established by the state, or in those divisions widely separated from, or nearly connected with it, take courage; preach Jesus; press through all difficulties in the faith of your God; fear no evil while meditating nothing but good. Ye are stars in the right hand of Jesus, who walks among your golden candlesticks, and has lighted that lamp of life which ye are appointed to trim; fear not, your labor in the Lord cannot be in vain! Never, never can ye preach one sermon in the spirit of your office, which the God of all grace shall permit to be unfruitful; ye carry and sow the seed of the kingdom by the command and on the authority of your God; ye sow it, and the heavens shall drop down dew upon it. Ye may go forth weeping, though bearing this precious seed; but ye shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing your sheaves with you. Amen, even so, Lord Jesus!
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear - The prince of the pastors - the Lord Jesus Christ. “Peter, in the passage above, ranks himself with the elders; here he ranks Christ himself with the pastors” - Benson. See the notes at 1 Peter 2:25. Compare Hebrews 13:20.
Ye shall receive a crown of glory - A glorious crown or diadem. Compare the notes at 2 Timothy 4:8.
That fadeth not away - This is essentially the same word, though somewhat different in form, which occurs in 1 Peter 1:4. See the notes at that verse. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Compare the notes at 1 Corinthians 9:25.
In order to render to God perfect service, you must have clear conceptions of His requirements. You should use the most simple food, prepared in the most simple manner, that the fine nerves of the brain be not weakened, benumbed, or paralyzed, making it impossible for you to discern sacred things, and to value the atonement, the cleansing blood of Christ, as of priceless worth. “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 2T 46.1
If men, for no higher object than a wreath or perishable crown as a reward of their ambition, subjected themselves to temperance in all things, how much more should those be willing to practice self-denial who profess to be seeking, not only a crown of immortal glory, but a life which is to endure as long as the throne of Jehovah, and riches that are eternal, honors which are imperishable, an eternal weight of glory. Will not the inducements presented before those who are running in the Christian race lead them to practice self-denial and temperance in all things, that they may keep their animal propensities in subjection, keep under the body, and control the appetite and lustful passions? Then can they be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2T 46.2
If the exceeding precious and glorious reward promised will not lead us to welcome greater privations and endure greater self-denial than are cheerfully borne by worldly men who are seeking merely a bauble of earth, a perishable laurel which brings honors from a few of the worldly, and hate from more, we are unworthy of everlasting life. In the earnestness and intensity of our zeal, perseverance, courage, energy, self-denial, and sacrifice we should as much excel those who are engaged in any other enterprise as the object we are seeking to attain is of higher value than theirs. The treasure we are seeking is imperishable, eternal, immortal, all overglorious; while that of which the worldling is in pursuit, endures but a day; it is fading, perishable, fleeting as the morning cloud. 2T 46.3Read in context »
The Bible should be read every day. A life of religion, of devotion to God, is the best shield for the young who are exposed to temptation in their associations while acquiring an education. The word of God will give the correct standard of right and wrong, and of moral principle. A fixed principle of truth is the only safeguard for youth. Strong purposes and a resolute will close many an open door to temptation and to influences that are unfavorable to the maintenance of Christian character. A weak, irresolute spirit indulged in boyhood and youth will make a life of constant toil and struggle because decision and firm principle are wanting. Such will ever be trammeled in making a success of this life, and they will be in danger of losing the better life. It will be safe to be earnest for the right. The first consideration should be to honor God, and the second, to be faithful to humanity, performing the duties which each day brings, meeting its trials and bearing its burdens with firmness and a resolute heart. Earnest and untiring effort, united with strong purpose and entire trust in God, will help in every emergency, will qualify for a useful life in this world, and give a fitness for the immortal life. 3T 194.1
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For Christ's sake do not speak or think evil. May the Lord help us not only to read the Bible, but to practice its teachings. The human agent who is faithful in his work, who unites gentleness with his power, justice with his love, causes rejoicing among the heavenly intelligences, and glorifies God. Let us strive earnestly to be good and to do good, and we shall receive the crown of life that fadeth not away.—Manuscript 116, 1898. 2MCP 439.4Read in context »
When Guided by an Enlightened Conscience—The apostle Paul writes: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”—The Signs of the Times, October 2, 1907. Te 144.1
The apostle Paul here mentions the foot races, with which the Corinthians were familiar. The contestants in these races were subjected to the most severe discipline in order to fit them for the trial of their strength. Their diet was simple. Luxurious food and wine were prohibited. Their food was carefully selected. They studied to know what was best adapted to render them healthful and active, and to impart physical vigor and endurance, that they might put as heavy a tax as possible upon their strength. Every indulgence that would tend to weaken the physical powers was forbidden.—The Signs of the Times, January 27, 1909. Te 144.2
If heathen men, who were not controlled by enlightened conscience, who had not the fear of God before them, would submit to deprivation and the discipline of training, denying themselves of every weakening indulgence merely for a wreath of perishable substance and the applause of the multitude, how much more should they who are running the Christian race in the hope of immortality and the approval of High Heaven be willing to deny themselves unhealthful stimulants and indulgences, which degrade the morals, enfeeble the intellect, and bring the higher powers into subjection to the animal appetites and passions. Te 144.3Read in context »