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Sabbath Bible Lessons

True Reformation—Then and Now

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Today, more than ever, the world seems to be in constant change. Heartfelt desires for relief from oppression, human suffering and woe motivate calls for reformation in government policies, laws, institutions, and behaviors. However, history has shown that such calls, shackled by human self-interest or limitations, have either failed or fallen far short of their intended aims.

True reformation goes far deeper than external measures go. It begins with the individual. It involves an inner change that embraces the whole person and, in turn, every other aspect of his or her life. This kind of reform only God can accomplish—a spiritual reformation. But in order to accomplish such a reformation, a person must first be made aware of his or her need to reform. This work God entrusts to true reformers—men and women who engage wholeheartedly with Him in bringing about true reformation in themselves and in those they minister to.

The Bible is replete with examples of such reformers. Two notable ones in their time were Elijah and John the Baptist. Elijah fearlessly rebuked the sins of God’s people and called upon them to take a stand for God. John was called to prepare the way for the first coming of Christ. His life, like that of Elijah, was a rebuke to the extravagance around him. His teaching reached the heart.

As God’s professed people today, we are called to uphold a lifestyle different from the world and teach a life-changing message. We are to prepare the way for Christ’s second coming. God has given a message for the church to arouse her to action, that she might be faithful in giving His message for the world.

“We need a thorough reformation in all our churches. The converting power of God must come into the church. Seek the Lord most earnestly, put away your sins, and tarry in Jerusalem till ye be endowed with power from on high. Let God set you apart to the work. Purify yours souls by obeying the truth. Faith without works is dead. Put not off the day of preparation. Slumber not in a state of unpreparedness, having no oil in your vessels with your lamps. Let none leave their safety for eternity to hang upon a peradventure. Let not the question remain in perilous uncertainty. Ask yourselves earnestly, Am I among the saved, or the unsaved? Shall I stand, or shall I not stand? He only that hath clean hands and a pure heart shall stand in that day.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 443.

God wants us individually and as a church to embrace this work. He wants us to reform our lives, our families, and our churches. Let us awake from the slumber of indifference. Let us go forward in humility and in repentance and take hold of the work before us. As the work of reform goes forward, God will work mightily, adding His power to the last warning. May we be a part of this final reformatory movement and thus hasten the Lord’s coming.

The General Conference Sabbath School Department

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