A Limit To God’s Forbearance

3 min


Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

With unerring accuracy the Infinite One still keeps an account with all nations. While His mercy is tendered with calls to repentance this account will remain open, but when the figures reach a certain amount, which God has fixed, the ministry of His wrath commences.—Testimonies for the Church 5:208 (1882). Last Day Events 39.6

God keeps a record with the nations. The figures are swelling against them in the books of heaven, and when it shall have become a law that the transgression of the first day of the week shall be met with punishment, then their cup will be full.—The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 7:910 (1886). LDE 40.1

God keeps a reckoning with the nations…. When the time fully comes that iniquity shall have reached the stated boundary of God’s mercy, His forbearance will cease. When the accumulated figures in heaven’s record books shall mark the sum of transgression complete, wrath will come.—Testimonies for the Church 5:524 (1889). LDE 40.2

While God’s mercy bears long with the transgressor, there is a limit beyond which men may not go on in sin. When that limit is reached, then the offers of mercy are withdrawn, and the ministration of judgment begins.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 162, 165 (1890). LDE 40.3

The time is coming when in their fraud and insolence men will reach a point that the Lord will not permit them to pass and they will learn that there is a limit to the forbearance of Jehovah.—Testimonies for the Church 9:13 (1909). LDE 40.4

There is a limit beyond which the judgments of Jehovah can no longer be delayed.—Prophets and Kings, 417 (c. 1914). LDE 40.5

Transgression Has Almost Reached Its Limit
Time will last a little longer until the inhabitants of the earth have filled up the cup of their iniquity, and then the wrath of God, which has so long slumbered, will awake, and this land of light will drink the cup of His unmingled wrath.—Testimonies For The Church 1:363 (1863). LDE 41.1

The cup of iniquity is nearly filled, and the retributive justice of God is about to descend upon the guilty.—Testimonies for the Church 4:489 (1880). LDE 41.2

The wickedness of the inhabitants of the world has almost filled up the measure of their iniquity. This earth has almost reached the place where God will permit the destroyer to work his will upon it.—Testimonies for the Church 7:141 (1902). LDE 41.3

Transgression has almost reached its limit. Confusion fills the world, and a great terror is soon to come upon human beings. The end is very near. We who know the truth should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise.—Testimonies for the Church 8:28 (1904). LDE 41.4

We Should Keep the Great Day of God Before Our Minds
We must educate ourselves to be thinking and dwelling upon the great scenes of the judgment just before us and then, as we keep the scenes of the great day of God before us when everything will be revealed, it will have an effect upon our character. One brother said to me, “Sister White, do you think the Lord will come in ten years?” “What difference does it make to you whether He shall come in two, four, or ten years?” “Why,” said he, “I think I would do differently in some things than I now do if I knew the Lord was to come in ten years.” LDE 41.5

“What would you do?” said I. LDE 42.1

“Why,” said he, “I would sell my property and begin to search the Word of God and try to warn the people and get them to prepare for His coming, and I would plead with God that I might be ready to meet Him.” LDE 42.2

Then said I, “If you knew that the Lord was not coming for twenty years, you would live differently?” LDE 42.3

Said he, “I think I would.”… LDE 42.4

How selfish was the expression that he would live a different life if he knew his Lord was to come in ten years! Why, Enoch walked with God 300 years. This is a lesson for us that we shall walk with God every day, and we are not safe unless we are waiting and watching.—Ms 10, 1886. LDE 42.5

The Shortness of Time
May the Lord give no rest, day nor night, to those who are now careless and indolent in the cause and work of God. The end is near. This is that which Jesus would have us keep ever before us—the shortness of time.—Letter 97, 1886. LDE 42.6

When we shall stand with the redeemed upon the sea of glass with harps of gold and crowns of glory and before us the unmeasured eternity, we shall then see how short was the waiting period of probation.—Manuscript Releases 10:266 (1886). LDE 42.7


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