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Reverence in the Sanctuary

There Was a Time


There was a time when there was reverence for this house- a sacred hush as we entered in

No room for foolish chatter or whispering to each other.  We were as if in the visible presence of God!

There was a day when we stood  upon our feet to say the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

Oh,  but when we would pray we would get down upon our knees, in humble reverence for the one who supplies all our needs!

There will come a day again when every knee shall bow-- when every tongue shall confess, but need we  wait until  that hour, when knees collapse as they cower, when in the visible presence of God!

False revival sweeping church and nation in its tide. Soon there be no place to run or hide.But will we be among that number, who awaken from their slumber and carry the truth with their faces all aglow?

By:          Jon Wade Shumway

Dedicated to my 103 year old grandmother, Clara O. Howland

Behavior in the House of God

(An appeal for Reverence)

By Ellen G. White

If some have to wait a few minutes before the meeting begins, let them maintain a true spirit of devotion by silent meditation, keeping the heart uplifted to God in prayer that the service may be of special benefit to their own hearts and lead to the conviction and conversion of other souls.

"The whispering and laughing and talking which might be without sin in a common business place should find no sanction in the house where God is worshiped."

They should remember that heavenly messengers are in the house. We all lose much sweet communion with God by our restlessness, by not encouraging moments of reflection and prayer. The spiritual condition needs to be often reviewed and the mind and heart drawn toward the Sun of Righteousness. If when the people come into the house of worship, they have genuine reverence for the Lord and bear in mind that they are in His presence, there will be a sweet eloquence in silence. The whispering and laughing and talking which might be without sin in a common business place should find no sanction in the house where God is worshiped. The mind should be prepared to hear the word of God, that it may have due weight and suitably impress the heart. 5T page 492

When the benediction is pronounced, all should still be quiet, as if fearful of losing the peace of Christ. Let all pass out without jostling or loud talking, feeling that they are in the presence of God, that His eye is resting upon them, and that they must act as in His visible presence.

"The precincts of the church should be invested with a sacred reverence. It should not be made a place to meet old friends and visit..."

Let there be no stopping in the aisles to visit or gossip, thus blocking them up so that others cannot pass out. The precincts of the church should be invested with a sacred reverence. It should not be made a place to meet old friends and visit and introduce common thoughts and worldly business transactions. These should be left outside the church. God and angels have been dishonored by the careless, noisy laughing and shuffling of feet heard in some places. 5T pages 493-494. Brethren, will you not devote a little thought to this subject and notice how you conduct yourselves in the house of God and what efforts you are making by precept and example to cultivate reverence in your children?

"Your sons and daughters are corrupted by your own example and lax precepts..."

You roll vast responsibilities upon the preacher and hold him accountable for the souls of your children; but you do not sense your own responsibility as parents and as instructors and, like Abraham, command your household after you, that they may keep the statutes of the Lord. Your sons and daughters are corrupted by your own example and lax precepts; and, notwithstanding this lack of domestic training, you expect the minister to counteract your daily work and accomplish the wonderful achievement of training their hearts and lives to virtue and piety. After the minister has done all he can do for the church by faithful, affectionate admonition, patient discipline, and fervent prayer to reclaim and save the soul, yet is not successful, the fathers and mothers often blame churches are feeble and do not have that deep, earnest piety in their borders that they should have. Our present habits and customs, which dishonor God and bring the sacred and heavenly down to the level of the common, are against us. We have a sacred, testing, sanctifying truth; and if our habits and practices are not in accordance with the truth, we are sinners against great light, and are proportionately guilty. It will be far more tolerable for the heathen in the day of God's retributive justice than for us. 5T page 494.

"No wonder our churches are feeble and do not have that deep, earnest piety in their borders that they should have. Our present habits and customs, which dishonor God and bring the sacred and heavenly down to the level of the common, are against us."

It is too true that reverence for the house of God has become almost extinct. Sacred things and places are not discerned; the holy and exalted are not appreciated. Is there not a cause for the want of fervent piety in our families? Is it not because the high standard of religion is left to trail in the dust? God gave rules of order, perfect and exact, to His ancient people. Has His character changed? Is He not the great and mighty God who rules in the heaven of heavens? Would it not be well for us often to read the directions given by God Himself to the Hebrews, that we who have the light of the glorious truth shining upon us may imitate their reverence for the house of God?

"It is too true that reverence for the house of God has become almost extinct."

We have abundant reason to maintain a fervent, devoted spirit in the worship of God. We have reason even to be more thoughtful and reverential in our worship than had the Jews. But an enemy has been at work to destroy our faith in the sacredness of Christian worship. 5T page 496.

 

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Is the "Greeting Period" compatible with true reverence for God's house?

The precincts of the church should be invested with a sacred reverence. It should not be made a place to meet old friends.

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It is certain that we need not always kneel for prayer, but...

"Is it possible that with all the light that God has given to His people on the subject of reverence, that ministers, principals, and teachers in our schools, by precept and example, teach young men to stand erect in devotion....

Whom can we trust as teachers in our schools in America and foreign countries? After years of study shall students return to their own country with perverted ideas of the respect and honor and reverence that should be given to God....

I advise all who attend the schools in America or in any other place, do not catch the spirit of irreverence."

Manuscript 84b, 1897


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