For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Mark 13:34.
We have a personal work, an individual responsibility, a personal account to render, and it is our own salvation we must secure, for it is a matter of individual concern…. The piety and obedience of others will not save us or be doing our work. Their efforts will never be registered against our names as ours….
God has left to every one of us our work—not the temporal labor as planting, sowing, reaping, and gathering in the harvest, but to build up His kingdom, to bring souls to the knowledge of the truth, and to regard this as our first and highest duty. God has claims upon us. He has endowed us with capabilities and given us opportunities, if we will see them and improve them. These obligations to God none but ourselves, individually, can meet. The delinquencies of others … will be no excuse for any one to follow their example, because Christ is lifted up as the only true Pattern—faultless, pure, uncorrupted….
There are those who associate together to do evil and seem to think in this they lose their individual responsibility. But God holds them accountable for every act performed that has the slightest tendency to counteract the work of Christ; whether they are united with many or with the few, the sin is the same. We are individually responsible. We ourselves should be our concern. Are we in all our words and actions building up the kingdom of Christ, or are we tearing down? Christ says to each one of us, “Follow me.” Then let us be found followers of Jesus Christ.51Manuscript 15, 1885.
Now is our time to work. Now is the time for us to form characters after the divine Model…. If we know Christ, we shall reveal Him to others. “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” John 17:18. He came into the world to represent the Father; and the work He has given us is to represent His character. We cannot be excused from doing this work.52Letter 42, 1890.