Shining Lights For A Sin-Darkened World
The world has fallen into evil days and ways. Governments are tumbling, morals are crumbling, business is deteriorating, crime is increasing, nuclear war is threatening, and disasters are on every hand. The storm is about to break!
It is revival or ruin! This tired, weary world is on the brink of total disaster. Civilization is sick and is facing its most serious crisis. We are afflicted with the same spiritual disease that destroyed past societies.
It is the Church that has the cure for the current crisis and it is found in the Word of God. Only worldwide repentance will save us from worldwide destruction. We have been mesmerized by the glitter and glamour of materialism. Our lack of depth and dignity is ample evidence that we are in a decadent and dying culture. Unless we repent and turn to God, the pall bearers that have carried out other dead civilizations will wait at our door.
Our failures are caused largely by our lack of faith, prayer and concern. We need shining lights for this sin-darkened world! The followers of the Lamb need to refuel the flickering lamps of their lives. We will win our conflict only on our knees. It is time we find out where we went wrong, and how to get back to the old paths. It is time for our conduct to match our claims, and for our walk to match our talk.
Spiritual renewal is imperative today. It costs to get nearer to God, but it always counts. Let us go back to Bethel, back to the burning bush, back to the place where we lost our blessing. We need more heart-pricking preachers today. We need fearless men with faith and fire. We need men who will not excuse sin, but will expose sin. We need men of God who know how to fast and pray. We need men with a deep burden for souls and a vision that includes the whole world.
We canít expect maximum blessing to follow minimum dedication. The Church is full of sleeping giants. "Ö knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed" (Rom. 13:11). Our light is too dim, our faith is too weak and our power is too feeble. It is time for us to get rid of our sinful silence, to attempt greater things, to pray bigger prayers and to expect greater blessings. Only a visitation from heaven and an outpouring of the Holy Ghost can save us from holocaust.
We Need the Holy Ghost And Fire!
We have projects and paraphernalia galore. What we need is the Holy Ghost and fire! Let us possess our possessions and claim all that God has for us. We have been living in the wilderness, longing for leeks instead of love; garlic instead of grace; melons instead of manna. We have been slack to possess the land. We must keep in daily contact with our Lord. Our hearts must be clean and full of love for God and love for souls. We have become too ordinary. We have too much lethargy and superficiality.
May God give us a mighty heaven-sent Holy Ghost awakening that will sweep our land and turn us back to the foundations that made her great. May God help us to build a foundation of righteousness that will restore reverence for the Bible and the fear of God to the nations of the world. "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Prov. 14:34). It is sad that we have lost our sense of sin and our need for God. The revival we need will never come about without deep repentance and much prayer.
Let us pray until the place is shaken where we gather. Let us pray until we are "all filled with the Holy Ghost" and speak "the Word of God with boldness" (Acts 4:31). It is time to "cry aloud, and spare not" (Isa. 58:1). Godís promises are true. His plan will never fail. We need a new call to repentance, a new hunger for holiness and power.
It will take broken hearts, burdened souls and bitter tears to get the job done. Sackcloth and ashes are needed. Our proud spirits must be humbled. The momentum of the past generations is not enough. Times of reaping will only follow times of weeping.
The way of victory is through the cross, and there is no substitute for the anointing of the Holy Ghost. It is the anointing that makes the man. Godís anointing transcends all qualifications for the ministry and missionary work. We need pointed, powerful, anointed preaching for times like these. Let us not sleep while God is trying to say something to His children.
We must appropriate Godís provided and promised power, take our position in Christ and claim our blessings daily. May God fan the power of love and compassion in our hearts. Only by the supernatural power of God can we cope with the promise of the hour! God wants His children to be successful, joyful, overcoming, Spirit-filled and God-anointed. God lays His foundations deep. There is nothing more worthwhile than to be filled with all the fullness of Godís power. This is our supreme need.
The Holy Spirit is the seal of our salvation, the proof of our sonship, the earnest of Godís glory and power. It is the blessed privilege and a divine command for every child of God to be "filled with the Holy Spirit" (Eph. 5:18). We need to "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (Eph. 6:10).
Too Earth-Bound and Worldly-Minded
We need more Christ-like, spiritually-minded, God-directed Christians. We need more spiritual saints to "wrestleÖ against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12). Spiritual saints sing spiritual songs, receive spiritual gifts and are blessed with all spiritual blessings. "Öto be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Rom. 8:6).
We know John 3:16, but we also need to know Luke 3:16: "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire"; and Ephesians 3:16: "Östrengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man."
The message and marks of the cross are not popular today. Too many are ignorant of the power of Christís resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering. Galatians 2:20 must become a reality and not just a theory. We must be able to say, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me."
Let us tap all the resources of Godís power. Our lives are weak until the Spirit works. We need that divine touch that will transform dead, ineffectual lives into effective spiritual giants. A pretense of spirituality will never do. May Christ give us a greater capacity to receive all that He wants to bestow and turn our human potentialities into divine potentialities. Let us pray until the fire falls, until God works and until revival comes!
For the Sake of a Dying World
Millions are doomed and dying without hope. Godís hand is not shortened. For the sake of a dying world, let us get right with God and get going for God.
World evangelism is a great purpose of God for this hour. May God raise up a battle-ready, heroic army of men and women who are willing to forego their comforts and conveniences and to give up their privileges and prerogatives. We need people who are ready to make Godís purposes primary in their lives. The call is for consecrated, crusading Christians who put Christ first and live as though we have a lost world to win. Let us use our time and talents. Let us get out of our spiritual rut and begin to bear much fruit.
Before the fading of the setting sun fills our skies with darkness, let us love with all of our hearts, give with open hands and work with unsparing courage and diligence. May God help us to uproot our apathy and complacency. Let us cut adrift from the past and look forward with expectant faith to a glorious and fruitful future. Too long we have been dabbling in sin, grieving God, quenching the Spirit and pleasing the devil. In this age when the love of many is waxing cold, may God give us hot hearts, cool heads and unending enthusiasm. It is time to move forward for God.
It is time to repent of our failures and to honestly face the tragedy of an untold world. The hour of destiny has come! May the burden of missions from the altar of heaven penetrate the altar of our hearts. We have been grieving God and pleasing the devil by our lack of interest in the things nearest the heart of our Lord. May God pour out floodtides of blessing and bring us to a new high-water mark of missionary effort and achievement.
Taking Missions Seriously
May God refresh our strength, renew our vision, arouse our enthusiasm and set us aflame for a lost and perishing world. May God give us more meekness like Moses, more courage like Joshua, more tears like Jeremiah, and more missionaries like Paul. To withhold the Gospel from the lost is sinful and senseless. It is time to be sensitive to the needs of millions of perishing people. May God indeed warm our cold and calloused hearts and give us a new compassion and concern.
We must not allow the cares of this life to crowd out the cause of Christ and world evangelization. Satanís monopoly on the hearts and minds of unreached millions must be broken. To stand on the sidelines and shrink from our responsibilities to the untold masses is eternally wrong. It is time to mourn and grieve over a worldly Church and the unreached masses. Too long we have dammed up the water of life to the thirsting multitudes.
It is time to come to grips with the challenge of world evangelism. Let us declare war on our indifference and cry out against our disobedience. We have been fighting a losing battle. Let us get into gear, close our ranks, move forward for God and reap a golden harvest of souls. Closed doors are challenges and not barriers. Jesus comes even when the doors are shut.
Time Is Running Out!
The heavenly Bridegroom is coming soon! May we keep our eyes on high and our lamps trimmed and burning. May God give us more hunger for Himself. May we be more determined to press on in the battle. Let us put forth the supreme effort to have all of Godís blessing and power. May we know more of the power of prayer and take time to pray.
The call of the cross is often unwelcome and ignored. Only this, however, will meet the moral and spiritual needs of the hour. It will take an unprecedented downpour of power to overcome our unparalleled indifference. There is no way to avoid Gethsemane and Calvary. Let us plead for Godís intervening mercy and believe God for a worldwide awakening now!
Fred D. Jarvis (1914-1990) was a missionary, evangelist and revivalist. He served as Editor in Chief of Herald International editions for a number of years.