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MARANATHA HOPE OF GLORY #14 – SEPT 2002 -  THE NIGHT IS COMING

 

 

IN THIS ISSUE

THE NIGHT IS COMING

A  SOUL

The  Question we couldn’t answer

“He  WHO  winS  souls  is  wise”

The  Task  is  Unfinished!

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF  $1000 WERE OFFERED TO YOU?

IS IT NOTHING TO YOUALL YOU WHO PASS BY?

We need to Stop PlaYIng Church!

THE GARBAGE DUMP PEOPLE

 “EACH ONE, REACH ONE

CHINA:  saved through torture

 

 

My dear Reader,

Sept 2002. This month the world has been compelled to re-live the awesome hours of Sept 11, 2001.  And we have all been graphically reminded of the Messiah’s words, “You will be hearing of wars” … and “there will be terrors.” (Matthew 24:6. Luke 21:11)

With the backdrop of an imminent war in the Middle East, and the nations in an uproar, the Rapture-ready believer is looking up, for he knows the current time is 11:59 – one minute to midnight.  And our time and opportunities may be almost over!

“And at midnight there was a cry, ‘Look! The bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet Him’.”  (Matthew 25:6)

Yes, my saved reader, our time is running out! And the Scriptures says:

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming and making the most of the time - buying up each opportunity, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of YHWH the LORD is.”  (Ephesians 5:15-17)

For the unsaved there is a long stretch of night ahead – ‘from midnight till sunrise’ – a period of awful darkness and disaster.

Our FRONT cover picture

I am sure you will agree that this is quite an amazing photograph - the sun shining through from behind the Twin Towers of the World trade Centre in New York, forming a cross of light.

This photograph was taken by a lady returning on a cruise on July 28, 2001 – six weeks before the horrific destruction of the towers. The lady has written:

“As I watched the beautiful skyline of New York City float past me, I noticed the sun was about to line up just behind the twin towers. I was lucky enough to snap the picture at exactly the right moment. If you look at the sunrays it is almost prophetic - a little spooky. When I show this picture to anyone they almost always ask for a copy. I want to share it with all who want it. Please take this picture and share it with anyone and everyone who likes it.”

The photo of the setting sun over New York certainly seems to be a prophetic sign to America. 

“The night is coming when no-one can work.”

(John 9:4)

But even as the sun is setting on our present age, that same sun gives a sign, with “outstretched arms,” to all who will believe. It points to the Son of Righteousness, the Light of the World, who died as the Lamb of God to take away our sins.

“ … the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”   (John 3:14-15)

That’s the Gospel message, my reader, and this message must reach the uttermost parts of the earth in these days - before it is too late!  The night is coming when no one can work. It is time for Christians to wake up!

“The end of all things is near; therefore, be sober-minded and attentive to prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7)

“We are not of the night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6)

And this is my burden, my beloved reader. We must wake up, and proclaim the Gospel urgently!

Oh woe, my saved friend, if we are determined to “fiddle” while Rome burns; if we insist on “taking our rest” while the rest rush headlong into the lake where there never will be rest! If we persist in pampering ourselves while billions of precious souls perish; if we saturate ourselves with selfishness, and hand over the unsaved to Satan; if we cater to complacency and care not for the condemned! Woe to us if we won’t wake up at this woeful time, my fellow-believer; we will have a lot to answer for!

“Let a man regard us as servants of Messiah and trustees of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of trustees that they be found faithful.”  (1 Corinthians 4:1-2)

In this issue I have included “Voices from America” - several articles from faithful, and passionate men of God  – Americans of not so long ago. I find their messages a personal challenge. They give a wakeup call to all of us who are current day trustees of the mysteries of God.

But we need more than a wake up call!  We need to get right with God, and get down to prayer, and to the serious business of winning souls!

The night is coming!  And there is also a new day coming – the day when the Messiah returns in power and great glory. As Malachi 4:2 says:

“But for you who revere My Name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings.” 

And ... “When the Messiah, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”          (Colossians 3:4)

There are three most glorious days ahead for the Bride of Christ. (Of course, every day in the “Glory-Land” will be glorious!) They are …

1   The day of the glorious Rapture

2   The day of the Marriage of the Bride and her most glorious Bridegroom

3   The day of the Revealing of the Bride and Bridegroom in glory, at the Return of Y’shua, the King of Kings.

With that great joy and glory set before us, beloved …

Let us labour for the Master,

from the dawn till setting sun

Let us tell of all His wondrous love and care;

For we know that when this life is over

And all our work on earth is done,

Then the roll’ll be called up yonder,

And halleluYahWe’ll be there!

In fellowship with Y’shua the Messiah,

Your brother, Don Stanton

 

                         

                     

                        A  PRECIOUS SOUL

A living soul, how priceless! Its value is untold.

Invisible, immortal, worth more than purest gold.

And oh, the souls are countless upon life’s busy way,

who knew not Christ, our Saviour,

who never stop to pray.

They rush toward sin’s gay glitter,

its glaring, garish light.

These souls of men are marching

to everlasting night.

O go ye into all the world, is His divine command.

I hear His voice so tender; I see His loving hand

Outstretched in power and blessing,

the fallen ones to raise.

Then may we do His bidding,

through all our early days.

And when the sheaves are gathered,

before His throne that day.

May there be souls most precious,

whom we have shown the way.       - writer unknown

 

            WHY  ?

The  Question we couldn’t answer

A true story from Ethiopia, by George Middleton

ED AND I climbed painfully from our mules. It had been a long ride to these huts away up in the hills, and we were pretty soft.

“Oh, Brother,” Ed groaned, “Give me the New York subway any day!’’ I patted my mule and gave a sigh of relief. The feeling must have been mutual – the mule sighed too.

We were the first white people to visit this village. Women watched us cautiously from dark doorways.  Little faces peered at us around corners and through legs. Even the chickens paused to look us over.

An old man came to greet us.   He was as pleased as a schoolboy on the first day of vacation.  His greetings were extremely long and polite. Finally he asked us, “Why have you come, sirs?  Why do you visit us?”

“We have come with God’s Book, to tell you that there is a Saviour for you and your family. Have you heard this news before?”

“Never, sirs.  Come in!  Do you have the Book?”

Soon we were reading the gospel story and telling them of Christ. Eyes glued upon us, they listened to every word. But as we talked we could tell that something was bothering the old man.

At last he spoke, “This is good news sirs. It is medicine to my heart. Are you sure it is true?

“Yes,” we told him. “Absolutely!”

His wrinkled face was deep in thought. “I have a question,” he continued. “I am an old man. I have seen many of my people die. They never heard this news. I have not heard it until this day. Tell me, sirs, if this is true, why didn’t somebody tell us before?”

We fumbled around, but we couldn’t answer his question. How could we tell him that Christ cared enough to die for him, but Christ’s followers did not care enough to tell him about it?

We had to ride home with his question hanging in the air. “You know,” said Ed, as we jogged along.  “Some day we’ll all stand before God, and people from all over the world will ask that same question  –  ‘Why didn’t somebody tell me?’”

Then he added, “I wonder how God’s people will answer that question, George? Don’t you?”

“Yes, I do,” I replied.

And I wonder, my friend, when God asks for your answer, what will you tell Him?

                                                                                                                       – Africa Now

“WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF YHWH-Y’SHUA THE LORD WILL BE SAVED. [Joel 2:32]. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear unless someone proclaims the Good News?

“And how shall they proclaim if they are not sent? As it is written, HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS OF PEACE, WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS! [Isaiah 52:7]       

“But they did not all obey the Good News; for Isaiah says, ‘Lord, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?’  [Isaiah 53:1].  So then faith comes from hearing, and the hearing and understanding comes through the Word of God.” (Romans 10:13-17)

 

         “He WHO winS souls is wise”

          By JOHN R. RICE                                              Proverbs 11:30

ANYTHING less than an all–out effort to reach “every creature,” every living being that we can get to with the gospel, is less than the obedience which Christ requires.

Jesus gave the parable of the man who made a great supper and sent his servant first to those who had already been invited. Then the man said:

“Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring hither the poor, and the maimed, and the lame, and the blind.”

Then when the servant reported there was more room, he said,

‘’Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in that my house may be filled.”  (Luke 14:21, 23)

And in the similar parable of the king who made a marriage supper for his son, the wholesale, all inclusive nature of God’s requirement of us as soul winners, is illustrated by the King’s command after some had treated his servants spitefully and killed them, and after the king  had destroyed the murderers.

“Then he said to his servant, ‘The wedding is ready, but they that were invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the marriage’.”  (Matthew 22:8, 9)

No church is meeting the New Testament stand­ard unless it goes after “as many as you find” for Christ.

We know that the New Testament churches - for example, the church at Jerusalem - followed that command so literally that we are told, “Daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:42). And so at Pentecost there were three thousand added.

A few days later, “the number of the men was about five thousand” (Acts 4:4); and a  few days after that there were “multitudes both of men and women.” (Acts 5:14)

There is in our poor carnal natures, a tendency to drift from all–out obedience to nominal obedience, from red–hot enthusiasm and zeal to a lukewarm, half–hearted way of doing God’s business. As a great old song says:

            Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,

            Prone to leave the God I love.

So there is need, again and again in the churches for a revival of zeal, a revival of soul–winning compassion, a revival of the power of God upon us.

But there is no way for the Church to win souls after the New Testament pattern and measure except by an all–out effort.

A Church that wins souls after the New Testament pattern seeks to get the Gospel to “every creature” and to carry the Gospel as they did in Acts 5:42 ...

“and daily in the temple, and in every house they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”                                   

 

Soul-winning Takes Tears Also  

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who goes forth and weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with re­joicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”  (Psalms 126:5)

 

 

 

Let us not be content to bask in the sunshine of God’s love and light, and allow the masses of men to languish in darkness and sin!

 

 

The Task is Unfinished!

BY  FRED  D. JARVIS

Fred Jarvis was a missionary for  many years in Japan,

and also a  writer for Herald of His Coming

IN THIS AGE of speed and hurry, may we feel the sacredness of our trust and the urgency of our task. Christ’s Commission is binding upon Christians everywhere and for all time. Obed­ience to this unchanging Commission is our supreme obligation. The church that plays down this obligation – is a contradiction! (Matthew 28:18–20; Mark 16:15)

The task is unfinished! The need is urgent! The Commis­sion is compulsory! Men around the world are under the curse of sin. They are born, live, and die under the curse.

How sad that the treasured truth of the remedy in Christ will never once reach the ears of most of them – unless we  Christians  awaken  to  our  responsibilities,  and speedily go out with the Gospel message!

A little boy was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” His reply was, “Alive!”

Millions are wondering today how long they will be alive. No wonder our children ask, “Is the world coming to an end? Will we all die soon?”

In these terrible times the world seems to be moving from one maddening crisis to another.

We have listened to so many warnings – that we are living in the death throes of our age – that we cease to be moved by them.

The threat of total disaster no longer terrifies us. Even the church is caught up in the sweeping currents of compromise. Cold Christians with empty hearts sit in cold, empty churches, care­free, contented and comfortable. They are unaware that they are spiritually paralysed and powerless.

How sad that so many of our churches are dwindling and dying. Though many Christians still give lip service to the Cross as God’s way to heaven, they do not follow it as His way of Life. We wear, instead of bear, the Cross.

ICEBERG CHRISTIANS

We repeat the Apostles’ Creed but not the apostles’ deeds. Too many iceberg Christians with their petrified religion, only warm the benches in our Gothic churches. The ring and reality of inspired worship has given way to dead ritualism and icy form and ceremony.

The cheap grace of easy–believe-ism has been substituted for the costly grace of Calvary. The gospel of happiness has been substituted for the gospel of holiness. The upper room has been converted into the supper room.

Candid preaching has often turned to candied preaching. The salt of the earth has become the sugar of the earth. We have tried to court the favour of the world and carnal Christians, by clever programs and compromised standards. We have tried to influence the world by being like the world, instead of being transformed by the Lord. Honour from one another is more sought than that which comes from God only. (John 5:44)

It is time for us to examine the world in which we live and re–think our responsibility to it. It is time for courageous Spirit–filled prophets to call God’s people back to surrender, sacrifice and whole–hearted Bible Christianity.

Not only the world, but the church, is ripening for judgment.  Too many have been following the philosophy …

“Take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” (Luke 12:19)

Too many are “wicked and slothful servants” hiding their talent in the earth. (Matthew 25:25, 26). How tragic that many have to admit that “our lamps have gone out,” and that we are like foolish virgins who took no oil! (Matthew 25:3, 8)

May God revive our cold hearts, breathe on our dry bones, and give us a new baptism of power and love.

God has given us a luminous legacy of light! Let us not be content to bask in the sunshine of God’s love and light – and allow the masses of men to languish in darkness and sin!

Let us bombard every sin–sick, sin–darkened part of the world – with the Life–giving, Light–spreading, Life–mending Gospel of Christ!

How the angels must weep, how heaven must grieve – that we do so little to save a perishing world from hell! May we get down low before God and fully repent of our complacency and unconcern!

How profoundly dissatisfied we Christians ought to be with the status quo. There is no place for rocking chair Christians. The Great Commission does not say, “Go into half the world and preach the Gospel.” It does not say “Go inside the church and stay put.”

THE CALL IS FOR ACTION!

Lost souls are weary of their wandering and must be reach­ed at all costs! We must do our best to send our best men to the front lines of action!

World evangelism is not a peripheral undertaking. We are under orders! The Commission is clear. It is essential and not optional. All must be participants in the fight, partners in the task. To reject our responsibility is to reject God’s will and favour. Every life must be invested in the Cause that counts.

Millions of blind, blighted, bound, Bible-less souls live in sin–darkened lands, not knowing why they were born, why they live, or how they are to die. We cannot but plead the cause of these millions!

Their darkened minds must be enlightened with light from on high. Their sightless eyes must see the King in His glory! Their dumb ears must hear the sweetest Name that men can ever hear – the Name of Jesus!

Christianity Means Commitment!

We are called to forsake all and follow Him. May God help us to accept afresh the true terms of Christian discipleship. We must fully follow the Lordship and Leadership of Jesus Christ! God’s will must be done upon earth as it is in heaven! (Matthew 6:10)

If our Gospel is true we must tell it! If our experience is real we must spread it! Our conduct must match our creed! His precepts must become our practice! Our walk must match our talk! Life is a battleground and not a playground!

The crowning glory of the church is winning souls!

Unfortunately, “Ichabod” (the glory has departed) is written over too many of our churches. The only way this rebellious world will ever turn to Christ – is for the reprobate church to return in deep repentance to God!

God has a plan to fulfil. We have a world to warn, a message to de­liver – and only a short time in which to do it. Non–compliance with God’s plan is a foul miscarriage of justice. Missionary Mark Maxey, here in Japan, put it on the line when he wrote:

“The local church has been concerned with the task of world evangelization. That this is true is so obvious that it should not have to be repeated. But the 10% of the budget many churches pride themselves on giving for foreign evangelistic work is only a sop. Actually it is another sponge filled with vinegar and offered to a Christ who died for all men everywhere.

“If any human business organization spent 90% of its income just to keep its own business operating and only 10% for expan­sion and growth of that business, it would soon be bankrupt.

“But the church is very proud of giving this amount for evangelization of the world and confidently expects the Lord to bless this kind of selfishness.

“When it comes to providing the evangelists to do the task, the church’s unconcern for its primary task is even more reveal­ing. Only 4% of the men trained to preach the Gospel are sent on worldwide evangelizing.

“96% are kept at home to preach the Gospel again and again to the same people who have heard it all their lives. It would be laughable if it were not so tragic!”

Our tragic failure to evangelize a lost world does not arise out of our lack of manpower or money. It’s not the shortage, but wastage of manpower that is regrettable. We bottleneck the message in Gospel–hardened lands instead of spreading it to Gospel–hungry lands!

We substitute ecclesiasticism for evangelism, professional clergymen for volunteer laymen. In the early church …

“daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:42). They “taught . . . publicly and from house to house.” (Acts 20:20). They “sounded out the Word of the Lord”          (1 Thessalonians 1:8).

We have ceased to follow the divine blueprint and have walked in our own way. Instead of preaching Christ where He has not been named, we, like Israel, have “forgotten our Maker and built temples.” (Hosea 8:14)

There was no such thing as a church building in the first two hundred years of Christian history. They took the Great Com­mission seriously. Of course, we need churches, but the billions of dollars that we have invested in fancy churches, plush pews, expensive organs and lavish stained glass windows – are doing more than anything I know, to drain off money that should rightly go to carrying out the Great Commission!  (Matthew 28:18–20; Mark 16:15)

“There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, name­ly, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.” (Ecclesiastes 5:13)

This can be applied not only to the individual, but to the church as well. This business of making Christ known is the greatest busi­ness on earth!

We must keep everlastingly at it until Jesus comes! May we give the loaves of our lives to be broken in His hands, and to be shared with the hungry multitudes! Truly the Christian who gives, gathers – and the one who withholds, withers!

The Supreme Hour Of Challenge!

The cup of God’s preparation overflows. Glorious oppor­tunities urgently beckon us. Millions are within easy reach of the Gospel. God’s great signal guns sound out a mighty call to advance!

It is time for us to rise and shine, to give and go!

It is an honored privilege to be God’s instruments to finish the greatest task on earth!

As loyal laborers for the Master, let us move forward in faith and do our best to reach the untold millions still untold.

Calvary Love

“The Messiah, Y’shua, who, although existing in the form of God - being in very nature God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself (still further) by becoming obedient to the extreme of death, even death on an execution stake - a cross.”  (Philippians 2:5-8)

Lord Crucified, give me a love like Thine.

Help me to win the dying souls of men.

Lord, keep my heart in closest touch with Thine,

And give me love, pure Calvary love

To bring the lost to Thee.

 

 

 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF $1000 

                 WERE OFFERED TO YOU?

SUPPOSE someone were to offer you a thousand dollars for every soul that you lead to Christ.

Would you endeavour to lead any more souls to Him than you are endeav­ouring to do right now?

Is it possible that I would attempt to do for money, even at the risk of blunders or ridicule, what I hesitate or shrink from doing now, in obedience to God’s command?

Is my love of money stronger than my love of God, or of souls?  How feeble then, is my love of God!  Perhaps this explains why I am not a soul–winner.

“Do you love Me more than these?”   (John 21:15)

SUPPOSE I saw a blind man unknowingly approach­ing the brink of a high precipice, and I sat there without concern, and made no effort to warn or save him from certain death. Would I not be as guilty of his death in God’s sight, as though I had murdered him outright?

The death of a body, which might have been (but was not) prevented, is a terrible thing, but what about the preventable death of a human soul – per chance of many souls – for which God may hold me res­ponsible?

If my murder of another’s body by neglect is an unspeakable crime, what shall be said of murder by neglect of another’s soul?

If you “do not give him warning ... his blood will I require at your hand.”   (Ezekiel 3:17–21)

SUPPOSE that “when the roll is called up yonder,” I am there myself, but all through the eternal ages I am unable to find a single person who is there because of my having led him to Christ. How much will heaven mean to me?

 

“The one who is wise wins souls.” (Proverbs 11:30)

“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake; some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”  (Daniel 12:2, 3)

SUPPOSE that as an employee I was spasmodic in the kind of service I rendered – zealous one week, lukewarm the second, and utterly indifferent the third; then zealous, and lukewarm, and indifferent again, and so on. How long would my employer stand for that type of service?

But is not this the kind of soul–winning service I am giving to God? If God’s love for me were as spasmodically manifested as my love for Him, how would I fare?

“Be instant in season, and out of season.” (2 Timothy 4:2)

SUPPOSE that when the final reckoning comes, I should be found, not with ten talents, or even five, but with only one, and that one, “hidden ... in the earth” (Matthew 25:14–30) – what then?

Has the soul–winning talent that God has given me fallen so into disuse that I even doubt its exist­ence? And therefore have I not already hidden it “in the earth”?

“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”                   (1 Corinthians 4:2)

SUPPOSE I was asked how many persons I had per­sistently tried to win to Christ during the past month, or even during the past year. What would my answer be? How many have I even spoken to? How many have I on my prayer list now?

If I am not interested enough in the salvation of others even to have a daily prayer list, is it any wonder that I am not a soul–winner?

Paul’s prayer list:

“Without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.” (Romans 1.9)

SUPPOSE that every member of the church to which I be­long were to dedicate himself or herself today, to a life of full surrender to the will of God according to His Word (Romans 12:1, 2) and were to become, from now on, a soul–winner as ex­emplified in the life of Paul. (1 Corinthians 9:20–22) 

Would not a revival follow such as this church and community have never seen? And am I not willing to say that by His grace, I will give myself from this day for-ward, to the definite business of saving the lost, and that I will have a daily prayer list, and that I will do what I can under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help accomplish the supreme work for which my Saviour and Master came into the world?

“Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God.”  (Psalm 76.11)

Yes, Lord, I gladly respond to Your call (Mark 1:17); and I will do what I can, from this day forward, to help win the un­saved to You.

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled.”  (Luke 14:23)

“Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance.”  (Luke 15:7)                                                                                 

“For the love of the Messiah compels us, having concluded this, that One died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again on their behalf.”  (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

 -  By Thomas E. Stephens

 

         IS IT NOTHING TO YOU, 

       ALL YOU WHO PASS BY?

By E CHRISTIAN WEISS

If the Lord Jesus were to appear in person among His churches today, I feel this is the question He would ask with reference to the great unevangelised areas of the world.

“Is it nothing to you,” the Lord Jesus asks, “that I suffered and died for the sins of the world? That My atonement was a propitiation, not for your sins only, but also for the sins of the whole wide world, for all mankind? Did I not plainly state this through My servant John?” (1 John 2:2)

Vast Throngs Still Unreached

“Have you not understood that on My cross I paid the penalty for the transgression of all mankind – not merely for you alone?  You who have received the benefits of My atoning death and sacrifice, is it nothing to you that there are still vast multitudes of Adam’s children who are chained helplessly to their sins, in misery, dread, and despair?  

“Is it nothing to you that these multitudes continue to live and die in the bonds of iniquity, and in the gall of bitterness and in despair, as though God had never sent Me into the world?

“Is it nothing to you that I should have endured all the agonies of sin and judgment in vain so far as these multi­tudes are concerned?  That My finished work on the cross should be utterly without fruit in these vast, dark, distant lands where men and women abide still in total darkness? That the countless crowds have not so much as one ray of light from My gospel? Is it nothing to you that I should have been led as a Lamb to the slaughter for nothing in regard to these millions for whom I died, just as much as I died for you?

“Is it nothing to you that My Father laid upon Me the iniquity of all mankind, and yet more that half of them still have not been told? Is it nothing to you that I was wounded for their transgressions and bruised for their iniquities, and that the chastisement of their peace fell upon Me – and yet they cannot be healed? (Isaiah53:5)

Singing, But Not Doing

“You sing, ‘Oh Happy Day When Jesus Washed My Sins Away,’ but is it nothing to you that vast areas of the earth have never been told of the fountain open for sin and uncleanness here at My cross? You also sing “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken, All to Leave and Follow Thee,” but you lie to Me when you sing it, or else you do not think what you are singing for you have not taken My cross to these benighted millions who are the helpless victims of sin and fear. Have you taken My cross at all? Have you taken it anywhere?                               

“Is it nothing to you that I bore in My own body on the accursed tree, the guilt of all of Adam’s race?   Is it nothing to you, you whose skin is white, that I also died for those whose skin is black, yellow, brown or red? Why have they not the same knowledge that you have? “For some have not the knowledge of God, I speak this to your shame.”

The Agonies of Christ

“Is it nothing to you that I stood forsaken before Pontius Pilate in judgment, and opened not My mouth when hellish men cried out ‘Crucify Him’? And when Pilate delivered Me into their hands, I remained silent because I wanted to be ‘lifted up that I might draw all men unto Me,’ and unto My Father?   (John 12:32)

“Is it nothing to you that yonder in the garden of the Olive Press I took upon Myself the sins of the whole world, which almost crushed Me down into the very jaws of death then and there, and that I sweat My body’s blood to carry the load, and cried out to the Father to spare Me from the awful cup if there could be any other way of saving the world? But because there was no other way, I suffered the Just for unjust that I might bring men to God.” (I Peter 3:18)

“Is it nothing to you that I bore My cross to Golgotha, and gave My feet to the spikes, and My back to the smiters, to bear away the sins of the whole world? Is it nothing to you that this is all in vain with regard to the many millions, past and present, who have never heard the good news? Are you unconcerned, indifferent?  Do you not care that I did all this because I knew it meant salvation for men – does it mean nothing to you? Nothing save your own personal salvation?

“Is it nothing to you that I could at last declare with satisfaction, ‘It is finished?’ (John 19:30); that I had done all I could, all that was required of Me in order that men might be saved? And you – what have YOU done to save them? I finished My part, but My redeemed ones, My Bride, My Church, you have not finished your part! Why?

The Accomplished Task

“Is it nothing to you that Almighty God bared His arm and ripped asunder the veil in the temple of Jerusalem from the top to the bottom to show the world that the way was now open for all mankind? Should they not all therefore be told? Why have they not been told? Why must so many grasp and grope in the dark, trying to find their way to God, despite the fact that I suffered so much to provide a way - a way wide enough and plain enough for them all? What have you to say in answer to this?

“Is it nothing to you that I gave a plain commandment to My church: ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’? (Mark 16:15). I repeated this commandment many times to My followers after I came out of the grave.  It was the very last word I left with them before I went back to heaven as the King of Glory to be received at the Father’s Right Hand. Why has it not been fulfilled?

“I only gave two commandments to My Church, and they are both plain and positive. No one could misunderstand them: nothing could have been plainer: ‘Love one another’ (John 13:34), and ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’ (Mark 16:15)

“The second one was the very last I spoke to My people on earth as the clouds received Me out of their sight – I thought surely it would not be forgotten or omitted. But, alas, such seems to be the case. My people have done and are still doing many fine things which I did not at all command them to do, and I am not unmindful of these things, but the two things I straightly commanded them to do, is where they have failed Me most. Why is this?

“I knew it was a heavy burden and a severe task I placed upon your shoulders, and that it demanded more than human power could supply, that it would mean sacrifice and suffering; but I promised that I would be with you to the end. Have you not read My promise? Did I not give My word that I would never leave you nor forsake you? Did I not promise that I would send you My Spirit who would bring all My power, supreme in both heaven and earth, into your beings, and that this power would enable you to accomplish the task? Is it nothing to you that I gave such a commandment and made such a promise?

The Work of the Spirit

“Is it nothing to you that the Holy Spirit came? That He came to earth to take up His abode in the Church which is My Body – that He has made your being and body His very own temple? That He did this to empower you to fulfill My command to bear My witness throughout the length and breadth of the earth? That this was His chief reason for coming? I told My disciples:  ‘You shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto Me . . . unto the uttermost part of the earth’.” (Acts 1:8)

“Do you think the Holy Spirit came just to bring you more joy, and help, and happiness?  Just to serve you? Just to make the Christian life more satisfactory and easy for you yourselves? Is that all His coming means to you? 

“Is it nothing to you that the Holy Spirit wants to possess your lives, consecrate you to God and to My service, and to direct your life into Our holy will, and to thrust you forth into the great harvest fields of the earth that are white with ripened grain and ready for reaping? Have you not been told to pray the Lord of the Harvest to do this?  And if you prayed that He do this, can you hold back yourselves and refuse to let Him thrust you forth?

“Is it nothing to you that the Spirit longs to ‘shed the love of God abroad in your heart’ (Romans 4:4), so that your soul will be moved with compassion over the lost and dying multi­tudes of mankind as Mine was, and is?

“I wept over them when I saw their plight that they were sheep not having a shepherd, and I poured out My life for them. What about you? Have you ever wept over any of them? Are you pouring out your life, or any part of it for them?  Have you any concern for them, or are they nothing to you? Have you closed your heart to the Spirit’s work, so that you do not share My concern for lost souls?

“Is My command to preach the gospel to the whole world, and My promise to be with you to the end of the age, and My Spirit’s heavenly power to enable you to witness to all the world; does all this mean nothing to you?

“Is it nothing to you that I gave My all for you?  Are you not willing in return to give your all back to Me?”

These are not fictitious attempts at rhetoric. These state­ments are all based on indisputable facts that face us both in the Word of God and in the world of our day. We cannot be indifferent. To be indifferent and unresponsive is the equiva­lent of high treason in Christ’s kingdom.

From the booklet under the same title, published by

Back to the Bible Broadcast. Used by permission.

We need to Stop PlaYIng Church! 

                 By LEONARD RAVENHILL (photo when he was 81)  

PAUL WAS ANGERED at the sight of the Main Street in Athens walled in with temples to false gods. In the language of the stately Elizabethan English of the Authorised Version, we have Paul’s reaction to this sight: his spirit was “stirred within him.” (Acts 17:16)

The Amplified Version says, “Now while Paul was await­ing them at Athens, his spirit was grieved and roused to anger as he saw that the city was full of idols.”

Ancient Athens, though given to class and culture, was still peddling soul–dope.

The average believer’s complacency towards the lost-ness of men is appalling. We believers today need a baptism of Paul’s holy anger.

It is not a zealous Pentecostal or holiness brother or an unshackled Baptist who knocks at my door to witness. It is a deluded Jehovah’s Witness or a message-less Mormon. We have in false cults a horrible picture of lost men seeking lost men, to lead them to a lost eternity.

Ask yourself these soul–searching questions, about the unsaved millions in your country:

*    Why don’t we attack?

*    Why do we fear?

*    Why do we hesitate?

*    What chills our urgency?

*    Have we nothing to communicate?

*    Are we unsure of our own Biblical knowledge?

*    Do we lack personal assurance of Salvation?

*    Are we unconvinced that sinners stand in jeop­ardy of an eternal hell?

*    Have we forgotten that even as believers, we shall, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, be judged not only for what we have done, but, (and this really hurts), for what we could have done?

In the sins of omission that will be brought against many of us at the Judgment Seat of Christ, there will surely be a paragraph of indictments where we have failed to witness. Witnessing is not optional, but obligatory. We Christians are debtors. (Romans 1:14-17)

To me it is a shocking commentary on Christian feebleness that, while in the first century, 120 men could move from an upper–room closet and shake Jerusalem, now-a-days 120 churches, claiming a like experience of the Holy Spirit, can be in one of our cities and yet that city at large hardly knows they are there.

In our spiritual warfare, we churches must be guilty of shooting with dummy bullets. To change the figure, we must spiritually be running with empty freight trains.

It is my deep conviction that the end of the age is upon us. Things are going to develop more rapidly than any of us anticipate. In the light of this, we need to fence off our altars so high that to get to them takes a do–or–die effort.

This is no hour for crocodile tears, for half-baked com­mitments, or emotion-packed vows. These should never be permitted to clutter our altars.

Most likely, if we walked down Main Street today and saw stately edifices dedicated to strange gods (false cults), we would shrug the thing off with the cold–hearted, nonchalant comment, “It’s a pity that folk have no more sense than to fall for that kind of thing.”

Let me repeat: I believe the hour has come when we, God’s people, need the baptism of anger.

There is a command, “Be angry, and sin not.”  (Ephesians 4:26). Too often, if the believer does know anger, he knows it at the wrong time, about the wrong thing, to the wrong people, and in the wrong place. His anger is so often self–generated because his pride has been hurt.

The faultless image which he carries of his own personal holiness has been smeared. Or he is chagrined at the affront of some who have dared suggest that his idol of gold has clay feet.

We need to remind ourselves again that the Holy Son of God, our Saviour, was angry with the pigeon sellers and the polluters of His Father’s House. (John 2:13–16)

It is not difficult for me to conceive that with millions of heathen perishing, our hard–luck suppers, our shabby gospel films, our bloodless church membership, and our nervous witnessing (plus our self–contentment and self–indulgence) would all come in for a scathing denunciation from the white–heat heart of the righteous Son of God!

We might remember, too, that in the Bible story, Jesus was angry at the hardness of the hearts of those who meticu­lously followed the synagogue’s law and system. (Mark 2:23–28; Mark 3:1–5)

Ours is now the most chronically unhappy world in history. It would be folly to give an aspirin to a cancer patient, assur­ing him with lying words that this would cure his malady.

Equally criminal in my judgment is our attempt to appease the soul-hunger of the millions around us by sermons that are not Christ–centered, not born in the burning heart of a yearning preacher, and not wet with the tears of his own travail and anxiety for fallen men.

Our situation is not like walking down Main Street in Athens, where ignorance, superstition, and strange gods held sway, to enlighten people. Ours is a far worse and more terrible situation. We have pulled down the old altars to Yahweh and built new chrome-plated altars to Ashtaroth and Baal.

To stir us sickly saints to rescue the perishing, we need the smell of hell.

Oh to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer – an­gry! More than ever we need to cry:

O Breath of life, come sweeping through us;

Revive Thy Church with life and power.

O Breath of Life, come cleanse, renew us,

And fit Thy Church to meet this hour.       - Bessie P Heed

 

THE GARBAGE DUMP PEOPLE

Jim Bramlett has shared this report.  He says, “The story is one of the most fascinating I have ever heard. It comes from a reliable Christian friend. I first heard it in 1999. It demonstrates the power of God’s love to penetrate even the most closed cultures when His people are willing to lay down all for the Savior and take up His cross. It also demonstrates the outpouring of God’s Spirit in these last days.”

A missionary couple had been labouring in a certain Muslim country that I will not name for purposes of protection. They had become terribly discouraged in their attempts to share the gospel with the Muslims there, and they were about to quit and go home.

However, they first decided to take a few days to fast and pray, asking the Lord for direction and guidance. To their surprise, during this period of seeking, the Lord gave them this simple instruction, “Go to the garbage dump people.”

(In my humble experience, whenever God really speaks to us, it is usually very succinct – short, to the point, with few words, very direct. I am always wary of long dissertations purportedly from God.)

The garbage dump people lived on the outskirts of this large Muslim city, the last people group anyone would normally ever want to visit. There are thousands of people there who literally live in the garbage dump. They have no other place to live. They actually comprise a city built on top of all the garbage. “Homes” are typically cardboard boxes. (My friend has photos.)

People live off of what they find in the garbage. The stench is described as terrible. The missionary couple hesitated, humanly not really wanting to go, but they decided that if the Lord was speaking to them they had better obey. (Good idea!)

They soon began an outreach to the garbage dump people. God’s anointing was obviously on the effort because after only a short time they had 30-40 people gathering around them for a Bible study in the garbage dump.

PHENOMENAL HARVEST

In less than a year, 800-900 people were gathering every time the missionaries went in to peach and teach, which was three times a week. They soon began to see God’s wisdom in this unique ministry. The garbage dump was a totally protected place because no one, including the authorities, wanted to go in there to interfere with what they were doing.

One day, their numbers having reached into the hundreds, they were talking with one of the oldest men of the garbage dump city. They told him that somehow they were going to have to find some shelter so that the assembled people would have some cover from the elements.

The old man said, “When I was just a child, many years ago, some of the old people at that time said that there was a cave, and far down into the cave there is a meeting place. I remember being taken in there as a young boy. I think I could take you there again.”

They agreed to come back and go with the old man. The missionaries soon returned with friends and flashlights. The old man led them to a back part of the garbage dump with a lot of rock formations. He then took them to the opening of a very large cave. They all entered the cave and walked and walked, for about 45 minutes.

Finally, at the end, there was a turn, and then to their astonishment they saw an enormous, incredibly well-preserved theater! It was like one of those in the Roman times we have seen in pictures. It was in immaculate condition, obviously preserved from ancient times by the unusual climate. They discovered there was seating for about 5,000 people!

The missionaries began to use that underground theater as the meeting place for the church. God began to fill the place with garbage dump people. It was not long before every seat in the whole theater was filled, and it was not unusual for the lines of Muslims waiting to give testimonies of salvation to go down both sides of the theater, to the left and the right, all the way to the back. These were all Muslims who had come to faith in Jesus Christ, many of them after a supernatural experience, with Jesus appearing to them in dreams and visions, a phenomenon in Muslim countries we have heard about from other reliable sources.

Services sometimes go on for hours. All this happened because the Father’s love through the Holy Spirit stirred in the hearts of two people – a committed missionary couple – who said, “yes,” and who were willing to lay down their lives, personal ambitions, ego and pride for Jesus, and preach in a filthy, stinking Muslim garbage dump. I marvel at God’s wisdom and how He loves and remembers the lowly. To Him be all the glory, honor and praise!

 

A  SCRIPTURAL  PRINCIPLE

“EACH ONE, REACH ONE”

“Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word.”   (Acts 8:4)

Have you heard of this slogan, “Each one reach one”?

Behind the slogan is the conviction that the whole world could be evangelised in less than ten years, if each believer would lead one soul to the Lord every year, and then teach the new believer to do the same.

If, out of the hundreds of millions of “Christians” throughout the world, at least 10 million born again believers could be committed to the goal of leading at least one soul to the Master each year, the number of believers would double each year. The multiplication of born again Christians would look like this – starting this year:

2008          -           10,000,000 believers

2009          -           20,000,000 believers

2010          -           40,000,000 believers

2011          -           80,000,000 believers

2012          -           160,000,000 believers

2013          -           320,000,000 believers

2014          -           640,000,000 believers

2015          -           1,280,000,000 believers

2016          -           2,560,000,000 believers

2017          -           5,120,000,000 believers

2018          -           10,240,000,000 believers 

That’s over ten billion! Everybody in the world saved! 

(World population in 2018 is expected to be nearly 8 billion)

 

THEORETICAL STATISTICS ?

Sure!  But that’s the number of souls our Father is willing to see saved!  For He is not willing that any should perish! (2 Peter 3:9).  Sure! We will never see all of the world’s population redeemed, for we know that wickedness will increase, and many men’s heart will resist the grace of God. But I would sure love to see a lot more of this perishing population, saved!

Sure! The above is a theoretical chart that depends on ten million believers’ continuous faithfulness and Spirit-filled walk in fellowship with the Master. But personal evangelism is scriptural.

“Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word.” (Acts 8:4)

True! There are many reasons why believers are not winning souls. There’s a lot of issues that need to be dealt with in believers’ lives before they can really become effective soul-winners.

And sure! It is not just a matter of people hearing or not hearing the Gospel. The resistance of the world to the Gospel is as strong, or stronger, than ever. Many people do hear, but they are not convinced by the Gospel because it is not presented in the power of the Holy Spirit, and backed by holy lives of Christians.

There’s also a spiritual conflict raging around the world as the forces of evil are pitted against the Body of the Messiah. This conflict will not be resolved until Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire, along with all those who have not been delivered from his kingdom of darkness.

My reader, time is running out, and we may not even have ten years left to win the world!

True! The whole world will not be converted. We will not see eight billion people saved. But why don’t we ask our Father for a larger vision of what He can do? And why don’t we give ourselves to the work of winning as many souls as we can?

One billion souls saved! Yes, it’s possible if just one million believers, reach one and teach one, each year for ten years. Is that still too high for your vision?

Then what if 100 million believers each led one soul to the Saviour every year (even if the new believers didn’t) ?  In ten years, there would be one billion believers.

But where to get 100 million zealous believers? Quite possibly from China, India, Nepal, Korea, Africa, and a few other such places! That’s where the increase is!

But as far as the West is concerned, forget it! The West is ready for the pit!  We can let these nations go to hell!!  Right?

Sorry! I’m speaking rashly - to stir up your minds! But if Christians in the West really care for their compatriots, then they must wake up, and seriously commit themselves to soul-winning!  Because time is almost up!

Can God find one million believers in the West who are really committed to winning souls?

If not, can He find 100,000? 

Can He find 10,000 born again believers who will do more than give lip service to the need of souls to be saved from hell? Ten thousand believers reaching one, and teaching one to do the same, each year, could mean ten million souls saved in ten years. But can God find 10,000 believers committed to soul-winning? 

What if He can only find 1,000?  Well; they could potentially save one million precious souls!

But what if God can only find 100?  Then it may only be 100,000 saved?

What if He finds only 10 believers? Then, 10,000 saved.

And what if there is just one believer who is really sold out to the Master and to this work of saving souls – it can mean an increase of 1000 in ten years – provided that  he is able to teach his new believers to also win souls.

Multiplication brings a greater harvest than addition.

If we see only one soul saved per year, then of course at the end of ten years we would have at least ten souls.

Of course, even helping to save ten souls will bring great joy throughout eternity.

But let us not go empty-handed!

Can God find one committed believer

in the street where you live?  

According to Acts 8 the early believers went everywhere sharing the Gospel; literally “gossiping” the Gospel. Talking can be the easiest thing in the world. Everyone does it, to a greater or lesser degree. You can talk about cars, cricket, football, work, fashions, parties, and food – then why not talk about the Saviour.  But ...

(a)  You need to know what you are talking about. A first hand knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour is essen­tial. You must know Him, trust Him, and rely on Him.

(b)  You need to speak of how you came to know Him, what He means to you, what He has done and is doing for you. This means personal witness. And a witness speaks what he knows.  This is your testimony.

(c)  You need to know what the Bible says about the Saviour, what He promises you, and what He offers to others.

(d)  You need to know what the Bible says about the past, what it foretells of the future, and what it offers in the present.

All this is well within your grasp, believer, for woven into the fabric of every believer’s life is this knowledge of the Saviour and His Word. You read it every day!

You also need to get to know the one you are talking to. It is a matter of common courtesy in conversation that you find out the other person’s interests and to talk about them.

Dale Carnegie has written a very interesting book on, “How to win friends and influence people.’ He used in one place, the maxim – “if you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.”

In other words, be careful. Don’t be offensive. Get to know the people you are seeking to win, and teach them patiently. Let the Holy Spirit open doors, and to use your words to bring conviction and response.

 

A testimony from CHINA

saved through torture

“NOW I am free, I only want to do one thing . . . tell others about Christ.”

Brother Yang is a brand new Christian, and boldly declared the above statement to the police, who had just beaten and tortured him.  Compass Direct recently reported his testimony.

Yang was invited to a house church meeting that was raided by police. He was not a Christian at the time, but the police arrested him anyway. In the midst of the torture and interrogation he prayed, “Jesus, if You are God, get me through this.”

When the police released him the next day he said to them, “Before I go, I want to thank you for making me into a Christian. Your cruelty forced me to call on Jesus, and do you know, to my surprise, He came into me and gave me compassion for both of you.”

“Now I am free, I only want to do one thing – tell others about Christ. I intend to get some Bible training, and then I will depart for another province to spread God’s Word. All of China must hear of Jesus. If I live to be 80, then I have 55 years left to spread His Gospel … that’s not a lot time to reach the whole country.”

Yang’s passionate commitment to the Gospel is common among Chinese believers.

 “Remember the prisoners as if you were imprisoned with them; and those who are mistreated, since you yourselves are also in the body.”                (Hebrews 13:3)

 

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