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"To promote revivals of Christianity everywhere, in accordance with the pattern and the standards of the Bible, which is the inspired Word of God." This quote is from the Constitution and By Laws of Gospel Revivals Inc., the organization which publishes Herald of His Coming. It is the first objective toward which the founders envisioned that Herald of His Coming would aim--"to promote revivals of Christianity everywhere."
Some of you readers respond warmly to such an objective. The need of revival is much on your heart, too. Others of you might be somewhat uncertain what is meant by revival. Further objectives of Herald of His Coming might explain more clearly:
"To call God's people to a holy life and to exhort them to live in readiness for the Coming of the Lord, watching unto prayer, and to live before them lives of humility, love, purity, zeal, self-denial, faithfulness and devotion, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
"To encourage love among and toward all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity (Eph. 6:24).
"To hold up the standard of God's Word for Christian living.
"To encourage all Christians to press on for the salvation of the lost, for the preparation of God's people for the Coming of the Lord, and for the fulfilling of God's will in the lives of us all, 'occupying'--keeping busy in God's will and in God's service till Jesus comes!"
These are all objectives related to revival. In short, we may say that revival is God's mighty working in His people to restore them to the Spirit-filled living He commands and has provided for all His people.
Let us cherish every bit of interest we have and every bit of hunger and tenderness we feel for God and the things of His Kingdom. It is God at work in us, unworthy though we are, calling us higher, closer, wanting to give us more of His gracious, wonderful and holy Self. God's gentle ways may be easily disregarded. Our inclination is to think more of pleasing ourselves than of pleasing Him. But we dare not take His workings lightly. Each one is accountable for his or her response to God's grace and mercy.
There is perhaps more in this age than in ages past that can siphon away, slowly, almost imperceptibly, our devotion to the Lord and to the blessed life to which He has called us. If we are not pressing on actively in pursuit of the things of God, we are most likely stagnated or drifting backward. It is through revival that God calls us back and restores us to our first love. It is through outpourings of His Spirit that He fills us and empowers us to press onward in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The thrust of the messages of this issue is to call us to awaken, to watch and pray, to examine our love for the Lord, to be rekindled from on high, if need be. The item below entitled "When Do We Need Revival?" was prepared by a long-time reader and friend of Herald of His Coming. Her pastor husband and herself were privileged some years ago to be part of a blessed and genuine revival God sent to the church they pastored. This coming from the pen of one who has seen what church life was before and what it became after the Lord came in an outpouring of His Spirit to them, it is discerning of our hearts and lives. Take time to read it and to think of your own life. I have done so.
Oh, God, awaken and stir us all to hunger for the blessed life you have for those who pant after You and press on after You! Help us discard that which comes between our soul and Your presence, Your nearness, Your fullness. Save us from clinging to the cheap and worthless and help us pursue You--"so inexhaustible, rich and sweet" as one songwriter expresses it.
It takes great vigilance to use in a wise and effectual way, the slot in time allotted by God to us. How we use these years on earth determines our eternity! Looking back from eternity, will we cringe and hang our heads in shame to see that on which we spent the gift of time God gave us?
An elderly saint, Elmer Josephson, had a nighttime dream or vision. He saw himself walking along, carrying a bag of gold coins. At first he did not notice that one coin after the other was slipping out of the bag and falling to the ground. When he became aware of this he immediately went back to gather up the coins. To his surprise he discovered he could not pick them up. Then he noticed that each coin bore the word, "Time."
Ah, friends, time squandered away is lost forever. There is no retrieving it. How wise are those who have noble objectives in life and faithfully pursue them! (May we here suggest that by your support of Herald of His Coming, you are supporting the promotion of revivals everywhere. That is a worthy objective, is it not!)
As the front page article of this issue encourages us to believe, God advances His work in His people and through His people by outpourings of the Holy Spirit. When God works through His revived people in great power, many sinners are awakened from their sleep of death and are given life in Christ Jesus. Revival in the Church is the only hope of reaching to the ends of the earth with the Gospel.
God help us all not to disappoint His loving heart. He has blessed purposes for each of us to enjoy the fullness of His life and for each of us to be fruitful in bringing souls into the Kingdom. He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 33:11). He desires that all be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). Might God so pour out of His Spirit upon us that our hearts and wills will be one with Him in this! Then millions of the earth's unreached will be reached. Eternity will be richer for them. There will be millions more to glorify God throughout eternity for giving His Son, and millions more to glorify the Son for giving His life. Is that not, after all, the very purpose for which God created man and put him on this earth--that we might glorify Him, for time and for eternity?