I recently read this artical and was blessed by it and so naturally I wanted to share it with all of you guys. I don't know a thing about the author but I know what the artical says. It's an artical called:
Passing the Baton
Written by David Hankins
This was an article I wrote for a local (free) Christian magazine my brother, Evan created called Synergy Magazine. It was inspired by some divine events that had occurred in mine and my wife's lives which were demanding a response from us. I've had responses from many who have read it saying it really spoke to them. I hope it does you too!
The Passing of the Baton
By David R. Hankins
Leonard Ravenhill, A.W. Tozer, John & Charles Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Smith Wigglesworth, Duncan Campbell, William Seymour, George Whitfield, William Booth, Robert M. McCheyne. Do any of these names ring a bell for you? If not, they should, and you should make every effort to get online or go to the library, and look them up -- and do it in a hurry. There are others too. Men of God that shook off religious tyranny of the day, and walked and talked by the Spirit of God. These writings and their testimonies are inspiring if we'll take advantage of them today.
These were men of God who made an indelible mark on their generations. These and others like them were men who we like to call "giants of the faith." If I could tell you just one thing about each of the men I listed above; one thing that might be a common denominator, it is that each one lived what he preached. What did they preach? Holiness. Repentance. Revival. The power of the Spirit in the believer.
Where are they today? I personally believe that they are few and far between. Sure, we have a great many men and women in ministry today all over the world. Multitudes are in the public eye -- in the spotlight, with huge, successful ministries. Its not my desire to judge or criticize anyone serving the Lord today, but to spur us on further; to help raise the standard again. Were in desperate times. Our nation is dying spiritually. When a nation dies spiritually, moral collapse is almost eminent. Weve become too tolerant and comfortable. As Christians, we let the world dictate to us how and where we can live out our Christianity. We look too much like the world, and have become guilty by association.
Leonard Ravenhill said things like, "Are the things youre living for worth Christ dying for?", and "This life is a dressing room for eternity", and "You can´t catch up your prayer life when you get to the judgment seat. " What about, "Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the world." That was spoken by John Wesley in the 1700s. Or how about William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army who said, "The greatness of a mans power is the measure of his surrender." I love this one as spoken by the man often referred to as the Apostle of Faith, Smith Wigglesworth, "I dont very often spend more than half and hour without praying." These men were not guilty by association, and they were not tolerant of sin. They were known in their day for their solid stand for Jesus. Their words were anointed and effective.
In a world of political correctness -- even in the church -- I believe we need a good dose of biblical correctness in statements like this one by Henry Varley, "It remains for the world to see what the Lord can do with a man wholly consecrated to Christ." Listen to me friends, we are in desperate times. Desperate times call for desperate actions. What are those desperate actions? Holiness, righteousness, repentance of our ways, hunger after God. God said His judgment starts in the House of the Lord. Isnt that an awe-inspiring thought to you? Does it not shake you to read a statement first spoken by John Trapp in the 1600´s, "A man may go to hell with baptismal water upon his face?" Were first in line for His wrath. What we need is revival; an awakening of the saints of God.
"How could he say those things?" I hear that question being asked. "What about the love and mercy of God?" Yes, the love of God is undeniable, and His mercy unquestionable. We need it, and we would be hopelessly lost without it. If not for that love, we would already be doomed. It was because of that love and mercy that Jesus was sent to us. However, we are reminded most assuredly in Ephesians that although Christ suffered as the perfect lamb, and is now our great High Priest, there is still some responsibility that rests on each of us. Chapter 12, verses 14-17 makes it very clear stating, "Try to live in peace with everyone, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you will miss out on the special favor of God. Watch out that no bitter root of unbelief rises up among you, for whenever it springs up, many are corrupted by its poison. Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau. He traded his birthright as the oldest son for a single meal. And afterward, when he wanted his fathers blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he wept bitter tears."
Did you see that? It was too late for repentance? Ill bet that goes against some theology, doesnt it? Listen, my point in all of this is that weve got a dying world out there, and a sick, weak church that doesnt have the strength to do anything about it, because oftentimes she is in no better condition. We need the voices like those from past generations. We need the unadulterated, unapologetic voice of those crying in the wind, "Prepare the way of the Lord!" Where are they?
When my family and I were traveling to and from our vacation in Pensacola, Florida this summer, we had the experiences of a lifetime. It reminds me of another great saying of Leonard Ravenhill, "The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized during the lifetime of the opportunity." We took advantage of one of those opportunities, and found ourselves sitting amongst some wonderful, seasoned ministers who are known around the world for their books and messages. These men and women were products of the simple ministry of the late Leonard Ravenhill. It was an honor and a privilege to get to sit amongst them and listen as they discussed the Lord, the scriptures, and life. At one point, one godly woman told my wife, Londa to look around the room, and to notice the fruit of one mans ministry. Several men and women in that room had the opportunity during their lifetime to sit in Leonards house, sometimes traveling a couple of hours just to participate in a weekly bible study. Now, these modern day giants of the faith are carrying the flame that was passed on to them. She said to Londa, "theres a generation of godly men like Leonard Ravenhill, Bill Bright (who recently went to be with Jesus), and others growing old and passing away, but there doesnt seem to be many to carry the baton."
It dawned on us then that she was issuing a challenge. Would we be willing to carry the flame? Would we take the baton as it is handed off? Before anyone can answer those questions, one must ask whats at stake. It is costly to live that kind of life. It means being separate from the world and its ways, yet somehow being the salt and light it needs. It means being a brighter light while the world is growing into a darker and darker place. It means living a life of holiness, free from the things that so easily entangle a Christian in these entertainment-driven days. It means sticking out like a sore thumb, even in the church that claims to be "seeker-sensitive" in order to reach out to the lost to attract them, when in reality it's just looking like the world in an effort to attract the world. It's a sore thumb that says, "No! I won't do it! I won't compromise truth just to be 'effective'!"
For us, this was a very emotional, life changing event in our lives. We answered the only way we knew how. Yes! We will take that challenge. We will offer what has been placed inside us -- a message of revival, holiness, hunger -- to anyone willing to listen. We know that people are hungry, and they want something different. They want something clean and pure. They want what the world cant offer. They need Jesus! We dont want to offer Him as a mixture with anything that might dilute the message. I promise you, the lost and hurting out there are ready for something real, something pure, and something different. Why would we offer them something that resembles what they already have in order to attract them? Let´s offer them Jesus. He is enough. It worked in past generations, and it will work again. The baton is being passed, but will there be anyone there to take it and run with it? Well be there. How about you?