Faithful In These Last Days
By Rich Carmicheal
As the days grow more difficult, and as pressures against our faith increase, the Lord calls us to remain faithful to the very end – faithful to Him, faithful to His Word, faithful to His ways, and faithful to His work. He deeply values faithfulness in His people and gives this promise: “...Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).
The Apostle Paul serves as a powerful example of living and serving faithfully to the very end: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:6-8).
We too are called to fight the good fight, to finish the race, and to keep the faith. In the midst of a culture, even a church culture, that is turning from the Lord and His ways, we are called to remain steadfast and true. We must be on our guard against any lukewarmness or compromise.
About This Issue
With all of this in mind, the Herald staff encourages you to take the messages in this issue of the Herald much to heart. As J. C. Ryle emphasizes in the lead article, to live a true Christian life is no light matter. The race set before us is a challenging one and requires diligence, watchfulness and prayer. We need to run well and persevere to the finish line, with our eyes fixed on Christ all the way. And as Michael L. Brown shares in the article “Who Changed Things?” (pp. 4-5), instead of giving in to the compromise all around us, it is time for us to let those around us see what God can do with a man or woman fully consecrated to Him!
The article by Erwin Lutzer (p. 5) provides insights on what it will take for the church to prevail in our rapidly changing culture, and the article by W. C. Moore (p. 6), co-founder of the Herald ministry, stresses the need for us to be overcomers – and offers strong encouragement on how to do so! Other articles emphasize these same themes and also challenge us toward personal and corporate revival, and to remember that the key to an abundant and fruitful Christian life is the time we spend in prayer and in waiting before the Lord. The Herald staff hopes and prays that the Lord stirs your hearts through this issue, even as He is stirring ours!
Faithful in the Lord’s Work
One vital aspect of being faithful to the Lord and finishing well is our faithfulness to the responsibilities, gifts and resources that He entrusts to us. As the Apostle Paul teaches, “…It is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2). We are to be faithful in service and ministry (Neh. 13:14; Col. 1:7; 4:7), in prayer (Rom. 12:12), in showing love to others (3 John 1:4), in our witness (Rev. 2:13), in giving (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Chr. 31:12), and in sharing God’s Word (Jer. 23:28; 1 Pet. 4:10-11).
Our faithfulness to such work and ministry is all the more vital in light of the final hour in which we are living. As the Apostle Peter stresses, “...The end of all things is at hand,” and therefore it is time to be serious and watchful in prayer, fervent in love, good stewards of the manifold grace of God, and to minister “as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ…” (see First Peter 4:7-11).
This is surely a time for us to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that [our] labor is not in vain in the Lord”! (1 Cor. 15:58). Will it not be worth it all to one day hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matt. 25:21)?
So “let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9). Our Heavenly Father is Himself always at work in the world (John 5:17) and desires a great end-time harvest. His heart is for “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). He is “longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). He desires the lost to repent and be converted, that their sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from His presence (Acts 3:19). He continues to have compassion for the multitudes around us, and calls us to faithful labor in His harvest field. As Jesus teaches, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38).
As we are faithful to the Lord and His work in these last days, we can anticipate His blessing upon that work, not only in our outreach to the lost, but also in our ministry to fellow believers. He is ready to pour out revival in the church! Christ loves the church and “gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27). He is coming again for a church that has made herself ready! (Rev. 19:7). So not only is it time for us to renew our love and commitment to Him, it is time for us to do all we can to encourage and build up the body of Christ. May we pour ourselves wholeheartedly into the work the Lord has entrusted to us as we look forward to His Return!
Prayer for the Herald Ministry
While the Herald staff is stirred personally to fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith – and hope that you are as well – we also long for the Herald ministry to remain faithful and to finish well, even to the coming of the Lord! Would you join us in prayer to that end? Would you pray for the staff and ministry to honor the Lord in all things and to be fully devoted to Him and His purposes? Would you pray for His provision of messages month after month that are strong, clear, timely and stirring; messages that are firmly based in His Word and that are Christ-exalting; messages that will help spark personal and corporate revival and help accomplish His eternal purposes? Would you pray for the Lord’s precious and powerful anointing to be upon this ministry so that the messages have His power to encourage, strengthen, challenge, edify and equip all who read them? And would you pray for the Lord to open doors for increased ministry and to supply all of the resources necessary for this work?
Certainly the needs in the church and the world are as great as ever, and we are eager for the Herald to reach as many lives as possible, providing much encouragement in the Lord. Please pray that in this final season, the Lord will fill this ministry to overflowing with His Spirit, with His Word, and with His grace and power so that there will be great effectiveness and fruitfulness, all unto His glory!