No Holding Back!
By Lois J. Stucky
"The Triumph of the Cross!" What a seeming contradiction! The Cross--beatings, mockings, injustice, false accusations, excruciating pain, death. But also triumph! Satan defeated, Salvation provided, resurrection, ascension, enthronement! We Christians who live almost 2000 years after all this took place, have such an unspeakable privilege to proclaim it to the world--this triumph of the Cross. We have the privilege of proclaiming to a world of hatred, crime, sin, war, death--the triumph of our God and of His Christ.
And furthermore, the greater manifestation of victory is yet to come. Christ will come forth from the Heavens. The Faithful and True One, crowned with many crowns, with eyes aflame, followed by an army on white horses, the King of kings and Lord of lords will come and take the Throne. (Rev. 19:11-16). Before Him will bow every knee. And every tongue--even antagonistic, hateful, violent, militant tongues--will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:9-11).
Not only have we the privilege of proclaiming the triumph of the Cross, but also of personally experiencing it. The victory over sin we could never win, was won for us by God and Christ at Calvary. The privilege of weak, unworthy mortals living to lift up His worthy Name by the power of the Holy Spirit and to do exploits in His Name was made possible by the Cross. The glorious prospect of abiding with Him for ever and ever, was won for us on the Cross. Ah, we, too, will bow our knees before that King. How long will our tears of gratitude and love flow there? We will never be able to adequately thank and praise Him for the triumph of the Cross and for all it provides for us.
There at Calvary, Satan who goes about as a lion seeking whom he may devour, was "declawed" as it were. There at Calvary was provided deliverance for us from Satan's kingdom of darkness into the glorious Kingdom of Light and Love (Col. 1:13). What a Gospel we have to proclaim! Again we thank the supporting friends who stand with Herald of His Coming to print the messages month after month and mail them far and wide.
If you are regularly following the "Pray For The World" schedule, (as we hope you are) you may feel almost staggered at times by the figures you find there. Such a small minority in country after country is Evangelical in faith. What a task the Church faces! Our faith is strengthened by thinking of the triumph of the Cross. Our prayers are made more effectual by confessing and enforcing this victory.
Let me share from a letter that gives one example of how God is working in the world today. The writer in Africa tells that in his country, "a Muslim sheik bought a New Testament written in his mother tongue. The sheik opened his heart to the Lord and then shared the message with his Muslim friends in the village. They, too, were eager to know more about Jesus. They sent messengers to the nearest church to come and teach them the Gospel.
"People from the church could not believe the messengers because the church had tried a lot for decades to evangelize them but had given up hope now. They even thought the Muslims devised a way to murder them there in the forest. When the church did not reply to their request, the group came to the church themselves, and several hundred have committed their lives to the Lord.
"Praise be to God in the Highest!" concludes the writer of the letter. God is still the miracle worker! Let us ask and expect largely. Let us hold back nothing from God. He must have access to the life of each of us if He accomplishes all the grand work of salvation that He wants to do. Let us live and walk carefully. Let us not spend our time and money carelessly. Let us day by day give Him the pre-eminent place in our lives.
I would especially challenge young people to consider carefully before God how they should spend their lives. Young friends, do your best to get an answer from God to the tremendously important question: "Lord, what would You have me to do?"
I am reminded of when I was a Bible School student years ago. Each Friday night we had a missionary speaker. It was the first in-depth exposure I had had to missions. Leaving the service week after week, I would bypass the snack bar and go to my room. Soon I was on my knees and my heart cried out, "Lord, I know I fit into this mission scene somewhere. Show me where!" At the same time I reasoned (and Satan doubtlessly encouraged me in it), "You, a missionary? You've never been farther from home by yourself than 60 miles. You, crossing an ocean? You who so dreads speaking before people, you being a missionary speaker?"
But what mattered most to me was finding and doing God's will. Although my heart nearly failed me time and again, by the grace and strength of God, after a few years I was serving Him overseas. In a few more years He led me to Herald of His Coming. Here I have been privileged to help lift up the name of Jesus and to herald His second coming to many countries of the world.
Young Hearts for God
Among the Herald of His Coming readers are precious young people, whose tender hearts are open to the Herald messages. A sixteen year old girl in Indiana who reads the Herald coming to her mother writes: "I want to thank you for the January 1997 issue. I have never found it easy to come before God in prayer. But the article on praying boldly encouraged me. I now realize the Lord wants me to have a victorious life. He is willing to listen and to answer my prayer, that I may bear much fruit. I have also been praying that I might be filled with the Holy Spirit. I know that it is His desire that I should be filled...The Lord has reminded me that He loves a cheerful giver. I have enclosed a small gift...."
A letter from Minnesota says, "I am a 14-year-old preacher of the Gospel. This week I read the article entitled, 'World Evangelism--It Can Be Done!' (December 1996 Herald of His Coming.) It thrilled me and inspired me. I heard God's voice as I read. I have responded to God's call! I told Him, 'Here am I, send me!' I have dedicated my whole life to the sacred work of an Evangelist! I have not written a long letter, but I truly mean everything that I have said. With God's help, in the Divine Power of the Holy Spirit, I will bring the Gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ to the lost..."
A nineteen-year-old girl who is a student in a Bible Institute in this country, visited her missionary family in the West Indies during the holidays, and read the January Herald. She was familiar with the Herald of His Coming because her father had read to the family from time to time from it during family Bible study time. She writes:
"We just received the January issue here at home, and I read it this morning. The emphasis on the Holy Spirit's power (Spirit-filled life) was exactly what I needed to read at this time in my life...I feel like this issue was written just for me! The Lord knows what is going on in my mind and heart, and I believe that it was His timing for me to read the Herald today of all days. I would like to request to receive Herald of His Coming every month at my school address....I am enclosing an offering for your ministry and would also like to request Operation World by Patrick Johnstone...."
These letters from young people thrill our hearts! A host of young readers overseas are likewise responsive. Readers, as we sow the Gospel seed into young hearts and lives like these, who knows what God will accomplish? Oh, precious young people, hold back nothing from God! Invest your life for Him! You'll not be sorry.
And parents, hold back not even the treasure of your sons and daughters from God. Yes, the price to pay is great. But think of Calvary--costly, costly Calvary, where God gave His Son. Encourage your young people to obey God. Many of us will testify that had it not been for the caring and counseling and prayers of our mature friends and family, we would have fallen by the wayside in our youth. How much better to entrust our young people to the hands of our trustworthy God who loves them best of all, than to lose them to the vanities of this world or to worse things. If our hearts must bleed, remember Calvary, and the glorious afterward.
We need the wisdom of God in order not to put a stumblingblock in the path of young people set on obeying God. Maybe our zeal has waned with our strength through the years. It may seem to us that their zeal is outrunning their wisdom. Let's give them all the help we can, and take care not to wreck something good God is doing but hasn't had opportunity yet to complete. They are safe in His hands, even as we were in our immature days. Might we hedge them around with fervent prayers of faith.
It will take "sweat, blood and tears"--and death for some--to finish what God wants to do in this world in our hour. Then He will send His Son again to accomplish the ultimate in His program for this age. God forbid that we hold anything back that He asks from us. We must obtain grace to be obedient and to give all. God is more than willing to bestow that grace upon us if we will ask.
How thankful we are for you friends giving freely of your gifts and your prayers, in order that Herald of His Coming might continue to go forth. Will you please join us now for the requests which follow? We thank you, in Jesus' Name.