Items For Prayer And Praise
By Lois J. Stucky
The articles in this issue of Herald of His Coming ought to stir within us anew a healthy fear of God. In His hand is the eternal destiny of our souls. He is to be honored and obeyed, cost what it may. We must meet His conditions and not devise a way of our own. Our way no doubt is less demanding – but destructive in the end.
We must take God seriously about sin and about basic matters concerning our salvation. We must give Him time in our lives to speak to us that we be not deceived. We must give Him a listening ear – an ear not too dulled by sounds of this world to hear His voice. If something else is usurping too much of our time, if something else is filling our ear and occupying our mind, we must cut it off! Christ advises this of things which seem even as essential as a hand or a foot (Matt. 5:29-30). The soul’s eternal destiny is at stake!
God is wonderfully long-suffering with those who struggle to take their cross when it is painful to do so, or when the adjusting to it is not done gracefully or easily or quickly. But He does not spare for our crying (Prov. 19:18). He is a faithful Father bringing many sons unto glory. If we fall beneath our cross, if we lie there for a while in self-pity and tears, He bears with us. Oh, the grace and mercy and goodness of God! But the call is always to those who would follow His Son – Arise! “Let him take up his cross and follow….” He has provided grace and strength for this.
God deals with us individually and patiently. But we never dare presume on this goodness. The fact remains: God hates sin! (Prov. 6:16-19; 8:13; Psa. 45:7). He hates selfishness, which is a form of sin. He has made provision through Christ that we may be saved from sin. We must take this seriously. We must take it seriously not only for ourselves but when dealing with others.
We might be braver to spare not ourselves than to spare not those we love. We may be so eager to see ones we love come to Jesus, we may be so sympathetic to them in the troubles and problems they are encountering, we may be so afraid that they will not come if we hold to the Biblical standard – that we are tempted to make it easier than God does. God forbid that we make it harder, that we add to the weight. But never dare we make it lighter than God makes it.
Letters come to us from ones in prison. One after the other has written that he or she is thankful they were ever put there. It was when they were in a place of loneliness, hopelessness, regret, remorse – it was when they had time to face their sin, to humbly confess it as sin, to repent of it, to turn to Jesus – that they found peace. They found a life in prison far better than a life of sin outside prison walls would be. God did not spare. He let them “hit bottom.” It was the quickest and best and only way some would come no doubt.
Some of us deal with souls on the other hand whose circumstances are very favorable and their lives very respectable. Only the power of God will enable them to face sin in their lives and confess that they need a Savior. What a serious matter to deal with souls! Falseness, because of softening sin or lightening conditions, could send them straight to a Christless eternity.
As we send this issue of Herald of His Coming around the world, we want to be true to the souls of readers. If any are trusting in a false hope, they need to see that. Please pray with us for the messages in this issue that they will get into the hands of any whose hope is built on sinking sand, those who have believed a false gospel and are living a hypocritical life. Let us earnestly pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten and bring to true salvation.