The Church Should Be On Its Knees
By A. M. Hills
In an age of universal corruption, when every precept of the moral law was violated almost without conscience, the church of Christ was born.
The early disciples had no wealth, no social position, no prestige, no help from established institutions. They were in themselves a despised and feeble folk, without influence, without skill, without education, without a New Testament, or even the Old Testament, in the hands of the people, without any Christian literature, or a single Christian house of worship.
Pomp, power, custom and public sentiment were against them. They were reproached, reviled, persecuted, and subjected to exile and death.
But those early Christians had the help of an indwelling Savior, and the anointing of the Holy Ghost, and with that equipment they faced a hostile world and all the malignant powers of darkness, and conquered!
Within seventy years, according to the smallest estimate, there were half a million followers of Jesus, and some authorities affirm that there were a quarter of a million in the province of Babylon alone. In other words, with Holy Spirit anointing upon them, they increased more than four thousand fold in threescore years.
Is it too much to say or believe that if the Protestant churches and ministry had a similar anointing of Holy Ghost power today, we would take the world for Christ in ten years?
We have everything desirable for doing Christian work, but the divine enduement of Holy Spirit power. But without that, alas, how feeble, comparatively, when measured by that first century, are Christian triumphs!
Charles Spurgeon said, “If we do not have the Spirit of God, it were better to shut the churches, to nail up the doors, to put a black cross on them, and say, ‘God have mercy on us!’ If you ministers have not the Spirit of God, you had better not preach, and you people had better stay at home. I think I speak not too strongly when I say that a church in the land without the Spirit of God is rather a curse than a blessing.”
“How presumptuous for us,” declared Evangelist S. A. Keen, “to attempt our mission without the anointing, when Jesus did not venture to enter upon His without the aid of the Spirit! (Luke 3:21-22). How careful He was to guard His disciples against venturing to their mission – even after their commission was given, and the gospel message all ready for the mouth of its heralds – without the anointing of the Holy Ghost! He said, ‘…Tarry…until ye be endued with power from on high’ (Luke 24:49). Yet how many ministers, teachers, missionaries, evangelists, and workers have gone to their mission without this power to achieve it!
“The great blunder of the church today is that so many are attempting to do God’s work, and to save souls without the power of the Holy Ghost. Then we wonder why, for so much giving and doing and going, there is so little fruit and so little salvation.
“If the column of the church would halt a few moments, get on its knees, look up, and receive the Holy Ghost, without stopping long enough to go into camp, it would push on the campaign so successfully that it would be the surprise of this century.”
Among churches, among Christians, among God’s people everywhere – there is a great need, of such a personal baptism of the Holy Ghost as shall bring purity and power to the churches and to the ministry!
Truly, something is needed besides church organization and machinery, and culture, and oratory.
The church should be on its knees in humble supplication for the mercy of God and for the baptism with the Holy Ghost!