Becoming Extraordinary Ministers

If a minister will take heed to himself and to the doctrine, and continue to do so until he dies or is translated, then he shall save himself and them that hear him.

CARLYLE B. HAYNES, President of the Michigan Conference

To a young minister Paul wrote, "Take heed theyself and thy doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." There is no vagueness in that. It is quite plain. There is no possibility of mistak­ing its logic. He that runs may read and understand. If a minister will take heed to himself and to the doctrine, and continue to do so until he dies or is translated, then he shall save himself and them that hear him. That is, he shall, in the best possible sense, be surely and widely successful, he shall ac­complish the great object of his ministry, he shall be instrumental in saving many of those to whom he preaches, and he shall secure for himself a mansion in the everlasting kingdom.

Now multiply the result of a single devoted minister's work by the number of all the work­ers in the closing movement of the gospel. Everywhere there will then be success, ad­vancement, efficiency, salvation, an abundant harvest of souls, with this vast and incalcul­able amount of talent enlisted and everlast­ingly pledged to the finishing of God's work among men. It would constitute an influence as strong as the breath of Omnipotence, such as no former age has ever witnessed, sweep­ing in every direction through the world.

Prayer—the prayer which prevails—would rise every day and night to reach the ear of God, constituting such a cloud of incense ever gathering, enlarging, deepening, and tower­ing heavenward, as never before rolled up be­fore the mercy seat. There would be an in­finite faithfulness, an unwavering devotion, an intense energy, until nothing could withstand its mighty and unyielding influence. Heaven and earth would meet, God going before His people, His Spirit breathing holy whisper­ings.

The watchmen of God, forgetful of their petty differences, would see eye to eye, rejoic­ing in each other's labors and successes, join­ing hands for a single object, increasing and enlarging a hundredfold the mighty power of the churches. Great and effectual doors would open in every direction, with thousands and tens of thousands coming to a knowledge of the truth for today.

The work finished, the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ. The dominion of the kingdom under the whole heaven is given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. The meek inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace, with none to hurt or destroy in all God's holy mountain. With such possibilities as these before us, with the strong admonitions and beseechings of God urging us onward, with His promises to strengthen and cheer us, who among us will fail to rise and strive for this great and glorious consumma­tion? Who will not rather, with animated earnestness and zeal, fix his eye on the utmost efficiency possible? Turning away from all that heretofore has held him back, abandoning the pursuits which have weakened his efforts in God's holy cause, he will set his face to be such a man as God, through His good Spirit, can make him.

The Spirit of the Lord may be upon the minister of Christ today as it was upon his Master. And under the influence of this bap­tism, with deep and protracted searchings of the Scriptures, he will awake and stand erect, his soul rekindled, his heart warm with holy fire. He will feel a strong and divine com­pulsion urging him forward and upward. He will be ready to run through a troop and leap over a wall. He will be girded to chase a thousand. The past is forgotten, the goal is before him, and he presses toward the mark. His movements will be strong and spirited and definite, his step firm and elastic, his eye steady, his voice decided. He has become more than an ordinary man, for he is strik­ing for a great object, one that absorbs his being. He has caught the spirit of the closing message and the last call of God. The "hand of the Lord" is upon him.

He will be rigidly parsimonious of his time. Hours and moments will be to him of more value than gold. He will be systematic. Each item will have its place, each hour its work. His diligence will be untiring and intense. He will give attendance to reading, to ex­hortation, to doctrine. He will make full proof of his ministry. He will meditate upon these things and will give himself wholly to them. He will preach the Word, and be instant in season and out of season.

The extraordinary minister of God will take Jesus as his supreme example. He will think of Him going through all the villages and cities, teaching and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people. He will also consider Paul, who ceased not to warn every man day and night with tears, and who fully preached the gospel of Christ from Jerusalem round about to Illyricum, reaching in a life­time of amazing ministry Syria, Phenicia, Arabia, Cilicia, Pamphylia, Pisidia, Lycaonia, Galatia, Pontus, Paphlagonia, Phrygia, Caria, Lycia, Ionia, Lydia, Thrace, Macedonia, Thes­salonica, and Achaia, besides the islands of Cyprus and Crete.

The examples of men of God in later times will move him to intense industry. He will think of Calvin, who, although his body was lean and worn and spent and wearied, never­theless read no less than three divinity lectures every week of the year, and preached every day, every other week. Thus annually he delivered 156 lectures and 183 sermons, and kept it up year after year. Every Thursday he sat in the presbytery; every Friday he ex­plained difficult texts to ministers, solving a thousand doubts and questions proposed to him by various churches and pastors. Over and above all these employments, he brought out some great volume on theology each year, and continued to drive his prodigious indus­try right into the very midst of his dying illness.

He will think also of Wesley, who, as a messenger of God's grace, traveled in every direction through the British Isles, preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ to multi­tudes; who studied, and labored, and prayed, to an extent doubtless unparalleled in the history of mankind; who continued his labors from the commencement of manhood until long after fourscore years had bleached to snowy whiteness his flowing locks; who, for more than half a century, rose at four in the morning, preached two to five times a day, and traveled annually over four thousand miles; who, in addition to all his travels and preaching, wrote what would require an ordi­nary lifetime to read; and who, by his in­domitable industry, great talents, and sublime devotion, exerted upon the people of his time an influence far-reaching and incalculable.

As the minister of today thinks on such examples as these, considering the great work to be done and the few years in which it is to be accomplished, he will never, never be idle. Whatsoever his hands find to do, he will do it with his might.

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CARLYLE B. HAYNES, President of the Michigan Conference

June 1940

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