More than 150 evangelistic workers, with some of their wives, have just concluded a most inspiring evangelistic council at Watford, on the outskirts of London, England. It was a real privilege to be permitted to hold such a gathering under present war conditions. We have come face to face with some new problems in our evangelistic work, and these, added to the ever-present difficulty of conservatism, made us feel that any effort and expense would be justified in getting together for prayerful and united study.
Those responsible for the council were both surprised and gratified that the meetings, so far as united decisions on matters of soul winning were concerned, went even beyond their plans and expectations. The greatest thing that happened was that the workers themselves suggested that we seek the Lord for a net gain of not less than ten per cent in our membership for the year 1942. That will not sound extraordinary to American ears, because that is the action already taken in America and other countries. When, however, that gain is translated into actual figures here in Britain, it represents in soul winning something ten times larger than we have ever known in the history of the British Union Conference. We all feel very strongly that—
"There is before the church the dawn of a bright, glorious day, if she will put on the robe of Christ's righteousness, withdrawing from all allegiance to the world."—"Testimonies,' Vol. VIII, pp. 11, 12. "If she will honor the Lord God of Israel, there is no power that can stand against her."—/d., p.
"The Lord lives and reigns. Soon He will arise in majesty to shake terribly the earth. A special message Is now to be borne, a message that will pierce the spiritual darkness and convict and convert souls. . . . We must now be terribly in earnest. . . . We have no time for dwelling on matters that are of no importance. Our time should be given to proclaiming the last message of mercy to a guilty world."—Id., p. 36.
In the strength of that conviction, and believing that the Holy Spirit can come only upon those who have already placed their all upon the altar of service, we now go forward to work with much more fervor, praying to be accompanied by the Holy Spirit in much greater measure as the kingdom of God approaches. To be sure, our problems are legion, but we do not expect to be released from them until the Lord comes. Obstacles, after all, "are the Lord's chosen methods of discipline and His appointed conditions of success."—"Ministry of Healing," p. 471. We expect the Lord to take us through these problems once we have made the determination to go forward toward them.
We had, of course, drawn up an agenda that confined itself largely to wartime problems. The subjects were presented by various speakers in the form of well-prepared extempore addresses, followed by free discussion. No attempt was made to confine the meetings to predetermined decisions. The plan amply rewarded us, for in the discussions as well as in the Bible study and devotional periods, there was unusual freedom and a great blessing. We have now a fine body of young workers who are beginning to produce results, and altogether it looks as though, despite the international horizon, the Lord is leading us on to larger things. Any man who does not think in terms of these larger things will unquestionably be left behind the onward marching armies of the Lord. We read in "The Great Controversy :"
"The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel, are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close."—Pages 611, 612.
The most important decision made by each worker was that a specific and large goal in soul winning would be taken before the Lord as the great objective of his life during 1942. The Lord is leading us onward to break through conservatism, war problems, indifference, lethargy, and a thousand other things that Satan has thrown up to obstruct the armies of Israel.
"He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat,
He is sifting out the souls of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him, be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on."