We hear the newsboys shout, "Extra! Extra!" and we pull over to the curb to find out the latest news. Radio's most popular feature is the news. We need to capitalize upon the news in prophetic settings in our evangelistic meetings. In my last effort in Kansas City I tried a little plan that proved very valuable from many angles in an evangelistic campaign. By invitation of the Ministry I here present this plan.
All week I advertised the special Friday night "News X Ray," which came just before the evangelistic sermon at the hall: This news review was not given over the radio. It was a rapid fifteen-minute news review of the week, in prophetic setting. Friday night is the natural time to have this. Not only is it the week's end, but the national news magazines have just come out.
Another reason for having the News X Ray on Friday evening is that more of our own people attend that night, and they, too, need to be kept aware of the times and alert to the deeper significance of world events. This feature serves to bring out an increasingly large attendance of our own people, as well as those not of our faith.
All through the week I clipped out valuable newspaper items and headlines and sometimes pictures which could be described from the platform. If you are using this feature, many people will bring you clippings which they have noticed in magazines and papers, as they become interested in your News X Ray. You will, of course, clip out the best from the national weekly magazines or from such sources as The Watchman and Signs of the Times. By Friday you will have a wealth of interesting material.
Friday afternoon you should sort these, according to content, into several piles, such as (a) The War in Asia; (b) Weapons of Destruction and Ruthless Slaughter; (c) Famines, Pestilences, Earthquakes; (d) Threats to Personal and Religious Liberty in America (in wartime this section must be wisely and carefully handled) ; (e) Inventions, Increase of Knowledge, Speed, etc.; (f) Lovers of Pleasure Mote Than Lovers of God; (g) Without Natural Affection, Fierce; (h) The Churches Grasping for State Power or Federation; (1) Human Interest Stories and Special Pictures, from which you can make a heart appeal as a climax to your news review (such as a father carrying his boy down a ladder from a burning).
Write these, or other suitable headings, on slips of paper and fasten each heading with the related news clippings. Each Friday night you will probably have from five to eight group headings, with perhaps two to ten news items, or headlines, under each heading.
Friday evening at seventy-thirty sharp you go onto the platform with your sheaf of clippings and your Bible. With no preliminaries, begin the rapid news review immediately. News and speed go together. This fifteen-minute period must cover a week of news, so move rapidly ! Take section "A" and quickly read the headlines with a few words about each event or article. Quickly turn to, or quote, a passage of Scripture which is appropriate from a prophetic angle or from the viewpoint of admonition. When your fifteen minutes is up, you will wish you could have a half hour, and so should the audience
As you review the signs of the times in the light of Bible admonition and prophecy, a most solemn spirit will fill the room just before your sermon, which comes after a few minutes of song following the News X Ray. (May I suggest that if you are not holding evangelistic meetings, this feature can be put on before the prayer meeting and will surprisingly increase the attendance.)
Avoid the role of prognosticator or woddly wise commentator. Rather, accept the challenge of your Commander, who knows the news in advance: "I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace." And while the world capitalizes on the news, our Counselor pleads, "Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence."