These well-worn words still demand our attention. They challenge us as ministers of the gospel to do all within our power to hasten the finishing of our great task, enlightening those in darkness.
For years we have labored under an illusion in our evangelistic and radio ministry as far as identifying our organization is concerned. There are many pros and cons as to whether we shall or shall not identify our program as Seventh-day Adventist. Perhaps some of my fellow workers are bracing themselves to defend their position. However, I beg of you to relax and forget that this is a controversial subject, and at least be neutral as you read this —one man's opinion.
Our Lutheran friends are doing a large work through the radio in the Lutheran Hour. One new feature they are employing is their church emblem, with the cross on it, and the words "The Church of the Lutheran Hour." This appears in a conspicuous place on each Lutheran church building. When I think of our own radio work in comparison with the Lutheran Hour, the Catholic Hour, and similar religious programs, it seems to me that we are at the rear instead of the forefront, where we ought to be. Are we too conservative? Is it not time to attempt greater things for God?
The other day I was reading of John Milicz, called the Wycliffe of the Bohemian church, who died in 1374. This former secretary to Charles IV was a forerunner of Huss, who believed that the antichrist already existed in his day. He looked for the Second Advent, and was a powerful preacher, preaching as often as five times a day. In 1367 he went to Rome. While visiting St. Peter's he posted on the door a placard reading, "The Antichrist is come; he has his seat in the church." Needless to say, he was imprisoned, but he was a man of conviction and put his conviction into action.
I believe we must use good judgment and tact. The Lord does not desire that we should do anything that would hinder the preaching of the gospel. But I do believe that we are duty bound under God to let men know the truth, for the truth shall make them free.
If we believe that the end is just upon us, as some of the most brilliant minds in the world believe, we need now—not tomorrow, but now —to preach this gospel in the most winsome way through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The name Adventist stands in high repute in almost every section of our country. It is time—yes, high time and past time—to capitalize on our good name. Men need to know when they listen to our radio broadcast that it is a Seventh-day Adventist program. If they know it, they will listen and hear what is said, because they believe and have confidence in the speaker and the organization which he represents.
When I moved to Orlando we decided to call our broadcast, "The Adventist Hour." Identifying it as such is greatly appreciated by our own people. Recently one brother said, "The greatest thing you have done in your program is to call it The Adventist Hour."
Our mail response has been far above average in comparison to other broadcasts I have conducted or have been connected with. A gratifying number of requests have come for our book offer, considering that those who respond know it to be Adventist literature.
We feel that these people who intelligently choose to write for literature, and especially the Bible course, are excellent prospects for this truth, because they know they are enrolling in a course which will teach them the doctrines of the Bible and the Adventist Church.
You say, "I live in a prejudiced community." If so, then by all means identify yourself and break down that prejudice, build good will and win souls for this cause. I believe the hour has come to strike telling blows for God. Souls are going down to Christless graves. We need to man the lifeboats and "rescue the perishing." You know the story of the man who cried for a larger boat to save perishing souls. Let us use the larger lifeboat. Tell the people who we are. They will listen. Give them the love of Christ in your gospel or doctrinal message over the radio, and bring them to the foot of the cross. It will make all the difference in the world if your listeners know who you are.
Our Catholic friends have two hundred local broadcasts in America, and these are known as Catholic programs. We have over a hundred. Think what a wave of influence we would have in America if a hundred local broadcasts were known as The Adventist Hour. Let us lift high the banner of Jesus Christ in our radio programs. Pray daily for His blessing, and success will come to us. Men will be drawn to the Saviour through identifying ourselves in this late hour—almost the end of time—as The Adventist Hour.