ALL ABOARD!—A timetable is largely valueless apart from the medium of transportation available. It is simply a time schedule, showing the sequence of places to be passed and the time of passing. One may master this listed sequence of distances, populations, altitudes, and scenery—and never move a rod toward his destination. Such a theoretical study of the road and the features of the journey, as described, may be very intriguing to the student and impressive to the audience. But one must be aboard the means of transportation if he is to reach his destination at the end of the road. It is the provisions of the everlasting gospel that alone Will transport us to the kingdom. Only the gospel saves, not knowledge of the prophetic outlines or the doctrines. The prophetic schedule simply outlines the progressive enactment of the plan of redemption, now drawing toward its climax, or destination. Carrying our timetable with us, let us be sure that we and our hearers are on board the gospel train. All aboard!
COURTESY!—When the congregation of another denomination seek to rent one of our churches for a few weeks or months, in a time of need, should we not as a matter of common Christian courtesy, and in application of the golden rule, respond to their appeal? How can we ask for a similar favor to meet our own needs—as we frequently do—and refuse others a like accommodation? Let us be consistent. Let us be kind and Christian, and reciprocate. Some, we fear, have been harsh and unsympathetic and aloof, thinking they are upholding some principle. Instead, they are simply disclosing a wrong concept and exhibiting a wrong spirit.
OUT OF STEP!--The persistency with which some men argue for their set opinions would be amusing if not so tragic. The complacency with which such individuals regard their own cherished views, which are rather uniformly out of harmony with the experience of our wisest and most able leaders, should give them serious pause. Instead, they march serenely on, complaining that the brethren are largely out of step with them. Seriously. brother, if you find yourself so constantly at variance with the views of the most competent men in our yanks, whose success is commonly recognized in their respective fields, would it not be the part of wisdom to swing into step with them (just as an experiment), and see whether the march to the kingdom would not be a bit more pleasant and harmonious? The "right, left" of the march is not necessarily regimentation; it is just good sense in any united endeavor. In the army of the Lord there needs to be unity and close cooperation. There must be a common understanding and objective. There should be respect for the experience of lieutenants, captains, majors, colonels, and generals; and there should be harmony and willingness to adjust on the part of the men in the ranks. To succeed together, we should carefully follow the plans of those appointed to lead.
YOUTH!—Have faith in our Advent youth. Make friends with them. Join them in wholesome play and recreation. Guide them tactfully, train them patiently, counsel 'them faithfully. Challenge them to all-out consecration and service for God. Appeal to the heroic in them. Present before them the call to do exploits for God and the church. They will rise to the challenge of the heroic. In it all, be sure of your example and be consistent in life before them. Youth stumbles over inconsistency and detests hypocrisy. Yoke them up with you in ventures of service and sacrifice. Inspire them to do and to dare. They are our greatest resource, and constitute the best possible investment of time and effort.
DRAMATIZE!—Make truth live. Give it reality. Clothe it with something tangible, by means of picture, symbol, sound, or reproduction, as Christ did with His many parables and as the Old Testament prophets did with their similes and enactments. Dramatize your presentation with wholesome devices—devices that will grip the imagination, drive truth home, and stir the hearer to action. We have used slides, dissolving views, charts, diagrams, posters, cutout symbols. Why not try life-size papier-mâché beast symbols? They would be tremendously effective. In presenting the seven trumpets, why not have a hidden trumpeter sound forth a progressive series of fanfares, with the sounding of each trumpet ? If well done the effect would be profound, and would never be forgotten. It calls, however, for skillful synchronizing. And it likewise calls for messages out of the usual order, commensurate with such a dramatic setting. But nothing can take the place of sincere, earnest, powerful preaching of the Word, enforced by the Spirit of God and enhanced by picture, symbol, or sound effect.
L. E. F.