To MEN who speak for God, a sense of certainty is a necessity. Those who lack it show it. Oddly, it is revealed by twin behavioral opposites, pomposity and/or timidity. The man on a mission for God will display the depth of his convictions by his manner in the pulpit and out. The shallow soul will either give the trumpet an uncertain sound or reveal his insecurity with an ear-splitting blast. Heaven-born assurance provides a happy balance.
There is a threefold certainty without which the man of God cannot minister effectively: (1) Certainty of his message, (2) certainty of the divine origin of the movement, (3) certainty of his individual calling to represent it.
Certainty of his message, absolute confidence that it is very truth, that it is the revelation of God, is the meaning here. Also, that it will accomplish its mission in human hearts when preached with the power of the Holy Spirit. This, one must believe with all his heart. A man should not preach what he does not believe.
Only a church of divine origin is worthy of our lives. It must be doctrinally sound while performing the threefold mission of our Lord, namely, ministering to the spiritual, mental, and physical needs of mankind, it being recognized that its earthly leaders are human even as we are.
Conviction of personal involvement is no less important. Dealing with the great God is no light matter. In speaking for Him, one must be sure that he has heard from Him. Moses could testify to this. Can you? Earnest heart-to-heart confrontation with Christ is our deepest need. Through prayer and Bible study, this is our privilege. Buttress this with daily reading of the Testimonies to the Church, and mere surface conviction will become bedrock faith.
E. E. C.
As this issue goes to press the world is paying homage to the power of science, which has just put two more men into space. These astronauts joined their spacecraft to another, which had been fired about an hour and a half earlier—a truly marvelous accomplishment. All this reminds us of man's many amazing recent discoveries, including his discovery of the power in the atom. While we salute all who have had a part in making possible this great achievement, and we would not detract from its importance, yet we wonder why so much homage is paid to the men of science and so little to the God of science, who created the power hidden within the atom. While this power is tremendous, we must never forget that the greatest power on earth is the power of prayer.
Strange that with such a power at our call so many seem to pass it by. Strange too, that we can become so enamored with the power of the atom and yet so casual concerning the power of prayer. Men are conquering space because highly trained minds have given themselves to the study of mathematics, physics, and related areas. But the greatest science of all is the science of soul winning. If as ministers, we spent even one tenth of the time it takes to master physics in the more urgent study of how to master the science of prayer and soul winning we would see marvelous things accomplished. It seems so easy for a minister to become preoccupied with programs and paraphernalia, that he has little time and less inclination for real prayer. We say this, not in the spirit of criticism, but with deep regret. The great soul winners of the past have been men and women whose lives were saturated in the spirit of prayer. For workers of this caliber the church is languishing and the world is waiting. "The creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God" (Rom. 8:19, R.S.V.).
R. A. A.
MEN have for centuries rebelled against the existence, power, and authority of God. At first, this was the work of atheists, sinners, and disgruntled apostates. Increasingly of late, these timeworn detractions couched in theological terminology are being voiced by a highly vocal clergy. The "falling away" predicted by the apostle is under way in earnest.
Having accepted a modified form of evolution (the "ages" theory of Creation), some men have in effect denied the power of God to create the world in six literal days—as indeed He said He did. Compounding this calamity, but a natural consequence thereof, comes the horrendous preachment that the Ten Commandments are no longer binding and that God has ruled this world since the cross with a "lawless grace." Having thus stripped love of all requirement—they have conditioned the world for the "new" situational morality, which does indeed ask, "What does the love of God require of me in this situation?" but denies the right of the Bible to answer. They insist that the answer must come from within. Some source!
And now we are informed by a group of learned professors that God is dead. "The darkness deepens." What an opportunity is ours to assert for any and all to hear, that (1) God's power is absolute; (2) His law is binding; and (3) He is alive now and forevermore! Amen.
E. E. C.