A Continuing Call for Revival and Evangelism

A year after the call the need still persists.

O.M.B. is managing editor of THE MINISTRY.

IT IS now a year since the appeal for revival, reformation, and evangelism came from our world leaders at the Autumn Council, October, 1966. Since then this call has been sounded again and again at divi­sion meetings, union conference sessions, conference workers' meetings, evangelistic councils and retreats, and through the vari­ous church journals, among them, THE MINISTRY.

This call has been re-emphasized at the Autumn Council session recently con­cluded. Our world leader, Robert H. Pier­son, has emphasized in his public declara­tions, in committee meetings, and in private conversations, that this emphasis on revival and evangelism is not a passing whim but one that must be held up con­tinually before the church until the work is done. There is to be no letup in its proc­lamation.

This note of urgency must grip the hearts of the working force of this denomi­nation all over the world. It must be the burden of administrators, pastors, evangel­ists, educators, colporteurs, Bible instruc­tors, departmental secretaries, institutional leaders—of God's workmen everywhere. If we do not have this burden, how can the multiplied thousands of our laymen be ex­pected to respond and do their important part in the finishing of the work? The words of the Old Testament prophet are still true, "Like people, like priest."

Fellow workers, are we doing all that we can to keep this urgent and most necessary call to revival and reformation before our people? As they listen to our preaching, observe our conduct, take note of our first concerns, are they led to believe that we mean business—that we have a genuine burden for revival and the finishing of the work? How can we let our people down at such an hour as this? Now, above all times in the history of our work, the leaders of God's people must rally to the call to per­sonal consecration and unparalleled dedi­cation to the task. Our people must see that we are deeply in earnest about this. They must sense in our lives a renewal of the power of the Holy Spirit and a deep longing for that experience that we as a people must have before the work is done.

The pastors of our churches are in many ways the key men in this program, as they are in most others. The pastor forms that vital link with the people. He it is who stands before them week after week. He it is who, more than any other, molds their thinking and their lives. This being so, the pastor is now faced with a unique oppor­tunity to bring to his flock, in a direct and personal way, the concern of the hour.

Would then that pastors everywhere fol­low through with this appeal as expressed by our world leaders—this concern for re­vival, for reformation, for an all-out evan­gelistic thrust that will see the work com­pleted. Let there be more sermons preached on the subjects of revival, reformation, the work of the Holy Spirit, the early and the latter rain, righteousness by faith, and the closing work of Jesus our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.

These messages may be presented as a series of Sabbath sermons, or may be made the basis for prayer meeting studies, but let them be presented. One very worth­while approach would be a series of studies of the revivals and reformations of the Bi­ble. They may be listed as follows:

1. The Reform of Samuel (1 Samuel 7) Prophets and Kings, pp. 590, 591.

2. The Reforms of Judah

a. Asa—reigned 41 years, c. 911-c. 869 B.c.; 1 Kings 15:11-14; 2 Chronicles 14-16; Prophets and Kings, pp. 110-113.

b. Jehoshaphat—reigned 25 years, c. 872-c. 848 B.C.; 1 Kings 22:1-5; 2 Chronicles 17-20; Prophets and Kings, pp. 190-203.

c. Hezekiah—reigned 29 years, 715­686 B.C.; 2 Kings 18-20; 2 Chronicles 29-32; Prophets and Kings., pp. 331­361, 392.

d. Josiah—reigned 31 years, c. 639­c. 609/08 B.c.; 2 Kings 22-23:29; 2 Chronicles 29-32; Prophets and Kings, pp. 384-406. Habakkuk and Zephaniah associated with him in the work of reform.

3. The Postexilic Reformation of Ezra and Nehemiah

Ezra 7:10; 8:21; 9, 10; Nehemiah 8:13; Prophets and Kings, pp. 618­678.

4. The Revival of Pentecost

Acts 1,-2; The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 35-56.

Passages for special study might well in­clude Selected Messages, book 1, pages 120­143; Testimonies to Ministers, pages 426­456 and 506-512; and Testimonies, volume 9, pages 11-29.

Other books that will prove useful are Heart-Cry for Revival, by Stephen F. 01-ford, Fleming H. Revell Company, 1962, 128 pages; and Revivals of the Old Testa­ment, by C. E. Autrey, Zondervan Publish­ing House, 1960, 160 pages.

There are many other books on the Holy Spirit and prayer that would prove helpful. However; let the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy be the principal sources.

Let each work in his own armor, but let the primary objective of the work of all of us be to seek most earnestly that latter rain experience for ourselves, for our people, and for our work around the world. Only then will Pentecost return to the church. Only then will the task be finished.

In the light of these words, the reader is invited to read with special care the article by Stan T. Leeder appearing on page 4 of this issue of THE MINISTRY. Also, be­ginning with the next issue, there will ap­pear in THE MINISTRY a series of articles by Dallas Youngs on "The Ministry of the Holy Spirit." Readers' comments are always welcome. Especially welcome will be the sharing of experiences of revival and evan­gelism that come as a result of special seeking after God.

O. M. B

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O.M.B. is managing editor of THE MINISTRY.

December 1967

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