We are hemorrhaging. In many places assemblies are dwindling. Families and generations of young people are being lost to the world or a more casual pathway of testimony. Materialism, rationalism, secularism, and all its many offspring not only control the minds of the unsaved, but subtly and skillfully influence our thinking. We are at a crisis: will our generation, or the next, be pallbearers for assembly testimony?
The article on the Fallacy of Speculation reminds us that we are dealing with a world which will accept anything but the unthinkable possibility of God, eternity, Christ, and accountability. Revival will not come through apologetics or well-reasoned arguments. While these have their value, true spiritual blessing is the province alone of the Spirit of God.
It is noteworthy that this issue of Truth and Tidings blends a number of threads, all of which are vital if we are to see God move in our day. Tom Bentleys article, Prayers of the Apostle, reminds us of a man of prayer. This is where all true blessing begins. It is not that prayer buys us blessing, but that prayer expresses our unworthiness and need. The character of the sons of the kingdom is defined by being "poor in spirit" (Mat 5:3). Albert Hulls challenging article, Revival!, shows the cost which must be faced and paid if blessing is to be known.
The debuting short articles on methods for outreach written by John Nesbitt, From You Sounded Out, moves us from prayer to action. Our message is unchanging: "We preach Christ crucified." Our methods must be Scriptural. But within the principles of Scripture we should be seeking for what Paul referred to as, "If by any means ... " Nothing can replace the heralding of the gospel. Gospel series, tent series, concentrated periods of gospel preaching - these are all vital for the work of the Spirit of God in the consciences of men. But bridges will need to be built to the unsaved so that there will be souls to hear the gospel message.
The report on the new work in Panama by Ross Vanstone is a reminder that there are still new areas to be opened as well as older works to be strengthened. The need is for laborers!
Perhaps what should be the ultimate incentive for us all is what is contained in the beautiful teaching of the Peace Offering as presented in the article by our brother Flanigan. Gods great desire is to bring men into fellowship with Himself, not just into our assemblies (as wonderful as that would be). He desires to enjoy fellowship with His creatures and to have them - men and women of the twenty-first century - enjoying Him. We should covet and pray for revival because of what it means to Him!
May God grant us reviving in the midst of the years!