October, 2011

Reflections on the Coming New Song

. . . Now let us look at this promised new song (from Revelation 14:3). We have seen that no man can learn it yet; still, we may know something about it, for it is to be the song of the redeemed. The condition of learning it is to be this–that a soul shall be “redeemed from the earth.” The song, then, must be the flower of the perfected redemption. It must be the triumph of the complete work of Christ. And so we can tell what will be some, at least, of the elements that make it up.

First, there will be in it the saint’s pure joy in the Savior’s glory. In the condition of sainthood that will come first. The soul will rejoice for Christ before it rejoices for itself. The first use it makes of its crown will be to cast it at His feet. It will test its harp by striking it to his praise. As the first cry of the successful child is that the father will be pleased, of the successful scholar that the teacher will be honored, of the successful soldier that his country will be saved, so the saved Christian’s first delight is not, as we are sometimes told, to find that he is safe, but to know that Christ has triumphed and is glorified.

And what will that glorification be? The ends of the earth shall have been gathered in. The enemies shall all have been subdued. Peace will brood like a great, deep, loving atmosphere over a whole harmonized creation. The plans of Eternity will be accomplished. The rounded and finished purposes of that wonderful Life and Death shall be all returned and held fast in the Savior’s hands. His work shall not have returned unto Him void, but shall have prospered to complete success in the thing whereto He sent it.

–Phillips Brooks (A sermon preached in 1867). This pastor-poet is the author of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

Reflections on Evangelism

“Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” – Colossians 4:5-6

The following quotations are from Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, available in our library:

Godliness requires that we discipline ourselves for the practice of evangelism.

I think the seriousness of evangelism is the main reason it frightens us. We realize that in talking with someone about Christ, heaven and hell are at stake.

If God does not use people like these – like us! – as His witnesses, there will be no human witnesses. Since there are no perfect people, there are no perfect witnesses.

We need to realize that sharing the gospel is successful evangelism. We ought to have an obsession for souls, and tearfully plead with God to see more people converted, but conversions are fruit that only God can give.
In this regard we are like the postal service. Success is measured by the careful and accurate delivery of the message, not by the response of the recipient.

Will you believe God can use your words in the salvation of others?