Thursday, October 06, 2011

Revival and Reformation--What Does Work?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
As the days go by fear is becoming heightened. It is true that natural and man-made disasters are becoming more frequent; wickedness in high places is more publicized, and morality in general is discredited; the "signs" are unmistakable--"get ready," the end is near! And it is near; and yes, the signs are clear. But can fear and egocentric concern produce the revival and reformation that are needed? All through sacred history we read how fear never produced lasting revivals.

What does work?

The answer: the gospel. The reason? It reaches human hearts; it motivates as fear can never do. A wise writer said long ago that when Christ approaches, He walks on a path of velvet lest His footsteps awaken fears when only the message of His love can motivate truly.

We are at present in a little "tarrying time" when each of us is being tested to see how deep and thorough is our heart-appreciation of that much more abounding grace of Christ. Nothing short of that will enable any of us to endure the trials that all of us know will surely come before the end. In the time of the great cosmic Day of Atonement, God's people must have a far clearer understanding of the gospel than any previous generation have ever been able to comprehend. This does not mean that God has withheld from previous generations that clearer understanding--He has never withheld it from anyone. The truth is simply that no previous generation were ever able to comprehend it.

You don't withhold from a flower girl at the Wedding the privilege of being a bride; she is just not ready for it. But the time must come when she grows up. Ephesians 4:14-16 tells us that the growing up process is "speaking the truth in love [agape]," turning aside from "every [false] wind of doctrine." The Good News is that the heavenly High Priest is more than ready to "shed abroad in our hearts" that precious gift of agape (Rom. 5:5). And the agape will cast out fear (1 John 4:18).

--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 7, 1999.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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