Our Calling And Opportunity
By Lois J. Stucky (1928 – 2014)
“This generation of Christians is writing the final chapter of the church’s history here on earth.” My attention was arrested by the foregoing statement which I read recently. I am not repeating this statement as my positive declaration, for it is not given us to know beforehand which will be the final generation when Christ returns. But what struck me was the undeniable fact that this generation of Christians is writing a chapter in the “History of the Church through the Ages.” What will it be when our chapter is opened for all of the ages to see? Will our generation have the joy of hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servants”? Or will we be ashamed, or perhaps even appalled that we failed to live up to our calling and opportunities? Am I personally living up to my calling and my opportunities, I asked myself as I thought upon this.
How blessed it would be if this generation could write a revival chapter – a chapter of the power and presence of God being poured out in greatest measure – preparing a church “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing!” – a church worthy to meet the Heavenly Bridegroom, a church that has gathered a vast harvest of souls into the heavenly kingdom!
Ephesians 5:25-27 says, “...Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
This was not just the Apostle Paul’s fond hope, but it tells what is the Father’s good pleasure. This will not happen automatically or through wishful thinking. It will take great sanctifying workings of the Holy Spirit. It will take diligent walking in the light of God’s Word. It will take Spirit-filled living and witnessing. It will take “enormous tides of prayer.”
Although we may or may not be the final generation before Jesus comes, we are surely a generation with a high and holy calling and with remarkable opportunities. Think of the generation that was living when Jesus Christ came down to earth from heaven. The very Son of God was in their midst! The Creator of the earth walked among them! The One who existed before there was time opened His heart to them, and invited them to come to Him and receive eternal life! Yet many were rebellious and unbelieving; they turned back and followed not after Him. How could they be so blind, we question. How could they make so foolish, so tragic a mistake? They did not know nor honor the hour of their visitation (Luke 19:44), and they broke the heart and drew the strong crying of the divine Visitor among them because of it.
Christians, let not us of this generation overlook the significance of our hour. It is an hour of opportunity for the greatest move of God the world has ever seen. True, there are evils and terrorism and perils abounding and increasing the world around. But in spite of it all, the Gospel is speeding into all the world as never in the past, using many means of modern technology to hasten the process along, including the outreach of ministries such Campus Crusade for Christ (the JESUS Film) and Gospel Recordings, as well as increased Bible translation.
Tract companies are printing and sending out millions of tracts, shipping them by large containers to countries around the world. Christian radio and TV are continually presenting broadcasts in additional languages, reaching into places which are largely inaccessible by other means. Then there is the devoted army of individual missionaries whose lives and lips tell forth the Gospel often at great sacrifice and risk.
Behind all of this is more than human ingenuity. Oh, the wonderworking heart and hand of God! How can we but bow in adoration and praise before Him, thankful for His love for ALL THE WORLD and for the numbers of souls He is calling into His kingdom in this hour. God has much in place! His plan is progressing. What we must plead for is that heaven’s flame will descend in power and set all this noble effort that He has inspired afire with His presence and power! Revival in the church will enhance her labors and send forth more laborers to reap most plentifully, most abundantly, even copiously and in overflowing measure! God is not willing that any should perish. We cannot expect too largely!
Oh, what an hour of opportunity! God will bless to the fullness of our measure of faith and obedience. How we need to be people of faith and obedience! “All for Jesus!”