King's Business - 1965-06

T he apostle P aul , making a voyage from the teacup of himself into the ocean of God’s self, was a preacher who ransacked all Asia Minor—mauling its markets, stirring its synagogues, penetrating its pal­ aces, shaking cities, dynamiting prison walls with pre­ vailing prayer. In his daring missionary endeavour and Gospel preaching, he put out the altar fires of Diana, lit a Gospel lamp in the palaces of the Caesars, carried the banner of the Cross over a wider territory than that which the Roman eagles shadowed and left a trail of Gospel glory across the whole Gentile world. Always, he counted all things but loss that he might know Jesus and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering. Taking pleasure in infirmities, reproaches, necessi­ ties, persecutions and distresses for Christ’s sake (II Corinthians 12:10), he found his heavenly call to be the spiritual melody of his earthly walk. Reaching and res­ cuing some in preaching by word of mouth, he has reached millions with his pen, from which gospel truths dropped like golden pollen from the stems of shaken lilies. One of Paul’s profound sociological and spiritual assertions is Romans 14:7, “ For none liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself,” which declares that we live “ linked lives.” The matter of linked lives makes us to think upon our epoch. The course of human progress is marked by epochs. Modern history records four epochs: Feudalism, Re­ naissance, Reformation, Revolution. Each of these epochs had a distinctive character; and each made a dis­ tinctive contribution to man’s material and spiritual life. The Feudal Age was distinctly military, the Re­ naissance definitely intellectual, the Reformation vividly religious, the Revolution positively political. The epoch in which we live is as different in charac­ ter from the four epochs mentioned as they are differ­ ent from one another. Yet in our era we live linked lives— lives linked not to one unit but to many, and reaching out in every direction. Today, as we consider lofty concerns of the soul, the epoch in which our lives are inevitably linked with others is accused of “ clowning on a time-bomb,” of “ running on the moral momentum of a godly ancestry,” of calling man “ an animated event in time and space

and the fortuitous concourse of points of energy,” of giving refuge to some who would (if they could) make this “ land of the free and the home of the brave” “ the land of the spree and the home o f the rave.” As in the ante-diluvian days, many men’s thoughts are evil continually. Bacchus has been crowned the god of our age. Yes, even the men whose brain cells function correctly know that liquor never touched an individual that it did not leave an indelible stain, never touched a home it did not plant the seeds of dissolution and misery, never touched a community it did not lower the moral tone, never touched a nation it did not en­ courage crime and increase governmental problems. Winston Churchill, speaking of our epoch, said: “ The human race has reached the point of no return.” General Omar Bradley said: “We have too many men of science and too few men of God. We have nu­ clear giants and spiritual pygmies.” In America, NOW, are the evils that caused multi- palaced Babylon to become an animal-prowling jungle; evils that made Rome, with her close-meshed code of laws and victorious legions, to collapse from the in­ side; evils that made glorious Greece of old to become only a crust in history’s garbage can; evils that changed wealthy, Nile-fertilized Egypt into a shabby sexton of tombs; evils that made ancient Spain, with her piratical ships that harassed all seas and filled her coffers with gold, to become a drowsy beggar watching a broken clock; evils that made mighty Ninevah to become a dirty doormat for wicked feet. Today, many give ear to advocacies that terminate in a whirlpool and never inspire men to nobility of life, never give men wisdom and courage to scorn the soft pillows of luxury and “ endure hardness as a good sol­ dier of Jesus Christ” (II Timothy 2 :3 ). This world is mounted on a wild Pegasus it can not control. Darkness deepens. Terrifying vistas of de­ struction and death open on world horizons. As in Noah’s day, “ the earth is corrupt before God, and filled with violence.” The onward march of Russia is a stupe­ fying phenomenon that has no parallel in history — and, in the last few years, one billion people have come under Russia’s slave rule. World situations point to a strife o f such fearful proportions that the survival of the human race is a matter of immediate concern. The world is hanging on a thread above an abyss. The



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