King's Business - 1947-01

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Robert Hall Glover, M.D., F.R.G.S.

7 HE evangelization of the world has always been a pressing claim upon the Church of Christ. Fore­ most among the grounds on which that claim rests are loyal obedience to Christ’s Great Com­ mission, compassion for the heathen in their desperate need, and the wonderful results achieved by the Gospel wherever it has gone. These arguments for missions are still in order, and as urgent as ever because of the vast need yet remaining, and the sadly small propor­ tion of Christian churches and individuals that can be said to be heartily enlisted in the missionary cause. It is not my purpose to dwell upon these basic grounds of appeal, but rather to call attention to certain special features of today’s situation which strongly accentuate the missionary challenge and invest it with new urgency. Those words spoken long ago to young Queen Esther by her cousin Mordecai furnish a fitting keynote for my message: “Who knowest whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” In Esther’s case, it was a time of desperate emergency. A whole nation, her own people, were facing imminent danger of extermination through the crafty plotting of a wicked enemy and the inexorable decree of a despotic ruler. The only hope of averting this awful calamity seemed to lie in Esther herself, because of her having been elevated to a position of royal favor. How would she meet the situation? Would she interpret her high position as designed by God for the very purpose of saving her doomed nation? Or would she put her own interests and safety first, and turn a deaf ear to the cry of others’ dire need? * Mordecai’s words put the issue squarely before her. Esther must have pondered his words deeply. At length, the right decision came. Nobly she flung herself into the breach, disregarding all risk and cost to herself, and by her heroic act she saved a nation from death. Yes, God had indeed brought her to the kingdom for such a time as this, and she did not fail Him, but appre­ hended His will and measured up to His expectation of her. Do not these words of Mordecai find searching appli­ cation to God’s people 'today in relation to the present missionary situation? That phrase “such a time as this” has been ringing in my own soul, and I want it to ring in the soul of every reader of this article. Will you, then, consider with me some aspects of “such a time as this” as bearing upon the present hour in world-wide missions. It is a time of reaping The sacrifices and sufferings of the brave pioneers who blazed the early missionary trails, and the patient, persevering seed sowing of their successors have brought us to the stage of harvest. Visible results are infinitely greater than ever before, those of a single day often­ times surpassing those of whole years a generation or two ago. Nor is the missionary any longer a lone evan­ gelist as he once was, but has with him a corps of efficient indigenous workers. Page 8

A searching challenge from one of our greatest missionary statesmen.

It is a time of unexcelled advantage Despite the war’s disruption of missionary operations, causing painful reduction in the ranks, enormous prop­ erty losses, and hardships and sufferings for many mis­ sionaries and native Christians, Satan signally failed in his attempt to crush the missionary cause. In mul­ tiplied instances, the Lord turned calamity into bless­ ing. Physical sufferings and material losses had a humbling effect, turning the minds of many toward spiritual things. The missionaries’ unselfish ministry to war sufferers had a profound effect for good. Great numbers of homeless and destitute war victims came under the sound of the Gospel in refugee camps and mission stations where they were succored, and cared for. More conversions to Christ were reported for the war years than for any similar period theretofore. The native churches came through the fires of affliction purified and strengthened, while the migrations caused by the war vastly extended the radius of Gospel wit­ nessing. Among the highlights of spiritual gain growing out of the war may be mentioned the wonderful revival in the infant churches of Ethiopia which swept thousands of souls into the fold during the enforced absence of the missionaries, and the phenomenal change in the atti­ tude of the great and influential student body of China from that of cold contempt or open hostility toward Christianity to that of genuine interest and even deep spiritual concern. A Chinese Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship has actually been formed, with chapters in more than half of the sixty modem colleges and uni­ versities. In special evangelistic services held in ten or more of these institutions, large numbers of students have openly confessed Christ as Saviour. Similar meet­ ings are now being held among the military forces of China, while the military hospitals, and the jails and penitentiaries have been officially thrown open to the preaching of the Gospel. Thus has missionary opportu­ nity reached a new high for all time in that greatest of fields. The same situation prevails in other fields as well. It is a time of increased improvements Prominent among these are the vastly improved means of transportation and communication introduced during the war—new railroads, motor highways, air­ ways, telegraph and telephone equipment, and much else. Voice-magnifying devices ranging all the way from loud-speakers to powerful radio broadcasting stations have vastly extended the scope of Gospel peaching. All of these and other new facilities constitute a very sub­ stantial help to missionary operations, and are to be regarded as having been providentially raised up to expedite the advance of Gospel witnessing to the ends of the earth. T H E K I N G ’ S B U S I N E S S

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