We Christians too often SUBSTITUTE PRAYER FOR PLAYING THE GAME. Prayer is good: but when used as a substitute for obedience, it is naught but a blatant hypocrisy, a despicable Pharisaism. We need as many meetings for action as for prayer—perhaps more. Every orthodox prayer-meeting is opened by God saying to His people, “Go work today; pray that labourers be sent into My vineyard.” It is continued by the Christian’s response, “I go, Lord, whithersoever Thou sendest me, that Thy Name may be hallowed everywhere, that Thy Kingdom may come speedily, that Thy Will may be done on earth as in heaven.” But if it ends in nobody going anywhere, it had better never have been held at all. Like faith, prayer without works is dead. That is why many PRAYER-MEETINGS might well be styled “much cry, yet little wool”. Zerubbabel didn’t only hold prayer-meetings; he went and cut down trees, and started to build. Hence God said, “From this day will I bless thee.”
Report says that someone has re-discovered the secret of the old masters. Cannot we Christians re-discover, and put into practice, that of our Great Master and His former pupils, Heroism? He and they saved not themselves; they loved not their lives to the death, and so kept on saving them by losing them for Christ’s sake.
WE ARE FRITTERING AWAY TIME AND MONEY IN A MULTIPLICITY OF CONVENTIONS, conferences, and retreats, when the real need is to go straight and full steam into battle, with the signal for “close action” flying.
The “Vox Humana” plays too important a part in our Christian organs and organizations today. The music, whoever plays, is bound to be thin when the tops of “Instant Obedience” and “Fiery Valor” are missing or unused, and without them to play the “Lost Chord” of Heroism is an impossibility.
“Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it,” said the Blessed Virgin. Do what? Not put treacle and spice into the soft holy vessels inside the house, but pour the Water of Life into those empty stone ones outside. Cana’s marriage feast would have ended in shame had the wine run short. Christ’s marriage feast begins only when the wine is sufficient—a blend from every tongue and kindred and tribe and nation. The supply is assured, as soon as the water is poured out as Christ directed, into “the uttermost parts of the earth”. The mischief today is the reluctance of the servants to do the outside work. They all want to serve indoors, wear smart clothes, listen to the conversation, and make a terrible lot of themselves in the butler’s pantry.
DO LET US MAKE A REAL START NOW—AT ONCE. For years, like Mr. Winkle, we’ve declared we were just about to begin, and then never began at all.
We must divorce Chocolate and Disobedience, and marry Faith and Heroism.
“Who shall begin the battle?” asked the king. “Thou,” replied the prophet, and when the king and the young princes led the way, though the odds against them were terrific, they won with ridiculous ease. So, too, THE APOSTLES LED IN THE WAR OF GOD to the uttermost parts of the earth. Likewise in the Crusades, the kings and princes of State and Church led; then why not today in THE CRUSADE OF CHRIST TO EVANGELIZE THE WORLD?
GOD’S SUMMONS TODAY IS TO THE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN OF GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA AND CHRISTENDOM, WHO CALL THEMSELVES BY THE NAME OF CHRIST. “New wine,” said Christ, “must be placed in New bottles.” Those superfluously labelled and patched-up old-fashioned ones are as hopeless as the New Theology. They can’t be moved lest they burst with pride and spill the wine in the wrong place.
Listen: “And it shall be in the last days, I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions (of faith), your old men shall dream dreams (of valorous obedience); yea, and on My bondmen and on my bondmaidens in those days will I pour forth of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy; and I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs in the earth beneath; and it shall be that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” But how can they call on Him of whom they have not even heard? Must you stay, young man? Can’t you go, young woman, and tell them? Verily we are in the last—the Laodicean stage—that of the Lukewarm Church.
Wilt thou be to Christ the partner of His throne or an emetic (Revelation 3:21); a Militant or a Chocolate Christian? Wilt thou fear or wilt thou fight? Shall your brethren go to war and shall ye sit here? When He comes, shall He find faith on the earth?
A thousand times you have admitted Christ’s
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands your life, your soul, your all.
Wilt thou be a miser and withhold what honour demands of thee? Wilt thou give like Ananias and Sapphira, who, pretending to give all, gave only part?
Possessing and enjoying the vineyard, wilt thou, like the husbandman, refuse the agreed rent? Wilt thou fear death, or devil, or men? AND WILT THOU NOT FEAR SHAME?
Some shall rise to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Shall we refuse to emulate the heroes of old, or shall we accomplish the double fulfillment of those glorious words?—
All these being men of war came with a perfect heart to make Jesus King over all the world. They were all mighty men of valor for the war! He that was least was equal to a hundred, and the greatest to a thousand! They were not of double heart! Their faces were like the faces of lions! They were as swift as the roes upon the mountains (to do their Lord’s commands)! Ye sought in time past, for Jesus to be King over you. NOW, THEN, DO IT. (Compare 1 Chron. 12:8, 33 and 38, and 2 Samuel 3:17 and 18.)
Shall we not reply: Thine are we, Jesus, and on Thy side. God do so to me, and more also, if as God has sworn unto Him, I do not even so to Jesus—to translate the kingdom from the house of Satan, and set up the throne of Jesus Christ over all the world. (Compare 1 Chron. 12:18 and 2 Sam. 3:10.)
Come, then, let us restore the “Lost Chord” of Christianity—HEROISM—to the world, and the crown of the world to Christ. Christ Himself asks thee, “Wilt thou be a Malingerer or a Militant?”
To your knees, man! and to your Bible! Decide at once! Don’t hedge! Time flies! Cease your insults to God, quit consulting flesh and blood. Stop your lame, lying, and cowardly excuses.
Enlist! Here are your papers and oath of allegiance. Scratch out one side and sign the other in the presence of God and the recording angel. Mark God’s endorsements underneath:
For me to live is Christ. To die is gain. I’ll be a militant; a man of God; a gambler for Christ. A hero.
For me Chocolate is my name. Tepidity my temperature. A malingerer I. A child of men. A self-excuser. A humbug.
God’s promises are sure in either case:
1. “I am with you always.”
2. “I will spew thee out of my mouth.”