Young Men are Needed
T. B. Gilbert, Tucson, Arizona
Without Evangelists God's Work Will Fail
Some years ago an elder of a local assembly asked to spend the summer with the writer in tent-work. Several times during his stay he remarked, “I am satisfied that younger men should preach the gospel” He had great respect for any young man who would do pioneer work, but evidently realized he would not be able to endure the hardships involved at his age.
In Jer. 2, 2 the Lord gave this message to the prophet for His people Israel, "I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after Me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown." Today, there is a spiritual wilderness into which men (young men) must go with the gospel. This vast land of ours is such a land, and we ask: "Where are the young men with gift and talent: who are able and willing to venture forth with the gospel?"
We are glad to see so many young people exercised about the foreign field, who are willing to leave friends and relatives in obedience to their Lord's command, in order to reach those in heathen darkness; but one cannot travel through the western and southern states of our country without being impressed by the great need on every hand. There are whole states without an assembly gathered on—what we believe to be—scriptural grounds, and there are other states with only one or two very small testimonies.
We might ask, Why have there been so few men to take up real pioneer work? Many men out in the work today have never established one testimony. Is it because there is such a need in smaller established assemblies that these men are demanded by them, or is it for lack of faith to launch forth? It in true if more assemblies and individuals were exercised to support this work, more workers would be forthcoming. On the other hand, if God calls a man to a certain work, surely He will not let him down no matter how much others fail him. We read, “By faith Abraham went out, not knowing whither he went.” (Heb. 11. 8). God had called him and he obeyed. The man really called of God to launch forth will like Abraham push forth into uncharted regions counting upon the living God who has sent him, to supply all of Ms needs, and will not be disappointed. The disappointed workers are those who depend upon man. The Word says, "Cease ye from man" (Isa. 2. 22).
Man who open up new work are of ton obliged to stay by it until it is established, but, there are advantages to this, especially if the worker is married. Not only can he work the district, around with the gospel, but he will be at home to help rear his family, and often become better acquainted with the neighbours and people through his children. Besides, he will be near his books for study. These are advantages not to be minimized.
Young men are better qualified to work now fields than older men. They have youth and vigour to endure hardships. Single men in their early years have more time to give to the work when they have fewer responsibilities. Older men generally carry the burdens of individuals and assemblies and they have many things to take up their time. They are also in demand to teach the Word and instruct the saints because of their knowledge and experience. So we must agree with the, older brother mentioned at the beginning of this article, that the younger men should preach the gospel.
Some young men have looked on the fields but have turned away because they felt the job was too hard, whilst others have fought and won the day. The Lord Jesus said: "Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life" (Matt. 19. 29.). What a promise to the one who is willing to give up all for Christ!
Young men! forget not that God is as good as His word, only be sure you have His call and the assurance in your heart that He will not fail you. Some, we fear far too many, have gone without this assurance. They went forth depending upon Christians and assemblies of Christians to supply their needs, and came back disappointed and disgruntled because their eye was not on the living God alone. God used a raven, and then a widow, to feed Elijah; and Peter caught a fish with money in its mouth to pay tile taxes. God was supplying their needs.
May this article exercise young men who have received the gift of the evangelist from the risen Christ, to go forth at His bidding to preach the gospel. Assemblies are formed through the preaching of the gospel. Years ago there were more men preaching the gospel than teaching and, if God's work in new fields, or in the assemblies, is going to prosper, we must have more evangelists and more gospel meetings. My prayer as I write these lines is, “Oh God give us more gospel preachers, more evangelists with a real passion for lost souls!”
(Reprinted from "Light and Liberty", Nov. 1949)