Whither 1951?

Precious Seed Publications

Category: Exposition

With this number Precious Seed enters upon its sixth year of service, and we cannot let the occasion pass with­out recording our thankfulness to the; Lord for the way in which He has allowed His blessing to rest upon our imperfect efforts.

The opening of the New Year which finds us in the second half of this momentous 20th century seems to call for some remarks, but events move with such rapidity now-a-days that It would be foolish to base our comments on what we imagine may be the situation when these words appear in print. Of this much we can be certain- the observant Christian will see increasing evidence that the way is being prepared for the end of the age. What­ever the immediate outcome of the present turmoil, there can he no question that the existing world-structure is going to be shaken and removed. There is but one thing winch will survive the upheaval-the Kingdom of God.

Abram left Ur when he could have been excused for thinking that its power and splendour showed every sign of permanence. Moses turned his face from the riches of Egypt when that Empire seemed as solid as the pyramids. Whatever Abram thought of the foundations of Ms native city, his heart was captured by the city which had the foundations; and who is there to-day who win say he lacked wisdom? Moses saw that the pleasures of sin were for a season and that Egypt's treasures were tran­sient; reproach here and the recompense of the reward hereafter, struck him as a much safer investment. The Word of God and history vindicate his decision in advance of That Day. Their contemporaries would have had to be very far-seeing to discern the decay of the civilizations of Ur and Egypt. Not so with our much-vaunted 20th-century civilization -the most obtuse can see that things are in the melting pot. We need not be as wise as Abram or Moses to see the wisdom of following their example. If they had been dazzled by Ur and Egypt it would, at least, have been understandable; but it is not easy to see how a Christian can be deceived by a world which is obviously crumbling. Never before has the gracious advice of Heb, 12. 23 been more appropriate;-

" Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot he moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear."

Whither 1951? We do not know-but it is not likely that the service of God will become easier. If the diffi­culties increase may our zeal grow in proportion, knowing that whatever the situation calls for, the grace of God can supply. There is ample occasion for zeal in the face of the appalling spiritual need on every hand. Opinions as to the best means of meeting this need may vary-and the situation is sufficiently serious to silence thoughtless criticism of those who feel the urge to tackle the problem- especially criticism from those who themselves do very little to meet the need. We are not called upon to pass judgment on the service of others-we do well to remember that our own must await the verdict of ' our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.' At the same time we cannot think that His interests are best served by methods which involve, at least, some compromise with the Word of God, and which, we think, must conflict with the consciences of those who have been accustomed to bow to its authority.

World affairs are in such confusion, that it is not surprising if those who have to handle them are tempted to abandon principle in favour of whatever method may appear to offer the desired results, but the history of the past few decades is a dismal commentary on the effective­ness of this short-term policy. There is, in any case, no excuse for the servant of Christ to be impatient with prin­ciples which he once held and proved to be sound, on the ground that they are not adapted to the present situation. However unpredictable the course of events in world affairs may be, the Kingdom of God is not in a state of flux, and the Christian is safe in acting on the unchanging principles of the Word of God. The regulation of our service in simple obedience to it may not produce the spectacular results sometimes claimed for other methods, but we are convinced that the work will be more solid.

If Precious Seed in its little sphere is allowed to continue its ministry, we shall esteem it no small privilege to be an encouragement to those of our readers who feel that one of the needs of the hour is to build up a strong and vigorous church-life, taking the Word of God as our guide. This is not to suggest that the work of the gospel can be neg­lected-no one who reads these pages will imagine that we could have any sympathy with such a strange outlook. A virile church-life will most certainly find expression in, and, at the same time, form a solid basis for, aggressive gospel witness. It is for want of this solid basis that much devoted service seems to be dissipated. After all, the crucial test is " if any man's work abide." Time flies so rapidly that, if we are permitted to remain, we shall soon be looking back over the service of 1951 -may God grant that, even if there he nothing sensational to show, at least some gold, silver or precious stone will have been built on the one and only foundation.