Why are there so many who do not continue to stand? The answer of God is a grave lack of the demonstration of the Spirit. Let every sad example serve as a summons to us to acknowledge that the full blessing of Pentecost is lost. This is what we long for and must have from God. Let all that is within us begin to thirst and cry out, "Come from the four winds, Spirit of God, and breath on these dead souls that they may live." Think how little there is of power for service among the unconverted.
What an immense host of workers there is in Christian countries. How varied and unceasing is the preaching of the Word Sunday school teachers are number by hundreds of thousands. Large numbers of Christian parents make their children acquainted with the Word of God and also bring them to the Lord as Saviour. Yet how little fruit springs from all this work.
Many who hear and are by no means indifferent never make a definite choice for salvation. Many who from youth to old age are conversant with the Word of God are never seized by it in the depths of their heart. They find it good, pleasing, and instructive to attend church, but they have never felt the power of the Word as a hammer, a sword, or a fire. The reason they are so little disturbed is that the preaching they listen to is so little in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. This is evidence enough that there is a great lack of the full blessing of Pentecost.
Does the blame for this issue belong to preachers or to congregations I feel it belongs to both.Preachers are the offspring of the Christian community. Through children we are enabled to see whether parents are spiritually healthy or not. Preachers are dependent on the life that is in their congregations.
When a congregation finds satisfaction in the merely acceptable and instructive preaching of a young minister, it encourages him to go forward on the same path. He should rather be helped by its more advanced believers to seek earnestly the demonstration of the Spirit. When a minister does not lead his congregation to expect everything from the Spirit of God, then he is tempted to put confidence in the wisdom of man and the work of man.
The great cause of all worldliness and impenitence is the lack of the full blessing of Pentecost! This alone gives power from on high which can break down and quicken again the hard hearts of men.
(continued with # 18 - "A Source of Courage")