Arthur Stace is a Sydney legend. No~one remembers his name but everyone remembers what he wrote. He is the illiterate man who defaced the Sydney footpaths, subway walls, building fences...anything at all where he could scribble his one word gospel message: ETERNITY. Sydneysiders would pass by his message on their way to work or shopping, just that one word chalked wherever God directed him. I remember seeing his message every time I went into town.
I have been thinking of Arthur Stace recently. I guess he reached more people than most preachers. He is coming to mind because we are told to be vigilant, to be wily as serpents & to read the times. I have no doubt we are in the end times. We have been in the end times since Christ hung on the cross. Just how far we are along before Christ returns I have no idea but I see the birth pangs coming closer together, the signs of wars & rumours of wars, of a selfish & disobedient generation, of natural disasters accumulating & my heart is rejoicing.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come!
And there are some things that have been on my heart, troubling me every time I am quiet before the Lord. Judgement begins with the house of God. We are supposed to be living holy lives, firstly to glorify our heavenly father; secondly to bear witness to a wicked & perverse generation. Inasmuch as we have failed in this we shall be judged. It begins with us because we have the new life in us. We are capable of more & better. The world is doing exactly as it's nature dictates. We are not & that is to our shame.
Secondly, far too much of the church has forgotten that Christ said he would bring a sword. If the church is as it should be there will be strife with the world, troubles & persecution. We have had it so easy for so long in the west that we have forgotten this truth. China knows it. Korea knows it.
Thirdly I am no masochist but I rejoice because history teaches me that the persecuted church is a strong church. There is a winnowing & cleansing that takes place. What remains has been tested by fire & will endure to the end. What's more I do not need to be afraid. The other lesson history teaches is that grace is given when grace is needed.
So what is a Christian to do? What Christians through every age have always done: Repent & Call on the name of the Lord for He is our strength & our refuge, our eternal hope, our alpha & our omega, all the love we can ever hold & our final resting place. In the midst of the storm there is no safer place to be than by our Lord's side.