"We don't know how the world will end, but I believe that we should be ambitious and faith-filled with respect to the effect that the gospel can have if we are faithful to preach it".
There is a part near the end of the message that utterly thrilled me and I must make mention of it. Ern Baxter noted Ezekiel 47 - where the river of God flows out from the altar (the Cross) to the nations. He noted firstly that there is movement in the river of God! No stagnancy! Then he notes the deeper and deeper progression of "action" words;
"What have we got here? The river starts and it is to the ankles. Then the knees. Then the loins. Then its waters to swim in. This is the progression since Christ’s redemptive act in history and before it is over, the whole earth will be redemptive waters to swim in. You say I like my pessimistic view better. Well go live with it then. I like the Bible view! Ultimate Triumph! Jesus shall reign where’er the sun doth its successive journeys run!".
There is nothing wrong in and of itself about singing "Jesus keep me near the Cross". But if we never realise in our church life what the Cross was designed and intended for - namely to bring a host of sons to glory - and simply rest misty-eyed around the Cross, welling up every time a song about the "old rugged Cross" is on the song list - then surely we have missed the point? Christ endured the Cross! It wasn't a pleasant thing or a romantic thing! He endured it - what for? The JOY set before Him! What was that joy? Surely the vision of a whole earth covered in the glory of the Lord - a whole earth shining with the results of His redemptive sacrifice. Every tribe and tongue singing "Worthy is the Lamb!".
Next in the Series: Ultimate triumph inaugurated in the Gospels and Acts.