The fact that the Gospel age, beginning with Pentecost, was not designated by the Lord as the period
in which all the world should be enlightened, but was to be the time during which a certain “mystery”
should be worked out should greatly assist the inquirer to understand why the Gospel, even when preached in purity, has not taken great hold on the people. The “mystery” is the selection of a “‘little flock” from among the nations to become joint heirs with Christ. (Eph. 3: 1-8; Rom. 8: 17.) The condition
of “suffering with him” attached to this High Calling (2 Tim. 2: 12; Phil.3: 10-14) has been a deterrent to
those who have heard something of the Gospel, because their natural tendencies, reinforced by the deceptions of Satan, would not favour them entering on the path lit consecration to God. Only some of those who have heard have exercised faith in sufficient measure to apprehend the value of the “exceeding great and precious promises”; and only a portion of these, again, have gone on to make their calling and election sure. Under the reign of righteousness shortly to be inaugurated on earth by the divine King Jesus, Who will have his joint heirs associated with him in the grand work, all deceptions being cleared away and their chief author bound (Matt. 12: 20), the Gospel, or “good tidings of great joy,” will reach all people, and if will then take hold of them as now it does not, indeed is not intended to do.
The Gospel will be sufficient; that is to say, the ex-traneous “‘aids” in the way of concerts, socials, fairs,
etc., now thought so necessary by the worldly-minded, will have no place. They will not be needed, and will not be missed, because something ever so much better will occupy the minds of the people. The Kingdom of God, by its earthly manifestation in the Jewish nation, even now preparing by return to Palestine for its future position among the nations, will teach the Gentiles what they must do, and how to order their affairs, so that they may please God, and that his will may be done. Satanic deception being inactive, the people generally will be ready to gladly avail themselves of the instruction, and will profit, by it. — Zech. 8: 20-2.1; Isa. 2: 1-4.
Undoubtedly, Christendom has done much, very much, that has vexed the Lord. It has not only preached error, thus grievously misrepresenting the Lord’s character and purpose, causing his name to be evil spoken of, but it has also failed to commend its doctrines, when good, by consistent living. Put, if
everything and every person in Christendom had been all that was righteous one would still need to remember that only a “little flock” has been sought during the Gospel age; whence it may be understood that if all had been exactly right among the professed people of God during the past age, and if the distinction between those who are really his and those who are not had been clearly defined, church attendance would be much less than it is now, and would always have been so. This fact would have been no cause for discouragement to those who apprehend the divine plan for the future blessing of those not fully enlightened during the present life, for it would have been realised that the few now being dealt with were being invited to the special honour of joint heirship with Christ in order that they might join in the privilege of blessing the others .— Rom. 8: 19-21.
The New Covenant Advocate May, 1909
Decrease in church attendance not only a recent feature #3 The German Scare
Decrease in church attendance not only a recent feature #4 Noncomformists In Politics
Decrease in church attendance not only a recent feature #5 Necessity of attendance
- Testing for Christianity
- At Church
- Church Commissioner Questions: ordinations, church schools, modern slavery, metal theft, inter-faith relations, London churches
- Press, follow… persecute?
- Secularization in Europe: Where it Begins
- The Sunday Message
- The Church In the Land That Time Forgot
- Stop emphasizing guilt