Life in Assemblies 2001
Eric Parmenter, Honiton, England
A CALL TO CONSIDER
WE GREATLY NEED revival in the assemblies. Is there any better preparation for revival than that of a group of people praying with one accord? Can there be work more important than intercessory prayer? I am reminded of a preacher travelling to Bermuda for meetings. One of the customs officers, checking the necessary papers said, ‘I’ll take care of you as quickly as possible because our prayer group is waiting for you, then we’ll go right over’. What a promising start to a series of meetings! – from the airport directly to a prayer meeting. The preacher said afterwards, ‘it was the beginning of a week of blessing such as I never experienced before’.
The localities where we live and where God has graciously planted and maintained New Testament assemblies, are resided in by people, many of whom are utterly bankrupt spiritually, mostly indifferent and some really unhappy. They are without Christ, facing an eternity without God. What can we do to help? We can sit at home, fail to meet with our fellow believers, and bemoan our lot. Or, we can pray! We could seek to lay hold upon God for revival, but we cannot do this while we are hanging on to our egotism, our selfishness, our pride, thinking that things are quite all right and that life is very pleasant in every way – for us. To refuse the reality to be crucified with Christ daily and to die unto self will lead only to a poverty-stricken spiritual life with little in it for Him.
We are all required to awake and see the reality of the present situation. It is ‘Time to Wake Up’, and to give up our own selfish interests, and give to God and to His assembly the place He and it deserves. Be determined to become real intercessors, prayer warriors, storming the citadel of Satan and at the same time, making a new personal commitment to the Lord Jesus and the assembly for 2001. Your commitment could be the beginnings of revival there, and much needed revival in the gospel outreach.
Whatever form gospel outreach may take in our assemblies, if we want to see it attended with souls being saved it will require a powerful ministry of intercession, the total commitment by members of the assembly to the Lord’s interests, and consistent attendance at the assembly gatherings. Although all may not be able to attend all the assembly meetings every time, a very real effort needs to be made by all to be together each time the assembly gathers. We are prone to put our work, our homes, and our outside interests before the meetings, and then wonder why the numbers are diminishing and the testimony is in a state of weakness. Is it true that commitment to the gatherings have been only minimal, almost to the point that it might be said, ‘forsake not the assembling of yourselves together’.
Will you be willing in 2001 to give your time and energy to the assembly? Also to beware of those divided loyalties and interests (even in respect of what may be termed the Lord’s work) that have caused the assembly to be in the spiritual state it is, because your ‘own vineyard you’ve not kept’. We are called upon to ‘dwell together in unity’, but that means, all the believers should be gathering together. When that happens, perhaps then, ‘the Lord will command the blessing’. ‘Ye are God’s husbandry, God’s building and God’s temple’, 1 Cor. 3. Let us witness, work and worship together, for the coming of the Lord draws near.