And let us not think that it is owing to some fatal necessity, some natural impossibility, that it is so.
These IFS point to what is the Church’s actual destiny.
Dreamers speak of impossibilities, and calculate what might be done if they came true. We are listening to men who are speaking words of soberness and truth. These IFS suggest what is certainly and divinely possible. They point us to the Church of Pentecost.
“To evangelise the world in this generation is possible,”
they say, “in view of the achievements of the Christians of the first generation. They did more to accomplish the work than has any succeeding generation. In studying the secret of what they accomplished, one is led to the conclusion that they employed no vitally important method which cannot be used to-day, and that they availed themselves of no power which we cannot utilise.”
The mighty power of God and His Holy Spirit are ours as theirs.
The power of His dying love in the heart; of a triumphant faith in Christ; of simple, bold, personal testimony; of patient suffering; of absolute passionate consecration; the heavenly power that overcomes the world and makes us more than conquerors through Him that loved us—all these belong to us as much as to them.
“It is possible to evangelise the world in this generation,
in view of recent missionary achievements of the Church. The most striking example is that of the Moravians. If the members of Protestant Churches went out in numbers corresponding to those they have sent out, we would have a force of nearly 400,000 foreign workers, which is vastly more than the number estimated as necessary to achieve the task.”
The Moravian Church is one of the smallest in number and poorest in means of all the Churches. What it has done is a proof that the whole Church, when once she rouses herself to her calling, most assuredly can accomplish the work.
In view of the opportunities which the Church has in the open doors in every country of the world, of the enormous resources the Church possesses in the wealth of her members, in the numbers of workers over which the Church has disposal, and the faith that to send them out would, instead of weakening it, bring quickening and strength, it is absolutely within the power of the Church to bring the gospel to every creature within this generation.
Let us take time to come under the full power of this great thought, suggested to us by those who are pleading with us. It will give force to what has been said in regard to the terrible failure of the Church. It will prepare us for discovering how to deal with the evil.
Murray, Andrew. The Key to the Missionary Problem. London: J. Nisbet & Co., 1902.