An Exhortation to Faithfulness
By Eric Brown
Every breaking of bread brings us nearer to the crises that will envelope this earth with Christs return and all people will be made to obey and honour God from the least to the greatest.
The terrible vision of Nebuchadnezzars image seen 2,500 years ago is being seen to be taking shape, and the earth-shaking effects of its consolidation in Europe are being felt throughout the political world. As we lift up our heads in excited anticipation of Christs return, we need to pause and reflect on our own personal position. We can all be thrilled by the signs of Christs impending appearance, but the mere fact of seeing the signs will be of no value to us when we come face to face with the Master. These signs of the times are valuable only to us as indications of the approach of Christs near return, which will be the setting up of the kingdom of Christ. Our duty is to see if we are acting in harmony with the principles upon which that kingdom will be established. There is no point in being excited just about the signs. Our excitement reaches beyond the signs to the thoughts of the coming age and the terrible judgements that will result in a perfected earth. Our excitement is not only for the signs of the times about us, but for the kingdom. We must consider how enthusiastic we are about our own walk in the truth.
The men and women who Christ will choose to assist him in his kingdom will be men of prayer, not in a mechanical sense but those who have taken the time to offer prayer to God. All others will be excluded from the kingdom in spite of their lip service about the signs they saw realising that he was near. Let us see that we are not in that class with those who will be dismissed with the words "I never knew you."
How important in these last days to remember the exhortation of Christ when he said not only to watch but also to pray always, for a prayerless man will not be acceptable to God.
Brethren are very unwise who neglect or treat lightly the meeting for breaking of bread, such conduct is suicidal. The institution is of Christ, it has been arranged as a restorative, a divine tonic for the jaded spiritual man after six days battling with an evil world. Who does not feel run down by the end of the week? As a result of the meetings on a Sunday we should feel refreshed and invigorated to start another week. One might say that without this weekly reminder of Christ many of us may have long since slipped away from the Truth.
Truly it is a merciful ordinance, and one for which we should be devoutly thankful. Let us not despise it. Let each one who attends to it, see to it that he does not undo the good which Christ intended this institution to yield. It is very easy to do this. Here are a few ways in which it can be done, we can come in late and chatter after the service has commenced. We can show ourselves inattentive to the ministrations of the presiding and exhorting brethren. This may be done by yawning, giggling, looking at the watch every few minutes and we can find fault after the meeting is ended with everything that has been done. We can send all with whom we come in contact home with their minds full of irritating, absorbing, and superfluous items best unknown.
On the other hand, if we would co-operate with Christ in making the meeting pleasurable and edifying, then let us shun these things, and show ourselves true worshippers, earnest, zealous, reverential, grateful loving anxious to the meeting to all a source of comfort and upbuilding. What pleasure such conduct as this must give to Christ, who though unseen, is by the Spirit our great Guest. God coerces no one in the matter of well doing. He makes known His will and requests compliance. He points out the wisdom of faithfulness and promises to make it possible for us to render it, and endure to the end so that we hear those words when we appear before the great judge Well done good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.