Looking Back—Looking Forward

Early this morning I realized yesterday marked the first anniversary of Kindling for Candles. In Welcome! I wrote that I chose the name for this blog from Isaiah 42 and Matthew 12 and the themes within those passages of justice, confrontation of evil, compassion, comfort and hope.

On the About page in the heading, you can read some of the background of the time I became a Christian in 1970, and its influence on my purpose in writing. In those days there was a conflict of ideas, but as I wrote, the battle today is no less intense; indeed, it has grown. Yet truth has stumbled in the street, and many people and churches who claim the name of Christian have left their first love. Francis Schaeffer’s understanding and analysis from his 1969 book, Death in the City,  still holds true:

“The church in our generation needs reformation, revival, and constructive revolution.

“At times men think of the words reformation and revival as standing in contrast one to the other, but this is a mistake. Both words are related to the word restore.

Reformation refers to a restoration to pure doctrine; revival refers to a restoration in the Christian’s life. Reformation speaks of a return to the teachings of the Scripture; revival speaks of a life brought into its proper relationship to the Holy Spirit.

“The great moments of church history have come when these two restorations have simultaneously come into action so that the church has returned to pure doctrine and the lives of the Christians in the church have known the power of the Holy Spirit. There cannot be true revival unless there has been reformation; and reformation is not complete without revival.

“Such a combination of reformation and revival would be revolutionary in our day—revolutionary in our individual lives as Christians, revolutionary not only in reference to the liberal church but constructively revolutionary in the evangelical, orthodox church as well.

“May we be those who know the reality of both reformation and revival, so that this poor dark world may have an exhibition of a portion of the church returned to both pure doctrine and Spirit-filled life.”

I long to see reformation and revival take place in today’s church. The dead cities of our day need to turn to the Living God. They need to know God’s truth, and they need to see the reality of His Spirit in the church as our lives reflect the reality of the God we profess. In his last letter, Paul warned Timothy of difficult days before he gave him this final charge:

“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.  But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

As I begin my second year of blogging, I want to do what I can to encourage you to continue in God’s Word that you may grow in your knowledge and love of Him. Remember God gave us His Word to change our lives and to equip us for every good work. Pray and ask God to bring reformation and revival to your life and to mine.

Small Candle: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
Francis Schaeffer, Death in the City.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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