Editor's Letters

by T. Austin-Sparks

January-February 1966

With this issue we enter upon the 44th year of the ministry of this little paper. We begin by laying a further tribute of gratitude at the feet of our beloved and faithful Lord for all the gracious enablement given by Him through that period of more than half an earthly lifetime of service. We can truly, and humbly, appropriate the words of His great Apostle: "Having received the help which comes from God, we continue unto this day." We know quite well that His help comes in answer to the prayerful and practical co-operation of His people, and, in this mindfulness, we do say that we very truly thank all those who have encouraged us to go on with this service. While we conclude from the help given by the Lord, against trials and adversities, many, and often very severe, that it must have been something which He needed, we know that it is but a supplementary and complementary ministry. There is a vast amount of evangelistic work going on worldwide, by varied and many means; and work in other ways to help younger and older believers. This is very much in the public eye and draws a great amount of support and approbation. We do thank God for everything that can contribute to His one comprehensive end - "to win for the Lamb that was slain, the reward of his sufferings".

Yet, at the same time, we have - what we believe to be - a God-given burden for "the perfecting of the saints" and "the building up of the body of Christ". This may be less popular and less in the public eye, but the New Testament does not give a small and unimportant place to such ministry. We sometimes feel that such ministry is more fraught with Satanic opposition of every kind than anything else.

The increased intensity of antagonism to Christ in the world at this time would justify the conclusion that the time is short, and both the completing of the number of the elect, and the preparing of them for heavenly reign and government, say that His coming is very near: to say nothing of the world-conditions and man's helplessness in them!

The Lord help us to "hold fast till (he) come", and to be faithful unto (or until) death. Pray for this ministry that it may not fail, or lose any strength as the time goes on.

In our last issue we intimated that certain changes are taking place here at Honor Oak, and that one big development is possible (in relation to the "Centre" property). There is nothing further of a definite nature to report. We will inform our friends if anything transpires which would be of concern to readers of this paper.

T. Austin-Sparks.

In keeping with T. Austin-Sparks' wishes that what was freely received should be freely given and not sold for profit, and that his messages be reproduced word for word, we ask if you choose to share these messages with others, to please respect his wishes and offer them freely - free of any changes, free of any charge (except necessary distribution costs) and with this statement included.