The Gates of Hell Prevailing. Why? And How To Close Them.
Read the casualty lists, and think! Look at the black garments in the streets, and the silent agony on the faces of the bereaved. And think! Go to a munitions works, see the bombs and shells in the making, and think! Think of the human agony begun ere each has run its course, and such are made and fired by the million. War is Hell indeed! Undiluted Hell! We are living in hell! Every moment we live is a moment of slaughter and agony. Every breath we breathe some fellow human being is being killed, mutilated, or torn in pieces by some abominable invention of the devil! Who says Business as Usual. Or Pleasure? None but the devils of hell or elsewhere. To every thinking soul with a heart the last thought at night and the first in the morning and throughout the day is Hell as usual. And the worst is we are becoming accustomed to it.
Yet it need not have been, and it need not continue. This war is of the devil and his agents. But Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, and says we may ask what we will and He will do it if His words abide in us. Yet we have asked and asked and asked for months, but receive not. It is impossible for Christ to lie. Then the fault is ours. We have not obeyed. His words abide not in us. We are found out; we are run to earth; our folly has cancelled our right and power to be saviours of ourselves and the world. This war is the devils device to hinder the evangelization of the world and the return of Jesus Christ, thus he seeks to destroy the wealth and manhood necessary for its accomplishment; every minute it lasts more men and money are wasted, and the chance of salvation denied to more and more heathen perishing without God or hope.
But why are we thus?
We have gone stark staring mad. We thought God was dead, and the devil too: that men only were alive, and they to do as they please.
Christian Europe (forgive the sarcasm) in her loathsome selfishness turned a deaf ear to her Sister Armenia crying out for deliverance from the unspeakable Turk. Tush, said Europe, can God see or hear? My sister is not worth the life of a single Pomeranian or other Grenadier.
Now God proves Himself alive by being deaf to the agonised prayer of Europe. Verily there is a God that judgeth upon earth.
Belgium thought God was dead, else there had been no Congo atrocities; now across Belgium is written in letters of fire, Be sure your sin will find you out.
Russia thought God was dead, hence her persistent persecution of the chosen people of God; now she is learning in the fiery furnace of affliction the lesson that Whatsoever a nation soweth, that shall it also reap.
France thought God was dead! Playing the fool and saying in her heart, There is no God, she forthwith plunged headlong into the sea of infidelity. Now she reaps a just retribution in the sight of her fairest provinces, cathedrals, and churches trampled and destroyed under the hoof of the devil.
Germany thought God was dead! In the fulness of her intellectual pride she dishonoured Gods Beloved Son, and, as a scrap of paper, tore in pieces Gods Holy Word. As the adulteress hunteth for the precious life so she committed fornicaton with the intellect ual fools of Britain and America, sending them back to their pulpits shorn of their strength with a man-made religion, a human fallible God and a book of fables and fairy tales with which to feed the confidential and foolish donkeys who preferred to believe the fancy findings of human intellects rather than the assurances of God the Holy Ghost.
But what about Britain? Why is she thus? She has neither persecuted the Jews nor outraged the heathen. Has not her rule of the sea and the nations been one of the least selfish things on earth, with the exception of the opium blot and her toleration of the West African liquor traffic, to prove the rule? What then is Britains sin? Britain, also thinking God to be dead, robbed Him and swindled the heathen out of Salvation, living herself, Dives-like, sumptuously every day on the Gospel while starving the heathen Lazari at her gate on mere crumbs. Some 2,000 years ago, picking her up a tiny weak, poor and barbarous nation with neither letters in her head nor clothes to her back, God gave her the finest manhood on earth (Gods Englishmen, as Milton calls them) and undreamt of wealth that she might gain the highest honour on earth, His agency for the prosesecution of the war of God, the proclamation of the Gospel to every creature. Alas! she begrudged her sons to His service, and hoarded her wealth or spent it extravagantly on her own selfish pleasures. God gave her India to evangelize; ashamed of her Creator and Saviour she became neutral in her official religion, palming off education on her ward instead of the Gospel, and justly receiving her reward of mutiny and bombs. Lord Kitcheners every word is treasured and obeyed, but the marching orders of King Jesus are flouted as folly, and that even by many who sit in the socalled Churches of Christ.
Gods judgments ever fit the nature of the crime! The dishonest Trustee, having hoarded her manhood and money in a bag with holes, now finds it is being drained away and destroyed in the battlefields of the world. Had she but squandered her blood and money in the evangelization of the world according to Christs commands, she would have reaped an hundredfold and escaped this present welter of woe. Had Britain but served her God as she serves her King, He would not have now left her to stew in the juice of her own disobedience.
Men and brethren, what can and shall we do? We can close the mouth of hell and stop this war if we will. Deus vult, God wills it, do we? How? Let us humble ourselves before God, confessing our sin, repenting, and asking His forgiveness.
Abjuring our pride and foolish human traditions, let us return to the simple but powerful religion of God and His ApostlesChrist and only Christ. Thou, O Christ, art all we need, more than all in Thee we find.
Let us once for all destroy our presumptuous pagan religious denominational castes as Christ commanded, and march under His banner and in His Name alone.
Let us consecrate ourselves and what remains to us to His service in deed and in truth.
Let us vow ourselves and all we have to the war of God and the evangelization of the world.
Let our empty, foolish squabbles about Church government give place to the fiery imperialism of Christ.
If thus we decide to live in obedience and loyalty to the Lord our God, if we honestly promise Him that we will sacrifice and fight for Jesus, the extension of His Kingdom, and the finishing of His war against the devil with the same sacrifice and valour as that so nobly displayed by our heroic soldiers and sailors on behalf of our beloved King and country, can any sincere Christian doubt that thus, His word abiding in us. Gods promise will come true? We shall ask what we will, and it shall be done unto us.
Thus this hell on earth, this cruel, satanic, senseless slaughter shall cease in answer to our prayers, and we shall have already begun our last advance in the final victorious campaign of the War of God.
In obedience to God and in deep detestation of our own selves and our sin, we nobodies of the Heart of Africa Mission have vowed ourselves to God for this very thing, the speediest possible proclamation of the Gospel to every creature in the world. Nobodies we well know ourselves to be, yet even naughts count when they run after the figure of the Almighty. We rejoice and thank God for the mighty works He has done through His great and honoured missionary societies, and pray for their continued and increasing success. Where would we have been without them?
Yet they have apparently reached high water mark and begun to threaten retrenchment, a polite word for retreat, and still at the very lowest computation one-third of the world lies unevangelized. The foundations have been laid and the walls half built, it remains to us to finish them and put on the roof, lest the world continues its mockery, These Christians began to build and are not able to finish!
The War of the Devil, the Agony of Humanity and the War of God alike appeal to us. We plead for real Contrition, Fasting, Prayer and Consecration among Gods people. Humble contrite hearts will open to us the ear of God. By fasting and prayer we can even cast out devils. Real consecration shall be the precursor of Conquest. We cannot as at Pentecost all meet together in one place, but we can everywhere meet at the feet of Jesus. Let us meet there continually till HE rain Humility and Righteousness and Love and Valour and Obedience upon us, melting us down and moulding us into the image of Christ.
Thus shall Jesus deliver us from our idolatry of cliques and churches and castes and missions and isms and set all our hearts aflame far Jesus only, with one War Cry, Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Thus shall we love one another as He has loved us, and the world will believe that we are the servants of God: thus shall we be one as Christ and the Father are one, and the world will believe that Jesus was sent of God to be the only Saviour of every human soul; and thus shall we advance under the Captaincy of the Holy Ghost, a united invincible army, to evangelize the world, to destroy the Kingdom of Satan, to pave the way for the coming Empire of Jesus Christ, and to hasten the return of the Blessed Son of God.
Such shall be the results of the evangelization of the world. The Reign of Christthe Redemption of Humanity the defeat and captivity of the Devil and the closing of the Gates of Hell.
What a glorious cause and consummat ion! Other Religion is vain, other philanthropies are but cheats and shams.
It is worth a big sacrifice to bring it about; with a great price only can such grand results he achieved.
As Christ was so must we be in this world, as He drank the cup of suffering, so must we drink it, as He was baptised with the baptism of blood, so must we be baptised, as He deliberately made Himself poor and of no reputation for our sakes, so also must we for the sake of Christ and the heathen.
Is the price too great? Think of the reward before the Throne. Does it mean Crucifixion? Paul said. I am crucified with Christ, and if we are unwilling to be so crucified, we crucify the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame by our disobedience and cowardice, and sow the seeds of infidelity instead of faith. Christ was crucified for us, and beckons us to follow in His steps. Who then this day will consecrate himself unto the Lord?
Emil Rousseau, a Frenchman of 40 years of age, who had previously fought through four campaigns, won medals in each, and a pension of £30 a year, in August, 1914, rejoined the colours; his regiment being only a Territorial he promptly deserted, went to the front, and enlisted in the Foreign Legion, which ever revels in the hottest fighting, thus he fought through the fiercest battles of the war and won his sergeants stripes before being found out and court-martialled. He was, of course, gloriously acquitted, and that in spite of his exceedingly tart remarks to the Court on the folly of having kept him for forty days out of the firing line.
Surely a good many British Christians would do well similarly to desert their stay-at-home Territorial Regiments and enlist in the Foreign Legion of Christ.
Does nobody desire to be thus court-martialled and gloriously acquitted before the Throne of God amid the plaudits of Heaven and earth because of reckless, lavish, prodigal Valour for Christ.
One such life, be its owner never so humble, achieves more for the Kingdom and Glory of Christ, for the edification of the Church of God and the regeneration of the world than oceans of words from millions of the finest preachers and pillars of the Churches of Christendom.
C. T. Studd
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 19 No 4
- What about Temptation?
- Editors Note
- The Gates of Hell Prevailing. Why? And How To Close Them.
- Tape Talk
- Temptation and Its Beneficial Effects
- Reminiscences of Rees Howells The War Years, 19391945
- A Look at a Book
- Living Letters
- Wickedness in High Places
- Every Man is Tempted
- Kims Story
- Letters from Norman