The Great Hope (Adapted)


Chapter 6—True Peace

Wherever the Word of God has been faithfully preached, the results that followed demonstrated that it was from God. Sinners felt their consciences awaken. Deep conviction took hold of their minds and hearts. They had a sense of God’s righteousness, and they cried out, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). As the cross of Jesus was revealed, they saw that nothing but the merits of Christ could atone for their sins. Through the blood of Jesus, “God had passed over the sins that were previously committed” (Romans 3:25). GrH_a 24.1

These people believed and were baptized and rose to walk in newness of life. By the faith of the Son of God they would follow in His steps, reflect His character, and purify themselves even as He is pure. Things they once hated they now loved, and things they once loved they hated. The proud became meek, the vain and haughty became serious and meek. The drunken became sober, the immoral pure. Christians did not seek the outward decoration of “arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel,” but “the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3, 4). GrH_a 24.2

Revivals brought solemn appeals to the sinner. They bore fruit in people who did not draw back from self-denial but rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for the sake of Christ. Onlookers could see a transformation in those who decided to follow Jesus. Effects like these used to follow times of religious awakening. GrH_a 24.3

But many modern revivals are very different from these. It is true that many people claim to be converted, and large numbers join the churches. But the results do not support the belief that there has been an increase of real spiritual life in those who responded. The light that flames up for a while soon dies out. GrH_a 24.4

Popular revivals too often excite the emotions, appealing to the love for something new and startling. People converted in this way have little desire to listen to Bible truth. Unless a religious service has something sensational in it, it does not attract them. GrH_a 24.5

With every truly converted person, relating to God and to eternal things will be the great topic of life. Where in the popular churches of today is the spirit of consecration to God? Converts do not turn their backs on pride and love of the world. They are no more willing to deny self and follow the meek and lowly Jesus than they were before their conversion. Godliness has almost completely gone away from many of the churches. GrH_a 24.6