This June I complete my three-year tenure in office as Moderator of ACOP. This could well be my final word to our readers of this column. So I desire that these final words of parting be worthy of the occasion.
May I ask this question and then try to give an answer. “What is the future of our fellowship?” As we know the future is related to the present, and the present is tied to the past. Just as prophecy is related to history. To answer the above question as to our destination, let us first think upon our origin.
Anyone who may be faintly acquainted with this organization will know that it most certainly had its roots in the latter-day outpouring of the Holy Spirit, under the leadership of our esteemed founder, the late Frank Small. It has never been noted for its numbers and its strength has not been in its genius for this organization. The main distinction in my humble opinion is in its distinctive message. Its emphasis is upon the Deity of Jesus Christ. Not preaching Him as “a God” or part of God, but rather as God and “the fulness of God bodily.” With this of course there is much importance placed upon the name of Jesus.
Then because we found our origin in the very early day of the latter-day outpouring of the Holy Ghost, we place great importance upon the Pentecostal experience with the fruit and the Gifts of the Spirit manifested…
Not in any way minimizing the above, yet my greatest appreciation for this Organization is found in its strong stand for the Grace of God. So you find in this Fellowship the beautiful combination of the Power of God and the Grace of God.
“My greatest appreciation for this Organization is found in its strong stand for the Grace of God. So you find in this Fellowship the beautiful combination of the Power of God and the Grace of God.”
Let me emphasize again our past and our present can only be justified by our distinctive message. Now, what about the future? There is a sense in which our future is in the hands of God. But let us not forget there is a very real sense in which our future is in the hands of our ministers. I am convinced that if we preach this message entrusted to us with conviction and the fear of God, this Fellowship will grow and go. If on the other hand, we compromise, then God will no longer be interested in our Organization as such. Without His blessing, we will go the way of all man-made machines; piled up on the sandbanks of human failure.
Now in conclusion, what we do with what we have will determine our future. Now, as all-important as the message may be, and not taking from the prime importance of the power of the Holy Ghost, one other thing will play a big role in the future of our Fellowship…
The character of our leaders. Will we be men of integrity, sincere, honest, of good report of those within as those without?
For my brother preacher, we can preach our sermons, true to the letter, theologically correct, but if the life is not there to back it up it will sound like brass. Let those who handle God’s Word and speak of His power also know its great sanctifying effect in our lives.
Remember it is a Holy Bible you hold in your hand. Do not forget for a moment that it is the Holy Spirit that will enable you. You are required to be a Holy man of God.
If we keep these things in mind God has written our destiny in the stars. We cannot fail, we can only triumph.