Forerunners

 

A forerunner prepares the way for one who is to come. John the Baptist clarified his own role and witness when he declared that he was preparing the way for the coming of one mightier than he. He was not the one of whom the Scriptures spoke, but he was important to the one who was soon to come.

 

When the Billy Graham Crusade comes into a city, besides being spiritually rewarding, it is an impressive undertaking because of the manner in which organizational details are carried out. Pastor Larry Powell describes one of Graham’s crusades that came through Little Rock, Arkansas. He said, night after night, things moved along without the slightest hitch, so far as one could tell. Vehicles moved smoothly upon city streets, parking was uncomplicated and orderly. Getting in and out of the stadium was remarkably simple. Seating was casual and made easy by polite, easily identifiable ushers. The worship services themselves included a massive volunteer choir, excellent special music, well and effective personal witnesses, challenging sermons by Dr. Graham, and the invitation to respond to the leadership of the Spirit. Counselors were available for those who chose to respond, there was follow-up on new converts, and local pastors were notified for weeks following the crusade about individuals who had indicated a religious preference. The Billy Graham Crusade accomplished a great work for the kingdom of God. But underline this one thing: without long months of preparation by the crusade team who had come as forerunners, the record would read quite differently. Having met with the team, I can confirm that they were excellent representatives for what they were promoting, proficient at what they were about, and assumed a tremendous personal responsibility for the success or failure of the mission.

 

Because we have named the name of Christ, you and I are forerunners of the coming kingdom.

 

We pray for the grace to be good representatives of what we proclaim, proficient in our witness, and assume a personal ownership in the ultimate victory.

 

Adapted from Larry Powell, Blow The Silver Trumpets, CSS Publishing Company

 

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