‘What’s really important’ by John Chapman
Each month the ACL will feature one article from our archives.
The landscape of Sydney has changed drastically since the ACL was formed over 100 years ago, however the core business of Christian ministry remains the same. We hope these articles ‘from the vault’ will encourage and strengthen your faith and ministry.
This first one is written by John Chapman at a time when he sensed local churches may relax their urgency in evangelism.
With the Gospel, there is never time to relax.
I have just returned from the funeral of a friend who was also a clergyman. He is, in every way, Mr. Valiant-for-Truth. He preached with clarity and passion about the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He urged people to ‘turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the coming wrath’.
He could be trusted to do this whenever you heard him. However, he also worked hard for the defence of that gospel. He was determined that he would take whatever steps were necessary to see that the gospel was available when another generation came along.
As I thought about his life and witness, I thought about the ACL. Its members are dedicated to see that, to the best of their ability, the gospel will be known and passed on to generations yet to come.
Much of the League’s work could be described as ‘behind the scenes’ work. They help us by finding committed Christians, who know and understand the gospel, to serve on the many councils and committees which comprise the working groups in our Diocesan life.
Have you ever noticed, as you have read the messages which the Glorified Christ gives to the Seven Churches in the Revelation, that by the close of the Apostolic Age many of them have lost or forgotten the gospel message? Some are on the brink of extinction. Some are warned by the Risen Christ that if they do not repent they will be abandoned by Him! It is an easy thing to ‘let the gospel slip through our fingers’.
We are in a period of change. Peter Jensen has become our Archbishop. The ACL has a new President, Zac Veron. This is a time to recommit ourselves to the preaching and preservation of the gospel.
From a denominational point of view we may be happy and have a feeling that ‘all is well’. However it is to the world around us that we need to look.
We need, as never before, to be trying with every means at our disposal to get the gospel out to our city and country. At a time when God has brought the nations to us, our opportunities seem limitless.
There never was a time when gospelling was more important. Freedom of speech and freedom to assemble, unknown in many countries of the world, we take for granted. Do not assume that this will last. It is a great privilege and carries with it a great responsibility.
Nothing matters more than that a person should come to know Christ!
– John C Chapman.
John Chapman, 1930-2012, was one of Australia’s best-known and loved evangelists.
He was also a long-serving member of the ACL’s Council.