There are three aspects of the Christian life which exercise a profound effect upon communion one with the other and the manner in which we make progress. They may be expressed by the three words "fellowship", "revelation" and "evangelism" and each of these aspects must be well considered in relation to the future.
Fellowship involves much more than the mere exchange of social pleasantries or the spending time together on a pleasant Sunday afternoon. Our fellowship involves the life of a family of God, in which each member is deeply and intimately concerned with the welfare of every other member and all are conscious of a common bond in a common aim and ideal. The first essential to any kind of progress together, whether in knowledge or in service, is a union of like minds and the only possible lasting basis for this is our common standing in Christ as his consecrated disciples. As students we are bound to arrive at varying conclusions in the interpretation of Scripture and this is to the good if by this means the constantly unfolding vista of Divine Truth is seen more clearly in all aspects. As we proclaim the glad tidings and herald the Kingdom, there are bound to be different ideas as to the most effective methods of proclamation. This is good, inasmuch as it serves to reveal by the acid test of actual experience how best the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour may be made known. But there is only one fellowship; only one bond of union. That bond is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in each one to sanctification of life, and flowing out from each one to edification and building up. The Shekinah glory, the Angel of the Presence, was in the midst of the host of Israel and under that overshadowing Cloud, and in the radiance of that Light, that host moved forward as one man. We have the Holy Spirit in our midst, around us and within us, to guide and protect us in our turn. It is as a Spirit-guided company that we shall be united as one family so to fulfil our Divine calling, now, as well as in the future, to be a "people for a purpose".
The second essential is revelation. God in his wisdom has from time to time "set" teachers in the Church and their stamp of Divine authority has been such that many, recognising that authority, have accepted the Divine provision thus made and advanced in the unfolding light accordingly. God sees to it that the Church is provided with 'helps' of all kinds, ministers who are able, in varying degrees, to instruct, encourage and exhort the household of faith. God has not provided that a few monopolise this work of the Spirit; every member of the Body of Christ is a 'help' in greater or lesser degree according to ability and zeal. So it comes about that although from time to time in the history of the Church, a teacher arises to shed some particularly bright light upon a difficult part of its pathway, such interventions are the exceptions rather than the rule. The more continuous revelation of truth lies in the ministries of each one of God's people as the Holy Spirit works through them all. It is in our study fellowship, the quiet conversation and reading together, that revelation comes to each mind to appreciate truth. It is essential therefore that as the well known exhortation has it, we "forsake not the assembling of ourselves together" so that our progress, in the understanding of God's plan, may proceed apace and fit us the more for the third essential ‑ evangelism.
Currently, at the beginning of the 21st Century, we must realise that our Christian world has changed during the last century and Christian interest in the Second Advent and its related matters no longer sweeps the world like a prairie fire. The recurrent failure of dates set for events, the rather lurid emphasis upon judgment and condemnation and the fiery dissolution of this planet, combined to bring the subject into disrepute with later and more knowledgeable generations. Not much is said now about the great conferences of the 19th Century when crowds of responsible ministers and layman voiced their convictions regarding the nearness of the age "wherein dwells righteousness". Later came a more balanced and reasoned view of the purpose and manner of the Advent and the Messianic Kingdom. With the expansion of man's knowledge of the Universe and its possibilities, characteristic of our own day, there is a challenge laid before every one of us to relate Scriptural truth to that knowledge and show that God is supreme in this greater Creation of which the human race is now aware. The Christian message must take all this into consideration.
The message should include more than the mere proclamation of the coming Kingdom and the issue of present events in a great Time of Trouble to precede that Kingdom. In proclaiming the "acceptable year of the Lord" and the "day of vengeance of our God" we need to place before all who will listen, the essential truths of the Bible regarding Sin, Redemption, Repentance and the Divine calling to consecration of life for the service of God. There must be a very necessary explanation and exposition of the Bible itself, its history, its trustworthiness, and particularly its basic principle, that man was created perfect and fell into sin, from which fall he is to be saved by the reign of Christ. Let us become known, not as prophets of coming woes to be followed by golden days, but serious, reasonable exponents of a Scriptural philosophy that is solidly founded on the "impregnable rock of Holy Scripture". This must attempt to meet objections though it may not always provide a complete answer. It must view the problems of today in accurate focus and show how the Divine way of life is the only solution to those problems. It will involve much re-examination of general ideas tacitly accepted for years but not necessarily well founded on Scripture. But it will lead to a new realisation of the appeal underlying those historic words "Go ye, teach all nations".