Reformation and revival
The Reformation and Revival conference at Swanwick from 16-18 November included fervent prayer and powerful ministry. Gwynn Williams, pastor of the Welsh Evangelical Church in Cardiff, gave three encouraging and challenging messages on 2 Timothy 1 and 2:2.
Mr Williams used the illustration of rugby football. Timothy had ‘caught the ball’ of the gospel. We need to rejoice in the gospel’s precious truths and ‘hold on’ to them. Paul exhorts Timothy in 1:13: ‘hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me’.
There is a danger of loosening our grip on the whole counsel of God. A desire to get unbelievers onside can cause us to accommodate contemporary unbiblical ideas. We need to hold the truth fast ‘in faith and love’ and by the power of the Holy Spirit (v.14).
A third task of the rugby player is to ‘pass the ball on’. We need to give basic teaching in which we make no presuppositions, and persevere with preaching even if there is only one who will listen, believe and pass the message on to others.
Kenneth Stewart, minister of Dowanvale Free Church in Partick, Glasgow, gave three messages from I Kings 17-19 about Elijah’s involvement in reformation and revival.
Although the prophet was ordinary, he was also extraordinary in his praying and obedience to God’s will. God gave him courage to stand before Ahab and tell him of his and the nation’s sin. Mr Stewart brought out important and fresh lessons from Elijah’s encounter with the prophets of Baal.
He also dealt thoroughly with Elijah’s discouragement as he ran away from Jezebel and subsequently met with God at Horeb. Elijah needed to be reminded that God had more work for him to do.