Eldon Knudsen - Gospel Meeting - Glencoe, Australia - 1995

God has been calling at this Convention and I don’t suppose there is one of us who has not heard in some way or another. We are so thankful for God’s patience with us and kindness in dealing with us, in giving so much. In Luke 7:19, John the Baptist sent his disciples to Jesus to ask Him, “Art Thou He that should come? Or do we look for another?” Jesus said in verse 22, “Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard...” After they went back to John, Jesus said to the people concerning John, “What went ye out into the wilderness to see?” In verses 27-28 is the testimony Jesus gave of John.

 

John was in prison at this time, because he spoke to Herod of the standard of righteousness. Herod liked to listen to John about eternal things, but when it came to this, he put him into prison. Herodias hated John because of this and she arranged for John to be beheaded. John wanted his disciples to follow Jesus, the Lamb of God. Jesus went on to say of John that there was no greater prophet than He.

 

Some of those who went to see John were expecting to see some great thing to happen, but those who went to see him as a prophet received a message from God to repent, and many did and were baptized of John. They came to the place of repentance and brought forth fruits meet for repentance. They were justified by saying, “God is right.” The message coming from our hearts these days is that God is righteous. God is a righteous God, there is nothing unrighteous in Him.

 

Jesus went on in verses 31-32, “Whereunto shall I liken the men of this generation? And to what are they like?” What is this generation like? Where do we fit in? Calling one to another are the two sides of the Gospel story. There is the right choice we have been hearing about and the cost of it, and then the cost of rejecting the Gospel. We were in the workplace one day and we saw a woman playing a tune on an instrument of just one or two strings and it was very lovely, captivating the fellows as they went by. She was expecting something, a little sacrifice from them. Another day saw the same woman sitting there, a little child with her. She was playing a very solemn tune. Some of those people were captivated by that melody seeing that woman by that little child and they were moved to sacrifice.

 

We have been hearing the story of the Gospel, the peace and satisfaction of knowing we are loving and pleasing our Creator. Perhaps some other messages are what would happen if we reject Him. Where would we be found? What is this generation like? What are we doing now with the messages we have heard? We are soon going out and every one of us is going to have to do something with what we have heard. Are we going to say, “God is right,” and accept it and prove God is right, or, going out, are we going to be rejecting the message of hope for ourselves and continue in our own pathway?

 

My elder brother was walking in God’s pathway but was lured away by the attractions of the world. There are pleasures in this world but they are very shallow, empty, and short-lived. He wanted the pleasures of this world. Dad tried to talk to him to consider what he was doing but he did not listen and went out. Years went by and he returned to some meetings and wanted to make a new start but went out and was lured away again. Time and time again he wanted to return but could not seem to make the right about turn. “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” If we sow wild oats, that’s what we will reap. There is a price to pay even when we go back again. A mark has been left and the person regrets that they ever went out.

 

I used to worry about my elder brother. He never found a place of repentance and was killed in a car accident. He was never willing to humble himself. What are we going to do with the messages we have heard in these meetings? Jesus was with His disciples at the feast of the Passover. They went out from the Passover. Peter went out to deny Jesus though he didn’t intend to. Maybe some of us, in our weakness, might deny Christ. Peter didn’t stay there. He went out and wept bitterly and found a place of repentance and returned.

 

Nurses in their studies are told how to treat patients and how to give medications. They are told, “If you make a mistake, be sure you always know the remedy for it, and immediately apply it.” We are thankful we have been here these days, hearing about the wonderful plan of God, and are going out in confidence that this is God’s way and we are going to follow it. Maybe in our weak moment, we may deny Christ, but we know the remedy and God is anxious to lift us up.

 

Another man went out from the Passover and he went out into darkness. That was Judas. He went out to betray Christ. If we go out without Christ in our life into a cruel, dark world, it will only want to destroy us. Satan wants to do that. Judas went out into the darkness and before he realized what he had done, the door had closed for him. “Strive to enter in at the strait gate, for many shall seek to enter in and shall not be able ... I know you not whence ye are.”

 

Not one of us who are of the years of understanding can say we don’t know what God’s will is for us. When the door is shut, this closes the promises of God. Matthew 7:7, “... knock and it shall be opened unto you.” The door was closed now and would not be opened again. It would be sad if we were satisfied with what we are now. The children in the marketplace were looking for a response from their fellows and that is what God is looking for as we go out.

 

The Workers are also going out from this place. I have heard many things that are a help to me, but I must respond to them. The Workers are going out to sow the seed, because we have faith in the seed that it will produce, as Jesus taught us, if it falls into good soil, that it will produce what God has promised, and in our life, too. Before the meeting, I read hymn 405 about the call to labour. Later, you might hear this call once more to labour. I hope God will continue His call to labour to the young ones in this meeting.

 

I thought of the Friends leaving this Convention. Matthew 25 speaks of the ten virgins. They went out to meet the bridegroom. It says that they all slumbered and slept. There has to be a time of rest, but we want to make sure we always have in our being the love of God that will awaken and quicken us even in the midnight hour when the call comes, that we will always be able to rise and trim our lamps and meet Him. We don’t know when the Bridegroom is coming, and if we are ready, we won’t need to worry. We don’t want to be like the foolish who wanted to borrow and were told, “But we have not enough, just enough for ourselves.” They went to the source but came back too late and the door was closed.

 

In Mark 2:3-12, they brought to Jesus a man sick of the palsy. When he was healed, he went forth and glorified God. He praised God in thankfulness. There may be some with us who have not made their choice to serve God, going out from this meeting also. What are you going to do? In Luke 7:12-15, a young man was carried away by others because he had died. He was the only son of his mother and she was a widow. Can you imagine the sorrow? If you go out in that dead condition you will be carried away. Our prayer is that you will feel God wants to touch your life. You don’t have to go out in that condition, but in the power of God and with the help of God.

 

I am glad I was raised in a home with parents who loved God. When I was young and going to school, there were about five churches in our little town. I thought perhaps that they were right also but I went home and opened my Bible to Matthew 10 of Jesus and the way God planned.

 

In the country where I work, they have hired and paid preachers, not in the way of God, but in man’s way and that can only produce man’s ideas and results. In Sweden, there is a state church. When a priest is needed, they advertise and different ones can apply. They have to give a trial sermon and then they are voted on by the congregation. What Jesus established is still the same on this earth today and we are thankful for those who continue to follow.

 

I hope there will be a positive response to what God has been able to speak to us. I hope we are not so hardened that God has not been able to speak. May we go out to do the will of God and be a light in this dark world, and know salvation. This is what brings so much joy to us.