Years ago I had the blessing to meet and build a relationship with two outstanding Christians, Joe and Bettina King, he, an American by birth, and she, German. Now in retirement years they spend their time in two locations, Signal Mountain, Tennessee, and Stuart, Florida. Joe is 99 years old and Bettina is still active in her Christian witness. She lived in London during the WW2 Nazi bombing and writes about three internationally famous Christian pastors whom she personally knew. Bettina further challenges today’s church to reclaim its lost place of influence. She writes, "I have personally known these three Christian leaders who influenced me profoundly and am taking the liberty to express the outstanding qualities I saw in each:
Dr. Francis Schaeffer, under whom I worked for a year. He refused endorsement from any denomination because he was determined to pursue the ministry God had called him to without being controlled by institutions or individuals--Christians included. He trusted God for his needs. Every Monday morning the staff met for prayer and asked the Lord to meet the needs for that particular week. He did not fail us. When there were particular needs, Dr. Schaeffer called for a day of fasting and prayer. Students and staff dispersed into the lovely country side alone (Switzerland) to search their hearts, to pray and read the Word. The answers came as the community repented. It was a great faith-builder for me to know that if God ordains a ministry, He will also take care of it. Dr. Schaeffer boldly proclaimed TRUTH in the face of much criticism, especially from the American Church. But trusting the Lord, he bravely plowed the barren land of a deteriorating culture in relation to the teaching of Christ--always promoting the Word of God as the only answer. He never compromised nor deviated from the ministry God called him to. I am a witness to his integrity and the godly life he lived before those in his care. He was not a perfect man but he quickly sought the Lord when something was amiss.
Dr. John Stott tackled the Church of England and suffered persecution and ridicule as he put Evangelical Christianity on the map. The Church of England made every attempt to taint his character. I was among the young body of Christians (young in age and in faith) who were blessed to sit at his feet, then go back into our schools, universities, or work places, to witness to the life of Jesus. We were not perfect, but aflame for our Lord. We started with some 500 young professionals who met in individual homes for Bible study. These young professionals shared apartments during the work week, then went home on weekends, where their lukewarm parents, who attended lukewarm or dead churches were astonished to see the passion for Christ in their children. It was a time where I witnessed much fruit in the London business sector. Dr. Stott's ministry had a tremendous impact on London and all England; those who followed became complacent and dropped the ball. At the end of his phenomenal ministry, Dr. Stott retired into a one bedroom apartment so that the bulk of the funds from the sale of his books and tapes could be used to help train ministers around the world.
Dr. Martyn-Lloyd Jones had a very large following at Westminster Chapel in London. He taught the Book of Romans for two solid years and there was standing-room only! His teaching the truth of God’s Word attracted many who were tired of hearing lame messages in their churches. The result, the witness of Christians living Christ-like lives in all areas of society, was felt throughout London! He also taught a simple form of prayer based on faith in a faithful God. As the German Luftwaffe was bombing London and other cities, people ran to church to pray for peace. Then, they ran to church to thank God for peace. Dr. Lloyd-Jones said in one of his messages that we should not expect God to grant peace when we have no intention of changing our life style to one of repentant obedience to Almighty God. He had 45 minutes of corporate prayer either before the morning service or before the evening
As far as I am concerned, I am tired of establishment-politicians making promises they don’t keep. And while we can not expect anything good from this Administration, I am disappointed in the lack of Congressional leadership as well. While Satan wreaks havoc in our society, where are the Christians who faithfully pray that the Lord would change them so that their lives would affect those around them? Where are the churches that hold weekly prayer meetings, who combine these prayer meetings with other Bible-believing churches? How many Christians understand the Book of Revelation? Where are the pastors to teach on the subject? Most of us do not know about the weapons Jesus has put into our hands to fight the enemy, particularly in the area of deception? And, yes, I know, that the times will get darker yet. But is this not the time for the Body of Christ to revert to the essentials and put up a fight – regardless of the cost? As I experienced personally, it starts with one man or woman determined to obey the Lord, to come out of hiding and tackle whatever issue He puts before them.
For reading I recommend Agents of the Apocalypse by Dr. David Jeremiah.