"Faithful to Thee 'til death"By Eric Davis
This year's indescribable Faith of our Fathers campmeeting would far surpass any "ordinary" expectations, being built up with enormous amounts of prayer preceding the week; strengthened with sound Bible preaching and heart-stirring testimonies during the week; and displayed through Christ-honoring hymns and even more prayer throughout. We would see the gospel message clearly presented every day, with at least three souls converted; one young man surrendering to the call to preach the gospel; and countless hearts encouraged, and the faith strengthened among both Christian teens and adults alike. Testimonies of God's grace abounded, and fellow Christians rejoiced with one another over God's saving power. On one particular afternoon, teens were heard praying (un-provoked after a three-hour campmeeting service) for another hour-and-a-half upon their knees in their bunks, skipping lunch, drawing nearer to the Lord than ever before, thanking Him for everything He had done, pleading for Him to move in the hearts of their friends and family, begging Him for revival in their community. It was truly an indescribable experience to witness these young men and women praise the Lord with their whole heart and soul.
While there were many interesting and fun activities involving water balloons, whipped cream, peanut butter and cat food, make-up and blind-folds, Bible Sword Drills, and several athletic games during the week, the highlight had to be each meeting under the old-fashioned tent, with some old-fashioned preaching, singing, testifying, and old-fashioned conversion.
The faith of our Christian forefathers was rediscovered this week as we humbly learned of godly men and women who boldly proclaimed the precious gospel of our lovely Saviour, Jesus Christ, totally undeterred by unexplainable amounts of torture and faced with certain death. The ordinary men and women used of God in such a mighty way proves to us that that same God can make anything out of a willing servant, even today.
One particular, stirring message told of an incredible love story of a husband and wife separated by imprisonment and punished with death for their faith. Even through their tortures, they frequently encouraged one another with endearing love letters of hope, looking forward to the sweet reunion beneath the "altar of Christ" clothed with the spotless robes of purest white. We heard about a weary and weak preacher regaining strength in his troubled spirit as he stood before a mixed crowd of Christians and persecutors. His final words on this earth were filled with strong rebuke for the false teachings contrary to the established Word of God. We heard of faithful mothers and fathers who armed their children with incredible faith and resilience as they themselves were dragged away from their earthly parents and spotlessly presented before the outstretched arms of their Heavenly Father.
"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." (Psalm 116:15) These heroes of the faith were fully persuaded of their future, knowing that their precious Saviour had gone before them in similar fashion, purchasing for each one an eternal home in Heaven by His own blood. They gladly refused release under the condition of recanting, willing rather to joyfully suffer for their faith with a pure conscience, knowing that their temporary sufferings would not compare to the glorious welcoming of the LORD.
Oh, that our hearts would stir within us in the same fashion, and we, too would boldly proclaim the soul-saving gospel of Jesus Christ without fear of earthly retribution (II Timothy 3:12). As we remember the sacrificial faith of our forefathers, let us also consider the Foundation upon which their faith was securely built (I Corinthians 3:11; 1 Peter 2:6; Matt. 7:24,25), and that He never changes (Hebrews 13:8). As the young men and women fervently prayed at the close of the week, may we also plead daily for the Lord's guidance and for unmovable, unrelenting faith towards our precious Saviour even in the face of persecution!