Have you ever traveled, possibly through the western states viewing the beautiful mountains and bountiful plains, or toured the north-eastern states with their autumn colors and beauty as God alone can make them? Upon a safe return, did you relive all the pleasant memories and experiences over and over again? I think we all have. We all are travelers. Day by day and all our life long, “we are marching to Zion.” Our life is much like a book. Our years are written upon its pages until it is full. With this thought in mind, let us pause and reflect upon the past twenty-five years in which our Covenant God has led us as Protestant Reformed Churches. At once we are reminded that many of us at that time were your age, attending the various young people’s societies and conventions: we are now in the forties and fifties. Time has carried us on through years of joy and sorrow, toil and strife. Our thoughts return to the early fifties, when at that time our numbers more than doubled in membership and ministers. The time when all seemed peaceful, as shoulder to shoulder we clung to the truth of God’s Holy Word. But, alas – there appeared questioning clouds upon the horizon of our churches. Some were denoting different sounds of emphasis in the pulpit and societies. The liberated conditioned view of the Covenant had made inroads among us, much due to the influence of Dr. K. Sehilder of the Netherlands, as he lectured and visited our churches from the east to the west, and back from the west to the east. Later in nineteen hundred fifty-three, the separation took place, leaving us in the minority and endangering the loss of our church name and properties. How well I remember one of our ministers saying, “Nothing can be done against the truth, but only in favor of it.” As far as our name Protestant Reformed is concerned, “a rose under another name will smell just as sweet.” Yet, through it all Satan desired to have us that he might sift us as wheat, but our Great Intercessor, Christ, the King of the Church, prayed for us that our faith may fail not. Our God led us through these trying months and years, tested us, and gave us stronger faith and deeper understanding of the truth. So, with fewer numbers (a Gideon’s band), the Lord has continued to bless us as churches. To Him be all glory! He has most bountifully supplied. The Lord has given us our places of worship, our own Protestant Reformed schools of higher and lower education, and our own theological school building, professors, and students in preparation for the ministry. We are thankful for our professors and ministers, present and past–faithful warriors who have, and are, spending their lives for the cause of God’s kingdom. May God bless them forevermore.
As we have scanned the pages of yesterday, let us turn to the unwritten page of tomorrow. We have a serious calling as parents, but also as “young people” (the promising church of the future). Let us look away from ourselves and settle our eyes unto the hills from whence cometh our help. Our help is in the name of the Lord. Let us be much in prayer and remain faithful to the truth – “The blessed heritage” handed down from our fathers. Fight the good fight of faith to the end. Crown our beautiful confessions with a godly walk. Doctrine and life must go side by side. As one of our Reformed fathers stated, “To live a truly Reformed life, one must be constantly reforming his walk.” We read in Amos 6:1: “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion,” and in Rev. 3:11-13: “Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown…Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”