A summary of the address delivered by Rev. J. D. De Jong on August 22 at the Convention of the Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies
A word of welcome was first of all addressed to our veterans. By veteran we do not necessarily make the implications that one is old, but that one has had long experience or practice in some particular service. This term is used especially in regard to soldiers.
There is the common soldier, but also the soldier in the Kingdom of Christ. We, as Protestant Reformed youth, must be soldiers in that Kingdom, and our battle is therefore a spiritual battle. In order to wage that battle we, like the common soldier, must have armor and our armor must be the Word of Truth.
We, as youth, are still in basic training. This basic training is extremely important. There are various places where we can receive this basic training, and our society (to which we will soon return) is one of them. We must train in order that we may learn to know the truth. What are we doing to become soldiers founded in the truth? Is the primary purpose of our society to study the Word of God? It should be, and this we should do diligently, faithfully and consistently. Are we?
Our weakness today is our lack of knowledge of the truth and lack of knowledge of the fundamentals of the truth. We, the young people, are the future of our Protestant Reformed homes and Churches. We must take our places, we must be prepared! Now is the time for our preparation, while we are young and still single. By the time we become married, we should be veterans of the truth.
It is true, we may have a good leader, a fine minister, but we must remember that we are the ones who must do the studying—we must love the truth and make ourselves ready and able to defend it.
Certainly we need help and guidance but do not forget we need exercising. Let us then study that we may become veterans in the truth that no one take our crown.
“This is the Reformed Witness Hour.” At four o’clock every Sunday afternoon these familiar words ring through the air! But why should they? Are there not enough religious programs on the air already? Why should we, such a small denomination, take upon us the additional burden of broadcasting just another religious program? Indeed, it is not!
In general, the so-called religious programs of today are man-centered, presenting Christ as a pleading Saviour, begging, imploring, beseeching all men to accept Him, to come to Him before it is too late. Soft, sweet strains of music combined with the gentle persuasive words of the speaker endeavor to win souls for Christ. It is very evident that in their fervor for saving souls they are little concerned or interested in the honor and the glory of the God of heaven and earth.
The Reformed Witness Hour, however, is distinctively different. We proclaim the Scriptural Truth that God is GOD and that man is incapable of any good, corrupt to the core, and prone to all manner of evil, so much so that he cannot even desire to come to Christ. If salvation depended upon the will of man, not one sinner would be saved, for it is not man’s work, but God must and does draw His children unto Him through the operation of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. Not all men who perished in Adam are again saved in Christ, but only those whom the Lord has chosen before the foundations of the world. It is not the beautiful oratory or the persuasive appeal of a minister that leads men to Christ, but it is the work of God alone, through the pure preaching of His Word, and to Him must be given all the honor and glory. These are the divine truths which he must proclaim, for whenever the truth of God’s Word has been misrepresented or denied, it is our duty as the true Church of Christ to preach the gospel in all its fullness. The command of Christ “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel” still comes to us today.
And in what way can we better do this than through means of the radio? We do not, at the present time, have a missionary laboring in the mission field or contacting those who do not know the Truth and, therefore, as long as we have the privilege of using the radio, we should not neglect to do so, but we should make the most of this opportunity.
The radio is also missionary work as it is an avenue of contact with those outside of our Protestant Reformed circle. Take, for example, the German Reformed Churches of South Dakota. If it were not for the radio, we probably would never have come into contact with them. This is one of the visible fruits of the preaching of the Word over the air.
Proclaiming the Truth on the radio is undoubtedly an influence for good for God always causes His blessing to rest upon the preaching of His Word. And they, into whose homes we enter by means of the radio, will also be held responsible for this Truth. But let us not forget that God also holds us accountable for what we do with the opportunities He has given us. Are we, as Protestant Reformed people, utilizing the means of radio to the fullest extent? Are we doing all within our power to support this cause? Is there a burning desire within our hearts to make others acquainted with the Truth? Let us then all together wholeheartedly support this cause of Christ, saying in our hearts “For the love of God constraineth us.”