The Big Vision of What We are About!
by The Rev. Steve Thayer, President, PRMI Board of Directors
As we embark on the Ten-Year Development plan, it is good for us to look at this in the larger context.
What we are really looking at is not a 10-year plan, not even a 100-year plan, but being part of God’s great plan that has been in place since the fall of mankind.
God’s plan is nothing less than to make ALL THINGS new in Christ. God’s plan is to so expand his Kingdom and rule that “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
The manner in which God has done this is through the people he has called to himself in grace and the pouring out of his Spirit to revive, refresh, empower and advance.
The 18th Century pastor & theologian Jonathan Edwards expressed a Biblical vision for the advancement of the kingdom in a posthumously published work The History of Redemption based upon Ezekiel 39:29 in which God promised a rebellious people: “I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.“
“From the fall of man to this day …. the Work of Redemption in its effect has mainly been carried out by remarkable outpourings of the Spirit of God.
Though there be a more constant influence of God’s Spirit always…. yet the way in which the greatest things have been done towards carrying on this work always has been by remarkable outpourings of the Spirit at special seasons of mercy…..”
“The Spirit of God shall be gloriously poured out for the wonderful revival and propagation of religion.
This great work shall be accomplished, not by the authority of princes, nor by the wisdom of learned men, but by God’s Holy Spirit:
Zechariah 4:6, 7. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”……
We know not where this pouring out of the Spirit shall begin…., or whether, what hath already taken place, be not some forerunner and beginning of this pouring out of the Spirit of God, but when it is begun, shall soon bring great multitudes to forsake that vice and wickedness which now so generally prevails; and shall cause that vital religion, which is now so despised and laughed at in the world, to revive.”
“The work of conversion shall break forth, and go on in such a manner as never has been hitherto;….God, by pouring out his Holy Spirit, will furnish men to be glorious instruments of carrying on this work; will fill them with knowledge and wisdom, and fervent zeal for the promoting the kingdom of Christ, and the salvation of souls, and propagating the gospel in the world.
The gospel shall begin to be preached with abundantly greater clearness and power than had heretofore been. This great work of God shall be brought to pass by the preaching of the gospel, as is represented in Revelation 14:6,7,8 that before Babylon falls, the gospel shall be powerfully preached and propagated in the world.” – Jonathan Edwards