Our church is hosting the local zone’s camp meeting this week. For you non-Nazarenes, a zone is a smaller group of churches that are part of the larger district and camp meeting is just another word for revival. Our church has not hosted such an event in quite some time and as you can guess, the building has been cleaned and polished and the ladies have been assigned their night for nursery and snacks.
It began yesterday morning and stuck right in the middle of the message was a story about a teen that had been wandering down the “wrong road” and finally accepted the Lord as his Savior. As the teen’s family came up to shake hands and give hugs the pastor asked one of the uncles if was ready to make the same profession of faith. The uncle replied, “Almost. Camp meeting is in two weeks, I’ll do it then.” Two weeks…
Just a couple of days after that Sunday morning conversation, the pastor received a call…he rushed to the hospital…but it was too late. The uncle had a heart attack and died before the pastor arrived. Two weeks, just two more weeks…and they never came.
As the preacher wound down his impassioned, evangelistic message of salvation for the lost, regeneration for the weary, and sanctification for the new believer, the congregation started praying, swaying and singing:
Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Our praying saint, we all know this person…the one you go to with your requests because you know without a doubt that she will intercede on your behalf, the one that prays constantly for the pastor and his wife, for the classes, for the lost….she made her way up and began praying…a few more joined…not many…
Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Another impassioned plea from the preacher… “Don’t let another minute pass…your salvation is at hand…today is the day…you may not have two weeks…”
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; sight, riches, healing of the mind, yea, all I need in thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
You could hear the sniffles throughout the sanctuary…you could see the women, and some of the men, dabbing their eyes with Kleenex and soft embroidered hankies. And the congregation prayed, swayed, and sang.
Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Then it happened…a young mother, who attends quite regularly, stepped-out and made her way to the corner of the prayer bench and as our pastor and his wife joined her in prayer she reached out and touched the throne of grace. A new believer, a child of God…snatched from hell’s flames and set on the path of righteousness…and the angels in heaven danced as the congregation prayed, swayed, and sang:
Just as I am, thy love unknown hath broken every barrier down; now, to be thine, yea thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Mark 1:15 "The time has come," he said. "The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" ~NIV