Recession-proof Christian Life
3/21/11 at 08:26 AM 0 Comments

In Light of Eternity...Ravenhill’s Biography – A Great Book for those seeking God

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Few are raving about a wonderful book I just read “In light of Eternity” The Life of Leonard Ravenhill by Mack Tomlinson....truly a masterpiece to be cherished and a goldmine of spiritual gems and inestimable treasures.  I have often pondered why we must give much enthused attention to sifting through thinly disguised abominations promoted with clever disputing – literary “pork” harbouring worms that only pollute body and spirit while we shut the window and draw the curtains against fresh air and far more beautiful enlightened views of the jewels of God as found in this well written biography of a believer.

I had heard several of Ravenhill’s messages and thought I knew what to expect...but still was struck at the inspiration of bold truths we hear are passé by today’s spiritual arrivistes. Though only a well told biography you cannot but be strengthened by the timeless verities evidenced in a man who stood for old-fashioned holiness and with his dying breath still proclaimed not  just in words but even more in uncommon living example..”It is possible to live a holy life...I did it”... To a generation whose highest morality is “do your best” - this must be revolutionary insight. The book is rich in thoughts about God, words of light, letters of encouragement, poetry, hymns and truths that go to the depth of the soul to bring spiritual beggars out of the dung set them among princes again, and to make them inherit the throne of glory.

Every young Christian must read this book to hear the different voice of someone who rudely screams in the wilderness that a life of true devotion and full consecration to God is not just feasible but is the expected norm.  Len says holiness comes more easily when we live, see and act always “in light of eternity” .  It is no  wonder that the truths concerning eternity remain today’s most attacked pillars...the real target being the purity of our walk with God.  Len was a man who prayed probably more than he did anything else and spoke of many he knew who also prayed – which he called “Life’s highest Calling” every day for hours. He prayed not to be known or successful but for a deep-rooted Revival (God's way) which he believed only God could send.

In his 40s, Len was involved in an awful hotel fire incident (November 1951) which he escaped only with very serious internal and bone injuries that could have silenced many mortals ... but this is a man who must live to tell us how he overcame the shadow of debilitating pain and death itself to live out a full destiny that proved to our generation a rare walk with God.  When in 1994 - a life of 87 yrs passed like a vapour.... relatively few came to his funeral.  But then all his life, he sought to point men and women away from himself and back to Christ.  So why should his death be any different?  He did have one regret he expressed in his last year:”If I had spent more time alone with God rather than preaching and planning how I was going to change the world, I would be a very different man” ... Leonard often read in his sermons a favourite poem quoted in the book titled “A hundred years from now” by Walden Parker...

It will not make much difference, friend, A hundred years from now
If you live in a stately mansion or on a river scow;
If the clothes you wear are tailor-made or pierced together somehow,
If you eat big steaks or beans and cake ... A hundred years from now.
It won’t matter your bank account or the make of car you drive,
For the grave will claim all riches and fame and the things for which you strive.
There’s a deadline that we all must meet and no one will be late.
It won’t matter then all the places you’ve been, Each one will keep that date.
We will only have in eternity - what we gave away on earth,
When we go the grave, we can only save the things of eternal worth.
What matters, friend, the earthly gain for which some men always bow?
For your destiny will be sealed, you see ... a hundred years from now.

Leonard Ravenhill  was perhaps even more blunt in his poetry...see below “Excerpts from Heart Breathings”  By Ravenhill.

No peace like a river attendeth my way
My sorrows like sea-billows roll.
This heart-breaking lot has just taught me to say,
It is hell, it is hell in my soul. 

My sin - O the grief of this guilt in my heart -
My anguish, not part, but the whole,
All adds up to loss, and I bear it alone;
 It is hell, it is hell in my soul. 

Now Satan can buffet, sore trials can come,
When life is all out of control;
My conscience just burns, and dark memories haunt,
It is hell, it is hell in my soul. 

But, Lord, haste the day that will chase off this night,
And scatter this doom from my soul.
With tears I repent, so, dear Lord, let me know
There is hope and relief for my soul. 

With great condemnation I fall at Thy cross,
To confess, not in part, but the whole
Of a sin-blighted life, and to cry to be cleansed,
And to plead, "Take control of my soul."
Only then can I joy and rejoice as I sing
Now it's well, it is well with my soul.  

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