Monday 16-18 November saw almost 80 Christians gathered at The Hayes in Swanwick,
Derbyshire, for the annual conference of the Reformation and Revival Fellowship —
formerly known as the Fellowship for Revival.
The first of the two speakers to address
the conference was Rev. John Marshall a congregational minister from Hemel Hempstead.
His three addresses were on the theme of ‘Divine Judgement’. Our nation and the church
are under God’s judgement. The lack of divine restraint on the nation’s sins, and
the manifest absence of God from the life of the church, reveal his severe displeasure.
Yet the church at large is indifferent to this and, in spite of the fact that God’s
name is being dishonoured, there is generally no weeping over her condition.
reaction can be one of despair or of presumption, but the Lord’s people should be
weeping and calling to the God of all mercies.
The other speaker was Jim Elliff from
the USA, president of Christian Communicators Worldwide. His four addresses concentrated
on the life of the individual believer and were on the theme, ‘The Fear of the Lord’.
He defined this as ‘the painful but motivating awareness that God sees and judges
every thought, word and action of my life, without partiality’.
Much emphasis was
placed on the future judgement of both believers and unbelievers (though these two
judgements are of different kinds and have different outcomes). Frequent mention
was made of those who profess to be, and think they are, true believers when their
lives indicate otherwise. Matthew 10:28 was spoken to the twelve apostles! God sometimes
judges, or chastens, believers in this life, disciplining those whom he loves.
‘the fear of the Lord in worship’ was dealt with. Because he is God, he must be worshipped
with fear. He has revealed how he wishes to be worshipped. The question was asked:
‘Do you fear God in your worship?’ and Isaiah 66: 1-2 was quoted.
In addition to
these seven addresses, a video relating to the 1952 Hebrides revival was shown, which
greatly moved and encouraged everyone.
As usual, the meals and the staff left nothing
to be desired and the fellowship was wonderful! Truly, parting is such sweet sorrow,
but there is always next time, God willing, and many have already paid their deposit
for the next conference. This is arranged for 15-17 November 1999, when pastors Mostyn
Roberts (Welwyn) and Geoffrey Thomas (Aberystwyth) are due to be the speakers.
year’s attendance was an increase on last year’s.