American Engineer Charles F. Kettering was a brilliant man who came to hold 140 U.S. Patents including the patent for Freon. He was the inventor of the electric starter and many other accomplishments. According to some sources he built the first house in the United States to have electric air conditioning. He was born in Loudonville, Ohio in 1876 and died January 11, 1958 in Dayton, Ohio. He once remarked, “High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectations.” It seems that a lot has changed in the past 53 years.
I remember a time when Gospel Meetings drew huge crowds. People would come from miles around and stay for days on end, often in uncomfortable conditions and inconvenience. And these meeting would go on for weeks on end. Souls were converted and the wayward restored. Oh yes, a lot has changed in the past 53 years.
Thanks to Mr. Kettering and other men like him our lives today are so much more comfortable. We have so many conveniences and technological wonders. We have better, faster vehicles that make travel so much easier and less time consuming. We have climate controlled church buildings with padded pews and PowerPoint
presentations. And the meetings seldom last more than three or four days. Yes, a lot has changed in 53 years.
Faithful preachers are still proclaiming the same message. The words of life, love, and hope; salvation from sin and death and an eternal home in heaven through the blood of Christ is still heralded. The reality of Hell and plague of sin and a plea to repent before it is too late is still the exhortation. But yet the buildings are not full, the people no longer come, the lost don’t obey and the wayward are not restored. How sad that so much has changed in the past 53 years.
You see I believe that what has changed is not the expectation, but the drive for high achievement! The congregation decides to have a meeting and with great expectations the members sit back and wait to see what happens and when nothing does, well, why bother. And many have stopped having these meetings altogether. Yes, a lot has changed but it is not the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16) it’s the attitude and activity of the church.