A Startling Summons in the Night
June 12, 2009
By D.P. Holloway
Most of us know of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, one of
the “Minutemen” in New England at the time of the War of Independence. He hung
the lantern in the Old North Church, mounted his steed, and raced through the
countryside to warn, “The British are coming!” That was the night of April 18,
1775. And Paul Revere was none too early, for at 2:30 in the morning the Battle
of Lexington began. This little nation was stirred to action by that startling
summons in the night.
Our nation has faced many crises since that time. I well
remember my reaction when the announcement came on November 11, 1918, that an
armistice had been signed. What rejoicing! I knew that my two older brothers
would soon be returning from the battle scenes of World War I. And I remember
that Sunday evening when I first learned that Pearl Harbor had been bombed by
the Japanese. I was about to enter my pulpit in Cleveland, Ohio, when I heard
the news. I fell upon my knees and wept like a child. I visualized the horror,
suffering and destruction that would be inflicted upon our own people and on
the nation that had struck the first blow. When Japan finally surrendered and
the victory had been won, I wept again, but this time for joy.
An even more startling announcement than any of these is
made by Paul the apostle. “It is high time to awake out of sleep,” he says,
“for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent,
the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us
put on the armour of light” (Romans 13:11,12, KJV). What is the apostle talking
about? He is speaking of that wonderful day — the day of the second
coming of Christ!
The startling summons of this verse is a call to
watchfulness. We must watch to keep our lives holy, because the day is at hand.
Jesus may come at any moment — no one knows just when. “But of that day
and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither
the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32). And since He will come unexpectedly, we
must watch at all times, lest coming suddenly He find us sleeping (Mark
— Adapted from “A Startling Summons in the Night,”
originally published in the March 7, 1954, Pentecostal Evangel.