The Contender – A Cry From Jack’s Heart

September 2022

1 Corinthians 10:1-4, 6a, 11-12

“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ…Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted…Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples (types) and they are written for our admonition, upon which the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

Deuteronomy 32:10-15, 29 

“He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings; so the LORD alone did lead and there was no strange god with him. He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; butter of kiln, and milk of sheep; with fat of lambs, and rams of the bread of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape. But Jeshuran waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation…O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end.”

The Sin of Jeshuran

Concerning “Jeshuran”, mentioned above in Deuteronomy 32, The Pulpit Commentary states:

“This name formed from a Hebrew form of ‘righteous’ designated Israel as chosen to be a righteous nation; and in the use of it here lies the keenest reproach of Israel as fallen into a state opposite that to which it was destined. By using the name ‘Jeshuran’ in place of Israel, Moses ironically censures those who have swerved from rectitude, by recalling to memory with what dignity they had been endowed, he the more sharply rebukes the perfidy of their crime.”
(Perfidy is defined as “violating faith or allegiance”)

As confessing ‘Christ-Followers’ these sobering words are sadly not foreign to most of our understanding, most especially, as it pertains to our own sense of obedience and loyalty to Him who so loved us and gave Himself for us!

Effectual Preaching to Confront Modern-Day Jeshuran

On August 27, 1876, G. Campbell Morganaged 13, preached his first sermon at Monmouth Methodist Church (UK). He would return 60 years later to preach there again. The outline of his very first sermon I now share with all urgency:
 

  1. A Great Salvation. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3
  2. A Common Salvation. “I was giving all diligence to write unto you of a common salvation.” (Jude 3)
  3. An Eternal Salvation. “He became unto all them that obey Him, the author of eternal salvation.” (Hebrews 5:9)
  4. A Present Salvation. “Behold now is the day of salvation!” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

 
G. Campbell Morgan spoke very wise and convicting words many years later concerning the need for obedient, effectual preachers: “Knowledge of one’s subject is limited by the ability to impart it.”
 
The following story highlights this truth more fully and it was written in complement of what would be so true of young Campbell’s maturing ministry of preaching the Word of God:
 
In the summer of 1873, Dwight L. Moody, the renowned preacher/evangelist came to England on his first preaching mission. Here is what was remembered of Moody’s presence:
 
Mr. Moody’s preaching had a tremendous effect upon England, and a great religious revival swept the country. The whole tone of preaching, too, was modified under his influence. God’s hatred of sin was proclaimed with power, but… with no less zeal, Christ’s unbounded love of the sinner.
 
Dr. R.W. Dale, the great preacher and theologian, told Dr. Morgan in later years that he had known one man who, he felt, had a perfect right to talk about Hell, and that man was D.L. Moody. He stated that the reason he so felt was that he never heard Moody refer to Hell without tears in his voice.” (Taken from “A Man of the Word: Life of G. Campbell Morgan)
 
2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen”.
 
Campbell would later say of this truth: “It is possible to grow in knowledge without growing in grace.


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To Know Christ and To Make Him Known

O, I’m again reminded of the sobering truth etched on wood and cement at the former ‘Old Mill Bible Conference’: “To Know Christ and To Make Him Known.” (1933). 
From the old front wall of the Old Mill Chapel to the cement floor of the new pavilion/tabernacle, let the truth be heralded faithfully of the uncompromised holiness and blessings of God!

I Need Your Prayers

Well, dear ones, as I need to close my thoughts and musings for September of 2022, I must also share with you that I am presently facing a sobering diagnosis of cancer. The way forward is still unknown, but will unfold in the next few weeks I am most sure! On September 28th Sue and I will hear the full ramifications of MRI’s, scans and biopsies.
 
The latest and most accurate facts related to my health are the following:  I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and it is considered to be in the range of ‘4th Stage’.  The primary reason for this is that it has spread beyond the prostate to my femur. While I am experiencing some pain, I am at least aware of the source and now am in prayerful, medical deliberations related to best treatment options.
 
Pray as we seek God’s leading in the “best” way forward! Sue, our family and I have known the mercy and goodness of God for an entire lifetime as a family and in the wonderful service of our Savior. This is another exciting chapter in which our trust and joy will remain fully engaged.

Please pray and know we shall continue forward in His service! I expect to be made well and stay myself in His wonderful service!
 
Our fullest trust and surrender is IN CHRIST, ALONE! I spoke to many of you in the August Fourth Sunday Night Meeting of this impending reality and I promise to address the fullest disclosures of our way forward in early to mid-October.
 
We certainly need your prayers and your continued supply of this mission’s ongoing work! So many of you who read this report have been lifelong, ministry partners and ‘fellow helpers’ of the truth…please stand with us now!
                                                               
For HIM Who is Worthy of Majesty and Glory,          
                    
Jack Crans, Debtor  
Deuteronomy 33:27

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