Missions by W. Ralph Hornby - testimony Article, January 1946

Rev. W. Ralph Hornby pastored four PAOC churches from 1933-1958: Ruthilda, SK, Dauphin, MB, Brandon, MB, and London, ON. He also a wrote a few articles for the Pentecostal Testimony during his ministry tenure.

(The following article was taken from The Pentecostal Testimony, now known as the testimony, Volume 27, Number 2, originally published January 15, 1946. These writings are quoted directly of the author and reflect the writer’s views in the context of that time.)

The Great Mission which the Lord Jesus initiated before His ascension begins at Home. “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” Therefore, we are Scriptural and practical in laying double emphasis upon the promotion of Home Missions.

There is a Foreign field and Home field in the Bible terminology of Missions. The Field is the World. It follows therefore that all Workers called into the harvest field anywhere are missionaries. What could be more natural than to expect every Worker to have a burning missionary vision? Our division of the field, Home and Foreign, arises from the fact that the field originally receiving the Gospel are under direct obligation to forward the message to the unreached areas. However, without detracting in the least from the tremendous importance of Foreign Missions let us arouse ourselves to the amazing fact that there are multitudes in our own land, in our own communities, who do not know what the Gospel really is. They are steeped in worldliness, ceremonialism, lifeless church, organization, and abounding ungodliness. They are calloused, worldly-wise, indifferent, smug in their self-satisfaction. And those in whose hearts is arising a hunger after God are too often swallowed up by one of the miserable cults multiplying in our land, offering nothing but false hopes.

We must sound a clarion call for missionaries for Canada!

Let us examine briefly four unassailable facts.

1. Every true Worker, whether evangelist, pastor, teacher, or of whatever ministry, is a PIONEER for Jesus Christ as long as he lives. 

He is called to be a missionary, continuing to carry the Gospel father and father until all have heard. We do not graduate from the Pioneer stage by reason of age, experience, or position. Paul did not graduate until he laid his head on the block on the Appian Way and was ushered into the presence of the great Head of the Church. David Livingstone’s slogan was “Anywhere with Jesus if only forward”.  

When may I cease to love Missions?

When I have ceased to love Him,

When the Father no longer loves sinners,

When the stars in their paths have burned dim,

When the blossoms no longer need showers,

Or the wild birds their sheltering nests,

When men have no need of a Saviour,

When time ceases flying and rests.

2. If we do not vigorously promote the extension of Missions at HOME, our Movement will eventually atrophy and die.

Observation of other movements bears out this statement. We often hear it said that the secret of success in our work at Home is to have strong Foreign Mission vision. But that is only a partial statement of the truth. Our work will prosper only when we have a large, urgent vision of the need of the unsaved multitude both at Home and in the Foreign field. Are we not big enough to be able to encompass the world in this vision? The early missionaries of the Church were. It is impossible to have a virile Foreign Mission vision without a corresponding Home Mission vision. The Field is the World. It would be a tragedy of the first magnitude for our Pentecostal Movement to pass into retrogression. The only positive assurance against it is to get out and pioneer new fields, open up new assemblies, bring the lost to Christ, lead the saved in the Spirit-filled life. May God help us!

3. It is imperative that we establish and maintain a strong Home base from which to conduct successful far-flung operations on an ever-increasing scale.

That is borrowed from military science and is self-evident. How foolish it would be to attempt operations on a grand scale with a weak home base in imminent danger of collapse, unable to send forward sufficient reserves to maintain the operations. A strong Home Base will do three things. (1) It will produce an ever-increasing supply of Workers, Home missionaries, and Foreign missionaries. Its developing strength will produce the right type of workers, capable, consecrated men. How often it has been said that we do not need better methods, but better men. (2) Such a Home base will be able to pour more and more money into the great cause of World Missions, so that we will not be compelled to retreat by reason of financial embarrassment. I must apologize for introducing even the thought of such a possibility as financial embarrassment in the ranks of the Church of Jesus Christ. (3) Such a Home base will be able to build up a reserve to command in the event of emergency.

4. We must take the Full Gospel, the Pentecostal Message, to every community in Canada in OUR generation.

If the Church is still on the earth the worker who stand in our place will have a completely new generation to deal with. Our generation will have lost its opportunity forever to hear the saving message. Again, may God help us! We can do it. Certainly we can if we will. That is the question – Will we?

Summary – The Need
1. A VISION that will back self-interest out of our lives in the interests of Christ’s provisions for the lost multitudes.
2. MEN – MEN – MEN – for full-time service in the Harvest Field, ready to go anywhere with the Gospel, without any stipulations.
3. SACRIFICE (we haven’t got that far yet), on the part of our Assemblies to support the Home Mission Advance.
4. REVIVAL and enlargement of the vision of us, the present Workers, to deepen our devotion to Christ, and enlarge the circumference of our labours to include all the adjacent fields unreached, until all Canada has heard the wonderful words of life.