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Yesterday, Today, Forever

Story | Bible Verse | Desktop Background

Date:
Author:
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1890
Albert B. Simpson
James H. Burke

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O how sweet the glorious message simple faith may claim
Yesterday, today, forever Jesus is the same.
Still He loves to save the sinful, heal the sick and lame
Cheer the mourner, still the tempest, glory to His Name.

Refrain

Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same.
All may change, but Jesus never! Glory to His Name!
Glory to His Name! Glory to His Name!
All may change, but Jesus never! Glory to His Name!

He, who was the Friend of sinners, seeks the lost one now
Sinner come, and at His footstool penitently bow
He Who said “I’ll not condemn thee, go and sin no more,”
Speaks to thee that word of pardon as in days of yore.

Refrain

Oft on earth He healed the sufferer by His mighty hand
Still our sicknesses and sorrows go at His command
He who gave His healing virtue to a woman’s touch
To the faith that claims His fullness still will give as much.

Refrain

As of old He walked to Emmaus, with them to abide
So through all life’s way He walketh ever near our side
Soon again we shall behold Him, Hasten Lord the day
But twill still be this same Jesus as He went away.

Refrain

 


Story:

Albert Simpson was the third son and fourth child of James Simpson, Jr., and Janet Clark. His family’s strict Calvinistic Scottish Presbyterian and Puritan background formed Albert’s view of his spiritual standing. It sent him searching until he apparently had to seek his doctor’s advice as a youth. Albert was also undoubtedly exposed to solid Christian classics, as were many in the spiritual traditions of the time. It is known that he read Marshall’s Gospel Mystery of Salvation (1692), which brought the 15-year-old youth to a balanced understanding of salvation and Christian holiness.

One influence on Simpson’s missionary fervor may have been Rev. John Geddie. In 1847, Geddie went to the New Hebrides in the South Pacific as a missionary; reportedly a whole island turned to Christ under his ministry. The Geddie memorial in Prince Edward Island says, “When he arrived in 1848, there were no Christians; when he left in 1872, there were no heathen.”

After finishing high school, Albert taught for a while to earn money to enter Knox College at the University of Toronto. At age 21, he graduated and received calls to two churches. One was a small rural congregation, the other the large Knox Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, Ontario. He wrestled between these calls, finally choosing Knox Presbyterian so God could use him as widely as possible. After eight years of highly successful ministry and the addition of 750 new church members, it was said “He was second to none in eloquence and ability and success in his ministry” (A. E. Thompson, A. B. Simpson, His Life and Work, Christian Publications).

In December 1873, Simpson was called to the pulpit of the largest Presbyterian church in Louisville, Kentucky, the Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church. There he joined city wide evangelistic endeavors which opened his eyes to a more active evangelistic ministry of his own. A letter written by Simpson’s father in 1877 to a nephew speaks of his two sons, Howard and Albert:

In response to your request I will give you a brief account of our family. My two oldest sons as you are aware are Ministers of the Gospel. Howard is in the City of Madison, Indiana and Albert is in Louisville, Kentucky. Both are well provided for with regard to the things of this world…I trust they are both laboring faithfully and successfully. Albert indeed is killing himself with hard labor have established mission stations through the whole City which has a population of 150,000 and 30,000 of who go to no place of worship. His own Congregation has doubled since he went to it three years ago.

After five years and reaching a plateau of ministry in Louisville, Albert was called to New York City to pastor the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church. There he was drawn to the masses of immigrant population; indeed, he found a mission field at his door. After leading 100 or so Italian immigrants to Christ, his congregation suggested that they might find another church to attend. Simpson decided then that God was calling him “to a different work” and he left to begin his ministry to the masses in New York.

God’s call on Simpson’s life resulted in a twofold vision. First, the message of the fullness of Christ and its centrality of Christ in doctrine was his Biblical message. This became what he called the Fourfold Gospel: Jesus Christ our Savior, Sanctified, Healer, and Coming King. Simpson attributed the term, Fourfold Gospel, to a suggestion of the Holy Spirit at the opening of the 1890 convention at the New York Gospel Tabernacle. This formulation has been used by the Assemblies of God as well as the Four Square churches. Second, a vision of a lost and perishing world compelled Simpson to send his first missionary evangelistic teams to the Congo. Simpson’s belief and strategy were that Spirit filled people living a Christ like life become active servants. The outcome of these twin visions was the development his Christ centered message and the extension of his local church’s ministry into what has become today the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CAMA).


Bible Verses

Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.



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