Monthly Archives: January 2015

AW Pink on Erroneous Evangelism

A Peculiar Pilgrim

The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist.   He announces a savior from hell rather than a savior from sin.  And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.” – Originally from article Saving Faith: Part 1 Signs of the Times. Cited in the DVD Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism

I believe this quote from Pink is essential in developing a biblical approach to evangelism.  It’s all too easy to gain ‘converts’ by scaring the ‘hell’ right out of people by conjuring horrific imagery of an eternal state of suffering and misery. Who in their right mind would choose this fate over one of eternal bliss?  Heaven and hell are not the primary issues we are faced with…

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“There But for the grace of God, go I”

“There But for the grace of God, go I” is a saying attributed to the English evangelical preacher and martyr, John Bradford (circa 1510–1555). He is said to have uttered the variant of the expression – “There but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford”, when seeing criminals being led to the scaffold. It basically means “I too, like someone seen to have suffered misfortune, might have suffered a similar fate, but for God’s mercy.” I had to look it up on the internet to find the original source. I have used the phrase many times. Tonight was one of those times.

I met a homeless guy tonight. His name is Omar. I have seen him before, but he did not remember me. I was in the park, in Jinotepe, with a few guys passing out tracts several months back. Omar was there was swearing at me from his drunken stupor. Tonight, just before it was dark, Omar was finding a place to lie down for the night. Our eyes met and I saw a little sparkle. Truth is, I thought about picking up the pace and just avoiding him. Then I thought of the verse in Acts where Peter and John saw the man at the temple gate.

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Acts 3:1-6

Omar certainly thought he was about to “receive” something from me. He was all scuffed up, had a busted lip and scabs on his elbows. He had obviously been having a few rough days in a row. Immediately, he asked me if I could help him out. I told him that he had fallen in a well and that he was out of my reach. I explained to him that he was living a life at war with God and that he was never going to win. I also explained to him that could only be rescued by Jesus. He wept bitterly and put his head on my chest. I prayed for him and he cried and cried. I pray that Omar cries out to Jesus. He is a step ahead of most people; he knows that he is lost.

The truth is that everyone is at war with God until he reconciles us. We can all say, “There but for the grace of God, go I” when we see someone like Omar. What is keeping us from being homeless and swearing at those who represent the Gospel? It is only the grace of God. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That is what I told Omar tonight. Even though he was committing treason and claiming that he was king of his life, the king of Kings died a horrible death on the cross, because without the sheading of blood, there is no remission of sin.

I was in a well. There was no way I could get out. I fought, I scratched, I cursed. It was not in my power to get out. I was trapped in the life of Sin. Jesus came and set me free. There but for the grace of God, I would still be. Call out to Jesus!hummingbird2

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5 years in Nicaragua!

Today, we are celebrating the provision of God. We have officially been in Nicaragua for 5 years. It is truly amazing what God has done over those 5 years.

One of the most significant areas of growth in our ministry is in our Family Worship time. When we first came to Nicaragua, the topic of family worship was all but foreign to me. We prayed together but we never had a committed time to sit as a family and model true worship in front of our kids. I think it is something that is lacking in families today. When we came down, I realized that there was no church or Sunday school class that I could send the kids to get their spiritual training. While reading Deuteronomy 6, I realized that God’s plan was for men to teach their children the ways of the Lord. As I studied more, it became even more obvious how important it is for fathers to lead their families in worship time. Being the leader has caused me to study harder to understand God’s word, so that I might communicate the message of God’s love to my family.

Our worship time is very simple and takes hardly any time. First we pray. I have 5 prayer subjects (because there are 5 of us). I ask each child which subject they want to pray for, then April and I take the remaining subjects. Currently, our prayer board consists of :

  • Persecuted Church,
  • Family and Friends,
  • Pastors,
  • The sick, and
  • Ministry opportunities.

We take a short time to go around the room the room and put things in each category.

We try to work on learning a few hymns each year. We started off this month learning When I Survey The Wondrous Cross. It is a joy to hear the kids singing the hymns when going about the house. We have memory verses we are constantly working on. Each week we have a portion of scripture we commit to memory as a family. We have just learned about an app called Fighterverses.com that helps with memorizing scriptures. This year we have started memorizing Matthew 5-7. We have broken it up into 52 weeks.

Another part of our family worship is reading. We are currently in Luke. Each day all 5 of us take a turn reading a scripture portion. I started out asking each person to read a chapter, but this turned out to be too much and we have scaled it down considerably. The main thing is to make it enjoyable for everyone and something that everyone looks forward to. If it takes too long, the kids get bored and loose interest.

It is my prayer that you would consider starting a family worship time in your home.

I found these books helpful:

A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home by Jason Helopoulos et al. Link: http://amzn.com/1781912033

Family Worship: In the Bible, in History & in Your Home by Donald S. Whitney Link: http://amzn.com/0978523806

Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes by Voddie Baucham Jr. Link: http://amzn.com/B00657QTPC

Rediscovering Family Worship Link: http://amzn.com/B009D1RVE0

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