Tuesday, October 31, 2006

kumpewtar eliterat

Wow, I just spent the better part of this evening trying to get this blog to look like I wanted it, and it still isn't quite right. But for me, it's a job well done. I have many more important things to do.

Tonight was the trunk or treat community outreach event at my church. It was a great time with a great turnout. Over 500 kids from the community (not including Rives Baptist kids) were there. What a blessing! No word on the results yet but we hope that relationships were built with people and that unbelievers can see that we are just normal people, only we believe that Jesus Christ took our sin penalty upon Himself in death and that believing this is the only means of salvation from the penalty of sin. :-) That doesn't make us not normal. We're still just normal people, and hopefully that was communicated tonight so when we do have the opportunity to proclaim the gospel our message will be heard.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Our Message

Just had one of our good friends Jon Coe come over for supper this evening. Jon recently returned from an extended tour of Asia getting a feel for what the mission field is like over there. He had some fantastic stories to share from his journey, but one aspect of his trip stood out to me more than the others and that has to do with a missionary that Jon met along the way.

Jon met a missionary who will go unnamed as will his country as to not to compromise him. This individual has been in this country for years and goes around with a New Testament in the national language and he can speak this language brokenly. However, he finds himself going to different ethnic groups within this country that don't speak the national language, yet he tries to get converts by getting them to read the New Testament. While he says that he has had many responses in his travels, I wonder how effective he is.

It reminds me of when I was younger, and my pastor went on a mission trip to the Philippines. He spoke through an interpreter and was there for about 3 weeks. In those 3 weeks he saw somewhere around 5,000 salvations. It was so strong the response that when he returned he said "People are so ready to get saved over there that you could say 'boo' and people would get saved."

I have an extreme problem with that statement. We cannot ever come to the point that we believe our message doesn't affect the response. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." (Romans 10:17) Unless God's words are being communicating a person cannot believe those words. I do not wish to demean the labors of these two brothers however I use their labors illustratively to ask, whose words are you communicating with a dying world? Your words or God's? Who's message? May we be found faithful to what God has said and intended in the Bible. And may we never confuse "raised hands" with understanding the gospel.