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Archive for the ‘Missions’ Category

This is a video by Global Frontiers Missions titled “State of the World / The Task Remaining.”

It is an insightful video concerning the task of missions.

It made me have a burden not only for the lost but specifically for in countries that require creative access to those countries and areas to reach the lost.

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Shadow of the Almighty

Elisabeth Elliot. Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot.  New York, NY: HarperOne, October 21st, 2014. 336 pp.

The author Elisabeth Elliot was the wife of the famous missionary and martyr Jim Elliot.  The author’s classic book on her husband, Through Gates of Splendor, was written in the 1950s but what makes this book different than the first one is that this is written many decades later.  This book examines more of Jim Elliot’s own writing from his letters and personal diary.  The letters examined include those written to Jim’s parents, siblings and Elisabeth before they got married.  This book gives an honest portrait of a Christian who desires to serve God and also struggles as well.  I was much encouraged reading this book although at times I felt it was somewhat prolonged in the author’s choice of what details to share to the readers.  But don’t let that distract you as the reader: this book challenged me to think about the sacrifices involved with missions and also convicting to think about how young Jim Elliot and his fellow missionaries were when they went out to try to reach the unreached Huaorani tribe which of course they were eventually killed by when they were contacting them.  Of course, the rest is history—as a result of their deaths, God used it to call more Christians to the missions field with their example and martyrdom.  I plan one day to read Through Gates of Splendor also.

Purchase: Amazon

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Lord willing this week I want to write several posts on training pastors and leaders for the churches overseas especially in areas that are considered frontiers missions field.  For those interested you might also want to read my post from last year titled “.”

green berets illustration missions theological education

I appreciate blogger Dan Cartwright, a former Green Beret and career soldier.  I’m using an illustration from his world that I think is helpful in describing the need and means of bringing theological education to local national pastors in the context of frontiers missions.

US Special Forces (Green Berets) must not be confused with Special Operation Forces.  Here’s how Wikipedia describe the missions of US Special Forces (Green Beret):

The primary mission of the Army Special Forces is to train and lead unconventional warfare (UW) forces, or a clandestine guerrilla force in an occupied nation[citation needed]. The 10th Special Forces Group was the first deployed SF unit, intended to train and lead UW forces behind enemy lines in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe[citation needed]. As the U.S. became involved in Southeast Asia, it was realized that specialists trained to lead guerrillas could also help defend against hostile guerrillas, so SF acquired the additional mission of Foreign Internal Defense (FID), working with Host Nation (HN) forces in a spectrum of counter-guerrilla activities from indirect support to combat command.[citation needed]

Special Forces personnel qualify both in advanced military skills and the regional languages and cultures of defined parts of the world. While they are best known for their unconventional warfare capabilities, they also undertake other missions that include direct action raids, peace operations, counter-proliferation, counter-drug advisory roles, and other strategic missions.[13]

(Source)

Note what I highlighted in bold from the quote above.  I think the great examples of the Green Berets that has bearing for our discussion is their ability to train other forces and being skillful in how they go about it.  I think in some sense this is analogous to how we in the West should bring theological education overseas in the context of frontiers mission fields or area that requires creative access.

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world map missions

Hey brothers and sisters in Christ,

Again thank you all for praying.

Thank you for those who wrote guest blogs and holding down the fort while I was away!

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I saw this excerpt clip from a larger sermon by Paul Washer about a month ago and for some reason I’ve been thinking about this.

I hope you watch it, it’s short enough (6 minutes).

 

It made me think a lot about the incredible need for good biblical resources for pastors and church leaders overseas in the missions field.  There is a serious need for resources, serious need for translations and serious need for materials being affordable.  There is also the need for more teachers who are capable to go overseas and not just stay in cozy seminary settings in the West waiting for the rest of the world to come to us for theological education.

It has made me pray more for God to equip God’s people overseas.  I think Paul Washer’s ministry is a wonderful ministry to support.

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True Sons of Heaven David Marshall

Earlier this month I wrote a post titled “I noted typos in David Marshall’s book, he fires back I have bad grammar” in which I responded to the first paragraph of David Marshall’s response to my book review of his book titled “True Son of Heaven.”  I noted in that post that my own responses to some of his other comments will take some time, that I’m weighing things carefully and willing to own up to errors I’ve made while defending the points I think is still legitimate and exposeing anything I see as problematic with Marshall’s response.  Here’s a quick post.

David Marshall said:

I didn’t say Mao was a fulfillment of Jesus, for heaven’s sake! How could you miss the point so spectacularly?

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Nepal

Gospel for Nepal

As of late, we have been receiving many twitter hates towards Christ and His Gospel.  That’s right, if you hate Christians, the Gospel, then you hate Jesus Christ.  And if you are a professing Christian that is willing to rebuild the temples or hostile towards Gospel preachers, you should be ashamed of yourself.  You need to repent and ask God for forgiveness for assailing His servants.  Many of our attackers come from Hindus who are not only from India, but Hindus who live in America.  Yes, the land that grants freedom of religion and the freedom to preach the Gospel have its very anti-Gospel dwellers.  Some of these critics rail against Christians sharing the Gospel in times of tragedy.  How can we just limit ourselves to humanitarian needs (which is important), and not share the Gospel of Jesus Christ that feeds the soul for eternity?

Many of our critics have slandered and blasphemed God the Creator of their soul.  There has been a huge misrepresentation of the Gospel.  Here are some of the tweets.  There is an insurmountable tweets that it is difficult to count them so we will only give a sample of them.  And some can not be shared due to its obscenity.

243

To our critics, whom we love and care, we would like to take this time to share with you the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We hope that you are reading this.  We pray that your heart is not severely hardened to the Gospel which is your only hope.  We also share this so you do not misrepresent Christ and His Words.

Let’s start off with these points:

  • God is Creator:
    • He is the Creator of the world and the Creator of your soul.  As the Creator, there is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5 7; 1 Corinthians 8:4) who is the Maker, Ruler, Redeemer, and Preserver of life. The living and true God is a Spirit (Deuteronomy 4:15-19; Luke 24:39; John 1:18; John 4:24; Acts 17:29), infinite (1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 139:7-10; Psalm 145:3; Psalm 147:5; Jeremiah 23:24; Romans 11:33-36), eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2; Psalm 102:12, 24-27, Revelation 1:4, 8), unchangeable in His being (Psalm 33:11; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 1:12; Hebrews 6:17-18; James 1:17), wise (Psalm 104:24; Romans 11:33-34; Hebrews 4:13; 1 John 3:20), omnipotent (Genesis 17:1, holy (Hebrews 1:13; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 1 John 3:3, 5; Revelation 15:4), just (Genesis 18:25; Exodus 34:6-7; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 96:13; Romans 3:5, 26), good (Psalm 103:5; Psalm 107:8; Matthew 19:7; Romans 2:4), and perfect in all His attributes (Exodus 34:6; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 117:2; Hebrews 6:18).
    • He is unlike us.  We are minuscule beings compared to Him.  To misrepresent Him as many Hindus have done on Twitter is to blaspheme Him.  Our God cannot be created by human hands or intellect.  He is beyond our league.  He can’t be contained by us.  In His grace, He made Himself to be personally known through His Son. His Son voluntarily left royalty and stooped down into this world.  Why did He come into this world?  He came because man sinned against God and man needed redemption.  Since God is holy and just, He demands perfection.  Mankind are far from that.  Everyone has broken His law and are under the curse of the law.
  • God the Son:
    • Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).  God the Father created the entire universe according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15 17; Hebrews 1:2).  That is right, your lungs operate because of Him.  It pleased the Father in His eternal purpose to choose and ordain His only begotten Son to be the Mediator between God and man, the Prophet, Priest, King, Head and Savior of His Church, the Heir of all things, and the rightful Judge of the world.  So if you want to know God, come to His Son.  The Father from all eternity gave His Son a people to be His seed, and through His Son, sinners who were chosen by God before the foundation of the earth, in time, are predestined, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified (Romans 8:30).
    • In the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ chose not to exercise some of the prerogatives of deity; but He did not give up His divine essence, either in degree or kind.  This is humility.  He could of marched down in royalty as a military-like figure, but He did not choose that option.  And don’t think for a moment that the incarnation is short of a miracle.  God took on a form of a man.  Idols or man-made entities cannot do what God did.  God became very personable with man.  He spoke to us and He touched the scars of humanity.  In the incarnation, which comprises of taking on all the essential properties of man (Philippians 2:5 8; Colossians 2:9), yet without sin, the second person of the Trinity chose to lay aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God, assumed the place of a Son, and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5 8).
    • As the God-Man, two whole and perfect, and distinct natures of Christ, the divine and human nature, are indivisible (Micah 5:2; John 5:23; 14:9 10; Colossians 2:9).  Jesus Christ is very God, and very man.  In other words, He is fully God and fully man.  Our Lord Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit through the womb of virgin Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26 35); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God (John 1:18), redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Psalm 2:7 9; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9 11; Hebrews 7:25 26; 1 Peter 1:18 19).  Our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the sinless work by the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Romans 3:24 25; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24).  That is why we call Him the Lamb of God; the perfect sacrifice.
    • Our justification (declared righteous) is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38 39; Acts 2:30 31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).  There is no longer a need to make sacrifices.  By resurrecting from the dead, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Moreover, Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26 29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5 10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).  One day, Jesus Christ will return to receive the church, which is His Body, unto Himself at the rapture, and returning with His church in glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth (Acts 1:9 11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13 18; Revelation 20).  He will rule physically on earth one day and no one can stop Him.
    • The Lord Jesus Christ is the One through whom God will judge all mankind (John 5:22 23): believers (1 Corinthians 3:10 15; 2 Corinthians 5:10), living inhabitants of the earth at His glorious return (Matthew 25:31 46), and the unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11).
    • The Lord Jesus Christ shares the same qualities due to God, which consists of His attributes (preexistent, eternal, uncreated, immutable, loving, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, holy), His names (God, LORD, Bridegroom, King of kings and Lord of lords, Savior, I AM, Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End), His deeds (creating and sustaining all things, sovereignly ruling over the forces of nature, illumination and revelation, speaking with divine authority, Word of God, salvation, showing mercy, forgiveness of sins, giving and being life, raising the dead, source of all spiritual blessings judging all people), and His seat of rule (God’s highest possible throne, ruler over everything, ruling forever).
    • As the Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), He is also the Head of His Body, the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18), the coming universal King, who will reign on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:31 33).   He is also the final Judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matthew 25:14 46; Acts 17:30 31). We believe that on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day from the the very presence of sin; and that He is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:8 9; 2 Corinthians 5:14 15; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).
  • Clarion Call of God to Sinners:
    • God is just and will judge sinners because they have sinned and fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23).  Because of sin, God demands justice.  There is a penalty for sin (Romans 5:12; Romans 6:23).  Penalty is judgment in Hell.  Since the one true God cannot lie, Hell is a real place.  The penalty must be paid (Hebrews 9:27; 2:2-3,9; Romans 2:12) and cannot be paid by your righteousness, a righteousness that cannot satisfy God the Father. He looks at all your righteousness as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).  Please do not confuse us with religions of works-righteousness (i.e. Roman Catholicism).  He will not give once inch of room for it.  You need an alien righteousness that can only come from the God-Man.  Oh, Hindu and humanists, all your good works will not impress God.  You need His forgiveness.  You need His Son.  While maintaining His holiness and justice, the Bible speaks about God’s love for sinners.  He responded to the disease of sin.  He paid for the debt of sinners who will come to Him in humility (Romans 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18; Isaiah 53:5-6).  He became a sacrifice on the cross in order to satisfy God’s justice and anger in your place (1 John 4:8-10).  No one else could satisfy God, but His Son alone.  Only the God-Man, who is perfect, supreme, holy, met the criteria of justice.  Because He bore our sin, God who is holy poured down His wrath from Heaven upon His Son that day at Calvary.  Everyone else woke up the next day and went about their business.  What grace!  But Christ laid in the grave.  However,  the story does not end.  He was not defeated.  The Bible says that Christ resurrected from the dead (Romans 4:25).  Even death can’t contain Him.  He owns death by a leash.  So please do not say we serve a dead Jesus.  Nietzsche died and idols created by man that are temporal are prone to decay.  But for Jesus, He is alive and will come back at judgement day.  If He did not resurrect from the death, then there is no reason for me to share the Gospel to you.  He resurrection is what gives the Gospel power.  Because of His resurrection, millions of people experience the new birth in Christ.
    • What is your response?  Will you gaze upon it as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:24; Titus 3:5; John 3:16)?  You can not pay for it or work for it.  He commands you to repent.  He will not share His glory with idols created by men.  Your idols were destroyed by the earthquake.  Where was it when people needed it?  The Gospel can.  It provides hope.  It is eternal and can never be destroyed.  It moves like an avalanche.  His Word is pure and is not contradictory.  It can account for morality and absolute truth.  It has hope and does not discriminate against any race or class of people.  He offers His message of love to all people.  All who come to him will not be placed in a caste system.  Everyone who is God’s child is equal before Him.
    • Truth!  God is truth and He never lies.  My friend, you must recognize your sin and confess to the Lord about what is true concerning you (Psalm 51:3-4).  A genuine repentance will reveal that you have genuine sorrow, shame, and even hatred for your sins against God.  You must not only recognize and accept your deplorable condition before God, but you must also turn from your sins and turn to God in faith.  Believe in His promises concerning His Son.  If you do, your soul and your eternal future will be secured in His Son.  Believe in His Son as your Lord and Savior (Acts 16:31).  If you do, He will not look at you as His enemy, but His friend because He sees Christ in you.

  • Aknowledgements: Parts of this doctrinal confession is adapted in part from the The Master’s Seminary Statement of Faith, Desiring God, HeartCry Missionary Society, and the Westminster Cathechism.

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