Archive for the ‘Missions’ Category
Ever wonder why churches, which are comprised with a majority of Christians, have seemingly insurmountable problems and constant battles with flesh and world? I was reading a book by F.B. Meyer, Changed by the Master’s Touch, and was challenged with something that I have known before, but was refreshed in today. Meyer is pretty good with words, so I will just quote what he writes.
“My Church!” From eternity Christ loved her. By His blood He redeemed her. Through His Spirit and by His Word, He is cleansing her. One day He will preset to Himself ‘a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing’ (Ephesians 5:27). The Holy Spirit is completing the Church in these last days and preparing her to be forever with the Lord.
The Church is the special object of hatred to the dark underworld of fallen spirits, which our Lord refers to as ‘the gates of hell.’ Jesus clearly anticipated the long and weary opposition that would be directed against His Church. The Church can only overcome ‘by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony’ (Revelation 12:11). “
This is very well put. If a church does not struggle individually and corporately with sin and worldliness, then there is something to be feared. I am afraid of the day when Satan and his demons no longer hate the church and trouble her.
I had the great opportunity to be in Ely, NV, last Saturday, Monday and Tuesday to be some assistance in our beloved Wally Higgins’ efforts to hold evangelistic meetings in that small town. The current population of Ely is about 4000 people. The demographic of Ely is mostly Caucasian (about 89%) with some Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and Hispanics rounding out the figures. Ely is a Nevada boom town with Kennecott copper mine first having success there. When the copper market crashed in the1970’s, Ely suffered like most boom towns. In 2005 there was a resurgence of copper and mining boomed again. Gold mining also plays an important part of Ely’s economy. Like most Nevada towns, religion is not the “main thing.” The Mormons, Catholics, Methodists, and even a small group of Baptists have a presence in Ely.
My observation of this small Nevada town is not that much different than most “boom” towns. There is a wide divergence between the classes of people in the town. As we were walking the neighborhoods passing out fliers to the meetings, I noticed that the “run-down” areas of town were very dilapidated, while just down the street you had very well-manicured and wealthy homes. But the most striking feature of any Nevada boom town is the overwhelming presence of “night life.” Coming out from our gospel meetings Tuesday night, I looked down the street and the casinos, clubs, and bars were lit up and packed with patrons. This is what people do, this is their life. We had a few people in the meetings hearing the preaching of the gospel, while Satan has lured many souls bedazzled with the pleasures of sin for a season. While in Utah, we realize the bondage of religion, but we cannot ignore the bondage of the entertainment/casino industry of our neighbor state to the West. A comment my father made as we drove out of town resonated with me. He said, “I wish there was some way to preach Acts 16 (the content of his message) to all those people in the casinos.”
Pray that God would deliver souls from the bondage of alcohol, drugs, gambling, and immorality in these little boom towns in the West.
I has been a while since I posted something. For my faithful readership, thanks for sticking with it (you two are a blessing). I can give lots of excuses for the delay in writing. . . like that we went on a backpacking adventure down to Zion National Park to hike the Narrows, the world’s longest slot canyon; or that we went to family camp up at Camp UTIBACA in mid-Utah. Not to mention that things are pretty busy here at the church. But really, all excuses are just that excuses.
In all seriousness, I wonder what kind of excuses we all give for why we don’t walk with Jesus Christ closer every day. Or what are the excuses for not seeking first the Kingdom of God? What excuses keep us from preaching the Gospel to those we know or don’t know? We make a lot of excuses (at least I do); however I just finished reading “Dispatches from the Front” a newsletter of Frontline Missions International. This mission agency is trying to minister to the persecuted church across the world. I encourage each one of you to go to frontlinemissions.info and read the latest “dispatches.” It will move your heart for God’s people around this world, and humble us in our lack of devotion to the spread of the Gospel. I have so much and I need to stop making excuses for my apathy and self-inflated sense of persecution, and to be reminded of why I am here on this earth. God give me a greater heart for the lost of this earth, a deeper understanding of your amazing grace that reaches every kindred, tongue, people and nation for your glory, and a fuller commitment to be a servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.