April - June 2012
Truth For The World
Ta k i n g S o u l s F r o m H e a r i n g To H e a v e n
A Faulty Measure of Success
in Mission Work
By what standard shall missionaries be judged?
WE ARE Chan Yong Yaw
Which type are you?
Come visit our booth at Polishing the Pulpit
TFTW to launch truthfortheworld.asia
Teaching Others to Teach Others by Phillip Vanwinkle
Truth For The World
Honors and Memorials Truth For The World is so grateful for the wonderful gifts and contributions that have been made. We honor you, and your loved ones. If someone wishes to leave a memorial gift to help srpead the gospel via Truth For The World, we are glad to memorialize them in our quarterly magazine, and look forward to meeting them to thank them, in the coming life, which awaits us. The Director’s Discourse What are the appropriate questions we should ask in order to assess someone’s work? Teaching Others to Teach Others Phillip Vanwinkle discusses how we must encourage those we teach to continue teaching others also.
We Are Soil...Which Type Are You? Chan Yong Yaw reminds us that we are all a type of soil, as shown by this parable of our Lord.
PTP17 A Faulty Measure of Success Our missionaries will be judged by God. What is His Standard of success versus our standards of success? Join Us!!! Truth For The World is an exciting work that is literally going into ALL the world. Won’t you join us ?!
Truth For The World
IN MEMORY OF: RAY WOODS GIVEN BY: LORENE LANHAM
Truth For The World Truth for the World is a global, evangelistic outreach using media and personal ministries. Truth for the World is a mission work of the church of Christ. So what does that mean? We spread the seed of the Word of God using media such as radio, TV, and the Internet to teach the Gospel of Christ. We also make personal missionary trips and teach at Gospel Meetings and lectureships.
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This contribution is made by: Name: _________________________ Address: _____________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ I would like to make a donation to TFTW (Circle One): One-Time Monthly Quarterly Yearly
IN HONOR OF: LANCE & AMBER CHAMPION GIVEN BY: BOB & LAVERNE MADDOX
Honors & Memorials
Honors & Memorials
IN HONOR OF: DARLENE LANHAM EDWARDS GIVEN BY: LORENE LANHAM IN MEMORY OF: FELTON SPRAGGINS GIVEN BY: JAMES AND MARY BROOKS IN MEMORY OF: BOBBY JOE FERGUSON GIVEN BY: LEON & LILLIAN JENKINS
THANK YOU!!! I would like this donation to be listed in the Mission as: (Circle One) Appreciation Honor Memorial Birthday Anniversary Other _______________ In the Name of: _________________________
Mail to: Truth For The World P.O. Box 5048 Duluth GA 30096
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Director’s Discourse <<< 4
Director's Discourse Measuring Success Today If you have not read this issue’s article “The Faulty Measure of Success in Mission Work” then stop reading this article and go read that one first. Truth is, whether or not we are successful depends upon what we set up as the standard for success. In the world, a big house, nice car, and loads of money equals success. But the Bible clearly shows us that, even if we have those things and it stands between us and serving God, then we are failures. (Mark 10:21-22) As Phillip Vanwinkle pointed out in his article in this issue, whether or not a missionary is successful is really determined by the standard applied to the missionary. If the standard of “success” is how many people are baptized, then the missionary may preach the Gospel to 500,000 people and if, through no fault of his own, no one obeys, then he may be condemned as a “failure” or “not a fruitful worker” or “not a missionary effort worth supporting.” Sad. I wonder how many individuals and congregations that decide to stop supporting a missionary due to this “standard” would fare under the same standard of “success.” How many individuals or congregations could then be labeled as “not a fruitful worker” or “not a congregation worth supporting” because they have not had any baptisms in years? The same thing could be said about a congregation of the church. How many congregations judge the success of themselves by how many people sit in the pews or how big the offering is? How many times have you heard a congregation practically “apologize” for how small their number is? I don’t recall ever reading in the Bible where a congregation is condemned for having too few numbers. But I do read where a congregation is praised by
the amount of evangelism that they have done. The same thing could be said about a work like Truth For The World. There is nothing wrong with assessing something to determine if it is good. We do the same thing in education and it is called assessment. A quiz might test your foundational knowledge on a topic. Churches and individuals have budgets of time and money and there is nothing wrong with evaluation or re-evaluating whether to continue budgeting toward a work with time and/or money. But whether it be in education or in the work for the Lord, assessment only works when it properly assesses the goals set forth in the beginning. Taking a quiz that tells you to declare the atomic weight of all the elements in the periodic table is not proper assessment when the learning goal of the course was to examine major British authors that wrote about the Industrial revolution and determine their contributions to society as a whole. In other words, assessment does not work if it does not accurately measure the pre-determined goals of the work, and that would include a missionary, congregation, or student. So it seems that our problem may be two-fold. 1) We do not know or have forgotten what our work is, and 2) we therefore apply the wrong assessment tool in measurement. 1. Our work is sowing and watering. After that, our work ends. “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (1 Corinthians 3:6) After we teach it is up to God and the other person to determine whether or not people will obey and be baptized. Therefore, it is out of my hands and is not part of my job to convert people or cause them to be converted. It is not even within my power. (Romans 1:16) 2. Since my job is to sow the seed and water, my assessment should be designed to accurately measure whether or not my job is being accomplished. If you want to break it down into
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I Corinthians 3:6 more specific criteria, we might devise questions like: a. How many people have been taught? (How much seed was sown?) b. What was the quality of the lessons being delivered? (Is this person sowing the seed in a high quality way that can be understandable and educational?) c. How much watering has occurred? (How many follow-up visits to established congregations have been done? Are new converts being taught the first principles of the Bible?) Do we see how the assessment questions listed here actually link back to the pre-determined job and goals of the missionary, the church and organizations
like Truth For The World? In essence, if we take upon the personal responsibility of whether or not someone obeys the Gospel and is baptized, we are attempting to do the other person’s and God’s job for Him. That is not only outside my area of responsibility and power, but it should never have been set forth as part of my job duties and therefore I should never have assessment applied to my work that attempts to measure it. Take a look at the table above and see if you don’t think we apply the wrong standard of success to the work of the Lord. If you look at it objectively, the assessment <<< 5
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questions in the table above are directly linked to the appropriate job duties. For our job duty #1 of “Plant the Seed” the first question we may ask is “Has the seed been sown?” Do we see how that is an absolutely logical and appropriate question based on the job duty assigned? But if I tell you your job is to “Plant the Seed” why would I then skip to “Are people being baptized?” Your responsibility is not to decide for other people that they must be baptized and I haven’t even asked you if you have sown the seed, which is what I told you your job duty was. Why am I asking you questions that would assess the areas of God’s responsibility? The questions we ask aren’t even appropriate for assessing your job duties. Do you remember how angry you might have been at a teacher once who put something on the test that was not part of the material covered in class or in the textbook? You might say, “Why am I being assessed for this? I am not responsible for this!” I remember being in a business class and studying business material and then going to a business competition, sitting down and taking the test and seeing a question about temperature. Why have I been studying all this business material when I ended up sitting down and being assessed about something like converting a temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius. “Why am I being assessed for this? I am not responsible for this!” Now imagine yourself a missionary, <<< 6
or worker at Truth For The World, or a preacher at a congregation getting a call or e-mail from a congregation who tells you that they are trying to decide whether or not to continue financially supporting your work and they need some information. And then the first question they ask you is, “How many people have been baptized last year?” Could I not answer in a kind way, “Why am I being assessed for this? I am not responsible for this!” What are we using as our measure of success in life or in the work of the Lord? What kind of assessment questions do we ask? Are the assessment questions appropriate for measuring the work that has been set forth by God? Assessment is good. Measuring is good. Selfexamination is good. But you will not measure success accurately if you are using the wrong standard of measurement. If I use the world’s standard of success and live for material riches Jesus says I can still be a failure. I will not measure success accurately by measuring myself by a standard that does not apply to me. I will always be a failure if I apply Proverbs 31:10-30 to myself. You can assess Truth For The World, a missionary, a congregation, or a student. Just do it with appropriate questions and the right measure of success.
Phillip Vanwinkle I have talked with many Christians around the world and have come away with this impression: that in the past, our missionaries have done a great job bringing the gospel to the world. However, in many places, missionaries have not trained men to take their place, in the event that they should have to leave the mission field. I do not suggest that this has been done on purpose, nor do I suggest that EVERY missionary is to blame. Certainly there are missionaries who have tried very diligently to prepare the congregation to do the Lord’s work in the event that he has to take leave from the work. But, very briefly, I hope we can study together a passage of scripture and apply it to the mission field. II Timothy 2:2 says, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Through the years, there have been all kinds of new ideas on how to help a church grow. Some have been good; some have been… not so good. But the words in II Timothy ought to be applied. These words will ensure growth. The growth might not be “quick,” and it might only happen one small step at a time, but this method will not only provide numerical growth, but will also help individuals to grow in the faith as well. If we will train others to then train others on the mission field, then once they have been trained, the missionary is free to move to another place and begin the process again. The congregation that the missionary leaves
A Brief Word...
Teaching Others to Teach Others
will be in good shape, as it will also be able to continue teaching its own people to teach and train others as well. The principle is the same in all churches. A capable Christian teaches and prepares another capable Christian, who in turn does the same. And if we are all teaching the same thing (the doctrine of Christ), then there should be little room for false teaching to make its way into the church. Of course we all understand that there are always outside influences and personal agendas, but this is at least one way that we can help reduce the error that comes from within. I realize that I am not the most experienced missionary, but this is just one small thing that has come to my attention, and I hope that it is received in the manner in which it was written. I pray that God will help us all as we continue to carry out His commission.
“...commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” <<< 7
We Are Soil...
Truth For The World
We Are Soil.... Which Type Are You? Chan Yong Yaw
e what kind of soil , to help us determin
e of the Soils
Looking at the Parabl
The Lord Jesus Christ commonly referred to the natural world for illustrations in His teachings. One such teaching has come down to us as ‘The Parable of the Sower’ (Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:3-20; Luke 8:5-15). It is one of the best-loved parables of our Lord. His original audience could easily relate to the mental picture, as theirs was very much an agricultural society. The farmer working in the fields under a hot sun, the scattering of seeds, the birds that eyed the seeds for food – these were common sights in first-century Palestine. The Word of God is eternal. There are some pertinent points we could glean for our learning from this parable that are still very much applicable for those of us who live in a rural setting in the twenty-first century. Working on a farm is hard work. Not many of us can appreciate the sheer amount of physical labour until we have put our hands to the plough. The farmer has to rise early, and he usually works till the sun begins to set. Always anticipating a good harvest, the farmer carries out his back-breaking work without complaint. Even today, when machinery helps tremendously to ease the burden, the work remains physically demanding. In this parable, the Lord explained that the seed is the Word of God (Luke 8:11). Sowing the seed of the Word of God requires hard work
we need to be.
and diligence. The evangelist was commanded to “preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine...but watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry (2 Timothy 4:2, 5).” All Christians are bound by the Great Commission to “go...and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you...He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16).” Diligence alone, however, is not the whole picture. The farmer has to sow the right kind of seeds. He would be a laughingstock to his neighbours and friends if at harvest time he discovered that what he had sown was not what he meant to harvest. In the spiritual realm, this has a more serious consequence. We are to sow the ‘Word of God’; that precludes all forms of men’s doctrines, so-called ‘church traditions’ or creeds, philosophies and novel ideas. Both the natural world and the Scriptures affirm this basic principle: “...for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7).” The title of a book by Thomas Warren
Chan Yong Yaw is Minister for the Jurong church of Christ in Singapore. He graduated from Four Seas College in 2008 and has been ministering to the congregation in Jurong since then. Truth For The World is thankful that he has written this article for us, and we look forward to reading more doctrinal and inspirational messages from him in the future.
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We Are Soil... <<<
says – The Bible Only Makes Christians Only and the Only Christians – not the creeds or traditions or whatnot from the fanciful imagination of men. The life-giving power is not in the one who sows the seed, but in the seed itself. It is the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ that saves (cf. Romans 1:16). The condition of the soil that receives the seed is important, too. The seed may be the right kind and of the finest quality, but if the soil is in poor condition, the harvest will be affected. This parable teaches us that there are at least three ways of hearing the Word of God in vain. Birds swooping down and snatching up the seeds that fell by the wayside – that describes those who hear without understanding. God has given each of us the mental faculty to reason and comprehend, and He expects us to use it. To hear without seeking to understand is not to hear at all. The Lord’s warnings to “Take heed therefore how ye hear... (Luke 8:18)” and “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 13:9)” plainly place the responsibility on us to seek to understand. God told His prophet Ezekiel, “And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not (Ezekiel 33:31-32).” This is an apt description of the stony ground. Many hear the gospel or a sermon and agree with it, perhaps even draw much comfort and encouragement from it. But the stony condition of the heart prevents the Word from taking firm root. When troubles come – and they shall surely come – such a person shows his true condition and withers. Warm, fuzzy feelings during worship or religious activity is never a proof of true faith. The Lord taught in the Sermon on the Mount: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).”
We Are Soil...
Truth For The World
The thorny ground depicts those whose hearts are drawn by this world, and they teeter on the brink. They want to commit and surrender all to the Lord Jesus, yet they constantly look over their shoulders at what the world offers them in terms of material gain. Such will become unfruitful. The irony is that they get nothing either from the Lord or the world. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul (Mark 8:36-37)?” “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Matthew 13:23).” Those whose hearts are good ground hear and understand the Word. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).” Hearing and understanding are followed by doing. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (James 1:22).” Obedience is indispensable and paramount. Obedience is not following where one’s emotions lead or the call of some charismatic leader. The Scriptures leave no doubt that true obedience is subjection to the Word of God. Only those whose hearts are good ground will bring forth a bountiful harvest unto the Lord. Many attend a place of worship every Sunday. That is well. But important questions we need to ask ourselves are these: How is our hearing? How is our understanding? Do we do the Word of God? The condition of our hearts determines how we will answer.
“But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit...” Matthew 13:23
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In the very near future, Truth For The World will be set to launch a new aspect of His work. Really, the work is not new. The format and the infrastructure, however, will be expanded. We have plans to provide a great amount of sound Gospel material for the different Asian language-speaking countries. We understand that this will be an ongoing process, and one that will take years to complete. However, we are confident that, with Godâ€™s help and the workers who are currently in the field in different parts of Asia, this will be a great help in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Asian world.
A Faulty Measure
Truth For The World Phillip Vanwinkle
of Success in Mission Work
The writing teacher in elementary school was frustrated with her student. We will call that student “Bill.” The teacher was constantly sending home assignments to be done; she would assign papers for Bill. Bill couldn’t understand why the marks on the papers were constantly bad. His parents were also confused and frustrated as to why his papers weren’t getting higher scores. His paper on John F. Kennedy was 20 pages long. His paper on Malcolm X was 18 pages long, and his writing piece on Unicorns turned out to be 25 pages long. The report card came, and sure enough, Bill got very poor grades in writing class. He was frustrated, his parents were frustrated, and soon little Bill wanted to quit. He just didn’t understand why he was not succeeding, when his papers were by far the longest in the class. At the parent conference a few weeks later, the answer was revealed. An exasperated teacher explained: “Yes! Bill’s papers are long. But, there is no substance to any of them. They are done on time, they are presented on nice paper, and the
“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”
penmenship is quite nice, but there is absolutely no substance to what is inside the papers.” She went on to explain, “He is not being judged by how long the paper is. He is not being graded on how beautiful his handwriting is. He is being graded by the substance of the paper, by what the paper actually says.” And once that was established, the frustrations were over. Now, apply that principle to success. When people have a faulty view of success, then no matter how hard they try, they will live in constant frustration. Such is the case with many missionaries today. Many in the church, and even some missionaries, are being held up to a faulty standard. Mission work is seen as successful if the missionary has baptized “x” amount of people. But, does God view success the same as man does? If a person were to ask, “Which is more important - for a missionary to baptize 20 people who, in a year’s time, 18 of them will be back in the world? Or, is it more important for a missionary to preach to the saved, to water and to cultivate the church, so that
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A Faulty Measure...
it can grow in faith, mature and then it can then reach out to its community?” What would your answer be? Obviously, they are both very important. Both planting and watering are very important. Both need to be done, but I suggest that missionaries are constantly planting, planting, planting. People are being “pressured”’ to be baptized, and the missionary can write home and say, “We had ‘x’ amount of baptisms this month.” The supporting congregation will be ‘happy’ thinking he has succeeded, because such a number of people were added to the kingdom. I know that it is “natural” for men to look at numbers to determine the success of the missionary. And yet, while it might be natural, it is not Godly. I am NOT saying that baptizing people is not important. It is. There is no question that reaching the lost is incredibly important for all men, missionaries included. And yet, planting is only part of our jobs as Christians. We are also responsible for watering. The building up of the faithful, keeping men and women motivated and encouraged and growing, is just as important as the reaching out to the lost. Paul would write in 1 Corinthians 3:6: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” I learn a few things from that. First, both Apollos and Paul are equally responsible for working with the church in Corinth. And yet, in reality, it is God who ultimately is responsible for the growth of the church. Yet, if some of our churches were to judge the situation, they would say that Paul was successful because he had gained “x” amount of converts, Apollos was lazy because all he did was preach and teach to the brethren who were already Christians, and only Paul had any “increase.” But, such is not the case. Both were important, and it was God who gave the increase.
The building up of the faithful...is just as important as the reaching out to the lost.
God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. If you can recall the time when David was to be chosen as king, you will remember that in 1 Samuel 16, the man of God, Samuel, brought the different sons of Jesse to anoint one of them as the new king of Israel, after God had rejected Saul. Even Samuel thought that Eliab would be the best choice as king. But, it was God who chose whom He wanted. And then this phrase is spoken by God. “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because
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I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7.) God does not look on the outward appearance. God does not think the way we think. His ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8.) The principle still applies today. Church growth is not determined strictly upon the number of people who sit in the chairs week after week. True church growth is determined by what is on the inside. It is the case that what is on the inside will affect what is on the outside. As is stated in Romans 12:2, we are to be transformed from the inside out. That being the case, why do we place so much emphasis on the outward appearance (i.e. numbers) to determine the success of the church?
Were “numbers” what pleased God in the Bible? It has been estimated that at the time of the flood, there were millions, and some have
speculated billions, of people on the face of the earth. I have no idea how many people were on the earth during the days of God’s great flood. But I do know this. If we looked at the numbers, to decide whether or not Noah was a successful missionary, he would have been a terrible failure. Out of the millions of people living in the days of Noah, he only managed to “save” eight souls. Was Noah a failure? We know for a fact that Noah was a preacher of righteousness, according to 2 Peter 2:5. We know that God wanted the people of the world to repent. And yet, they refused. Noah preached for around 100 years, without a single convert - outside of his own house. Was Noah a success or not? Did Noah preach righteousness or not? Did anyone outside of his family obey? If Noah were a missionary today, some in the church would call him a failure. Sadly today, many congregations do not judge success the same way that God does. I suggest that Noah was
indeed successful, for it was he who “condemned the world and became heir of righteousness by faith” (Hebrews 11:7). God was not concerned with numbers, but with the faithfulness of Noah in sowing the seed in preaching God’s word. What about the numbers of men who died in Sodom and Gomorrah? Remember how that Abraham pleaded with God, that if he could find 10 righteous souls, that God would save the city? How many were saved? Lot, his wife (initially) and his two daughters. Fewer souls than a person has fingers on one hand. Was Lot a success? Was he by his life and his words obeying God successfully, or was he not? Was he considered “just?” Was he called righteous? Let us find out what God thought of Lot. And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds). 2 Peter 2:7-8.
a resounding success, but not because of the numbers of people who obeyed. It was because the Apostles did what God said. They were faithful to the words of Christ; they preached the Word of God. They planted indeed, but God gave the increase. The increase to the tune of (if the numbers are correct) 0.3 percent.
Is it the missionary’s job to save the world? Is it the missionary’s job to save the world? Well, as much as it is any man’s job to save the world. Are we “responsible” for the saving of others? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, if you are asking if it is our job to teach the lost. But, ultimately, it is my opinion that it is not our job to “save” the world. Our job is to sow the seed. To cast as much seed as we can out onto the different soils. But, I cannot control how many people will obey. Now, before you get your stones out to throw at me, let me clarify. All Christians are responsible for saving the world, in that it is our job to stand and warn; it is our job to proclaim the glorious Gospel of Jesus to all that we can. We indeed take an active role in “saving” the lost, but, ultimitely it is not my decision to make, as to whether someone else obeys the Truth or not. How encouraged I have been through the years to read Paul’s statement as found in
A Faulty Measure... <<<
God considered him to be righteous. That is, he was doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord. God was pleased with Lot, regardless of how many “converts” he was able to “get.” What about Israel? Why did God choose her? If God was so concerned with numbers, why not choose Babylon or Persia? Why not choose the masses of men in Egypt? Notice Deuteronomy 7:6-7. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people…. Remember Gideon’s battle? How many Israelite soldiers did God send to battle against the mighty Midianites? 300. Why? Because God does not view success in the same way that men do. What about the “success” of our Lord? How many men did Christ save? We do not know, but was he able to convert the whole world? Was he successful every time he went to preach a lesson? Some in the church would even have to conclude that Jesus was not successful, if we were to judge him by the number of men he saved. (Matthew 7:14.) How many men in Acts 2 were saved? The Bible records that 3000 men obeyed the truth. Most Christians will quickly say, “Yes, the Day of Pentecost was a resounding success.” Now, numerically speaking, were the apostles successful or not? Just how many men were in the city of Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost? Scholars have estimated that somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 million Jews were there celebrating the festival. Now, supposing that even half of that estimation heard of the events that went on that day, that is roughly (based upon the center, which would be 2 million) 1 million people, and only 3000 obeyed. That is only 0.3 percent “success” rate. Twelve men miraculously endowed with power from the Holy Ghost, preaching the Word of God to the lost of Jerusalem that day, were able to “save” 0.3 percent of the people there that day. That is 3 out of 1000 people. Yes! The Day of Pentecost was indeed
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A Faulty Measure...
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1 Corinthians 1:17, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel….” Please understand, I am not de-emphasizing the importance of baptism. Without baptism in order to have his sins remitted, no man can be saved (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15-16; 1 Peter 3:21). The point I am making is that Paul was sent to preach. It was up to the individual who heard his words to obey or not obey. Paul could not MAKE anyone obey. How could Paul be held responsible if he went to a city to preach, and yet not a single soul would obey? Was Paul successful as a missionary? Indeed, but not based upon his “numbers.” Rather his success was based upon his obedience in preaching the Gospel. Jesus himself could not MAKE anyone obey. Did Jesus preach to the Jews? Was He considered successful in his ministry on this earth or not? Notice what Jesus said concerning the Jews. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Luke 13:34. Jesus wanted the Jews to obey. He preached to them; he had “Bible Studies” with them, and yet, he says they simply refused to obey. I dare say, that if Jesus were a missionary in some churches today, that even He would be considered a failure by them. Friends, brethren, if our Lord could not make anyone
obey, if inspired Paul could only preach the Word of God and leave it up to the people to obey or disobey, then how can we expect even more from our missionaries? The fact is that we cannot MAKE anyone do anything. I know of parents who (when they are honest) will admit that they cannot even make their children obey. A spouse cannot make his or her significant other stay faithful to him. So, how can we as a church send out a missionary and expect that he needs to have “x” amount of people to obey, or else he is not “successful,” and we end up dropping his support? When we place ungodly expectations on our missionaries, we end up being frustrated with them, they end up being frustrated, and in the end, souls are lost because we have set up a false standard of success. It is the missionary’s job to preach the gospel, to sow the seed (the Word of God, Luke 8:11) when and where he can, and to water the plants that are already in his “garden” and leave it to God to give the increase. May God help us to better understand the truth concerning our missionaries, their work, and the struggles they go through. And may we never hold them to a different standard than the standard that God has established in His Holy Word.
When we place ungodly expectations on our missionaries, we end up being frustrated with them, they end up being frustrated, and in the end, souls are lost because we have set up a false standard of success.
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We will be at Polishing The Pulpit this year. Please come visit our booth and browse through our materials. Learn how you can join us to help carry out the Great Commission!!! <<< 17
Truth For The World
How can I help take the Gospel into all the world? Most of us have asked that question at one point in our Christian walk. It can be very overwhelming to think that I, a single person in a little place like this, could possibly take the Gospel to the lost. But, the good news is, that you can. God has never been concerned with how big or small an individual might be. He has never been concerned with how much talent you have. He is more concerned with what you are doing with the â€œtalentâ€? that he has blessed you with. Did you know that the Truth is literally going all around the world? We have radio programs reaching every continent in the world. The Internet reaches over 2 billion people worldwide. We are on television in North America, Central America and Asia. Through all of these avenues, the Gospel is being spread across the globe! If you would like to help in this great work, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us online at www.truthfortheworld.org. <<< 18
Truth For The World
We at Truth For The World are excited to announce that Benjamin Bruce has joined us. Benjamin comes to us with a skill set which will help bring content to the Internet, that many souls might find the Truth of God’s Word.
A Word from Benjamin “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2) My name is Benjamin Bruce, and I’ve just recently graduated from Freed-Hardeman University with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. I was homeschooled before going to college, and I’ve been working with websites for several years now. In 2005 I started a side business creating and maintaining websites for various entities, and throughout college web design was the aspect I enjoyed the most in Computer Science.
TFTW Welcomes Benjamin Bruce
Before entering college, I had in mind that I wanted to be a missionary. I had an interest in computers, but primarily I saw Computer Science as a flexible career that would allow me to more easily do mission work in various places. And that’s why working for Truth For The World appealed to me—I could use my degree and skills learned to do mission work!
I don’t know yet exactly what all I will be involved in here at Truth For The World, but mainly I will be working with spreading God’s message through the Internet. And if you think about it, of all the media available to us, the Internet is the one that is closest to being truly worldwide, and there is so much potential for evangelism and teaching the truth there. The Internet is an amazing thing, and it holds much good and truth. But unfortunately there is a great amount of falsehood, deceit, and evil there as well. Spiritually speaking, the world is a dark place, and since the Internet represents the things that matter to the world, it is full of darkness too. God’s truth is the light, Christ is the light of the world, and we are also the light of the world. People use the Internet extensively, and thus the more light and truth we can make available there, the better. Lord willing, Truth For The World will continue to shine this light even more effectively to our world that so urgently needs it.
Truth For The World
Thanks for reading our Electronic Mission. We hope that we have helped in some way to encourage and to uplift you as you work for God and his Kingdom. May God continue to bless us as we all work together for Him. -TFTW Staff
www.truthfortheworld.org <<< 20