Wednesday, February 17, 2016 10:30pm-3:30pm CST
I may or may not have some fluff later on but I am going to start out in a serious vain. In my class this afternoon it was hot. I don’t mean in the sense of temperature but rather the mood of some of the class. I am going to try to explain the best way I know how but this may not be the most ‘homiletically’ sound blog I have ever written. Several points:
- The church here is comprised to a large extent by those who have been converted and led out of false religions. For example, in the States if you were to ask the adult class for a show of hands regarding those who were raised in the church, the number could be very substantial. I realize that the part of the country you were in would make a difference. Here if you were to ask such a question it is possible that no hand would go up or at least very few.
- This means, of course, that they bring their denominational baggage with them. When one comes up out of the water their previous belief system does not simply fly away. The emotional side of many will continue to believe that their loves ones are in a saved condition. We realize that the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus built one church (Matthew 16:18) and that only those in His church will receive salvation (Eph 5:23). It borders on the remarkable that a generation or two ago we were accused of being those who believed only we were going to Heaven. Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon and others all believe that they have the corner on salvation. The question is not: which church saves as no church saves. The question is: which church will Jesus save and the Scriptures clearly teach that it is the church that He bought and paid for with His blood (Acts 20:28). When one who has believed a certain doctrine for many years, perhaps even decades that belief will not change quickly. It requires much patience on our part to help them better understand the Word.
- There were two brothers today who have a Pentecostal background and it showed. For example, a primary passage that they use to teach modern day miracles is Mark 16:17,18. That says that all believers will cast out demons, drink deadly poison and not be hurt; pick up snakes, cast out demons, heal the sick and speak in tongues. Now; even in the Pentecostal Church they do not profess that all of their members do such things and yet if you say “all believers” mean “all believers” then we would all be doing such things. Their problem is they do not read 14-20. You see, in verse 20 it says that ‘they went forth’. It is unfortunate that the NIV says disciples which could apply to all followers. The antecedent of they in verse 20 is the apostles and we see that in verse 14. The purpose of the miracles they performed was to confirm the Word they were speaking. They did not carry a New Testament with them because it had not been written. I asked one of the brothers if he had ever drunk deadly poison and he said: yes, but I can’t prove it. In the New Testament all believed the miracles including non-believers (John 9:13-16; Acts 4:16). The other brother is a member at Jean Claude’s congregation but most of the time worships with a Pentecostal Church. He argued, without Scripture, that if anyone has enough faith they can do anything. One of the strong arguments from the Charismatic movement is that if someone is not healed; they lacked faith. I responded by pointing out that Lazarus had no faith when he was raised; the loaves and fishes had no faith and the storm had no faith. To be sure, there are times where Jesus said; your faith has made you well but not always. Logic tells us that if there was a church someone that could really produce healing; every blind person, every lame person, every deaf person or anyone with any type of sickness would flock to that church.
- I still believe it was a very good class because instruction was given. One of the serendipitous blessings of this class is that it will help the leaders deal with their brethren who came out of the Charismatic movement. Oh, the second man above is the reason I wrote this class. Last year Chris Lowe was teaching on love and did an EXCELLENT job. During his class this brother stood up and made some comments (I don’t remember what they were) but I thought to myself; this man is a Pentecostal and when I learned that many within the church in Cameroon have that background; I decided to write the class.
OK; back to the day. As far as numbers are concerned we had 34 in Richard’s class as opposed to 44 last year; the girl’s had 24 as opposed to 36 last year and my class had 47 compared to 54 last year. Obviously, the numbers will not move up dramatically in the last two days but I am convinced that good things are being taught and learned. Had another good night’s rest and got ready for the morning with no problems. Ricardo and I went down to give the girl’s their candy and taxi money and we left. We were going to climb two machines but Martin was out front so I climbed his and Ricardo walked across the street to get another. Ricardo had another good day until the last hour. The young man who interpreted was trying but not doing a good job. Richard had to repeat a bunch and once again we saw how much we miss Louis. Martin took Ricardo home while Jean Claude and I had an errand to run. I made it back to the hotel around 1:20 and immediately hopped in the shower. I do not know why I have failed to do this in the past. From now on my plan during seminar is to take 2 showers each day. I was able to do a few things on the computer and then we headed back to the hall. I have already discussed my class so no need to go over it again. Martin and Julien took us home after class and I went down to Ricardo’s room (after a wonderful cold shower) and we had a feast. You should have seen it although if you did, you would be tempted with the sins of envy and jealousy. NO JOKE! Hey, Linda has been mixing up like nobody’s business for years now. Ricardo and I discussed a few things in his room and I have been down here working away ever since. No pictures today; I did get some good video but don’t know how or even if you can post it. I had a Snickers a few minutes ago and am chasing it down with a Nestle Crunch! I am fixin to Skype with Charlie Brown and Grandma and then hit the sack. Just two days remaining. We are all doing well and continue to say THANK YOU for your prayers.