Saturday, December 24, 2011

Best Books read in 2011

The Mayflower

John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assissination that Changed America Forever

Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

Son of Hamas

Bruchko: The Astonishing True Story of a 19 Year Old American, His Capture by the Motilone Indians


Triumph of Grace

The Killer Angels: The Classic Novel of the Civil War

Pastor Jerry

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Nearly two hundred years ago the war of 1812 came to a close. A treaty was signed, ending the war, in Belgium on Christmas Eve, 1814. But the news traveled slowly by ship and was not delivered to New York City until a Saturday afternoon in February. No sooner had some men heard the news than they rushed in breathless haste into the city to repeat it to their friends, shouting as they ran through the streets, “Peace, Peace, Peace!” Everyone who heard the news repeated it. From house to house, from street to street, the news spread. Men bearing lighted torches ran to and fro shouting “Peace, Peace, Peace!” Only one thought occupied the minds of citizens that night. In the days that followed, every person became a herald of the news and soon every man, woman, and child in the entire city was evangelized with the message. Those New Yorkers excitedly and readily shared a message of peace achieved that Christmas Eve, a peace that had reconciled two great nations. Good news is meant to be shared with a sense of urgency.

Two thousand years ago an angel brought a message of good news to shepherds: “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people, for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). God was pleased to reveal that glorious truth to lowly shepherds. The angel instructed them to go and witness, for themselves, the birth of the Savior. They traveled “in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as he lay in the manger” (Luke 2:16). Those ordinary men who had shepherded thousands of ordinary lambs were privileged to behold the “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The shepherds returned to their family and friends and shared what they had seen and heard: “They made known the statement which had been told them about this Child” (Luke 1:17). The term translated “made known” means “to publish abroad, make known thoroughly.” The King James translates it “they made known abroad.” They literally told anybody and everybody who would listen.

The good news of Christmas is good news worth telling. The message of Christmas is that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). It is a “word of reconciliation” regarding the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ through which rebel sinners can be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:19, “Namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them.”). The end of hostilities is realized for anyone who trusts in Him—sin is forgiven, true peace is realized, salvation is assured. Every born again believer has experienced this “end of hostilities” and has been enlisted in this “ministry of reconciliation.”

As ambassadors for Christ we are to share the message with a sense of urgency. Peter and John were warned to stop speaking of Jesus. Their response? “We cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Paul likewise proclaimed “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Paul once shared the gospel with a man named Epaphras—he believed. His response? He returned to his home town and shared that same message with others, and the church in Colossae was born. The “treasure” we hold in our earthen vessels was never meant to be kept to ourselves. It is an “indescribable gift” that fills the heart with wonder and overflows with testimony to the grace of God (2 Corinthians 9:15.

Nate Saint left home and family burdened to share the good news with a people group that had never heard—the Auca Indians of Ecuador. He wrote in his diary: “If God would grant us a vision, the word ‘sacrifice’ would disappear from our lips and thoughts; we would hate the things that now seem so dear to us; our lives would suddenly be too short; we would despise time-robbing distractions and charge the enemy with all our energies in the name of Christ. May God help us to judge ourselves by the eternities that separate the Aucas from the comprehension of Christmas, and Him, who, though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor so that we might, through His poverty, be made rich. Lord God, speak to my own heart and give me to know Thy holy will and joy of walking in it. Amen.” Nate Saint wrote prophetically, later making the ultimate sacrifice in taking the gospel to the Auca Indians. Good news is worth telling no matter the cost.

This sin-darkened world is filled with those “having no hope and without God.” God has made the hope-bearing truth known to us. We’ve bear witness to the saving power of the gospel message (Romans 1:16). Christmas is good news and the good news is worthy telling--“Go tell it on the mountains, over the hills and everywhere; go tell it on the mountains that Jesus Christ is born!”

Pastor Jerry

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Eldred Bagley called me last week. Eldred and Shirley have been long-time friends of Lewis and Clark Bible Church. On many occasions they made the trip from Idaho to the Astoria area, sharing the gospel in churches, schools, and nursing homes—and wherever else the Lord would lead them.

Eldred and Shirley celebrated their 61st anniversary on August 25th, but Shirley was in poor health, and on September 24th she passed into the presence of our Lord Jesus. Eldred shared with me the details of her passing. Though her death wasn’t confirmed until hours later, he thinks that she actually died in his arms as he carried her to bed.

He told me that he was glad that she hadn’t suffered at all from Alzheimer’s and retained her mental abilities until the end. Curious, I listened on. He then went on to say that they both suffered from something he called “All-timers.” He explained how they had taken to heart the words of the Psalmist; “I will bless the Lord at all times” (Psalm 34:1). Throughout her final days—as her earthly tent was being torn down--they endeavored to bless the Lord!

Colossians 2:7 instructs us that we, as believers, should be “overflowing with gratitude.” The term overflowing speaks to having an abundance such that there is never any shortage. The term gratitude means to be appreciative of benefits received. The walk of the believer in Christ is to be characterized by an attitude of overflowing gratitude that reveals itself in the giving of thanks to God in all things (Col. 4:2 and 3:17). Indeed, maintaining such an attitude is “God’s will for us in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18).

I have to admit that I’m not always inclined to thank God as I should. I’m prone to grumble when things don’t go my way. I remember an experiment that I and a fellow submariner conducted many years ago. There was a fair amount of grumbling and complaining on board ship. My friend and I determined that we were going to go “against the flow” and refrain from complaining for a day. Unfortunately our noble-minded intentions didn’t last long—and we soon rejoined the grumbling choir of unhappy sailors.

As believers we have been blessed beyond measure! Through the intervention of our loving God and Christ’s work on the cross we have been forgiven and reconciled to God (Col. 1:20). We have been “delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred…to the Kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13). In Him (we) have been made complete (Col. 2:10). Indeed, we have been blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).

The challenge for us in maintaining an attitude of overflowing gratitude is keeping our focus on what we have received in Christ, and especially in light of what we deserved. How are we to do this? Thankfulness to God is an aspect of worship (Cf. Heb. 13:15). And worship is not something that we conjure up—true worship is Spirit-led and truth-informed. Jesus made this clear, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” (John 4:23).

It is the Spirit of God who reveals to us the glory of the Son of God. Jesus said, in speaking of the Spirit, “He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you” (John 16:14). The glorious nature of our blessed Savior, “the unfathomable riches of Christ,” (Eph. 3:8), are not uncovered by human intellect or reason—they are Spirit revealed (Cf. Eph. 1:18-19; 3:14-19).

Thankfulness is not the result of determined self-effort, but rather the overflow of a heart that is filled with the Spirit’s Christ-glorifying and Christ-revealing presence. Eph. 5:18, 20, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit…always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.” When the Spirit of God fills us, thankfulness to God is the result.

We are to worship God in Spirit and in truth. God’s word is truth (John 17:17). Thankfulness is the result as the Spirit of God applies the Word of God to our hearts. The Word of God reveals to us the full extent of the undeserved blessings we have received in Christ. Col. 3:16 is a parallel text to Eph. 5:18, only there the command is to “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.” The results are the same and the same with regards to our thankfulness: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Col. 3:17). As the Word of God richly dwells within us, thankfulness to God is the result.

It is one thing to thank God when things are going well—it is another thing to overflow with gratitude when there is no apparent earthly reason to do so. By the Spirit “rivers of living water” flow from the “innermost being” of the believer ushering forth in songs of praise and thanksgiving (John 7:37-38). Even the trials of life contribute to the benevolent purpose of the Spirit to conform us to the image of the Son (Rom. 8:28-29). Paul wrote from a prison cell exhorting those in Colossae that they should be “overflowing with gratitude” (Col. 2:7). Such Spirit-led worship shines as a beacon of hope to grumble-weary souls directing them to its true source—Our God from whom all blessings flow (Rom. 1:21; Phil. 2:14-16; Acts 16:25-34).

How filled with gratitude are you? It is as we walk by the Spirit that the overflow of gratitude corresponds “to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us” (Eph. 1:7-8). True worship—and our witness--demands nothing less…

Pastor Jerry

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Jos is a city in the middle belt of Nigeria having a population of nearly a million residents. It is commonly called “J-town” or “Jesus Our Savior” by its residents and is the administrative capital of Plateau State. The city is located on the Jos Plateau at an elevation of over 4000 feet. During British rule, Jos was an important tin mining center. In recent years Muslim persecution of Christians has killed hundreds and destroyed many churches.

Dan Logan was our guest Gideon speaker this past Sunday (9/21/2001). He spoke of his visit to Jos in November of 2008. As a part of a team of Gideons he was privileged to distribute thousands of Gideon New Testaments to many of its citizens. His visit preceded riots that resulted in the death of hundreds and exile of thousands. I spoke to him about the timing of his visit. He was so thankful to have been given the opportunity to pass on God’s message of hope to those who later faced such desperate need.

Dr. Les Lofquist, Executive Director of IFCA International, was our guest speaker this past Sunday evening. He brought with him Steve Van Horm (International Training and Equipping Ministries) and Nathan Chiroma, a national from Nigeria currently preparing for ministry at a seminary in South Africa. Dr. Lofquist took the opportunity to introduce Nathan to us. We were especially blessed and encouraged by what he had to share. We discovered that Nathan is from the same area of Nigeria that our morning guest speaker had visited back in 2008. Nathan shared how his family had been victimized by the same kind of religious persecution that Dan Logan barely escaped several years ago.

The world is not as big as we suppose. How else can you explain the intersection of two different speakers who both spoke of the same far away place at a small church in a little town on the same Sunday! And what were they doing there in that far away place—in a town commonly referred to as “Jesus Our Savior?” They were both doing the same thing. They were, in the Apostle Paul’s words “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27). The one, Danny, grew up in St. Helens, Oregon—he traveled many miles to make his way to Jos. The other, Nathan, grew up in Nigeria—he traveled many miles to make his way to us. They both worship the same Lord, are indwelt by the same Spirit, and labor for the same cause.

Their differing colors, varied past experiences, and diverse cultural backgrounds couldn’t be more different—their hearts, who they are in Christ, couldn’t be any more the same. It is an incredible God who has worked to reconcile us all together in Christ. The church is made up of people of “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). We all share a common bond in Christ—through Him we all have “our access in one Spirit to the Father” (Eph. 2:18). The same gospel message brought salvation to us all—“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16).

Both men expressed their strong desire to share the gospel with others. Dan Logan has made many trips to far away places to get Gideon New Testaments into the hands of the lost. Nathan Chiroma is preparing for ministry at a Seminary that he might be used by God to reach his own people with the gospel.

“Blest be the Tie that binds” the hymn says. Blest indeed! The tie that binds, binds tighter, endures longer, and to a higher plane than any other cause on earth. The tie that binds is none other than a person—the One referred to in the common name that is given to a far away place in the heart of Nigeria—“Jesus Our Savior.”
We were blest to have such special guests this past Sunday! It was wonderful to see the pictures and hear the stories of Dan’s ministries in Nigeria and Indonesia. Les’s message to us on the relevance and importance of the small town church was especially encouraging. Steve spoke of his heart for the pastors in Africa. Nathan shared of his experiences there. A common theme resonated in all their messages—Christ is a glorious Savior and His gospel is a glorious truth!

Pastor Jerry

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I don’t own a GPS, but my daughter Claire does. Knowing her proclivity at getting lost, we bought it for her several years ago so that she would have it for a trip to California. She affectionately named it Gertrude. Gertrude was of great assistance in directing her to and fro on her recent trip to the East Coast. A GPS is an amazing device—by satellite it determines your position, within a few feet, anywhere on the planet. Give it a destination and it will give you audible instructions as to when to turn. No longer any need for maps or to stop and embarrassingly ask for directions—unless, of course, your GPS fails. That’s exactly what happened to Claire as she was making her way from Washington DC to Baltimore. Gertrude couldn’t find her satellite, so Claire was lost in a frightening and unfamiliar place. Fortunately she was able to call a friend and he guided her to her destination by use of the internet.

A GPS has its limitations. It will do you no good to type in “heaven” as your destination—it doesn’t know the way. The best of earthbound navigational means are of no value or assistance in making the trip from heaven to earth. But God has provided, in His Son Jesus Christ, all that is necessary.

The disciples were distressed when Jesus told them of His pending departure. But He told them, “And you know the way where I am going (John 14:4).” Thomas was quick to respond, “Lord we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way (John 14:5)?” Jesus’ response? “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me (John 14:6).” Nobody can journey to heaven from earth apart from Jesus—He is the Way. To know Jesus is to know the way. Apart from Him the journey is not just difficult, it is impossible. The great obstacle, sin, must be dealt with. He has done so on the cross. Jesus saves to the uttermost those who trust in Him. He frees sinners from the penalty and power of sin. He alone can “transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:21a). He will do so “by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Phil. 3:21b).

The Apostle Paul’s journey through life in ministry was met with many challenges and much opposition. He wrote to Timothy, in his final letter, “At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me” (2 Tim. 4:16). As believers we must sometimes travel alone on a wearisome and difficult path, but we are never truly alone. “But the Lord stood with me,” Paul said. In Jesus we have a travelling companion who will never desert us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5), indeed, He is with us always (Matt. 28:20). His guidance is not subject to technological glitches or operator error. He stands ready to guide us in all our decisions (James 1:5). He is preeminently qualified to direct us in all matters (Heb. 4:15-16). Paul was fully confident of Christ’s ability to lead him on his journey—“The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18).

These are difficult times in which we live. The broad way that leads to destruction is well traveled. Doomed travelers are ushered speedily along a perilous route to a disastrous end. The narrow way is impossible to navigate apart from Christ and His Word. But His “word is a lamp to (our) feet, and a light to (our) path” (Psa. 119:105). God’s Word is far better than a GPS in as much as it is “living and active” (Heb. 4:12) communication from God to us in all matters pertaining to faith and practice. Through His Word, the God of the universe speaks to us in personal and practical ways—teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us in the way we should go (2 Tim. 3:16).

The Apostle Peter spoke to our great need to pay attention to the Word: “And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts” (2 Pet. 1:19; Cf. 2 Tim. 3:14-15). One day, when we are with Jesus, our difficult journey on the narrow way will be complete. In the meantime we need to be careful to “pay attention” to our heavenly navigator and His instructions—He knows the way, He is the way, and He alone can bring us safely home.

Every Gideon Bible includes this wonderful testimony regarding the Scripture’s ability to guide us: “The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. CHRIST is its grand subject, our good the design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.”

Pastor Jerry

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Colossians 1:13, “For He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son.”

A year ago this month an estimated 1 billion television viewers watched with great anticipation as rescue workers descended 2300 feet underground and brought the first of the Chilean miners to the surface. 33 miners had been trapped in the mine for 69 days. They had survived high heat, deep darkness, abiding hunger, mental anguish, and physical despair. There was no way out for them. They were totally dependent on others for their rescue.

The rescue effort involved hundreds of people. Nearly every Chilean government agency was involved. NASA and more than a dozen international corporations provided assistance. Three separate drilling efforts were undertaken. A rescuer was ultimately lowered in a capsule into the depths of the earth. The captives were brought to the surface amidst much excitement and jubilation—people cried, hugged, and cheered.

It was one of the greatest rescue efforts ever undertaken. But there is a rescue effort of far greater proportions—the divine rescue of lost sinners. It is hard to imagine a more challenging predicament than that of those miners, but the “domain of darkness” is a more foreboding place (“domain” = “authority”; Cf. 1 John 5:19). Held captive to sin, the lost soul wastes away his existence in a futile way of life (1 Pet. 1:18). Darkened in his understanding and blinded to the truth—he can see no way of escape (Cf. Eph. 4:18; 2 Cor. 4:4). The hopelessness of the plight of the rebel sinner cannot be overstated (Rom. 3:23, 6:23; Col. 1:21). And a pending deeper darkness looms over his existence (2 Thess. 1:8-9).

The rescue of the Chilean miners was motivated by loving concern. Skilled men devised a response. Tremendous resources were utilized. The rescue of lost sinners came at the hands of our loving God. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” God’s power and His wisdom were applied to the effort: “But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23-24).

The rescue workers descended into the depths of the earth to rescue those men. Jesus came to earth to rescue lost sinners: “For the Son of Man (came) to seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). He humbled Himself: Heb. 2:14, “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” As the hymn puts it: “He left His throne above, so free, so infinite His grace! Emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race! ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, For, O my God, it found out me. Amazing love! How can it be? That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?”

The Chilean miners were brought to the surface and restored to their loved ones. The believer has been transferred to the Kingdom of His beloved Son. Having been forgiven of his sins and reconciled to God his rescue is the grandest of them all--from the depths of sin’s depravity to the heights of divine privilege (from the “mire” to the “choir”; Cf. Psalm 40:2-3). “See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are” (1 John 3:1). The believer in Christ has indeed been saved to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25, KJV).

The Chilean miners rejoiced with great joy when they broke the surface. We are to be “joyously giving thanks” for our deliverance (Col. 1:12). Our rescue has come about entirely by His grace and through His work on the cross. There will come a day when all of the rescued souls through all the ages will sing a new song in heaven, saying, “Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals, for Thou wast slain and didst purchase for god with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). The rescued rejoice!

Jose Henriquez was one of the 33 men trapped in that mine. During the 69 days he led devotions twice a day, crying out to God with the other miners. He arranged for a Pastor to come to share the gospel with the miners. 20 of them prayed a salvation prayer. There are people trapped in sin all around us. God calls us to His rescue effort. Jude 23, “Save others, snatching them out of the fire.” Christ alone can rescue the lost. The rescued direct other needy souls to Him!

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

Pastor Jerry

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


The heart of Paul’s prayer for the believers in Colossae (Col. 1:9-12) was his desire that they be equipped to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. The Greek term translated “worthy” is a term which spoke of “that which balances the scales.” To “balance the scales,” our walk must be consistent to and commensurate with our identity as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. The prayer has great relevance to us as NT believers and governs every aspect of our walk—what we know (our heads, Col. 1:9), what we do (our hands, Col. 1:10), and how we do it (our hearts, Col. 1:11-12). In order to walk is such a way we need to be “filled with the knowledge of His will”—we need to know where we are going and what we are doing. The worthy walk is characterized in what we do by an ambition to please God and bear fruit in good works. It is impossible for any of us to walk in such a manner in our own strength, we must instead be “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might” (Cf. John 15:4; Phil. 4:13).

The worthy walk is characterized by joy and thankfulness. It is not just what we do that is important, but how. We are to be “joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12). I regularly receive email messages from a friend who has the signature line—“serving with joy.” That is God’s desire for us—he commands us to “rejoice always” (Phil. 4:4) and to give thanks “in everything” (1 Thess. 5:19). In so doing we glorify God and maintain a good testimony before others--the problem is that it is not always easy to be joyful and thankful.

Two terms in verse 11 speak to God’s provision. There are two virtues, steadfastness and patience, that are essential if we are to worship God, even in the midst of trials. The first term translates the Greek “hupumone.” Its literal meaning is “an abiding under.” Webster’s has this definition, “firm in belief, determination, or adherence.” In this context it speaks to the one who remains undeterred—amidst obstacles and challenges-- from his faith, obedience, and love to Christ. The second term translates the Greek “makrothumia.” This term is defined as “forbearance, patience, longsuffering. Vine’s Expository Dictionary distinguishes between the two terms this way: “Longsuffering (“patience” in Col. 1:12 NASB) is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish, it is the opposite of anger, and is associated with mercy….Patience (“steadfastness” in Col. 1:12 NASB) is the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial; it is the opposite of despondency and is associated with hope.” The first term, “steadfastness,” speaks of patience through trials. The second term, “patience,” speaks of patience with people. And that pretty much sums up our troubles—problems and people problems.

These virtues are not native to human hearts. Our propensity is to respond to our problems in human ways by human strength with human wisdom. Such responses are typically according to the “deeds of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19-21) and work to dishonor God and undermine our relationships and testimony. Steadfastness and patience are Spirit-borne virtues (Gal. 5:22). Their presence in our lives—in the midst of troubles and trials—speaks to His presence in our lives. He is the ultimate example of steadfastness and patience, we are to follow in His steps (Heb. 12:1-3; 1 Pet. 2:20-23).

I met a fellow believer the other day and we rejoiced in the Lord together. He spoke to me of his job and other things. He told me how he once had difficulty with his boss, for a period of a couple of years. He kept praying that God would change his boss, but no change was forthcoming. But then he realized that maybe he needed to pray a different way—he started praying that God would change his own heart—and that’s just what God did. And the situation was resolved. And we thanked God together for His work in his life. In our troubles and trials are first inclination is often—“God get me out of this situation!” Instead we ought to say—“God what can I get (learn) out of this!” These Spirit implanted virtues-- steadfastness and patience—ultimately work to bear fruit in Christlike maturity (James 1:2-4).

It has been said that life is 10% circumstances, and 90% how we respond to them—by responding with Spirit-borne steadfastness and patience we walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. We joyously give thanks, ever mindful, of how we are so blessed (“{He} has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light,” Col. 1:12). Our troubles are but “momentary, light affliction” as compared to the “eternal weight of glory” He has prepared for us at the end of our journey (2 Cor. 4:17).

Pastor Jerry

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Some insights from our recent trip to Uganda…

At first glance it might appear as if we have little in common with our Christian brethren in the Masaka Region of Uganda. The most obvious difference is in color, but the differences don’t stop there. They reside in small homes, made of brick or clay, that have no power and no indoor plumbing. Their kitchens and bathrooms are outside. They live off their crops and the livestock they raise. Their monthly income is less that $50 per month. They have no television, no newspapers, no internet (unless the go far away to town to access such things). They have no health care plans, no retirement savings, and no insurance policies. They travel on dirt paths either on foot or by bike or motorcycle.

The best of their church buildings wouldn’t meet any of our building codes. They are typically built of either bricks or clay, but in one case the church simply meets under a tree. As with their homes, their buildings lack power, plumbing, and bathrooms. They typically consist of but one large room where the church gathers and meets on dirt floors where people sit on small handmade benches. Their singing is much different than ours—one instrument, drums, is all they need or use. They often times intersperse spontaneous testimonies amongst a repeated chorus. Their singing almost always includes some degree of dancing, clapping, or hand waving.

There are other differences. Most of their Pastors have not been to Bible school. They were chosen as pastor because they were the most qualified amongst the believers in a given village. They don’t receive a salary and often travel long distances by foot or bike to reach their churches or to visit church members. These pastors have no Bible study tools in their own language. The Bible that they own includes just a few cross-references. Most of their church members don’t own a Bible. They long to possess much of what we take for granted.

At first glance it might appear as if we have little in common, but that impression would be amiss. We share with them the same love for the same Savior. Pastor Bob Emrich and I were privileged to provide instruction to about 40 pastors in meetings with two separate Pastor Alliances. Pastor Bob taught on “The Spiritual Disciples.” The focus of my teaching time was “Major Themes in the Book of Ephesians.” What garnered the most visible response from the pastors was any reference to the glory of Christ in His person and work. Hearty “amens” were heard whenever we spoke of such things. One day we were privileged to visit about a dozen pastors and churches. We heard repeated testimonies of how Christ had worked to bring salvation to souls and growth to His church.

We share with them a common love for the Scriptures. At the beginning of our meetings with the First Alliance there was a time for the pastors to share testimonies. We heard repeatedly of that for which they were most thankful—for God’s provision of Bibles for their congregations. They know, as do we, that the Word of God is powerful to change lives as it instructs us in the truth of who God is, how He saves, and how He desires for His people to live. The pastors who attended the conference traveled long distances to get there and slept at night on concrete floors. But they listened attentively in our meetings—because they have a longing to better understand the Scriptures.

We share a common purpose in proclaiming the glorious gospel of salvation through faith in Christ. The pastors were burdened to share this message. They work together to take the gospel door-to-door to their villages. They look to God for opportunities and ways to broaden their ministries. Many of them have started Christian schools so that they can reach the thousands of children who make up so much of their population. Their teaching and curriculum is Christ-centered. I so much appreciated the logo on the patch of the uniform of “Arise and Shine” Christian school which said, “Knowledge Is from God!”

We share in common with our Ugandan brethren the most important things. Our homes and buildings and incomes and methods of transportation may differ, but in Christ we are united. We worship the same Savior, treasure the same Bible, and proclaim the same glorious gospel. The things we have in common are the things that truly matter. Christ is building His church and “Christ Jesus Himself (is) the corner stone” (Eph. 2:20). The “whole building (is) being fitted together (and) is growing into a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph. 2:21). This glorious living temple is made up of “living stones” (1 Pet. 2:5) that have been redeemed for this very purpose “from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). We are intimately united in a common bond and eternal destiny.

No other Savior, no other truth, no other “religion” works to unite such dissimilar peoples in such an intimate fashion. The fact that we are bound together across such a cultural divide speaks to the glorious nature of our Savior and power of His gospel to reconcile sinners in “all creation” both to Himself and to one another (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; Eph. 2:13-18). Far too much of our time is devoted to focusing on dissimilarities and concerning ourselves with insignificant things that won’t matter at all in heaven. There will come a day, “when He comes to be glorified in His saints…and to be marveled at among all who have believed” (2 Thess. 1:10), when all such differences amongst believers will be instantly eradicated. Our focus, on that day, will be only on Him. May it be increasingly so this side of heaven as we give attention to praising Him, growing in Him, and proclaiming His gospel (Cf. Phil. 3:20; 2 Cor. 11:3; 2 Pet. 3:18; 1 Cor. 2:2).

Pastor Jerry

Friday, April 22, 2011


I came across this story in the recent "Servant" magazine (Prairie Bible Institute's monthly)...

"At the funeral of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, executed in 1945 for his part in the plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler, Dietrich's uncle Hans Von Hase preached the sermon. He spoke of how this world of pain and sorrow is but a moment when compared with the joyous eternity with God. At the end of the service, as the coffin was carried down the aisle, trumpeters played an old German hymn Dietrich's mother had chosen:

What God has done, it is well done.
His will is always just.
Whatever He will do to me,
In Him I'll ever place my trust."

Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

Pastor Jerry

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


1 Timothy 2:4, “(God) desires all men to be saved.”

The word “desires” translates a Greek term which means “’to will, to wish,’ implying volition and purpose” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary). The King James Version translated the phrase: “Who will have all men to be saved.” God’s “wants” all men to be saved.

Empirical evidence argues against this glorious truth. All men are not saved. The vast majority of people continue in open rebellion against God. The broad way that leads to destruction is well traveled. Countless warnings of pending judgment remind us that God’s desire—that all men be saved--will not be ultimately realized (Cf. 2 Thess. 1:8-9). How can a sovereign and omnipotent God fail in that which He wants? Philosophical arguments are devised to resolve this theological dilemma, but satisfying answers lie hidden in subjection to His “unsearchable judgments and unfathomable ways” (Rom. 11:33; Cf. Isa. 55:8-9). We must exercise care lest we allow errant thinking to dilute our confidence in God’s desire to see others come to “a knowledge of the truth” (1Tim. 2:4).

The truth of this verse speaks to the benevolent nature of God. “God is love” (1 John 4:16). He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 18:32). He sought out Adam and Eve in the garden and spoke to them of a future redeemer. Countless Old Testament types and prophecies foretold of His coming. God purposed to send His Son: “But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law” (Gal. 4:4-5). He “gave Himself a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:6). As the song puts it “He gave His life, what more could He give.” We know something of strong desires. No desire—this side of heaven—has been met with greater expression than God’s desire to see sinners saved. The clear testimony of His sincerity is the sacrifice of His Son upon the cross (John 3:16; 1 John 3:16).

His desire—that all men be saved--is akin to that of the father who welcomed back his repentant son: “But while he was still a long way off,” the Scripture says, “his father saw him, and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). God’s desire is evident in the response of the angels: “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). His desire is at present withholding the floodgates of divine judgment: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (Tit. 2:11). The grace of God has made salvation available to all, but not all will receive it. The problem lies not with God, but man. In these difficult days it is easy for us to become disheartened by the hard-heartedness of sinners. Theological diversions, personal fears, and witnessing “failures” tend to discourage us in our zeal for evangelism. It is good for us to remind ourselves that God’s desire is for the salvation of sinners. Our unsaved family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates are amongst the “all men” the verse speaks of. He desires their salvation. He is ultimately the one who saves, but He has privileged us to have a part in it.

It is good when our desires are aligned with God’s. So it was with the Apostle Paul. He said, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is salvation” (Rom. 10:1). He spoke thus of his Jewish brethren, but his desire and prayer was likewise for all men. He was burdened to share the gospel (1 Cor. 9:16; 2 Cor. 5:14). He made himself a slave to all, “that (he) might win the more” (1 Cor. 9:19). He was willing to expend himself and suffer hardship for the sake of the gospel (2 Tim. 2:8-9). We are at our best, as believers, when that which matters most to God matters most to us.

God desires for all men to be saved. Do you desire the same? The Spirit of God is at work in us to fill our hearts with Christlike compassion for lost sinners. The “Titanic” of humanity is soon to be shipwrecked. Most are unaware, let us warn them. Most don’t know what to do, let us direct them to the One who is “mighty to save.” Let us do all we can to “Rescue the Perishing…”

Tho’ they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,

Waiting the penitent child to receive;

Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently,

He will forgive if they only believe.

Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying;

Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

Pastor Jerry

Friday, March 25, 2011


“The book of Revelation is a work of fiction describing how a truly vicious God would bring about the end of the world. No half-smart religious person actually believes the book of Revelation. Such were the recent “worldly-wise” musings of Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC News.

Denial of God’s pending judgment is nothing new. The Apostle Peter warned us head of time regarding such declarations. 2 Peter 3:3-7, “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation. For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water. But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”

Lawrence is gravely mistaken regarding the nature of the God that we serve. The writer of the book of Revelation, the Apostle John, was the same man who declared “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Likewise, it was he who wrote “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). John was so convinced of the truths of which he spoke that he was willing to suffer great persecution for them (Rev. 1:9).

It is becoming ever more popular for men, even evangelicals, to deny the truth of God’s pending judgment. Hell and judgment have never been popular truths. But they must be understood in the broader context of what the Bible teaches about God. God is the creator of all things (2 Pet. 3:5). He is holy and just (Isa. 6:3; Heb. 12:29). Man is sinful by nature and practice (Col. 1:21; Eph. 2:1-3). God’s justice demands that sin be punished (Rom. 2:2; Jude 15). The wages--deserved punishment--of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). God--in His love, grace, and mercy—has provided for our salvation through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; Tit. 3:4-5). He “died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18). Those who trust in Christ for salvation are saved (Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9; Eph. 2:8-9; John 3:36). Those who refuse to obey the gospel “will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thess. 1:9). At a future time, God will bring a judgment upon this world--“the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men”--that will be characterized by the great calamities spoken of in the book of Revelation.

The book of Revelation promises a blessing to those who read and hear and heed “the words of the prophecy” (Rev. 1:3). Many years ago my uncle Frank, current Pastor of Edgewood Bible Church, was reading the book of Revelation. His brother Bob had been sharing with him of his need to trust in Christ for salvation. Reading of God’s pending judgment frightened Frank to such an extent that he was compelled to reconsider the Savior of whom Bob spoke. Frank trusted in Jesus and his life was transformed. Since that day he has been privileged to lead countless others to do the same.

Lawrence’s perspective reminds me of what happened to Harry Truman. Before Mt. St. Helens erupted a warning went out to all those in the vicinity of their urgent need to leave the mountain. Harry Truman refused to evacuate. The mountain erupted in a tremendous explosion equal in power to that of 500 atomic bombs. Scientists think that Harry probably had time only to turn his head when the mountain erupted. Moments later Spirit Lake was buried by landslides and mudflows. It is supposed that his body lies deep in the mountain--about 150 feet under the present lake.

Denying God’s pending judgment won’t stop it from happening. God has warned us ahead of time. He “is not slow about His promise…but is patient...not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:9-10). Smart people not only believe in the book of Revelation, they believe in Christ, “who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thess. 1:10).

Pastor Jerry

Thursday, March 3, 2011


“Do not quarrel on the journey” (Gen. 45:24). Joseph admonished his brothers with these words as they departed from Egypt for Canaan. He knew something about their nature. They had a propensity for angry disputes--that’s what the word “quarrel” means.

Joseph’s counsel to his brothers is good counsel for us all. A similar admonition is found in Phil. 2:14, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” God has likewise spoken to us—“Do not quarrel on the journey.”

We are prone to do it. The two year old doesn’t have to be taught to fight over toys. The kids in the back seat on a long trip are prone to quarrel over insignificant matters. We, as humans, don’t need to be taught to quarrel—it is in our Adamic DNA. Cain murdered his brother Abel--mankind has been quarreling ever since.

“What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel” (James 4:1-2). The fountainhead of quarrels is our lusts. The lust of the flesh (to do), the lust of the eyes (to have), and the boastful pride of life (to be) give rise to many quarrel causing concerns. To do, to have, to be—these desires lie at the heart of all quarrels. The flesh demands satisfaction of these desires, whatever the cost—even if it leads to angry disputes and destruction of relationships.

And the flesh will do anything to get want it wants. “The deeds of the flesh are…enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying…“ (Gal. 5:20-21). Such sins are a recipe for spiritual disaster in a life, in a marriage, or in a church.

God has saved us, in part, to rescue us from ourselves. He has so worked through His Son to reconcile us to Himself and to one another (Eph. 2:16). He has indwelt us with His Spirit such that we may “through love, serve one another” (Gal. 5:13). He is at work to transform us from our old selfish and demanding ways, into the selfless and giving nature of Christ. In Christ, relationships can and do work. The servant-minded believer, the loving marriage, the love-filled church all testify to the power of Christ to save and transform.

Joseph’s brothers didn’t have any reason to quarrel on the journey. He had sent them on their way with “ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and sustenance” (Gen. 45:23). They were well provided for. Not only that, their brother was the Prime Minister of Egypt. “The best of the land of Egypt” (Gen. 45:20) had been promised to them.

Likewise the believer in Christ has been blessed beyond measure with all that is needful for the journey of life. He has “granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). He has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Rom. 8:32 likewise assures us: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Why argue over crumbs that fall from the table if you have been served a bounteous feast? In the person of Christ Himself we have “unfathomable riches” (Eph. 3:8). Why quarrel then over pennies?

Mary Estabrook, now with Jesus in heaven, once shared with me how she had served in WW2 as a nurse and witnessed many unspeakable horrors. That experience changed her henceforth—as a mother she forbade her children from quarreling with each other. In so doing she left behind a wonderful legacy. You have the freedom to quarrel now, with others, if you choose. Your joy (in the journey) and your testimony (along the way) will, of course, be diminished. But one day the journey will end and it will end in a place where all quarreling will cease. What a glorious place that will be! Let’s not quarrel on the journey—we need to learn to get along--we’re going to be together for a long time!

Pastor Jerry

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I've been reading—and thoroughly enjoying--the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, fittingly entitled "Bonhoeffer.” The book tells of an occasion, in 1928, when he was visited a church in France and noticed many "heavily burdened people," and how they were naturally disposed to prayer. He remarked, "Nothing is so at odds with prayer as vanity." Prayer is for the needy.

It is the realization of our needs that drives us to our knees. Jesus told a parable of a Pharisee and a Publican. The self-righteous Pharisee prayed, not to God, but to himself as he acknowledged his superiority. The Publican cried out to God, "God, be merciful to me, the sinner!" (Luke 18:9-14). The Pharisee had supposed he had no needs and did not pray (at least not to God). The Publican saw his need and cried out to God in prayer.

God knows we are needy creatures. His exhortations to us to pray speak to our neediness: "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God" (James 1:5); "Let us therefore draw near...that we...may find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:5); "casting all your anxiety (anxiety=worry about needs) upon Him, because He cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:6).

It is quite possible for any of us to be misled regarding our true condition. The Laodecian church wrongly assumed themselves to be in "need of nothing" (Rev. 3:17). They would not have been a praying church. James chided the proud, "You do not have, because you do not ask" (James 4:2). A spirit of humility is essential to prayer. Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in view of God’s holiness and our sinfulness. In humility we realize that God is perfect in all of His attributes. In humility we realize we "fall short” of His perfection.

Humility is not native to sinful soil. It is by the Spirit alone that we—as proud, rebel sinners--were brought to the point of humble trust in Christ for salvation. It is by the Spirit that we now recognize our total dependence on Him. The believer in Christ is “already” perfect with regards to his position (Col. 2:10), but “not yet”—and far from it—with regards to his practice (Phil. 3:12). An awareness of the dichotomy between the "already" and "not yet" is reason enough for us to pray. A Spirit-borne passion for growth in Christlikeness burdens our hearts and instructs our prayers . A Spirit-borne compassion for others causes us to intercede on their behalf (Col. 1:28; Rom. 10:1; 2 Tim. 2:1-4).

Needs of every kind surround us and threaten, at times, to overwhelm us. We are needier than we think that we are. The extent of our sin problem is greater than we realize. The spiritual opposition we face is stronger than we think. God’s purpose and plan for us in Christ is “exceeding abundantly” beyond what we can imagine (Eph. 3:19-21). Prayer is for the humble inasmuch as they alone appreciate the gravity of the task at hand. They know that the things that need to be, cannot be, apart from God’s intervention (John 15:5).

Prayer is for the needy and for those having faith in God. "Faith is the assurance of things of things hoped for" (Heb. 11:1). Prayer exercised in faith trusts in God and His readiness and ability to respond to our need. God says, "Ask and it shall be given to you" (Matt. 7:7). Asking is such a simple thing--a person in need asks of someone who is able to meet the need. God is able, more than able. The angel declared to Mary, “Nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). God is indeed able "to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask" (Eph. 3:20). He is well-pleased to respond to the requests of His grace-needy children (Rom. 8:32). He is glorified in His abundant provision providing both “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”

God exhorts us to "draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16). Needy souls need look no further. God is on the throne—and it is a throne of grace! He knows all about our troubles. He bids us to bring them to His throne—to cast them upon Him (1 Pet. 5:7). From His presence He freely dispenses both mercy and grace. His provision can never be exhausted. He will not turn His children away (James 1:5). We have the freedom to come at any time in any place with requests both great and small.

I have it in my mind that the throne of grace—like a stream in a populated desert--ought to be well-attended by countless souls. But in pride, the thirsty refuse to go. They wander about frantically searching for some other source of refreshment. It is sinful pride that keeps them from the obvious. But it is the Spirit who humbles them and drives them back. And they find, in Him, “rivers of living water” to satisfy their innermost longings and needs. Are you needy? If so, prayer is for you!

Pastor Jerry

Thursday, January 20, 2011


This excerpt is from the book "Bonhoeffer" and is his commentary on the preaching he heard in New York City: "In New York City they preach about virtually everything; only one thing is not addressed, or is addressed so rarely that I have as yet been unable to hear it, namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, sin and forgiveness, death and life."

1 Cor. 2:2, "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified."

Sunday, January 9, 2011


If you have listened to the news yesterday you know that there was a shooting in Tuscon, Arizona, at a community open house hosted by congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Six people were killed, thirteen others were shot (including the congresswoman), outside a Safeway store, by a mentally unstable man.

Among those who were killed was a 9 year old girl, Christina Taylor Green. She had just been elected to her school’s student council. She had gone to the gathering that she could learn more about her government. Ironically, she was born on September 11th, 2011--the date of her birth and of her death, from this day forward, will both mark tragic days in the history of our country.

We should pray for the families of those who died and those who have been shot. Some of the wounded are still in the hospital. Some have suffered wounds in their souls that only God can heal. May the God of all comfort give comfort...

Not a day goes by without hearing of some tragic act of senseless violence in which innocent people are killed. These events are not far removed from us--just this past week the police chief of Rainier was killed in another act of senseless violence.

In the months to come we are going to hear again about how we need to do something to stop the senseless violence that is occurring in our country these days. Some will say that there is a need for better gun control. Others are already saying that something needs to be done to change the nature of political discourse in our country. Still others will argue that there is a need for better security at such events and gatherings--though acts of violence happen today in malls, businesses, schools, churches--no place is exempt..

None of these things strike at the core of the problem. “We have met the enemy and it us” said Pogo, the cartoon character. And it is true--it is us. Since the fall of man, man has been killing his fellow man. Since Cain killed Abel--senseless violence has characterized man’s existence on planet earth.

We were warned, long ago, of the nature of things to come in these last days. 2 Tim. 3:1-5, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gospels, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God...”

And I don’t intend to take a lot of time here, but I just want to say that people, government officials, news media people, and others are going to suggest a lot of things to try to fix what is happening in the society in which we live. I just want to say--ahead of time--that any solutions that fail to address the sin problem that exists in the heart of man--are not true and lasting solutions.

The problem is sin and there is but one solution for sin--the person and work of Christ. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tim. 1:15). He transformed Saul, "a violent aggressor," (1 Tim. 1:13). and made a great missionary and Apostle out of him. Paul's example of sacrificial love was superceded only by that of Christ Himself. Christ alone can bring about such a transformation! He alone can forgive sin. He alone can transform sinners into saints. He alone offers true and lasting hope to lost sinners.

Paul spoke of the "glorious gospel of the blessed God" (1 Tim. 1:11). He used such language because he himself experienced the life-transforming power of the gospel. That is why we glory in Christ and in His work on the cross. That is why we are compelled to preach the gospel message from this pulpit. That is why God has given to every believer “the ministry of reconciliation.”

2 Cor. 5:18-20, “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely; that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Chirst, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

We are great sinners. Christ is a greater Savior. In Him alone we have a confident hope. We, believers in Christ, have been commanded and are privileged to hold forth a message before the “crooked and perverse generation” in which we live. We are to do so with a sense of urgency--as if lives depended upon it--because they do.

Pastor Jerry