Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2008

William MacDonald

 

There is a curious problem today in the evangelical [and fundamental] world — one that poses sobering questions for the church and for the individual believer. The problem in brief is this: a great army of personal soul-winners has been mobilized to reach the populace for Christ. They are earnest, zealous, enthusiastic, and persuasive. To their credit it must be said that they are on the job. And it is one of the phenomena of our times that they rack up an astounding number of conversions. Everything so far seems to be on the plus side.

But the problem is this: The conversions do not stick. The fruit does not remain. Six months later there is nothing to be seen for all the aggressive evangelism. The capsule technique of soul winning has produced stillbirths.

What lies at the back of all this malpractice in bringing souls to the birth? Strangely enough it begins with the valid determination to preach the pure gospel of the grace of God. We want to keep the message simple — uncluttered by any suggestion that man can ever earn or deserve eternal life. Justification is by faith alone, apart from the deeds of the law. Therefore, the message is “only believe.”

From there the message is reduced to a concise formula. For instance, the evangelistic process is cut down to a few basic questions and answers, as follows:

“Do you believe you are a sinner?”
“Yes.”
“Do you believe Christ died for sinners?”
“Yes.”
“Will you receive Him as your Savior?”
“Yes.”
“Then you are saved!”
“I am?”
“Yes, the Bible says you are saved.”

At first blush the method and the message might seem above criticism. But on closer study we are forced to have second thoughts and to conclude that the gospel has been over-simplified.

The first fatal flaw is the missing emphasis on repentance. There can be no true conversion without conviction of sin. It is one thing to agree that I am a sinner: it is quite another thing to experience the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit in my life. Unless I have a Spirit-wrought consciousness of my utterly lost condition, I can never exercise saving faith. It is useless to tell unconvicted sinners to believe on Jesus — that message is only for those who know they are lost. We sugar-coat the gospel when we de-emphasize man’s fallen condition. With that kind of watered-down message, people receive the Word with joy instead of with deep contrition. They do not have deep roots, and though they might endure for a while, they soon give up all profession when persecution or trouble comes (Matt. 13:21). Many have forgotten that the message is repentance toward God as well as faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

A second serious omission is a missing emphasis on the Lordship of Christ. A light, jovial mental assent that Jesus is Savior misses the point. Jesus is first Lord, then Savior. The New Testament always places His Lordship before His Saviorhood. Do we present the full implication of His Lordship to people? He always did.

A third defect in the message is the tendency to keep the terms of discipleship hidden until a decision has been made for Jesus. Our Lord never did this. The message He preached included the cross as well as the crown. “He never hid His scars to win disciples.” He revealed the worst along with the best, then told His listeners to count the cost. We popularize the message and promise fun.

The result of all this is that we have people believing without knowing what they believe. In many cases they have no doctrinal basis for their decision. They do not know the implication of commitment to Christ. They have never experienced the mysterious, miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration.

And of course there are others who are talked into a profession because of the slick salesmanship techniques of the soul winner. Or some who want to please the affable, personable young man with the winning smile. And some who only want to get rid of this religious interloper who has intruded into their privacy. Satan laughs when these conversions are triumphantly announced on earth.

I would like to raise several questions that might lead to some changes in the strategy of evangelism.

First of all, can we generally expect people to make an intelligent commitment to Christ the first time they hear the Gospel? Certainly, there is the exceptional case where a person has already been prepared by the Holy Spirit.

But generally speaking, the process involves sowing the seed, watering it, then sometime later reaping the harvest. In our mania for instant conversion, we have forgotten that conception, gestation, and birth do not occur on the same day.

A second question — can a capsule presentation of the gospel really do justice to so great a message? As one who has written several gospel tracts, I confess to a certain sense of misgivings in even attempting to condense the good news into four small pages. Would we not be wise to give people the full presentation as it is found in the Gospels, or in the New Testament?

Thirdly, is all this pressure for decisions really Scriptural? Where in the New Testament were people ever pressured into making a profession? The practice is justified by saying that if only one out of ten is genuine, it is worth it. But what about the other nine disillusioned, bitter, perhaps deceived; enroute to hell by a false profession?

And I must add this: Is all this boasting about conversions really accurate? You’ve met the man who solemnly tells you of ten people he contacted that day and all of them were saved. A young doctor testified that every time he goes to a new city, he looks in the phone book for people with his last name. Then he calls them one by one and leads them through the four steps of salvation. Amazing enough, every one of them opens the door of his heart to Jesus. I don’t want to doubt the honesty of people like this, but am I wrong in thinking that they are extremely naive? Where are all those people who are saved? They cannot be found.

What it all means is that we should seriously re-examine our streamlined capsule evangelism. We should be willing to spend time teaching the gospel, laying a solid doctrinal foundation for faith to rest on. We should stress the necessity for repentance — a complete about face with regard to sin. We should stress the full implication of the Lordship of Christ and the conditions of discipleship. We should explain what belief really involves. We should be willing to wait for the Holy Spirit to produce genuine conviction of sin.

If we do this, we’ll have less astronomical figures of so-called conversions, but more genuine cases of spiritual rebirth.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

By Ray Stedman

The problems of abortion yield themselves to solution only when viewed against the background of reverence for human life and its theological base, for, to quote John R. W. Stott, “Man is a unique creation, the object of God’s loving care in both creation and redemption. The reason the Bible forbids the taking of human life, except judicially, is that it is the life of a human being with a divine likeness.”

The humanist viewpoint, which views man as fundamentally an animal, gives us no reason to even confront the question, for if man is only another animal he can be treated like one, therefore, there is no moral or spiritual question involved. But if, as the Bible declares, man is uniquely singled out to bear the stamp of God’s image, and to be the object of Christ’s redemptive love, then destroying human life assumes moral and spiritual implications because it brings God into the picture and we face our responsibility to him and his unchanging laws.

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.” (Genesis 9:6 (RSV))

This is the recorded decree of God — not because human life was cheap (the murderer’s), but because human life (the victim’s) was precious. This word from God bears witness to the value and sanctity of human life. This is the context in which the Christian views the problem of abortion.

I don’t have to tell you how pertinent this subject is. Everybody is talking about it. But, as Christians, we must always come back to the Scriptures for our frame of reference and try to settle such questions as this on the basis of what the Word of God says — regardless of what the world thinks and does about them.

To help us think it through, I’d like to point out what I think are the crucial questions on this issue and then summarize what I feel the Scriptures give us to reach conclusive answers to these questions. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those areas where we can cite passages that give us clear-cut answers. Our conclusions must be reached more from the standpoint of general principles than from specific statements. But I think the principles that apply are very clear, and we should not find it difficult to draw conclusions from them.

The first, and, perhaps, the most crucial, question is: “Is a fetus a human being at every stage of its development, that is, from conception onward? Is it to be regarded as human life from the very beginning?”

The position of secular writers on this question varies widely. Some take the stand that a fetus is not to be regarded as a human being until it is actually born and that any arrest of its life before birth is not the taking of life. Others do not agree to that. Many people would say the fetus becomes human life at the point of “quickening,” that is, the first time that the fetus shows life, jumps within the womb. Others say the fetus becomes a human life at the time when the heartbeat can be detected.

It seems, though, that very few secular writers would take the position that it is human from the point of conception unless they are strongly influenced by moral or religious considerations. Roman Catholic writers might take that position. The position of the Catholic Church has been consistently against abortion, but, like so much that is happening today in the Catholic Church, the official stance is one thing, while its practice is quite another. Not much effort is being made to enforce the official position of the church due to the controversy raging today. Of course, Catholics would go even further, saying that even the act of contraception, of preventing conception, is proscribed by Scripture, because it represents an aborting of God’s will. But that position would find few Protestant defenders.

When we come back to the Scriptures on the question of abortion, it seems to me that it is almost assumed in the Bible that human life is present in the fetus. It is like the argument about the existence of God — very little Scripture could be used to answer the philosophical claim that God doesn’t exist, because Scripture assumes that he does. This matter is much the same — Scripture simply assumes that human life is present in the fetus and that it is there from the beginning.

Of the Bible passages that deal with this subject, a noteworthy one is Psalm 139, which refers unmistakably to the fetus before birth. Remember that this Psalm deals with a man’s search for his own identity. Let’s read at least the first half of this Psalm:

  O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me!
  Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up;
    thou discernest my thoughts from afar.
  Thou searchest out my path and my lying down,
    and art acquainted with all my ways.
  Even before a word is on my tongue,
    Lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
  Thou dost beset me behind and before,
    and layest thy hand upon me.
  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high, I cannot attain it. (Psalm 139:1-6 RSV)

“O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me.” Notice the use of personal pronouns all the way through. “Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up…” This portrays the wonder of the psalmist at the incredible intimacy of the knowledge of God. He goes on to say that it encompasses even his thought life. He acknowledges that God knows him better than he knows himself, that he understands the inner workings of his being, the unconscious developments of his life, that he is far more aware of every intimate detail of a man’s life than the man himself. God’s knowledge of man is far beyond what man is able to know of himself and is therefore a source of wonder to him.

  Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?
    Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
  If I ascend to heaven, thou art there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there!
  If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
  even there thy hand shall lead me,
   and thy right hand shall hold me.
  If I say, “Let only darkness cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
  even the darkness is not dark to thee,
    the night is bright as the day;
    for darkness is as light with thee. (Psalm 139:7-12 RSV)

Notice Verse 7: “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” Here he’s facing the implications of this knowledge that there is no conceivable state of being in which a human can exist (before he is encompassed in the body, after he is in the body, before birth or after death, or within the whole of life) in which God does not know him, and that there is no escape from the being and presence of God.

Then he comes to an actual description of his embryonic state:

  For thou didst form my inward parts,
    thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb.
  I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful.
    Wonderful are thy works!
  Thou knowest me right well;
    my frame was not hidden from thee,
  when I was being made in secret,
    intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
  Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance;
    in thy book were written, every one of them,
  the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16 RSV)

“For thou didst form my inward parts; thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb.” The Hebrew word for knit together really means “thou didst unroll me.” You know how the fetus is rolled up; it develops in this fetal position. The idea here is that from the very beginning God forms and begins to unroll the fetus. The psalmist is impressed by the wonder of this: “I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was made in secret.”

Do not be misled by the next phrase, “the depths of the earth.” This doesn’t mean that fetal growth takes place underground. It’s really a poetic phrase that expresses something of the mystery of life. It pictures something that is hidden and therefore difficult to discover. While his life was at this stage, where it is difficult to understand or even investigate, God’s understanding of the psalmist’s being and identity was clear. Notice that there is no change in the personal pronoun: it is still “I” and “me” describing the fetal state, just as it is when he is speaking about himself as a grown person.

He says, “Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance.” That is clearly the embryo. “In thy book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are thy thoughts, O God!” The language here attempts to convey the fact that there is no conceivable state of the human being that does not involve identity before God. This is strong evidence that, in God’s view (and he ought to know), the fetus is a form of human life even in its undeveloped state.

Note that nature itself confirms this. If you find a seed lying on the ground and want to know what kind it is, you plant it and see. The seed never makes a mistake. Inherent in the seed are all the characteristics of the grown plant. This is true in all the natural realm so it seems logical that it is true in human life as well: The moment the fertilized seed is there, all that it will become is inherent within it. Therefore, we conclude there is human life from the very beginning, from the point of conception.

Another reference that helps to confirm this view is Hebrews 7:9-10. It speaks of Levi as paying tithes to Melchizedek while he was yet in the loins of his father Abraham. Here, even the sperm of Abraham is regarded as having identity. Levi is identified even before he was conceived (and Abraham wasn’t even his father — he was his great-grandfather). Yet Levi is identified as being involved in the characteristic acts of Abraham before he was even conceived.

And you can carry this line of thinking clear back to the fact that in some sense the whole race is found seminally in Adam in the same way. Here we are facing an almost unexplorable mystery of life — which is nevertheless true. That’s why Paul can say in Romans 5 that we all sinned in one man, and he hangs a lot on that point of his argument.

Another strong confirmation of the human identity of the fetus is in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke. This is the story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth while both were with child.

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry. “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:39-44 RSV)

Now joy is a human phenomenon. Elizabeth was six months into her pregnancy, “this is the sixth month with her who was called barren,” (Luke 1:36). So at six months we see there was a clear expression of a human emotion within the womb. And Mary had just conceived — yet John in Elizabeth’s womb is reacting to the person of Jesus in Mary’s womb! This is a very strong point. A lot of the weight of argument lies right here. This is saying that Elizabeth’s unborn baby sensed the presence of the Lord Jesus in Mary’s womb — that’s why it says that “Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41), and “the babe … leaped for joy” (Luke 1:44).

Here, we conclude, the emotion of joy is being expressed through the humanity of the fetus. Now this isn’t just something that is imposed upon the fetus by God so that he makes it twitch, and then it is called a reaction of joy. That would make the terms meaningless; it must be that the fetus in some way feels and expresses joy. In another place, Luke 1:15, it talks about John’s being filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb — and only human beings are filled with the Spirit. All this we take as evidence that Scripture teaches that a human life exists from the very moment of conception.

Now we are coming to the second step. The first has been to establish that there is human life in the fetus. The second crucial question is this: “What does aborting that type of human life involve? Is it first-degree murder or is it considered a lesser crime?”

At the outset we suggested that we should not regard abortion in the same way as we would view a man’s deliberately killing another in cold blood. In other words, it isn’t first-degree murder to arrest this kind of life, though it is a form of taking life. The fact that there is a lesser penalty prescribed for an act of manslaughter as opposed to an act of murder doesn’t mean there is no taking of a human life in a manslaughter case. It means that the circumstances are such that there is less culpability involved.

We have concluded, I trust, that the Scriptures say to us that the fetus is a person all the way. That’s what Psalm 139 is saying. It uses the same personal pronouns for the fetal development before birth as it does after birth. I think we have to see it as a person. Now the lesser degree of blame attached to ending life through abortion is not because the fetus is not a person, but because it is more difficult to recognize it as a person. The degree of culpability is involved here. The degree to which a person acts deliberately and in full knowledge of what he is doing establishes the difference between murder and manslaughter.

The basis for lessening the degree of blame for a crime is not the quality of life that’s involved, but the degree of understanding of the value of that life. The Scriptures, then, in my judgment, indicate that human life exists from the very point at which conception occurs. But abortion is to be regarded as something less than outright, deliberate murder. It doesn’t bear that same degree of culpability if pregnancy is terminated.

That leads to the third question: “What effect does abortion have upon society?” Here again we have general principles set forth in Scripture. That is, that when men act in ignorance (as Paul put it about himself), they are able to obtain mercy because they did things ignorantly, in unbelief. God’s mercy does come in at this point; nevertheless, there are certain natural results that accrue which God does not set aside.

Despite the ignorance of man, there still is a penalty exacted by God — which we term “natural result” or “natural consequence” — that is not altered by mercy. Therefore, human society suffers the consequences of acts, like abortion, that are not a fulfillment of God’s righteous will. The major thing we ought to bear in mind, and to teach, in a Christian stand against abortion is that there is an effect upon society. To a great degree the ignorance of men today about this whole matter of abortion is defended and preserved. We are being told that it is an individual matter and is justified on that basis: “Well, I haven’t done any harm to anyone else. It’s my body and I can do what I like with my own body.” Christians have to come out and say, “Look, this is not true. No man is an island. We are all together in this, and what hurts one hurts all.” The hurt that affects society as a result of this, and which God exacts, goes clear back to the idea that if any man takes another man’s life, “by man shall his blood be shed,” (Genesis. 9:6 (RSV). In other words, violence begets violence. Thus, when there is a violent termination of life (which abortion is to some degree), this begets more violence in society; and when it becomes widespread, it becomes increasingly felt in society.

For example, a large percentage of the population in Japan is regularly practicing abortion. Does this mean that we can expect that society to reap bloodshed within itself? Yes, we can. The bloodshed can come about in various ways, some of which will be obviously abortion-related and some of which will not. For instance, it may take the form of a plague or of increased incidence of disease; it may even take the form of an outbreak of war, or an increased crime rate, or suicides. God is working within human society in all the various forms in which Satan, the “murderer” (John 8:44), is permitted to exercise his will, and Satan is given more toehold in society as men give in at these points. Therefore, the devil is able to exercise his desire to murder in various ways. We can see this even now in the Japanese culture. They have tremendous numbers of traffic deaths, etc. For years Japan has had one of the highest suicide rates in the world. They’ve been involved in wars; in World War II God judged Japan as much as he did the United States.

An obvious example of this is the devaluation of life itself. If we consider the fetus to be non-human, then there’s a decline in appreciation and understanding of the value of human life. And without a sense of the worth of human life, people act violently in a number of ways, one of which is the current loosening of abortion laws.

This is part of the larger picture, too, of the whole sexual behavior of humanity. Certain passages state that God judges society within that society itself and brings upon it weakness, death, darkness, and hurt, because of sexual immorality. For instance, “For this cause, the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:3-6, Colossians 3:6 RSV). Widespread sexual immorality of any kind always brings judgment on a society. Abortion is a form of sexual immorality arising from the widespread practice of sexual promiscuity.

Another example of this truth is in Hosea, where we read about the case that the Lord has against the inhabitants of the land. Hosea begins with their lack of faithfulness: There is no knowledge of God in the land. Then he says the result is swearing, deception, killing, stealing and adultery, and they use violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed Hosea 4:1-3). Therefore the land mourns. The same progression — disengaging from God, sexual promiscuity, immorality, then violence, then the whole land infected — is what we see America going through today.

One further thing should be said on this — that there is a place for therapeutic abortion in individual cases. Where, if a mother’s life and a child’s life is in jeopardy and it is a matter of saving one or the other, there is some warrant for choosing the mother as opposed to the fetus, because she is a more developed life, has more ties to life around, affects more people and so on. There is some justification in that. But abortion is certainly not justified in the case of the convenience of the mother versus the life of the fetus. That’s another point entirely.

Sometimes, too, it’s really hard to distinguish what would be additional justifiable cause for abortion: There are physical problems and emotional problems — and where do you draw the line concerning emotional problems? These are hard decisions for which we have no concrete answer from Scripture. But this is something that Christians are going to have to wrestle with — increasingly so, and no matter how difficult the task — for we are to be “salt” in society.

Read Full Post »

By:Charles E. Wigg.

                                                                                                                                                                   In In an area near Lucknow in North India, lived a Brahmin family, by the name of Chaubey. They were comparatively rich, quite religious according to the Hindu custom. They had a large house, where poojah (worship of Hindu idols),was daily carried out, and many acres of land. A son of that family turned out to be different from the other members, because as he grew he became a greedy and a violent man. He finally became king of a band of Dacoits, (Robbers, or Gangsters.)

He married a Brahmin girl, and had two sons. He joined in the daily poojah when at home, and even with his gang sought the blessing of the idols, before committing a crime. Once the crime had been successfuly carried through, with his gang, he returned to the temple to make a thank offering of part of the proceeds of the crime.

He was not troubled by the fact that they stole and murdered, he considered it to be a part of his karmah, or sacred duty. After all some of his gods did the same, thereby sanctifying his sinful life. During that period of his life, this man (by his own confession), committed no less that 28 murders, Their crimes made him to become very wealthy, and he acquired a taste for expensive foreign brandy, he always kept a good supply of it under the bed. He still had a faint glimmer of a conscience, and the liquor gave him a false courage, and enabled him to suppress what little voice of conscience that remained in him.

Though he committed so many murders, and stole so much property, yet he never spent time in prison. If caught, they would bribe the policemen, this was considered business expenses. If they found an honest policeman, and were brought to the court, then they would have to give the judge more money, but this was just bad luck.

But the Mighty God was watching that man, He set His love upon him, and determined to make him a trophy of His matchless grace.

There is a true God, He is the Creator of us all, He is both righteous, just, and intrinsically holy, He hates sin, yet loves the sinner. He tells us in His word, the Bible, that we are all sinners, both by nature, and by practice. We cannot help our nature, we acquired it from our father before we were born, but we can help our actions, because though Satan, God’s arch enemy, may tempt us to sin, yet he cannot compell us to sin. The Bible tells us that the punishment of sin is death, not only physical death, but spiritual death, eternal seperation from God, and that death is passed upon all, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”, Rom.3;23, and Rom. 5;12.

After committing one crime, they were caught, and because the police man was honest, he had to go to Court, and the case was heard in the town of Basti. He went to that town, and while on his way to the court, he saw a man from Tamil Nadu, one of the southermost states of India, with a shoulder bag hanging from his shoulder, a Bible in one hand , and some tracts in the other. he was a missionary with the “Friends Missionary Prayer Band”

Though the dacoit was feared by all in that town, where he was acknowledged as king, yet this poor Tamil brother bravely offered the him a tract. When he was asked what it was, he told that it was a paper that would tell him about the ONE TRUE GOD. The dacoit put the tract into his pocket, then began to reproach the Tamil brother.

“What one true God?” he asked, “I have a thousand gods, if one of my gods fail I turn to another, if your God fails, what do you do?” The Tamil brother simply told him that his God never failed, that He could not fail, and that he would never need to turn to another.

The dacoit became angry when he heard these words, he snatched the evangelist’s Bible and threw it on the ground, he grabbed the tracts that were in the other hand and threw them into the air. He then put his hand into his pocket and felt the revolver that he had there, and threatened the evangelist, telling him that he was king in that place, and that if he came there again and found him there he would shoot him, he ordered him to get out of that place. The poor evangelist, meekly replied that he served another King, the Lord Jesus, and would have to do as He commanded.

The court hearing was adjourned for fourteen days, and the Dacoit returned home, where he boasted to his wife of what he had done. To His surprise, his wife did not laugh with him, but rebuked him, telling him that he had no right to treat the evangelist as he had done. She told him that the poor fellow was a holy man a servant of some god, and that he had done no harm to him, so he was wrong in treating him as he had done. He then put his hand into his pocket and produced the tract, telling his wife that the man was spreading religious propaganda, telling about some ONE TRUE GOD, and giving away papers. His wife then asked him if he had read the paper, and when he told that he had not, she told him that he should do so, that it might do him some good. This was a challenge to him, which he could not resist, so he did read the tract.

Fourteen days later he returned to Basti to attend court again, and he was angered to find the same evangelist there still. But he was shocked to see how thin the poor man had become, his clothes were just hanging on Him. He put his hand in the pocket again and felt the revolver, he then reminded the evangelist of the threat he had made two weeks before. The Tamil man replied ” You told me that you are king in this place, and that if you found me here again you would shoot me. I told you that I served the Lord Jesus, that He is my King, and He has not told me to leave this place. I must remain until He tells me to go. You can shoot me if you wish, but first let me tell you about the ONE TRUE GOD, because He loves you.”

BY Charles E. Wigg

The dacoit then calmed down somewhat, and told the evangelist that he had read the paper he had given him, and that it old of a God who can forgive sins, but that no God could forgive him, because he was just too bad The evangelist then told him that God is able to forgive the vilest sinner, that He had forgiven the Chief of Sinners, who was worse than the Dacoit, and that God was able to righteously forgive him also. He then asked, “Would you like to hear more?” When the Dacoit replied that he would, it was suggested that they should go to a little prayer hall, where it would be quiet, and away from the dust of the street, to which he agreed. The Dacoit told me in his own words, “I entered that prayer hall at 10.30 in the morning, and when I came out at 4.30 in the afternoon, I came out a new man”.

How could this possibly come about? The evangelist shared with him the Gospel of Christ, which “Is the power of God unto salvation, to every one who believes”, Rom. 1;16. There the man learned that there is only one True God, and that He is our Creator, He created us for Himself, and created us in such a way that we cannot find true peace, satisfaction, or fulfillment apart from Himself. He learned that though he was a very wicked man, yet he was not alone, for all have sinned. That we all have a sinful nature, and because of this we cannot pay for our own sins, nor can we earn the salvation of God. He was told that man had been tried out under all circumstances, over a period of 4,000 years, but had proved himself to be a total failure. God has given us a law of ten commandments, all of which are quite reasonable, yet we have all broken one or more of those commandments many times.

However God loved each one of us, because we are His creatures, and so that we might be delivered from the penalty, and punishment due to us because of our sins, He himself became man. His law demanded that as it was man who had sinned, it was man that should pay the penalty, but that it was only a sinless man, who could be our substitute. So in wonderful love, He who created man, humbled Himself, and became a man. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”, 1 Tim. 1;15.

The Lord Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, in the womb of Mary, thus He had no earthly father, and because of this, did not have a sinful nature. He was born in a stable, and as a baby, was laid in a manger, ( the box that normally holds the food for the animals that are housed in the stable). He was not born in the palace of the Raj, but grew up amidst poverty and hardship. Though He created the world and all that are in it, yet all that men offered Him, was a manger in a stable.

He spent thirty years in a carpenter’s home, and for many of those years worked with his own hands, and worked hard, as a carpenter. He was tempted in all points, or ways, like we are, yet He never once yielded to temptation, but lived a sinless life, He was “without sin”.

At the age of thirty years, He left the home at Nazareth, and went out to preach the Gospel, offering forgiveness and pardon to all who would repent of their sins, and put their faith in Him, believe in Him.

He was hated by the Jewish religious leaders, because He exposed their hypochrisy. They tried to find some fault in Him, so that they might have an excuse to destroy Him, but they failed to find any such fault or sin. However they offered money to one of His disciples, who had turned traitor, and thus were able to arrest Him, subject Him to a mock trial, then handed Him over to the Romans, who were then ruling Israel, and persuaded the crowd who had gathered at Pilate’s judgment hall, to demand His death by crucifiction.

After many hours of the most brutal treatment, he went out , bearing His cross, to a place called Golgotha, where His clothes were removed, and He was nailed to that cross. He was crucified at 9AM, and suffered all kinds of abuse until 12PM, when suddenly it became totally dark, and there for three hours, amidst that darkness, he was punished by God, for what we have done, for what the dacoit had done. There the Holy God, poured out all His Holy wrath against sinful man, but it was all borne by the sinless One.

At 3PM, my Savior cried, “It is finished”, then bowed His blessed thorn-crowned head and died, the death that I,, that you, that the dacoit deserved. He ( the dacoit) learned that the full price for all his sins and crimes had been fully paid, by his sinless Savior.

The Savior’s holy body was then taken down from the cross, by the loving hands of two disciples, who had been secret disciples until that time. They wrapped it in clean linnen cloths, with embalming spices, and laid it to rest in the new, rock-hewn tomb belonging to one of them., a great circular stone was then rolled across the entrance, it was sealed with the Roman govenor’s signet, and a guard of soldiers placed there to prevent anybody coming to steal that body, and take it away.. But three days later, in the dark of night, an angel came, whose look was like lightening, the soldiers were petrified with fear, and became like dead men. The angel rolled the stone away and sat upon it, not to allow the Lord Jesus to come out, but to show that He had already risen.

When he heard all these things, our friend the dacoit, saw himself no longer as a gangster king,but a lost and guilty sinner, he came to the feet of the Lord Jesus in true repentance, put his faith and trust in that risen Savior, and received Him into his heart and life, he handed his wicked life to the Lord Jesus, his many sins were forgiven, and washed away by the blood of the Lord Jesus. He was born again, and became a “new creature”, in Christ

My dear reader, what God did for that man, He can do for you, if only you are willing!

Once all this was settled,then it was that he learned why that evangelist was so thin. For fourteen days that dear man had been fasting and praying for the criminal’s conversion. Such devotion is very seldom seen, yet is very precious to our Master and Lord Jesus Christ.

Our friend, now our brother in Christ

returned to his home and asked his wife to make him a cup of tea. She was very surprised, and wondered if he had made a mistake, telling him that he never drank tea, he only drank brandy. When he insisted, she made the tea for him, and he told me that never in his life had a cup of tea tasted so nice, as it did that day. He then asked his wife to come and to watch what he was about to do.

Under their bed, he had 150 bottles of foreign brandy, he took the cartons into his compound yard, and threw them one by one against a stone wall, breaking every one of them. His wife asked him, “Have you gone mad or something?” He replied, “No, today is the very first time in my life that I have been in my right mind. That brandy has been poison to me, and I will not allow it to be a poison to others”. Thus he showed that he had really received a new life, he was now in Christ, and the old things were passing away.

However though he was completely changed, yet his wife did not like the change. The poojah ceased, he was a Hindu no longer, instead he began to pray to the TRUE GOD, who was now his Father, and to the Lord Jesus , who was now his Savior. After a time, his wife took their two sons and ran away, taking with her two kilograms of gold also. He found out where she had gone, and then went to see her. He demanded that she hand the boys over to him, but she refused. He told her that he was a Hindu no longer, and that his sons were not going to be brought up as Hindus. He now belonged to the Lord Jesus, and his boys were to be brought up for Him. He told her that he had a revolver in his pocket, and if he had to, he would use it, if she continued to refuse to give the boys up. She knew that when he spoke like that he meant it, so she gave the boys to him. As he returned to his house he passed a river, he threw the revolver into the river, and it remains there until this day.

Now he had a great problem, he had ruled over a gang, and he knew enough about each of them that could make them to hang for their crimes. He called them all together, told them what had happened to him, that he had been saved and was a new creature in Christ, that he could not continue with them in a life of sin and crime. He told them that he was a threat to each of them because of what he knew about them, that they could shoot him then and there if they chose. However he promised that if they allowed him to live, he would never divulge to any living soul, the things that he knew about them.

Later he was baptized, and this made the Brahmin community angry. The Lord Jesus asks all those who trust Him as Savior, and confess Him as Lord, to testify to their faith in Him, by being baptized to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This is done by their being immersed in water, as a testimony to the fact that they accept the death of Christ as their own, and they thus identify themselves with Him, in His death, burial and resurrection.

In Hindu circles this public act of faith and obedience.often provokes great opposition, and hostility. Hindus do not object to one believing in any god, or in no god, so to them to believe in Jesus, is just believing in one more god. However if one is baptized, it means that the person has broken caste, and thus are outcaste, and this makes them very angry, and will often result in the person being rejected by their family, dis-inherited, and litterally cast out.

This is what happened to brother Paul Chaubey, because he was from a Brahmin family, (the highest caste), it made his family, and community very angry, and they decided to kill him. When taking his baby son John to the hospital for treatment, they ambushed him, and stabbed him forty times. John told me “I can truly say that I have been washed in my father’s own blood”. His would-be murderers then left him and the baby, thinking that he was dead, however others found him, rushed him to hospital, where his wounds were treated and his life was saved. He continued in that area, staying with his mother, but she was still a Hindu, and poojah was practiced in that house each morning. He knew that this would in time have an influence on his sons, so he put the into a Roman Catholic boarding school in Jhansi. Later he came to Madras, where he got a job as a security officer at the Government Tank factory at Avadi.

He began to give his testimony, at meetings, and also to preach the Gospel, as best he understood that wonderful message. I time he came to know a very famous man, who is almost worshipped by many as a “prophet” and a “miracle worker, one “brother Dinakaran”, and was called by him to become one of his “Jesus Calls” preachers, it was this man who arranged for him to marry one of his “converts”, a former Roman Catholic, she had children of her own, and wanted what little property that our brother had, to be for her children, hence her cruel treatment of John. (We have told about this in the booklet, “The Shoe Shine Boy, which is available from the people who gve you this booklet.

He continued in the service of the famous prophet, (deceiver), until at a “Good news festival” somewhere in the North of India, the Hindus rioted, and he narrowly escaped with his life. He then called brother Paul Chaubey, the former Murderer and Dacoit, and asked him to become his personal bodyguard. Brother Paul was shocked, and asked the “Prophet”, “You are the servant of the Almighty God, and yet you need a bodyguard?” After this he left the service of that deceiver, and continued to serve the Lord independently , looking to Him to supply his daily needs, going from house to house with Christian witness, and Christian literature. When I last met him, together with his son John, they had covered 13 villages surrounding Madras. In one village he had been beaten up, but felt no bitterness towards those who had treated him thus, realizing that he was just reaping what he had himself sowed for many years.

My dear reader, I do not know you, but the fact that this little paper has come into your hands, is no accident, or co-incedence. God has a deffinate interest in you, and longs for your present and eternal happiness. It may be that you are a good living, upright person, who is clean morally, yet you are a sinner, as I am. Every sin of your life is known to God, even things that may be known to no others or perhaps only to one other person, all is fully known to God, yet He loves you still, and is willing to give you His salvation, and eternal life as a free gift. The Bible says that “The wages of sin is death, (that is all that you can earn), but the gift of God is eternal life throughJesus Christ, our Lord”, Rom. 6;23. Would you not be foolish to reject such a gift? Why not accept it now, by faith, I assure you that you will never ever regret doing so. Whether a small, or a great sinner, we must all come to God the same way, Whether from Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Sihk, or any other background, we must all come to God the same way, God’s appointed way.

To come to God there are but three simple steps which are (1). Repentance towards God, (2). Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, (3). Receive Christ by faith as your own personal Savior, and then confess Him as your Lord. If you would like to do this, then you can pray the following prayer. However I must warn you that the repetition of a formal prayer will not save you, it must be sincere, it must come from the depths of your heart, you must really mean it. If that is so, then pray like this, but as you pray, reaalize that the Lord Jesus is listening to you, He knows your heart better than you do. then just say

Dear Lord Jesus, as I have read about you and your wonderful love, my heart has been touched. I have been made to realize that I am a sinner, that I am lost and cannot save myself, I have learned that you love me, that you came from heaven to die for me,so that I might be saved, Lord Jesus, please save me now.

I repent, I am truly sorry for the bad things that I have done in my life, I want to do those things no longer, and as you help and keep me I will seek in your strength to please you, to please God, only.

Lord Jesus, I do believe that you died on the cross for me, I do believe that you took my sins, and bore the punishment for me, the judgment of a Holy God against my sins, against me. Thank you Lord Jesus! while hanging on that cross, you shed your precious blood, I believe that you did it for me.

Lord Jesus, I also believe that you rose from the dead, that you are alive, and I do receive you into my heart by faith now as my Lord and Savior.

Lord Jesus, please come into my heart right now, wash my sins away in your precious blood, make me a true child of God.

Thank you Lord Jesus for hearing my prayer, I believe that you have saved me, I gladly confess that you are my Lord, and my Savior, and that I belong to you alone, forever.

I ask this prayer in all sincerity, from the depths of my heart, and I worship you, in your precious name, Lord Jesus Christ Amen!

If you have prayed thus, and really meant it, then God has saved you. Get a Bible or New Testament and find and underline the following verses. John’s Gospel, chapter 1;12-13′ chapter 3;16, chapter 5;24, chapter 10;27-28, and Romans chapter 10;9. As you read them, thank God that they are true for you. That you have received Christ as your Savior, so that you are now a child of God, and have been born of God. Thank Him for giving His Son, the Lord Jesus for you, and that you will never perish and do have everlasting life now. Tell God that you do believe that He sent the lord Jesus to die for you, that He has spoken to you through His word, that you do have eternal life and will never come into judgment, condemnation or hell, that you have passed from death into life. Thank God that you have confessed Jesus as your Lord and Master, that you do believe that He rose from the dead, that now He lives in your heart and that you are truly saved.

Contact the person whose name appears at the end, and whose address and telephone number are given, They will guide you and pray for you as you begin you new life in Christ. If they do not live near you, then they will put you in touch with reliable and mature believers who will help and encourage you. May God bless you!

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. Nevertheless, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me the first, (CHIEF), Jesus Christ might show forth (His WHOLE) long-suffering, for a pattern to them who should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting. (1 Timothy, 1 ; 15-16.)

If God saved the Chief of Sinners, then He can save you, there is hope for all, even the worst.

Read Full Post »