Update

My dear brethren who keep up on my blog,

It has been a while since I’ve posted. I’m sure you can understand, seeing that my primary concern and object of focus is the work of the ministry set before me here on the mission field in Mexico. The Lord has been moving here, and we are being encouraged to see Him opening up doors and watching as the Gospel of God’s glorious grace is preached to many. We recently took a trip to another state in Mexico where the Gospel is also scarcely heard, and were able to hold a Bible teaching camp for over 100 children in a back village and evangelize many villagers. While we were there, we visited a local prison and preached the Word of God and also visited some brethren in the area to encourage them and strengthen them in the faith. It was a fruitful trip to the glory of God.

Meanwhile, since we’ve returned here to the city of Guadalajara, we’ve been busy preaching and teaching the Word of God and doing the work of evangelism. God has opened some doors and we are beginning to step into a new season of ministry here if the Lord permits. A brother is considering moving down with us to co-labor with us for the glory of God in this dark city, and we are praying for the Lord to provide the means and support for him to live here. He is the perfect candidate and already knows fluent Spanish and is seasoned in evangelism and open air preaching. I have greatly desired a likeminded co-laborer for a long time and have even been discouraged at times feeling all alone in thE work of this ministry. So for those of you who can’t go to the mission field here’s your opportunity to send someone else! May the Lord’s will be done. We greatly appreciate your prayers and support for all of you who have helped to hold the rope for us as we’re going down in. Sometimes it’s difficult to live by faith but every time the Lord comes through and provides for our needs and time and time again provides opportunities for us to share the message of the Cross wherever we are, especially in this Catholic city of over 9 million people and under 2% Christian. I just know that as we trust in God, He reveals His mighty arm on our behalf time and time again, and miracles become commonplace as we walk in and live by faith.

I have not given up on this blog, just have been taking a break from it for a moment. Check back soon, and in the meantime, we greatly desire your prayers. Leave us your comments, lift us up before the throne, and if you haven’t yet, check out our website and get a feel for our burden and work: www.puregospeltruth.com

MAY THE BANNER OF THE SON OF GOD BE LIFTED HIGH AND MAY THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL OF THE LIGHT OF CHRIST PIERCE THE DARKNESS OF CATHOLIC IDOLATRY FOR THE GLORY OF HIS GREAT NAME IN MEXICO.

In Christ -Josef

A New Blog Theme: Meditations on God’s Word

As my regular visitors can see, I have decided to change my blog a bit. Rather than posting on random topics of all sorts, I am planning on making this an outpost for my Scriptural meditations and short expositions on certain verses of the Bible. There are several reasons I am doing this:

1. The Word of God pronounces special blessing on those who meditate on it: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (Psalms 1:1-2). I desire to be blessed by God, and I desire my readers to be blessed. So let’s meditate on God’s law, His counsel, His holy Word, and apply it to our lives.

2. The Word of God is living and powerful. It exposes hearts, declares God’s decrees, reveals His will, lights our path, converts sinners, edifies saints, and has a glorious cleansing effect on the Body of Christ: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12).

3. As I meditate on Scripture, and write my thoughts as I’m doing so, it helps me to retain the glorious truths I’m learning from God’s Word. It helps me to articulate what I’m learning in a more clear manner, helps me to remember, and gives me a record of what I’ve learned to some degree, so I can go back and read my ponderings over again when thinking about a certain passage of Scripture. So not only will this blog be edifying to others, but it will to me as well. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. (1 Timothy 4:15).

More reasons could be given, but this should suffice for now. I truly hope you will join me on this new adventure I’m taking to meditate on the law of the Lord and record some of my notes. You are welcome to read all my meditations, and to comment on them as well with questions and insights of your own.

In Christ -Josef Urban
www.puregospeltruth.com

Powerful Missionary Testimony

Dear brethren,

 

Please take the time to listen to this sermon from a brother that spent about 25 ( + or – ) years of his life laboring and planting churches in indigenous Papua New Guinea. It contains an awesome testimony of the grace of God in sweeping a people into the Kingdom of His dear Son. The first half is this brother sharing about missions from the Bible, and the need to lay down our life for Christ among the nations, and in the second half he shares some testimony from the field.

I had the privilege of spending a few days with him about 6 months ago when I met up with him Oaxaca, MX to travel to an un-reached tribe of lost souls in the mountains to take the Gospel into their territory. Though the time was short, it was a blessing to glean from his experience and I was much edified. I trust you too will be edified by this sermon. LISTEN!!!

World Missions and Testimonies from Papau New Guinea by David Sitton

He now runs a missionary training school out of southern Texas and a yearly conference promoting missions awareness. You can catch the audio from last years conference on his site. It was called “A Purpose Driven Death”, talking about how missionary martrydom and suffering is often God’s chief instrument in spreading the Gospel amongst the unreached.

Must-See VIDEO on a successful Mission Trip

This is a video of a man that went in to an unreached tribe in indigineous Papau, New Guinea to reach them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After a couple of months of laboring day by day, preaching and preaching, laying down foundations and explaining the Holy Scriptures progressively, building more and more upon their understanding, planting and watering, finally the Lord reaped an amazing harvest.

You’ll notice he says in the video that he begins by saying he didn’t even mention Jesus for 2 months! -Now, maybe you’re like me, and you’re thinking that this must be a terrible method of evangelism to wait so long to mention the Savior. However, after watching the video and thinking about his method, and the way God gave his revelation to man in the Holy Scriptures, I am seeing it from another perspective. You see, during that time of 2 months, he was laying down foundation Scriptures and laying down solid spiritual foundations to ensure that the people got a clear understanding of the Lord and how He works. He started in the Old Testament and went through progressively, treating the subjects of sin, God’s judgment, atonement, redemption, all from Old Testament stories. By time he was through, the people understood well. And their fallow ground was all broken up. They saw themselves lost, without God, and desperately wanted to know if there was any hope to be reconciled to their Maker. Then, when the man began to tell them about Jesus, they listened. When they heard about the Savior’s blood that made the atonement, and that they could be saved if they believe in Him, immediately they rejoiced, crying “I believe! I believe!” and burst into a wonderful celebration for hours!

This missionary went in to an unreached group that had no understanding of the Scriptures and started where God started in His revelation to man. The Bible, starting with the Old Testament, clearly gives us what we call a “Progressive Revelation”, that is, the fullness of the revelation of the nature of God and of the way He works to save man was being progressively revealed more and more as the Scriptures were being written, culminating to the FULLNESS of divine truth as found in the New Testament Gospel. This missionary followed God’s pattern in starting with this group, starting with creation, and explaining of sin, righteousness, judgment, and prophetic pictures of Christ. This way, by time he reached the Gospel, the people understood it perhaps better than the majority of church-going “Christians” today who never have such foundations laid by the preaching they sit under. They were then ready to receive the Gospel.

Obviously, this missionary brother knew what he was doing. And obviously, many missionaries and evangelists today have NO IDEA what they’re doing -they think they do, but they don’t. For instance, an evangelist preaches to a group of people, and preaches a Gospel message, and then after a 40-60 minute message (or sometimes even less!) he issues an altar call for people to “accept Jesus as their personal Savior”. People respond. They recite the prayer after the evangelist. They are assured that they are saved… but there’s a big problem -they’re NOT saved!!! They will not go on to live a Godly life, they will not hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will not thirst for the milk of the word, they will not go on to spend time in secret prayer, they will not live a holy life in Christ, thus proving that their “experience” was completely spurious and uneffectual to true salvation.

Nowadays, the evangelist or missionary wants to go to a people with very little Gospel knowledge, and preach to them, and perform the tasks of planting the seed, watering the seed, having the seed grow to fruition, and reaping the harvest, ALL in a period of an hour or less! Then they want to go to the next place and boast about how many souls they’ve supposedly saved! But this Gospel business takes time, it takes prayer, it takes patience, it takes rightly dividing and rightly applying the Word of Truth, and when the seed grows, usually slowly but surely, the farmer knows not how, yet rejoices to see first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn, and then the harvest is reaped only when it comes to fruition, that is, when there are genuine evidences of true conversion (Mark 4:27-29). For the Gospel worker to reap an immature harvest will result in total loss of any possible lasting fruit!

This is what’s going on today. The seed is planted, watered, expected to grow, and harvested in one short message (and at that, it’s usually a shallow message that conveniently leaves out the preaching of the Law and holiness and justice and wrath of God, and of clearly explaining the work and satisfaction of Christ). And the harvest that is reaped is generally a bunch of false converts that had no deep work of the Spirit in their hearts to break the stubborn will of depraved sinners and supernaturally draw them to Christ by the revelation of divine faith to their hearts. Truly, the results that modern evangelism gets is generally a harvest of tares that will ultimately be gathered in bundles and burned in the fire (Matthew 13:40). The converts from these huge campaigns show no neccesary signs of genuine conversion according to the Word of God. Therefore, most modern evangelism doesn’t impress me one bit. Rather, it grieves me tremendously. It has done great damage to the professing church and polluted the house of God with worldly hypocrites that honor God with thier mouths, but have hearts that love the things of this world and are far from Him.

Biblical evangelism involves preaching of the whole counsel of God -even those parts of that counsel that carnal men who love their sin (and that don’t want to change) like to hear. And it involves making sure the sinner realizes he’s LOST before explaining to him the way to be FOUND. It involves teaching sinners that they are alienated from the life of God and will perish in their sin, making sure they understand the disease of their sin before revealing to them the cure and remedy of the Savior. And before a soul can be truly converted and begotten from above, and come to true “repentance unto life”, he has to not only acknowledge that he’s a sinner, but he has to have a spiritual revelation by the power of the Holy Spirit causing him to FEEL his sin. Godly sorrow works true repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). Without Godly sorrow over sin, there cannot be true repentance.

This is why our message should lay down foundations of spiritual truth that are divinely orchestrated to pave the way for the Gospel, the reasoning with sinners of “sin, righteousness, and temperance” (Acts 24:25), using the principles of the Law and of the nature of God in His essential and prominent attributes, giving them an understanding of who God is, and who they are in His sight. Maybe then sinners will once again start trembling in the holy fear of God under our preaching, feel that they’re actually lost, and cry out, “what shall we do to be saved”. After all, the Holy Spirit came to convict the world of “sin, righteousness, and judgment to come” in order that He may then “glorify Christ” by revealing Him in His glorious redemptive work in pardoning guilty sinners and imparting to them His pure righteousness (John 16:8, 16:14, respectively). The message that evangelists and missionaries should be proclaiming to the lost is the same message the Holy Spirit came to anoint and make effectual in the hearts of men, a message that includes these essential elements of Scriptural truth.

Of course, doing this might mean we actually have to take time to deal with sinners. It means we might have to invest ourselves into their enlightenment, and deny ourselves in order to serve them until the Holy Spirit sovereignly grants them this understanding. And, when doing so, we need to proclaim a Biblically balanced message of the whole counsel of God and not just a half-gospel of all “mercy, love, and happiness” such as is common in modern evangelism (though we must preach that too). And it may mean that we have to intercede for them, pray for them, and wait for the Holy Spirit to open their blind eyes and impart new life from above before we try to reap the harvest and add them to the membership of the church and accept them as brethren in Christ.

Now, this is not to say that the Holy Spirit can’t do a quick work in their hearts, and convince them of sin, cause them to bow the knee of their stubborn will before the Lorship of Chirst, impart to them saving faith and regenerate their hearts in what seems like an instant. I know He can do that. He’s God! “All things are possible with God”. However, this is not usually the way He operates. Usually, God is pleased in His sovereign pleasure and infinite wisdom to use intelligent Scriptural means to obtain the end. Therefore, what I’m saying is that we need to come alongside what God is doing and work with Him, joining the mind of the Spirit in evangelism, using the same means of Scriptural truth that the Spirit Himself proclaims directly to the hearts, and in our message proclaim by the preaching of the Gospel the same thing that the Holy Spirit is silently proclaiming to the hearts of the men listening. Then we will find that our message will come not in word only, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power and deep conviction (1 Thes. 1:5).

And I would also like to add: it’s not always one man’s job to do the whole labor of planting, watering, and reaping. “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1 Cor. 3:6). I wholeheartedly believe in itinerant evangelistic ministry that does a lot of planting and some watering and very little reaping, where the evangelist cannot spend much personal time with sinners. Jesus Himself did it, never staying in one place long enough to establish a recognized local fellowship! However, even then, Biblical principles need to be followed, and the results cannot be forced. Unripe fruit must not be plucked immaturely. Because then it dies. And it rots. And it stinks up the professing church.

This is why I like the method of the missionary in this video. He takes his time. He makes sure they understand that they’re lost sinners and feel their sin before he reveals the redemptive work of the Savior. He made sure they were “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” before he served up the Gospel bread from Heaven and living water by which they would be filled. And then he didn’t need to lead them into a silly little prayer to “Accept Jesus” and confess Him with thier mouths. Instead, they believed and confessed and rejoiced freely by spontaneous faith, not by human manipulation!

Fellow preachers, evangelists, missionaries! We need to get back to doing our part faithfully, and stop trying to steal God’s part in evangelism. Our part is to faithfully present the whole counsel of God, to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God, to faithfully proclaim and represent the Gospel truthfully. Then, it’s God’s part to give the increase, to regenerate hearts, to quicken dead sinners, to impart new life and save souls. Get your hands off the Ark of God, it’s a holy thing! Your job is simply to carry the holy message with reverance and Godly fear, and it’s God’s job to back it up with power! You preach the Gospel of God, and God will ensure it produces the results that He has soveriengly ordained to come to pass.  

In Christ -Josef Urban
www.puregospeltruth.com

We have the FULL AMOUNT needed for Bibles!

I am praising God right now! When we initially looked into buying the Bibles we need for our journey, we were soon struck with how much it is going to cost and it was out of the picture for us at this time. But glory be to God, because of the generosity of the saints, we have now received $1055 (the full amount we needed to meet the match plus $55 over!). Lord willing, now the 1000 is going to be matched by an anonymous brother who the Lord has moved to help out. This will enable us to purchase at least 300 bibles and 5,000 gospel tracts.

(Gen 22:14) And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh. As it is said to this day, In the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided.

We want to say how grateful we are for the generosity of everyone in supplying Bibles to those who have never owned one.

So now you can stop the donations for Bibles! It’s done! God has provided! We are still open to receiving donations and don’t yet have the full support we need for this 6 month trip, but we know the Lord will provide, just as He has already done! Special thanks to all who have sacrificially given to sow the Word of God into the lives of the people of Mexico.

MAY THE LAMB WHO WAS SLAIN RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING!!!

In Christ -Josef
www.puregospeltruth.com

Rescue Station at the Gates of Hell!

C.T. Studd

C.T. Studd

C.T. Studd gave up fame and fortune to follow Jesus to the unreached peoples of China and later Africa. These quotes are taken from several of his sermons:

 

“We shall go crusading for Christ. We have the men, the means, and the ways – steam and electricity and iron have leveled the lands and bridged the seas. The doors of the world have opened wide for us by our God. We pray and preach; we bow the knee; we receive; we administer the Holy Communion of the Passion of Christ; we recite the Creed triumphantly; we are optimists everyone; we shout Onward Christian soldiers, marching on to war, and then? . . . and then? . . . we whisper, I pray Thee have me excused!!! What glorious humbugs we are!”

“Follow Me, says Jesus. I will, we reply, yet somehow forget that Christ pleased not Himself, deliberately made Himself poor to save others and became the first foreign missionary. We all pray to be like Jesus, yet refuse to pay the price.”

“Five hundred million heathen have not yet been evangelized, so it is computed! Yet our great Missionary Societies have reached high water-mark, and if they have not already begun to retrench they are seriously thinking of doing so. Meanwhile, the heart of Asia, the heart of Africa, and well nigh the whole continent of South America, are untouched with the Gospel of Christ.”

“Last June at the mouth of the Congo, there awaited a thousand prospectors, traders, merchants and gold seekers, waiting to rush into these regions as soon as the government opened the door to them, for rumor declared that there is an abundance of gold. If such men hear so loudly the call of gold and obey it, can it be that the ears of Christs soldiers are deaf to the call of God, and the cries of the dying souls of men? Are gamblers for gold so many, and gamblers for God so few?”

“‘My Montenegrins, said King Nicholas, will henceforth spill their blood for their persecuted compatriots.’ When shall God be able to say to the devil, Hast thou seen My Christians of today? No longer do they seek for gold or pleasure, for honors or ease. From henceforth My Christians will spill their blood for the love and cause of My beloved Son and the salvation of the neediest of men.”

“There are more than twice as many Christian officers at home among peaceful Britains 40 million evangelized inhabitants, than the whole number of Christs forces fighting at the front among 1,200 million heathen! And yet such call themselves soldiers of Christ.”

“Yes, when? When indeed shall we see a real Church Militant here upon the earth? Christs call is to feed the hungry, not the full; to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; not to call the scoffers, but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers and artistic musical performances, but to raise living churches of souls among the destitute, to capture men from the devils clutches and snatch them from the very jaws of hell, to enlist and train them for Jesus, and make them into an Almighty Army of God. But this can only be accomplished by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered Holy Ghost religion, where neither Church nor State, neither man nor traditions are worshipped or preached, but only Christ and Him crucified. Not to confess Christ by fancy collars, church steeples or rich embroidered altar-cloths, but by reckless sacrifice and heroism in the foremost trenches…”

“I am more than ever determined that no ring or limit shall be placed around us, other than that of our Lord Himself, To the uttermost parts, To every creature. I belong and will ever belong to The Great God party. I will have nought to do with The Little God party…”

“Nail the colors to the mast! That is the right thing to do, and, therefore, that is what we must do, and do it now. What colors? The colors of Christ, the work He has given us to do – the evangelization of all the unevangelized. Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible, by faith in the omnipotence, fidelity and wisdom of the Almighty Savior Who gave the command. Is there a wall in our path? By our God we will leap over it! Are there lions and scorpions in our way! We will trample them under our feet! Does a mountain bar our progress? Saying, Be thou removed and cast into the sea, we will march on. Soldiers of Jesus! Never surrender! Nail the colors to the mast!”

“The difficulty is to believe that He can deign to use such scallywags as us, but of course He wants Faith and Fools rather than talents and culture. All God wants is a heart, any old turnip will do for a head; so long as we are empty, all is well, for then He fills with the Holy Ghost. The fiery baptism of the Holy Ghost will change soft, sleek Christians into hot, lively heroes for Christ, who will advance and fight and die, but not mark time.”

“Believing that further delay would be sinful, some of Gods insignificants and nobodies in particular, but trusting in our Omnipotent God, have decided on certain simple lines, according to the Book of God, to make a definite attempt to render the evangelization of the world an accomplished fact. For this purpose we have banded ourselves together under the name of Christs Etceteras, and invite others of Gods people to join us in this glorious enterprise. We are merely Christs nobodies, otherwise Christs Etceteras. We rejoice in and thank God for the good work being carried on in the already occupied lands by Gods Regular Forces. We seek to attack and win to Christ only those parts of the devils empire which are beyond the extremest outposts of the regular army of God . . . Our method is to search and find out what parts of the world at present remain unevangelized, and then by faith in Christ, by prayer to God, by obedience to the Holy Ghost, by courage, determination, and supreme sacrifice, to accomplish their evangelization with the utmost despatch.”

“Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time for waiting is past! The hour of God has struck! War is declared! In Gods Holy Name let us arise and build! The God of Heaven, He will fight for us, as we for Him. We will not build on the sand, but on the bedrock of the sayings of Christ, and the gates and minions of hell shall not prevail against us. Should such men as we fear? Before the whole world, aye, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God; we will venture our all for Him; we will live, and we will die for Him, and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts. We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only in our God, than live trusting in man. And when we come to this position, the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight. We will have the real Holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have a Masculine Holiness, one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ.”

Mark this day and Marvel at the work of God – John Piper

By John Piper

I do not doubt that what happened on September 7, two hundred years ago, will be celebrated in heaven for its epochal significance in world history. The first Protestant missionary set foot on Chinese soil on September 7, 1807. His name was Robert Morrison. He was a Scottish Presbyterian, and except for one furlough, he spent the next 27 years in China.

Persevering against the hostility of official opposition and the resistance of foreign merchants, Morrison baptized the first Chinese Protestant Christian, Cai Gao, on July 16, 1814. After the baptism of Cai Gao, Morrison wrote prophetically in his journal, “May he be the first-fruits of a great harvest, one of millions who shall come and be saved on the day of wrath to come.”

Last month The National Catholic Reporter carried an article by John Allen documenting the fulfillment of Morrison’s prayer. Here is what he wrote:

At the time of the Communist takeover in 1949, there were roughly 900,000 Protestants. Today, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, which puts out the much-consulted World Christian Database, says there are 111 million Christians in China, roughly 90 percent Protestant and mostly Pentecostal. That would make China the third-largest Christian country on earth, following only the United States and Brazil.

The Center projects that by 2050, there will be 218 million Christians in China, 16 percent of the population, enough to make China the world’s second-largest Christian nation. According to the Center, there are 10,000 conversions in China every day.

Admittedly, some estimate the numbers of Christians in China are as low as 40 million. Allen observes, “Even those conservative estimates, however, would mean that Protestantism in China experienced roughly 4,300 percent growth over the last half-century, most of it since the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s and 1970s.”

Other China-observers think that even the high estimates are understatements about what is about to happen. For example in the August 7, 2007, issue of Asia Times, Oswald Spengler wrote:

I suspect that even the most enthusiastic accounts err on the downside, and that Christianity will have become a Sino-centric religion two generations from now. China may be for the 21st century what Europe was during the 8th-11th centuries, and America has been during the past 200 years: the natural ground for mass evangelization. If this occurs, the world will change beyond our capacity to recognize it. Islam might defeat the western Europeans, simply by replacing their diminishing numbers with immigrants, but it will crumble beneath the challenge from the East.

John Allen comments on the dream we have been hearing about for some time concerning the aim of the Chinese church to evangelize the Muslim lands on their backdoor step.

The most audacious even dream of carrying the gospel beyond the borders of China, along the old Silk Road into the Muslim world, in a campaign known as “Back to Jerusalem.” As David Aikman explains in Jesus in Beijing, some Chinese Evangelicals and Pentecostals believe that the basic movement of the gospel for the last 2,000 years has been westward: from Jerusalem to Antioch, from Antioch to Europe, from Europe to America, and from America to China. Now, they believe, it’s their turn to complete the loop by carrying the gospel to Muslim lands, eventually arriving in Jerusalem. Once that happens, they believe, the gospel will have been preached to the entire world.

One of the lessons to draw from this anniversary of the arrival of Protestant Christianity in China is that we cannot measure the significance of our lives in our own lifetime. Robert Morrison could not see what we see. It is astonishing. May the Lord cause his word to run in China with great power. And may he keep us all faithful in our little sphere of influence. None of us is indispensable to the great cause of Christ. But if we will stand, and not give way under the pressures and pains of ministry, more good will come from our lives than we can know.

Here is a suggestion. A four-part video series issued in 2003, called “The Cross: Jesus in China” and produced by Chinese documentarian Yuan Zhiming, interviews many of the leaders of this revival. I have watched all four of these and recommend them for your awareness and inspiration. They are now available, amazingly, for free download at ChinaSoul.

Thank you, Father, for Robert Morrison and for the immeasurable fruit of his labor.