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I was visiting a foreign mission field and spoke with a veteran missionary. He told me a story that still haunts me; I can’t get it out of my mind. It seems that he went overseas some fifteen years before we ment and began the usual programs. About the time he arrived on his field, he met a young man named Johnny, who was involved in something quite different.

Johnny was a committed disciple of Jesus Christ, but he was going about his ministry in all the wrong ways according to the “book.” In contrast to the typical missionary approach of the time, Johnny was spending the bulk of his time meeting with a few young men in that country.…

As he sat across the coffee table from me in his home, he told me, “LeRoy, I’ve got little to show for my time there. Oh, there is a group of people who meet in our assembly, but I wonder what will happen to them when I leave. They are not disciples. They have been faithful in listening to my sermons, but they do not witness. Few of them know how to lead another person to Christ. They know nothing about discipling others. And now that I am leaving, I can see I’ve all but wasted my time here.”

He continued, “Then I look at what has come out of Johnny’s life, One of the men he worked with is now a professor at the university. This man is mightily used of God to reach and train scores of university students. Another is leading a witnessing and discipling team of about forty young men and women. Another is in a nearby city with a group of thirty-five growing disciples around him. Three have gone to other countries as missionaries and are now leading teams in those lands who are multiplying disciples. God is blessing their work.

“I see the contrast between my life and his and it is tragic.”

— LeRoy Eims, The Lost Art of Disciple Making

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[W]e don’t give anyone a reason to ask about what makes us unique, so nobody asks. Yet we still feel the need to evangelize. So we end up coming across like salespeople peddling a product that didn’t really work for us. We should all pray for the courage to tell others about Jesus, but we should also be working toward the love and unity that makes the church attractive.

— Francis Chan, Multiply

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Ministry sounds intimidating until you develop a realistic view of what ministry is really about.… [D]o you know people who struggle with sin? Do you know people who are carrying burdens? If so, then your first steps toward ministry are easy: help them.

— Francis Chan, Multiply

Distracted By Prophecy

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$ref = Revelation 9:14
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Saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”

— Revelation 9:14 (ESV)

The word “prophecy” means announcement or proclamation. Its use in scripture is consistently meant as proclaiming on God’s behalf, in God’s authority. At times, this includes encouragement, direction, rebuke, and even clarification or explanation. On occasion, it includes revelation of future events. In our current vernacular, “prophecy” is understood only as divine prediction, neglecting the full scope of its meaning. It is this limited view of prophecy I consider herein.

As I was reading my Bible, I was approached by a gentleman who asked me, “Are you a student of the Bible?” I replied, “Yes.” To which he asks, “Does the Bible say something about four angles who were bound by the river Euphrates?” I was uncertain, but I had my laptop with me. So after a quick internet search, I let him know the reference he was looking for was Revelation 9:14.

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Did Old Testament Saints Go To Heaven?

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$ref = Luke 16:19-31
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Before Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, what happened to believers upon death?

In Luke 16, Jesus tells a story of a rich man and Lazarus. In it, the rich man and Lazarus both die. The rich man goes to Hades (the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew “Sheol”). Across a great chasm, the rich man sees Lazarus by Abraham’s side. This passage indicates Hades is a holding place that contained sinners (in torment) and saints (in comfort). Jesus directly taught that Hades contained a place of comfort for saints.

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Untwisting Tongues

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Let me begin by stating, this writing is an exercise in theology. I am trying to document my understanding of the Bible’s teaching regarding speaking in tongues. My view on this issue may vary dramatically from yours, but my concern is not with invalidating your faith. If you are my brother (or sister) in Christ, that supersedes all. My convictions on this issue do not interfere with my commitment to you as my brother, or my respect for you in your faith. Many, of sincere faith and in honest devotion have come to fundamentally different views on the scope and application of the gift of tongues. I am quite comfortable with this diversity and still call you my beloved brother.

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