Today I thought I would talk to you about my background. It is good to know who you are listening to. It will help you understand what makes me tick, and why I do what I do, the way I do it.
I like to give my testimony by going back to my grandmother since everything really started with her. Her goal in life was to raise her three sons to be bartenders. She failed miserably, all three of them became Baptist preachers.
What ruined her original goal was that one day she let a preacher open the Bible and explain it to her. When the Bible is properly explained, one realizes that he or she is on their way to Hell, and deserves it. If the Bible has been properly explained, one also learns that God has a rescue plan. She understood she deserved God’s wrath, but Jesus paid the penalty for her sin. If she would only believe and trust what Jesus did on the cross, she would be saved from the consequences of her sin.
She was gloriously save, and if you have been truly saved you realize that your family and friends are in the same situation and need to know the truth. She realized that she could have ended up in Hell if someone had not told her the truth, and she needed to warn others.
At the time, two of her sons were in the Navy, my dad was one of them. She began writing letters, sending Gospel tracts, and pestering him with the Gospel. He told her that he would go to church with her when he came home, but just leave hin alone.
I don’t think he had ever been to church before, but when he came home he went to church with my grandmother. When my dad went to church, the preacher dangled him over Hell, preached a Gospel message, and he got saved.
You need to understand that back then our family was not the best. My dad’s dad was murdered in a bar fight. My uncle described the family as dysfunctional. You go to jail for things they were involved in. God saved them out of this.
Sometimes in churches we are so afraid to offend. We have preachers with the backbone of a banana and don’t want to offend anyone. I am glad that someone offended by dad with his sin. That resulted in him getting saved. When we tell the truth, we don’t have to be caustic in the manner in which we tell it. We need to tell it with love, the Bible says speak the truth wit love. However, if we preach the truth, it will offend.
Six months later my dad was in Bible college preparing for the ministry. When I came along my daddy was already a preacher.
I was born into a Christian home, but I will confess I had a drug problem. I was drug to church every time the doors were open. This exposed me to the Gospel at a very young age. This, and having a God fearing mother and father, caused me to come to the realization of my need for salvation at the early age of five.
When I was six my father felt the call to the mission field. He wanted to go to Australia to start churches. He raised all of his support and was ready to go, but they wouldn’t give him a visa because my older sister, Paula, is mentally handicapped, she functions like an eight year old.
Someone suggested to my dad that he go to England, and maybe through England he could get into Australia. When we arrived in England, it only took a few weeks for my dad to realize that this was where God really wanted him to be.
In the 1970’s England was already moving into a post-Christian era. Twenty to thirty churches were closing every week. The Brits failed to reach their young people, and the few that they did reach were in churches with liberal doctrine. Instead of being offered the bread of life from the pulpits, they were offered stones. They were given chicken soup messages instead of strong preaching. They were heartwarming, but they didn’t have the Word of God in them. We are seeing a similar situation develop here in the United States today.
I was raised in England, and I grew up with a British accent. You can tell that I have lost it.
After coming back to the States God called me to the mission field. At the age of fourteen I surrendered by life to God. I didn’t know what he wanted me to do, but I told God that whatever it is, the answer is yes.
Not knowing what God wanted me to do, I went to Bible college. My dad told me that if I wanted to go into missions, I needed to go to a college in Atlanta. The president of the college was Dr. Jack Baskin. He taught my dad missions at Baptist Bible College in Springfield , MO. If you look at a man’s success by how many souls he has won to Christ, Dr. Baskin might be considered the most successful missionary of the 1900’s. He was a missionary in Korea, and one of the largest churches in the world is in Soul Korea. This church was stared by Dr. Baskin. Thousands upon thousands of people were led to the Lord.
He would tell us stories of his ministry. I remember one I want to share with you, it really touched by heart.
He would often drive as far has his jeep would take him. He would backpack for two or three days to get to the really small villages. He would introduce himself to the elders. One day he went to this grandfather and said, grandfather, I’m a missionary, and I have come to tell you and your people of the true God. He had a Son named Jesus Christ who came to earth to share the message of God. The grandfather began to weep. He told him that when he was a young boy on the other side of these mountains, a missionary came into their village and began to tell them of this Jesus Christ. He knew there was something special, but didn’t get to hear it all because there was some conflict in the village, and his family left and came to this village. He had been praying all these years that someone would come and tell him about Jesus.
That week, this village came to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
As he was leaving, the old grandfather said, Missionary, in your home country, America, how long have you known the wonderful news of the true God? Dr. Baskin responded, we have know for many years. The old man asked, did your father know, and he responded, yes, we have known for many years. The old man asked, if you have known in America for all these years, why is it that you are just coming now? He said, I buried my father, he never got to know. Many others have perished, never having heard the truth. Why did you wait? This story sticks in my mind.
Sometimes I wonder, have we given up on our lost loved ones? We have tried to share the Gospel with them, but they have rejected it, and sometimes gotten mad, but we can’t quit, we can’t give up. How many others do we know that we have not told?
You may be wonderfully surprised that some person at work that you have worked with for so long, they know you are a Christian, but you have never once invited them to church, never once shared the Gospel with them because you are afraid that they might get upset with you, but they were seeking just what you have to offer.
They are souls bound for an eternal destiny. If you and I don’t tell them, one day we will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ and give an answer, and they will stand at the Great White Throne Judgment and ask why we didn’t tell them. We will see all our friends, family members, and acquaintances that we didn’t tell. They will ask why we didn’t put forth the effort to tell them. How will we feel? It will be too late then.
I don’t want that blood on my hands. This is why I have labored as a missionary, and still labor in the service of the Lord. This is why I have a desire for Muslims to get saved. Even though we oppose Islam, we want all to come to Christ. There is no other hope!
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