Wednesday, August 6, 2003

August 6, 2003

5:15 PM Turned into a very nice day in southwestern Michigan. Rode my bike around the lake, sort of, dragging a little bit. I need to take my bike in for a general overhaul when I get back to Oak Park. Of course, it would help if I would do basic maintenance, which I tend not to do.

Question from a conversation last night: “What will happen to people who never hear the gospel because no missionary ever reaches them? Is there some other way for them to be saved?” Answer: The key point to remember is that salvation is only through Christ. The gospel is Good News to lost sinners because it meets their fundamental need—forgiveness, a right relationship with God, and a new life from the inside out. Is it possible that a lost person in the jungles of Venezuela or the jungles of downtown Manhattan may respond positively to the revelation of God in nature and in conscience? Yes, it’s possible. In that case, light received always brings more light. There are some amazing stories of Muslims and Hindus coming to Christ as a result of a dream or a vision or some other supernatural occurrence. And there are cases of tribes waiting for someone to show them the truth about God. But in every case, God responds by sending someone with the gospel message to lead them to Christ. The kindest thing we can do for the lost is to share the gospel with them. “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16).

7:42 AM No fog this AM. The last two days have started with fog and ended up absolutely beautiful … Here’s the Legacy Campaign prayer request for today: “Pray that the Lord’s favor will rest upon us and establish the work of our hands (Psalm 90:17).” …

Special note to those attending the first two services at Calvary this Sunday: There may be parking problems and streets may be blocked because of a race being held in Oak Park that passes by the church early in the AM. Those attending the 8 AM or 9:15 AM services should plan to leave home a earlier than usual in order to find a parking spot… . 

Having a fine week at Gull Lake. On Monday night I spoke to a very enthusiastic group of Gull Lake staffers. They’ve got a top-notch group of college and high school students working here this summer. Last night after the service I visited with some folks from Columbus, Ohio. We had dessert and had a great time talking about the Bible. Also getting in my bike riding each day. Greg Sanford from New Tribes Missions is giving the most interesting missionary presentation I’ve ever heard at a Bible conference. He’s been describing what it’s like to bring the gospel to a tribe in South America that has been totally untouched by modern civilization. We forget how much we take for granted—not just things like computers and electric lights, but basic stuff like chairs and tables and ice and metal forks. He also told us last night about the time when one of the tribal people accidentally cut off his big toe and Greg and his co-worker sewed it back on—"The only thing we knew for sure was to put the toenail on the top.” Amazingly, the surgery worked and the toe was reattached.

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