I Cor. 16:9  “For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”

Sept. 30, 2007
A Good Time Was Had By All

This might be a good way to describe the 7th Joint Pastoral Conference of the BELC and CLCI held recently in Nellore, AP, India. A little over forty pastors attended the three day meeting. Twenty essays were delivered. To give you an idea of the study of God’s Word that was carried out following are some highlights. The essays ranged in length from one page to 27. All the men mentioned below were pastors.

  • Jyothi, who is head of the seminary at Nidubrole, gave an essay reminding us of the “Power and Authority of God’s Word” which positively pointed out that our God works through His Word. In an essay to point up the errors of “The Rapture and the End Time Theology” he directed us to the clear Word that points up the end as we have it in many passages, especially in 1 Thess. 4:16-17.
  • D. Paul, who heads the BELC and thank God is recovering from a motorcycle accident, gave us a Gospel study on the “Passion and Death of Christ.” He wrote “Jesus Christ suffered and died to lift up the human race from the marsh of sin,” and how the Gospel should predominate in our preaching.
  • Barnabas, who is now married with a child and hardly looks as if he could be that old, gave us a study on “God’s Power in Our Weakness.” He pointed up the plaintive plea each of us has made, “Does God hate me? Is this why He has given me weaknesses? Why me and not others?” He gave us the solution to this in “My grace is sufficient for you, for my Power is made perfect in weakness…” 2 Cor. 12:9-10.
  • Isaiah, who teaches at the Nidubrole seminary, asked the question in an essay, “Who is the ‘Perfect’ Pastor?” Of course, none of us. “These unsettled days in our culture are rich in opportunities for the Gospel of our crucified Lord to shine with fresh and compelling rightness as the darkness of self-absorption fragments families and destroys communities.”
  • Ravi Kumar, who wants to start a new district in the BELC at Naidupeta, gave an essay on “How We Were Transformed from Sinners into the Righteous: Rom. 12:2…”
  • D.V.Paul, who teaches at the seminary at Nidubrole, reminded us of “The Office of Christ” that it is: prophet, priest and king.
  • G. Prem Kumar, who is young and married with children, pointed up how important it is that we are “Waiting on God.” “In an age of fast food, electronic mail and instant everything, the art of waiting on God is disappearing fast. The modern generation may soon forget the spelling of ‘patience.’ Even if a preacher may occasionally speak on patience, the trend of the times is such that the congregation will leave the service with the prayer, ‘OK Lord, give us patience, but give it right now!'” “We get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it open!” “Waiting on the knees brings us to our journey’s end quicker than walking by foot!”
  • D. Devasahayam pointed up the error of “Once saved, always saved,” by giving the Scripture in the essay “Falling Away from Faith.”
  • Deepak, who is doing missionwork in the Andaman Islands, gave us an isagogical study of the “Holy Bible,” point up how, “God’s Word is the traveller’s map, the pilot’s compass, the pilgrim’s staff, the soldier’s sword, and the believer’s log.”
  • John Wycliff, who is 71, heading the work in Kakinada and well recovered from heart trouble only a couple months ago, reminded us we are “Saved By Grace Alone!”
  • Nireekshana, who I have know since he was sixteen, reminded us of that wonderful “Forgiveness”. “Forgiveness is this lifeline and guideline that comes to us from the living God–the living God Who delights in forgiving us because of what His Son did for us!…God makes enemies, friends and good friends stronger friends…In order to forgive someone, we must delete from our brain all data relating to the past offense that made us its target. Sort of a spiritual shock therapy.”

We also had the following:

  • Sampath – The “Message of the Cross and the Five Great Invitations”
  • V. Bijay – “Intimacy with God”
  • S. Murthasami – “The Call”
  • S. Santhosh – “Faith Leads to Ministry”
  • Meshack – “The Lord’s Prayer”
  • V. Victor – “The Good Shepherd”
  • Rajamani – “Obey God’s Word”
  • K. Johnson – “Who We Are – Who Are You – Really?”

In addition at the conference, reports were heard of the work of the two sister churches and these will appear in BASIC in upcoming letters. How pleasant and how fair it is for brothers to dwell together in unity. Ps. 133:1

Homiletics part  7
A New Man in the Suit
The program committee for a national barber’s convention decided a graphic means of demonstrating the effectiveness of their profession.  They found a social derelict on skid row with long, dirty hair.  His face was unshaven and his clothes were ragged and filthy.  His body reeked with odors of cheap liquor and filth.
The barbers cleaned him up.  They gave him a bath, shampoo, shave, haircut and manicure.  They liberally sprinkled talcum powder on him and added spicy cologne.  He was dressed in a new suit and was presented before the convention as a changed man.  He certainly looked the part.  However, within a week the man was back on skid row, back in the gutter, back in his former pattern of living.  The barbers altered his appearance, but their tonsorial services had not changed his inward nature.
Anyone who has the money to spend can put a man in a new suit, but only Christ can put a new man in the suit.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.:  Christ alters us from the inside out.
The Human Tiger
A French explorer was crossing Africa from the Zambezi and came into the region of the Barotsi people.  He had heard stories about the native king Lewanika, whose greatest delight had been to put to death, by newly invented tortures, those who offended him.  He was also known as the “human tiger.”
This French officer came to the station where Pastor Coillard was in charge, and the pastor himself, a Frenchman, entertained him kindly.  Then came Sunday.  The French officer was absolutely without God, but as a matter of politeness he went to church and sat through the service.  When he came out he said, “Monsieur Coillard,who was that remarkable looking man sitting next to me, who listened so carefully?” That was King Lewanika, the ‘human tiger.’ ”  “Was it?”  “Yes.”
“Then if that is what Christ can do, I mean to be His.”

Pastor Koenig