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  • J. Randal Matheny 6:33 am on 2017-03-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: evangelism, , risks,   

    God expects Christians to take risks 

    God expects us as Christians to take risks while doing His work. I would suggest the same is true at the level of the local congregation. I’m talking about the risk of failure. How ambitious are we in the plans we have to do work for God? Do we trust that things will be okay even if we try hard and mess up? This, I think, is a part of faith that requires maturity — the faith that God will stick with us even if we don’t succeed by our standards.

    via The Christian, the Church, and Risk – Restore Our Faith

  • Richard Mansel 3:49 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , evangelism, , ,   

    Threats to The Great Commission 

    As time and technology progress, we need to abandon our naivete and realize the threats before us. Complaining about the rise of persecutions is normal, but not very productive.

    In these times, courage is required to confront Satan and his forces. Yet, it’s worthless unless it’s combined with faith (Hebrews 11:6), perseverance (Romans 5:3) and the spiritual armament constructed by God (Ephesians 6:10-17). In addition, we must be wise, cautious and perceptive. (More …)

    • Ron Mansel 4:02 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

      Richard, good article. Ron

      • Richard Mansel 4:09 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so much!

    • Karen 6:08 pm on 2017-03-17 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent article! Things do seem to be in a “no turning back” mode right now. I pray for wisdom.

  • J. Randal Matheny 9:39 am on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , evangelism, , goodnewsin5words,   

    Confession: This time it’s different 

    What follows is something of a confession. Through the years, I’ve felt no shame or embarrassment to invite churches and individuals to financially support our efforts in missions. In the past, I’ve joyfully extended that invitation, believing fully in our task, as I still do. After several occasions, however, where we have lost larger amounts of monthly support, that ease of asking, that freedom to invite, has been lost. Perhaps it’s partly age, partly feeling tired of the process of fundraising, which I am no professional at doing, nor do I wish I were.

    We no longer have a wide base of contacts among Christians, after so many years on the field. In recent years, our friends have heard our pleas several times. How can we then place yet another burden upon them? (More …)

    • Karen 10:51 am on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know if it’s appropriate for me to reply to this article, but I am speaking from my heart. Randal and Vicki are sort of my heroes. Long story, but because of their prayers, perseverance, and endless email discussions, I am now a Christian. I had been Catholic a large part of my life, but I was baptized last September and now am a member of the church of Christ. The journey was hard but rewards are awesome!
      My point of this reply is to note that even though Randal was a continent away, I was a part of his mission field via internet. One soul. Then I got to pray for another person in Brazil who also eventually became a Christian. Another soul. Now there are three others in their late teens who are going to church with me every Sunday. Two have rededicated their lives, and the third may be baptized soon. 5 souls. It’s a loving circle that originated by a single missionary in another country.
      How much does a soul cost? I guess as a new Christian I just do now understand these things, like how a thriving mission has lost a major amount of funding. It makes no sense when that is one of the basic commands given to us by Jesus. (Mt.28:19-20). We hear the last part of verse 19 a lot, but emphasis is seldom put on the first part. Sorry this was so log; I didn’t mean to “preach”, but a missionary from Brazil helped to save my life and my soul, and I am forever grateful.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:40 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

        Well said, Karen.

    • James Pasley 5:19 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

      Karen, thanks for your reply. It is always a blessing to hear good news even if it is in more than 5 words. Just one thought about the lost financial support: there is always more to do than there is money or time to do it. Each congregation is approached by multiple good (I want to emphasize the word good) mission works and they cannot afford to support them all, so they must choose some and reject others. In other situations, sad as it may be, a congregation’s giving may drop for some reason (loss of jobs, members moving away, members dying, members income dropping, inflation and rising costs, etc.) and they may be unable to continue financially supporting all of the work they once did. I am sure that the financial support Randall lost does not mean that those Christians no longer love and support him and his work, just that they are not able to with their dollars.

      • Katen 10:20 am on 2017-03-17 Permalink | Reply

        Oh no! I didn’t know there was a 5 word rule; sorry! Now I have to break it again! 🙂 I hope my reply did not offend anyone. That was not my intention. I did not mean to be disrespectful of the circumstances of others, and apologize that I did not make that clear. I know it is hard to make decisions when there are many good causes and not enough funds. My point was that sometimes there is a lot more going on behind the scenes than is indicated by statistical reports. My prayer is that God will provide a way for all those missions that help bring people to Jesus.

        • Karen 10:35 am on 2017-03-17 Permalink | Reply

          …and the reply was from Karen not Katan. I really should wear my glasses when I type!

          • Eugene Adkins 3:02 pm on 2017-03-18 Permalink | Reply

            Comments like the one you made aren’t limited to any number of words. No law against words of Christian love, even in the digital age (Galatians 5:22-23).

    • James McFerrin 6:55 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

      Karen, I attempted to reply to your recent comment on my post and for some reason, it seems that it did not go through. You asked about accessing the posts beginning at Genesis. My reply was that you could find them under “Chronological Bible Study” on the right side of this page or you can email me at ntpromise@gmail.com and I will send them to you.

  • Eugene Adkins 4:06 pm on 2017-02-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: evangelism,   

    Internet streaming radio station 

    Here’s a congregation’s website that streams GBN along with supplemental material of its own on a local radio-station 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    If you have open Internet access available at work you could listen to it no matter what shift you’re punching the time-clock.

    Here are the details about the radio-station provided on the congregation’s website: (More …)

  • Eugene Adkins 2:04 pm on 2017-01-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , evangelism   

    Understanding the damage of denominationalism but not the cause 

    On my way to worship I listened to a preacher on the radio from a neighboring county talk about the damage denominationalism has done to the church. He was very emphatic with his words and I am convinced he truly believed what he was saying…especially because he was preaching in a very plain way to/at his own denomination (his own words). And because of the things he was saying about fellowship, I am also convinced he understood the damage denominationalism has done to the church when it comes to the unity that God desires (John 17:20-21).

    But despite the fact I believe he understands the damage of denominationalism, I don’t believe he understands the cause.

    Why is that? Because of one thing he said. Now I wasn’t able to write it down when he said it, but what I am about to give him credit for is close enough that I know I am not doing any damage to the point he was making; nor am I worried about twisting it in any way to make my point seem valid.

    The preacher on the radio said, (More …)

    • J. Randal Matheny 4:41 am on 2017-01-30 Permalink | Reply

      Important point you make. I remember a famous Argentine Protestant rail against the division of denominationalism in his book, only to tell people to stay where they are and just not think badly of other denominations.

      I think they want to have their cake and eat it too. They love the power and position of the denominations, but deceive themselves that it’s only a question of attitude, rather than teaching.

      • Eugene Adkins 5:38 pm on 2017-01-30 Permalink | Reply

        Your first paragraph reflects much of the point that was being made. He didn’t want to strive for the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3) – his call was more akin to many of our “enlightened” brethren who place more emphasis on the spirit on unity while ignoring the obvious major doctrinal differences. Overall, it seemed to me a message that was moving more in the right direction. I don’t personally know him, but I can’t keep from thinking that he is somewhat familiar with the church’s plea for unity. Perhaps a step in the right direction will one day lead to two.

  • J. Randal Matheny 9:52 am on 2017-01-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , evangelism, spiritual security,   

    Spiritual security of the faithful 

    Women need a feeling of security, say many writers in the field of marriage and counseling. That observation seems to hold true in our experience. That security often means physical and financial security. Though today it’s socially anathema to say it, a woman often looks for a husband who will provide these things for her. She wants to feel protected.

    This was Naomi’s prayer for her daughters-in-law, after the death of her sons: “May the Lord enable each of you to find security in the home of a new husband!” Ruth 1.9.

    At the same time, we all need security. Let’s first define our terms. The dictionaries give something like this: “1. freedom from danger, risk, etc.; safety. 2. freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt. 3. something that protects or makes safe; defense.” No one can live on the cusp of danger. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 8:08 am on 2016-12-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: evangelism, ,   

    The Neighbor’s Party Noise 

    The neighbor’s party noise is patent:
    He thinks to drown his sadness with sound,
    To fill his empty heart with drink,
    His meaningless days, with movement and song.
    While dwelling in darkness, dwarfed by loss,
    He makes himself out a magic giant.
    To save his soul, Jesus sends me.


  • TFRStaff 1:30 pm on 2016-11-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: evangelism,   

    The greater sin 

    “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” Acts 2:39.

    Just as Paul needed the courage to stand on the pagan Mars Hill and proclaim Christ, we need to stand as a rock in the sea of postmodernism, denominations, and paganism today and proclaim truth. That is the real reason that the world hates us and why the proclaimers of tolerance are intolerant towards us. Truth, by its very nature, draws a line in the sand; it excludes all else.

    One of my grown kids recently reminded me of how upset I was years ago when she had to sing a Kwanzaa song so the elementary school would not offend anyone. That’s the problem of the Lord’s church on today’s postmodern Mars Hill. The truth offends, and to offend today is the greatest sin.

    Jesus’ disciples were concerned with this. After Jesus proclaimed that it was what came out of a person’s mouth that made him unclean, they said, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” Jesus preached truth anyway … because the greater sin is to let the lost blissfully drift by while our hands never extend from the rock of truth to save them.

    Do you proclaim truth?

    Doug Kashorek


  • J. Randal Matheny 4:43 am on 2016-11-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , evangelism   

    Doing what we’ve always done 

    Our tendency is to do what we’ve always done. Call it habit, or a rut, or tradition, or whatever; by itself it is a powerful and problematic motivation. The persecuted Christians who left Jerusalem (see Acts 8:1) took the gospel offshore to Cyprus, to the coastal region north of Galilee (Phoenicia), and to one of the three most populace cities of the entire empire (Antioch; v. 19). These are not Jewish dominated locales as was the place they had fled. Still, “they were speaking the word to no one but Jews” (v. 19). It’s not difficult to understand why. But, the fact that this is all they had ever done was not only insufficient reason to continue in the same way, in this case it was contrary to God’s plan. Our tendencies, if we’re not careful, can put us at odds with God. — Wrong Tendencies | i read the word

    David Deffenbaugh has a good thought today that challenges ungodly ruts.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:51 am on 2016-10-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , evangelism, , ,   

    Good website for biblical articles in English and Spanish 

    For a no-where-close-to-fluent Spanish speaker, one of the challenges to finding good biblical articles in Española is being able to understand what you’re reading before you print it out and pass it along to others. Other than using Google-translate (which has its flaws) or having an actual translator near-by (which is not readily available in my case) there aren’t a lot of options that I have been able to find … until now. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 11:32 am on 2016-09-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: evangelism,   

    Online personal evangelism course 

    On his website Ron Boatwright offers a short course on how to evangelize. It’s always worth one’s while to think more on how to better bring others to Christ.

    I was reminded of this effort after a brother asked about resources in the brotherhood about personal evangelism. He has an idea for one also—pray it comes to fruition.

    Perhaps you may have good suggestions for more material, courses, or resources to help others become personal evangelists. (The Bible calls them Christians.)

    • Michael Summers 12:23 pm on 2016-09-29 Permalink | Reply

      I’m aware of two programs: “Fishers of Men” (fishersofmen.net) and “Christ’s Ambassadors.”

    • Michael Summers 12:24 pm on 2016-09-29 Permalink | Reply

      Of course you may be talking about a course that evangelizes. The courses in my previous comment are about training to evangelize.

      • J. Randal Matheny 1:32 pm on 2016-09-29 Permalink | Reply

        You understood it properly. Sorry for the ambiguity. I meant to refer to courses that train to evangelize or otherwise aid one in doing so.

  • Eugene Adkins 7:02 am on 2016-09-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , evangelism,   

    Starting off on the wrong hook? 

    In Luke 5:1-11, Jesus begins to reinforce his inner-circle of disciples by convincing a few fishermen that he was worth being followed.

    Some might see Jesus’ choice and say he started off on the hook. Fisherman? Why not a highly respected public individual like a priest or even a temple guard? Why not start off with a well-noted scribe of Moses’ Law or even a beginning-student that had been properly trained by a well-known rabbi? How could someone expect to change Israel (not to mention the gentile world) in the most needed way by starting off with a few blue-collar, temperamental, untrained and unknown fish-net throwing people?

    Apparently Jesus wasn’t worried about meeting the credentials of what they or we might think when it comes to who’s worthy of his calling. As it would be said later – Jesus chose them, they did not choose Jesus (John 15:16).

    You see, when it came to his inner-circle of disciples, Jesus started off on exactly the right hook! He started off by telling Simon Peter to do something that went against conventional wisdom. Think about it, a carpenter telling a fisherman how and when to catch fish? But that’s exactly what happened…and Peter listened. Boy did he ever listen! And so did James and John. It didn’t matter what anyone else thought. What mattered is that they didn’t take any “bait” – they took the truth when it was presented to them.

    When an individual shows a willingness to hear the word of God and follow it, then that person is starting off on the right hook with Jesus; a hook that would make fisherman of men out of these new dedicated disciples; and a hook that can do the same thing with us.

    We don’t need to let first impressions keep us from making an effort that can have lasting effects.

    For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”” (John 5:9-10)

    • docmgphillips 10:26 am on 2016-09-15 Permalink | Reply

      Haven’t heard of this happening recently, but I remember a case where a very rich factory owner attended a congregation of the Church of Christ where one of his janitors served as an elder. Unfortunately, we seem to have fallen, today, into the trap of electing the rich and/or well-known as elders instead of the faithful. Jesus started the principle of looking for the inner man rather than the outward appearance.

      • Eugene 6:46 am on 2016-09-16 Permalink | Reply

        That’s an interesting situation.

    • docmgphillips 12:09 pm on 2016-09-16 Permalink | Reply

      Both were faithful Christians, and the situation at work or at church did not seem to bother either of them. In fact, if I remember correctly, the janitor had baptized the owner’s wife, then the owner. Yes, we do not hear many like this today, do we?

    • J. Randal Matheny 1:10 pm on 2016-09-16 Permalink | Reply

      In one congregation I know of two men worked together in a business, one the manager, the other the assistant manager. The manager was a deacon, the assistant manager, an elder.

  • J. Randal Matheny 11:04 am on 2016-09-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , evangelism, ,   

    The most exciting find of all (and it’s not bacon) 


    There must have been no greater exclamation among the Jews of the first century than that which Andrew declared to his brother Simon and what Philip told his friend Nathaniel: “We have found the Messiah!” Jn 1.41, 45. One can feel the excitement in those words. The NET Bible rightly ends it with an exclamation point. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 12:13 pm on 2016-09-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , evangelism, indigenous peoples   

    Are moderns worse than primitive peoples? 

    The history of contact in Brazil with the indigenous populations tells a convoluted story. One organization recently reported that two Amazon Indians decided to return to their forest homes after a time among so-called civilized folk. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 2:31 pm on 2016-08-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church_growth, evangelism, house_churches   

    Simple and replicable 

    This was one of my main points in my recent report in the US and a tenet of my ministry.

    In everything, the emphasis is on keeping things simple and replicable. If the house church becomes overly dependent on one person or one structure, it cannot reproduce itself.

    The quoted author seeks to maintain a balance, but tips the scales, rightly so, in my mind, toward house churches.


    #house_churches #evangelism #church_growth

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