Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fabulous Trip

March, 2008


            I should have written about this trip when I first got back – fresh and exciting on my mind.  On a Wed. night after church Ruth wants to go to Abidjan to sell two puppies for some friends.  Hair-brained for sure!  The other thing is that I agreed – to go on the bus, spur of the moment.  I told Dan that night this is crazy and must be destiny of some sort.  So, Ruth and I took off on the bus at 7 AM – great trip.  It is so great to witness to a captive interested audience and pass out tracts to people who want them and want a stack of them to pass out to their friends.  I usually give out a God’s Simple Plan of Salvation tract along with a John and Romans booklet.  

            We got to Abidjan and made contact with the people who wanted to choose ONE puppy (brought two so they would have an option).  Well, the woman couldn’t decide so invited Ruth and me to their house so her husband could see them as well.  Short story, they bought them both - $425.00 each, wealthy Lebanese and then invited us to spend the night there.  Ruth and I had made no plans so agreed easily enough.  Ruth and the Sylvie went out shopping for food, etc. while I was reading and preparing for my ladies’ class, when the man came back home around 4 PM with a police friend and started visiting – why was I here, when would we retire.  Well, the first response – “missionary” could have given him a clue to back off with the questions – but he didn’t.  It was so good – witnessing for 3 ½ hours, going over Scripture after Scripture ---again started with the Evangi–cube.  First picture shows us separated from God by our sin –Rom. 3:23, Rom 6:23 –we are all sinners on the way to hell dead in sin.  If you don’t change your direction you will get where you are headed.  There are 2 births and there are 2 deaths.  God told Adam and Eve “The day you eat of the fruit, you shall surely die.”  Did they die?  Did God lie?  Of course God did not lie and they did die.  Death is always separation.  Physical death is separation from our family and friends.  Spiritual death is separation from God.  Adam and Eve used to talk and walk with God in the garden.  After their sin they were dead to Him, separated, they hid themselves.  All the prophets have been making sacrifice to cover their sins.  God sent His Son Jesus to pay the price for our sins – the Perfect Lamb of God.  Rom. 6:23 – the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

             The 2nd picture on the cube is Jesus on the cross.  The payment for our sin is death – Jesus took our place – paid the price.  John 3:16 – God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  Many people call themselves children of God ---God only had one Son.  How did you get to become His child?  John 1:12 – For as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.  I tell about the two thieves that were also dying that day, one on either side.  One said, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and save us.”  (He wanted out of his problems to carry on his life as before.)  The other bad guy said, “How can you say such a thing?  We are here because of our sins -  justice.  This man has done nothing wrong.”  He looked at Jesus and said, “Lord, remember me when you come in your kingdom.”  And Jesus said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”  That man got saved.  He believed that Jesus is God and that He has a kingdom.  You wouldn’t ask a man dying to invite you over to dinner – would you?  Jesus said, “Today you will be with me.”  The man didn’t get down from the cross to do good, to go to church, neither to get baptized.  He died and went straight to heaven. Rom 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and if you believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead you will be saved.”  Believe and ask.  Rom. 10:13 – “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  You might know I have apples in my house.  I might say I’ll give one to anyone who asks for it.  But if you don’t ask for one, it will not be for you.  Saving belief and faith takes action ---call on the Lord, ask Him for His free gift.  You can’t work for it.  He died on the cross for the whole world, but everyone is not going to heaven.  Many know God and about God, the question is, “Does God know you?  Are you His child?”  You will never fool Him in the end.  

            The 3rd picture is the tomb.  Jesus was buried.

            The 4th is the resurrection.  Jesus rose again.  Our faith is based on a living person.  How can the Moslems say that Jesus didn’t die?  Even the Quran says Jesus rose again.  How can someone rise again who didn’t die?  (Lebanese are mainly Moslem).  How can you say that someone took Jesus’ place on the cross?   That doesn’t make any sense at all.  If you died wouldn’t your mother know if it were you or not?  Jesus’ mother, brothers, disciples were all there – they knew that He died and rose again and they were willing to die for the truth.

            The 5th picture is the cross as a path.  John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No man cometh to the Father but by me.”  Jesus said, “I am the way” – all other ways are not leading to heaven; they are leading to hell.  “I am the truth” – anything else is a lie.  “I am the life” – all else leads to death. 

            The last picture is a hand clasp in the middle with hell fire at the bottom and heaven’s glory at the top.  Now it is your choice.  You can choose to accept Christ, or you will keep going in your same direction and end up in hell.  Now is the time of salvation.  Choose to accept Christ now.  Who is paying for your sin?  All the prophets did sacrifices.  “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.”  (Heb. 9:22)  Jesus is the only one who could pay and did pay for your sin.  

            After telling all this to the man – Nasser, he asked more questions.  I did some gospel magic – more on salvation. Then he asked the question that I usually lead up to with Moslems especially (They are taught from birth that Jesus is not God.)  Just why did the Jews want to kill Jesus?  Because Jesus accepted worship, because Jesus forgave sin - only God can do these things.  And because Jesus said, “I am God, the Son of God, The Son of Man.” Each of these titles to the Jews was clearly Jesus saying, I am God.  You’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father.  I could send my daughter here and she could tell you all about me, she even looks like me.  I am a wife.  I am a mother. I am a sister.  I am one person.  We could go on with many earthly examples of the trinity – three in one.  None would quite do God justice ---we are human and cannot understand all about God.  That is why the Jews wanted to kill Jesus.  They understood He was saying, “I am He.  I am your Messiah.  I am God in the flesh.”

            Moslems say that Jesus is a great prophet – the greatest.  How could He be a great prophet if He said I am God?  You either believe Him or you call Him a liar or a fool.  His disciples died for this belief.  Were they following a mad man?  The Pharisees were always trying to trick Jesus with some question.  Jesus one day asked them, “Is John the Baptist from God or the devil?”  I ask you, Was John the Baptist a good prophet or from the devil?  The Pharisees thought a minute, “If we say he is from God – John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  John the Baptist pointed people to Jesus as the Messiah, then He will say, “Why don’t you believe him?”  And we can’t say John the Baptist is from the devil – so they said, “We don’t know.” 

            After that there is a way to fold and cut a piece of  paper that goes through the entire life of Christ.  Since this is getting long I won’t tell it all.  Start at the birth – Jesus came to die.  It was not a second ditch effort.  Through all the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled with His birth, to Pilot, to the cross, the only way to heaven  - do you want to accept Him now?  Repent, accept Him and go to heaven.  Reject and hell is your choice.  God doesn’t want to send you there, but that is the choice of anyone who rejects Jesus. 


About this time Sylvie and Ruth came back and started fixing dinner.  The questions and discussion went on.  He said, “I am not claming Islam nor Christianity.  I am just good in the middle.”  Well that went to all the verses: There is none righteous, no not one.  All our righteousness is as filthy rags.  You can’t be in the middle.  Doing nothing is taking you to hell.  You must choose Jesus and His finished work for you.  He is calling to you.  There were two boys – say Peter and John.  They played together and one day Peter fell in the pond and John jumped in and saved him.  Peter grew up to be a bad guy – robbing and eventually killed someone.  John became a lawyer and eventually a judge.  The day came for Peter to come before the judge.  Peter looked up and saw John sitting there.  “Ah, this is my lucky day,” he thought.  But John sentenced him to death.  Peter said, “Wait a minute.  How can you do that?  Don’t you remember we are friends?”  John said, “That day I was your friend.  Today I am your judge.”  Today Jesus is your friend.  He is there to welcome you with open arms, but one day He will be your judge.  Then it will be too late. 

            Meanwhile Sylvie said to Ruth, “This is the first time I’ve had a man of God in my house.” 

            We then had a 6 course meal –soup, salad, shish-kabobs, fries, cheeses, fruits, and dessert.  Around 10:30 Nasser went to bed and Sylvie started talking to me.  There we were going over the same thing till after midnight. She already knew a lot – even had a Bible.   She said, “How many times does someone come selling puppies and you invite them to spend the night and talk about God?  This has to be all of God.”  I totally agreed.  I said, “Why don’t you just get saved right now?”  She said, “I can’t.  It would put me in a dilemma.”  Now I see – they are not married and he is probably paying for everything – rich Lebanese with a young Ivorian girl.  It was so sad and an obvious knowledgeable rejection of Christ.   

            Well, they are both now our friends and have invited us to stay with them whenever we are in Abidjan.   We’ll see.  I have since given him a Bible with a letter with many more passages to look up and also tracts written especially for Moslems.  I am praying for them daily.  Please pray with me –Sylvie and Nasser to get saved.  Since it seemed all new to him I didn’t push for a decision.  The Holy Spirit convicts – that is one of His jobs; but I will get in touch with them next time we are in Abidjan to see if he is ready.  Pray much.

            If you are not saved, you can get saved now.  You can be sure you have a place in heaven.  Change your direction.  It is only through Jesus Christ.  Pray and ask Him to forgive your sin and ask Him to save you.

            Our trip home was another story.  We got to the bus by 10 AM and waited till 2:30 PM!!!  We got home at 11:30.  A 4 ½ to 5 hour trip was stretched into 9 hours.  All I can say good about that is that I had lots of time to witness to everyone, passed out all the tracts (and I had a stack), finished another book, and had a good time with Ruth.              

            Just this last time in Abidjan, we gave them a list of prophecies in the Old Testament fulfilled in the life of Christ.  Moslems do believe the prophets – you have to witness as if you were talking to a Jew.   Pray for them and pray for us to have more contact with them.  Our belief is based on logic and faith, not blind faith that makes no sense.  Bye for now.

Love in Christ,



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