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Dangerous Stuff! [2]

The Unsafe Position of an Apologist Part 2

Apologetics is the branch of Christian theology that deals with the defence and establishment of the Christian faith. An apologist uses logic, evidence, scripture, and wisdom when dealing with opposition, challenges and questions. An apologist loves to gain knowledge in a multitude of subjects like biblical theology, logical fallacies, Scripture itself, cults, philosophy, false religions, and so on and so forth.

But how about a little humility, a loving heart, compassion for the lost? When I became I Christian somewhere in 1994, many were wearing these wristbands with the letter WWJD. What Would Jesus Do? I am not sure whether this is still cool to wear, but I do know that in some cases it is a good reminder. Jesus, the Son of God. He knew the Scriptures as no other. He knew what was in someone’s heart… Still, He was humble enough to wash the feet of His own students. Stinky, filthy feet… Are we prepared to lay aside our hard-earned knowledge and ‘lower’ ourselves in the hopes that the other might be saved?

But there are more dangers for the apologist to watch out for. This is part 2. Let’s take a look at these stinky feet, shall we?

#6 – The Arrogance that is Built on Knowledge and is not Matched with Humility

When I was still a schoolboy we had a little saying:

The more you learn, the more you know. The more you know, the more you forget. The more you forget, the less you know. So if learning means that you will know less, why should you learn anything than?

Back then I thought this to be awfully clever. What did I know as a nine-year-old! However, I think I was more or less on the right track. Let me rephrase this saying:

The more you learn, the more you know. The more you know, the more you discover there is more to learn. The more you discover there is more to learn, the more you know how little you know. So if learning means that you find out that you know very little, it means that a little humility is in order.

You see, I think I know quite a lot about my faith. Also, I have studied the Bible pretty deep, and I continue doing that. We have lived in a very remote village on Madagascar. There I found out even more things about the Christian way of living. Yes, it seems that I am pretty knowledgeable. But! When I go on the internet, when I talk with other people. Even with my own kids! I often find out that my knowledge isn’t infinite at all.

More often than not, I don’t even get to use that knowledge in my talks with the un-reached people. Doing my work as a missionary is, in my opinion, mostly about compassion. I need to humble myself when I go to that poor family who only lives of 75 Euro-cents per day. They don’t need a ‘know it all.’ They need someone who is humble enough to be with them, to listen to their stories, and to share the simplicity of the Gospel. It is humbling when they offer some food from the same plate as they are using.

Paul wanted to go to the Corinthians. Apparently they had some trouble with puffed up people. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:21

What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

He could have disciplined them with all his knowledge and lots of talk, but he preferred to go to them with meekness and love.

#7 – Rather Technical Accuracy Instead of Correcting with a Loving Heart

You go to the Bible study group, cell group, Sunday morning service, and you hear somebody talking about the Bible. The whole talk was pretty spot on… Except that one thing! Let’s say the person quoted one Bible verse out of context, or even worse, he cited a Bible verse, but he used the word ‘care’ instead of ‘love.’

Obviously you are going to correct this error! Forget about the whole message, let’s correct this person here and right now! Not being hindered by the idea the that brother or sister might have had a slip of the tongue, you step up as being the saviour of technical accuracy.

So, to help you, I’ll read a passage from Amplified Bible. Yes, I know many will have issues with this kind of translations and that exactly why I will quote it nonetheless! Deal with it! And try to get the message instead of focussing on the accuracy of the translation.

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8

But we [the apostles] behaved gently when we were among you, like a devoted mother tenderly caring for her own children. Having such a deep affection for you, we were delighted to share with you not only God’s good news but also our own lives, because you had become so very dear to us.

Do we have sincere affections for those around us? Are we willing to share our lives with them? Or do we rather jump into the conversation like a bull in a china shop?

#8 – Decisive and Condemnatory Attitude

Being critical isn’t a problem in itself.

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

But being decisive for the sake of being just that… Well, it is kind of awkward isn’t it? Why would you go to a Bible-study group with an attitude of being critical all the time. Why sit down and listening to the preacher, while in the back of your mind you try to find any error in his message.

This is not what Paul had in mind! In the verses before verse 21, Paul says that we need to live a life of thanksgiving, a life filled with prayer. He said that we should listen to the Holy Spirit and that we should listen to those who receive prophecies. We should listen to their message and see whether is the word of God, and whether it applies to our own lives.

Condemning others isn’t difficult either. You just sit down in your save house, on your comfortable sofa, and watch what others are trying to do to build God’s kingdom. It is so easy to find error and to shove someone away as being heretical. No worries! As long as you stay seated in your lazy sofa, you won’t get mud on your shoes.

I see other missionaries come to Madagascar. The only speak English and French. That’s enough they say. Many Malagasy don’t even understand French, let alone English. But okay, I grant them that the Malagasy language is very hard to learn. Now, these missionaries go out to an area with a lot of high-tech material. They preach the Gospel, get translated, and see many answering to the good news of salvation. Then the leave again with enough to write about in their exiting newsletters.

I am not at all convinced that these methods work that well as they say in their newsletters. Preaching the Gospel and living with the people are hard work. It is about getting your feet dirty. But hey! I look at these other missionaries. I talk with them and many seem to have their hearts in the right place. Am I the appointed one who can condemn their work, their spending of money? Instead, I try to have personal talks with them. I share my experiences and I pray for them.

Listen to this story in Luke 9:49-50

And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

And then in line with this Paul says in Romans 14:4

Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

#9 – Causing Unnecessary Strife

I became a Christian somewhere in 1994. I went to a small church with maybe around 40 members. None of them felt equipped enough to lead Bible-studies. So instead, they invited two brothers from another town. It was not secret that these two had different opinions about the second coming of Christ. We either go through the tribulation or we are going to be raptured away before that time.

I always said that we will probably have to go through the 7 years before Christ is coming back. It is a bit like the Wager of Pascal. If I am right, I am prepared for the worst. If I am wrong… Well, happy day!!

These two brothers were very knowledgeable. I considered them to be the most smart people I knew back then. Still, they couldn’t resist pulling each other down on this issue. They never came together as they prepared different studies and sermons. But somewhere during their talks they just had to say something about the other, without actually calling the other’s name. No, but everybody knew to who the were referring.

It caused division in that, already small, group. It was a very unpleasant atmosphere to be in as a young Christian.

Proverbs 20:3

It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: But every fool will be meddling.

Strife can develop when a difference of opinion becomes the priority in a relationship. Strife is always accompanied by pride and an unteachable spirit in one or both parties.

#10 – Argumentative Lifestyle

I love teenagers! I do. I have three of them and the fourth one is starting to become one as well. But what are teenagers good at? Right, constantly arguing about every single rule you give them. It doesn’t really matter what the rule is about. As soon as the word ‘rule’ falls, they are right on top of it. And again, I love that phase. It is the time they learn to think for themselves. The time in which they are actually wrestling with all the lessons you’ve laid out before them. And you know what? Normally, this time will pass, and if you did your job well they will acknowledge it… One way or the other.

But, we, as adult apologists, are no teenagers any more right? They older we get, the more we understand that others might be right so now and then as well. Life is not about arguing all the time.

2 Timothy 2:14 (NIV)

Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarrelling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.

And now listen to what Paul says two verses further in verse 16

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.

The Church of Christ needs more loving and considerate people. Whether we like it or not! We belong to each other, we are brothers and sisters…

Bonus!

Now that last Bible verse seems to call out just another issue! So, here a bonus for us all.

Until, now I mostly looked at these dangers with an emphasis on the Church right? But Paul says that we should “avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.” And isn’t this just exactly what we can see around us? Some are so occupied with discussing, debating and learning, that they forget they need to be still so now and then as well.

I like to study. So much, that I quite often listen to atheistic chatter. I just want to know their arguments. And honestly, occasionally they seem to have a point. Yes, sometimes I listen to them and have a hard time to debunk their ideas. What do I do? Do I indulge myself in that chat with the risk of becoming more and more ungodly myself, or do I withdraw to seek the Lord?

Salomo knew what to do.

Proverbs 13:20

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: But a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Let’s be wise and surround ourselves with wise people who love the Lord God.

God urges you to surround yourselves with wise people and to

Ephesians 5:18b-21

[…] be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Outro

These were the dangers I came up with. If you didn’t see the first part I would suggest doing that as well. You’ll find the link in the description of this video. I am sure you can come up with even more dangers, I would like to read about them in the comments. Remember! I am mostly active on my Odysee channel. You’ll find a link to that channel in the description of this video.

In the same description you’ll find ways to support me, and I’ll place a link to the transcript of this video. I always try to make the transcript available in Dutch and English.

If you want to start your own channel on Odysee you can use my invitation in the description, and we will both receive some free LBC!

As always, thank you for watching,

God bless you and we see each other in the next video!

Dangerous Stuff! [1]

The Unsafe Position of an Apologist Part 1


I love apologetics. Apologetics is the branch of Christian theology that deals with the defence and establishment of the Christian faith. An apologist uses logic, evidence, scripture, and wisdom when dealing with opposition, challenges and questions.

But there are serious dangers when it comes to apologetics. An apologist can come across as being arrogant, the dreaded ‘know it all’ in house groups or on the internet. And trust me! It is not hard to actually fall into that trap. After all, an apologist loves to gain knowledge in a multitude of subjects like biblical theology, logical fallacies, Scripture itself, cults, philosophy, false religions, and so on and so forth. So yes, many apologists will have to bite their tongue of when they hear strange and unbiblical ideas… But often they do not bite hard enough because they can’t resist correcting the surrounding people.

But there are more dangers lurking around the corner. I am going to do this video in two parts of each 5 dangers. This is part 1. Let’s take a look at these monsters, shall we?

#1 – Apologetics Before all

How much time do we spend just talking with the Lord? Are we reading the Bible because we want to get closer to God. Do we want to get to know Him better or are we mostly trying to gain more ammunition for our battles? In everything we do, we need to put Christ on the first place. He ought to be on our throne, not our books or our knowledge.

Psalm 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Matthew 6:33

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

#2 – The Enemy Attitude

Are those critics and atheists on social media your enemy? Do we need to defeat them in every debate? Oh boy! Those nasty atheists. Sure enough, they are on their way to hell.

But hold on a minute. Isn’t that just the case? Aren’t those unbelievers lost? Shouldn’t we show compassion for their lost souls? God Himself looks at these people and is

2 Peter 3:9

[…] not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Jesus walked with his disciples through a town. He stopped, looked up into a tree, and spoke to a man who had climbed it to see Jesus as he passed by. The man was a notorious sinner, he was a hated tax collector. The type of guy who in greed had betrayed his own people.

Jesus didn’t start a fiery debate. Telling the man how stupid he was. No, instead He decided to have dinner at the man’s place, He together with His 12 disciples The man also invited all his tax collector friends. Not long after, the man, who we now know as Zacchaeus, believed in Jesus and was ready to repent of his sinful deeds. He gave everybody he had cheated on back their goods and even more.

All this without a harsh and argumentative attitude. Jesus was compassionate, and so should we.

#3 – Yearning for Victory

This one ties in with the one we just discussed. Are our discussions aimed at victory rather than seeing people be saved by Christ? Not many are brave enough to just stop a discussion. We are afraid that the other party announces victory. But why do we have this desire for victory over the conversion of souls? Why do we think it is more important to come out of the debate as the number one? Sometimes it is just better to stop and pray. Tell the other that it is not very likely that you come to the same conclusions, but that you love him or her nonetheless. I know, that sounds wimpy! But who cares? It is his or her soul you want to reach, right?

Proverbs 16:21

The wise in heart shall be called prudent: And the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.

James 1:19

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath

#4 – The Not So Smart Brother Syndrome

Seeing fellow Christians as opponents when they don’t agree with you over secondary issues. It is very easy to withdraw in our bunker with like-minded brothers and sisters. That other brother is just not smart enough to understand your view on the theology around certain topics.

Years ago, I regularly had contact with a brother on the other side of the planet. He, too, loved apologetics. One day we had a nice online chat about evangelism. He actually though it to be wrong that some famous Christians used a lot of money on buildings like huge replicas of the Ark of Noah. I said that they at least try something to evoke the interest of people. I mean, doing nothing is very little right?

Anyway, as the chat continued I wanted to make my point clear by another example. I told him about a brother who went to the supermarket and bought some bottles of beer. Armed with these bottles he visited the homeless in our city. He sat down and offered them a beer while he started to share the Gospel. Now, I didn’t want to say that this was such a good idea to do! All I wanted to say was that this specific brother at least tried something to reach these people. He tried something while most other Christians in our town didn’t even come close to these people.

I pity the moment I mentioned this example. My online friend was very quick in condemning the approach. Not a word of understanding, not a shred of sympathy towards my attempt to explain a totally different issue. No, the word ‘beer’ didn’t leave his mind. That was the trigger word. Whether I agreed with the approach… I said that I used the example to explain that people sometimes make weird jumps in order to do something. Well, apparently I agreed with giving alcohol to homeless people. No, I said, better not! But, dumb as I could be, I said that drinking alcohol can be accepted in one culture and not in the other. Anyway, long story short. My online friend demanded my repentance. Repent of this wicked and sinful idea!! I said that there was nothing to repent for as I never agreed with the whole alcohol giving thing in the first place. Repent! Right now!

Later, I found our little chat in an article about using alcohol. My words were used to show all the God-fearing Christians that there are people who call themselves Christian but refuse to repent from such ideas. Apparently I was the typical ‘not so smart as the other’ guy.

I know, alcohol is a hot topic among many. So is the rapture, gifts of the Holy Spirit, women in church etc. But honestly, I don’t need you to agree with me on these matters. I have great friends, brothers and sisters who wholeheartedly disagree with me on some topics! But we love each-other dearly. Why? Because we know that Christ saved us. Jesus died for us on the cross, and He rose again on the third day. He is the Saviour of the world, and He brought us together as brothers and sisters.

Psalm 133:1

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!

Our brother and sisters are not our opponents when they don’t agree with us over debatable issues!

#5 – The Elect

What do you do when the other brother doesn’t seem to be on the same page as you are. Right! You withdraw yourself from his company, and you try to find as many like-minded as possible! Then, when you found them, you can drink coffee after the service with them. You can have your own private Bible studies with them… Yes, you can even sit next to each-other every Sunday morning.

I don’t think I’ll have to explain that such isolation isn’t very smart, right? Just because we seem to know more about certain topics, doesn’t make us elite or superior to the other.

Romans 12:16

Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Outro

These are the first five dangers I came up with. I would like to name five more in part 2.

I would like to read your ideas about this topic. Let me know in the comments below. Remember! I am mostly active on my Odysee channel. You’ll find a link to that channel in the description of this video.

In the same description you’ll find ways to support me, and I’ll place a link to the transcript of this video. I always try to make the transcript available in Dutch and English.

If you want to start your own channel on Odysee you can use my invitation in the description, and we will both receive some free LBC!

As always, thank you for watching,

God bless you and we see each other in the next video!

What About Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel?

As missionary among the un-reached Antanala-people of Madagascar, I have heard this question a million times… Well, maybe not a million but many times. Mostly these questions are hidden in presuppositions. Among Christians some think that nobody will be saved, except those who’ve heard and believed the Gospel. While others, say that there are people who will be saved, even if they never heard about Jesus. In this series we are going to see what the Bible has to say about these questions.

What About Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel?

Part 1 – Basic Truths As missionary among the un-reached Antanala-people of Madagascar, I have heard this question a million times… Well, maybe not a million but many times. Mostly these questions are hidden in presuppositions. Among Christians some think that nobody will be saved, except those who’ve heard and believed the Gospel. While others, […]

What About Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel?

Part 2 – What is known to mankind? Introduction This is part 2 of this series. Please watch part one first because there we set out some basic truths on which we build on in this part. As said, I work as missionary in the middle of nowhere on Madagascar, and I have heard this […]

What About Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel?

Part 3 – Old Testament Introduction This is part 3 of this series. Please watch part one and two first because we build on those two videos in this part. You’ll find the links in the description of this video. As said, I work as missionary in the middle of nowhere on Madagascar, and I […]

What About Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel?

Part 4 – The Hard Questions Introduction This is part 4 of this series. Please watch the first three parts first to better understand this one. You’ll find the links in the description of this video. So, what actually will happen to those who never heard the Gospel? Where do they go when they die? […]

What About Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel?

Part 4 – The Hard Questions

Introduction

This is part 4 of this series. Please watch the first three parts first to better understand this one. You’ll find the links in the description of this video.

So, what actually will happen to those who never heard the Gospel? Where do they go when they die?

In the first part we have found out that actually every single person on this earth deserves to be punished for his or her sin. That is the only just and honest position God can take. But we concluded also that this is not the end of the story. In part 2 we discovered that every human can have a certain knowledge of God through nature and also through their own conscience. With the knowledge of the first two part we discussed two persons from Old Testament times, Abraham and Rahab. These two got saved through their faith in God.

The whole driving force behind the saving faith of these Old Testament people seem to be that they first recognised God through general revelation. Of Abraham, we know for sure that God also intervened and talked to him, thus giving him a special revelation or in a fancy word, theophany. Looking at Rahab’s conversion is a bit harder to determine what it was that put her on the right track. Was it that she already knew that there is a God of heaven and earth? Was it because she heard the stories about the interaction between Israel and God? In any case, she turned her whole life towards God, leaving behind a depraved and corrupt culture.

Gloomy

But now I think we need to address the elephant in the room because I can hear the question al ready. “Can we trust that many more will come to a saving faith through general revelation only?” And my short answer would be ‘no’. That’s a gloomy answer, I know, so I will explain it a bit.

Looking around I see many who really understand that nature didn’t come into being by chance. Many will even acknowledge that their moral compass is there to help them to choose between good and bad. But how many… No wait, let me ask this question to you:

How many people do you know who didn’t know anything except nature and their conscience and called out to God, saying: “O higher being! I want to get to know you”. You know, people, who grew up in a culture where they worship the ancestors but then, looking around, they realise that they are involved in rituals that are just gross and immoral. All of a sudden they look at the cow horn with magical powder, and they recognise that it is just that, a cow’s horn with some yucky stuff inside. And when they realise this, they, like Rahab, leave everything behind to try, and find the Creator.

No, this does not happen often. I can’t say never, because I don’t know every person that has lived, or lives present day. But I do know an awful lot of people, but not one of them fits the description. The opposite is easier to find. People who know that there must be an ultimate God, and they know that what they are doing is wrong. They keep on doing it anyway, until they do not hear their own conscience any more. Most of us are like that. Even the most diligent Christian decides, so now and then, to refuse to listen to that inner-voice. This is totally inline with the Biblical teaching. Nobody really seeks God.

Romans 3:11

“There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God. ”

So again, the times we see people turn and seeking God, because they recognise His hand in nature and their conscience, are very rare. Sure, they include possible examples in the Bible, like Rahab. But mostly people need something extra.

Only through Jesus

Even though the saved people might not have known anything about the work Jesus did, or would do in the future, when you talk about Old Testament cases, they are still saved through His work.

Acts 4:12

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

When Abraham trusted God for his salvation, he trusted the right person. It was God who became flesh and was born here on earth to work salvation for all. Trusting God, meant that he ultimately trusted Jesus, even without him knowing it.

I believe it is safe to say that the whole Old Testament pointed to Jesus. The laws, the sacrificial ceremonies, yes, even the story in which Abraham has to offer his son Isaac. It all became fulfilled in the work of Christ.

Hebrews 11:1, 13

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them […]”

The faith obtained by people who do not know the Gospel is looking forward. All examples in Hebrews 11 demonstrate a faith and a trust that God would save them. They probably didn’t have a clue that it would be through Jesus, but they were sure God would do it one way or another.

A common misconception about the Old Testament way of salvation is that Jews were saved by keeping the Law. But we know from Scripture that that is not true. Galatians 3:11 says, “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” Paul is quoting Habakkuk 2:4—salvation by faith, apart from the Law was an Old Testament principle.

How little can someone know and still be saved?

Good, let us dive in some difficult questions. Have you ever wondered how little one can know and still be saved? Of course, you have never had this questions, I know! But there are others who do. You see, general revelation is what we have! It is this revelation which prepares us for more! We should stop asking how little can someone know and still be saved? How about those who live somewhere in the middle of the rainforests? They don’t know anything about the God of the Bible. How much faith do they have to show to be saved? This is just a silly question and can not be answered properly. God will judge accordingly. He knows the heart, he knows the intentions of every human being. What do we know!?

It is like asking me when is it okay to divorce you husband or wife. I can give you some Biblical texts that seem to tell you when it is fine to do so. But honestly, the situation is almost never that simple. True, there are exceptions but most of them are rare, and I am not going to tell you in this video when it is permitted. Likewise, I can not answer the question of how little one can know and still be saved. I am absolutely positive that people get saved while knowing almost nothing, but again, these cases are rare.

What I do know is that the majority of people who got saved did receive some kind of extra or special information. You might want to read Hebrews 11 about the people of faith. Reading through those witnesses you’ll see that all of them received extra information. Like I said, Rahab received information about the great deeds of the God of Israel.

Some seem to be thinking something like: “Well, they don’t know anything, maybe they are saved…” But this is mixing up faith with ignorance. Faith is required to be saved not ignorance.

Evangelism

That brings me to the next thing. Did you ever heard someone say that we don’t really have to evangelise or send out missionaries. I mean, maybe they get saved anyway, right? They’ve got general revelation! Maybe you’ve never heard this line of reasoning before, but I sure did! Let me shock you a little more… it were mostly Christians who were wondering about this idea!

My full answer is simple: Not sending evangelists or missionaries is unbiblical, and suggesting such idea shouldn’t even be taken seriously within the Christian church. The Lord clearly says that we should go out and share the Gospel. Numerous testimonies of individuals and even whole tribes who all had general revelation. They neglected it and worshipped false gods, nature itself or anything else, until the Gospel reached them, and they repented and put their trust in Jesus. If you like to see such a story, you really should watch the documentary about the Mouk Tribe:

https://odysee.com/@jurgenenkatja:3/ee-taow-the-mouk-story:b

Isaiah 52:7

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”

Damage

How about the idea that you can actually do harm to someone’s search for God. I have been in hospital for a knee operation. While I was lying in my bed I talked with a lady at the opposite side of the dorm. It was great! She wanted to know all about Jesus.

Now this dorm had six or eight beds, I can’t remember. In one of them was another lady. She didn’t say anything, she was just lying there reading a book. Or so I thought. Weeks later, an older sister in church came to me. She said that she heard that I was in hospital at the same time as her friend. She knew it was me because her friend told her about me. It was a terrible experience for her friend. I was talking about that Jesus guy all the time. No, it wasn’t the lady I talked with. It was the lady with the book! The older sister told me that I shouldn’t talk too much about Jesus because people, like her friend, are being put off by it. She said that her friend was just almost ‘there’. God was working on her, and she wanted to answer God’s call. What my older sister actually implied was that my preaching damaged this lady’s hunger for the Gospel, even after receiving special attention from God.

But, is this valid? Can it be that, when someone, who already understands general revelation, and then receives some kind of special revelation—let’s say a vision of God or a special dream which they received from God—and you come and tell them about Christ, and they respond negatively. “Oh no, He is nothing like I imagined, I don’t want Him!”

I believe, when they really received a special revelation, this doesn’t happen.

John 6:45

“It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. ”

In other words, if you really learned about God… And I mean really learned, not that wishy-washy DIY religion preached by some wannabe preachers. No, when someone really got to know God the Father, he or she WANTS to know Jesus. Actually, Jesus uses His presence in Jerusalem to see whether the Jews really listened to the prophets or not. If they did, if they actually really listened to the things they have been taught about God the Father, they would have accepted Him.

John 5:46‭-‬47

“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? ”

So, hearing the Gospel is wholesome to someone who learned about God. If someone has had the privileged to learn about God the Father, like the Israelites did, they wouldn’t have any problem accepting Christ.

However, while I’m saying this, I recall the anecdote I gave in part three about the lady who got healed but still refused to follow Christ. Now, this is a different situation. That lady received special attention directly from the healing hands of Jesus. She understood who God was and what Jesus had done for us. Still, she didn’t want to give up her life. This isn’t about not understanding any more. No, this specific situation shows us that there are also people who willingly ignore the Gospel. They will reject Christ no matter what.

Other Religions

Okay, we’ve got that cleared up, but what about the earnest Muslim, Buddhist, or Hare Krishna? They grew up in their religion, and they might have sincerely searched for God, right? You might think so, but I believe this to be false. Deep down all other religions are rejecting God the Father. I could give examples for many different religions out there, but I’ll suffice by saying that none of them actually worships a personal, and loving God. It is all about, this far away god or energy that ultimately isn’t concerned with his, her, or it’s creation.

It is amazing that we have testimonies from those who started to question their religion. The looked around, they looked at the idols, they thought about their mantras, and they started to realise that the God of creation cannot be found in any of these. And how can He? He created everything but He Himself is outside this creation and not created but eternal. It is the moment that they start to ask the hard questions. Those questions that aren’t really appreciated by the religious leaders because they don’t know the answers and rather keep the status quo.

Often you hear that they then turn secretly to the evangelist or missionary in the neighbourhood, and after a while they’ll accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what we see and hear throughout the ages.

I began to work on translating Bible stories back in 2017. Somewhere in February 2018 I started to visit a village where I shared these freshly translated Bible stories. People listened and were very curious since they had not heard these stories yet, especially not in their heart-language. Anyway, around August 2018, a young couple from outside, moved into this village. They were sent by their church to plant a new church. Within no time, they could start—very surprised that some people were readily accepting the Gospel. The point I try to make is that these new believers already searched for God. Then I came and explained to them who God is and about His plan to save us. I got as far as explaining to them that He promised to send Jesus as a sacrifice for all. They were eager to hear about it. My brother and sister move in and explained exactly that and: Boom!

Back then, we didn’t know each other yet. They didn’t know what I had done or preached, and I didn’t know who they were. They are way younger than I am, but we have become very good friends.

If someone in a different culture and religion sincerely seeks God, they will get the chance to meet Him. This is what the Bible teaches and this is the experience of many missionaries throughout the world.

Last things to consider

I guess this episode is going to be the longest of all four, but that’s because this episode is the most important one! So, what actually happens to those who have never heard the Gospel. The answer seems to be that there might be some that start the look for the real God. These people will get answers because God promised that they would find Him, and He is not far. However, scripture also teaches that many, not to say most, are not interested in finding Him. They are content with their lifestyle. They push away the gnawing feeling that they are doing thing wrong. Likewise, they willingly ignore all signs out there that tell them that there is a God, a creator of everything.

This means that many will be lost for eternity. No matter how hard they try to please the ancestors, or how diligently they try to keep the commandments of their religion, and no matter how big their investment is in society. No matter how many grannies they help to cross the street and how much money they give to humanitarian organisations. People can not save themselves by keeping the law, people can only be saved by faith. And not just that kind of faith which is required in their own religious groups. No, faith in the Creator of the heaven and the earth. The One who gave them life in the first place, who put the stars in the heaven as a sign of His existence.

This is why, throughout the ages, the Church has sent out missionaries. This is why evangelists try to grab every opportunity to tell others about Christ. Christians have been called to love their neighbours as themselves. It is this love that should urge us to do everything in our power to teach the world that there is a Saviour! That they can be saved! And that God can be found!

To pounder on

Okay, let’s take a look at one last passage in the Bible. I have already mentioned this passage in episode one. Let’s go to Matthew 11:21,23

“Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes […]”

“And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.”

I read this, and I understand Jesus’ words to mean that if He actually really came to Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom. If He had performed all His deeds—miracles, resurrection, exorcisms, and the sermons—they would have repented.

If this is true—and I believe it is—does this than mean that there might be people who would have been saved if they heard the Gospel? Would they’ve been saved for eternity if someone had come to them and preached the Gospel? Can it be that, because no one came to them, they stayed in their sin and got condemned accordingly?

I am afraid that this passage strongly implies this. I think that this is a theme throughout the whole Bible. People who might have been saved if they’ve heard just a little more. If the great deeds were performed among them, they would have repented. This is frightening to me!

There are those, who say that if they don’t tell their neighbour about Christ, God would definitely send someone else to do it. Like, if someone is destined to be saved, God will do anything to make that happen. This argument than relieves them from all their worries. Evangelism has always be high on my agenda. I’ve always tried to mobilise others to share the Gospel. But many used this excuse. “Nah, I am just not an evangelist like you”; “I am not that talkative”; “I don’t know enough to teach others.” And then they come with this final knock-out argument, which is always trotted out when they ran out of good excuses.

But if this argument holds, then there would be no need to send out missionaries, church planters, evangelists. In that case we shouldn’t be worried about the un-reached at all, and I wouldn’t have to make this video in the first place.

End

Anyway, I could go on for a few more hours, but I think this is a good time to stop. I’ll give you one last text to think about. I read the text from the Amplified Version. You can look it up in any other version you like. This version gives a description of the text and I believe it does a good job with this specific one.

2 Timothy 4:1-2

“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favourable or unfavourable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behaviour], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity], with inexhaustible patience and [faithful] teaching.”

This is a huge topic! And I hope I’ve tackled it enough to give you a more detailed idea. I very much appreciate your input in the comments.

As always, my videos can also be watched on Bitchute and YouTube, but I am mostly active on Odysee. So, if you want to comment on this video, I would suggest doing so on Odysee. But, to comment you’ll need an account and if you use my invitation we both get some LBC for free.

Along with the invitation, I’ll put the link to an essay with the title Why Mission MattersSeen From a Secular Viewpoint in the description of this video. Also, you’ll find ways to support me. Some of you already did! And I would like to thank you big time for that. It is a huge encouragement to know that you appreciate my work.

Thank you for watching, and I wish you God’s blessing.

And we’ll see each other in the next one!



THE MOUK STORY:

👉 Complete version

👉 Short version

👉 Short version (Dutch voice-over)



Part 1 – Basic Truths

Part 2 – What is known to mankind?

Part 3 – Old Testament

Part 4 – The hard questions

What About Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel?

Part 3 – Old Testament

Introduction

This is part 3 of this series. Please watch part one and two first because we build on those two videos in this part. You’ll find the links in the description of this video.

As said, I work as missionary in the middle of nowhere on Madagascar, and I have heard this question many times: What will happen to those who never heard the Gospel? Where do they go when they die?

In the first part we have found out that actually every single person on this earth deserves to be punished for his or her sin. That is the only just and honest position God can take. But we concluded also that this is not the end of the story. In part 2 we discovered that every human can have a certain knowledge of God through nature and also through their own conscience.

Let’s do something risky. Let’s talk about some people from Old Testament times who apparently got saved.

Abraham

The first one that comes to my mind is Abraham. Romans 4 is pressing the idea that Abraham was truly saved, not because of his works but because of faith.

“What does Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”

Abraham knew close to nothing about God’s plan of sending Jesus. He didn’t even know about the laws as given to Moses. How on earth could Abraham be saved? His faith, how incomplete you might believe it was, has saved him. He trusted God for his justification. Paul wasn’t just a blabbering boob…I’ve got that from dr. Seuss’ Horton hears a who. No he actually quotes Genesis 15:6 “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”

So, what did Abraham believe? Obviously he knew that God was the one who created everything. He could have found that out through nature, but God granted him, what we call in theology ‘special revelation’. God came to him in a supernatural way. Later we also see this in Moses’ life, where God appears to him in the burning bush. That was what we call a theophany, which comes from the old Greek. Theos meaning ‘God’, and phaneia which mean ‘appearance’. But, some would say it was more like an epiphany. An epiphany is a more generic happening and means something like ‘manifestation from above,’ because God Himself was not seen. However, an epiphany can also be a manifestation of a spirit or whatever. Being a Christian, I use the word theophany if and only if we are talking about the manifestation of God (with capital G) and not just about the manifestation of any deity.

All humans are granted, what we call ‘general revelation’. That is revelation through nature and conscience as explained in part 2 of this series. But Abraham was one of lucky people who received special revelation!

Actually, this still happens today you know. Maybe not so much in free countries, where we can get Bible and listen to podcasts. No, these special revelations are much more common in closed countries. Stories of Muslims who converted to Christianity because Issa, that is Jesus, appeared to them. That must be absolutely awesome don’t you think?

Anyway, Abraham received the promise of having a lot of offspring, God was going to multiply his seed. We now know that this actually directed to Jesus because Jesus is the ultimate seed of Abraham. But Abraham did not now this, did he? However, he believed God, and he obeyed Him, and God credited it to him as righteousness.

Rahab

And what about this woman called Rahab? This story still amazes me big time! Here come the people of Israel. They are conquering the promised land. Jericho was the most important Canaanite fortress city in the Jordan Valley. It was a stronghold directly in the path of the advancing Israelites. The king of Jericho heard that two Israelite spies were within his city and ordered them to be brought out to him. Rahab protected them by hiding them on her roof.

Rahab told the spies that the people of Jericho were terrified of the Israelites ever since God defeated the Egyptian army, which happened about 40 years earlier. The city was completely destroyed, and everybody was killed. But Rahab and her family were spared.

Now comes the amazing part of this story. Rahab, who was a young Canaanite prostitute, married Salmon, an Israelite from the tribe of Judah. Her son was Boaz, the husband of Ruth. Joseph, the legal father of Jesus, is her direct descendant!

Rahab wasn’t in a great position to get to know the God of Israel. She grew up and lived in a corrupt, depraved, pagan culture. However, she heard the stories of the miraculous escape from Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea. She heard about the things that happened to Israel in the wilderness, and their recent triumph over the Amorites. She had learned enough to come to the correct, saving conclusion in Joshua 2:11 “When we heard of it, our hearts sank and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” It changed her heart. And this faith—together with the actions coming forth out of this faith—that saved her and her family.

Saving Faith

Hebrews 11:31 clearly states that Rahab was saved. Why? Because of her faith in “God in heaven above and on the earth below”. Christians are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8 says

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”.

But we also need to recognise that both Rahab and Abraham exemplified their faith by action. Abraham had to travel away from his country to an unknown place, and Rahab had to put the scarlet cord out of the window. Likewise, we as Christian have accepted Jesus as our saviour and according to James that faith must become visible through our lifestyle, our actions.

James 2:14,17

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? […] faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Both Abraham’s and Rahab’s faith enabled them to turn away from their culture, their people, and their religion and to the Lord. Commitment to a true faith in God may require setting priorities that are contrary to those of the world, as we are call upon to do in Romans 12:2

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

General and Special Revelation

I just had to talk about these amazing stories during one of our meals. Of course, we read the Bible as a family, but besides that we also quite often discuss Biblical topics at the table, which it pretty cool. I said that Rahab was saved through faith. Now, one of the children said that she had faith after she received a revelation. But the Bible doesn’t say that about her. She heard about the God of Israel and apparently she used her brains. She figured out that He is the God of heaven and earth and that besides Him there is no other. I wouldn’t call that ‘special revelation’ in the sense that God directly revealed something to her. Maybe I am missing something here, if so you can let me know in the comment section.

In contrary, when we look at Abraham’s life we do see that he clearly received special revelation. God directly spoke to him and he obeyed.

Is general revelation, nature and conscience, enough for people to come to a saving faith in God? It might be, and I think the story of Rahab comes close. But probably most need something extra to come to the same conclusion as Rahab. But then again, can it be that special revelation also includes hearing the message, not directly from God, but through human sources? If that is so, then the missionary among the un-reached, the evangelist in the streets, and in Rahab’s story, the people telling the miraculous stories of the God of Israel, can all be counted for special revelation in one way or another.

Actually, when I think about it, and I might be wrong, but I think general revelation is probably not enough. But it is enough to make people ready for special revelation. The fact that I do not have to waste my time on explaining people here that God exists and that He is mighty, can be subscribed to, in my opinion, general revelation.

Seeking God

Okay, I am going to wrap this part up. I would like to go to Act 17:26-27

“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”

Paul is preaching to the Greek people. What is he telling them? All humans are decedents from Adam and God wants to be found! And then, contrary to atheistic beliefs, Paul says that God is not far and can be found! You see, many want you to believe that God didn’t leave any evidence for us to find Him.

Now, this argument isn’t new. Listen to this:

2 Peter 3:3-6

“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this “coming” he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.”

This last part talks about the great flood. How can people forget what happened in the past during the flood? Simple, let’s try to explain away all geological features of the earth. Wrinkled mountains? Very sharp boundaries in between earth layers? Mass graves with dinosaur bones? Nahh, that cannot be caused by a major worldwide disaster. No, Let’s stick a label with billions of years on those features and voila! We just reasoned God out of the picture.

God wants to be found, and He is not far. The only thing keeping people is their own reluctance to actually find Him. We don’t want Him in the equation.

I once talked with a lady, who worked in a supermarket, who said she wanted to find out who God was. So, the weeks that followed I got the change to tell her all about the Gospel. After some weeks she started a job somewhere else. A year later I met her again. We Talked a bit, and she had an amazing story. She suffered a very painful knee injury, and it couldn’t be helped by the doctor. One day she went to watch her son playing soccer. Next to her sad a man. All of a sudden this man, a total stranger, turned to her and said that the Lord told him about her knee. She was shocked! Whether he could pray for her. She agreed and he prayed out loud. The lady felt embarrassed but she let him do his thing anyway. It was a simple prayer. Something in the line of “Lord Jesus, your are the great healer. Please heal her leg”. Next day her knee was completely healed. The doctor did not have an answer. But she knew, it was that prayer of this man, who prayed so full of trust in the Lord Jesus. I was so happy for her! I asked whether she needed more proof than that. “No,” she said. “I know God is real. I also believe that Jesus died and rose again.” On which I asked her whether she started following Him already… “No”, she said, “I am not going to give up my life.”

God can be found, but many of us don’t really want Him. Faith in the Old Testament did not mean that the person knew all about God’s plans for the future. They decided to earnestly seek God and put their trust in Him.

Conclusion so far

So, let me summarise this in some basic truths again.

  1. Number one is that God wants to save all people. This is universal. He gave His only-begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
  2. Number two, people can respond to general revelation. The nature around us and our conscience is enough to get someone to humble him or herself and really seek God.
  3. Number three, should than be that God will respond to those who really seek Him.

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord […]”

Jeremiah 29:12-14

End

Okay, I’ll have to stop now, else the video will be way too long. I really love this topic as it gives me a lot of new insights as well. But it is a huge topic! I read some comments from you that suggest that there are different opinions out there. My videos seem to draw in angry people as well. Well, I am not sure whether they are really angry, but they do sound angry. But, be that as it may, I would like to ask you to mind your language. Other than that, I very much appreciate your input in the comments.

My videos can also be watched on Bitchute and YouTube, but I am mostly active on Odysee. So, if you want to comment on this video, I would suggest doing so on Odysee. But, to comment you’ll need an account and if you use my invitation we both get some LBC for free.

Along with the invitation, I’ll put the link to an essay with the title Why Mission MattersSeen From a Secular Viewpoint in the description of this video. Also, you’ll find ways to support me. Some of you already did! And I would like to thank you big time for that. It is a huge encouragement to know that you appreciate my work.

Thank you for watching, and I wish you God’s blessing.

We’ll see each other in the next one!



Part 1 – Basic Truths

Part 2 – What is known to mankind?

Part 3 – Old Testament

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