To the end of the earth

Map-Palestine-New-Testament-TimesJesus told His early disciples that they would be His “witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8. Jerusalem lay in the province of Judea. Samaria was roughly 50km away. The disciples could possibly have understood reaching out so far. But “to the end of the earth!?”

We struggle to appreciate the enormity of the task at hand. How did Jesus expect a few men to be His witnesses to the end of the earth? There were no planes, trains, or cars. There was no printing press. They couldn’t simply leave a tract. God’s Word, the Bible, hadn’t been translated into different languages. Not to mention the persecution of those who placed their faith and trust in Jesus the Messiah. It may have seemed an impossible task.

According to peoplegroups.org there are 11 295 people groups in the world. 6 922 people groups are “unreached” (less than 2% evangelical Christians). 3 032 people groups are still “unengaged” (no Church planting strategy). The gospel has spread pretty much to the end of the earth. Yet, the task is far from finished.

Christ’s commission to His disciples still stands today…”you will be my witnesses…to the end of the earth.” This begs the question: “How will Ladysmith Baptist Church be Christ’s witnesses to the end of the earth?” It seems an impossible task. Let’s not forget the first half of Acts 1:8 though: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” God’s heart is for the nations to be reached with the glorious gospel that Jesus forgives sin and saves sinners. The Holy Spirit empowers His Church for the task at hand.

fcfChurch, God is showing us how He is reaching the nations through us. Here is 1 example. God sent Filipino men and women 11 000km to work at the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme, and to become a part of our Church family. They have been impacted with the gospel of Christ. Jesus has saved many of them whilst they are working 11 000km from home. Every Sunday they travel 60km to enjoy fellowship with us, to worship our great God with us, and to be instructed by God’s Word. In their time with us the Filipino Christian Fellowship has been established on the Construction site. It doesn’t end there. In their time here God birthed a vision in their hearts to take the gospel to every Construction site the Lord sends them to. A few of the Christian brothers have now left us and moved 10 000km to Laos to work on another project. They are getting a Filipino Christian Fellowship started there. Isn’t that amazing!! Please pray for the work there.

So, be encouraged. Jesus loves His Church. We may be a small Church in the greater scheme of things. But He is doing wonderful things in us and through us. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus. Who knows what He will do through us by the power of His Holy Spirit.

God bless you.

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Our Mission Statement

Together, loving Christ, to be like Christ, to bring others to Christ

togetherTogether

Heb. 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Eph. 4:16 “From him (Jesus) the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

Acts 1:14 “They all joined together constantly in prayer...”

Acts 2:44-47 “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

loving christLoving Christ

Deut. 6:5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

WebTo be like Christ

Rom. 8:29 “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

2 Cor. 3:18 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Eph. 5:1-2 “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

to bring others to christTo bring others to Christ

Matt. 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Matt. 28:19-20 “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The ESV Bible

esv-study-lp-hardcoverAt Ladysmith Baptist Church we use the English Standard Version translation of the Bible. It is our preferred text for preaching and teaching. In 2011 we had a big drive encouraging people to invest in a copy of the ESV. We had access to fantastic prices on the ESV Bible, from Hard Cover and Leather Bound Study Bibles, to Text-only copies, to Large-print editions, and Pew Bibles. We sold them at cost price as we received them from Augustine Bookroom. We still have 4 Hard Cover Study Bibles and one Black Leather Bound Study Bible in stock. If you are interested in purchasing one, starting at R275, please email info@ladysmithbaptist.co.za. Below is a great video clip about the ESV Study Bible. Please take a look.

Where are the men?

man_bibleA general glance across the makeup of a congregation often finds that the women outnumber the men. Why is this so? Are the men dying off first? Possibly! But let’s not use that as an excuse.

Leadership in the Church seems to be largely reserved for men (not trying to get into a debate here about female leadership in the Church). When calling for volunteers to serve in the Church it seems to be the women who put their hands up first. I am aware of a number of eligible single Christian women looking for a husband who loves Jesus. The days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months, the months turn into years, and still they’re single and looking.

The Apostle Paul said to Timothy: “I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling…” – 1 Timothy 2:8 ESV.

This begs the question: “Where are the men?” Where are the real men? Where are the men who have come to the end of themselves and embraced a living relationship with Christ, their Maker, having been transformed by the power of His Holy Spirit? Where are the serving men who will put Christ first in their lives, serving His Church? Where are the men that pray? Surely they are out there somewhere?

Where are the men?