“There Is No Sinner For Whom Christ Did Not Die” — Samuel Nafzger

As a result of Jesus’ death and resurrection from the dead, there is hope for all of us! Dr. Samuel Nafzger reminds us of this truth in the following excerpt from his article that is published in the Concordia Journal:

The Lutheran approach to the confession of the gospel holds that God’s grace in Christ Jesus is universal.  It embraces all people of all times and all places.  There is no sinner for whom Christ did not die.  There is no sin for which Christ has not already shed his blood. Forgiveness has already been won for our innate sinfulness (original sin) and for every actual sin that has ever been committed or ever will be committed. When Jesus said on the cross that “it is finished’ (John 19:30), the forgiveness of sins was won for the whole world. It means that God has removed our sin as far as the east is from the west. He ‘has buried’ our sin(s) there — and ‘has forgotten’ where he buried them, because the blood of Jesus Christ has washed them away.

Theologians call this teaching ‘objective justification.’ It is the purest gospel — music to the sinner’s ear — for who does not need to hear this message in dark moments of the soul when the enormity of our sin would drive us to despair, when the devil would use the littleness of our faith to devour us by telling us that our sins are too great, too numerous, too heinous for God to forgive? But since the universality of the gospel is the ‘gospel truth,’ there is hope for us all.

From: “An Introduction to Confessing the Gospel: A Lutheran Approach to Systematic Theology,” by Samuel H. Nafzger, Concordia Journal, Spring 2018, p. 59.

Posted in Cross of Christ, Evangelism, Forgiveness, Grace, Jesus Christ, Justification, Lutheran, Lutheran Missiology, missio Dei, Missional, Missionary, Uncategorized | Comments Off on “There Is No Sinner For Whom Christ Did Not Die” — Samuel Nafzger

Globally, Billions Have Never Heard the Gospel

The Lutheran Laymen (July-August 2018) reports that “Close to 90 percent of mission endeavors by North Americans is done among people who already have access to the Good News of Jesus Christ.” (p. 7)

Lutheran Hour Ministries is trying to take a different path by focusing resources on the billions of people who have no access to the Gospel.  Lutheran Hour Ministries is poised, through its mass communications ministries, to reach those people and/or areas where the gospel is unknown.  LHM recognizes that most of the world’s population lives in urban areas and therefore resources and efforts need to be directed to urban centers. LHM also knows that many countries are experiencing a “population bulge” of younger people. In fact, more than 50 percent of the world’s population is under the age of 25. This growing population is open, and in need of, the life-giving message of hope that is ours in Jesus Christ.

If you would like to learn more about the work of Lutheran Hour Ministries and to access their online resources, visit their website: LHM.

Posted in Evangelism, Lutheran Hour Ministries, Lutheran Laymen's League, Lutheran Missiology, Missional, Missional Leadership, Missionary | Comments Off on Globally, Billions Have Never Heard the Gospel

“Come to the Table” — Sidewalk Prophets

No matter who you are or what you have done, Jesus invites you to come to His table and to take your place beside your Saviour so that you can be forgiven and set free!

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The Message of God’s Word Does Not Change But It Does Translate!

The following excerpt is from Gerhard Bode’s article, “Knowing How to Live and Die: Luther and the Teaching of the Christian Faith” in the Concordia Journal.

Lamin Sanneh observed that in its history, the Christian church has been adept at translating the message of the Christian faith.  He asserted that the Christian gospel is translatable on a linguistic level as well as a cultural one.  James Nestingen also has pointed out that the Lutheran Reformation was a matter of translation.  In a similar way, Luther’s catechisms are fundamentally a translation.  Luther brought his teaching of the evangelical faith and the message of law and gospel into the German language and expressed it within his sixteenth-century cultural context. We do the same thing in our own time and place. Whether in multilingual and multicultural contexts or not, the work of education is one of the most important means of translating the message of the Christian gospel.  The central message of God’s Word, that human beings are lost in sin and it is God who justifies does not change. But it does translate.

The fact that methods change or need to be adapted for the audience may be obvious, but it still not be ignored.  With Luther’s example, we are reminded that Christian freedom presents the message of God’s word to people in different settings and situation.  God has given his people creative skills and abilities to communicate in ways that convey the message clearly, artfully, and faithfully.

From: “Knowing How to Live and Die: Luther and the Teaching of the Christian Faith” by Gerhard Bode, Concordia Journal, Spring 2018:26.

Posted in Apologetics, Bible Translation, Christian Apologetics, Evangelism, Missiology, Missional, Missionary, Preaching, Rural evangelism, Small Town Evangelism, Urban Outreach, Witness | Comments Off on The Message of God’s Word Does Not Change But It Does Translate!

“Each Christian is a missionary sent out by God into his own circle of activity to convert others to Christ” — C.F.W. Walther

C.F.W. Walther, the first President of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, expresses the truth that every Christian is sent by the Lord to be a representative of Jesus:

Not only, however, is this [to see another person recognize Jesus as his/her Lord and Saviour] a Christian’s desire, but it is also his sacred duty. No one should say, ‘I am not a pastor, a teacher, or a preacher. Let them teach, instruct, comfort, and lead souls to Christ. I wish to remain in my own vocation.’ No, Christian, you are baptized, and through Holy Baptism you have already been anointed and called to be a priest of God.

Through Holy Baptism each Christian has been consecrated, ordained and installed into the ministry to teach, admonish and comfort his neighbour. Through Holy Baptism each Christian has received not only the authority, power and right, but also the high and holy obligation to do his part that others may be brought to Christ. …

And yet, at the same time, all Christians are to shine as lights among the world. The Christian Church is a great mission-house. Each Christian is a missionary sent out by God into his own circle of activity to convert others to Christ and to call them to the kingdom of God. God does not give His spiritual gifts only to pastors and teachers. Lay people, too, often have very glorious gifts – for example, a splendid knowledge of Christian doctrine, the gift of understanding and explaining Scriptures, the gift of administration, the God-given ability to encourage, to admonish, and the like. …

Each of us has a brother or sister, an acquaintance, a relative, a friend. When we are with them, let us take to heart that we through Holy Baptism have been made spiritual priests, that we have entered into a covenant with God for His service. Every Christian should avail himself or herself of the opportunity to speak something good, to tell what God has done for us, to win back the erring, to admonish the frivolous and lazy, to comfort and encourage those who are sad and disheartened.

When we are with unbelievers, let us remember that as spiritual priests we are to confess Christ before them by word and deed that they also may come to the knowledge of the truth. … When we have the opportunity to lead a soul to Christ or defend the honour of Christ, then we should not allow fear of the world to deter us from courageously bearing witness to the truth.

Oh, what a joy it will be in all eternity to see souls around us, souls who through our efforts, came to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, souls who found the way to heaven through our witness! We ourselves, along with all the angels, will then exclaim with extreme joy, ‘The Lord has done all things well! To Him be honour and praise forever and ever.’

(From: A sermon preached by Walther in 1842 as printed in the Lutherisches Volksblatt, Anniversary Edition, Summer 2004, p. 7-8)

Posted in Discipleship, Evangelism, Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, Lutheran Church -- Canada, Lutheran Missiology, missio Dei, Missiology, Missional, Missional Leadership, Missionary, Priesthood of all Believers, Rural evangelism, Small Town Evangelism, Urban Outreach | Comments Off on “Each Christian is a missionary sent out by God into his own circle of activity to convert others to Christ” — C.F.W. Walther

12 Myths About Assisted Suicide and Medical Aid In Dying

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition blog posted an article written by Ronald W. Pies, MD and Annette Hanson, MD. It was published by mdmag.com on July 7, 2018.

In an age of “alternative facts”, it’s hard to sort out myth from reality when it comes to so-called ‘medical-aid-in-dying’ (MAID)—also called physician assisted suicide (PAS). By whatever label we attach to it, this practice involves a physician’s prescribing a lethal drug for a patient with a putatively terminal illness who is requesting this “service.” Some form of MAID/PAS is now legal in 5 states and the District of Columbia.

People of good conscience, including many physicians, are sharply divided on the ethics of MAID/PAS. Unfortunately, much of the support for this practice is founded on several myths and misconceptions regarding existing MAID laws and practices. Here are 12 of the most common. …

To read the rest of the article, click on: 12 Myths of Assisted Suicide.

Posted in End of Life Issues, Euthanasia, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Physician Assisted Suicide, Pro-Life | Comments Off on 12 Myths About Assisted Suicide and Medical Aid In Dying

Celebrating that You Can Dismember Your Unborn Child? What’s this World Coming To?

By the looks of this picture you would think these women are celebrating that their favourite sports team is crowned champion. No, sadly, they are rejoicing that they can abort their unborn child. Maybe you saw the headlines on CBC, “Ireland votes overwhelmingly to repeal country’s abortion ban.”

Canada is no better. In fact, the situation for the unborn in Canada is probably worse than that in Ireland because in Canada there are no laws, no bans of any kind, that protect the unborn child. A child can be aborted right until she is delivered.

What has our world come to when many people revel in being able to dismember a living fetus? What has our world come to when we read these headlines and we remain indifferent to the plight of the unborn and to the countless women and men who are struggling with the emotional, physical, and spiritual repercussions of having an abortion?
You are encouraged to inform yourself on the issue of abortion. You are encouraged to get involved in a pregnancy care centre in your community that supports mothers (and fathers) who have chosen to give birth to their child and that provides ministry care for those who struggle with having had an abortion. You are encouraged to pray that laws be enacted to protect the lives of unborn children. You are encouraged to attend the 2018 Lutherans for Life Annual conference that will be held October 12-13 in St. Louis, Missouri. The theme of the conference is: “From Age to Age the Same.” For more information about the Lutherans for Life conference, click on: 2018 LFL Conference. You are encouraged to visit the LFL website to access resources on a number of issues related to life and to share this information with people in your congregation.

Posted in Abortion, Lutherans for Life, Lutherans for Life -- Canada, Pro-Life, Prolife, Roe vs Wade, Unborn child | Comments Off on Celebrating that You Can Dismember Your Unborn Child? What’s this World Coming To?

Dream Small – Josh Wilson

A reminder that people’s lives can be changed by small acts of service — dream small!

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Nicaragua: It’s no longer safe for Lutheran Church — Canada to send mission teams and other representatives to Nicaragua

The following is a message from the Lutheran Church-Canada Committee on Missions & Social Ministry Services:

Dear faithful friends of the Lord’s work in Nicaragua

It is with deep regret that we inform you of a dire circumstance with Iglesia Luterana Sinod de Nicaragua (ILSN) and the Lutheran Church-Canada (LCC) Mission Centre in Chinandega, Nicaragua.

You may already be aware of the social unrest in this nation. Many international NGOs are reporting abuses and the statistics continue to climb in a way that is out of character for the Nicaraguan people.

Late on May 29, Rev President Marvin of ILSN and Mr Robert Jose Zepeda, Director of the Mission Centre, advised LCC that they no longer view it safe for LCC to send mission teams and other representative to Nicaragua, due to the escalating unrest and uncertainty. Their wish was “to suspend any visit to Nicaragua until the situation improves and security is given to visitors.”

Both Global Affairs Canada and the US Department of State are recommending that non-essential travel be avoided due to the unrest.

LCC and its Committee for Missions and Social Ministry Services wishes to keep you informed as the situation develops. We appreciate our partners such as your organization who have for many years helped us to grow with ILSN through God’s grace and abundance. Now we may require assistance in other ways as Rev Marvin may identify in the near future. We ask you to pray for the restoration of peace and remain on stand-by with us as we await God’s guidance, and updates from ILSN.

For more details please contact LCC Rev President Timothy Teuscher at president@lutheranchurch.ca.

Posted in Iglesia Luterana Sínodo de Nicaragua, Lutheran Church -- Canada, Lutheran Church of Nicaragua | Comments Off on Nicaragua: It’s no longer safe for Lutheran Church — Canada to send mission teams and other representatives to Nicaragua

The Global Leadership Summit: August 9-10 or October 18-19, 2018

It’s time to register for the Global Leadership Summit.  Join Simon Sinek, Angela Ahrendts, Craig Groeschel and 11 more world-class speakers for two days of fresh, actionable and inspiring leadership content at a convenient location near you.

You don’t want you to miss this transformational event in your community. With many Premier Host Sites across Canada, chances are that you’ll find a Summit location not far from your home.

Posted in Discipleship, Evangelism, Global Leadership Summit, Leadership | Comments Off on The Global Leadership Summit: August 9-10 or October 18-19, 2018