Monday, February 2, 2009
The conference was awesome! It was held last week from Thursday to Saturday at the Baptist Church of the Savior in Barranco. Preachers from different parts of the world (Dominican Republic, USA, Argentina, Peru, and Cuba) attended and expounded on themes relating to the biblical Gospel--what it is, how we should preach it, the problem with modern evangelism methods, etc. And of course, brother Paul Washer was there. Most of what they taught I had already learned, but there were specific things that the Lord pointed out to me and convicted me of. Through the preachers He reminded me of some things that I always need to keep in mind. Namely:
-That we need to examine ourselves and make sure that our MOTIVES for preaching the Gospel are correct. We should not preach out of contention or vainglory (to promote ourselves) but out of a sincere desire for the glory of God and to see precious souls saved. The love of Christ should compells us (2 Cor.5:14). We should desire that through the Spirit, Christ's love might be demonstrated through us, helping us love the very people we're preaching to.
-The importance of the doctrine of Regeneration. Salvation is NOT a person's decision to follow Christ, it is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in a person's life. We can't expect a dead person to resurrect himself. A miracle would need to take place in order for a deceased man to receive life again. And so it is with salvation, for those without Christ are dead in their sins. Thus we need to be VERY, VERY careful when we handle precious souls, we don't want to give anyone false assurance that they are saved when they are not. Just because someone makes a profession of faith in Christ, even with tears, doesn't necessarily mean they are really saved. We are not to be superficial in our evangelism, calling sinners to come forward to an altar and "make a decision" or repeat an unbiblical "sinner's prayer," and then send them on down to their homes assuring them that if they were sincere God saved them. We don't have the authority to tell people they are saved, we only have the authority to tell people how to be saved. God tells them they are saved (Rom.8:16). And salvation won't just take "a few minutes"--it will take your life! If a person who is genuinely concerned for the state of their soul comes to us for counsel, we are to stay with them the whole day, if need be, explaining to them the way of salvation and, if prompted by the Holy Spirit, abide with them until they come to a true and real experience of regeneration. The salvation of one single soul is more important than whatever plans we may have. And if a person has really been saved, no one will have to tell them what just happened, i.e., "Congratulations, you have just been born again!"--no, they will KNOW that a change has taken place. You can't go from darkness to light, death to life, bondage to freedom, defeat to victory, and not know it.
...Ok, I'm preaching now. Well anyway, those are some of the things God showed me.
Each day after the conference we would hit the streets to preach the Gospel. On Thursday and Friday we went to Kennedy Park and on Saturday we went to a park in Barranco. We did a lot of open air preaching and one-to-one witnessing.
People from all over Latin America and Peru (including pastors) were able to attend the conference, and I could tell many were impacted. I pray they take these biblical teachings and apply them in their home churches and cities. And most of all, that their hearts BURN for the Lord, to see Him glorified and to take the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the lost!
Oh, and by the way, if you speak Spanish here is the website of the Baptist Church in Barranco and the Evangelism ministry they have, "En Los Pasos del Maestro":