New partnerships

Here is the latest news from my dear friends the Johnson’s 

Trevor and Teresa Johnson:
Ok, we are still not in Papua at the moment.
I had pneumonia most of January and was even hospitalized 8 days and very sick for about double that amount. The entire month of January was extremely difficult.
The docs say I will die if I returned to Papua right now.
So we will wait until July and attempt to return to the village.
We were granted Malaysian residency. This is HUGE. So we could live here for life if we wanted and this, too, is a needy country. But we still feel the need to return to Papua.
Not everything has been great. The kids have struggled to adjust. I am trying to recover by resting, taking vitamins, and exercising when able, and maintaining a better diet.
I am trying to finish a doctoral dissertation and the rough draft of a book; but have been so mentally exhausted I can barely work. It is like nothing else I have ever experienced.
The ministries in Papua have not shrunk, however, but have, rather, expanded!
We are now supporting more projects than ever before and we are looking for new donors. Being out of the bush and jungle allows for easier coordination from afar.
Below is a good short ministry video for you to watch.

Trevor Johnson Ministries

Send a check to:
Bible Baptist Church
3150 Sutton Blvd
Maplewood, MO 63143
Or send through my paypal at:
You can also give online here: ONLINE GIVING CMC
Thanks, Trevor

Within the next 3 months I am trying to arrange funding to install electricity into the Samuel dorm so the kids can study at night. You can see them trying to study by flashlight, but that is not so great (and gnats gather around your face with the headlamps).

Interior man Ferdinan learns farming and Bible in Malang (Java) and will soon return to teach both to his own tribe. We are supporting these efforts.

—32 dorm students/a teacher in Danowage.

—60-plus students in Fuau who would not otherwise be educated, plus teachers Andika, Nia, Albertina.

—Scholarships/school fees for 15 students.

–Medic Maikel servicing dozens up north.

–About one medivac/hospitalization every month. We’ve helped out 3 in the past 6 weeks.

Plus other efforts.

Perin leads the dorm students in Christmas singing in Danowage. These kids get schooling because of your donations.
Supplies for the kids and teachers/helpers of the Samuel Dorm in Danowage. All because of your donations.

Meiron’s wife survived!
And she is now recovering and Meiron is ready to return to Papua to open a school among the Fayu.
We supported Meiron through school. He married and his wife stayed put on their island after marriage because he could not pay the bride-price. She was expecting and grew critical during her pregnancy (probably eclampsia) and the docs said she was going to die.
We evacuated Meiron from a remote jungle survey he was on three weeks ago and flew him out of Papua to be with her before she died.
We expected the worst.
The docs delivered the baby by c-section and she survived. She began to improve as soon as the baby was delivered.
He was able to see his healthy baby the next day.
She is now recovering and he is ready to return to Papua to open a school at his post among the remote Fayu tribe in the western Mamberamo River region.
Below is a pic of a typical house and the broken-down church building and the children of Foida where he desires to open a school.
His education and transport has all been paid by your generous donations. He needs tickets back to Papua and perhaps a little money for the wife and new child.
Of the two other evangelists first trained by us, Harun died last month and Rudy almost died before we evacuated him to a hospital in town.

The passing of a giant:
Pastor Yohanes Erelak passed away this week.
He was about 74 and spent his life opening up difficult areas in some of the most remote corners of Papua. After almost dying from an illness in middle age, he recommitted himself to opening the Northern Korowai area and lived for long periods of time in a treehouse (months) with inadequate food and without radio communication.
He helped open Danowage village in 2005 and then he and the Korowai landowners invited me in to live there with them in 2007.
We now have baptized believers, a church, a school, a clinic, a dorm, a runway, and young local men heading to higher education.
His life was threatened many times and he’s suffered much hardship to open this northern region.
And he did this all in his 60s! After opening a similar area to the south in his younger days.
I remember sitting for long hours with him in a canoe, my own back and legs being so sore at age 35 or so. And hiking hours with him through swamp. And climbing up into treehouses with him, he slowly ascending the treacherous ladder. He’d be so tired he’d fall asleep mid-sentence when sitting to rest, and yet he’d keep hiking and visiting new treehouses the next day.
He did things such as take chickens and tree saplings and fruit seeds to all the different villages and gave me the idea to do the same to help aid the villages. He sought transformation of the region, and this transformation is now happening.
He has lived in my home. We’ve hiked and camped together. He is a pioneer and a spiritual father to both me and the Northern Korowai.
May his name be remembered fondly forever.
It is a great privilege to have known this man and to have worked with him.
“…they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”
Pastor Yohanes Erelak, pioneer father to the Northern Korowai, was buried today in Merauke. My co-worker Ribka Arung Langi put in a call expressing our condolences to the widow and we are trying to help arrange transport and funds so that the Korowai landowners can go grieve at his grave in Merauke and we will give a love-gift to the widow. Acting pastor of Danowage, Jimmy Weyato, who was recruited by Pastor Erelak, will lead this group to go grieve.

A new project:
I have been given land to build a dorm in town, too:
Last year we built the dorm interior. This helps the younger Korowai kids. This year we need another in town to help the older kids.
Strange as it sounds, children who grew up wearing leaves in the jungle when we entered are now entering high school and college and bible school and updating me via Facebook.
These Korowai young men were mentored by Pastor Nahum and his wife. They are Esau, Musa and Manu. They work In different areas now, evangelist, mechanic, teacher. This year Me and Pastor Nahum and his wife Magdalena will build a house that can be used by 20-plus Korowai and other kids from interior Papua who want to take college and high school in town but who are homeless.
Pastor Nahum is donating the land and a place for the bathroom and garden. I will build the building.
They will be educated with godly character by Magdalena and Pastor Nahum who is a long-time friend who used to chase lizards with me and Noah and who often advise the evangelists Jimmy and Perin. They’ve been long-time friends and supporters of the Northern Korowai efforts.
On the right, Manu is now an evangelist and passed bible school and Musa was baptized by me, but is unfit for ministry but remains useful with his hands and Esau is also very smart.
Please help me gather funds to build this housing unit.

“Dan dahulu hanya 20% anak saja yang bisa membaca, sekarang hanya 20% saja anak yang tidak bisa membaca.”
At first, only 20% of children could read, now only 20% of children cannot read.
—-Teacher Andika (above) reflecting on his 2 years among the Fuau tribe.
Thank you donors.

News updates on the persecuted Church

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

Our Faith in Today’s World

“Lord, forgive our persecutors” say Rohingya Christians brutally attacked in Muslim Rohingya backlash 

One Rohingya Christian is missing and twelve were seriously injured, including several children, in multiple attacks by Rohingya Muslim mobs on the isolated Rohingya Christian community in Cox’s Bazar refugee camp, Bangladesh.

Read full articlebas

“Full scale jihad” unfolds in Nigeria as Fulani kill thirteen Christians amid ceaseless Boko Haram bloodshed

Thirteen young Christian men were killed and nine others injured as they tried to protect their community and stop their cattle from being stolen by raiding Fulani militants on January 11.

Read full article

Fifteen Christians killed after Fulani gunmen open fire in Plateau State, Nigeria

Fifteen Nigerian Christians were killed when Fulani extremist gunmen opened fire in a bar in Kwatas, Plateau State, on Sunday, January 26.

Read full article


Christians flee in terror as Hindu extremists hurl objects at church in India

Christians gathered for a church prayer meeting fled in terror after a mob of Hindu nationalist extremists pelted a church in West Bengal with objects.

Read full article

Indian church leaders raise alarm over Christian girls targeted in Islamist “love jihad”

An announcement from leaders of the largest Christian denomination in Kerala, India, raised serious concerns that young Christian women are being targeted in a “love jihad” campaign and lured into an Islamic State (IS) trap.

Read full article

Christians living near Wuhan in China contact Barnabas calling for worldwide prayer

A Barnabas contact, who has relatives living near Wuhan city, has affirmed the seriousness of the Coronavirus outbreak in China and called on Christians throughout China and worldwide to pray for the situation:

Read full article

Pray for the persecuted Church

We encourage you to pray as you feel led for the people and situations you read about in Christian Newsline. There are many resources available from Barnabas Aid to assist you in your prayers.

If you are receiving Christian Newsline you will also receive Barnabas Prayer Focus, a monthly resource containing news from the persecuted Church together with associated praise and prayer points. You can sign up to receive this by email here.

Our bi-monthly prayer diary, Barnabas Prayer, helps you lift up in prayer the needs of our suffering brothers and sisters each day. A printed copy of the Barnabas Prayer diary is included as an insert in our free bi-monthly Barnabas Aid magazine, which you can sign up to receive here.

The Barnabas Fund Daily Prayer can be viewed on your smart phone or tablet device by visiting our Twitter and/or Facebook pages. The Barnabas Fund Daily Prayer is also available on the PrayerMate app.

Today in Church (U.S.) History

Stanley Tam Gave God the Business


Image result for Stanley Tam
Double Click Picture

When Stanley Tam became a Christian, he meant it. A young man, struggling to make a go of business in the depression, he allowed God to guide his actions. Slowly, he reaped success. Although it was difficult for him, he began to witness about Jesus to his contacts. He even followed God’s leading and had his lawyer draw up legal papers making the Lord his business partner.

That is how the matter stood until January, 1955. In January the Tams visited Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Colombia, observing the work of missionaries sharing their testimony with missionaries and Latin Americans.

While in Medellin, Colombia he spoke to a small crowd. The Holy Spirit’s presence was strong. Although the appeal had not been emotional, many people came forward to pray. But Tam found he could not sit down. “For I came once again into a milestone encounter with God.”

God asked him, “What is the most important thing in all the world to you?” Tam looked down at the altar.

“To see people seek Your face, Lord, as a result of the Holy Spirit’s blessing upon my testimony,” he replied.

“Stanley,” God said, “if a soul is the greatest value in all the world, then what investment can you make that will pay you the greatest dividends a hundred years from now?” Tam was already giving 60% of his income and much of his time. What was God asking him to do? He realized God was asking him to become his employee. “An employee, Lord? Isn’t that what I am now?” he asked.

We’re partners now, Stanley. I want you to turn your entire business am to me.” Stanley was stunned. “I can’t go back to Ohio and turn my business over to you,” he told the Lord. “Isn’t sixty percent enough? Many Christians don’t so much as give you ten percent.”

The Lord reminded him of a verse from the book of Matthew in the Bible. “The Kingdom Today of Heaven is like unto a merchant seeking goodly pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” That decided Tam. On this day, January 15, 1955, he told God that he would turn the entire business over to him. Stanley Tam would no longer even be a stockholder in the company.

As Tam noted, when a man seeks to involve God in the center of his life, he can expect divine encounters. Often they will run counter to our personal interests.

News updates on the persecuted Church

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

Our Faith in Today’s World


Islamic State circulates video of militants beheading, shooting eleven Christian captives in Nigeria

Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) posted unverified video footage on December 26 of its militants beheading ten Christian men and shooting an eleventh dead in north-east Nigeria.

Read full article

Christians and aid workers among ten murdered as militants attack convoy in Nigeria

At least ten people were killed and two women taken captive when Islamist militants targeted Christians and those working for international aid organizations, travelling in a convoy in north-east Nigeria on December 22.

Read full article

Extremists shoot dead two pastors after Christmas Day service in Central African Republic

Two pastors were shot dead by Muslim militants as they travelled together by car after a Christmas service on December 25 in the Central African Republic.

Read full article

China’s draconian new rules for religious groups insist they “spread Communist Party principles”

Christians, banned by authorities in some regions of China from celebrating Christmas last month, are bracing themselves for the introduction in February of stringent new regulations that will put almost every aspect of religious life under the control of the Communist Party.

Read full article

Prayers answered as more than 50 churches allowed to reopen in Myanmar’s Shan State

The United Wa State Army (UWSA) in control of the Wa Special Region in Myanmar (Burma), bordering China’s Yunnan province, has allowed at least 50 churches to reopen.

Read full article

More news and information

Pray for the persecuted Church

We encourage you to pray as you feel led for the people and situations you read about in Christian Newsline. There are many resources available from Barnabas Aid to assist you in your prayers.

If you are receiving Christian Newsline you will also receive Barnabas Prayer Focus, a monthly resource containing news from the persecuted Church together with associated praise and prayer points. You can sign up to receive this by email here.

Our bi-monthly prayer diary, Barnabas Prayer, helps you lift up in prayer the needs of our suffering brothers and sisters each day. A printed copy of the Barnabas Prayer diary is included as an insert in our free bi-monthly Barnabas Aid magazine, which you can sign up to receive here.

The Barnabas Fund Daily Prayer can be viewed on your smart phone or tablet device by visiting our Twitter and/or Facebook pages. The Barnabas Fund Daily Prayer is also available on the PrayerMate app.

Mission Trip Updated

Image result for Psalm 11:5

Jehová prueba al justo; Pero al malo y al que ama la violencia, su alma los aborrece. (RVR 1960)

For the next week I will not be posting MY DAILY DEVOTIONAL as I will be on a mission trip in the Tupelo MS area helping Anchor Church and Eight Days of Hope build out a safe haven for Sexually Abused women. “The Garden” will eventually become a full blown home ranch style structure just outside of Tupelo on land they own. For now the shelter will be on an upper floor of the church.

I will try and post some pictures on our Faith Builders Facebook page during the week and a recap next week. May your week be fruitful and blessed.

Related Article:
Fox News

Thank God for You

Image result for 2 Thessalonians 2:13 Give Thanks

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits[a] to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 (ESV)

Pero nosotros debemos dar siempre gracias a Dios respecto a vosotros, hermanos amados por el Señor, de que Dios os haya escogido desde el principio para salvación, mediante la santificación por el Espíritu y la fe en la verdad, 14 a lo cual os llamó mediante nuestro evangelio, para alcanzar la gloria de nuestro Señor Jesucristo. (RVR1960)

I do not wish to unfold the whole of these verses only to focus today on one specific part give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord; siempre gracias a Dios respecto a vosotros, hermanos amados por el Señor. 

Some context Paul has just finished explaining to the church at Thessalonica (vs.1-12) that the Antichrist will someday rise and general apostasy will be rampart. He then emphasizes the need to stand fast beginning in our text verses.

These verses are as relevant today as they were some 2000+ years ago. Paul starts out be saying when we here of oppression of fellow saints, when we know of those out there in the trenches daily doing the work of the Lord, give thanks to God for you (them). In other words we ought to be about praying for those on the front  lines of the battle daily. 

I hope and y’all don’t need to ask what battle; but just in case we have some new born believers reading today’s message, the spiritual battle rages in these and many other areas and we need to pray:

    • Those fighting the Pro-Life fight
    • Those serving as missionaries, church planters, bible translators, medical aid,  (foreign and domestic)
    • Those who service requires them to be road-warriors (RV ministries, Motorcycle Ministries, Disaster Relief Ministries, Etc) 
    • Our Military Chaplains (who are more and more being attacked for proclaiming the name of Jesus)
    • Christian leaders in government (who are looked upon as silly, out of touch etc.)

I am sure with little effort you can add to this list.


Today in Church History

Robert Jaffray Died in a Dirty Japanese Prison

Robert Jaffray Died in a Dirty Japanese Prison

In 1938, when friends urged Robert A. Jaffray to stay in his Canadian homeland, which he was visiting, he refused. Yes, he sensed that war was imminent in the Pacific. But he meant to die in Asia, in the East Indies, because that is where his heart was.

Robert was the heir of the owner of the Toronto Globe. He himself became a successful insurance salesman. After he became a Christian at age 16, Robert began to feel God’s call to foreign missions. He spoke to his father, who demanded that he give up the impractical idea. Robert had heart problems and diabetes. What could he be thinking about? The older Jaffray was willing to allow his son to become a leader in the Canadian Presbyterian church, but when Robert insisted on enrolling in A. B. Simpson’s New York mission school, his father flatly declared that Robert would not have a penny of help.

Robert worked his way through school. Then he went to China. For 50 years, he served as a missionary in Southeast Asia, studying maps, praying constantly, and working non-stop to extend God’s kingdom into regions where the Gospel had never been heard.

In order to take the strain off his heart, he had a desk made that he could pull over his bed rather like a hospital tray. He usually rose at four in the morning to begin the work.

Wherever Robert and his co-workers won souls, he insisted that a church be formed to hold the new converts together. He also insisted that those churches be given self-responsibility and organized to run themselves. The results were similar to those described in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles, with great growth and much persecution. As soon as possible, Robert planted Bible schools to train the new Christians, and printed material to support their Christian endeavor.

Robert’s work was hard and dangerous. Once he and other missionaries were captured by Chinese bandits. The bandits demanded money to let them pass. Made bold by Christ, Robert demanded their support instead. Christian missionaries were funded by others to carry God’s word, he explained. The missionaries were forced to march into the hills. But the bandits respected Robert. He wondered if his heart would endure the strain, which left even the rugged bandits exhausted, but his health actually improved. He spoke many times to the robbers about Christ, and the hardened men and women actually wept. Finally they sent him to fetch a ransom.

Later, Robert and his associates were used by God to open a major work in Indochina, where they witnessed thousands of conversions and powerful miracles. Late in Robert’s life, God impressed him that he must open a mission field in the West Indies. This flourished despite the Great Depression. Because workers were scarce, Robert began to use Chinese missionaries.

The Japanese captured Robert while he was there. For a year they housed him in a camp with his wife and daughter, but then moved him to a men’s camp whose buildings once housed pigs. The men suffered dysentery. Shortly before his death, Robert was transferred to an even worse camp. He died on this day, July 29, 1945. The missionary beside him said later, “One of the great blessings of my life was the privilege I had of being interned with Dr. Jaffray on the island Celebes. I learned to love him as a great man of vision and faith.”


One Man’s Fall is Another Man’s Warning


It is so easy to judge others, but to learn from them well that shows the maturity of a person. Excellent advise from David. – Mike

It happens a lot. An evangelical Christian pastor disqualifies himself from ministry. As a young minister myself, I have been long warned and told of the temptations and sins that are unique to pastors. But there’s a difference between hearing about someone else’s fall and seeing it actually happen to them. I try not to celebrate when others lose. For me, there’s always an eerie feeling associated with someone’s downfall.

What do you do when you hear the story of a Christian leader who disqualifies himself from ministry? Do you judge, critique, or assume motives? “Stupid failure,” you might think to yourself. Don’t say it. Instead, when you hear of a Christian leader who disqualifies himself from ministry, consider yourself warned…

Continued at Source: One Man’s Fall is Another Man’s Warning

Is the Social Gospel the Whole Gospel?

Another in the Frequently Abused Verses Series 

by Cameron Buettel /  Monday, July 22, 2019

In the lead-up to the Truth Matters conference in October, we will be focusing our attention on the sufficiency, authority, and clarity of Scripture. Of our previous blog series, none better embodies that emphasis than Frequently Abused VersesThe following entry from that series originally appeared on October 7, 2015. -ed. (For other articles in this series just type Frequently Abused Verses into the search bar on the right). 

Is the Social Gospel the Whole Gospel?

You wouldn’t tell your children, “Bathe regularly; if necessary, use water.”

Nor would you advise a friend, “Be a faithful husband; if necessary, love your wife.”

Those redundant instructions defy logic. They also beg the question about what other means you would employ to accomplish those goals. You might as well tell someone, “Stay alive; if necessary, breath oxygen.”

And yet many Christians rally around a similarly illogical statement when it comes to evangelism. “Preach the gospel; if necessary, use words,” is a mantra that is a darling of social gospel activists. That quote, wrongly attributed to Francis of Assisi, is wielded when it’s time to poke zealous evangelists in the eye, or rebrand social work as a form of evangelism. Social gospel advocates like Rick Warren [1] and Jim Wallis [2] love to use it.

And let’s face it, there is a winsome ring of truth to the idea that my lifestyle can be a testimony of God’s saving work. Moreover, there is a built-in rebuke of evangelists who fail to walk their talk. Their hypocrisy—faith without works—is a reproach on God, His Word, and His people (James 2:14–17). But it’s absurd to turn that hypocrisy into an argument for the primacy of good works apart from the clear proclamation of the gospel.

The Necessity of Words

Paul never said, “How will they see without a preacher?” He said, “How will they hear without a preacher” (Romans 10:14). That is because every time the word “preach” appears in the New Testament it refers to vigorous verbal proclamation. It is verbal in its testimony of the works of a Savior who fulfilled the law that we have continually broken (Matthew 5:17–18; Romans 3:23), suffered the punishment that we could never bear (Isaiah 53:4–6; 1 Peter 2:24), and defeated the grave (2 Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:14).

And because Christ’s people depend entirely upon His unique work done on their behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21), there is no way to fully demonstrate it through actions alone. As Voddie Baucham points out: “For me to think that I can live the gospel is to put myself in the place of Christ.” [3]

So where does that leave works of social justice such as feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, and caring for the oppressed? No one would argue that they are bad things to do. Indeed James defines them as integral to pure religion (James 1:27). But do those acts of mercy have any role to play in a person’s salvation?

Advocates of the social gospel argue yes, and appeal to Matthew 25 as their apex argument:

Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.” Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?” The King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”

Then He will also say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.” Then they themselves also will answer, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?” Then He will answer them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matthew 25:34–46)
Was Jesus saying that our eternal destinies hinge on feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, clothing the naked, and visiting the oppressed? And how would that square with salvation by grace through faith apart from works (Ephesians 2:8-9)?

The Whole [Other] Gospel

Tony Campolo is one of the most prominent advocates for the social gospel. His handling of Matthew 25 typifies the wider movement. While not explicitly denying the gospel of grace alone, he argues that it is our treatment of the poor and oppressed that will determine our eternity:

I place my highest priority on the words of Jesus, emphasizing the 25th chapter of Matthew, where Jesus makes clear that on Judgment Day the defining question will be how each of us responded to those he calls “the least of these.” [4]
The recently closed Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE), of which Campolo was founder and president, clearly defines who he thinks “the least of these” are:

That Jesus was homeless and taught that we may encounter Him in “the least of these”—the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, widow, stranger and imprisoned (Matthew 25:35-40), is the basis of what Tony calls the Whole Gospel and informs EAPE’s holistic ministry.  And it raises questions for the Church and every Christian: what should be our response to the homeless and to “the least of these”? [5]
Note Campolo’s use of the term “Whole Gospel.” He is implying that proclamation of the good news is only a partial gospel and must be accompanied by social action in order to become a complete or “whole” gospel. But his imbalanced emphasis betrays his mishandling of Matthew 25:35–40.

The Bible repeatedly teaches that good works are ultimately God’s works because they are the natural fruit of salvation; never the cause (cf. Ezekiel 36:25-27; James 2:14–17). And in Matthew 25you don’t see judgment based on works, you see works revealing who is truly saved by faith. John MacArthur is emphatic on this point:

The good deeds commended in Matthew 25:35–36 are the fruit, not the root, of salvation. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that they are not the basis of entrance into the kingdom. Christ will judge according to works only insofar as those works are or are not a manifestation of redemption, which the heavenly Father has foreordained. If a person has not trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, no amount of seemingly good works done in His name will avail to any spiritual benefit. [6]
Who’s Who Among the Judged

Another critical issue in understanding Matthew 25 is to recognize that the division Christ makes is not between the church and the pagan world, but between true and false Christians. While the pagan lives in open unbelief, the false Christian is an impostor who has blended in among God’s people. False Christians are the recipients of Christ’s most terrifying judgment:

So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:20–23)
Matthew 25:34-46 makes a similar division between those who have genuine faith and those whose faith is false, according to the evidence of their works. Note carefully that both groups of people think they are Christians because they address Jesus as “Lord” (Matthew 25:37, 44). Both groups are also surprised by the verdict. The surprise reveals humility among Christ’s people (“when did we,” Matthew 25:37–39) and self-righteousness among those who are faking it (“when did we . . . not,” Matthew 25:44).

Who’s Who Among the Lowly

Finally, the beneficiaries of these good works are not the disenfranchised people of the world, as Campolo suggests. The word “brothers” (Matthew 25:40) is vital to understanding where our benevolence is to be directed. Jesus is saying that the fruit of genuine faith is evidenced in the way we care for fellow believers who are suffering (cf. John 13:35; 1 John 3:10–11). MacArthur brings this point home:

The King’s addressing these people as brothers of Mine gives still further evidence that they are already children of God. . . . Because of their identity with Christ, they will often be hungry, thirsty, without decent shelter or clothing, sick, imprisoned, and alienated from the mainstream of society. [7]

This is not to deny any duty we have to love the disenfranchised people of the world. But if proponents of the social gospel were serious about Scripture, they would target passages that refer to loving our neighbors—even loving our enemies (Matthew 22:39; 5:44). Christ’s words in Matthew 25 have nothing to do with the social justice they advocate.

Matthew 25:34­–46 was never written as a blueprint for salvation through social work nor should it be employed as such. It’s not an argument for preaching the gospel through our actions alone, but rather that our actions authenticate the gospel we preach. And those actions must be prioritized towards our suffering fellow believers. So please, care for other believers because Jesus commanded us to. Realize that a lack of care may point to a lack of saving faith. And preach the gospel with words because they’re always necessary.



Good Works

We have all heard a multitude of sermons on 2 Timothy 3:16, scripture in it’s entirety was put to paper by human authors using their individual styles (one can see the difference between Paul and John or Luke’s writing) but the ultimate author was God himself.

Today however let us look at verse 17, rendered in the KJV as That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.I want us to consider what Paul (God) is saying here for a moment. It is really quite simple:

1.  Do you want to be a “Complete (perfect) man of God? That is a mature man, ready to be a husband, father provider then Know Scripture. I have a few big regrets in life on the top of that list is the fact I wasn’t a Christian when my kids were young, I didn’t raise them in a Christian home, I didn’t Know Scripture.

2.  Do you want to be a man “Equipped to do Good Works”, we are speaking specifically of kingdom works here but it applies to all works, then Know Scripture. I cannot think of a more wasteful resource than sending an untrained person out into the “world” to plant a church or into the foreign mission field. Yet many who go today are just that barely trained in the Knowing Scripture.

God’s infallible Word should be the basis for all we do. It is foundation upon which we build our lives.