ABSA Currie Cup Final 2010

                  VS.                 

ABSA Currie Cup Final 2010 – This year’s Currie Cup Final will be contested between table-topping The Sharks from KwaZulu-Natal with home ground advantage and the log runners-up Western Province, who travel up from Cape Town. The Sharks are expecting a sell-out crowd of 54000 (the stadium seats 52000 spectators, while 2000 scholars will be accommodated on benches behind both posts).

The Ministry outreach intend : One-2-One Witnessing, Gospel Tracts Distribution, Public Reading of Scripture and Open-air Preaching. If there are evangelists in the surrounding area hoping to evangelise at this event please contact Gary Crous on 072 221 1233.

Place: ABSA Stadium (King’s Park), Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

Date: Saturday October 30, 2010

Time: 15H00 – 17H30 (Kick-off)

Contact: Gary Crous on 072 221 1233 – Leaving Pietermaritzburg 13H30. Meet outside the South Stand Main Entrance in Walter Gilbert Road (see stadium diagram below) between 14H30 and 15H00, Lord willing.

Map: For directions to the stadium view at ABSA Stadium, Durban

A False Hope for the Muslim

On the night of October 19th I was reading Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards, and at pages 139 to 141, under the chapter titled God, the Best Portion of the Christian, I read, quote:

1. A godly man prefers God before anything else in heaven. First, the godly prefer God before anything else that is actually in heaven. Every godly man has his heart set on heaven. His affections are mainly set on what it will be like there. Heaven is his “true” country and inheritance. He has the same respect of heaven as a traveler in a distant land has to his home country. The traveler can be content to be in a strange land for a while, but he knows his own native land is his true home and he misses it. Hebrews 11:13, etc. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things, declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly.”

The respect that a godly person has to heaven can be compared to the respect that a child, when he is abroad, has to his father’s house. He can be contented abroad for a short time; but ultimately he wants to go “home.” Heaven is the true saint’s Father’s house: John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” John 20:17, “I ascend to my Father and your Father.”

Now, the main reason that the godly man has his heart set on heaven is that God is there. It is the dwelling place of his Lord. It is the place where God is gloriously present, where His love is gloriously manifested, where the godly will ultimately be with Him.

He will ultimately get to see God as He really is. He will get to love, serve, praise, and enjoy Him perfectly and forever. If God and Jesus Christ were not in heaven, he would not earnestly long for it. Nor would he take so much trouble in a laborious travel through the wilderness. Can the mere consideration that he is going to heaven when he dies, comfort a man under intense toil and affliction? The martyrs would never have undergone cruel sufferings from their persecutors with a cheerful prospect of going to heaven. They did it because of the expectation of being with Christ. They would not have forsaken all their earthly possessions, their earthly friends, as many thousands of them have done wandering about in poverty and banishment, being destitute, afflicted, tormented, in hopes of exchanging their earthly for a heavenly inheritance, were it not that they hope to be with their glorious Redeemer and heavenly Father.

The believer’s heart is in heaven, because his treasure is there. Christ is the believer’s treasure.

Second, a godly man prefers God above all else, including anything that might be in heaven. Not only is there nothing actually in heaven which is to be worshipped and longed for, but neither is there anything that can be a possibility to be there which can be desired equally with God.

Some men dream of enjoyments to be in heaven quite different from those actually taught in the Scriptures. The Muslims, for example, suppose that the delights in heaven will be all kinds of sensual and sexual pleasures. Mohammed has deceived them to think that the lusts and carnal appetites of men are the most to be desired. He flattered his followers with this notion.

But the true saint could not dream of anything more agreeable to his desires than what is revealed in the Word of God. Heaven is enjoying the glorious God and the Lord Jesus Christ!

There he shall have all sin taken away, and be perfectly conformed to the image of Christ. He shall spend an eternity in exalted expressions of love to Him, and in the enjoyment of His love. If God was not to be enjoyed in heaven, but only vast wealth, immense treasures of silver, and gold, then heaven could be obtained on earth! A man could have all of these things plus an abundance of the greatest sensual delights and pleasures. These will never make up for the need of God and Christ, and the enjoyment of Them in heaven.

If heaven was void of God, it would indeed be an empty, melancholy place.

The godly have been made sensible to the fact that creature-enjoyments cannot satisfy the soul. Nothing can truly content them but God Himself. Offer a true saint anything you want, but if you deny him God, he will be miserable. God is the center of his desires; and as long as you keep his soul from its proper center, it will not rest. (End-quote, emphasis added in the original text)

When reading this the thought dawned upon me: If Muslim men are promised seventy-two virgins (houri) in heaven for their hand in jihad, which incidentally is a violation of God’s Sixth (murder) and Seventh (adultery) Commandments, then what are Muslim women offered – seventy-two virgin men? Or are they excluded from receiving a reward? This would be separatism. But it would appear that all Muslims would be rewarded. If they, the women, also receive the reward, this would be whoredom – but are they also to receive virgin maidens as there would appear to be no description for the “virgin males.” This would be promiscuity – fornication!!!

So why would there be a reward to appeal to the sensual appetites of a man if they were not to have the virgins for anything other than sexual pleasure? Consider this for a moment – if a Muslim is to receive seventy-two virgins (houri), in accordance with the “holy” writings of the Hadiths, this would imply that sexual acts would then take place with them in paradise (heaven). If this is the case, and heaven is God’s throne room, what the Muslim faith would then imply is that it is alright to have sexual intercourse in the presence of Almighty God and that God would allow this fornication. How else would you then reconcile the necessity to receive virgins to be your possession when you should be worshipping God in His presence. For this would no doubt be fornication. What an abomination!!! The Bible states that no fornicator will inherit the kingdom of God (See 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 etc).

Jesus answered a question put to Him by the Sadducees regarding the Resurrection, and this is what He says in God’s Word recorded in Luke 20:27-40 (King James Version):

27 Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,
28 Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
29 There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.
30 And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.
31 And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died.
32 Last of all the woman died also.
33 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.
34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.

39 Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said.
40 And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.

Since the Lord Jesus Christ said there would be no marriage in heaven why would the Muslim faith hold to a promise of receiving a reward of virgins when they cannot marry them. What purpose would they serve him other than to satisfy his sensual and sexual pleasures. And we will see that this is the very reason, as you will see from some Islam scholars hereunder, and I do forewarn sensitive readers about the content. Here is quotes that appears at the WikiIslam page 72 Virgins, which reads as folows:

In Islam, the concept of 72 virgins (houri) refers to an aspect of paradise. In the Sunan al-Tirmidhi by Imam at-Tirmidhi, it states:

“It was mentioned by Daraj Ibn Abi Hatim, that Abu al-Haytham ‘Adullah Ibn Wahb narrated from Abu Sa’id al-Khudhri, who heard the Prophet Muhammad PBUH saying, ‘The smallest reward for the people of Heaven is an abode where there are eighty thousand servants and seventy-two houri, over which stands a dome decorated with pearls, aquamarine and ruby, as wide as the distance from al-Jabiyyah to San’a.”[1] Sunan al-Tirmidhi Vol. IV, Chapters on “The Features of Heaven as described by the Messenger of Allah”, ch. 21 “About the Smallest Reward for the People of Heaven”, hadith 2687

This concept is also quoted by Ibn Kathir, in his Qur’anic Commentary of Qur’an 55:72 in the Tafsir ibn Kathir. Orthodox Muslim theologians such as al Ghazali (died 1111 CE) and Al-Ash’ari (died 935 CE) have “admitted sensual pleasures into paradise”. The sensual pleasures are graphically elaborated by Al-Suyuti (died 1505 ), Koranic commentator and polymath. He wrote:

“Each time we sleep with a Houri we find her virgin. Besides, the penis of the Elected never softens. The erection is eternal; the sensation that you feel each time you make love is utterly delicious and out of this world and were you to experience it in this world you would faint. Each chosen one [i.e. Muslim] will marry seventy [sic] houris, besides the women he married on earth, and all will have appetizing vaginas.” Al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Qur’an, p. 351

The descriptions you have read are nothing short of pornographic in nature and I believe this is an abomination in the sight of Almighty God – The Blessed Lord Jesus Christ. The only hope for followers of Islam is to repent and believe the True Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is your only HOPE (please view the videos to see the Truth).

____________________________

1. How Many Wives Will The Believers Have In Paradise? – Questions answered by Islamic scholar Gibril Haddad

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Click photograph to listen to the audio

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=770213541

This is a new book added to my library.

“Whatever effort people make to be religious or to pray, until they believe in Christ, God is under no obligation to keep them for a moment from eternal destruction.”

8 Reader Benefits –

  • Audio excerpts download
  • Color Timeline
  • Detailed index
  • Author biography
  • Illustrations
  • A thorough study guide
  • Sensitively revised in modern English
  • One of an expanding collection

Upon reading his sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) would observe people weeping, crying, falling down in repentance, and crying out to God for forgiveness. Pastor of First Church of Northampton, Massachusetts, Edwards was a leader in the First Great Awakening with George Whitefield. Being dismissed from his pulpit, Edwards became a missionary and later president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton University).

These classic messages of Jonathan Edwards include:

  • The Final Judgment
  • Justification by Faith (2 sermons)
  • Jesus Christ, the Same Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • God, the Best Portion of the Christian
  • The Preciousness of Time and the Importance of Redeeming It
  • The Excellency of Christ
  • Christians – a Chosen Generation; a Peculiar People; a Royal Priesthood; a Holy Nation

For more than two centuries, Jonathan Edwards’ messages have brought conversion, hope, and spiritual awakening to the generations.

Distortion

I received the following e-mail from a Brother in Christ …

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Thought you may find this short essay of some value as it does explicitly reveal the true state of Western Christianity, in general, of which, we in South Africa, are usually considered to be associated with … Peter.

DISTORTION

“Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth…” ~ Acts 20:30

I’m writing with a heavy heart today, as I’m overwhelmed by the massive distortions of truth perpetuated by men who call themselves believers in Christ. Just visiting the blog world–the writings of the people central to all the so-called “Christian industries” such as publishing, and music, and the arts, education, and ministry–is a journey into the chaos of self-promotion.

This is not Christ. This smorgasbord of self-focus is not Christ. The name of Christ is not mentioned, except in passing, like a reference on a resume.

Of course I serve Christ, so I do this, or that, and look at me, and at my fine, wonderful life of achievements. Of course I serve Christ, but look at me and my family, and my latest book, or CD, or degree, or conference speaking schedule. Of course I serve Jesus, that’s why I’m so successful, and have a big following on all the social media sites, and why my book is being published, and I have a speaking tour set up. Of course I am a Christian, and that’s why my blog has a community of thousands, and my every word is commented on by hundreds of people a day. Of course my life is an example, because so many people say nice things about me, and buy my stuff.

ME, ME, ME, I, I, I, MINE, MINE, MINE!

How lonely and ignored the Lord Jesus is today among our affluent, modern, fantabulous Christians! In reading this drivel I’m driven by the Holy Spirit to remember and read in Scripture about my Lord’s ministry–how humble it was, and how He never exalted Himself. I think of Paul and the other apostles–outcasts and hated by the world, persecuted and hunted down, opposed even by many in the religious world. Rioted over in the marketplace, lowered down city walls to escape mobs, protected from religious zealots by the pagan Roman armies, shipwrecked, beaten, hungry, cold, without permanent homes, and all because of their love for Christ and their refusal to compromise with the world.

No such life for the modern, fantabulous Christian. Why should we live in such a Way? Why should we not live lusciously delicious lives, full of success, full of ourselves? After all, we’ve earned it! How talented we are, and how brilliant! We have become all we need, and to boot, we have Christ and the church! The Christian mob throws its uncritical approval upon us, and garlands of praise, and so stamps us with glory!

The Lord God stands aside for this procession. He is not the subject of all this self-adoration. He does not participate. His Word stands today as it always has, and we either humble ourselves, giving all, dying to self, following Jesus, or we will be left out on the Day coming, when God’s true ekklesia, His scattered, suffering, persecuted, loved, cherished, faithful remnant, will be gathered from the four winds to His arms.

Other great processions, self-congratulatory parades of so-called ‘Christian’ religiosity, have marched across the globe at various times in history. Where are they now? Dead and buried and forgotten. Like all man’s endeavors, they pass away like the grass. But the Word of God stands forever, and His Truth will always be, and only those who obey the Lord Jesus and follow Him on the nearly forgotten Narrow Road will be there with Him when He returns.

Many across the globe have not bowed their knee to the modern, affluent, fantabulous Baal. Thousands have continued to stand, uncompromised, unbowed, silent before those who ignore them, or accuse them, as our Lord Jesus was silent before the religious Jews and Pilate.

What will you do when you find out that your celebrity, your achievements in the ‘Christian world’, your fine plaques and trophies, your long resume, your leadership, your popularity, your self-accomplishments, all mean nothing to Christ? What will you do when He asks you who you are? If you can’t answer ‘I am nothing–my life has been You, and You alone, dear Friend’–then He will have to throw away your press releases, and your framed photos of you and your adoring fans and say, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.”

Is all this temporary partying worth that?

New “Way of the Master” Evangelist Graduates

For the past six weeks Brother Mark has been conducting The Way of the Master Basic Training Course at the Hayfields Baptist Church in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. I assisted Mark in the training of the following “students”: David Gooden, Glynnis Prinsloo, Cathy Hutton, Kathy Newman, Brenda Randal, Frances Hanson, Thulani and Zanele Mkhize, Angel Mangena and Peter Clover.

On Saturday, October 2nd, we completed the course’s “practical day-out” fishing for souls in Church Street, Pietermaritzburg, which was a truly blessed day of the Lord. The “nervous” newbies swallowed their “fear” and went to the fish with a mission and they were out there to Glorify God in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Glynnis Prinsloo and Peter Clover fishing in Church Street

Manny (Roman Catholic), Edwin (Roman Catholic), and Michael (Full Gospel Christian) are from Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal and received the Gospel of Christ in Church Street, Pietermaritzburg. Please pray for them.

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At the evening service at the Hayfields Baptist Church on Sunday October 3, 2010, this is the message shared by me.

What is the Chief End of Man?

Good evening Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I greet you all in the wonderful and precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I thank our Father, Almighty God for the privilege to share a word with you this evening.

My name is Gary Crous and I have been assisting Brother Mark over the past six weeks with an evangelism course that has been taking place here at the Hayfields Baptist Church. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be able to be a servant of our Great God Jesus Christ in helping Brothers and Sisters in Christ to see the biblical mandate of the Great Commission that our Lord has given each one of us to fulfill for His glory and furtherance of His Kingdom.

As with any message that is brought, or any word of encouragement spoken, or any witnessing encounter undertaken – be it one-to-one or open-air preaching – in the fulfilling of the Great Commission, our first and foremost responsibility is to do it in spirit and truth to the glory of God our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the awesome power of the Holy Spirit.

I am sure most of you have heard of the Westminster Catechism or The Shorter Catechism which was penned by godly men in 1674. The chief aim was to pen the biblical doctrines of Truth where questions are asked and answers given. There are 107 Q & A items – for tonight I will ask the first question and pray God the Holy Spirit will minister from there.

Question – What is the chief end of man? (Anyone want to answer this question? And Jack Donnell got it spot on). The answer is: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever.

That is the chief end for each one of us. The Scripture I will read now is from Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 ~

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

A short history will follow to put this message in perspective. The Book of Ecclesiastes gets its name from the Greek translation of the Septuagint – the term ekklēsiastēs which means “preacher”, derived from the word ekklĕsia, translated “assembly” or “congregation” in the New Testament. Both the Greek and Latin versions derive their titles from the Hebrew title, Qoheleth, which means “one who calls or gathers” the people. We also know that the author of Ecclesiastes is King David’s son Solomon and Scripture tells us more about him in 1 Kings 3:7-12 ~

And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people which you have chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore your servant an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this great people of yours? And the speech pleased the LORD that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said to him, Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long life: neither have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies; but have asked for yourself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to your words: lo, I have given you a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like you before you, neither after you shall any arise like to you.

Solomon was truly a wise man and we know that God’s Word says: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; and in Psalm 19:9 ~ The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

So we come back to that first question. What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever. We know from Scripture that all are born spiritually dead – enemies of God, separated from Him – so how would a man’s chief end be to glorify God when he is an enemy of God by his evil and wicked works? Before we were regenerated in our spirit, before we came to an understanding of who God is, before we called upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to save us, the Word of God says we were slaves to sin. We were unrighteous in everything we thought, said or did. There was nothing good in us. In Jeremiah 17:9 the prophet tells us: The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jesus also tells us in His Living Word in Matthew 13:34 ~

O generation of vipers, how can you being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you, That every idle word that man shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

If there was no good in our hearts, and Scripture also goes on and says in Romans that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; then how did we come to know our chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy Him for ever? Was it not through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ? Was it not someday when God showed you mercy and grace and opened your hard heart to receive the Truth? Was it through prayer and the spoken or printed Word of the Gospel? Yes, my friends, and now we know our chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy Him for ever.

As a child of God called into His Kingdom we now know the will of God and have the Ministry of Reconciliation that God the Father has given us. 2 Corinthians 5:19-21 reads ~

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be reconciled to God. For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Think for a moment – reflect on this. If God has been merciful to me and has turned my evil hard heart into a fleshy heart able to love – not because we loved God, but because God loved us first – and if I will glorify God and enjoy Him forever, should I not be reaching out to the lost who are still slaves to sin? The love of God – the agape love should compel each one of us to GO into our Jerusalem, our Judea, our Samaria, and unto the ends of the world (see Acts 1:8). Jesus has given us a command in Mark 16:15 ~

Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

In Matthew 28:19,20, Jesus said ~

Go therefore, and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.

You see this brings glory to God when we obey His commands. I believe we should all be asking God for wisdom and understanding just as Solomon asked. And the Lord raises up some to be teachers, pastors and evangelists. They are there to equip and teach from the Word of God how to GO and reach those perishing in their sins – that is how the Kingdom of God will be advanced. It is each and every born again child of God’s responsibility to evangelise the lost. 1 Peter 3:15 reads ~

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

Jesus also said in Luke 9:23 ~

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

In that verse is three questions you should ask yourself –

  1. Am I denying myself?
  2. Am I taking up my cross daily? and
  3. Am I following Jesus Christ?

If we are, we can know our God Jesus Christ will be with us:

He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me; and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. ~ John 14:21

To understand what it means to follow Christ, which is truly leaving everything, listen to a conversation between the apostle Peter and the Lord Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of Mark 10: 28-30 ~

Then Peter began to say to him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed you. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say to you, there is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s. But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

Now is the time, like no other, as we see this evil and wicked generation wanting to stop the preaching of Truth, that we are to be equipped biblically to preach the Gospel of Christ. If we are doing it biblically we can expect persecution – Jesus tells us we will experience trials, tribulations and persecutions. Ask our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Pakistan, India, China, Vietnam, North Africa, the Middle East, and the list goes on. The persecuted Church means death to Christians living in the 10/40 window. It is coming to a neighbourhood near you! Preach the Gospel of Christ while we still enjoy the freedom in these lands. It will either be: preach and die or non-preach and deny.

The apostle Paul said:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. ~ Romans 1:16,17

And Paul also says in 1 Corinthians 9:16 ~

For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is to me, if I preach not the gospel!

To end off I will leave you with two quotes to stir your soul:

  • If you have no desire for the lost to be saved. Then you are not saved yourself, be sure of that. ~ Charles Spurgeon

And George Whitefield said:

  • I was honoured today with having a few stones, dirt, rotten eggs, and pieces of dead cats thrown at me.

What are you going to do? Will you take the Gospel to the world? Enlist now!!

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You can view all the photographs at this Album.

A Weekend in Ficksburg (Eastern Free State)

This past weekend was a long one – Friday September 24, 2010 being Heritage Day; gave us a three-day weekend. We went to Ficksburg in the Eastern Free State province which is situated on the border of Lesotho, a landlocked neighbor nation of South Africa. In fact, there is a SA-Lesotho border post in Ficksburg.

We had gone to visit my wife’s sister Jan and her husband Koos and their family and also our eldest son Jason who lives with them, as he works in Ficksburg. In the process my dad-in-law Russell also travelled up with us to visit his daughter. This gave me an opportunity to witness to him as we travelled into the night, undertaking a five hour journey. I had prayed for an opportunity to share my faith with Russell as I had been nervous about how to get the conversation underway, when the opportunity suddenly presented itself when he started speaking about, of all things, aliens and UFOs. Almighty God had opened a door for me, so I stepped through it and put the question to him – Does the Bible speak of UFOs and life on other planets? In the beginning God created … and then Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden … and nowhere in Scripture does God speak of “life on other planets.” It was a pleasant conversation – the Law of God was opened and the Gospel of Grace shared and I pray the Holy Spirit will convict him to repentance to believe and trust in Jesus Christ alone as his Lord and Saviour.

Sunrise in Ficksburg during morning devotion

The weekend was one God blessed for He allowed me also to periodically share the gospel to my wife’s family. Many opportunities presented itself in praying for travel mercies and also by thanking God in prayer for His providence at meal times whilst our family gathered around. On Saturday morning I went out into the Ficksburg market place and witnessed to some passer-bys and open-air preached with sound, unhindered, to both locals and Basotho visitors from Lesotho. This took place outside a Spar shopping centre’s parking lot as I undertook my Project Ezra reading of Ecclesiastes 11 and 12. Being my first time in Ficksburg I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of sharing the Gospel of Grace to a dying world in another town. On my evangelism table I had “How to Know God” and “Help from Above” booklets that can be obtained from World Missionary Press, Inc. And at the end of the preaching session, a Muslim man and his family passed by and even took a booklet I handed to them. Praise God – our blessed Lord Jesus for taking His Word into other communities.

Sunday morning around 2am we were woken up by the news that Charaleen (Koos and Jan’s daughter) was involved in a car accident in Bloemfontein (about 2 hours drive away). While we sat around awaiting news I also mentioned that it is at times like these when people should think about dying as they stand upon the threshold of eternity. Those who were silently praying knew they were answered and the diagnosis is that Charaleen has a cracked collarbone and five stitches in her forehead and doing well. Once the news came through to us we gathered around and thanked God for His kindness and mercy – and yes, I asked the Lord to let people think about their eternal destiny even in the current circumstances.

The trip back on Sunday morning was also a highlight seeing God’s wonderful Creation as we passed through the Maluti Mountains in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Thursday evening, travelling up in the night, we saw some wildlife in the headlamps grazing at the roadside, but on our way back we saw no buck possibly because it was an extremely hot day. We did, however, enjoy plenty of breathtaking scenery, evidence of God’s glorious work of His hands – and He was praised and worshiped for He is worthy. You can view the photographs at this Link.

This trip was one of growing – getting to know our family better, sharing the love of Christ in His Gospel and ultimately lifting up the blessed name of Jesus in worshipping God. It truly was one of my more blessed weekends spent with my wife Tammy and our family. And later, back in Pietermaritzburg, my dad-in-law parted company with us after an eventful weekend to travel back home and with him was a gift of “One Heartbeat Away” by Mark Cahill (the link is the Introduction and Chapter 1 at his website Mark Cahill Ministries). Brethren, please keep our family and their friends in prayer, especially our loved ones who have not received salvation.

Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone)

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