By Jay Rogers
Published August 1, 1992
Is the Grace of God Returning?
Until 500 years ago, Spain was the leading nation in sending missionaries to the far corners of the world. Through Catholic monastic orders, such as the Jesuits, Dominicans, Augustinians and the Franciscans, a form of Christianity advanced in the world. Unfortunately, it was also through these orders that the great religious persecutions of the 15th century were fostered through the Spanish Inquisition under the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
It is a little known footnote of history that 1492 is also the year that the last Jews were expelled from Spain. Shortly before Columbus’ ships left the harbor of Palos, he recorded this event. The gold that was looted by the Spanish monarchs from the Moors, Protestants and Jews was used to finance Columbus’ first voyage. Yet the voyage of Columbus was to open up a world where people could come and worship God in freedom.
In retrospect, this period of Roman Catholic missionary expansion represents a mixed picture. The conquistadors imposed Spanish civilization and Roman Catholicism by force, at times treating the Native Americans with cruelty. However, many of the Spanish missionaries and explorers had pure intentions. There were advances of the gospel in salvation and in educational and charitable work. But their work suffered the shame of being entangled with colonialism and the unredeemed aspects of western culture.1
In the 1500s, the focus of world evangelism began to shift toward England, perhaps as a result of the trampling of the grace of God by the Spanish. With the coming of the Protestant Reformation and the defeat of the Spanish Armada, England gained supremacy over the seas and took up the cause of world evangelism through her own Protestant colonists.
The first Protestant missionary society was established in England in 1649. The Mayhews and John Eliot began the work of evangelizing the Indian tribes of New England in the 1640s. The Moravians sent hundreds of missionaries from Anglican churches to America in the 1700s. The Baptist Missionary Society was founded by William Carey in 1792; the London Missionary Society in 1795; the Church Missionary Society in 1799. A student movement at Williams College and Andover Seminary led to the founding of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in 1810.2
Now that 500 years have passed since 1492, it appears that Hispanics may once again become a dominant missionary force in the earth. Missiologists are looking to South America to be one of the focal points of revival and spiritual awakening in the 1990s. The Olympic games and the World’s Fair to be held in Spain this Summer promise to bring more evangelistic activity to this nation than ever before in history.
The number “five” in Scripture is often associated with divine grace working to bring men to salvation.3 Five centuries have passed since Columbus’ voyage and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. We see a simultaneous reappearance of the Spanish world in the role of world missions. Is the grace of God that once departed from Spain now returning?
The history of Spain is a reminder to Christians in the United States today that although God may choose to use a particular nation at some juncture of history in a strategic way, his saving purposes are not bound to any political state or institution. God’s grace alone is the determining factor in the advance of the Gospel of salvation.
1 John Jefferson Davis, Christ’s Victorious Kingdom (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1986) pp.74-76.
2 Ibid, pp. 76,77.
3 Cf. Numbers 7:17-83; 1 Kings 6:6-24; Matthew 14:17-21.
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Your comments are welcome!
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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