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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“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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What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these six short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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