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Predvestnik: The Russian Language Forerunner

The Internet: A New Opportunity to Reach the Nations

By Alexei Salapatov
Published November 1, 1995

Published in Predvestnik No.3, 1995

Have you ever realized there are still a number of places in the earth where access is still denied for Christian missionaries. This is not because of a lack of training, zeal or finances. It isn’t due to a lack of faith. You have probably heard a lot already about computer networks and have possibly even had a chance to work with this. In this article, I’d like to talk about the Internet and opportunity to use it for missionary purposes.

Even in our super-technological time, when it seems like nothing is impossible, there are many obstacles which prevent the Good News from spreading around the world. First of all, Muslim countries give no chance for Christian missionaries or domestic believers to work in the field of preaching the Gospel. Many cases are known of Christians who were executed or arrested for their confession of faith. (Predvestnik reported such facts in a special issue dedicated to Islam – No.2, 1994.) What solution can be found to remedy this situation? Should missionaries be sent to be killed in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia?

Invention of moveable type freed people from retelling and hand copying the Bible, invention of the radio allowed us to address millions of listeners, television made possible to see things from thousands of miles away. However, let’s remind ourselves of the near past – the USSR. Didn’t our custom officers confiscate and burn thousands of Bibles and didn’t missionaries used to be deported out of the country? Didn’t we have a unique complex of “stunners” which jammed everything in the air from “The Voice of the Vatican” to “The Voice of America.” Satanic inventions found the means to prevent evangelization. Though, as we know, they couldn’t prevent it.

So what is the difference between the Muslim world and the former communist bloc? A big difference. Even in the most cruel years of persecution, our preachers were not executed and new Christians were not imprisoned with the same ferocity as in the Muslim world of today. Muslim customs officials confiscate Bibles with greater zeal, and find more effective ways to jam “undesirable” radio signals on the air. What action should be taken to destroy this wall?

At this point, I’d like to go back to the title of this article. First of all, a definition: The Internet – the world’s largest computer network that links millions of computers from different places around the world. According to the most recent statistics, 160 thousand new users join this net monthly. The main purpose of this network is free and operative distribution of information. We should mention that the Internet handles this task excellently. Anyone who’s got a computer with a modem and phone line can get access to the network – no matter where you are – in New York or even in a forgotten village somewhere in Siberia. Once connected, any type of information can be received: from weather forecasts to cooking recipes.

So what is the difference between this new thing and every other type of media? Well though it may sound a bit strange – uncontrollability. The world biggest net doesn’t belong to anybody and isn’t controlled by anybody. Access to it can’t be shut down, jammed or put under the control of a state no matter how powerful it is. This opens many great opportunities for evangelizing the nations. Imagine, translations of the Bible in any language can be transmitted to millions of users. If the Internet is used by everybody for any purpose (from clothing sales to air-ticket reservations) what keeps us Christians from using such a powerful net for ministry?

There are already many Christian Internet sites in the West. What prevents the same thing from happening here in the CIS? Right now there are not many obstacles. Many churches and missions have personal computers that can be successfully used for such purposes. Besides that, connecting to the Internet significantly boosts sending and receiving of messages (letters, etc.) and also saves money on sending faxes abroad (i.e., the need for it practically disappears).

By 1997, we will have electronic version of Predvestnik in Russian and English. We’ll let you know how to get it in further issues. Possibly you have ideas or suggestions, articles or testimonies that will be interesting for others. We encourage to share any material you may have for publication in our newspaper and we will place it on the Internet.

So if you or your organization have a computer, but no access to the Internet, consider becoming a user. Also, we ask you to send us information on churches and missions who have who have e-mail addresses. We plan on compiling a database of Christian organizations on the territory of the former USSR. Good luck in the world of information!


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Your comments are welcome!

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“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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(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

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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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

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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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

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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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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