Chinese New Year begins on February 10. It’s less than a month away! Chinese in Australia, Canada, the US, Europe and of course, in every corner of Asia are getting ready to celebrate this major festival on the Lunar calendar. Even people in Vietnam and Korea are preparing for their Lunar New Year. One of our Chinese staff members shares the following idea of using this occasion to share the gospel:
One of our staff members in our US office had been receiving a series of phone calls all week. Each order was the same: one copy of “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus” and one copy of the companion workbook. And all of these orders were coming from Texas. Intrigued by this string of orders, our staff member asked the next customer who wanted her order shipped to Texas if she knew what was going on. Susan*, the customer explained.
Susan said that she has been leading book studies based on The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus for years and found that if people buy their own copy of the book, they would then “buy into it” and stick with the study and complete it. She shares more in her own words.
We received a question from a father who had just read The Lambto his eight-year-old daughter.
I just wanted to thank you for The Lamb. I have recently read it with my eight-year-old over several weeks and during our conversations she came to trust on Jesus as her Savior. Love the book. I had a question about any next step overview of the Bible-type resources you might have. Thanks.
The following story is an encouraging way to start the new year. The story highlights the importance of not assuming that our friends and family have biblical understanding of concepts like sin and a Holy God. Instead, we need to carefully explain biblical truths so that they are on the same page. Then the gospel makes sense.
My wife and I served on the mission field in the Brazilian amazon in the early 1990s. One day I was with two Brazilian Christian friends who we attended church with. We were at the river one morning and encountered a friend of theirs. This friend was not a Christian but was a very religious person. So my two Christian friends Tim* and Victor began sharing the gospel with their friend. As I listened (I had just become fluent in Portuguese) it seemed like their friend did not understand the message that they were relating to him. Suddenly I had a thought. Did this young man understand the biblical meaning of sin? So I asked Tim to enquire what his concept of sin was. The young man answered, “Oh I am not a bad person. I don’t steal or do bad things with girls. I try to help people when I can.”
A light clicked on for me. Tim and Victor were giving an answer to a person who did not have a question. If his concept of sin was not correct, neither was his concept of a Holy God. And if those two concepts were not right, it will be impossible for him to see his need for a sufficient substitute. Which explained why he saw no need for personal faith in the Saviour.
Over a number of years now, we have had the privilege of taking many through The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. Most all of them had no questions or the wrong questions at the beginning of the book. But at the finish of the book, most of them were suddenly asking the right questions. A good number of them trusted the Saviour. A few of the ones who were saved are now taking others through The Stranger book, and have seen some trust the Lord. This outstanding tool helps people come face to face with the right questions, which is absolutely essential to form the right conclusion on the gospel. And, it provides a great pattern and method for the new believer to share their faith.
In the tiny city-state of Singapore, there are many foreign nationals who go there to find work. They are employed as domestic helpers, construction workers, service staff and more. For churches in Singapore, they see that the “foreign mission field” has arrived at their doorsteps. These churches organize activities and programs to cater to the needs of these foreign nationals. They also conduct Bible studies and help to explain the gospel. Here is a story from Jessica,* a Bible study leader, who learned that there was more that God could do with these migrant workers.
Do these passages speak of Satan? In a day and age when the Scriptures are often mangled and twisted out of context it is important that we know why we teach what we do concerning Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. We do not want to allegorize or read a deeper meaning into a passage unless the passage is clearly intended to be understood that way by the original author. We also recognize that some Bible scholars would take a different viewpoint on these passages and this is reflected in some study Bible notations.
In writing The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, the goal was to get down to the basics without being sidetracked on some of the exegetical challenges that exist. There are certain parts of Scripture that are harder to interpret and we would put Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 into that category.
While a team of GoodSeed staff were in the UK conducting Worldview Rethink Workshops, we saw this poster at a church in Derby. The church runs “Just Looking” groups for people interested in exploring the Christian faith in a relaxed, non-threatening manner. The book that the church uses is The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. Using the videos from the Interactive Edition combined with dynamic reading, the leader takes 15 sessions to go through the book and companion workbook. What an easy, non-threatening approach to explain the core message of the Bible to anyone who wishes to understand Christianity better.