July 10, 2011

The Word Is Powerful – Don Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:27 am by sranderson0103

I have several personal friends in Papua New Guinea, friends that have been made through our common efforts to teach the evidence for creation “through what has been made” (Rom.1:20).  I have reason to believe there will be dramatically significant evidence from this country that we will be able to document soon. As a result of these efforts, I have become aware of what appears to be encouraging news from Papua New Guinea. I believe we see in this news demonstration of the power of God’s word, a power we often do not appreciate as we should.

We tend to forget that this power changed the lives of thousands of Jews (Acts 2:41; 4:4) who had, just days earlier, demanded the crucifixion of their promised Messiah (Matt.27:22). The Gospel caused one of the most respected, well educated, influential Jews of his day to give up all that advantage and become “the scum of the world,” (I Cor. 4:13), for the sake of the Christ. It was powerful enough to convert a heathen who had been beating Paul and Silas, a jailer in ancient Philippi (Acts 16:33-34).

Papua New Guinea has a population of about six million divided into about 1000 tribal groups speaking at least 816 differentent languages. The complete Bible has been translated into only eight of these languages; the New Testament, into 150 of their languages. Almost 400 tribes have no translations. Many of the tribes, in the not too distant past, were cannibals and involved in some of the most animistic, ancestral and pagan practices in the world.

Does this sound like a good place to try to teach God’s Word? Actually what has happened in Papua New Guinea is truly amazing.

At the present almost 97% of the population identify themselves as “Christian.” Protestant denominationalists make up 60%, Catholics 28%, and there are 12% who consider themselves Christians who refuse any of these categories. They are usually referred to as independent: independent congregations, ruled by elders, refusing to be anything but Christians. Imagine that.

On Sept. 6, 2006, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea issued a national proclamation to “dedicate the nation back to God.” He publicly, officially called on the people throughout the nation to be in prayer.

One of my friends who is helping to document the creation evidence mentioned earlier, also works with one of the independent congregations. Earlier this year he reported an event that demonstrates the amazing power in God’s word to change lives.

He taught and converted a tribe that lived in the jungles of PNG. In his monthly bulletin, addressed to friends in the USA, he recounted the results of teaching them the way of life demanded by God. “A reconciliation meeting took place…in Rabaul, PNG.  During the meeting, the total tribe publicly asked forgiveness for killing and eating four Methodist missionaries.”

If we see that the Gospel has the power to change the lives of thousandsof unbelieving Jews in one sermon, a vicious persecutor of the church, a pagan Christian beater, as well as cannibals in PNG…why do we believe our neighbors would not be interested??

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