The Contender – A Cry From Jack’s Heart

September 2018

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and…

the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

Galatians 2:20 

Evangelical, But NOT Evangelistic

Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, author of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, was an apologist and member of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministry team. Nabeel went home to be with the Savior in September 2017 at the age of 34. Ravi said of him in a Washington Post article on September 17, 2017

“He was not just an evangelical; he was passionately evangelistic.”

I not only commend the reading of his book(s) to you but also the passion of his life. In the Washington Post Article, written as a tribute to Nabeel, Ravi quoted this brief poem of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

“Life if real! Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal.

Dust thou art, to dost returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.”

Nabeel in the most exemplary way lived a life clearly identified as ‘in Christ!’ His clear passion for the Gospel and his zeal for communicating the Gospel deeply inspired me in the most recent two years. With great cost to himself, his family and his brief life; Nabeel evidenced the crucified life spoken of in Galatians 2:20.

Very early in his brief ministry he said the following while addressing interested students of the University of Georgia Tech (paraphrased):

“When it comes to one’s ‘faith’ most people like what they were raised with and are content to never examine it; but, tend to embrace it nominally, watered-down and with little adherence.”

How greatly I was again encouraged just days ago when studying a great sermon of Dr. G. Campbell Morgan titled A First Century Message to A Twentieth Century Church – The Church of Laodicea:

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would rather thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth….As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door; I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 3:15-16; 19-22

Dr. Campbell charged that there was no sense of the ‘cross’ in the Laodicea Church; he actually wrote these words again: ‘the church was evangelical, but, not evangelistic.’

One great concern that Dr. Morgan charged the church with was ‘no willingness to suffer and serve’ the Savior’s call to ‘take up the Cross.’ Citing this text, my uncle, Donald Grey Fredericks gave his entire lifetime to both the message of the Gospel and the costly proclamation of the Gospel. He often wept over the ‘lukewarmness’ of the Church.

“O behold the man of sorrows,

O behold Him in plain view,

Lo! He is the mighty conqueror,

Since He rent the veil in two,

Lo! He is the mighty conqueror,

Since He rent the veil in two.”

(The Unveiled Christ)

Items for Prayer

As I close this brief letter for September of 2018, I want to just write a few more thoughts from my heart that I’m asking you to take daily into your place-of-prayer.

  • I constantly ask you to pray for us as we are experiencing a constant warfare from spiritual realms.
  • The way forward for anyone of us who takes the Cross seriously will not be easy. Just days ago I was speaking with a well-known Bible teacher who is currently writing a study on ‘crucifixion’ and I know it’s going to be published with unparalleled impact for each one of us. Pray that we not be among those who have been satisfied with a ‘watered-down-nominal-religion.’ Pray personally that it can be truly spoken of anyone of us: “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but, Christ liveth in me.”
  • Pray for our faithful staff families: Jason Jarvis (Kari), Joshua Crans (Jordan), Leon Brubaker (Mary), Grant Wise, Heinrich Botes (Susan), Jack (Sue), and the hundreds of partnering friends, volunteers and fellow-helpers-to-the-truth at Chester County Prison, Camp at the Old Mill, Bridge Academy and Community Center, Providence Church of Coatesville and extending concerns of the prisoner, the correctional staff and our nation’s law enforcers. Alyson Leaman has been an exceptional encouragement!
  • Pray for the grieved hearts of our prison’s staff in the recent suicide of one of our precious and faithful correctional officers. The horrific impact of this tragedy continues to call us to vigilance concerning a much-needed theme: “Broken Hearts-Unbroken Hope.”
  • Opioid-deaths, suicides, and our nation’s present, dangerous moral and spiritual decline threaten our own region’s peace from day-to-day.
  • We want you to praise God for his continual providing for this mission’s work and I’m very blessed to share with you that we need less than $4,000 of the match-gift needed for another gift of $22,000.
  • God’s been working in very willing hearts and we have undertaken to commence needful improvements at Camp at Old Mill in the fast approaching weeks of November and December. Pray for Seth Windle as he leads this undertaking.

In closing,

  • Pray…that we serve the LORD with gladness!
  • Pray… for our hearts and families that we do not “grow weary’ and ‘faint’.

I beg you, dear ones, PRAY for us!

In Christ Alone, My Hope is found!

 

Jack Crans, Director    

Philippians 3:7-11; Psalms 100; Acts 20:17-38    

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