(June 3, 2019) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, reflects on a very special day in church history, one being celebrated by many churches this Sunday…
Suddenly… that word which indicates something out-of-the-blue! Such as what happened to those first followers of Jesus Christ on that special Day of Pentecost over 2000 years ago!
Before the Day of Pentecost came round in the year that Jesus died at Calvary and rose from the dead three days later, and before he ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9), he ordered his disciples not to depart from Jerusalem – butto ‘wait forthe gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about’ (Acts 1:4).
The incredible gift Jesus promised
That they would receive power when God’s Holy Spirit fell on them.
That they would be his witnesses not only locally but across the world!
What a bold promise the Lord Jesus made in Acts 1:8: ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’
And so they waited! Then, we read in Acts 2, the Day of Pentecost arrived… that annual Feast of the Harvest, one of Israel’s three major yearly celebrations, lasting only one day. It was on this particular feast day something powerful was going to happen in the plan and purpose of God!
Note the wording that opens chapter two… that ‘they were all together in one place.’ The ‘all’ this time was different from the group in the first chapter; it was the apostles and other disciples who had joined them to celebrate the Day of Pentecost.
This gathering would be unique in both Israel and the early church’s history because it was believers in Jesus who gathered in the upper room of a particular house on this particular day of celebration. It appears likely that the number was about 120 believers in Jesus Christ (Acts 1:15). And they obviously did not even dream what lay ahead! (more…)
(May 14, 2019) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, encourages us to enter every fruitful door of gospel opportunity…
In Revelation 3:8 (MKJV) Jesus declared: ’I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it. For you have a little strength and have kept my word and have not denied my name.’
He know our works too!
Jesus knew the situation of the local church in Philadelphia, their faithfulness, their testimony to people where they worshipped and where they lived.
And he told them that he had set before them an open door that no one could shut. A door of opportunity, witness and fruitfulness. He did this because he knew their works; he had watched and seen their faith at work and knew they could achieve even more.
I feel it is appropriate to apply this challenging word of encouragement given by the Lord to that early church to every Christian today, to every church because…
He knows the works of every one of today’s churches.
He knows the works of every servant of God.
He rewards faith, hope and love.
He trusts those who trust him.
There are doors and there are doors
Some are basic, providing simple access to a room or place. Others are designed to be beautiful and even, magnificent. Others to secure valuables, treasures, money, gold ingots crown jewels and the like. (more…)
(April 12, 2019) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us what Easter really means for believers – and to pass on the great news of a risen Saviour…
Next weekend Christians worldwide will be celebrating that some two thousand years ago Jesus, the Son of God, died from our sins on Cavalry becoming the Saviour of the world – that the grave could not hold him and he rose victorious as our Saviour… the hope of the world!
I think of those first disciples in Ephesus. Paul’s Ephesians 2:11 comment was a reminder that they were once ‘Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised.’ Then he adds to this in verse 12: ‘Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.’
But in the very next verse, Paul happily reminds them of their (and the world’s)great hope in Jesus through his shed blood on Calvary’s cross: ‘But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.’
Here is a wonderful declaration of the grace of God to not only those early Ephesian believers but to all peoples across our troubled world today! Paul was declaring that Jesus was and is the hope of the world – a reminder of John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but haseternal life.’
‘The hope of the world is Jesus!’
I have heard this phrase, this truth, declared by preachers all around the world. I have also read these same words many times and have personally preached many times that ‘The Hope of the World is Jesus.’ (more…)
(March 22, 2019) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us as we approach and embrace the celebration of Easter next month, to also embrace and activate our Saviour’s very clear great after Easter command…
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus gave very clear direction to his followers: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’
Mark (in Mark 16:15-16) also wrote of Jesus’ direction – ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’
But Matthew’s gospel records the command of Christ in more detail than Mark by adding the authority of this command as well as the task of making disciples for Christ.
All true missions’ work is founded on the word and focused on the world because that is what the command of Christ embraces. It is a result of Christians believing and obeying the word of God.
God’s word is very clear I believe that the word of God is our ultimate authority and it is so clear – our Lord Jesus commissioned his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. That he would be with them to the ends of the earth. That the power and presence of the Holy Spirit would provide supernatural support to their testimony and ministry. (more…)
(February 15, 2019) Missionary statesperson Dr George Forbes reminds us that God needs heroes…
Believe it or not, God – yes, Almighty God – has a particular need, a big one!
Ezekiel 22:30 tells that he reveals his heart cry: ‘I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.’
Throughout the history of God’s people, both in Old Testament and New Testament times, God has sought for a man or woman to be his voice, to stand in the gap before him for the land. All too often he has not found even one.
Yes, there have been many times in decades past when someone has responded, someone who heard God’s call and obeyed it. But in our generation, our day, he is still looking for men and women who will stand in the gap for a nation, a land, a people.
Heroes of faith, lights in darkness Some such heroes of bygone times are named in scripture… in the Old Testament and the Acts of the Apostles and other New Testament records: They belong in God’s Honour Roll!
In recent generations of Christian faith there have been other such heroes of faith… many are not listed here, but we can think of –
(January 16, 2019) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us that …
Aheart for the harvest is essential to this great spiritual task in the world! Every believer needs a heart that is sensitive, responsive and obedient to the word of God, about gathering this massive harvest.
The Lord Jesus uses terms from the natural world of harvesting to show us the will and the way of God in the primary spiritual ministry of bringing people to Christ. As we embrace 2019, I encourage readers to think with me of such terms! They need to be burned into our memory, written on our hearts and fulfilled by the grace of God.
Identifying important harvest terms
‘The harvest is vast’
‘The labourers are few’
‘Do not say four months’
‘Lift up your eyes’
‘Look on the fields’
‘They are white to harvest already’
‘He who sows’
‘He who reaps’
‘Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.’
The following three texts from the words of Jesus identify each one of these important terms above…
‘Do you not say, It is yet four months, and the harvest comes? Behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white to harvest already.’
‘And he who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit to life eternal, so that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.’
‘Then he told his disciples, “The harvest is vast, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest”.’
(December 11, 2018) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us that Christmas is an opportune time for sharing the real Christmas message… here at home!
It’s virtually Christmas! This is a time when people are expecting good things and encouragements by way of cards and gifts. The gospel speaks of the greatest gift of all – God’ gift of his Son, Jesus Christ who would become our Saviour.
Paul made it very clear in Romans 3:23 that ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ – John 3:16 is still the most relevant of all scriptures: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’
Having been associated with world missions for decades, naturally overseas missions and missionaries are very much on my heart. But, bringing my blog closer to home at this Christmastime I would say this to every Christian at home: We may not be a missionary overseas but as missionaries abroad share the good news of Jesus as Saviour even here at home we can be missionaries by fulfilling the great commission in our local suburbs!
Let’s be Christians of action – moving in faith and seeing the impossible become possible! We can find opportunities to share the good news of the gospel, the real reason for the season.
A time to be daring in sharing A little but great booklet God’s Little Instruction Book, has a powerful saying in it – ‘Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see!’
Now that’s a saying that tends to stick in one’s mind as it encapsulates a fundamental truth.
Jesus taught us that God’s word is truth (John 17:17). God’s word is his instruction book – the Holy Bible! And it declares that …
‘Without faith it is impossible to please God!’ (Hebrews 11:6).
It is not possible to be a Christian without faith.
It is equally impossible to live the life of a believer without believing.
With the assistance of the Holy Spirit the first disciples began fulfilment of Jesus’ Great Commission commandment of Matthew 28:18-20 in their local suburbs – in Jerusalem! (See Acts 1:8).
(November 11, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, shares on the missionary calling…
As mentioned in August, although not classified as a missionary, Billy Graham was certainly called by God to be an evangelist to the world!
I do praise God that many have responded to God’s calling to be missionaries… but in doing so I remember that Matthew 22:14 states, ‘Many are called, but few chosen.’
Called but unprepared This text has been interpreted in different ways; however I wish to write about the fact that though God calls those whom he has chosen, many are unprepared to activate their full response to the call of God because they have yet to complete the essential preparations for cross-cultural ministry.
Sadly for some, it is more to do with personal growth in Christ and learning how to walk in the Spirit. (more…)
(September 10, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, reflects on the call of God…
The best-known evangelist of our time the late Dr Billy Graham was not a missionary serving long term on a specific field.
He was called by God to be an evangelist to the world. A gift ministry to the church and the world, his faithfulness, influence and love for the lost is beyond question. His example to many other servants of the Lord has been exemplary.
I believe this includes thousands of serving missionaries around the word. They have been encouraged by his faithfulness to God and to the gospel by his… (more…)
(August 11, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, challenges…
In Luke 19: 11-27 Jesus shared a powerful principle shortly before his crucifixion.
He told his listeners the parable of the ‘Ten Pounds’ and spoke of a prince who gave each of his servants the same amount of money with the instruction to ‘invest’ on his behalf. And that he made it clear he expected a return from each of them.
Then Jesus told his servants that the people of the prince’s country hated him and had sent messengers to say they did not want him to be their king.
After the prince’s appointment as king he returned to where he had left his servants to invest on his behalf. He called for them to appear before him to see what the investment had returned and asked each one, ‘How much have you earned with the money I gave you to invest?’