Outreach to India (Update)

Its taken three weeks for my good friend, Indian Pastor Pappy Daniel to find the best possible deal, but as promised, here’s an update on the Gospel tract printing costs.

You may remember we provided 10,000 copies of the Gospel tract I wrote “The Thief on the Cross” in the Malayalam language which were handed out to people in the state of Kerala at Easter time. The response and feedback to this very clear gospel presentation has been so encouraging that we made a tentative inquiry to find out how much it would cost for 100,000 tracts to be printed.

Whereas the cost for 10,000 tracts was approximately $400 USA Dollars, the cost for 100,000 tracts will be $2,600.00. This is the full cost, which includes paper, printing, shipping and distribution handling costs. As you can see, there is a substantial savings (per tract) when there is a larger quantity being printed.

Perhaps this Gospel outreach is something you or your church might like to get behind and support. If so, just write to me and I will give you further details. I will keep this article updated to show the amount that has come in for this specific venture (below).

Goal: $2,600.00

Amount received (as of 6/8/11): $200.00

Dr. James Montgomery Boice on Election and Justification

Dr. James Montgomery Boice spoke at two sessions of the “Essential Truths of the Christian Faith: 1997 National Ligonier Conference.” I have heard his messages many times over and each time I have done so they have always blessed and refreshed my soul immensely. I am delighted to recommend them to you.

(1) With an introduction from Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, here is Dr. Boice on the theme of Divine election. Dr. R. C. Sproul referred to this session as the clearest teaching on Election he had ever heard – found here.

(2) Dr. James Montgomery Boice on “Justification by Faith Alone.” Found here. Outstanding!


Sir Winston Churchill is something of a hero of mine. In general, I think it would be true to say that the western world has failed to truly appreciate Churchill’s immense significance in stemming the tide of Nazi Germany. World War II would not have been won by Britian and its allies without the USA becoming involved; but equally true is the fact that there may not have been a Britain to save without the leadership of Churchill. His speeches roused a nation looking defeat firmly in the face. His words put courage and backbone into a people who were heartbroken and disillusioned by the long, arduous, unrelating effects of war.

Words are containers of faith, hope and love, and of fear, disillusion or courage. Even as Hitler’s bombs caused broad devastation as they dropped on the major cities of England, desperate for some positive news, families huddled together in living rooms and basements and turned on their wireless radios to hear their leader Churchill. What they heard were the words of a man who was born for such a time as this. Singlehandedly, he brought calm and unwavering courage to the British people at the bleakest and most desperate of times.

I love something he said about democracy. In a speech made just over two years after he had been instrumental in helping Britain and the allied forces win the Second World War, in the House of Commons on November 11, 1947, Churchill said:

“No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Outside of the kingdom of God, with Christ ruling and reigning, there is no “perfect” political system. Yet at least in a democracy, when the man at the top goes wrong, the people can vote him out. The nation does not have to wait until the death of the leader for the man to be removed from power. There are terms of office. In the USA, a person can only serve as President for two terms of four years at the very most. In this way, no leader in a democratic system can bring such ruin to a country, all by himself, that the nation cannot ever recover from the fierce consequences of his rule. Thank God for that!

My feet have walked in the former USSR and in China. These countries were two test case systems where Communism ruled supreme and no other philosophy was even tolerated. The fact that in both places, tens of millions of my Christian brothers and sisters have been imprisoned, tortured and killed, reveals the true face of atheistic communism. It is no friend but instead, a deadly brutal enemy of humanity.

Communism and its near relative of socialism can never succeed in bringing about prosperity amongst the people. The concept may have had noble intentions but it does not factor in the desperate condition of the human heart. The heart is deceitful above all things and that is why communism is morally, spiritually and physically bankrupt. It cannot deliver on its many promises because it fails to deal with the reality of man’s fallen selfish nature.

Communism used to say it could put a new suit on every man. Christianity says “Christ can put a new man in every suit.” Communism was never able to put new suits on the people for the simple reason that man’s nature, without the intervention of God is totally corrupt at heart. The men at the top of the ladder creamed all the wealth for themselves, living in luxury, while the masses starved. Much of the starvation was intentional policy, so that the common man might become so utterly and hopelessly dependent on the leader, that they would worship and serve him, in hopes that some small scrap of food might fall from his table. When the scraps were handed out, and when the only news people could hear was the leader’s own propaganda, the masses remained in oppressive subjugation to the few. To serve such a master was a hardship beyond compare, as each citizen came under the weight of tyranny.

Hear in contrast the words of the Savior, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy leaden and I will give you rest. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light, and you shall find rest for your souls.”

I am a U.S. citizen not by birth, but my choice. It was a very proud moment for me when I became a citizen of this great nation in February, 2003. I love the United States of America. I love democracy. Yet, I am under no illusion that by itself, democracy can relieve all the problems in this world. If the children of Israel were led by a popular majority, they would still be in the desert, searching for the promised land. People do not always want the righteous thing; the thing God wants. The Book of Judges teaches us this principle clearly, when there was no good King ruling in Israel, the people did what was right in their own eyes. Society often makes choices that defy the Lord and His revealed word. Just because 51% or more of the people desire to do a thing, it does not mean the thing is right or pleasing to the Lord. Right is right, no matter how unpopular it may be; wrong is wrong, no matter how popular it may be, and blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (Psalm 33:12).

As we live the life of a good citizen here, our prayer is not for a temporal fix to come, but that the ultimate and permanent answer to all our woes comes in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as He invades this world with power and great glory. Our prayer is “Even so come Lord Jesus.”

We pray this prayer because as Christians, we long for much more than good democracy. Our citizenship is in heaven. Though we love our country, we recognize it is one nation “under God.” We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Our hearts pine for the Kingdom rule of God; a theocracy, where His kingdom comes and His will is done on earth, just as it is in heaven; where the Sovereign rule of King Jesus is seen; where the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Until that time, when the King returns to claim what is rightfully His, and when our faith shall be made sight, I believe Churchill got it right – “democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms.” We pray for God to raise up leaders amongst us who will want what God wants and who will serve His purposes for their generation.

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior…” – 1 Tim 2:1-3

Friday Round Up

(1) Thank you to all of you who have been praying for my mother (after reading last evening’s post here on the blog). I am just back from my second visit to see her at the hospital. My mother seems to be stable but the medical staff are concerned that her heart rate is very erratic and sometimes very low. She is now fully admitted and so might be there a while, but she has not heard anything at all about what they think is the root cause of her alarming symptoms. I didn’t get too much sleep last night so will try to get a couple of hours now. Thanks once again for your prayers. They are appreciated far more than you know.

(2) I have received amazingly positive feedback from the two radio shows I did this week (including the emotionally tough to do one last night). You can hear both programs (for the next month or so) by going to the link the shows are not titled but can be heard by clicking on the links for the May 24 and May 26 programs.

(3) Ligonier has some great deals today on some excellent material in this week’s $5 Friday sale here. The book “What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?” by Rev. Richard Phillips is especially recommended. Remember, if you decide to purchase material, you can claim a further 10% discount on these and on ALL Ligonier products as a reader of this blog by using the coupon code: EGRACE10

Well, that was difficult…

Without being overly dramatic.. the hour radio show tonight was one of the most difficult hours of my life.

23 minutes into the show, a message popped up on the computer monitor in front of me, informing me that my mother was desperately sick and had been rushed to hospital. That is all I knew. I had to do the rest of the show (37 minutes) not knowing any more than that.

From what I understand, my mother did not wish to go to the hospital because of financial concerns but the gentleman staying with us (Jim) insisted – she was very delirious and was vommiting profusely and so he phoned the emergency 911 number and the ambulance and medical people came and tried to stabilize her.

Jim tells me that they found her blood sugar reading to be 40. I understand that if it goes as low as 20-30, you’re dead, so it was definitely a borderline life and death situation. I thank God for Jim, who is recovering from a stay in hospital himself – I had only picked him up from hospital earlier this afternoon. If he had not been present at my home and had not called 911, perhaps my mother would already be dead.

I had no idea of the details – just had to keep on going with the radio program because it was a live show and it would let a whole lot of people down if I just walked away. I was like a soldier who needed to stay at my post until reinforcements arrived (or in this case, the show finished).

Hopefully some of the things I was saying on the show made sense. I felt the Lord’s presence upholding me and even giving me a heavenly boldness to speak. I give the Lord all the praise, for it was certainly Him giving me the strength to do the show. Each moment I was silently (and then in the commercial breaks, not so silently) asking Him to help me keep my focus on Him and the task at hand, even though my heart was torn up over what might be happening that very moment with my mother.

I write this very quickly having just got back from the radio station. I am having a very quick hot cup of English tea (PG Tips) and will now set off in the car to go visit my mother in the hospital.

I write this post in haste to ask if you would kindly pray for my mother. I would appreciate that so very much.

Much love,



(1) God willing, this evening I will once again be hosting the Andrew Tallman show, continuing the theme of Divine election.

To repeat the details about how to listen in – the one hour show can be heard live across the Phoenix area on KXEG radio at 1360AM at 6:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. EST) and also live on the internet (same time of course) at www.kpxq1360.com – (when you get there, click on the “Listen Live” button at the top of the page)…. I would very much value your prayers. – John

Dr. John Piper was asked, “I believe the doctrine of election but I don’t like it much. Is it sin for me not to like the doctrine of election?” I like his answer:

(2) One quote from C. H. Spuregon: “Faith which refuses to obey the commands of the Saviour is a mere pretense and will never save the soul.”

One quote from Augustine: “In some places God requires newness of heart [Ezek 18:31]. But elsewhere he testifies that it is given by him [Ezek. 11:19; 36:26]. But what God promises we ourselves do not do through choice or nature; but he himself does through grace.”

Two quotes from John Hendryx: “There is no blessing that ever comes to man from God without coming through the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Martyn Lloyd Jones) “Therefore if irresistible/effectual grace is granted only to the elect, then where did this grace come from? From Christ. Therefore, Christ died in a redemptive way for the elect (to purchase effectual grace) that he did not for the non-elect (whom he did not purchase effectual grace). Gospel grace is Christocentric.” – John Hendryx

“Where did you get the sound judgment or good sense to believe the gospel? (John 6:63-65, 37) Why do some NOT have the good sense to believe the gospel? (John 8:47; 10:26). Grace frees you from boasting in what isn’t your own, including ascribing your repenting and believing to your own sound judgment or good sense. Grace makes us glory in Christ alone, even for these blessings.” – John Hendryx

(3) This short video uses the words of Pastor Tim Keller to unveil the theme of the Bible, revealing the fact that it is not about you (or me) but about Him:

True & Better from Peter Artemenko on Vimeo.

(4) “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.” – Jeremiah 15:16

There is nothing more precious than a true knowledge of God and His Word. Someone wrote to me asking what recommendations I had regarding materials for Bible study. Here’s four (including one for children):

1. Dust to Glory – I absolutely love this series and am using it with my teenage children. This series takes you through the Bible book-by-book, drawing out the major themes of each. It’s available in the NEW TESTAMENT and OLD TESTAMENT (or as a complete package). It’s a comprehensive series with 57 lectures.

Dr. Ligon Duncan, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Miss. has said, ““Never before has there been a greater need for Christians to know their Bibles than now. And yet, we know them less well than we have at any time since the Reformation. That’s one reason that I am so delighted to commend R.C. Sproul’s Dust to Glory. It gives you the big picture — the major themes, events, and people of the Bible — the very thing we need to help us know our Bibles better. And it does so in a gripping, memorable way. Know your Bible better. Start here.”

(This is such a great series that it might also be something worthwhile to donate to your local church library).

2. Chosen by God – The doctrine of predestination remains a controversial subject and yet God has revealed this truth to us in His Word, not to divide us, but to show us the immensity of His grace and kindness to us.

In both the book and DVD series, Dr. Sproul “shows how election is entirely compatible with human freedom, dignity, and responsibility. One of Ligonier’s most significant and popular books, Chosen by God shows why all serious Christians cannot afford to ignore this important biblical doctrine, but instead should embrace God’s initiative in Salvation.” Buy R.C. Sproul’s “Chosen By God” for $10.40. Shop Today!

3. The Prince’s Poison Cup – (for children) Buy “The Prince’s Poison Cup” children novel by R.C. Sproul. Shop now!

4. In an earlier post I outlined why I particularly recommend The Reformation Study Bible: Simply superb!

(Remember, if you do decide to purchase any material from Ligonier, you can claim an exclusive 10% discount as a reader of this blog by using the coupon code: EGRACE10)

Assurance about lost loved ones

How does knowledge of the doctrine of election encourage/help those who are praying for lost loved ones? So many times, when discussing this doctrine for the first time, people feel discouraged and even desperate over the fact that someone that they love may or may not be elect. How can the truth of God’s election encourage someone who is praying that God will save a loved one?

I would like to answer your question by telling you a story from history. In the 4th century, there was a very devout Christian lady named Monica. She was married to a prominent man who did not share her Christian faith. He was often very cruel to her, causing her physical abuse. Every day she would go to the church and pray for his conversion. Later on in his life, he did in fact become a Christian.

Yet the pain and anguish her husband caused her seemingly paled into insignificance compared to that which she suffered because of her oldest son. Her mother’s heart was broken, time after time, seeing the reckless life her son was leading. He not only did not share his mother’s faith but would join himself to anti-Christian groups, using his sharp mind to seek to convince others to follow him. He lived a very immoral life. He had a mistress but left her for another and had a son born out of wedlock, named Adeodatus. Monica was not personally able to convince her son of the truth claims of Christianity, but she determined never to stop praying that he would turn to the Lord. Continue reading

Thanks for your prayers

Thanks for your prayers regarding tonight’s radio show. I think it went well. Callers asked some great questions and I think I was able to say enough to point people in the right direction biblically.

If you missed the show, you can hear it for the next month or so on a podcast click on the link for the show date of May 24, 2011.

One caller asked a question about 1 John 2:2 which I didn’t really have time to answer (with less than 90 seconds before the end of the show) and I promised I would post a fuller answer here before the end of the evening… so here we go. Three things might be helpful:

My article on 1 John 2:2 here.

…this article on John’s use of the word “world” here.

.. and Dan Phillips’ article here.

God bless – and please remember Thursday in your prayers when I host the show again. Thanks so much.

Tonight (and now Thursday)

In addition to tonight’s hosting of the Andrew Tallman show, I have just been asked to do the same on Thursday (May 26) also at the same time, case where I believe we will continue the theme of Divine election.

To repeat the details about how to listen in – the one hour show can be heard live across the Phoenix area on KXEG radio at 1360AM at 6:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. EST) and also live on the internet (same time of course) at www.kpxq1360.com – (when you get there, click on the “Listen Live” button at the top of the page)

I would very much value your prayers. – John

Miscellaneous Quotes (16)

“It’s a cliche, but we need to remember, we are not going at meet at the church this morning, but are the church going to meet.” – R C Sproul, Jr

“A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.” – John Calvin

“He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times.” – Johann von Schiller

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden

“The hero and the coward both feel exactly the same fear, only the hero confronts his fear and converts it to fire.” – Cus D’Amato

“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.” – Unknown

“Confession of sin is the first act of an awakened sinner, the first mark of a gracious spirit. When God desires an habitation in which to dwell, He prepares “a broken and a contrite heart.” – John Flavel, The Method of Grace

“To those who believe in Christ there are no works so bad as to accuse and condemn us, but again, there are no works so good that they could save and defend us.” – Martin Luther, ‘Judgment on Monastic Vows,’ in Luther’s Works, 44:301 Continue reading