Glory be to God and to the Lamb who sits on the throne!
Recently, we had a baptism and four people took the plunge to confess their faith in Christ publicly. It was a wonderful day in the Lord. We rented a tent and set it up with chairs outside and they invited their friends and family to their baptism. That morning, I expounded on the righteous demands of God's holy Law, God's justice in condemning guilty transgressors, the reality of the judgment to come, and the satisfaction of Christ's perfect work from Romans 3:19-26. Later, they each testified in turn of Christ's glorious saving power, and we gave glory to God for their lives as they were immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Being baptized were the elderly couple who has been congregating with us since the beginning of this year, their son who has been recently converted, and another lady.
The older couple came out of Catholicism at the beginning of the year, and were congregating with us, but seemned to have no assurance of salvation for quite a time. The first to profess faith with assurance was the woman, and for a while later the man still had no assurance. Her life seemed to be radically transformed, and she was lit up with the hope of the Gospel and sharing her newfound hope continually with everyone around her. She would boldly exclaim that she now knew Catholicism was not the way, but that Christ's perfect finished work did for her what religion could never do. However, the man still had no assurance. But one day they came into the church and the man explained how one day as he was praying, the presence of God descended upon him and left him in a holy fear, and he was struck by the holiness of God with a deep sense of his own sin and guilt, and then he saw the cross for the first time, understanding the glory of the cross and having a true repentance birthed in his heart. He was teary eyed as he shared, yet lit up with a glowing joy at the same time, saying that he now knows Jesus Christ had saved him. I could tell something was different. It was a glorious answer to many prayers and the fruit of many sermons and much time spent with them explaining the Gospel. Our God is faithful and His Word doesn't return void. This couple have been continually congregating faithfully, reading the Scriptures, seeking the Lord, and testifying.
See his testimony on our Youtube Channel:
Their son was also baptized, who was converted about 3 months ago. This is the person I wrote about in the last update saying we didn't think he was saved yet. By the grace of God, it appears that our sovereign Lord has done a genuine work of grace in his heart. This man was previously living a life of extreme depravity, drug addiction, and all sorts of debauchery. He was openly antangonistic to the Gospel and hated it, denouncing it with cursing and bitterness. His parents had such a tremendous burden for him and at every prayer meeting, they would request that we pray for his salvation and we would pray. Shortly after the Spirit of God particular pressed us to pray one night after a Bible study, this man showed up on Sunday! He heard the Word and was filled with questions afterward, asking me how he can be free from his addictions and sins. The very next day, he completely stopped smoking and was clean from drugs and alcohol. Yet he still had no assurance of salvation. He would come to the prayer meetings after that, weeping and crying out to God to save him. He lived in fear of death and the wrath of God, knowing he wasn't right. He continually congregated, hearing the Word of God. Then, one night several weeks later as he was reading John 1, he read verse 12 and instantly was flooded with an assurance that God had forgiven his sin and adopted him as His son. He came in the next meeting of the church after that, and told me that he now knew he was saved. His countenance was different -no longer weighed down with an unbearable burden of sin, sorrow and guilt. His manner of dressing soon changed, he cut his long hair off, destroyed his worldly music and movies, and cut off all ties with his old friends. And no one told him to do all that! This was several months ago, and he has been persevering since. Prior to this, he was a devout Catholic (despite his evident life of sin), but now confesses that CHRIST ALONE saves. His testimony is a powerful example of the grace of God and the power of prayer.
Also baptized was a lady who has been congregating for over a year but had never been baptized. For a long time, she seemed to lack a deep rooted conviction that she was Christ's. We met her over a year ago as we were preaching on the streets downtown. She listened and began to congregate with our previous church ever since hearing us on the streets. Then, ever since we started the church plant, she has been congregating with us. She testifies that she was not saved when she first heard us preaching, but has since come to know Jesus Christ.
We are praying that God will save more souls in our midst, believing He is not only able but also willing to do it. Please join your prayers with ours that God would save souls in Guadalajara, Mexico. The church plant is moving forward. Christ will build His church, for His glory.
Brethren, I have been praying not just for a church, but for a church planting movement to be ignited in this desperately needy nation. Is our God not mighty, wonderful, powerful and able to do it? Is He not faithful to keep His promises? Is it not His will to save souls? If He can plant one church, can He not plant 10? And if 10, can He not plant 100?
- Pray for these new believers to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, to be rooted and grounded in love, to be immersed in the Scriptures with a continual and increasing hunger to know God more, to be kept from all sin and temptation, to be in unity with one another as we fellowship as a church, etc.
- Pray for Lina as the bulk of her ministry now consists in caring for these orphaned children we've taken in.
- Pray for the salvation of these 4 children. We are also attempting to take in 2 more soon. Please pray for this.
- Pray for me to teach and preach the Word faithfully in the church plant. I need much grace in this area and I am very needy.
- Pray for a strong, healthy, Holy Spirit filled and flourishing Christ-exalting biblical church to be planted in Guadalajara that would become a stronghold for the Gospel and an Antioch for sending out laborers to the rest of the nation.
- Pray for souls to get saved, particularly those who are hearing the Gospel and have been coming to our meetings or hearing the Word preached in downtown evangelism.