THE PERSONAL TESTIMONY OF A FORMER MUSLIM WHO IS NOW AN EVANGELICAL PASTOR

The following testimony is from one of the other pastors, who was in attendance at the institute. He is a former Muslim, who was converted to the Lord Jesus Christ by simply reading the New Testament. He has been in the evangelical ministry for 14 years. Read his personal testimony of what the Spirit of God wrought in his life during this week. “Thank you for all of your teaching to the many pastors and church planters who attended your recent teaching in India. I am totally speechless, while writing this letter to you. For I have no adequate words that can truly express my thanks for the truths that I have heard. The Lord created an exciting environment of hungry enthusiasm for learning His word. This teaching produced an insatiable appetite in all of us, to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord, in this vital matter of doing evangelism God’s way! Our Lord employed these essential truths to make many corrections in my own evangelistic message, methods and motives. I am sure that this will result in a mighty extension of God’s kingdom in India. I have been in the ministry for almost 14 years, teaching and preaching the word of God. But now, I understand that there have been a number of errors that have been contaminating both my life and my evangelistic ministry. But I truly believe that God has appointed the right person to come to me, at precisely the right time. This is why I am so grateful to God that He sent you to our nation of India. Sir, our Lord and God has used you to turn my life and my evangelistic ministry from ‘error’ to ‘example’.

Sir, I must confess that when I began to attend your first class on the first day, I was really offended. I thought, ‘I will prove this man to be wrong, when he gives me an opportunity to ask the questions, later on in the week.’ But as I continued to listen to your teaching, I came to the personal realization that I could not prove you wrong. For all of your teachings were totally founded upon the sound doctrine of the scriptures. Everyone of my bundle of questions were totally cleared up. The Holy Spirit corrected me, concerning a multitude of errors in my evangelistic ministry. I discovered that both my evangelistic message and my methods were all ‘man-centered evangelism’. Consequently, I was operating my evangelism in many grave errors. Oh, but now I understand that evangelism should be ‘Christ-centered’ in its message and totally biblical in its methods. Bro. Ed, I can honestly testify that I have been turned from ‘many errors’ to the truth of God’s instruction manual. All that I can say is, ‘thank you sir, for bringing the clear light into the blur of my evangelism’. In spite of your health issues, you still took on the challenge to come to India and teach all of us. It was a tremendous expression of God’s love toward all of us. I assure you that your pain will not go to waste. I will give my best to teach ‘Christ-centered Evangelism.’ My focus is now to produce an accurate ‘Hindi translation audio’ of the entire teaching of ‘Christ centered Evangelism’. Furthermore, I am committed to distribute these copies throughout the entirety of the northern part of India, through CDs and social media. Please keep me in your prayers. I am determined, by God’s grace, that my people will hear these lifetransforming truths!”

Oh dear brothers and sisters, your prayers and support are a vital part of these precious opportunities. The “Christ-centered Evangelism” workbook has now been translated into its 4th Indian language. Please pray for the new opportunities that God is giving to teach this study in new states within India. Because of my health issues of late, my dear brother Raj, (whom I had the opportunity to train in Christ-centered Evangelism), taught this same study in Siliguri, in my stead, at the 2nd institute. He has sent a number of testimonies of the Lord’s working in pastors’ lives during that week! I will have to share some of those in the next newsletter.

A TREASURED TEACHABILITY IN THE INDIAN PASTORS AND CHURCH PLANTERS!

When the Lord redeemed my precious wife; and then two years later saved my soul, He placed us both under the ministry of Dr. Ron Herrod, at First Baptist Kenner, LA. At that time, I would have never imagined that, over 36 years later, I would be teaching ‘Christ-centered Evangelism’ as part of his annual Bible Institute in India. I am so grateful for this ongoing opportunity! The day before I began to teach this group of hungry and humble pastors, a newspaper article was published in the ‘Indian state paper’, declaring the following words, “We must be determined to wipe out this religious sect, (born again evangelical Christians and churches), from our state and our nation!” Recently, many Indian pastors have been persecuted; some martyred; and many churches have been destroyed within various states of this dark nation. The stated supreme ambition of the political leaders of that nation is to “completely ban” Christianity by 2025. And yet, like Apollos, even though these pastors and church planters have been willing to be involved in personal sacrifice to carry out their evangelistic ministry, both their evangelistic message and their outreach methods have gradually strayed away from the God’s instruction manual (The Word of God)! Evangelical leaders in India have adopted many ‘humanly invented’ techniques and tactics, which have been contrived by evangelical leaders and organizations in America; and have been exported to those Indian pastors and church planters. They have adopted gimmicks and gadgets that have not been ordained by the Lord. And yet, the tragic truth is that many international pastors and leaders assume that if something has come from America, (in this case the American evangelical church), then it must be good and right. They have also embraced and employed an evangelistic message that is not centered on ‘the Person, the work and the terms of the Lord Jesus Christ’. On the contrary, their evangelistic message has been ‘heaven-centered’ in its emphasis. And yet, upon a careful study of the evangelistic presentations in the ‘Book of Acts’, you will discover that heaven is never mentioned in those Gospel proclamations. The original disciples proclaimed Jesus and prosecuted the sinner. We too have been commanded by the Lord to witness about a Person; not a place! I am saying that all of these men, whom I had the privilege of teaching, were in desperate need of repentance in relationship to both the message which they proclaimed and the methods which they were employing. And this is precisely what the Spirit of God worked in their hearts and minds! Even though they had some missing holes in their evangelistic message and methods, every one of them manifested the same attitude as that of Apollos, by demonstrating a teachability and spiritual humility. I sensed no evidence of a prideful attitude welling up among them. Furthermore, I sensed no refusal to admit their past errors, as the Spirit of God called them away from the ‘flesh-concocted methods and a heavencentered message’; and called them to come into line with God’s ordained message and means to carry out His great mission. There was an unusual attitude of openness to instruction; and a willingness to repent and to return to doing “God’s work; God’s way; with God’s message; for God’s glory”!

A beautiful example, of what I am attempting to convey, can be illustrated in the testimony of an older pastor who
sat directly in front of me throughout the entire week! Even though he had been a pastor for 31 years, he made
this heartfelt confession of genuine repentance, saying, “When I began in the ministry, I had the opportunity to
be the interpreter for a very famous American evangelist, who preached to large crusades in my home state.
As a young pastor, I decided to copy both ‘the main theme of his evangelistic message and the humanly
invented methods that he employed’. I have been carrying out my evangelism in this way for over three
decades! However, through this ministry-transforming week of teaching,

I have been confronted with the truth that both my message and methods have been largely unbiblical; and
they have not been pleasing to my Lord. Bro. Ed, I brought nine men, (whom I have personally trained), with
me to this institute. In light of the astounding truths that we have come to understand this week, all of us
have repented of our ‘heaven-centered message and our man-concocted tactics’! All of us have decided that
we must return to our home churches and repent before our congregations. We have all committed to
jettison those ‘humanly-invented techniques and tactics’, which have been nothing but the arm of the flesh.
We have also committed to repent of ‘focusing our evangelistic message on heaven’. And we must all return
to God’s ordained ‘Christ-centered message’. We are totally committed to proclaiming ‘the Person and the
work of the Lord Jesus Christ and prosecuting sinners. We have thoroughly resolved that we are only going
to employ God’s ordained means to carry out God’s mission. As I have sat under every session of this
teaching, I have actually felt like there were only three people in this room (the Lord Jesus; you and myself)!
My life has been radically changed. Both my evangelism and my ministry have been completely transformed.
And we have all vowed that, ‘from this day forward, we are going to do God’s work; using God’s ordained
message and methods; and for God’s glory alone!’ ”