TRIVANDRUM, INDIA CHRIST-CENTERED EVANGELISM CONFERENCE

These are days of heavy persecution of the evangelical church in the nation of India. Brutal violence is often inflicted on born-again believers by a variety of radical Hindu extremist groups. This vicious opposition of the Gospel, (which has been continually active under previous Indian governments), has been dramatically increasing under the present regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For example, during one of their Sunday worship gatherings, some radical Hindu’s had recently attacked the very church where the “Christ-centered Evangelism” pastors’ conference was held. Thankfully, some local police stopped this particular incident. However, in 99% of the cases of the persecution of believers, the radical Hindu’s know that they will neither be stopped, nor punished for their actions. For the present ruling authorities of India, (which are part of a Hindu nationalist organization), will always take the side of the persecutors of the followers of Christ. As a matter of fact, it is the stated goal of these Hindu extremists, that India should be “free of Christians by 2021”. Furthermore, they will go to any extremes of violence to reach their announced ambition. In point of fact, the very day following the conclusion of our conference, I heard the news that one of the evangelical pastors, from the neighboring state to Kerala, had been martyred by radical Hindu’s.

And yet, even though these Indian pastors are facing great persecution from these religious radicals which envelope their tiny remnant, these spiritual leaders are still in need of Biblical training. For in recent decades, both their ‘evangelistic message and methods’ have drifted astray from the divine standard of the Word of God. The prevalent evangelistic message, which is proclaimed by most Indian pastors and evangelists, has wandered away from a “Christ-centered” message; and has become “heaven-centered” in its main focus. Furthermore, these spiritual leaders have become guilty of gradually adopting many ‘American methods’, that are nothing but the concoctions of the arm of the flesh. Oh, but I am so thankful that, (through previous Christ-centered Evangelism conferences), the Lord has raised up a core group of Indian pastors, who have a passion and purpose to take this ‘Christ-centered Evangelism’ study to each one of the 14 major languages of India. My most recent conference in Trivandrum was being translated into the Malayalam language, which is the language of the state of Kerala. This is the 5th Indian language that the ‘Christ-centered Evangelism’ workbook has been translated into!

Confidence in Prayer

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” The confidence that John is referring to is the glorious truth that a born-again believer can come before the Lord, with both a free access to Him and a confident assurance in Him! For our Heavenly Father delights to grace us with an unimpeded approach into His presence. Ephesians 3:12 reiterates this glorious promise with these words, “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him”. The word “boldness” depicts a steadfast confidence to speak freely in the presence of a person of extremely high rank. Well friends, the Person who we are communing with (in prayer) has the highest ranking in the entirety of the universe; for He is both the Creator and Sustainer of it all. He is the great I Am. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Oh, but He is also our “Abba Father”; and we are accepted in the Beloved One. Consequently, we are invited to come into the most Holy place with a steadfast confidence. But you may ask, “A steadfast confidence in what”? I am speaking of the blessed assurance that our Father delights to hear and answer the prayers of His adopted children. Brothers and sisters, we have been graced with a divine pledge that our Lord and God has committed to be our faithful Provider through prayer.

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” When I am confident that God has given me to the Lord Jesus and He has given the Lord Jesus to me, then I can also have the abiding assurance that He will provide everything that I will ever need to live a life that magnifies my Savior. Do you know that one of the key reasons that believers do not pray more ‘faithfully and fervently’ is their own lack of confidence in God as their ‘Father-Provider’? They do not really believe, in their heart of hearts, that their prayers will be answered. For they do not truly comprehend that, ‘answers to prayers are primarily rooted and grounded in the promises of God to His children; and not in the performance of His children’! Beloved disciples, our Father desires to hear and answer our prayers far more than we desire to pray. Oh, we must recognize that our God is loving, merciful and gracious to His children who seek Him in prayer. He desires to have intimate fellowship with you. He delights to have personal communion with you. You don’t have to force your way into His presence. You don’t have to beg your Father to give you some attention. Friends, He is always eager for you to enter into His throne room and make your personal petitions known to Him.

“Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus.” Notice that our confidence is not in ourselves. Our confidence is not in our performance. For our very best day of performance would be as filthy rags to a perfectly Holy God, without Jesus as our Mediator! Our best performance could never merit one answer to prayer. On the contrary, our confidence is in the Person of Jesus Christ; the performance of Jesus Christ; the payment of Jesus Christ; and the presence of the exalted Lord Jesus Christ, at the right hand of the Majesty on high! John Newton writes these precious words of invitation, “Thou art coming to a King, large petitions with thee bring, for His grace and power are such, that none can ever ask too much.”