Missions History: John Gibson Paton

 
In a poor Scottish home in the early 1800s, a father led his family in prayer. One of his sons would later write, “How much my father’s prayers impressed me…he poured out his whole soul with tears for the conversion of the heathen world to the service of Jesus, and for every personal and domestic need…As we rose from our knees, I used to look at the light on my father’s face…hoping that, in answer to his prayers, I might be privileged and prepared to carry the blessed gospel to some portion of the heathen world.”
 

This son was named John Gibson Paton, and God would answer his father’s prayers.

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The Truth About God’s Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not something that we as humans naturally do. We would rather hold a grudge or try to get even. We are slow to forgive and even slower to forget. But, when we lift our eyes to the cross of Christ, we begin to see the truth about forgiveness. You see, forgiveness did not start with man. It started with God.

Here are 3 life-changing truths about God’s forgiveness. 

1) God’s forgiveness was bought at a tremendous cost.

God didn’t just go down to the bank, withdraw a cool million or so, and go shopping for an earth-sized box of Forgiveness. It wasn’t that simple. Instead, He sent a personal Representative to the Jewish people. But it wasn’t just any representative. It was His only Son. 

His Son called the people to repent and believe on Him, but they refused. Instead, they sent Him to die an embarrassing, painful death on a cross. Why would God allow this to happen? The truth is that He had planned it…so you and I could be forgiven.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)  

God sent His Son to take the punishment you and I deserve for our sin. He paid a tremendous cost so we could be forgiven. 

 

2) God’s forgiveness is everlasting.

 

If God forgives us today, He doesn’t turn around tomorrow and say, “I was thinking about what you did, and it’s so bad that I don’t think I can forgive you after all.” He doesn’t drag up sins from our past and old skeletons from our closet. 

The Bible says, “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19) 

When God forgives your sin, He also forgets it. As far as He’s concerned, it’s gone for good. At our church in Sydney Mines, we are so thankful that God’s forgiveness is everlasting. 

 

3) God’s forgiveness requires a response from us.

Knowing the facts about God’s forgiveness and Jesus’ death doesn’t mean that you and I are automatically forgiven. We need to personally respond to God. How can we be forgiven?

 
A) “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31)
Choose to trust in Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for your sins—instead of trusting in good works, church attendance, or anything you can do.
B) “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…” (Acts 3:19)

Repent means to turn away from your sins, ask God to forgive them, and choose to follow Him instead of going your own way. 

 

If you will believe on Christ and repent of (turn away from) your sins, you can experience the wonderful forgiveness of God. He will forgive your sins completely and take away your guilt. You will enter a relationship with God now and live with Him in heaven someday. Will you accept God’s forgiveness today? Join us at our church in Sydney Mines to learn more. 
 
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Have you experienced God’s forgiveness for yourself? Join the friendly church family of Northside Baptist Church on Sundays at 11:00 am. 

For more information, call (902) 736-6465 or email northside1178@gmail.com

 



3 Ways to Reach People for Christ

“Evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to the company of Jesus.” -D. Elton Trueblood

 

As Christians, God has sent each of us to share the gospel with people around us. But, sometimes Christians are hesitant to share the gospel. We may fear rejection, or we may not have a clear plan for witnessing. Not sure where to start?

Here are 3 simple ways to reach people for Christ.

1) Pray daily.

The most important Person in any witnessing conversation is God the Holy Spirit. Without His participation, our words will be empty and fruitless. 

 

Jesus described the Holy Spirit’s ministry in John 16, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me;” (John 16:8-9)

 

Effective witnessing doesn’t start with talking to people. It starts with talking to God. 

 

Before you ever open your mouth, get on your knees, and pray that the Holy Spirit will work in their lives.

 

-Pray that He will make them aware of their personal sin and need for Christ.

-Pray that He will prepare their hearts to hear the gospel.

-Pray that He will remove any obstacles to them accepting Christ.

-Pray that He will give you an opportunity to share the gospel and a heart of compassion for them.

 

If you want to reach someone for Christ, start with prayer. 

2) Invite them to your home.

Throughout the New Testament, Jesus ministered to publicans and sinners. He spoke truth both in the public marketplace and in the private home. Our homes can be effective centres for reaching people who may not come out to church.

 

You can invite someone to your house for coffee and dessert, for dinner, or for a bonfire. Treat them as you would a brother or sister in Christ—with kindness and acceptance. Be open about your faith in Christ. 

 

Stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and look for an opening to share your salvation testimony. Always stay focused on reaching them for Christ. When the time is right, explain the gospel clearly. 

 

Also, you can invite them to do a six- or eight-week Bible study with you. You can order Bible studies about the family, marriage, etc. that include the gospel message. Ask your pastor for recommendations.

 

Inviting people to your home can be a wonderful way to show them the love of Christ.

3) Invite them to church.

Another great way to reach people for Christ is to invite them to church with you. If transportation is an obstacle, offer them a drive.

 

At our church in North Sydney, we also have free transportation available. Just call (902) 304-4707 to arrange for a drive.

 

Attending church will expose people to both the truth of God’s Word and the influence of God’s people. They can hear the gospel and respond to it.

 

When your church holds evangelistic meetings, Christmas programs, or outreach events, invite people. You can text an invitation, hand out flyers, or share posts on your social media. But a face-to-face invitation is the most effective. 

 

Remember—you don’t need to wait for a special event to invite someone to church. God can always work through the preaching of His Word. Why not invite someone to our church in North Sydney with you this weekend?

 

If you want to reach people for Christ, you don’t have to know all the answers. You don’t need a degree in theology or years of experience. 

 

You just need to love people as Christ did and share the truth—that Jesus saves!

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Will you reach out to people to share the gospel? Join the friendly church family of Northside Baptist Church on Sundays at 11:00 am. 

 

For more information, call (902) 736-6465 or email northside1178@gmail.com