Friday, November 30, 2012

You Can Become A Christian Right Now

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen

    This message is for non-Christians. Do you know that you can become a Christian right now? It doesn't matter if you are all alone somewhere, or if you are in a crowded shopping mall, you can become a Christian right now. It doesn't matter if you have lived a very wicked life, maybe even murdered one or more persons, you can become a Christian right now.
    To learn why you need to become a Christian, and how you can become one right now, click on the following link. It will give you the information you need.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A User's Guide To Bible Translations

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen

     This posting is a promotion of another book on Bible translations. The Christian faith is not only Christ-centered, but also Bible-centered. Well-taught Christians  know that the Bible is from God, though it was mediated to us through human authors, whom God infallibly guided as they wrote the Bible.
     The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Very few of us know those languages, and therefore we must read translations made from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into our our own languages.
     Those of us who read English have many English Bible translations from which to choose. We need help in this matter. David Dewey's book, "A User's Guide To Bible Translations," was written to provide the help we need.  Every book has its weaknesses, but Dewey's book is informative, interesting, and easy to read. If you buy it and read it, you will benefit from it.
     What follows is a link to one source for the book. It will let you look at the table of contents, and read some of it. Doing so will help you to decide if you should get this book.

How We Got The Bible

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen


     Have you ever wondered how the Bible came to be written? Do you know the history of its composition? Do you know what its original languages were, and on what it was written? Do you know how it was preserved over many hundreds of years, so that it is available to us now, in the year 2012? Do you have other questions related to how we got the Bible?
     These are very important questions, worthy of our serious consideration. I have read other books and articles on this subject, but the book by Neil Lightfoot is especially interesting and informative. It is called "How We Got The Bible." Some books are so long, readers are hesitant to read them. Not so with Lightfoot's book. It is long enough to be helpful, but short enough to be readable in a reasonable length of time. The charts and pictures bring the subject to life.
      What follows is a link to one source for this book. It enables us to look at the table of contents, and to read some of it. These things will help you decide whether or not to get the book. But I hope you do get it, and then read it! Here's the link:

A Complete Guide To Bible Translations

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen

    Christians are Bible-reading people. Well, they should be, and for good reasons. One of those reasons is that the Bible is the Word of God in writing. And, as one has wisely put it, "The Bible is the only Book God ever wrote." I'm sure that person believed God used human authors to get it written, but the end result is the same: it is the Word of God. The apostle Paul wrote "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable...." See 2 Timothy 3:14 - 17 for some of Paul's great statements about the Bible. And then read Psalm 119. Most of its 176 verses say important things about the Bible. For example, verse 105 says this: "Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." In this world so darkened by sin, we need the Word of God to light our way through life. Therefore, we should read it daily. We should read it through yearly. We should read it thoughtfully. We should read it with the expectation that God will speak to us as we do so. And we should read it with the intention of obeying what applies to us.
    But we need some guidance when it comes to Bible translations. In a previous posting, I promoted a book about four popular translations. Now, I will promote one that briefly evaluates many translations. It called "The Complete Guide To Bible Translations." It is by well-known author, Ron Rhodes. The book is easy to read, informative, and interesting. Here is a link to one source for it:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Some Important Facts From the Bible About Faith

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen

The Christian life begins with faith, and continues with faith.
    This faith is in Jesus Christ and in the Bible. The well-taught Christian has faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and as the Savior of sinners. The well-taught Christian has faith in the Bible as the infallible Word of God. It is a lamp to his/her feet, and a light to his/her path, we are told in Psalm 119:105.
The Bible gives many facts about faith. Consider a few of those facts:
  • In the New Testament portion of the Bible, the words "faith" and "believe" often mean the same thing. That is, to believe the Bible is to have faith in it. And to believe in Jesus Christ is to have faith in him.The following lists of verses prove this to be true.
  • The Bible says salvation is given to us by faith. See Luke 7:50; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8 - 10.
  • The Bible says we are justified by faith. See Acts 13;39; Romans 3;26; Romans 5:1; Galatians 2:16.
  • The Bible says we are sanctified by faith. See Acts 26:18.
  • The Bible says our hearts are purified by faith. See Acts 15:9.
  • The Bible says we can receive physical healing by faith. See James 5:14, 15. (This is not to be understood to mean that it is always God's will to heal the sick. The Bible does not teach that idea.)
 We need to have a Biblical view of the true nature of saving faith.
     The few facts about faith given above reveal how important it is. It is hoped that these facts will be seed-thoughts that will cause readers to study more of what the Bible says about faith. One can learn a lot about faith by simply looking up the words "faith" and "believe" in a Bible concordance, and then turning to those verses in the Bible itself ,and then considering what they say.
     The most important aspect of faith is saving faith. Therefore, we need to have a Biblical view of the true nature of saving faith. What follows is a link to a good study of this topic. It is found on the website of Independent Fundamental Churches Of America, International. Here is the link:

An Excellent Doctrinal Statement

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen

    It is common and good for churches and Christian organizations to have official doctrinal statements. These sometimes go by different names. Here are two examples "Statement Of Faith," "Declaration Of Faith." If we want to know what a church or a Christian organization believes, we need to read their official doctrinal statement.
    One of the best ones I know of is that of "Independent Fundamental Churches Of America, International." (Also known as IFCA, International.) I am happy to be an IFCA, International member. To read this doctrinal statement, click on this link:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jesus Christ Is God The Father's Eternal Son

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen
(Written in December, 2006)

Jesus Christ is God the Father's eternal Son,
His well-pleasing and only begotten One.

He who is the firstborn of all creation,
will one day rule over every nation.

He who is the Prince of peace,
will one day make all wars to cease.

He who came to be the Savior of men,
has promised us He's coming again.

He who is the eternal Word,
has the sweetest Name ever heard.

He who is God in flesh manifest,
gives those who trust Him eternal rest.

He who with the Father and the Spirit is one,
created man, angels, earth, moon, sun.

He who is the Church's Head,
will one day judge both living and dead.

He who is the great I Am,
to remove our sins became God's Lamb.

He who is Israel's promised King,
is our Passover offering.

He who is the Lord of glory,
is the wonder of the Gospel story.

He who is exalted at God's right hand,
has the universe at His command.

He who is the firstborn from the dead,
feeds His people with living bread.

He who created the human race,
is the One who died in our place.

He who gives salvation free,
offers it now to you, to me.

For more Bible studies on this important subject, and on other important Biblical subjects, click on the following link:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Jesus Is Christmas To Me!

By Pastor  Bruce K.  Oyen
Written in December, 2006
(Revised in November, 2012)

Jesus is Christmas to me!
I enjoy the presents and the Christmas tree,
the many dishes on the table spread,
like ham, turkey and homemade bread.
But, still, he's Christmas to me!

Jesus is Christmas to me!
I enjoy being with friends and family,
watching grandkids in the Christmas play,
and hearing from others living far away.
But, still, he's Christmas to me!

Jesus is Christmas to me!
And for good reason, it's easy to see.
It's when we celebrate the Savior's birth,
when the Son of God came to planet earth.
Yes, he's Christmas to me!

Jesus is Christmas to me!
And will be throughout eternity.
For he left his glory in heaven above
to die on a cross because of his love.
Yes, he's Christmas to me!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Local Church's Missionaries

By Pastor Bruce Oyen

 My theme is: "The local church's missionaries."
    Every local church that follows the New Testament believes in supporting missionaries. Biblical missionaries are men and women who have been called by God to do what Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 - 20 should be done. Their emphasis is on carrying out the Lord's command to give the Gospel to others, and then baptize and teach those who first have become Christians by believing in Jesus Christ as their Savior. They might provide medical help, dig wells,  teach English, do carpentry work, or do something else to get a hearing. But those activities will only be tools to open doors of opportunity to do what we read in Matthew 28:18 - 20.
    A local church is not a building, but a body of believers organized as a church. They might meet in a building, on a lawn,  or under a tree. But let the graphic above represent such a body of believers.
An important question about our missionaries.
    Those persons who make up local churches are thrilled to hear that their money and prayers have enabled missionaries to go around the world on their behalf to carry out the Great Commission.  But we need to ask ourselves an important question: do our missionaries teach their converts the doctrines believed by their supporting churches? We expect them to teach the right way to be saved. But we should also expect them to teach their converts the other doctrines of their supporting churches.
Are soul-winning and fundamental doctrines all that matters? 
    Sadly, though, many sincere Christians think that if their missionaries win souls to faith in Jesus Christ, it doesn't really matter what the new Christians are taught, so long as it is not major false doctrine. Their attitude is that if the converts are taught the fundamentals of the Christian  faith, what they are taught about non-fundamentals is of no great importance.
Other doctrines are very important
     I agree that winning souls to Christ and teaching them the fundamentals of the faith is of primary importance. But other doctrines are important, too. We should, in fact, consider the doctrines of our local churches so important that we want our missionaries to pass them on to their converts. Why would we pay men and women to go to the far corners of the earth and teach doctrines not believed by our churches? Why would we pay home missionaries to do this? Does that make sense? Don't we want to reproduce our churches and their fundamental and non-fundamental doctrines through our missionaries?
Some questions to think about. 
     Now, here are some more questions to make my point clear. The list of questions is not complete. The questions are intended to get us to think this matter through.
  • Do our missionaries believe what our churches believe about the inspiration of the Bible?
  • Do they believe what we do about the infallibility and authority of the Bible?
  • Do they believe what we do about Bible translations?
  • Do they believe what we do about how to become a Christian?
  • Do they believe what we do about baptism and the Lord's supper?
  • Do they believe what we do about female pastors?
  • Do they believe what we do about repentance and faith?
  • Do they believe what we do about the permanence of salvation?
  • Do they believe what we do about spiritual/charismatic gifts?
  • Do they believe what we do about the extent of the atonement?
  • Do they believe what we do about the rapture and the second coming of Christ?
  • Do they believe what we do about the millennium?
  • Do they believe what we do about the Antichrist?
  • Do they believe what we do about heaven and hell?
  • Do they believe what we do about the resurrection of the dead?
  • Do they believe what we do about life after death?
  • Do they believe what we do about the local church?
  • Do they believe what we do about the officers of the church?
  • Do they believe what we do about evolution versus creation?
In conclusion
   I believe in the independence of the local church. This means the local church governs itself. This means it can support whatever missionaries it chooses to support. But, if a church says all that really matters is that their missionaries teach the right way to be saved, and that they teach the fundamentals of the faith, they are making a big mistake. Other doctrines are important, too.
   We should expect our missionaries to teach their converts what their supporting churches believe. The only churches that do not expect this of their missionaries are inter-denominational (that is, inter-doctrinal) churches.  Is this true of our churches? Let's hope not, for the churches of the New Testament were not inter-denominational/inter-doctrinal churches. They were non-denominational, but not inter-denominational. They did not believe non-fundamental doctrines were of little importance. As proof of this, read, for example,  through Paul's letters to the Thessalonian Christians. In those two short letters, he said a lot about non-fundamental doctrines because of their great importance.