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Youth Bible Studies

WHEN THE LOVING-TO-BE-YOUNG JESUS MET YOUNG PEOPLE Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

young peopleJesus loved being “young”, like most of us do – the time of our lives when our prettiness/handsomeness is at an Himalayan high and our energy-levels at an Everest high. Why did I say that Jesus loved being young? Here’s why – follow the line of my argument carefully: Jesus had the power to choose when he could die (John 10:18); He chose to die when he was in the prime of his youth; He was about 30 when he started his ministry – Luke records (Luke 3:23);  John, the Gospel writer, talks about three Passovers which Jesus took part in (John 2:13; 6:4 and 11:55);  Since the Passover was an annual festival for the Jews (Lev. 23:1-8; I Sam. 1:3, 21), we know Jesus’ ministry on the earth lasted for three years, before he was crucified and buried;  He rose again as a young man, three days later. And he ascended to heaven as a young man of 33;  He sits at the right hand of the Father as a young man;  In all these years, his glorious body has not aged – I believe – because the Bible says “the same” young Jesus whom the disciples ascend into heaven will return back to this earth (Acts 1:11).

 

Young people, Jesus can understand you because he is God who is all knowing. Not just that. He can stand you(th) because he is young even right now!

 

Jesus also loves meeting young people. In his earthly ministry, Jesus met several youth and ministered to them. However, the Gospel writers were moved by the Holy Spirit to give details of Jesus’ interaction with three different youth (only these three persons whom I will refer to are explicitly called ‘youth’).  Let us take a long look at those biblical incidents when Jesus met youth and draw lessons for the youth of today.

 

  1. WHEN JESUS MET A COLD YOUNG MAN

 

Jasprit Bumrah, the Indian Fast Bowler, has a nick-name. He is nicknamed “Bootlace Bomber”, because of his ability of bowl yorkers accurately and high speed. Jesus can be given a nick-name. Jesus can be called “the Funeral Spoiler”! He is seen disrupting three funerals at various stages of increasing difficulty – one which took place in a home, the other when the body was being carried from the home to the graveyard and still yet another when the body was buried in the graveyard! He disrupts the funeral of the young man who was being carried to the graveyard. He was the only son of his widowed mother (Luke 7:12). And he was being carried to the grave! This is what happened according to Dr. Luke: He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” (Luke 7:14). That young man rose again from the dead and Jesus gave him back to his mother (Luke 7:15).

 

Have you touched dead bodies? I have. I recently touched the dead body of my maternal uncle who passed after battling Parkinson’s Disease for 25 years. Dead bodies are cold. I want to draw an analogy here. Are you cold, spiritually speaking? Are you cold in your love towards the One whose love for you is warm? There was a time when you used to pray for long hours without looking at the clock. There was a time when you would witness without any second thoughts. There was a time when you fled from temptation and enjoyed the fleeing because you knew sin’s pleasures were, at best, fleeting. But not any longer. Now, prayer times have become a drag for you. You do not witness for Jesus at all. And you run towards temptation feeling super-excited. You need to repent. You need to come back to Jesus. You must come back to the “first love” you had for Jesus (Rev. 2:4). Your love for Jesus needs to be warm.

 

  1. WHEN JESUS MET A HALF-COMMITTED YOUNG MAN

Matthew records the conversation of a “young man” (Matt. 19:20,22) of “great wealth” (Matt. 19:22) had with Jesus. He had the right question – “What must I do to get eternal life?” (Matt. 19:16). He wasn’t talking about earthly things but things of eternal value. So, in that sense, he asked the right question. Having read the full Bible we know that we do not have “do” anything to get eternal life. All we need to do to be saved is to believe in the Lord Jesus who died and rose again for us with a truly repentant heart (Acts 2:37-38; 16:30-31 – two passages where we read the question of unbelievers, “What shall we do now?”). The rich young man not only asked the right question, he exhibited the right posture. Mark records that this young man “knelt” down before Jesus when he asked that question (Mark 10:17 ESV). This tells me that he respected Jesus and wanted to express that respect by the posture of kneeling.  But the rich young man who asked the right question with the right posture responded wrongly to Jesus. Jesus, who knew everything as God (John 2:25), knew about his greed and love for money problem. So, Jesus touched that aspect of his life in response to his question. But he did not do that in an angry tone. He did it lovingly. Mark records that Jesus looked at this young man and “loved him” as he gave his response to his question (Mark 10:21). Jesus loves young people. But he does not desire that young people stay in their sins – be it pride or porn-watching or peer-pressure yielding or prayerlessness. So he lovingly calls youth to repent – especially of their “pet” sins. If you are given to the secret habit of shooting and sending nude selfies via WhatsApp Jesus would say this to you, looking at you in a loving way: “Yet one thing you lack. Surrender your WhatsApp life to me!” (Read Mark 10:21 to understand what Jesus told the Rich Young Ruler). Here is the message we need to get: Jesus loves us just the way we are, but he won’t leave us that way. He would woo us with his love, wow us with his love. He love when truly experienced will transform our life. But if we keep rejecting his love, a time will surely come when the Holy Sprit may stop talking to us and we will land in eternal hell (Rev. 21:7-8; Gen. 6:3; Romans 1:18-24).

 

So do not be half-committed, when it comes to your commitment with Jesus! The rich young man walked away “sad” when he took a U-turn from Jesus and walked away because he was unwilling to repent of his love of money in a practical way by selling all his possessions, giving what he got to the poor, and following Jesus (join Jesus’ ministry team) [Mark 10:21]. He level of commitment to Jesus was not 100%. He kept some parts of his life for himself, for sin, for Satan. This young man wanted to serve Jesus and Money. And that led to sadness. Double-mindedness leads to delight-loss – this was James’ message (Whoever wavers in his mind is troubled in all his ways – James 1:8, Aramaic Bible in Plain English). Don’t lock a corner of your life secretly to porn by watching nudity via streaming platforms like Netflix. Don’t make room in your heart for a little pride in the name having good self-esteem. Give up “all” sin and surrender your “full” life to Jesus (note Jesus’ stress on the word “all” in his response to the young man who was rich in Mark 10:21). Then, the lasting joy which the young rich man missed will be yours (Mark 10:22; Matt. 19:22). When you surrender your life to Jesus without holding anything back – I repeat without holding anything back – you are sure to experience the joy which the world cannot give, money can’t buy (the rich young ruler should have known this) and Satan cannot take away. I can testify to that!

 

 

  1. WHEN JESUS MET A COWARDLY YOUNG MAN

 

There was a young man who followed Jesus enroute to the Cross. But when the Roman Arrest party closed-in on Jesus he had to choose between suffering with Jesus or scooting from Jesus. He chose the later option, for lack of courage. You can read about him in Mark 14:51 – ‘A young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. But he [v]pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked’ (NASB). When this young man had to choose being naked in public and being nerveless in public, he chose the former. He was a coward. He was curious about Jesus (that why he followed Jesus). But he could not make up him mind to be courageous for Jesus. He was exactly the opposite of John Chou, the young American who went to North Sentinel Islands to proclaim Jesus, pretty well knowing that his life was at risk at the hands of the untamed, javelin-wielding, tribal people who lived there in 2018. He sure lost his life. But great will be reward on the other side of eternity. Do you know in the list of people who will go to hell even “cowards” are mentioned? (Rev. 21:7-8). The book of Revelation was written as an encouragement for people who were being persecuted. The message of that book is simple: “Endure”. Revelation 13:10b read this way: ‘Here is a call for the perseverance and faith of the saints.’ Revelation 14:12’s message is also the same: ‘This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.’ When Revelation 21:7-8 places even the ‘cowardly’ in the list of people who will go to hell, we understand this way: those who repeated, stubbornly, deny Jesus through their words and actions for the fear of a repercussion (repercussions like ‘my friends will make fun of me, if I refuse to drink along with them’, ‘if I say no to sex when this girl is offering it offering to me, she will think I am not even a man!’, ‘if I question my pastor about this false teaching he is preaching, he will not have me on stage as a worship leader in this church’, etc) are in the real danger of going to eternal hell.

 

So, in your campus life, show people that you have a backbone. In your corporate office, let people know that out of that popularity contest. Live for Jesus courageously!

Note: This article was published in the August 2019 issue of Aim Magazine published by Evangelical Fellowship of India.

(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is a trained Agricultural Engineer [B. Tech from SHIATS, Allahabad], who did not pursue a career in the line of his education but nevertheless enjoys growing cacti in the balcony of his flat, during his spare time. He could have been a cricket commentator but prefers to wrap Bible Truth around cricket magic moments and other interesting-to-Google Genners contemporary events. God’s call upon him made him utterly restless and he obeyed that call to by founding the Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission to finally find serenity after having served as a pastor/missionary/editor. G4 Mission is not a church but an inter-denominational ministry to present-day people, a ministry which Duke works fulltime for, as an itinerant presenter/preacher since 2008 putting to use the formal theological training he received from a reputed Bible College in Bangalore [M. Div & Doctor of Ministry from CGLD-SABC]. Duke is called ‘dad’ by Dale (15) and Datasha (11) and ‘hubby’ by Evangelin and calls Hyderabad his adopted home. In case your curiosity is triggered by reading all this, you may checkout dukewords.com [if you are the reading plain text type], soundcloud.com/shoutaloud [if you are part of the audio-listening tribe] and youtube.com/visitduke [if you group yourself with the video-steaming generation]).

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Strong Believers Creating Articles Uncategorized

MARTYRDOM-READY BELIEVERS IN A 5G-INTERNET-SPEED-FOLD-YOUR-PHONE-READY WORLD – Duke Jeyaraj

POLYCARPThis morning (22 July 2019) when I went to get the newspaper in a shop in Diamond Point, Secunderabad, I witnessed a march by school students in memory of the Kargil Martyrs. They walked shouting slogans of respect for the Kargil Martyrs.

The Bible is clear when it calls believers to die for Christ if there is a need to do so. None of us will enjoy dying. But none of us should be scarred of dying for Christ’s sake.

Jesus’ call for martyrdom comes from John 12:24 – Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:23 records that these were the words of Jesus.

Apostle Paul, the person who kept saying we must follow Christ as he followed Christ using various phrases atleast five different times in the New Testament as he was inspired by the Spirit to do so was willing to die for Christ. We read these his brave words in Acts 21:13 – Then Paul answered (a group of five prophets who prophesied that he should not go to Jerusalem and preach about Jesus because that would land him in great danger), “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

The writer to the Hebrews in the Bible was complaining that there weren’t enough brave people in the church he wrote to who chose Martyrdom when he wrote, “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Heb. 12:4).

My favorite Christian Martyr is Polycarp. His martyrdom was the first prominent one after the completion of the New Testament. I recommend that you watch the 2015 Movie Polycarp – you, your family, your church. I watched it with my family and a small group I taught God’s Word to. I stopped at strategic points in his life to draw spiritual lessons during that movie.

Here is the gripping report of the martyrdom of Polycarp by Christianity Today website:

‘Polycarp had been a Christian since he was a child, but the Romans didn’t get around to killing him until he was in his eighties. Whatever the reason for the delay, it is still the first recorded martyrdom in post-New Testament church history. Such traits are especially evident in the account of his martyrdom, which was written within a year of his death. It is not clear exactly why he was suddenly, at age 86, subject to arrest, but when he heard Roman officials were intent on arresting him, he decided to wait for them at home. Panic-stricken friends pleaded with him to flee, so to calm them, he finally agreed to withdraw to a small estate outside of town. But while in prayer there, he received some sort of vision. Whatever he saw or heard, we don’t know. He simply reported to his friends that he now understood, “I must be burned alive.” Roman soldiers eventually discovered Polycarp’s whereabouts and came to his door. When his friends urged him to run, Polycarp replied, “God’s will be done,” and he let the soldiers in.’

‘He was escorted to the local proconsul, Statius Quadratus, who interrogated him in front of a crowd of curious onlookers. Polycarp seemed unfazed by the interrogation; he carried on a witty dialogue with Quadratus until Quadratus lost his temper and threatened Polycarp: he’d be thrown to wild beasts, he’d be burned at the stake, and so on. Polycarp just told Quadratus that while the proconsul’s fire lasts but a little while, the fires of judgment (“reserved for the ungodly,” he slyly added) cannot be quenched. Polycarp concluded, “But why do you delay? Come, do what you will.”’

‘Soldiers then grabbed him to nail him to a stake, but Polycarp stopped them: “Leave me as I am. For he who grants me to endure the fire will enable me also to remain on the pyre unmoved, without the security you desire from nails.” He prayed aloud, the fire was lit, and his flesh was consumed. The chronicler of this martyrdom said it was “not as burning flesh but as bread baking or as gold and silver refined in a furnace.”’

‘The account concluded by saying that Polycarp’s death was remembered by “everyone”—”he is even spoken of by the heathen in every place.”’

Should there be a rule in our land that we should not worship Christ or follow him or share his love, what would you do?

Would we respond like Peter and the apostles did in a similar situation: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29) – would we boldly say that to those who persecute us?

“Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus” – that’s what the persecuted apostles did (Acts 5:41-42). And would we make Acts 5:41-42 a reality in our lives in case there is persecution in our world?

One small way we as a ministry show that we are not afraid of persecution is by distributing tracts. We still choose a spot and give tracts in that spot once a month. My joy knows no bounds whenever a new team member would say: “This is the first time I giving a gospel tract!” I tell myself, “Even if I were to die and be with Jesus, this wave of fearless witnessing will continue till the return of Christ!”

Mobile companies are preparing the world to be 5G super-fast internet speed-ready world where your 5G enabled phones can be folded! They are preparing mobile handsets that will be 5G ready. Huawei Mate X –  a phone that can be folded – is one such phone. As believers, I write this article with a passion to see martyrdom-ready believers.

MATE X

(Duke Jeyaraj is a trained Agricultural Engineer [B. Tech from SHIATS, Allahabad], who did not pursue a career in the line of his education but nevertheless enjoys growing cacti in the balcony of his flat, during his spare time! He could have been a cricket commentator but prefers to wrap Bible Truth around cricket magic moments and other interesting-to-Google Genners contemporary events, instead. God’s call upon him made him utterly restless and he obeyed that call  by founding the Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission to finally find serenity after having served formerly as a pastor with a large denomination/missionary with a large organisation/employee of HSBC Global Resourcing. G4 Mission is not a church but an inter-denominational ministry to present-day people, a ministry which Duke works fulltime for, as an itinerant presenter/preacher/author since 2008 putting to use the formal theological training he received from a reputed Bible College in Bangalore [M. Div & Doctor of Ministry from CGLD-SABC]. Duke is called ‘dad’ by Dale (15) and Datasha (11) and ‘hubby’ by Evangelin and calls Hyderabad his adopted home – a town from where Duke has travelled by invitation to over 15 Indian States and to a few countries to preach God’s Word. In case your curiosity is triggered by reading all this, you may checkout http://www.dukewords.com [if you are the reading plain text type], http://www.soundcloud.com/shoutaloud [if you are part of the audio-listening tribe] and http://www.youtube.com/visitduke [if you group yourself with the video-steaming generation]. G4 Mission is a listener/reader/viewer supported Indian ministry.)

 

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Cricket-Wrapped-Bible-Devotions Uncategorized

THE SEE-SAW BATTLE LIKE WE HAVE NEVER SEEN – Duke Jeyaraj Bible Devo on the heart-stopping World Cup Final 2019 / England V New Zealand on 14 July 2019 in the Lords Cricket Ground London

ben stokes

Life is like a see-saw game. Perhaps there was no better see-saw game than the 2019 World Cup Final. England and New Zealand played the World’s greatest ever One Day International – an incredible sine-curve game. Vic Marks wrote this about this game: “This was the most astonishing, fortuitous, preposterous climax to any cricket match I’ve witnessed, let alone a World Cup final.” He was right.

For some time, England seemed to win. During some other times, New Zealand seemed to win. New Zealand created pressure. England got out of it. Repeat. Till your heart-beat almost stops.

When New Zealand won the toss and batted first, it looked like New Zealand had the upper hand. Nicholls and Williamson were going great with their team at 103 for 1 in the 23rd Over. That’s when one of seemingly innocuous delivery of Liam Plunkett caught the faintest of edges of Williamson’s bat. He was out caught behind. The captain who had scored the most runs in a World Cup edition was gone. If this duo had continued a score of 300 was a possibility. But they ended by at 241 – thanks to Jofra Archer’s superb death bowling. His last two overs went like this: 111000110111. Advantage England.

When England chased 242, New Zealand kept creating pressure. If-he-bats-till-twenty-overs-then-game-over Jason Roy got out. Out-of-sorts Joe Root got out. Not-the-usual-self Jonny Baristow got out. Maximum-sixes-in-a-single-ODI Eion Morgan got out. At 4 for 86 in the 24th Over, England were in serious trouble. Advantage New Zealand, now. That’s when Jos Buttler joined Ben Stokes. Their 100-plus stand threatened to take the game away from New Zealand. The blue-eyed Buttler was giving the Blackcaps the blues! But in the 45 over Lockie Ferguson struck. He had Buttler spoon a catch. New Zealand were back in the game. Advantage New Zealand. When England needed 22 off nine balls they were in a similar situation like India were in the semi-finals with Dhoni on strike. Like Dhoni did, Stokes hit the ball in the air. Let Akash Sarkar take over: “As the equation slipped to 22 off 9, Stokes slammed one Neesham delivery wide of long-on. Trent Boult settled under it and took a clean catch. There was more drama though as the pacer then took a step back and stepped on the rope to give England crucial six more. In hindsight, the game was lost there by the visitors.” Advantage England, now. In the final over with 9 runs needed off 4 balls, Martin Guptill’s throw from the deep deflected of Stokes’ bat (without Stokes deliberately doing the deflecting so much so the English fans named the event the “The Bat of God” after Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal versus England in a Football World Cup). The ball went to the boundary. Umpire Dharmasena signaled a 6. 2 runs plus 4 for overthrows. Advantage England there. With 3 needed of 2, Trent Boult and the nerveless Kiwis pushed the game to a SuperOver – thanks to some nerveless boundary riding. In the Super Over, with England making 15 runs – thanks to a boundary each by Buttler and Stokes – New Zealand had to score 16 runs to win the game having scored lesser boundaries than England. England’s SuperOver bowler Jofra Archer (called Prophet Jofra as he had tweeted 16 off 6 via Twitter way back in 2014) started with a wide and conceded an early six to Jimmy Neesham. It is now 7 off 4 for New Zealand. Not tough to do. Advantage New Zealand. Later it was 5 off 3. Neesham could not hit a six and make his country the World Cup winners in the next ball. He managed a two. It was 3 of 2, now. Neesham could not hit a four and make his country the World Cup winners in the next ball.  In the penultimate ball, Neesham takes a single and puts Guptill on strike for the last ball. Yes, Jofra Archer pulled things back after a poor start and brought it down to 2 off 1 ball. Martin Guptill instead of swinging for the hills, tried to work it around. Though the throw from Jason Roy was not accurate Jos Buttler collected the ball and whipped the bails without wasting time to catch the man who caught Dhoni out of his crease in the Semis, Guptill, outside his crease. The Cup was England’s. For the first time! The greatest ODI had come to an end.

Ups and downs – are not just part of the Greatest ODI – but also our lives. It was part of Apostle Paul’s life. He writes, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Phil. 4:12). In the same chapter we read of a minister of the Gospel being killed and another minister of the Gospel rescued from certain death. I am talking about Acts 12. I am talking about James (dead) and Peter (rescued) here. Some women received back their dead in Hebrews 11. Some were sawed/cut with sharp metal into two in Hebrews 11. Glamour and Gloom were pinned together in one Bible chapter. Yes, highs and lows can be joined together, inter-twined together in one life, no matter how dedicated for the Lord that life is. Ask Job. Job 1 recorded the lows and Job 42 the highs.  There was a time when the lip-smacking grapes crowned the vines in Prophet Habakkuk’s garden. There was a time – just before the Babylonian invasion – that they were no grapes in his garden and the prophet felt gobsmacked (astonished) at what God allowed to happen to his children (Hab 3:17). But Habakkuk decided rejoice in God his Savior without batting an eyelid. That’s what ultimately matters.

There was a slip between the cup and the lip for Kane Williamson. So near, yet so far. One reason could have inexplicable duck and leave by Michael Santner when he faced the last ball of the New Zealand’s regular innings by Jofra Archer. This was the same guy who hit a last ball six for CSK in the 2019 IPL, mind you. Santner could have put bat on ball and picked up any run(s) that came by, who knows, the World Cup would be New Zealand’s! What a massive miss! John Bunyan wrote in the classic book, Pilgrim’s Progress, “Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven.” So we must have an A to Z commitment when it comes to Christian Commitment. A, for Abide (John 15:4 – Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me) to Z for Zeal (Rom.  12:11 – Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord). Unless we persevere – enabled by grace – we will perish. When we “keep ourselves in God’s love” (Jude 21) he will “keep us from falling and present us without fault in his glorious presence on that day” (Jude 24).

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission. This is a reader supported Indian ministry. Find out more at www.dukev.org. Duke’s articles are hosted at http://www.dukewords.com. Watch Duke at http://www.youtube.com/visitduke).

 

 

Categories
Cricket-Wrapped-Bible-Devotions

THREE DUCKS IN THEIR BIGGEST ODI GAME & OUR “DUCK” WHEN IT COMES TO SALVATION – Duke Jeyaraj brings out a spiritual truth from the Bible starting with an event from the World Cup Cricket Final 2015

mccullum

Andrew Ramsey wrote the following line about Brendon McCullum’s 3-ball duck in the World Cup Final 2015 versus Australia in Melbourne before 90,000 plus people: “If two successive air swings were not sufficient to alert McCullum to the peril that Starc posed, the third ensured the visiting captain’s World Cup Final batting memories will be brief, bitter and bereft of any contact between bat and ball.” Later in the New Zealand innings, two other batsmen, Corey Anderson (one time record holder for the fastest ODI hundred) and Luke Ronchi (whose ODI highest score is 170 runs) also recorded ducks. Three of the cleanest ball-strikers in the Kiwi line-up scored ducks in their biggest ever ODI game.

Ducks. Zeroes. These words reminds me of our score when we compare it with the score of God’s score when it comes to purity: it is nought. We have ALL sinned and fallen short of His glory, the Bible records (Rom. 3:23). In other words: we have a duck across our name when it comes to salvation. We can’t make it heaven with our merit. We cannot save ourselves through our effort. We cannot pull ourselves up with our own boot laces, can we? Our good morals are like filthy rags (like menstrual cloth) before God, Isaiah wrote. All our “g-o-o-d” minus “G-O-D” is just a 0 – a zero (as someone said). But there is only one who coverts that duck into a hundred. That’s Jesus, the God in flesh, the only one who never ever sinned, the one Mediator between God and Man. All one needs to be saved is to put one’s trust in this Jesus, who died for us on the Cross and arose, with a repentant heart (Luke 13:5; Rom. 10:9). Paul writes, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith…” (Eph 2:8). Would you come to Jesus to accept this free gift of salvation? Would you do it now?

(Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is an engineer turned Doctor of Ministry graduate. Duke is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission, a inter-church, inter-organizational ministry to present-day people. Duke and his wife, Evangelin work for this ministry fulltime. This ministry is funded by those who are blessed by reading Duke’s writings and hearing his messages – all Indians. Find out more by liking www.facebook.com/googleduke).

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Cricket-Wrapped-Bible-Devotions Uncategorized

THE ROHIT HAND SIGNAL FROM THE BALCONY; THE JESUS HAND STRETCH FROM CALVARY! India-New Zealand World Cup 2019 Semifinals – a poem by Duke Jeyaraj with a message at the end)

rohit sharma signal

rohit hand gesture

A quick assessment of the pitch the incoming Kane Williamson made, as soon as Guptill got out

Plans for a 250 plus score rather than a 300 plus score,  began to immediately sprout,

The Kiwis ran furious 2s instead of going for big shots to reach 239 to set up a tantalizing bout,

Rohit, Kohli, KL and DK  went and the Indian were starting at a definite, by-New Zealand, semis rout,

Before Youngguns Pant and Pandya a way out from the Certain Defeat cave they fiercely cut,

Impatient Pant after four dot balls skied a shot only to be caught – why did play that shot, but?

After Pandya perished Jadeja’s  lusty, valiant blows ended India’s boundary drought!

But Dhoni’s go-slow now, acceleration later approach made the required run-rate stout!

44 off 26 to win with two set batsmen in at one point – India were very much in the game then, no doubt!

Instead of going for 6s, Dhoni ran 6 singles in the next few balls & in-the-Dhoni-created-pressure, Jadeja holed out

As Dhoni hit a goosebumps giving six over backward-point in ball 49.1 – India’s World Cup dream did not yet logout!

Guptill ran-out Dhoni at a time when 6 fielders were outside the circle – a clear case of rule flout!

India’s collective heart-beat stopped as teary eyed Dhoni walked back towards his team’s hut!

“We are the team that crash-landed Flight No. ODI World Cup No.3 For India’ – that is now New Zealand’s deserving strut!

When Rohit Sharma, flexed muscles to signal the ‘Be Strong – You Can Take India To A Win’ to Jadeja & my heart did jut!

But did you know that Jesus stretched his arms and died, he signaled, ‘You have hope for the Salvation Door even for the worst ever sinner is not shut!’

Turn from sin and put your faith in the only God-in-flesh Jesus and you will find peace-amidst-the-storm in your gut!

 

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission. Check out www.purposespot.blogspot.com for similar write-ups. Read more of Duke’s writings at www.dukewords.com and watch his videos at www.youtube.com/visitduke).

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Single Youth

The B questions to ask before you choose your life partner – Duke Jeyaraj

white Duke

You are perhaps considering someone. You are perhaps praying about someone. “Someone,” who? Someone, who could be your life partner. Someone you would wake up with for the rest of your life. Someone who would be father/mother to your babies. It’s a big decision. You can change your computer printer – but not your life partner, according to the Bible. That’s why, this is a big decision. How can you be sure that a certain ‘someone’ is God’s chosen person to be your life partner? Here are some key questions to ask yourself before you prayerfully decide:

1. Is that person a BELIEVER? Is that person BORNAGAIN? The Bible is clear: falling in love with an unbeliever and later converting that  person to Christ is not an acceptable or recorded missionary statergy in the Bible. If the person you are interested in, is not a believer ALREADY, you are not certainly in the will of God with regard to your life partner choice. The one you take to bed, will influence your head, even if you are the wisest man on the earth. Ask Solomon he will tell you. He ended up worshipping idols influenced by his idol-worshipping wives. He did not convert them. They converted him.

2. Can you sail in that person’s BOAT? In other words, do both of you have the same life goal? Are you both willing to sail in the same direction, like Mr. and Mrs. Noah were? Or do you resemble Mr. and Mrs. Lot – a couple that went in the opposite directions? Amos 3:3 says, ‘two people who walk together must be agreed with each other’. Marriage is a life-long walk together. If you are desirous of being involved in ministry during your offs and other free times and if your partner does not enjoy this at all, say ‘tata’ to that partner.

3. Does the person possess the same BRAIN-WAVE LENGTH as you do? Marriage is not about having sex 24/7. It is about conversations over coffee. Converstations in bed.  Conversations and more conversations. Find a person with you can converse with without having to make too much effort. Find a person in the same wave-length as you are in.

4. Is that person BEAUTIFUL in your eyes? Read Ezekiel 24. In that chapter, you will discover the Prophet Ezekiel called his wife, ‘the delight of my eyes’. It is important that you find a partner you looks beautiful in your eyes or is as beautiful as you are (so make sure you keep looking at the mirror often so that you know how ‘beautiful’ you first are – sorry, if I was too blunt here!). Beauty, of course,  lies in the eye of the beholder. But don’t make beauty the only deciding factor. It is only skin deep or make-up deep or studio-photography deep (in today’s world!). Kick away traditional views on beauty – ‘the girl should be milk white!’,  ‘the boy should be twin towers tall!’ etc, etc. Grow up!

5. Does that person have the BUCKS to take care of you? After you get married, both of you need to pool in resources and make ends meet. If that is not going to be feasible, think again about the choice of the life partner, you are about to make. Dowry-demanding, directly or indirectly is wrong.It amounts to male-prostitution, according to me. And male-prostitutes do not make it to heaven, mind you, the Bible records! But a boy and a girl who are going to get married must count the cost of starting a new family and must be willing to adjust and live with the financial resources they pool-in together. Both the girl’s parents and the boy’s parents must bless them voluntarily with resources to help them settle down and start a new home.

6. Does that person have a BADGE OF APPROVAL from the elders? Samson and Easu threw out good parental advice when it came to life partner choice and paid for it, dearly. If advice from elders comes in line with God’s Word, take it. You would be wiser at the end of the day.

Keeping these ‘ 6 B’ questions in mind you can be wise in your life partner choice. Pray about the matter. If you have peace go ahead. If peace follows your prayer, the decision you have taken in line with God’s written Word, the Bible, is a God-guarded decision (Phil 4:6,7).  Do not postpone your choice of life partner giving some excuse or the other or by looking for a perfect life partner. When beauty queens did this, they became beggers (Isa 4:1).

There is another way one can look at this question:

Commanding Scripture: Is the partner I am considering a believer?

II Cor 6:14

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Controlling Spirit: Do I have peace when I pray about him/her?

Phil 4

The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Counsel of Saints: Do others who mean good to me, especially elders and parents, think we will make a good pair?

Proverbs 11:14

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

Circumstantial Signs: Is God opening the doors for me to marry that person? For example, is she/he saying ‘s’ to the proposal of marriage?

Genesis 24

Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this [2] I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”

For the 4 ‘CSs’ I just used, I am grateful to Nicky Gumbel who first talked about them in one of his books.

Post Script: This article is for those who are working and in the age bracket to be married.  But if you still studying, please concentrate on your studies and be friends with everyone in your class instead of spending all your time with a boyfriend or girlfriend; student days are not the best times for romantic love; there is time for everything! (Eccl 3). Falling in love during your student days could potentially drill two holes into your system, one, in your heart, and, another, in your purse!

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission – G4 Mission – an ministry to presentday people supported by individual Indians who are blessed by Duke’s messages and articles. Find out more about Duke and this ministry by liking www.facebook.com/googleduke and www.facebook.com/dukebook or visiting www.dukev.org)

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Anti-Dotes-For-Modern-False-Teachings-Like-Hyper-Grace

CAN A SAVED PERSON, EVER BE LOST IN HELL? Duke Jeyaraj

a saved person_ can he be lost in hell_

INTRODUCTION:

A news report about American cyclist and cancer-survivor, Lance Armstrong set me thinking: “Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who has already had his record seven Tour de France victories wiped from the record books, could now be stripped of the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour. Armstrong was awarded the title Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 2005 in recognition of his seventh Tour win, but moves are now afoot to have the honour rescinded, according to a spokesman for the order. In January, Armstrong, 41, admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his record seven Tour de France championships from 1999-2005. He was stripped of all seven Tour titles last year after a devastating report by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which accused the cyclist of taking part in one of the biggest cheating operations in sports history.” (thestar.com.my, 2 March 2013 post). If a sports person could loose the titles he won, because he was a willfully committing fraud to win those titles, then are we correct in affirming that we will lose our salvation if we willfully live in sin?

‘Can a saved person ever be lost?’- this all-important head-splitting question has boggled and divided Christians world-wide down through the centuries. Differences over peripheral and circumferential doctrines can be over looked. But as this question involves a doctrine at the heart of the Christian faith – salvation – this question needs careful unpacking, so that believers can come to an agreement over it – an agreement based on truth. In this article (which I first wrote while I was still in Bible college during the years, 1998-2001), I attempt to face the above eternal-destiny affecting question squarely and come up with my conclusion.

THE DOCTRINE OF ‘ETERNAL SECURITY’ – THE VARIOUS VIEWS STATED

Let’s put the doctrine we are debating about in ‘black and white’ in the words of Dr.Robert Raymond, a leading Reformed Theologian:

“Every true child of God, that is, every person whom the father chose in Christ before the foundation of the world and for whom Christ died, whom the Father effectively called by his word and Spirit unto repentance toward God and Faith in Jesus Christ, and whom he consequently justified and adopted unto his family, and who is consequently justified and adopted unto his family, and who is consequently growing in grace, will never come into condemnation. That person can never be finally lost and is eternally secure. By virtue of God’s preserving grace he or she will certainly persevere in the state of salvation and be finally and eternally saved.”

Theologians like Howard Marshall, however, warn that believers can backslide from the faith and consequently be damned if they don’t persevere in their faith. Now the stage is set for thorough check to see which position is biblical and correct.

THE DOCTRINE’S HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT

Augustine was among the first to reach the doctrine of unconditional salvation. Calvin believed all saints could eventually persevere and their free will had no part to play. Arminius, a Dutch Pastor, challenged Methodist Church founder John Wesley saying that saints had no right to be certain of their salvation. Arminius strongly believed that a saved person could go to hell if he chose to rebel against God. John Wesley put it this way, in-effect: “God does give sufficient grace to persevere, but it is up to us to whether or not we receive this grace.” At any time, we can choose against God and be lost, he warned.

India’s President Pranab Mukherjee is setting a record of sorts by sending a record number of convicts to the gallows, like no Indian President has. The rate at which he is sending convicts to the gallows is akin to the rate Virender Sehwag scores runs or the speed with which Usian Bolt sprints! He rejected the mercy petition of Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of the team of 10 that attacked India on 26/11/2008, to have him hanged. He quashed the mercy plea of Afzal Guru accused of playing a role in the 2001 Parliament Terror attack, to have him hanged, shortly later. The Times of India reported that ‘President Pranab Mukherjee has cleared the road to the gallows for four associates of slain forest brigand Veerappan by rejecting their mercy petitions’ (on 13 Feb., 2013). Pranab by his actions is promoting this principle: no mercy will be shown for those who commit callous crimes! In the same way there are some Bible Scholars who have arisen over the years to promote this teaching: no heaven for believers who deliberately live in sin!

Some of the twentieth century’s outstanding Bible teachers and scholars like Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Carl Henry and James Packer were hardened believers in the perseverance of saints – the doctrine of ‘eternal security’ that is. But in the last 40 years, a new crop of theologians like Clark H.Pinnock, Howard Marshall, and David Pawson have arisen to warn believers about the real danger falling away from the faith – if they would chose to do so. In defense of their opinion they give three lines of evidence – along logic, along philosophy and along Scripture. Let us take them up one by one.

SCRIPTURE EVIDENCE AGAINST ETERNAL SECURITY

(A) OLD TESTAMENT TEACHING

(1) Salvation was conditional from beginning

To the dejected Cain, who offered his second-best to him, God said, ‘it will be accepted if you respond the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out!’(Gen 4:7, NLT). Cain bunked the condition and was rejected. The New Testament writers warn us about his way. It is a way to cheat ourselves because it rejects God’s pre-condition for salvation. Cain refused ‘if condition’ and he left the presence (gen 4:16)

(2) Salvation was conditional in Abrahamic Covenant

The “As for you” of Abraham in Genesis 17:9 balances the “As for me” of God in Genesis 17:4. His faith must be accompanied by “obedience that comes from faith” (Rom 1:5).

(3) Salvation was conditional in the Sinaitic Covenant

Before God signs off the Sinaitic covenant it is punctuated by eternal ‘if’ clauses. In fact the list of curses for covenant disobedience is usually much longer than that of blessings for obedience (as in Vs 3-13 in Leviticus 26).

(4) The IF Condition in the Davidic Covenant

The ‘If’ clause here can’t be missed. The Lord’s words to David about Solomon confirm this: ‘Your son Solomon will build my temple and its courtyards, for I have chosen him…And if he continues to obey my commands and regulations as he does now, I will make his kingdom last forever’(1 Chro 28:6,7 NLT).

(5) The IF condition in the prophets

The ‘If ‘clause here is crystal clear. Isaiah stressed this “if” factor in his message to Israel: ‘If you will only obey me and let me help you, then you will have plenty to eat. But if you keep turning away and refuse to listen, you will be destroyed by your enemies. I, the Lord, have spoken’ (Isa 1:19, 20 NLT). Prophet Azariah’s words to king Asa is perhaps most famous “if” statement in the Bible – 2 Chronicles 7:14. Jeremiah famous ‘temple sermon’ has this again: “If you stop exploiting foreign orphans and widows; and if you stop your murdering, and if you stop worshiping idols as you now do to your harm. Then I will let you stay in the Land I gave to your ancestors to keep forever” (Jer 7:6,7). Prophet Ezekiel preached the same: ‘But if wicked people turn from their wickedness and do what is just and right they will live’. In the last book of the Old Testament this ‘if’ message appears again: ‘if you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honour my name.’ says the Lord Almighty, I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings!’(Mal 2:2).

British Nobel laureate Rudiyard Kipling wrote these famous lines in his poem, If, in the days of old (in  1895): “If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster; And treat those two impostors just the same… If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue; Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch…. Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it; And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!” We would be wise to grasp that we can indeed lose our salvation if we not careful from the ‘if’ statements in the Old Testament which the above paragraphs have talked about.

Let’s invite Guy Duty to seal this argument from Old Testament for us: “There are 63 ‘if’ texts in the Old Testament to prove the Jewish Covenant are conditional. From God’s ‘if’ to Cain, to Malachi ‘if’ to his priests, the unified testimony of Scripture gives full approval to our doctrine of conditional salvation.”

Let us now turn our attention to New Testament:

(B) NEW TESTAMENT TEACHING

Three types of Scripture passages can be used to bust the doctrine ‘Eternal Security’.

(1) Exhortations to continue in the faith – an exploration

The following scriptures will seem ludicrous if there was no possibility of a believer falling away: ‘But all of you who endure to the end shall be saved’ (Math.10:22). ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples’ (John 8:31, RSV); “When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is dead wood, gathered up and thrown on bonfire” (John 15:56); “Keep your eyes open for spiritual danger, stand true to the Lord”(1 Cor. 16:13); “For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end”(Heb. 3:14); “Don’t quit, even if it costs your life. Stay there believing. I have life-crown sized and ready for you”(Rev 2:10); “Keep tight grip on what you have ,so one distracts you and steal your crown” (Rev 3:11).

I would like to quote Renowned Charismatic Systematic Theologian, J. Rodman Williams (1918-2008) at this point. I picked up my first theology book much before I landed up in a Bible College. When I was a student in Allahabad Agricultural Institute (1993-97), my dad gifted me a ‘hurt’ copy of first book of Rodman Williams’ three-book systematic theology book series. I devoured it. I taught the precious Bible lessons I learnt from that book to small groups of interested fellow students in hostel rooms. This was how God trained me to lead Bible Studies. By now, it has been my privilege to lead Bible Book summaries of 54 Bible books. He says in-effect, “Although God’s grace is unconditional in the Bible, and there is nothing there in the Bible for us to believe in unconditional perseverance of saved people still living in sin.” Starting from 1 Corinthians 10:12 – ‘So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!’ – He lists the conditions for perseverance, arranging a gamete of Scripture verses under each condition. They are our abiding (1 John 2:24-25; Heb 2:1,3.Jn 15:3-4,6,7), our continuing (Col 1:21-23; Rom 11:11,22; 1 Tim 4:16), our enduring (2 Tim 2:10-12; Heb 10:34-39, Mt 24:12,13), our firmness (Heb 3:1-6, 2 Peter 1:10-11,5-7;2:1,20,21) and our faithfulness (Rev 2:10, 2:4-5, Heb 3:1-6, Heb 6:4-8).

Knowing such emphasis will attract an accusation “This is not salvation by good works,” he brilliantly quotes Peter. “We are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”, he teaches quoting Peter (1 Peter 1:5). We are saved by faith. And we guard our faith by faith. Yes, we are saved by faith and not works. But if that faith is alone and is not expressed through works, that faith is not real, saving faith (the message of the book of James is this very thing).

The second set of scripture passages which question unconditional perseverance of saints are found below:

(2) Warnings against apostasy/backsliding

2 Peter 3:17 says, “Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall your secure position.” Peter couldn’t have stated this better. 2 Peter 3:18, in fact, expresses the same warnings in the positive terms: ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ If there was no real possibility of a believer permanently backsliding, that one has to admit Spirit-inspired writers of scripture were joking here or I dare say, lying (trying to deceive)! In a discussion like this, we cannot leave out the famous passage in Hebrews 6:4-8. Commenting on this key text, Grant R. Osborne says, ‘In conclusion we must say there is no more powerful or detailed description of the true Christian in the New Testament, yet one has to be stone-blinded not to note that they were in the real peril of falling away.’ Grant Osborne summarizes brilliantly the danger of apostasy so persuasively and passionately presented in the book of Hebrews this way: pay attention, lest you drift away, 2:1-4; do not harden your heart, lest you fail, 3:1-19; fear not, lest you fall short, 4:1-13; press on, lest you fall away, 5:11-6:12; hold fast, lest you die, 10:19-39; be careful, lest you fall short, 12:1-17.

Steve Jobs, the late Apple CEO said, “Apple has some tremendous assets, but I believe without some attention, the company could, could, could — I’m searching for the right word — could, could die.” When one reads the above paragraph we would agree that the Scripture clearly teaches, “A believer is given the tremendous gift of Salvation when he repents and trusts Christ, but without actively remaining in Christ, the believer could die in sin to go to hell and burn there forever and forever!”

The third collection of Scriptures that shake the foundations of the ‘once saved, always saved doctrine’ –

(3) Cases of actual apostasy/backsliding

In the parable of the Sower, Jesus spoke of those ‘who believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away’ (Luke 8:13). Jesus clearly predicted, ‘At that time many will turn away from the faith. The love of most will grow cold’ (Math. 24:10, 12). Obviously it would be stupid of Jesus to talk of them ‘turning away from faith’ if they weren’t in the faith – they were genuine believers – in the first place – something Calvinists always rush to deny. 1 Timothy 4:19 is blunt: some have shipwrecked their faith! Demas – a fellow-preacher in Paul’s ministry team – deserted Paul and perhaps even the Christian faith for ‘he loved the world’ (2 Tim. 4:10). Peter described some teachers in the church who had known the way of righteousness yet turned their backs on the sacred commandment that was passed on to them (2 Peter 2:20-22). If they had turned their backs of the sacred commandments then without a shadow of doubt they had their faces set on the commandments – they were believers – once upon a time! But they became apostate. Finally, Revelation 22:19 shows that some can have their names removed from the book of life. Another example of actual apostasy could be Ananias and Sapphira. F.F.Bruce writes, “We cannot be sure that they were not believers, unless we are prepared to say that no one who is guilty of a deliberate deceit can be a true Christian. The thrust of the Simon Magus narrative in Acts leads us to conclude that there was a possibility of serious sin by the members of the church which could lead to their exclusion from eternal life, but at the same time there was a possibility of their repentance and restoration. In the Bible the root word for faith and faithfulness is the same. One can’t have one without the other.”

Prophets of eternal security will rush to quote their favourite proof texts in response to the above. Those texts deserves a second look.

THE ‘WHAT ABOUT……?’ PASSAGES: EXEGETICAL NOTES ON TEXTS USED BY THE ‘ONCE SAVED – ALWAYS SAVED’ GROUP

Calvanists (the ‘once saved, always saved’ group) quote Jesus prayer that the father would keep the disciples (John 17:11, 15, 24), even as He had kept them as proof of eternal security of believers. But the very fact, Jesus is praying for them is proof that Jesus understood the real danger of them being lost for otherwise they would not need to be guarded. According to Howard Mars, John 17 should not be seen in isolation from John 15:16 and John 16 which warn the disciples about ‘falling away.’ John 10:28,29 and John 5:24 is another favourite ‘proof text’ for the ‘once saved, always saved’ doctrine believers. But this should not be divorced from John 10:2 which records Jesus’ words thus: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me.” It is to be noted that all the verbs in this verse – especially the verb ‘hear’ – is in present indicative sense in Greek original. Robert Shank notes, “The honest characteristic of the Greek present indicative is that it denotes the action is in progress.” There the incredible promise – “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; no one will snatch them away from me” – is only of whom Jesus can say, “My sheep keep listening to my voice, and they keep following me!” Wuest’s translation of John 5:24, where-in he correctly retains the present tense (‘having eternal life’) argues powerfully against using it as a text for a eternal security: “Most assuredly, I am saying to you He who habitually hears my word and is believing the one whom he has sent me, has life eternal …..” David Pawson brilliantly flows along this thought line when he showed in his video lecture summarizing the message of the book of Hebrews (in his ‘Unlocking the Bible’ series), that “these people (the Old-Testament believers of Hebrews 11) was still living by faith when they died” (Heb 11:13). This clearly shows that faith should be a present possession for a believer to make the eternal security promises work for him.

Greg Chappell, India’s former coach wrote the following lines about Virender Sehwag, “Despite my frustrations with him during my tenure as Indian coach I could not help but love him. He is, after all, a loveable rogue. And he can bat better than most. In fact, he is the most gifted ball striker that I have seen…..To say that Viru was one of the great frustrations of my time with the team is an understatement. Sadly, he continues to disappoint and is in danger of squandering his God-given talent. The person who is least likely to be fazed by all of this is Virender himself. What I soon learned about him was that Viru did not want to dedicate himself to taking his talent to its zenith. He was happy to turn up and play and accept what came his way. No amount of cajoling from me could shift him from his insouciant way. This often happens to those with the greatest gift. Because he had never had to work hard at developing such a skill, Viru did not know how to dedicate himself to disciplined training. It was only during periods of relative poor form that he was prepared to spend time getting things back on track. As soon as he made some runs he slipped back into old habits and appeared content to practise in the same old profligate way; until his form evaporated again… He wants the prize, but has been unwilling to pay the price” (The Hindu, Sept. 27, 2012). What Chappell wrote about Sehwag here, I believe, is someway applicable to what the Bible teaches to believers who don’t take efforts with God’s help to guard their God-given free gift of salvation. Believers are in the real danger of squandering their God-given gift of salvation by refusing stubbornly to remain in Christ while at the same time being lazy and lethargic in their battle against sin.

There are those who point to Bible passages where it says the Holy Spirit has ‘sealed’ us ‘eternally’ for redemption to argue for eternal security of one’s salvation. In response I would like to quote a Bible Teacher who wrote the following on gospelway.com: Some people mistakenly use such passages to claim that, since we have the Holy Spirit as a “guarantee,” we cannot lose salvation – “once saved always saved.” However, the “earnest” shows good intention on God’s part; but that in no way guarantees the faithfulness of the humans in keeping our part of the agreement. It is not uncommon, in human transactions, for a party to back out of a purchase or violate a contract after earnest money has been paid. The point here is that God will not back out, if we keep our part of the agreement. But if we humans do not keep our part of the covenant, God is surely not required to provide us eternal life. He can and will then withdraw His earnest, and we lose our reward. That was correctly put. Even David acknowledged that the Holy Spirit could take the liberty of leaving him when he was living in open rebellion against God. That’s why he prayed this prayer post his repentance from the Bathsheba affair: “Do not take your Holy Spirit from me!” (Psa 51:11).

THEOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST ETERNAL SECURITY

When shown outrageously clear proofs in scripture that once saved people were lost, Calvinists like J. Stanley Grenz of Regent College conveniently hide behind arguments articulated thus: “Those who forsake the faith may someday return to faith, because the indwelling Spirit will complete the saving mission. Or they may never repent of their apostasy, revealing thereby that they were genuinely converted.”

Howard Marshall takes on this view with tact. He says that if the Calvinists theory were true, the warnings in the Bible would necessary take such forums as: ‘Make sure that you are really converted, beware lest what you think is an experience of salvation by faith is really nothing of the kind.’ But the sorts of warnings are not there in Scripture. Put otherwise, the positive command is not to begin to be a genuine believer but to continue and persevere in the faith which one already has.

Calvinists (the group that teaches Eternal Security for salvation) allege that Armenians who emphasize human faith in one’s salvation destroys its purely gracious character. This is simply not the truth. The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms faith is no work at all (Rom. 4:16). It is simply the surrender of the will to God, the stretching out of an empty hand to receive the gift of grace, argues Clark Pinnock. In an act of faith we pour scorn at our self-righteousness. Faith, as a means of salvation and security doesn’t encourage conceit and self-esteem – it actually excludes it.

PHILOSOPHICAL ARGUMENT AGAINST ETERNAL SECURITY

The doctrine of eternal security teaches that God over-rides human free of the believer to secure him forever. This creates serious philosophical problems for the Christians who believe in an absolutely good God. If God has to by-pass human free will to secure salvation for believers, he becomes guilty of the greatest sin! Apologist Norman Giesler argues along these lines: Love is the greatest good for all free creatures, but love is impossible without freedom. So only if freedom were destroyed, overridden, God can provide eternal security for believers. That would be evil itself because it would deprive free man of his greatest good – freedom. Hence if God bypasses human free will to secure believers eternally, he would be committing a sin. And that is a philosophical impossibility!

Let me illustrate the above paragraph in a practical way. Those who teach that there is ‘eternal’ security for believers invariably imply that God has made us all mere robots sans a free will. But the Bible consistently teaches us that God has indeed given us a free will. In the Old Testament we read Joshua’s classic words: “But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve” (Josh. 24:15). In the New Testament we read Jesus’ shocking words to his chosen disciples: “Do you also want to leave?” (John 6:67). Both these verses are among the many in the Bible that teach we have a free will. If we believed in the eternal security doctrine and that God secures our free will to serve him permanently, we, in-effect do not believe he has given us a free-will! God will make our free will permanent only on the day of judgment. On that day he might say to some of us, this: “You chose not to have fellowship with me while you were on this earth for these sixty-seventy years! Instead, you deliberately chose to rebel against me and play games with me. Now, I will make permanent, that choice your made using your free will. Today, I will freeze your free will choice to wallow in sin while turning your back on me. Depart then to eternal hell, a place in which humans cannot have fellowship with me, and live there forever and forever in everlasting torment!”

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS OF NOT BELIEVING ETERNAL SECURITY

It certainly challenges the believer to test ourselves to make sure, you are solid in the faith and we don’t drift along taking everything for granted [2 Cor 13:5]. David Pawson points out ‘There is a beautiful balance in the New Testament between our responsibility to keep ourselves in God’s love (Jude 21) and his ability to keep us from falling (Jude 24). We can be cocksure about the faith that God will not and cannot fail to do what he has promised. The bail is in our court. We will do well if this understand drives us to say with the great apostle Paul, ‘I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. I’m not going to get caught napping telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself’ (I Cor 9:24-27).

CONCLUSION

Billy Graham was once asked by the media, what his first reaction would be when he got to heaven. In an instant, he replied, “I would be relived!” He agreed what Puritan, John Bunyan wrote in his classic book, “The Pilgrim’s Progress” which went this way: “Then I saw that there way a way to Hell, even from the gates of Heaven.”

This doctrine which leaves the possibility of losing salvation open produces serious Christians who don’t play games with God. Though this study has not been exhaustive, one can say with confidence, in the light of the above study, that believers may lose their salvation if they chose to live in constant rebellion against God. The following scripture is a fitting conclusion to this absorbing theological debate of paramount importance to the Christian life:

If we endure hardship, we will reign with him If we deny him, he will deny us – 2 Timothy 2:12 NLT

In the Bible, we do have an example of a person who was once believed and was even baptised, only to be told by one of the Apostles that he could ‘perish’ with the money he dearly loved, if he did not repent (See Acts 8:13, 20-22). Perhaps, if you have gone away from God would you also repent, instead of hoping falsely that you will be saved on the final day, as you were once saved someday in the past?

(Written with the help of commentaries, study Bibles and personal reflection.)

Note – God bless Prathyusha Nakka, our ministry volunteer, for taking time to type this Hand-Written Term Paper which Duke wrote as a student of Masters in Divinity in Southern Asia Bible College, Bangalore, 1998-2001. To know more about Duke’s ministry visit http://www.dukev.org. WhatsApp him at 91-8886040605

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LIKE DHONI-KEDAR HELL-BENT ON SHOWING NO INTENT WHEN IT COMES TO…. / A Duke Jeyaraj Bible Devo on the England-India World Cup ODI 2019 Game on 30 June 2019

dhoni lack of intent

When Hardik Pandya got out in the 44th over, India had a little over 5 overs to get 70-odd to beat England and become the second team to reach the semifinals. When Kedar joined Dhoni India needed to get 71 off 31 balls, to be precise. As England’s Chris Woakes bowled the final over, India needed 44 to win. “But in the previous 25 deliveries, Dhoni and Kedar had played out five dots, 18 singles (can you believe it – 18 singles!!!!) and just two fours!” – so reported EspnCricinfo. Some spectators upon beholding this sham – this shame – walked out booing the “boring brothers in crime” – Dhoni and Kedar.

 

I remember watching the final over of the 2016 T20 World Cup Finals in Kolkota. The match was between England and West Indies in the Eden Gardens. When West Indies needed 19 runs in the final over, Carlos Brathwaite, “swung for the hills” as the commentators said. That is, he swung his bat so hard, that even mishits would go for a six or had the power to go over a hill! He did the same in the 2019 World Cup in his breath-taking and nearly-match-winning 100 versus New Zealand – easily the best batting performance we have seen in the 2019 World Cup thus far.

 

Did we see such a ‘ants-in-the-pants’ feeling of getting on with it, a “I-will-hit-whatever-delivery-they-bowl-at-me” intent, a “India-will-lose-if-I-don’t-get-boundary-after-boundary-in-this-over” restlessness from Kedar and Dhoni? Nope. I wonder why. Dhoni and Kedar would never dare to bat this wasteful way when they play for Chennai Super Kings – would they? Why? Their team owner won’t spare them. Here, Kohli-Rohit cover-up such baffling batting buffoonery in press-conferences and do a great disservice to Indian Cricket.  And mind you, India lost this game by only 31 runs. If the Kedar-Dhoni duo had tried to hit five sixes in the 18 balls they took inconsequential singles in Overs 45 through 50, India would have won the game, I would say!

 

I remember, when Dhoni was the captain of the side, he was a different man. He would pull-up Sehwag, Gambhir and Tendulkar and say that this trio  could not  be in the XI together because of their on-field slowness and had a hard time hiding them. When he could pull up seniors in the squad, why doesn’t he pull himself for his repeated slow batting (remember the Afghanistan game)? I recall the Scripture that goes this way: “You therefore who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal? You who that one should not adultery, do you commit adultery? ….For the Name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you!”  (Rom. 2:21-24). Let us practice what we preach. Jesus issued a quote about prayer in Gethsemane (Watch and pray, otherwise temptation will overpower you) and slumped right after onto his knees and prayed (Luke 22:40-41). He practiced what he preached and we too must!

 

The lack of intent of Dhoni-Kedar is contrasted by the intent that Apostle Paul showed when it came to his Daily Holy Living and Rigorous Gospel Proclamation. Paul used sports imagery to convey this very thing. He wrote, “So I don’t run aimlessly. I don’t let my eyes drift off the finish line. When I box, I don’t throw punches in the air! I discipline my body and make it my slave so that after all this, after I have brought the gospel to other, I will still be qualified to win the prize!” (I Cor. 9:26-27, The Voice).

 

Loss of intent when it comes to spiritual battles is to concede defeat to temptations even before temptations comes to you. Some husbands may not have any intention whatsoever to beat the bed temptation (be it porn-watching or actual sex outside of marriage) or the bottle temptation when your wife goes on an office tour. They trip in that temptation every time without offering a semblance of a fight after knowing that there is a ‘war inside your soul’ – 2 Peter 2:11). Repent! Some wives will indulge in romance-laced conversations with office colleagues and delete the relevant chat history every weekend with no intention of winning over that temptation. Repent! The Scripture is clear: “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness” (2 Tim. 2:19).

 

 

Will God forgive the sin you are planning to commit without showing any intent of staying away from it? Absolutely. But guess what? When you commit such sins, you change in the process of sinning! Yes, you are transformed during the course of that premeditated transgression – transformed into a person like Judas who never came to Jesus to ask for forgiveness even though he knew he had blundered only to land in eternal hell. Your heart becomes hard. And you come to place of no return. And once that happens the Holy Spirit will not speak to you (Gen. 6:3, 2 Kings 24:4 – Did that happen to Manasseh, the most serially stubborn leader among God’s people?). Post that, it’s only a down-ward spiral into eternal Hell, I’m afraid.

 

I believe, Kohli should be bold and take some tough calls in India’s next game versus Bangladesh (on 2 July 2019). Dhoni and Kedar should be dropped for atleast one game as a disciplinary measure. And Dinesh Karthik and Ravi Jadeja should play instead of them. And before the Holy Spirit stops speaking to your stubborn heart for your continued “lack of intent” when it comes to beating temptations and winning over sin consistently, pull your socks up, enabled by God’s grace!

 

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission – the G4 Mission. This is a reader supported Indian ministry to presentday people. Find out more at www.dukev.org or via WhatsApp at -91-8886040605 or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/dukebook).

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Duke Jeyaraj Life Story G4 Mission History G4 Mission Real Life Stories

My Life’s Important Moments Meshed Around The Most Watched World Event As It Has Happened Over the Last Three Decades – The World Cup Football Finals (1986-2018)!!! – Duke Jeyaraj

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The World Cup Football finals is the most watched event in the world each time it is played! One out of nine people in the World watch it! Today – July 15, 2018 – we have another one: Croatia V France! I am rooting for Croatia! I have been doing almost-daily devotions starting from World Cup 2018 Football games via Facebook, Google Plus and WordPress!

I recall my earliest TV watching experience to the Football World Cup. In the year 1986, as a 11 year old I recall going to the home of our neighbor in Vellore Town, Uncle Wilson (my friend Ben Suresh’s dad, now with Jesus), to watch the World Cup Football Final 1986 between Argentina and West Germany. Earlier that year, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior in a Blessing Youth Mission retreat in Ranipet. Though Cricket has been my fave game all through, I still haven’t forgotten the closing minutes of that 1986 Final – a final dubbed as the most exciting World Cup Football final ever – which Argentina won under Deigo Maradona, 3-2.I remember talking about this final when I made a point from the Word of God when I preached in the Youth Service of the Full Gospel Assembly of God, Indira Nagar, Bangalore, years later.

I was still in Ida Scudder School when West Germany won the Final of 1990 World Cup by beating Argentina through a late Brehme penalty. In Scudder school where I was a student for 9 long years (4th to 12th), I wrote in the Kaleidoscope, our School mag, about his final. I recall writing a poem on the 1990 World Cup. One line went this way: “As Brehme drove home the late penalty/There was joy among the Beckenbauer bombers, aplenty!” In Scudder school I preached my first sermon from stage and also was part of a lunchtime fellowship. Those were the early stages of my life when God would mold me to wrap Bible Truth around interesting sports events.

I was in Allahabad Agricultural Instistue as a B. Tech. student during the 1994 World Cup Final. I wrote a long poem on the final and sent to our the local newspaper, The Hitavada. I was thrilled to see that poem published. I don’t even have a copy of that hand-written poem now! The paper cutting was filed in a dark brown file and that file is now missing! It had over 50 Letters to the Editor of mine published by newspapers like The Hindu and magazines like The Sportstar over the years! In Agricultural Institute I led Bible Studies for fellow students in hostel rooms and went along with my seniors to do the same in other colleges in the town of Allahabad in eastern Uttar Pradesh. I recall talking about Roberto Baggio’s heart-breaking penalty kick miss in the Cup Final 1994 and how the Bible never missed it, when it came to predictions regarding the future. My days in Agricultural Institute. were the days during which God was impressing upon my heart to wrap Bible Truth around contemporary events of interest. I saw Billy Graham do it in his book, World Aflame, a book I read in New Hostel Room No. 45 in Agricultural Institute!

I recall watching the 1998 World Cup Final which France won in the home uncle Charles (now with Jesus) in Bangalore. I was a Bible College student in Southern Asia Bible College then and had gone to his house that weekend to stay back and watch the Final. Zidane scored two headed goals in that game which gave France its first World Cup win. “I was so hungry to score one goal in the World Cup Final, that I made it two!” So said Zidane. That has repeatedly served as an illustration when I talk about hunger for the things of God we must have! During my Bible College days I discovered that Apostle Paul wrapped basic truths of Scripture even around quotes of pagan writers (in Acts 17 in his speech at Athens). So I resolved that it was something I would also do. And the World Cup history provided me with lots of interesting events to wrap Bible Truth around!

I watched the 2002 World Cup Final with my wife in Trivandrum where we were missionaries with Blessing Youth Mission. It was then that I wrote an article titled, “Bible Lessons from the Football World Cup,” for the mag I edited for Blessing Youth Mission, “Missionary Kids” (which later became Arrows). Oliver Kahn (the Man of the 2002 Cup) carried Germany to that World Cup Final, I recall. Post that Cup, there were news reports about his affair with a Bar girl when his wife was pregnant. “Double life with a disco girl” – that was one headline. Then Kahn said, “I myself know how dumb and stupid what I have done is.” I have used this story as an illustration to promote purity when I preached to the Google Generation.

I watched the 2006 Cup Final in Hyderabad the city I landed up in to start Grabbing De Google Generation 4m Gehenna Mission (G4 Mission) while also working for a certain call centre to support myself and my little family. I recall writing an article for the G4 Mission magazine, The Days of Your Youth, based on the exciting semifinal between Germany and Italy – the most exciting game of that edition of World Cup. Late in that game, the Italian coach made a flurry of substitutions which ensured Italy won that game in extra-time without the game going into the penalty shootouts, a thing Italy was wary of. After mentioning that I went on to talk about the greatest substitution ever – that of Jesus Christ on the Cross for your sins and mine. I was inspired to write the poem on Zidane head-butting Materazzi with the gospel at the end which is now part of my book, The Good News for the Google Generation, then. That book can be read online here: http://www.scribd.com/


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(on page 129 is the Zidane poem). During December 2005 I stood in Cyber Gateway in Hitec city to speak to a bunch of young professionals (call centre folk) in an informal setting as part an outreach effort of the NLAG Hyderabad’s Youth Alive. I began my Gospel presentation to that boisterous crowd with a story about Germany’s coach of 2006 Cup team who initially tried to coach Germany staying in the USA and how God came near during the first Christmas and that caught their attention.

When I watched the 2010 World Cup Final I was back to ‘fulltime’ ministry, having quit my job with the HSBC GSC, as the Lord was gracious to raise Indians to support our ministry to the Google Generation. Post that Final I wrote a poem that started with a certain “Jesus” who played for Spain in that final as a Substitute. That was fodder for yet another poem that wrapped the Gospel around a World Cup Final. That poem is also found in my book, The Goodnews for the Google Generation (a book I talked about earlier in this post)! In fact I wrote an article, “Bible Lessons from the Unforgettable Moments of the 2010 World Cup” and that article which had a anti-porn point starting with a story of a Paraguay female fan who wanted to strip if the team she supported won. I have used the Luis Suarez Hand of God injury-time incident in the Ghana-Uruguay Quarter Final from that World Cup at the end of many of my Gospel messages where I have called youth to come to Jesus shunning procrastination.

In the year 2014 when the Finals moved to Brazil, I watched it with my son, Dale Nathan, then 10 year old, teaching his nuances of Football, the way I taught him nuances of Cricket watching the 2011 Cricket World Cup Finals with him. Through this event I ran devotions on Facebook which started with interesting events from this World Cup including the Luis Suarez biting event which is here: https://www.facebook.com/…/a.420280954711…/687270011345873/…). 2014 was the year when I wrapped up my Doctoral program in Southern Asia Bible College by God’s grace.

Before we go to bed, we need to do self-examination, my spiritual mentors have taught me. But we also need to do an eagle-eye self-examination of our life’s progress. Evaluating our growth, once in four years, is a good exercise that will spur us to greater heights God has for us.

(Duke Jeyaraj, an Engineer turned Doctor of Ministry grad, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. This is a ministry to presentday people funded by Indians blessed by Duke’s writings and messages. Find out more by liking www.facebook.com/googleduke or visiting www.dukev.org


and www.dukewords.wordpress.com

)

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Duke Jeyaraj Life Story G4 Mission History G4 Mission Real Life Stories

HOW I MET AND MARRIED MY WIFE – DUKE JEYARAJ

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HOW I MET AND MARRIED MY WIFE – Duke Jeyaraj

Often times, young people and even some pastors I get to speak to ask me how I met my wife. I would consider that very question a compliment. Well. Well. Well. I met my wife Evan for the first time (as far as my memory goes) at a camp meeting in Vellore called Ministry Efficiency Program for missionaries of Blessing Youth Mission, the year being 1987. I was 12 years old and she 10. Both of our parents were missionaries with Blessing Youth Mission (BYM). I distinctly remember how skinny and how stunning she looked even at that time! Another time I bumped into Evan even before I started thinking along the lines of being married to her was in the year 1993 at the BYM Missionary Kids Camp at Sitteri Hills in Tamil Nadu. Evan had just finished her grade 12 and was preparing for her Medical College Entrance Examinations, then. I was bathing near a hand-pump in Sitteri Hills along with a few boys when she climbed uphill from the Sitteri Bus stop, to arrive one day later than all of us. I cut short my bath and ran in! I did not have an Arnold Schwarznegger body to show her, you see!

BUTTERFLIES IN MY STOMACH ON SEEING A PAIR OF SANDALS….

After I finished my B. Tech. Agricultural Engineering from Allahabad Agricultural Institute in 1997, I briefly worked at Chennai. Evan, too was at Chennai then, working in the Madras Medical Mission – a famed heart hospital. We met at the English Students of Jesus (ESFJ) at the home of Mr. S. C. Vedasironmani, that almost kissed the Numkambakkam Railway Station. I recall how once I reached late to ESFJ meeting and saw a pair of footwear outside Mr. Vedasironmani’s home – a pair of footwear I recognized to be Evan’s! I told myself, “She is in there!” and had butterflies in my stomach! After one meeting I distributed the MISSIONARY KIDS magazine with my lead article, BEATING SEXUAL TEMPTATIONS, fresh from the press to those at ESFJ. Again, Evan, was there to receive it! Little did I know then that she would be the woman with whom I would have short accounts with in order to beat sexual temptation!

THE GUITAR STRUMMING GIRL

An important development then was that I got to know about Evan’s ministry involvement. She did not go ballistic about Blessing Youth Mission (BYM) as I did. But quietly she did ministry in her style: strumming the guitar in the prayer cell at Working Women’s Hostel, Vepery, Chennai, India – a hostel that housed some of most hip girls in Chennai; taking interested girls to the church she attended, the Apostolic Christian Assembly(ACA), India’s largest church when we take to count the number of people who sat for one service at that time (the late 1990s), for water baptism.

NOT A DUMBHEADED, HEAD-NODDER!

I also recall how Evan did not simply nod her head to whatever I said – a quality about her that I secretly admired. When I made a negative remark about a famous revival preacher who left BYM to start his own ministry she was not pleased and told me that she wasn’t, in no uncertain terms! The Prophetess in her probably told her then, that I too would do the same thing one fine day! And I did (in 2006)! When she told me that she had committed her life for the ministry during one of the special meetings in Santhosha Vidhyalaya, Dhonavur, the School she studied in for the best part of her life, since her parents were missionaries in Orissa, I took special note, for, I was looking for a life partner who had done that before meeting me! On one occasion, she recited Isaiah 6, while walking down the road with me! She had learnt by memory this passage and such passages as a kid! Here was a girl who had the Word in her heart and slowly and surely winning a place in my heart! Here was a girl who had the qualities I was looking forward to, in my life partner! [Even these days when Evan makes references to Bible passages while sharing God’s Word, she often recites the required Bible portion in entirety spontaneously, thanks to her astounding God-given memory. This has created ripples among the spell-bound audience].

YELLOW SALWAR

From June 1998 I was at Southern Asia Bible College, Bangalore, studying for my M. Div. I started getting proposals for marriage from well-meaning family and ministry friends through my parents. It was at this time I rushed to the jungles opposite to the Bible College and started praying about my life partner very seriously. At the end of those seasons of supplication God wrote in my heart that Evan was His chosen girl for me! Before knowing that, I made sure she fulfilled some of the criterions I had for the girl I would marry: a believer, involved in the ministry, part of the Google generation – the generation I was trying to reach, but outside my caste, a caste so notorious in Tamil Nadu for marrying only within itself! The first time I met Evan after I knew I would marry her was at the Chennai Central Railway Station. When I let her know over a STD call from Bangalore that I would be arriving one fine morning, she came to the Station with her friend, Christy (she would not meet me alone even in a public place, you see!). She wore an Yellow salwar that dream day and my heart skipped a beat!

And to cut the long story short – we got married at Gudiyattam on the 9 July 2001 – in the presence of our beloved missionary parents along with 800 people. “Evan is the greatest thing that has happened to me, apart from the Lord Jesus,” I told the crowd. That was the first time she heard me speak in public, though I had been preaching for 10 years at that point in time! Yes, she did listen to me once on tape – a missionary challenge from Amos I gave to students in Santhosha Vidhayala. But she had never listened to speak live, till then.

BUBBLY EXTROVERT

After marriage we moved to New Delhi to work with the Assemblies of God there. I was the youth pastor cum Bible College Teacher. Soon we had modern youth coming up to us and opening their lives to us so that we could counsel them from the Bible. One reason why that happened was this: they saw Evan, a bubbly, extrovert next to their thoughtful, fiercely introvertish youth pastor. The first ever youth camp, Evan and I addressed together was at the Mark Buntain Memorial AG Church at Kolkota in October 2001 – just three months after we got married. I still remember how Evan’s moving solo, “He touched me!” touched the young people after my first message during that youth camp – a gospel message.

It was at New Delhi Evan started sharing the Gospel with Auto Drivers. She picked up Hindi just to be able to do this. Her testimony about how she did it was published in the Blessing magazine. Talking about magazines I must talk about how Evan edited almost everything I had written during the initial years of our marriage (before edit-volunteers took over that role) so that my writings would graduate from crass to crisp, elongate to elegance.

“SHE PREACHES BETTER THAN YOU!”

After we joined Blessing Youth Mission, the first town we preached in together was at Miraj, Maharashtra. It was a town with lot of youth who were HIV positive. Some youth from a church there had died of AIDS. Therefore, we were asked to speak on subjects that were relevant to that grim situation. Evan’s salvation message with a AIDS backdrop saw a lot of youth commit their lives to the Lord. One missionary aunty who was present remarked that she preached better than me in that meeting. I could not be prouder when I heard that, for I had spent several hours in training my wife who hadn’t been formally theologically-trained, in the art of preaching! Later during that trip, she stood before a packed hall full of youth of various churches in Kohlapur, Maharashtra, and taught them how to choose their life partner. The youth were all ears.

PREGNANT AND PREACHING!

I also recall how we preached in tandem in Lady Doak College, Madurai, Bishop Heber College, Tirchy (South India), Tell The World Youth Camp, Siligury (North East India) and New Life Fellowship All Karnataka Youth Camp, Bangalore. Each time Evan spoke the Lord opened the hearts of the young people to grasp truth He wanted them to hear from the Word. When she preached to the youth of Hyderabad Methodist Church at Karigari in May 2003 she was not only pregnant with the Word of God, she was pregnant with our first son, Dale Nathan! One young man blessed by the preaching of the Word in that camp would become a fulltime minister with Gideon’s International!

HER IMPACT ON GENPACT YOUTH

Her message “Sinking Ship Not Called Titanic” (on relationships) preached to 500 youth of the New Life Assembly of Church, Secunderabad, was video-recorded. That video was brought briskly in the meetings we addressed during the days we distributed CDs of our messages! Once I was stopped by a girl who then worked for Genpact in Hyderabad, in the early part of 2006. She stopped, just to tell me, “I still remember the message your wife preached on relationships in that youth camp. It was a big blessing!”

NAPPY CHANGING AND CHEERING FROM FAR!


She was invited again by the same church – the New Life AG Church, Secunderabad – to do a workshop on March 8 – World Women’s Day. That day, she made a compelling presentation titled, “Single and Despondent to Single and Confident” for the over 200 single girls. As I edit these lines on Women’s Day 2018, I must mention that only yesterday, a young woman who was part of this meeting told me over the phone about how much of a blessing that meeting was. On that day, my job was simple: nappy-changing and cheering-from-afar (it’s an all-women’s meet, that’s why).

POEMS FOR MY WIFE

From time to time I have written poem/short prose to express my love for this great girl called Evan God gave me. May I share one such poem I recently wrote:
Thank you, Evan, for sharing with me, your skin,
Thank you for pointing out in me, sin!
Thank you for paving the way for me to win,
Thank you for training me in matters like tomatoes, Face Creams and ‘Rin’!
And one time, I picked up my pen and wrote, “You are one Woman, I’ll gladly walk life’s road, even if that road is as long as Nile!”

It is not that we never fight or have disagreements. When we do, I tell Evan that I would be her roommate even in Heaven and so she better put up with me!
Now, there is a new woman in my life (post November 7, 2007). Shocked?! Don’t be – I am talking about my little daughter Datasha. When she smiles at me I float in thin air, mile high! When she calls me “Dad-dha” I am over the moon. I thank God for these two women in my life. I did not deserve them, yet God gave them to me! And I am so grateful to God.

POST-SCRIPT:

On our 10th wedding anniversary (July 9, 2011), I recall with gratitude that Evan could have said ‘no’ when my marriage proposal came to her, but she still did not.

She could have said ‘no’ on the account of the SALARY I was earning. It was quite low considering the fact I was already in fulltime ministry. When I mentioned my salary to one of my friends at the time Evan married me this is what he said: “With the salary you are drawing you cannot even repair a pair of shoes in this city!”

She could have said, ‘no’ on the account of my ABILITY. My ability to do ‘romance-laced’ talk was almost nil. I would make 1-minute phone calls to her most of the time. I would say the matter and hang up during our courtship days. This was absolutely unimpressive when one is talking to the fairer sex that always want to hear extra words, loving words, caring words, etc.

She could have said, ‘no’ on the account of my FAMILY BACKGROUND. Both of us did not belong to the same caste and people of my caste were known to marry stubbornly within their caste and were hostile in general to those who did not belong to them when it came to marriage alliances (though there were exceptions).

Do not say ‘no’ to marriage proposals based on mere worldly, unbiblical reasons.

But she still said ‘yes’. And I am so glad and cannot thank God enough for Evan – the greatest thing to have happened to me apart from the Lord Jesus.

SECOND POST-SCRIPT: This article is for those who are working and in the age bracket to be married. But if you still studying, please concentrate on your studies and be friends with everyone in your class instead of spending all your time with a boyfriend or girlfriend; student days are not the best times for romantic love; there is time for everything! (Eccl 3). Falling in love during your student days could potentially drill two holes into your system, one, in your heart, and, another, in your purse!

ANNOUNCEMENT – Duke Jeyaraj has written a book titled, NO BEATING ABOUT THE BUSH STRAIGHT TALK ON SEX, LOVE, MARRIAGE, PORN AND MORE, published by Word of Christ publishers. This book has chapters that bring frank Bible teaching on how to wisely choose one’s life partner, postponement of marriage, marrying younger boy as a girl, finding God’s Will when it comes to life partner choice, apart from chapters on other hot topics. This book is available on http://www.Amazon.in. Search ‘Duke Jeyaraj Straight Talk’. Or get in touch with us via +91-8886040605 or via emailduke@gmail.com and we will help you buy this book for Rs.125/- plus actual courier charges. It is also available in Word of Christ stores in India (www.wordofchrist.org).

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Hear Duke speak about how he chose Evan as his wife in this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqyo4stiy74