A Tribute to and Insight from R.C. Sproul
The renowned R.C. Sproul, Christian apologist, author, pastor-teacher, and professor, died of pulmonary disease on December 14 – just last month. Here are a few words that I wrote about him for the revised copy of, Is the Bible without Any Errors?:
I am greatly indebted to the late R.C. Sproul for expanding and enhancing my appreciation of the holiness of God through his video presentations on that topic. He has also given me much good information and many insights in theology, philosophy, apologetics and eschatology through his recordings. His DVD series on, The Last Days According to Jesus, from ‘The Olivet Discourse’ of Jesus recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 is stimulating and clarifying. Very insightful! I highly recommend that you get this DVD series from Ligonier Ministries.
Now I want to share with you a few excerpts from one of the last letters he ever wrote. It is dated November 27, 2017:
Dear Mr. Deighton,
Together, you and I can seize this moment for the gospel. The world appears to be in upheaval. Headlines proclaim discord and strife in our nation. Shapers of culture want to remake reality, to force us to call evil good and good evil. I believe God allows these unsettled times to drive people to Christ, who alone grants true peace, meaning, and reconciliation… The task before us in 2018 and beyond is great. But we serve God Almighty, who blesses those who love His truth…
Your servant in Christ,
My major reason for sharing with you that I received a letter from R.C. Sproul in late November and on December 14th heard a news report that he was gone, is because it emphasizes the brevity and uncertainty of life on this earth. Consider this potent passage: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:13-17
Three Pungent Points
1. If you are a Christian, you have nothing to fear from our tumultuous times. Why not? Because God Himself has told us, “Fear not! I am with you!” If the all-powerful King of the universe is with us, isn’t it pretty silly to fear anyone or anything else? Remember, “Immanuel” means “God with us.” How many times does He need to tell us, “Fear not!” before we believe Him and obey Him? Also, we should remember the context of Jesus’ parting promise to His disciples is the Great Commission. “’All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)
2. Remember, “Only one life – it will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last!” Also remember, “I don’t know about tomorrow… but I know Who holds tomorrow – and I know Who holds my hand!”
3. If you have never surrendered your will to His will, repented and accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, or if you have strayed from the straight and narrow path to follow Satan’s seductive allurements, isn’t it high time to pay attention to God’s warnings? “Prepare to meet your God!” Amos 4:12 “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:11-14
Timely Treasured Truths with Trinity
One day recently Trinity, in her own unique, dramatic style, was describing to me her outside experience with the “burning cold”. Have you ever experienced burning cold? I have! When I was about 12 years old, I played outside in the snow until my fingers were nearly frozen – then went in the house and ran warm water over those nearly frost-bitten fingers. Burning cold for sure! (But perhaps Trinity just meant “intense cold”.)
Later, Trinity invited me to her tea party – even though she was having hot chocolate instead of tea. I read her a story from “My Best-Ever Book of Bible Stories” while she was working on a puzzle. Then another day when we got nice weather, I took her for a “walk” along the Wilson Creek Trail – but this walk was partly horsey-back ride and foot races! (She is clever and loves to challenge me to a foot race when I’m already puffing from carrying her on my back!) She also loves to skip – just out of the pure joy of living and feeling boundless energy. (We have not yet discovered how to siphon off some of that energy for us!) So she looked up at me and said, “Grandpa, do you know how to skip?” Can you picture a 74-year-old grand-dad skipping along the trail with an exuberant 6-year-old granddaughter?
Let’s remember how Bill and Gloria Gaither reminded us that “We have this moment to hold in our hands as it slips through our fingers like sand.” Let’s remember that we can be making “Precious memories” – how they linger, how they ever flood my soul.” Oh yes, and let’s remember that Jesus would rather have us hot or cold, rather than lukewarm. Isn’t it time to be developing precious memories with Him too?
From Our Mailbox
This time we are sharing just two letters – one very short and the other quite long. They are from two of our favorite people, evangelist Reggie Thomas, and creation scientist Sergei Golovin. I think you will quickly see why we are sharing these particular letters.
“Thank you, Rick, for your nice note….your December prayer letter was really GREAT! I READ EVERY WORD! And certainly, we will pray for every request. Merry Christ-filled Christmas.
Love, Reggie & Esther”
“Beloved brothers and sisters,
Thank you very much for your care, support and prayers! With great joy I present to you the Christian Center for Science and Apologetics November-December 2017 newsletter.
These two months were an exciting culmination of the glorious year! We were so busy we didn’t even have the time to write a brief newsletter in between! We are still experiencing the same blessing the first church in Jerusalem received through the persecutions and dispersion: rather than declining, the movement multiplies through the partners and volunteers who spread it everywhere they flee. As a result, I am involved mostly in training and coaching, and enjoy seeing my former students and partners growing and leading their disciples. May the Lord be praised!
It was a great joy to teach a Systematic Apologetics course at the Tavriysky Christian Institute. Despite many years of partnership, I had not taught there for a while and was very glad to see that the school is growing in many areas! All students of the distant-learning program were gathered together), and we spent a great week exploring Biblical approaches and strategies for effective spreading of the Kingdom and making the children of the Kingdom grow stronger in their faith. Please join our prayers for these students so that they continue to explore and share the Biblical truth in the best way!
The youth seminar “Science and the Bible” was one of the most exciting experiences of the year! A youth group from the local church had distributed invitations at the universities of the city, and arranged and decorated the hall. More than 300 people attended the event; many came with their unbelieving friends. About half of the time was allotted for Questions and Answers session. That was a joyful time of exploration, humor, challenges and praises. What a great generation will come after us! Let us pray together for these young professionals of the future who are going to build a new life of the country on the solid biblical foundation!
The updated version of the course on Biblical Anthropology was a great opportunity for the fellowship with our group of Joint School for Christian Apologetics – an institution where the students and graduates of other schools are working on an additional degree in Apologetics. After three years of learning together, they are like a family. Exploring together the biblical aspects of our origins, nature and purpose, we have created a foundation for the course on Cross-cultural Evangelism we are developing. We are going to field-test it in January and produce its video version for the missionaries and ministers working in the difficult areas. Please join our prayers for that project.
One of the most important events of the year was the Eastern-European Leadership Forum where I coordinated the Apologetics Section. EELF is becoming a great platform for developing national Christian leaders from the countries of the former Soviet Union. Praised be the Lord!
The cherry on the top was our trip to Israel to teach at Haifa Theological Institute. It was arranged by Michael (Misha) Klimov, who had been a very special member of our team for two decades. As a volunteer, he became actively involved in our projects back in his years as a high-school student, and eventually became a full-time part of the family. As a person of many talents, very gifted and creative, he did not understand the value of systematic education and training at first. However, we managed to convince him over time that he needed proper learning. We motivated and sponsored him to obtain a degree by extension at a prestigious university. No doubt, Misha used to be the soul of our team making its life very special.
After the conflict in Crimea, Misha emigrated to Israel. We were very sorry to see him go after all our efforts to provide him with proper training and education so that his talents could be used more effectively to promote the Kingdom. Eventually, after several random jobs, he came into a contact with Haifa Theological Institute. It is a school run by the Return to Zion ministry that serves the former Soviet Union repatriates in the country. (Russia and Ukraine are #3 and #4 Jewish population countries in the world respectively, after U.S. and Israel. Unofficially, Russian is the third language of the country after Jewish and Arabic.) Misha is developing a media ministry there now, producing online Messianic programs both in Russian and Hebrew. Nothing goes to waste in the Lord’s economy! Praised be His name! Please pray with us for the development of this new partnership for the sake of the Kingdom!
We are very thankful to the Lord for you, for the care, support, prayers, guidance and encouragement you provide to us! May the Lord bless you abundantly in all your ways! Have a blessed Emmanuel celebration!
Please keep praying for our ministry, for our team, for our families, for God’s guidance and protection in everything we do. You are in our prayers as well.
Yours in the love and grace of Christ Jesus,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Most Richly Blessed
I want to revive my theme “Most Richly Blessed” from our November Prayer Letter to tell you another highlight moment that I didn’t have room for in that issue. On Saturday, October 14th, I had an opportunity to preach for Zion’s Gate Messianic Congregation in Odessa, Ukraine, before taking the train to Nikolaev, where I was scheduled to speak Sunday at Redemption Christian Church. Immediately after my message at Zion’s Gate, a man came to me with some amazing, wonderful news. Messianic congregations in Israel are growing exponentially! (Messianic congregations – often called synagogues – are those that accept Jesus as Messiah!) The man, with his family, had moved to Israel four years ago and were back visiting Zion’s Gate the same Saturday I spoke there. He told me that four years ago there were 35 Messianic congregations in Israel – now there are 350! Praise God! (Please read again Romans Chapters 9 – 11, and especially notice Paul’s heart’s desire and prayer in Romans 10:1: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.” Paul’s prayer – and the prayers of many others are being answered “Yes!”
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
‘For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to Him?’
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:33-36. (NKJV).
When I consider open doors, opening hearts, multitudes of answered prayers, my family and wonderful friends, and Who has called us and chosen us to be in His family, my heart is overwhelmed. I am most richly blessed!
“You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:24-26 (NKJV).
We want to express our deep gratitude to those of you who support Overseas Outreach with your prayers, your offerings, or both. The needs are huge – and so is our appreciation! We feel a bond with Paul in his appreciation expressed to the Philippians: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…” Philippians 1:3-6 (NKJV).
Please Pray for David Horowitz
You may recall that I have requested prayer not only for liberals in our nation, who are promoting Marxist doctrine and ideals, but also for conservatives who do not recognize that Jesus is our only hope. The following letter is what I sent to David Horowitz in December. Please read carefully and prayerfully.
I read your letters and pray for you often. Also, your booklet, The Left’s Racist War Against Trump & America, is excellent (or perhaps I should say beyond excellent) in defining the serious problems in America, but I do have an observation – and a suggestion. Are you open to input? I hope so!
What is lacking in your booklet is the solution! Patriotism is great – and much needed – but is not the solution. There is no peace without the Prince of Peace!
I did not read in your booklet, nor in any of your writings that I have read a call to national repentance with submission to the supremacy of Jesus Christ as Lord. Are you aware of the cry of the early patriots of America when opposing the tyranny of King George, “No King but Jesus!”?
Are you aware of the summary of Alexis de Tocqueville concerning the heart of the reason for the greatness of America? He had looked into most every sphere of influence, but he wrote that not until he went into the churches of America and heard the Word of God preached with fiery fervency and commitment to truth and righteousness did he come to understand the secret to the greatness of America. Amen!
Have you read Abraham Lincoln’s call to prayer, thanksgiving and repentance for his divided nation in the midst of our Civil War?
Have you considered the fact that underneath Marxism is always Darwinism? Have you considered the ramifications of that historical truth? In that strain, did you receive the copy of, More than Conquerors in Cultural Clashes, which I sent to you? Have you read it? If you missed getting it, would you like for me to send you another copy?
Currently I’m in the process of re-writing and revising my smallest book, Is the Bible without Any Errors? If we send you a digital copy, will you consider reading it and writing a review? (I like getting input from some who do not totally agree with my convictions.)
Respectfully yours & His,
Pray for Awakening
Those of you who regularly receive and read our prayer letters know that earnest prayer for spiritual awakening in America (as well as for Ukraine, Israel and other nations) is a re-occurring theme of ours. Just last month our first request was: Please pray for multitudes of Americans to wake up to the reality of Who God actually is – and recognize their need of Him. Please pray for repentance, revival, and reconciliation. Aren’t the news reports blaring the warning signals to us day after day? Prepare to meet your God!
“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 12:11-14 (NKJV).
We began this prayer letter with a tribute to R.C. Sproul and excerpts from what I thought was his last monthly letter. To my surprise and joy for his legacy, I found this incoming mail from Ligonier Ministries after we were already working on this January letter.
As many of you know, our founder, Dr. Sproul, went to be with the Lord on December 14, 2017. Prior to his hospitalization, R.C. wrote the enclosed letter on the need for awakening. Little did he know how soon he would be fully awakened to the glory and grace of God as he passed into the presence of his Savior.
It is difficult for me to convey how passionate R.C. was about the need for awakening both inside and outside the church. It is so fitting that in God’s providence, R.C.’s last monthly letter to you would be on that topic.”
“Dear Mr. Deighton,
“It’s easy to be afraid these days. We’re living in a land which has turned its back on God and His law. Fleeting pleasures, not eternal truths, are what millions are seeking. No wonder, then, that we see the wreckage of so many lives. But the problems aren’t just out there. Many churches have no good news for this culture because they’ve been co-opted by the culture. Christians aren’t growing spiritually because they don’t know who God is or how to study their Bible to find out. Many believers have no answer for their faith because they don’t know why they believe what they believe.
“We can feel as if we’re in a shrinking minority of truth-tellers who love Christ and His Word. We can feel like there’s nothing we can do. But as I have studied the Scriptures and the work of God’s Spirit throughout history, I know there is something we can do – we can pray for awakening.
“What is awakening? It’s a powerful move of the Spirit of God to convert many people to Christ and to renew in His church a zeal for His truth, for spiritual growth, and for missions. It occurs as the Spirit blesses the faithful preaching and teaching of His Word and impresses His truth on human hearts. You and I both know that only God can bring true awakening. I am as excited as you are to understand that through our prayers He works His will in this world. Yet this is what He has promised. Prayer and proclamation of God’s Word together are used to bring awakening. Praying without instructing people in the Scriptures keeps the means of awakening – biblical truth – from many people. Yet to teach people without engaging in prayer is to rely on our power, not God, who alone can bring renewal.
“It all starts with prayer. When just two men – Paul and Silas – prayed, the earth shook (Acts 16:25-26). Imagine what might happen if we pray fervently for a mighty move of God’s Spirit today. I don’t know if God will bring an awakening in our lifetime, as He is free to act as He will. But I also know from church history that awakening has typically followed periods when God’s people dedicated themselves to prayer. If we don’t ask for an awakening, we can’t be surprised if one doesn’t come (James 4:2). I pray daily for my church to be a gospel lighthouse. I hope you will join me in prayer for yours…..”
“Thank you for praying with Ligonier Ministries for a gospel awakening.
Your servant in Christ, R.C. Sproul”
Memorial Gifts to
In Loving Memory of Keith Gwin and Great-Grandson, Keith Charles Miller –
by Sharon Gwin
In Loving Memory of Lloyd Thomas –
by Betty Thomas
by Christine Moss
by Paula Walden
by co-workers of Matthew Thomas
In Loving Memory of Gary Strubhar –
by Sandra Strubhar
1. Please praise God for the amazing open doors He is giving to Sergei Golovin and his team.
2. Please pray for God’s wisdom and clear leading for our Board of Directors and key advisors for Northwest Science Museum to be on the move through many open doors.
3. Stan Lutz, our museum curator, acting executive director and field paleontologist, has been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, which is closely related to heart problems. Stan has had three heart attacks. Please pray God’s healing touch for him.
4. Please pray for us, Rick and Della, Sandy and Randy, as we work towards transition time for Deighton Lighting. Also pray for us to focus on Him Who gives peace that passes all understanding as we deal with interruptions that delay what we are trying to accomplish.
5. Please pray for the completion and republishing of the revision and enhancement of “Is the Bible Without Any Errors?” This is a crucial question. Please ask God to use it to reach souls for Christ and primarily to equip bold witnesses for Jesus!
6. LaVerne Carillet broke her leg recently and had surgery to repair it, and Georges has been having some health issues as well. Please ask God to heal both of them completely and quickly.
I’d Rather Have Jesus
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold, I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands, I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hands.
Chorus: Than to be the king of a vast domain or be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause, I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame, I’d rather be true to His holy Name.
He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom, He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs, I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.
– Rhea F. Miller, George Beverly Shea (Public domain.)