Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Evangelism in the public jail

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. "
Ephesians 2:10

Yesterday our team of evangelization was visiting a jail of our city, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in the female ward of that institution.

It's sad to see how the devil destroys entire families through criminality. There were some young women, some mothers, and still some grandmothers , deprived of their social life and their families. We do not ignore that they are all there for a fair reason, as a result of their mistakes, but they are souls in great pain and distress, created in the image and resemblance of God, but living a life without hope and peace.

In that brief moment we were there, sixteen souls surrendered to Jesus Christ and confirmed their faith in Him. The love of God, faith, hope; the light of the world came there. Instead of discussing and criticizing the situation of prisons and jails, rather than reading the criminal section of our newspapers, the church's role is to go to where they are groaning and hungry for the presence of God.

Besides being aware of the news, it lies in our hands to make the news, and transform the world around us by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, even though one person at a time. Cry out to God for an awakening in your spirit, cry out to him for revival, and rejoice in being willing to do the good works that He has called us to do. His Joy is our strength.

Stay in the peace of Jesus Christ!
Saulo Oliveira Santos.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Not called?

Salvation army bell

'Not called!' did you say? 'Not heard the call,' I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world. (William Booth)

Stay in the peace of Jesus Christ.
Saulo Oliveira Santos.

Monday, February 27, 2012

There is only one Gospel

"There is only one Gospel, not two, not three or half dozen, but only one. Not one for this organization and another for that other, not one for the primitive Church and another for today, not one for the preacher and another for the church member, but one Gospel that doesn't change, from a God that doesn't change.

Paul the apostle said: "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!" (Galatians 1:8).

The text says: "He makes (…) his servants flames of fire“ (Hebrews 1:7 NIV), nnot an imitation, not merely a promoter of religious theories, but a flame of fire, which returns to men the things that God had to be the most precious things for which he paid such a great price. The cold intellectual discourses that demand the respect of the world will never serve to address the needs of this critical hour.


The non-inspired theology with his pale orthodoxy says, "Yes, I know the Bible says so, but look at the failures around us."

The inspired men cry, "Let God be true, and every human being a liar" (Romans 3:4).

The Word is true, all that is needed for it to be fulfilled is someone who believes in it. Men may be saved, they can be filled with the Spirit, they can be healed as the days in the past.

He is the same today, yesterday and for ever."

From the book "Este poder puede ser suyo", Tommy Hicks,, pages 20 and 21.

Stay in the peace of Jesus Christ!
Saulo Oliveira Santos

Friday, February 24, 2012

The man who needed money to get back to his hometown

How many of us, almost every day, are approached by those who need to return to their towns and ask us for money? I do not know about the brothers who do not live in Brazil, but here it is quite common, especially in larger cities, to be approached by people who came to try life in the big city and, after being unsuccessful in their attempt, do not have money to get back home.

Our society catalogs these people as "dangerous"; and doubt establishes a wall between us and them. Who knows if they tell the truth or not? Who knows whether or not they will buy "pinga" (popular alcohol beverage) instead of the bus ticket? In fact, the one dollar we give for that individual is not something that we will miss. However, we normally wasted an unique opportunity to present the life of Jesus to these people. We are "trained" not to listen, and expel those who are "disturbing" .

But ... is that true the counsel of the society is the counsel that should be followed? Just answer this to yourself: with all the so called "evolution" of social, scientific and so on., can we see many signs of improvement in the condition of people in general? Certainly not. Rather, it establishes a widening gap between rich and poor. The counsel of God, however, we read in Proverbs 21:13.

(NIV) Proverbs 21
13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.

The other day while we were about to start an important church meeting, a gentleman walked in the door of the church to seek for help. Joel is his name. Badly dressed, smelly, maybe a little altered by alcohol. We could dismiss him and go on with our "spiritual gathering" and return to our homes very satisfied at the end of everything.

However, we heard what Joel had to say, gave him financial aid (not much, but a help) and after that we could approach him by saying: "Now that we heard what you had to say, please listen to us for one minute ". He had said he had been a crook and a waste. And I told him that I am a waste as well. Following the expression of astonishment in his face, I explained that everyone is bad, really, and knowing that no man can be good, God established a righteous one that could pay our debt and restore our relationship with God, and this righteous one is Jesus Christ.

I asked him if he wanted Jesus, if he wanted to declare his faith in Him and if he wanted to be cleansed from sin. He said yes straightaway, and knelt; I knelt and prayed together with him. We were also able to pray for his deliverance from evil, we gave him as a gift a little book with the first steps of the Christian life, and we encouraged him to participate in a church, when back to his city. That man left the place saved, free and happy. His expression of anguish turned into peace.

Behold: all in less than 10 minutes. A soul was saved from hell and received the potential of having his life completely transformed. There was no need to expose a biblical treaty, it was not necessary to bathe the citizen in a way he could become worthy to hear our words. It was necessary to pay attention to him, it was necessary to preach Jesus, it was necessary to pray, embrace and help.

As I once read a footnote written by the ministry of the evangelist Ray Comfort, in a bible, "the stones in our hands cry out for our own blood." We are not better than anyone. Our social position, education and finance doesn't gives us the right to reject or condemn a human being.

May we surrender, these days, to the work of the Holy Spirit of God; surely you will be rejoice to see that with a little attitude of yours, the light of Jesus can shine greatly and do a complete difference in a life that needs.

Stay in the peace of Jesus Christ!
Saulo Oliveira Santos.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Who is the good samaritan?

In the scripture that is in Luke 10:25-37, Jesus tell us about the Good Samaritan parable; a character that is well-known by his act of kindness for free in favour of that one next to him. Many teaches about this text with a focus on social justice, in how we can and must help the ones in need and the ones next to us. A lot we may have preached and listened about the ones that passed by, and then stepped away, and did nothing. And much we are taught about this attitude, on how we, as church, must not withdraw, or abstain, or yet omit ourselves from that sort of situation, and that we must be the active agent on that circumstances.

However, differently from that interpretation that reads this text in the context of social justice, in this day I want to propose another reading.

We are not the good samaritan. Jesus is this good samaritan that the text speaks about. In this extraordinary parable, we have a mini-bible, containing everything since the history of the fall of the man, until the second coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the one that identified himself with the next in difficulties. This man, the man who "(...) was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho (...)" (Luke 10:30), then, represents us, represents all the mankind. The hebrew word for man, for example, is Adam. Adam represents the falling mankind.

Jerusalem was the place where God met with the man. The presence of the Lord was manifested by a shining Glory in the Holy of Holies in the Great Temple. There God had fellowship with the man. Jerusalem means "city of peace", or "place of peace". Before the devil put his cruel hand over the human race, man used to walk and talk with God daily.

When sin got in, man stepped away from God and hid himself from the Lord. Since that day until now, man is moving apart from the Lord, and keeps "going down" from Jerusalem (the place of peace, the place of the presence of God) unto Jericho; and Jericho was a city of great evilness; it was a place that received the following prophecy: " (...) Cursed before the LORD is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: "At the cost of his firstborn son he will lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest he will set up its gates."" (Joshua 6:26). A place with no foundation, no wall, no doors. A place without protection, where the authority has been destroyed, and where the enemy had plenty of access. The city of Jericho was also the first city conquered after Joshua had passed Jordan river with all the people of Israel. The city should be totally destroyed, in a manner that not even the spoils were allowed.

And this man "was going down" from Jerusalem unto Jericho. When man has sinned, he certainly "went down", he fell from his original status. He fell from the position of glory together with the Lord, he fell from a position of intimate relationship with God, unto a place of curse.

There was no doubt that the man, originally, has dressed garments of light, the light of the Glory of the Lord. It was an inside-shining that emanated from him. A glimpse of this brilliance that the fallen humanity has lost was seen in Moses, because when he went down from the mountain his face shone. While Stephen was stoned to death, his face shone like the face of an angel.

With the exception of the humanity, all the rest of creation is dressed. Birds have feathers, the wild animals are covered with leather, the beasts of the forest have fur, the fish has its scales, and the trees are covered with leaves. Solomon, in all his glory, hasn't not dressed like a lily. So only the man is naked.

On his journey to Jericho, this unfortunate man fell among robbers who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him and went away, leaving him half dead. Satan is the ultimate thief; he stripped the man of his garments, and left him naked, with nothing covering their sin, without all divine glory, devoid of authority which was appropriate to him.

That man was wounded; the sin brought him curse, thorns, sadness, death and pain; the the unregenerate man is physically alive but spiritually dead.

This seems to be what is suggested by the parable, since the man who fell among thieves was stripped of his garments, was wounded and was left, in fact, half dead.

Now, notice that the priest and the Levite who came this way by chance, both went wide. In fact, they represent the law and the ceremonial system that can never erase the sin. The "Samaritan" was Christ. He did not come by chance. His coming was ordained before the foundation of the world. Nor does he passed by. He came up precisely where the man was. What a precious truth! He came to rescue and redeem the mankind! He came to heal the broken hearts and put oil on the open wounds. Is not that wonderful?!

Christ comes to where we are. In the capital or any other town, in the city or countryside, in the dens of sin, in the alley, wherever we are, Christ is always the one who seeks us. When we meet us, He tenderly raises us on his chest, and goes his way rejoicing, as one pastor who found the sheep which was lost.

There is a greater truth if you look at it. It is true thatbecause of sin, we are under condemnation. Christ, who knew no sin, stood in the place of condemnation for us. At CalvaryHe died for our sins;, so when we trust Him, and in his shed bloodour sins are washed and erased forever. He came to where we were so we could go to where he is.

Christ, the true samaritan, bound our wounds and poured oil, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, by whom every believer is sealed for "the day of redemption(Ephesians 4:30).

The innkeeper should take care of this rescued man until the Samaritan returned""Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done." (Revelation 22:12).

What is Jesus saying? The next in the storyJesus Christ himselfhad mercy of the lost humanityHe instructs us to have the same mercy. That is, we are not part of a religious system, we have no part in rites, we are not those who can do nothingThe law showed the sin of man but the law can not deliver. Only Jesus Christ can do that. Wethe church, are the representative of ChristWe are the ones that bring people to the Good Samaritan.

Stay in the peace of Christ Jesus!
Saulo Oliveira Santos.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Try to be weak, while He is strong

Hello friends and brothers!

Today I inaugurate this blog with the objective of helping the christians to fulfill the calling of the Church of Jesus Christ, which is to preach the gospel, and make disciples.

This is an actual and urgent calling. While you read this blog, it is certain that there are people from  our relationship living in sadness, distress, without hope and salvation. It is time for us to preach the message of salvation.

In these days God is awakening the Church with a revival like no one has seen before. The glory of the Lord is being poured over the Earth like the waters cover the sea. I want to be part of it! I want to  be part of the movement of the Holy Spirit in these days, and I know that this is a longing that permeates the whole Church.

One of the major impediments somebody that one can have for the preaching of the gospel is to consider his/her own person as the limiter. We all know our strengths and weaknesses. We all know our limits and weaknesses. We could say, for example, that we could never speak in public. Or we could say that we don't have the profile of an evangelist. We could say that we could never learn an instrument, or a foreign language. You could maybe say that you may never forgive someone. And we get too conformed by being "this way".

Paul, the apostle, however, writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9 saying: "(...) Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses". The things we often say that makes us sad and stops us, Paul claimed to be the reason for his joy.

You can ask: How is that? How can I be joyful when I'm weak in something? However, this is the will of God. That you and I recognize that we are weak; that we finally admit it. Because if I move in the things that I know, who moves: me or God? Certainly I do. This way, all the fruits that I gather is of my own glory. And if I cease to move because I don't know something, who cease to move: me or God? Certainly I do too.

(NIV) John 3
Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

This way, if I move or cease to move based on what I know or what I don't know, I do it based on my own strengths and weaknesses. Look that the human strength is illusion. All strength of the man is weakness before God. So... to move or not to move based on me, will always be based in the weakness of man.

Reading again 2 Corinthians 12.

(NIV) 2 Corinthians 12
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

How can I do? What must I do? I must recognize, every day, before God that I am weak and give up to be strong, so that He might be strong in me. Our joy is based on the fact the only way we may the power of God fully manifested is if we let Him live in us, if we let Him be the strength in us.

This is delivering, because we don't need pre-requisites to preach the gospel. None, but being in the presence of God. What we do need is to hold a relationship with the Holy Spirit. The only way we may have extraordinary results is to do extraordinary things, and this things are impossible for us to do! So, the only way we could live extraordinarily is living by the Spirit of God.

So my brothers, while considering witnessing about Jesus, make sure that your central concern is to depend on the Holy Spirit of God. Of course we must know God, and the Word of God, but the Holy Spirit of God is the center of evangelism. What His presence does, no man can do.

Stay in the peace of Christ Jesus!
Saulo Oliveira Santos.