Times That Try Men’s Souls

Greetings, Remnant Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Thomas Paine so aptly penned in The Crisis on December 23, 1776:

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

The Union is in distress!

Turn your flags upside down! America, as our God-fearing Founding Fathers conceived it, is lost; the country that our parents and grandparents knew and loved is gone.  “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity . . . they are gone away backward” (Isaiah 1:4). Really, this should come as no surprise, for as Israel of old hath clearly shown us: “confusion of face” is a judgment from the Lord against a nation that has committed the double-crime of FORGETTING the God of the Bible and then TURNING to idols (Ezra 9:7, Jeremiah 7:19, Daniel 9:7-8).  The words of Teddy Roosevelt, our nation’s 26th President, immediately ring appropriate:  “No amount of glory or prosperity can save a nation that is rotten at heart.” And yes, the United States is rotten at heart.

Preaching at Mt. Rushmore

The recent Election is a clear indication, among other things, that America is ALREADY under the judgment of Almighty God. Confusion of face and strong delusion from the Holy One is the only explanation for the people’s choice of tyranny and economic bondage over freedom and fiscal common sense. It’s the only logical explanation for the pragmatic hope that so many churches and evangelical leaders put behind a Mormon idolater, a pragmatism that ultimately failed. It’s the only explanation for why many who call themselves Christians would so racist-ly choose skin color over biblical principle. It’s the only explanation for why this Election should have looked like 1980 but did not. Yes, these are the times that try men’s souls.

But alas, there is no place for the “summer soldier” or the “sunshine patriot” in the Remnant Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no place for shrinking back from service to our Heavenly King or for restraint in preaching the glorious Gospel in a time when this nation and the churches of this nation have committed a double capital crime: “they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).  No, “all these things must come to pass” (Matthew 24:6), and there is yet the Blessed Hope of the Believer: “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)!

In times that try men’s souls, tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered. But, the harder the conflict and the more seemingly overwhelming the persecution, the more glorious is the triumph. And friends, for the child of God in Christ Jesus, the triumph is as good as done, so much so that Paul the Apostle spoke of this future event in the aorist past tense–as good as done (Romans 8:30).  “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:12), for in these times is unique opportunity to purchase to ourselves “a good degree and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 3:13).

Downtown Stockton, California

What, therefore, must the Remnant Body do? First, we must realize, understand, and embrace that unto us “it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29). Persecution for the sake of the Gospel is a GIFT from God. So, rejoice and leap for joy (Luke 6:23)! Secondly, we must “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression” (Isaiah 48:1). As Rev. Al Baker, a Presbyterian pastor recently declared:

The one thing that must return to our country is the preaching of hell fire . . . People act in unbelievably wicked ways because they do not believe in the God of the Bible who is a consuming fire, who will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. They do not fear judgment. They do not fear hell. Preachers must step up and preach hell fire if we have any chance at all of seeing a wicked culture turn back to God

Thirdly, we must not pledge our allegiance any longer to this wicked country or to any of its corrupt political institutions. Our allegiance must be to the Lamb, and we must be willing to shake our raiment against America’s hatred for the Gospel and take the message of Jesus Christ to the nations (cf. Acts 13:6). For surely, they will have ears more ready to hear.

This is the path that we here at Full Proof Gospel Ministries have followed and will continue to pursue, come what may. Bible-believing Christian, will you join us?  

Contentment in persecution, boldness in public preaching, allegiance to God over country with an eye toward the nations: these resolves manifest themselves through what the Lord has done these past couple of months and what He is going to do going forward in and through this ministry (i.e. insofar as we remain obedient to the whole counsel of Holy Scripture). As always, we are most grateful for the Brethren who continue to hold the spiritual ropes via fervent prayer and regular support.

Southern Oregon University

Our recent campus preaching tour was a huge success.  Ricky Springer and I logged over 8,000 highway miles and were able to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ after the manner of Isaiah 48:1 on 17 different campuses, most of which were in California and the Pacific Northwest, spiritually dark and dire corners of a wicked nation. By God’s grace and despite much mocking, scoffing, and threatening jargon, there was no real trouble with authorities, and the Gospel had an open door of utterance. On 3 campuses where we were adjured to apply for an unconstitutional permit, we politely refused and the preaching ultimately continued.  Thanks to all of you who prayed for us during this journey after the manner of Colossians 4:3.  Hallelujah, your prayers were answered!  Thanks also to the faithful brethren along the way who joined us on the campuses and in the streets. In times that try men’s souls, it seems the Lord is raising up bold and solid street witnesses all over the place.  What a privilege it was to stand alongside some of these, believers who truly convict me by their examples.  Of particular joy was joining up with Shawn Holes, Ken Lightsey, and Kevin Borden in their local spheres of influence after the same manner that these labored in partnership with us on the streets of Kathmandu earlier in the year.  Never have I felt such delight in “returning the favor.”

8,000+ Miles, 17 College Campuses

Preaching to Nepali believers in Idaho

In addition to the campus preaching, the Lord also gave opportunity on this missionary journey to target several downtown areas, the Las Vegas Strip, a Madonna concert in San Jose, Portland’s Saturday market, those gathered to watch Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, and the crowd hanging around at Mt. Rushmore.  Fellowship with the brethren along the way was sweet, of course, and there was opportunity to give testimony and exhort before several local church bodies, including a fellowship made up of Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees in Boise, Idaho and a Romanian gathering in Nampa, Idaho.  With regard to Nepalis, several Project Jagerna Scripture portions and Nepali Gospel tracts were distributed in Colorado and Idaho as the Lord unexpectedly brought Nepali-speakers into our path.  On one occasion, we were able to visit and pray with an elderly Nepali believer recovering in the hospital from a terrible car accident.  His wife and daughter had been killed in this trauma, and he was still unaware of their demise.  Please pray for Brother Sha Darji.

A Circuit-Riding Preacher

At one point along this missionary journey, while one hand was on the wheel of the Nissan barreling down a long stretch of desolate highway, it came to my mind that our itinerant labor in the United States is not much unlike the old Baptist and Methodist circuit riders of bygone days, fiery evangelists who traveled the frontier on horseback: preaching the Gospel in the open air, distributing the Word of God, and exhorting the brethren. As history shows, these bold witnesses played a vital role in America’s Great Awakenings and subsequent spiritual revivals.  Thanks to advanced technologies, however, today’s “circuits” can cover a lot more ground in a much shorter period of time.  When we tour the college campuses, visiting some for the first time and revisiting others, we are simply circuit riding for the Gospel in a time when, more than ever, this country needs Bible-believing circuit prachers to lift up their voices like trumpets and proclaim the unadulterated Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the public forum, hellfire and brimstone preaching like the circuit riders of old.  For all of America is now a spiritual frontier: deceived by a gospel of church-attendance, moralisms, and “repeat a prayer after me and you’re in” salvation; and virtually unreached with the biblical Gospel of repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.  While in America, Full Proof Gospel Ministries labors without benefit of furlough; therefore, pray that we will continue to be faithful circuit riders, convicted by the examples of bygone saints (e.g. George Whitfield, the Wesley Brothers, Luther Rice, Peter Cartwright, the Log Cabin Preachers, Leonidas Polk, B.R. Lakin, and many others) as we set out with a fuel-efficient horseless carriage, down sleeping bags, camping stoves, boxes of Bibles and tracts, a large wooden cross, and road atlases that detail thousands of square miles. Please understand, the American college campus is truly one of most spiritually darkened settings in all of the world (as demonstrated by the vote of the college-age electorate in the recent Presidential Election), as dark, if not more so, than the dankest of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, the bloodiest of Khali temples, or the most draconian of Islamic mosques. Therefore, the “institution of higher learning” is worth targeting with the light of the Gospel via circuitous routes in times that try men’s souls. As opportunities arise, we must strive to preach open-air, distribute biblical literature, and/or witness one-on-one on university campuses all over this country.  With regard to this most recent preaching circuit: by God’s grace and through your prayers and faithful support, tell them we have done so!  Below is a short video documentary I compiled from this preaching circuit, drawing comparisons to the circuit riding ministries of old.  May it encourage you unto boldness and a strengthening of faith in times that try men’s souls.

campus preaching and modern-day circuit riders

Truly, these are times that try men’s souls. Just look at the recent Election. But again, let me emphasize that such results should come as no surprise, especially considering the state of America’s churches. The apostasy of the hour is perhaps best illustrated by what transpired on the campus of Oregon State University several weeks ago when leaders and representatives of campus Christian organizations (i.e. Campus Crusade, Young Life) came out in force to oppose the preaching of the Gospel and to mock the preachers. Ironically, while these so-called “Christians” openly accused the preachers of hate, scoffed at a Gospel of repentance, and derided the mention of sin, hell, the holiness of God, and the Cross; an atheist journalism student was so moved that he penned an article the very next day in a campus periodical. He stated:

Despite my disagreements with some aspects of their [the preachers’] philosophy I would like to thank them for taking time out of their day to do what they believe was right. They were gracious and respectful of the rudeness and sarcasm from the crowd. They never reacted in anger, despite plenty of provocation [i.e. mostly from the campus Christian groups].

It is troubling, dear brethren, that I am seeing more and more of this. What has happened to these organizations that used to focus primarily upon evangelism and the communication of the biblical Gospel on university campuses? I know this is hard to grasp or believe, but I have found that more often than not, the greatest opposition to the public proclamation of the Gospel on these campuses stems from so-called Christian clubs. Below is a short video documentary that I put together to disclose this problem, particularly as it manifested itself at Oregon State. Links to this video along with a statement of concern have been sent to the headquarters of both Campus Crusade and Young Life. Hopefully, the students involved will be properly and biblically disciplined.

wicked campus “christian” organizations

Well, dear brethren: embracing persecution and tough times, lifting up our voices like trumpets, and looking toward other nations perhaps more willing to hear . . . these are the things that the Remnant Body of Jesus Christ must do in these latter times that try men’s souls. Again, there is no room or place for “summer soldiers” or “sunshine patriots.” That’s why we here at Full Proof Gospel Ministries continue to look toward and invest in the nations. At the end of that very difficult day of preaching on the campus of Oregon State University, after the “Christians” had stirred up such opposition, I ended things with a concluding rebuke patterned after Paul the Apostle’s reproof to the people of Corinth in Acts 18:6. I shook my handkerchief at the crowd, reminding them that they had heard the Gospel and thereby judged themselves unworthy of eternal life. Therefore, I declared: “Your blood be upon your own heads. From henceforth, we’ll go to the nations. They will hear.” And, I meant what I said. As God gives opportunity, Full Proof Gospel Ministries will continue to go to the nations, and in this resolve, we covet some very specific prayers:

  1. Ricky Springer’s Ordination Service

    Ricky Springer was ordained to the Gospel ministry and formally commissioned as a missionary with Full Proof Gospel Ministries this past weekend. Thanks to New Testament Christian Fellowship of Conover, NC for their help in this matter, and thanks to Beacon Hill Baptist Church of Owasso, Oklahoma (Ricky’s home church) for their support as Ricky takes this big step of faith into full-time Christian service. We will be leaving for Argentina in a little over a week. I’ll be coming back in December, but Ricky will remain as long as the Lord directs, laboring south of the Equator amongst Jewish people as an arm of Full Proof Gospel Ministries and the churches and believers who support our work. FPGM was originally created with the goal of becoming a missionary sending organization. With Ricky joining the team, this is beginning to take shape. Hallelujah! Unlike other ministries, however, we are not requiring Ricky to deputize or obtain a certain level of committed support before heading to the field. We believe very strongly that God never guides where He does not provide, so as Jamie and I have done for years, Ricky will be going to Argentina in faith as he has sensed a call from the Lord, trusting the Almighty to meet his needs. He will, however, need the support of the Remnant Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. For those of you who would like to help with his work amongst Israelis in Argentina, donations can be made to Full Proof Gospel Ministries ONLINE or by sending contributions to the addressed posted on the right of this webpage. All contributions are tax-deductible, and make sure to note “Support for Ricky Springer” somewhere on the online form or in the memo space of the check. Please consider encouraging this young man by holding the financial ropes. He is sacrificing all for the Gospel.

  2. (A) Buenos Aires, (B) Bariloche, (C) Mendoza

    As mentioned, Ricky and I will be leaving for Argentina sometime next week. We earnestly covet your prayers for the Lord’s provision and for the Lord’s strength to make this trip. Lord willing, we will be doing some open-air outreach in Buenos Aires (A) [or perhaps Santiago, Chile depending upon which destination is cheaper and more likely for standby openings] before heading over to San Carlos de Bariloche (B) in Patagonia, the place where Ricky will be living and partnering with the Harris Family, laborers of like faith and like mind who have regularly supported FPGM. Initially, Ricky will be doing a home-stay with an Argentine Christian family. Then, sometime in January, he will transition over to a rented place. Praise God for already providing the first five months of rent! Anywyay, as Ricky gets his feet wet in Bariloche with language and some baseline outreach, Dylan Harris and I will be busing up to Mendoza (C), hiring some mules, slogging a couple of days out to Plaza de Mulas, and then beginning our outreach climb up Aconcagua (22,841 ft.), the highest mountain in the world outside of Asia. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, Aconcagua and its Base Camp will be a buzz of activity this time of year as climbing teams from all over the world push for the summit at the onset of the southern summer. We will be targeting these teams, including any Israelis, with the Gospel. Lord willing, we shall place the Gospel atop Aconcagua and have opportunity to speak Christ into the lives of others enduring this mother of all slogfests. The backpacker/hippie traveler/climber crowd includes some of the most unreached of the unreached. Though extremely difficult in terms of evangelism, these folks hold a special place in my heart.  But for God’s redeeming grace in my life, that would have surely been me: endlessly searching, through worldly exploits and travels, for something that can only be found in the Bible’s message of salvation. If the Lord allows, therefore, I’ll jump at any opportunity to minister amongst such in places and venues where other missionaries will not trod. Aconcagua will be that type of unique opportunity. Please pray for us. Others have backed out of the original climbing group, so now it’s just me and Dylan, my old climbing partner. I have been training very hard these past weeks, but your prayers for strength and endurance are yet needed. I still have my old “Repent or Perish” Christian flag that flew behind the bicycle as I pedaled to the top of Alaska back in 2009. It’s tattered and faded, needing a final resting place. Lord willing, that flag will find a home at 22,841 ft as a witness to whoever may bag Aconcagua’s lofty summit.  Please pray especially that God starts preparing the hearts of those from other countries, who are even now formulating their respective climbing plans, to hear and believe the Gospel that will be spoken to them on this mountain.

    Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere

    Stay tuned for prayer updates from Argentina. I should return to the States by mid-December, but again, Ricky will remain, laboring primarily amongst Jewish travelers who are known to frequent that part of the world. Ricky will eventually have his own blog on FPGM.ORG, so you will be able to follow his ministry and keep up with him in fervent prayer.

  3. Bishnu preaches in Manohara.

    In times that try men’s souls and with an eye always toward the nations, Full Proof Gospel Ministries continues to support the work on the ground in Nepal.  As I write, Bishnu Shrestha, our national partner, is in Nepal’s remote and unreached Far West with a team of Nepali believers, doing evangelism and distributing copies of Project Jagerna Scripture portions.  Please continue to pray for Bishnu and his ministry.  Since our departure, this brother has been faithful to continue preaching the Gospel on the streets while training up other brethren to do the same and overseeing the printing and distribution side of Project Jagerna.  Together, we are still striving toward our goal of printing and distributing 100,000 Project Jagerna Scripture portions during the Nepali year 2069.  This Nepali calendar year comes to an end in April of 2013.  Presently, our printing fund is nearly exhausted, and FPGM would like to help financially undergird some upcoming trainings that Bishnu has scheduled in the village churches.  Please pray that the Lord will make provision.  Pray also as Bishnu and a handful of believers have started a church in their home.  This move was necessitated for a variety of reasons.  Needless to say, I am optimistic about this church plant, seeing it as a means to nourish up an entire church body with a heart for bold evangelism, a body that will inevitably be an effective bridge between the preaching of Christ on the streets in Kathmandu and the discipleship of those who come to the Lord through said preaching.  Presently, this group of believers has outgrown Bishnu’s very small apartment.  These are looking for a reasonable place to meet weekly.  FPGM would like to help offset the cost of such a move.  Again, please pray for the Lord’s provision.  Soon, I look forward to posting Bishnu’s recap of the work in Nepal’s Far West.  Stay tuned.  For more information concerning FPGM’s support of work on the front lines in Nepal, visit BISHNU’S BLOG.  For more information on Project Jagerna, you can visit projectjagerna.org.

  4. Please pray concerning the financial needs of the ministry in general.  Full Proof Gospel Ministries’ committed monthly support remains below our monthly operational budget, and this has been the case for quite some time.  In order for us to be able to take care of Ricky on the field and to continue undergirding the work in South Asia, we will need to see an increase in regular monthly support.  Please pray about coming alongside of us in this fashion.  Even $50 a month can go along way toward helping us budget for unique doors of opportunity here at home and at remote corners of the globe.  Don’t forget: We do accept ONLINE DONATIONS, and all contributions are tax-deductible for United States citizens. Thanks for your prayerful consideration in this matter, and with heartfelt gratitude, we again communicate our thanks to those who have already faithfully supported this work on a monthly basis.  May the Lord return the blessing to you tenfold, no, an hundredfold (Luke 6:38).

We need your help to keep doing this!

So, with sending Ricky as a missionary to South America, my upcoming outreach on Aconcagua, and the work in Nepal, our hands are full and ever pointed toward nations more willing to hear the Gospel. May it ever be so! And, may we never forget that America, in times that try men’s souls, remains one of the world’s largest mission fields. There is no time for furlough, there is no time for distraction, there is no time for indifference.  And, there is no place for summer soldiers or sunshine patriots: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (II Timothy 2:3-4). Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Stay tuned for news from Argentina!

For the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ,

The Boyd Family & Ricky Springer

2 Comments

  1. My wife and I just read your letter in full and watched your videos. We are certainbly living in the last days, where sins is raging in hearts, towns, cities and everywhere look.

  2. Great post! Praise the Lord for the power of the gospel! While looking at the map of your recent travels I can only comment that you missed Little rock by just a few hours. 🙂 Maybe next time???

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